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Whats your character creation process?

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I have a big roulette wheel of character traits and I throw putty onto it and see where it sticks. My boyfriend keeps asking me to move the wheel, as it's very large. I don't know where to put it though so it's still in the upstairs hallway.
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Posted Jul 15, 18
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I think the reason Im so curious about this is because ever since Ive been depressed Ive found it so hard to be creative, and established methods of creating a character just dont seem to work well for me. For instance, I really dislike writing character profiles, but I enjoy reading them.
Posted Jul 16, 18 · OP
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wrote:
I think the reason Im so curious about this is because ever since Ive been depressed Ive found it so hard to be creative, and established methods of creating a character just dont seem to work well for me. For instance, I really dislike writing character profiles, but I enjoy reading them.

Honestly, it makes sense. We've all had times where writing has been a struggle.

So here's what I do, really, not my earlier joke response: I don't just 'make a character', if I don't have an idea for a character I simply don't make one. I might be sitting here like "I kinda fancy having a norn," but I can't just make a norn on the spot. Not until something comes at me. Maybe some new set will be released, maybe a new elite spec will be teased and I'll go "Oh shit, I could play a norn *that thing!*", or I could be inspired by just casual thinking, daydreaming, the waking hours of the morning and the closing moments of my day.

I do not create a character, at all, until I know what I want to do with them. Even if it's just "I want to wear this hat", that's enough for me to start, and it's easier from there. I'll design a face, what sort of face do I want? Attractive? Bullish? Rakish? Strong? Battered? Rough? Effeminate? Why do they look that way? Am I rolling with archetype, or am I going to play against type? If they have scars, how did they get them?

Whatever I decide in this process doesn't need to be permanent, I'm not writing it down. I could decide my guy got a scar in a knife fight, and then later decide it was from a wild animal attack. It's not written down so who *cares* if I internally retcon something for a better idea?

Move on to body, how should they look? How does their physical appearance reflect their lifestyle? Should it, or am I once again casting against type?

Notice I've by now decided a load of basic but *meaningful* facts about this new character, before I even know their NAME, I have no idea what their story is but I do know what they look like and why they look that way. Suddenly it's easy to come up with a story, because I know who they are even if I don't yet know why they are who they are. A sentence is all you need for a new concept, then. Say I've made a norn, he's large obviously because he's a norn, but he might be a bit slender compared to your usual bull. His face is jacked up, that's interesting because he doesn't have the body of a hrrrr drrrrr juggernaut fighter. So do I have a scrappy on my hands, Someone who punches above their weight to prove themselves? Or are they just a lither guy? Are they even a fighter at all? Maybe they're a craftsman and their face is jacked up because of something completely unrelated to lifestyle, and instead was just the result of a single poor encounter? Or perhaps a prideful moment where they stood out from themselves and got whacked down?

Now a personality has started to form just from asking myself these questions, and I haven't even entered his name yet. So I have an appearance, I have a personality, I have a lifestyle, I can then infer how he lives and behaves through a correlation of all of these factors. Now writing that first sentence to determine this characters story is... trivial.
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Posted Jul 16, 18
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Thats really helpful, I feel like Im pretty okay with building up concepts, sometimes I just mess around with the CC just to see if I can make an interesting looking person, probably wont do anything with it but I can sort of imagine up little things on the spot. Thinking about it I think I might put the cart before the horse a lot of the time and rush into a very thin shell of a concept before Ive really even tried thinking more about it.
Posted Jul 16, 18 · OP
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Yeah fuck it man, you aren't beholden to anybody in regards to how long it takes for you to come up with a character that you can understand, be familiar with and enjoy playing.

Treat it like improv, "Yes, and..."

Run out there with a concept you enjoy and an interesting looking person, imagine a few little things, then just go messing around in game and let yourself discover things that make sense about them simply by following "Yes, and..."
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Posted Jul 16, 18
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In my case it usually starts with a general concept such as lich/undead necromancer like in the case with sacra. Then i build a basic backstory with a basic personality to match and jump into things and basically improvise from there until over time the character is fleshed out. When it works well it leads to characters that fit and grow into the group they are part of and change over time in what i consider a relatively realistic manner.

Downside of this approach i suppose is if i end up making a mistake and write myself into a corner as it were. I really don't like to retcon or rapidly crank out new characters as each one is generally something i want to work on for years, better to try and fix it icly than to throw the whole character out.

Now that my characters and ideas often bend the lore is another problem, unfortunately. One which has led to a few too many arguments over lore/headcanon and is the main reason why i don't really RP much anymore in guild wars. I really like the setting, but the restrictions imposed by the guild leaders I've had just take the fun out of it.

Anyway, sorry for the partial rant, just wanted to get that out there as well.
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Posted Jul 28, 18
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My process is a bit like the boba fett approach at first. I pick a look, refine the style, and then try to let the outfit tell me a story from their point of view.

Example: Why did I choose to cover "my" face. Why is "my" armor so dull, loud, or other.

From there you can bounce between your own experience and into the questioning the motive of the character in front of you.

The way I see it is, the character you create starts as art. From there it is filling in the little details like, She has gloves on because she doesn't like touching dirty things, his hands were badly burned, he works hard and to him they might as well be a second skin, she was raised to always be at the top of fashion, or they took the "where white gloves but, have an iron gauntlet," to literal.

Make them believable and refine from there.
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Posted Aug 3, 18
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I normally start with a loose amalgam of traits and personality ticks, flesh it out by watching movies/reading/music until I'm in a headspace where I can start building up those traits.
Once I know what I want to make I work on a one or two scenes, that I write up with a reasonable amount of detail, usually a turning point or something I can use as an achor to ground those traits, something I can refer back to and use to justify their actions etc. I don't touch the backstory again until I've played the character for like 3 months and I make an effort to not reveal those one or two scenes until the character's ready to be retired just because those are the cogs that keep the character functioning.
From there it's just figuring out the visuals and name, more to try and let their outwards persona be easily read.
I don't really consider lore to be a major aspect of the character creation because usually they're mundane enough concepts that it can easily be molded around the setting.
Posted Aug 7, 18
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