Character Creation and you: Kir's Input

Questions and suggestions relating to the playing of individual characters rather than the game world

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Character Creation and you: Kir's Input

Postby Kir^Trelander on Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:10 am

Greetings:

First and foremost I would like to say that this is not a staff/administrator post. This is me becoming more exposed to other people's characters, and giving out the same advice often enough that I thought it would be wise to post it, even if only so that people could be linked to it. I cannot really explain how frustrating it is to try and be helpful with people creating characters, where they simply do not have enough included in the character, and being treated as if I'm trying to rag on you. If I didn't want your character to go through, I would not help. I would ignore you.

When you create a character, there is something important that is lacking from a lot of the characters I approve, and that is a vision. These are living, breathing creatures in a fantasy world, not something to be slapped together in five to ten minutes before asking an op to approve it. If you use the latter method, I can assure you that you will find a headache if you ask me for an approval, because I am looking for particular things. These things are not simple, shallow requirements that I can list off, but are nevertheless easily answered if you take the time to answer the questions "Why am I making this character?" and "What are the distinguishing parts of this character that make it unlike others that have been made, and unlike your already-existing characters?"

This is to say that if you can't answer those questions, you have no driving creativity behind its creation in the first place. It's a throwaway. It's not going to give you anything that you can't already get with a character you already have, and thus it's creation is often disjointed and bearing problems that your would-be-approval-board notices pretty easily (I assure you, Ops are not just spam approving your characters. Many of our approvals, though, are bringing you up to the bare minimum where we can say 'At least that's enough'.)

Beyond that, information on each field where I notice Approvals getting wonky:

Name: The name that you want people to use to search for your character. Think of this as the closest you can get to the name you'll be using as your nickname. Even if your character name is longer, use the nickname so that it's easy to access for people curious about your character and less confusing for Desdaemona.

Race Desc: This is what Des will say you are. I.e. If you put 'Torian/Troll half-breed' here, Des will tell inquiring parties that this is blah, the male Torian/Troll half-breed'.

Sex: Remember that hermaphrodites are not allowed unless they have been approved prior by the High Council. If you are new, I could be wrong, but I believe there will be no more approved. So the vast majority of you will choose male or female. Vast majority, even if you plan on using the gender swapping spells often.

Appearance: I will say this clearly. I do not care if you have a character picture. I really don't. They're nice. But they are not your description. Likewise, this is not a grammatical driver's license. I don't need a list of statistics put into five sentences. Those are great for fillers, but they really give me no idea what you look like aside from very vague, generic ideas.

The tip I would give for this section is to have a clear cut idea of what your character looks like before you start typing here. It's -great- that you wanted to try out Drak Sen, but if you don't know what your character looks like and just want the Drak Sen in game, how is anyone else supposed to get a feel for what they look like? How do you plan on describing yourself in your posts? Make this idea of appearance now. Then start typing. Begin by describing general build, and them immediately start at the crown of the head, and visualize downwards. Hair. How the hair sits on top of the face. Does it frame it? Eyebrows. Eyes. Bridge of nose, nostrils, cleft of lip, lips, jawline, ears, neck, collarbones, shoulders, upper arms and chest, so on and so forth! Do I need -all- of this information in every single submission? Hell no. But when you use this method, you will see just how much description there is in a humanoid body, and you'll quickly find the areas where you can insert quirks and 'tellers' about your character, as well as go into much more alluring detail where desired. The end result? You'll have a unique description of a character, full on, where there is nothing but imagery for anyone who reads it. If you aren't willing to go into detail about what the character looks like, I'm going to say you don't need the character.

Background: Consider this your temporal description, rather than physical. Do you have personality traits you want to stick to this character? Come up with a scenario that promotes that kind of trait, then insert it in here. You can end up with many of them.

The same way you started with the general frame on appearance, start with a general framework here, an 'outline' of what kind of life this character has had. Then start at the beginning, and elaborate. Usually, this will end with arrival in Nanthalion or where ever you choose as home for your character. But the important part is that if you have a bland background, that's fine. But that means you're leaving it open for character traits and progression in game. If you have traits and such that you want the character to have, and it's part of why you wanted to create the character, the background is the -perfect- place to write about how that came to be. A series of sentences that essentially say 'Started here. Went here. Went here. Went here. Ended here.' can be rewritten as 'Started here, ended here.' There are events in character life, write about them, or write about how there was a lack of them. But there is always something to write about.


Please post concerns and additions and such, and I will edit my post to add in the tips. But I will say here and now, we have a lot of people who create a lot of characters. Some are marvelous at it. Some, I can't tell why they're making it, even when I ask them these questions directly and they say they don't know. But these are basics of character creation.
Kir^Trelander
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Re: Character Creation and you: Kir's Input

Postby Joytoy on Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:37 pm

Awesome post, thank you Kir. It's good to know that more than just the gender, race and key word no-no's are being looked at in a character description/background for approval.
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Re: Character Creation and you: Kir's Input

Postby Adonai on Tue May 23, 2017 5:42 am

Old post, I know but, I am redoing my guide, adding taking stuff out, making it pretty, on the Hermaphrodite part that is: I have heard from quite a few in the past who have played said chars, IF you are lucky enough to get it if it is what you want, you are not allowed to basically become a total nympho that fucks everything that moves just because you are one. (if an OP or HC wishes to correct me feel free to.)
Let the warriors clamor after gods of blood and thunder; love is hard, harder than steel and thrice as cruel. It is as inexorable as the tides, and life and death alike follow in its wake.
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