How to create a good and lasting character.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Polioman, Jan 11, 2019 at 10:07 PM.

  1. Polioman

    Polioman Senior Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    304
    So I need advice. I need to have an actual good rpable character that is not some thing that is extremely bad which would be like a character just doing every single event or encounter thing that happens every now and then.

    What I know is that I have not had a character that is good in any way shape or form out of every single character that I have made to date not one has been something proper that can go ahead and actually not be something shit that is a waste of time to even make it in the first place.
    So I need tips.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
  2. posepsi

    posepsi actually el pepso

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,952
    What sort of things do you enjoy about RP?
     
  3. Polioman

    Polioman Senior Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    304
    I have not really stuck to one thing to enjoy and have tried to do medical which has turned out to not be good if you don't have prior IRL medical knowledge. I tried cooking rp for awhile but then that became useless a lot of the time because no one would care. I do not know how to enjoy RP. I just do all sorts of things cause I think that maybe it might be good in some way but it always turns out to be terrible.
     
  4. posepsi

    posepsi actually el pepso

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    3,952
  5. A Blaze of Glory

    A Blaze of Glory Senior Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Messages:
    240
    You know, I was watching HBO's Westworld awhile back and there was some dialogue that stuck out to me.

    One of the characters, Lee Sizemore, head of writing characters and narratives for the park, mentioned a 'cornerstone.'
    The show went onto explain every, single, one of the android characters had a 'cornerstone' moment or memory that their whole identity revolves around. A prime directive, if you will.

    So, I took this concept to TRP. Let me give you some examples of how I used the concept of having a 'cornerstone' in my characters.

    Daniel Edwards' cornerstone was the murder of his first wife and daughter by the hands of a drug addict. Everything he did, every decision he made, everything that he did to make him into the character he turned into was based off of that cornerstone moment.

    Joseph Carter was a mercenary, professional soldier for hire, he's conditioned to be the perfect soldier who puts objective over life itself. His 'cornerstone' is his old outfit massacring a group of defenseless scavvers, women, and children. While he may still be that perfect, apathetic to who he hurts, killing machine, now he's got a cornerstone moment to balance all of his choices with.

    Giving your characters cornerstones, which don't have to be tragic like mine, gives you agency, something to keep your decisions in-line and ensure you stay true to character.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  6. RevivalAD

    RevivalAD Senior Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2018
    Messages:
    196
    Posting from my phone,

    I prefer not having much back story to my characters. I just sort of come up with a general personality and leave the whole back story out so it gives me room to get a feel for how my characters dynamic plays out within the server, and if the dynamic doesn't blend well, I either drop the character or change their personality. Alexa Price started off as a shy Mary Sue soldier but I noticed there were already 20+ of those, so I slowly evolved her into a sort of "chaotic neutral" type of character, which some people loved and some hated, but the character spread some interesting rp and was a lot of fun to play until she was killed off.

    It's a bit contradictory to blazes post, but I like his idea as well. RP is very open ended and you kind of just have to figure out what works best for you while positively flowing with the rest of the server.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • Dumb Dumb x 1
  7. Polioman

    Polioman Senior Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    304
    So I have tried to get a type of backstory for some of my previous characters but it either didn't matter at all or was just not good enough to even count as a backstory. Even after having a backstory or a dynamic for the character does it matter at all if the character dies and the backstory or anything before that matter?
     
  8. Nerdbird

    Nerdbird Educated Avian

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Messages:
    2,610
    my biggest mistake was making a character anti-social and viciously sticking to it, i nearly quit carlyn everett cause it was hard to roleplay with people

    make a character outgoing and give ur selves reasons to interact with other characters
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Useful Useful x 1
  9. Kiwi

    Kiwi Senior Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2015
    Messages:
    211
    Blaze gave some great insight I'd like to expand upon, not only can specific traits be cornerstones but so can goals your character have! I'm not just talking about "Increase rank" and "Kill SkyNET" goals, I'm referring little things like making friends, pet projects like hobbies and filling a niche roll.

    Another thing, you're character's aren't 2-dimensional NPCs. They've each their own set of morals, beliefs, goals, special traits and personal quirks like real people do. Focusing your entire character around hating Tech-Comm or trying to acquire the biggest gun possible will lead to a short-lived and transparent husk. Try to craft each of your characters with a realistic array of emotions and ideas to make them as lifelike as possible. The cornerstone concept is wonderful to provide something to lean on, but if you try and define your character solely by their medical expertise or charismatic attitude you'll end up without much place to go.

    Finally, and possibly most important. Plan your character like you plan a story, with a begging, middle and end. Establishing even a bare-bones backstory that's believable can give you a foundation to react to new experiences, something to talk about with others and cement your character more firmly in the game world. The middle is 50% left up to dynamic character development, i.e. reacting to the progression of the world and how it changes. The other half is where you choose to go with your character. Who they associate with, what their goals are and how they behave during it all. Last, it's helpful to have at least a rough outline of how you'd like your character's story to end, be it them surviving until the end of the iteration or meeting their demise at the hands of Drew's notorious PK drone. Things won't always go to plan, so your plot should be flexible. Instead of being concrete in your choices for all of the above, draft guidelines and try to adhere to them when applicable.

    Happy RP!
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. Enraged

    Enraged Mana Addict
    TRP Admin Contributor

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Messages:
    728
    Wholesome thread <3
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  11. Polioman

    Polioman Senior Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    304
    Alright I will take these into account for creating new characters from now on. Hopefully it will go well. But it is a longshot to survive to the end of the iteration to be honest. Also Can drews drone number be linked for future reference just incase?
     
  12. Benji Dooble

    Benji Dooble Diamond in the rough

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,936
  13. Adderall

    Adderall Legend

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    Messages:
    4,006
    Always give yourself a prompt, never write a loner, don't be afraid to write a character that has something in common with other characters.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  14. Sweetness

    Sweetness pretty girl

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2014
    Messages:
    1,078
    Ask yourself questions about your character.

    Who are they? Why are they here? What do they want out of being here? What are their goals?

    Since I've mainly seen you on TRP, I'll try and relate to this as much as possible to that specific setting.

    I never got into TRP until late November because I always felt like I was put on the outside and that it just wasn't the setting for me. I decided I'd get on and make a character, giving it one more shot before I gave up on it entirely. Kurakina was made completely on a whim, but I came up with a backbone for her when I made her -- and that's what kept her interesting. Create a loose skeleton for your character by asking yourself questions about them. Your character can be anti-social at times, maybe just a social oddball, but I suggest you try and include yourself as much as possible.

    Books and movies can give you ideas on characters or ideas you'd like to explore, but that doesn't mean you should create a carbon copy of them onto the server. Maybe you can look up a certain archetype you'd like to portray on the server, too.

    Just keep trying. Not everything you do will be great. No one here has had every single character they've ever played praised repeatedly for how wonderful they are, you're bound to fail a few times before you get something good. Don't get discouraged. Have fun.

    :)
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  15. Jacko151

    Jacko151 Senior Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    36
    one thing i do when making a(ll) (my) character(s) is find one quirk, basically something that sets them apart from any other character. being big, obsessed with chewing gum, sadistic, tribal. (all examples of characters i have made on trp aswell) and that usually works pretty well because it makes them flawed and usually makes for good writing when you can bring it up in roleplay.

    another thing is a long-term goal for a character. you can look at the D&D morality chart for a good goal-orientation for whatever you think you're going to be doing. e.g bandit might be chaotic evil, tech-comm would be chaotic evil (lol) you can be pretty creative with these goals/morality thing. and by saying this, chaotic evil doesnt mean ur always a bandit and ur gonna be running around LOLKILLEVERYONE LOLEVIL in rp you have to be much, much more subtle if u dont wanna get pksquaded and it isnt necessarily out of character for a chaotic evil character to say, not start killing everyone, really. D&D morality alignment aside, long-term goals for characters such as advancing ranks in TC, being independent forever, undermine TC because of ic reasons aren't bad goals for a character to try and live up to.

    having said all this, being creative is what means the character. being a generic cookie cutter good character isn't cool, but neither is being a generic cookie cutter evil character. have some creativity! does your character only wear one shoe? do they have an unhealthy obsession with clean teeth? the devils in the details and quirks can really shine if you consistently show them in roleplay. hope this helped dude, just some of my guidance to kickstart that creative mind you got!
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  16. Anri

    Anri cute when mad

    Country:
    Germany
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6,561
    Backstories don't matter as backstories, but as "cornerstones" as others have mentioned. Use Chekhov's Gun here; think of what sorts of circumstances would shape a character that you want to play.

    Have they lost someone dear to them? Maybe they'll want to make sure it doesn't happen again.
    Have they seen a lot of violence? That probably lowered their own inhibitions regarding it.
    Have they never really had a family? They'll probably spend the rest of their life trying to piece one together, whether it's in the form of romance or simply a small group of very close friends.
    Maybe they've moved to the US, only to be disillusioned upon finding out that "rags to riches" rarely works out? They'll end up as a pessimist for quite a while.
    Are they well-educated? They'll probably be more calculating and think things through before acting.
    On the contrary, are they not educated because the post-apocalypse didn't leave room for schools? They're not gonna become politicians. Usually. No, who am I kidding here...

    You might've heard someone say "it's RP, you shouldn't have to look things up to enjoy a hobby", or "medical RP isn't about accuracy, don't pull up Google and bore your patient to death" - and they're completely correct.
    But nobody has ever written a book without researching atleast something. You don't have to go deep into the matter to prepare for a role, but you shouldn't brush everything off and just try to wing it, either. With medical stuff in particular, however, you should keep in mind that a lot of settings or roles characters fill aren't purely for functional reasons. On PHL2, I don't play Dr. Church because I love stroking my ego with big medical terminology, but because of the unique developments that occur in patient-doctor dynamics.

    What you're experiencing is likely the opposite of the above. Never do any RP for the sake of functionality; always try to imagine how to best build upon the potential for interaction with others. Cooking? Your character is serving someone a meal, or they're working in the kitchen with someone. Lots of shenanigans ensue in the kitchen, as you likely know if you've ever cooked with someone else before; serving the meal can be a good starter for a chat. "You know how I got that recipe?"



    Don't do a bit of everything. Stick to your guns and do one thing, then ask for help if your character runs into trouble. Make your character run into problems they can't deal with on their own - lots. Involve others. Ask for help. Have you ended up infront of a locked door? Figure out if you can't get someone to lockpick it (or blowtorch it, or blow it open). Has your buddy been shot? See about calling for help instead of remembering that you had a surgical toolset tucked away in your butt.

    Take losses. That's what builds character. Both for your actual characters, and for yourself. Not every character concept will work out; use that experience and reflect instead of making carbon copies, or going down the same route over and over again. You can't fit a square peg in a round hole.

    Hope this helps a bit!
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  17. Benji Dooble

    Benji Dooble Diamond in the rough

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4,936
    dont sit sround waiting for rp, go above and beyond and rp with anyone you can, this gets your character that outgoing and socialite quality and you meet new people

    dont try to have a perfect character, flaws make characters better. deep personal flaws that can change over time with growth. Give your character life, its not a puppet its a person
     
    #17 Benji Dooble, Jan 12, 2019 at 1:02 PM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 1:08 PM
  18. Scone !

    Scone ! I am not a bot

    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    5,977
    When I make mine i don't overthink it. All of my characters are built up around two or three major gimmicks and I go to town on those and really play 'em up. Over time those gimmicks stop being their own defining features and they start to grow a real personality, but one that was absolutely shaped by the gimmicks i began with.

    Lady's the one you know so that's the example here. She had no personality or backstory when I started. I just picked three things out of a hat and those were born post-war, argumentative, and short. Popped her in the world, started arguing, and before I knew it she was taking up positons in Tech-Comm purely out of spite and growing as a character by sticking to her few major features and with me not trying to overreach with her backstory, personality, or anything else with her until I was ready to do so.

    Maybe the thought out long answers help you more but I know that doesn't work for everyone, it's all dependent upon your writing style as an author just as much as anything else. I don't plan anything, everything I do is on the spot, so this works for me by not planning anything with my characters until it's done. If you prefer planning and thinking things out ahead of time then maybe it's not for you.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  19. Drewerth

    Drewerth nothing stops MY roleplay

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,496
    Don't ever go in with a character and expect a very specific outcome or focus on it, enjoy what's there to be had instead.

    I've done that on like eight characters and it really ruins the experience you can have on them.
     
  20. Symmetry

    Symmetry Kwisatz Haderach

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,522
    Always write and play characters for other people, not yourself.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Zing Zing x 1
  21. feelsgoodman

    feelsgoodman New Blood
    Paroxysm Admin

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    202
    Although everyone above me is right,

    The cabal.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • ...what? ...what? x 1
  22. Joker

    Joker Taig Terminator

    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2014
    Messages:
    466
    In an unironic way, stop making characters who pick fights with and try to annoy people that you don't like OOC. It usually helps them be more likeable.
     
    • Zing Zing x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  23. Neurotic

    Neurotic Senior Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    dont ERP

    edit: :(
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • ...what? ...what? x 1
    #23 Neurotic, Jan 13, 2019 at 5:09 PM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 6:42 PM
  24. Puffin

    TRP Admin

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Messages:
    306
    People approach these things differently, but I've always found that a character's skills/traits/what have you are not nearly as important as the journey they go down. Part of what made HL2 city such an engrossing experience to me, as well as a number of people was the sheer contrast they'd find their characters in from the origin points they established those same characters from.

    Citizens who worked for the CWU as factory workers, later became the frontline for smuggling trace amounts of mechanical equipment for the Resistance. The small things count the most in my opinion and are far more effective at building a character.

    Tropes, cliches and other such things can be dangerous not only to yourself, but to those who roleplay with you. Avoid making that cute frenchie, or the angry german, or the hardheaded american. You can have those things without the tropes, but find more creative ways to display them in a character that isn't tied to cringey notions of foreign fetishism.

    Most importantly though, strike that balance between operating a character you enjoy and others enjoy spending time with. Try new things, explore different avenues and challenge yourself to go into arcs you might have never thought you could do before. Roleplay is all about risk from the first interactions to a character, to the final death knell of their story.

    The kind of enigma a character contains in their establishment is prime time for you to set the mood, behavior and complexity of that character. Go wild with it and above all, don't put yourself below others. You will learn and adapt over time, improve your skills and craft your character how you want them to be crafted. We all started somewhere.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  25. Chad

    Chad Zealot

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    395
    try roleplayng as inanimate objects like a chair or a fruit since it provides more of a creative challeng
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  26. Airsoft

    Airsoft Zealot

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    346
    I think it's in the name, role-playing. Find a role and play it.

    Don't tailor-make a character specifically for that role alone, or else you'll end up with a very unrealistic character who is incapable of doing anything but kill, or medrp, or fix this. That's probably an obvious no-no but I just feel the need to clarify for any newbie roleplayers lurking this thread.

    The most fun I've had while roleplaying was on Sarah Delaware, a character I made up to initially be a girly girl with differing views on things than my own. I stuck to that, and then tweaked extra concepts and threw them in as I thought them up.

    For me that was a huge success, a nice idea that would be new to play and have differences from the characters they'd interact with to spark dialogue or situations.

    General takeaways from this and what else I feel is good information to roleplay by:
    • Find a role or roles, and fill it.
    • Don't tailor-make a character for said role(s), diversify their interests and skills.
    • Be different from you. This is a character, and you should try to stay away from self-inserts.
    • Don't be afraid to change your character up if your main idea is bad, or if it lacks some substance to make them interesting.
    • New, new, new. If you know everything about guns or some basic knowledge on medicine then great, you can make characters that do that stuff well. But, I always felt that learning new things for the sake of roleplay is a vast source of entertainment. Do you want a mechanically knowledgeable character? Then research the basics of an engine, and wing it. Or watch youtube videos to visualize it and see the process of how to replace a battery, or machine a part.
    • You don't need to know everything, if you have no clue how to stitch a wound closed and the right stitching pattern, or how to properly field strip a weapon, or how to change the oil in a vehicle, that's okay! You can just right an emote pretty easily with what you would use to do so.
    • Have fun, seriously. If what you do day in and day out on the character isn't fun, then find them a new interest, and pursue it. But make sure you learn the workings of that interest at a natural pace. Don't whip up an entirely new skill overnight.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1