Creating a Character Application on the forum can be seen as a big step for some people, especially when they are used to a much thinner or less complex Application from other servers. This guide mainly focuses on the concept of a Character Outline, a quick brainstorm or idea card that may help you create a base line for your Character Application. This guide will take you through each of the steps and provides as much information as possible for you to work with. If you have any further questions, you can always ask a Roleplay or Lore staff member to help you out or provide input. It is recommended to write your Character Outline in a Google Doc, avoid using it anywhere on the forum. You can use this google document for your convenience: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K08J7ZFDQF4cpMG7wbHC-liiEuxjqv3cayN5UA15Bso/edit?usp=sharing
Character Outline Guide
Step One: The Basics
Start with the most basic of basics for your character. What is their name? What is their age? What is their gender? What was their basic background? Most of these are really simple multiple choices or simple numbers. Here is a summary of the individual points which should be written. Note, all these options should be filled in with a single word, or at least as little as possible to keep this simple:
- Describe the Character with a simple archetype name (For example: Crazy Bard, Emotionally Damaged Warrior, Lustful Bureaucrat, Vengeful Vigilante, Peaceful Nun, etc.)
Step Two: DNA Building
Visuals are often difficult to put down, but you generally have a good understanding of what you'd like your character to look like. The following points will mostly assume archetypes, meaning they will fit into categories. This is intentionally done to keep things simple, you can always expand further in your actual Application. Following are the individual points of this step, again, keep the responses short and simple:
- Hair color
- Eye color
- Skin color (For example: Qadir, Daendroque Brown, Regalian white, Orc Green, etc.)
- Body Shape (For example: Muscular, Fit, Athletic, Average, Underweight, Frail, Overweight, Obese, etc.)
- Size (For example: Tall, Short, Midget, Giant, Average, etc.)
- Specials (For example: Tattoo's, Scars, Piercings, Missing Limbs, Blind, etc. You can use multiple things here.)
Step Three: Personality
Personality is perhaps the most important yet most difficult factor to pin down, both accurately and believably. There are a couple of "hacks" you can use to go trough archetypes and select a very rounded trait set that is both believable and fun to play out. To get a general view of the personality, a couple of big corner pieces should be defined:
- Normal Mood (For example: What mood is your character usually in? Sad, Angry, Happy, Peaceful, Aggressive, Moody, Lustful, etc.)
- Interactions (For example: How does your character treat others? Cruel, Kind, Just, Unfair, Cynical, Mean, Violent, Gentle, etc.)
- Habits (For example: Summarize some habits like: Drunkard, Temperamental, Animal-loving, Hyperactive, Badmouthed, etc. You can summarize a few if you want.)
Step Four: Background
Background mostly establishes your character's goals and general perception of things. What happens to us in our lives influences how we position ourselves to respond to other people or events. As such, these can really help in defining some personality traits, as past experiences often shape our personality.
- How was their family life? (For example: Broken, Good, Bad, Horrible, etc.)
- How is their current family life? (For example: Single, Married, Engaged, etc.)
- How was their childhood? (For example: Bad, Good, Traumatic, Heavenly, etc.)
- What Social Class are they? (For example: Noble, Rich, Common, Poor, Homeless, etc.)
- Big Events (For example: What big events happened in their lives? Dead of a Sibling, Death of a Parent, Divorce, Lost Battle, Birth of a son, House burned down, Bandit raid, Disease, etc.)
- Pre-made Relations (For example: Does your character already come with some relations with other characters? Sometimes it is easier to get into roleplay if there is at least one character your character already knows. Fill in what character this is (if you have one) and how they know each other.
Step Five: Finalization
The final step is to give yourself a little push in the back to get going with roleplay. It is often good to have an idea what you want to do with your character. You should write as shortly as you can, your character's general goal and how they plan to go about it. For example, does your flower lover want to conquer the bouquet market by setting up a shop in Regalia and then selling flowers on the street? Does your warrior want to take revenge on their lord for killing their sister by training with the Regalian Guard to better himself? Does your street urchin want to join a Noble family as a servant to get a better life for themselves? It is helpful to set a realistic goal for yourself, and define a realistic way of doing it that you can immediately do. Try to avoid vague things that aren't implemented, or relying on other people to reach your goals too much.
Character Outline Completed!
Congratulations, you have now completed your Character Outline. This should give you a great base to work on, though it's encouraged to roleplay with this character a bit first. That way, you can ask other people for input on how they experienced your character. These base lines will also help you define personality traits. Silent Warriors are for example, often Stoic, have a good sense of Justice, or are generally fair to those weaker. A greedy bandit is often bad natured, violent, and obviously greedy. This outline is also useful when asking others for help. They will get a clear view of what you plan your character to be, and what you want to do with it, so that they can give you the accurate help and advice you may need.