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How to Design a Good RP Character

Lead Developer
Jen: M
Probably a bit late for this for the new RP - but perhaps for the next one...

I think a discussion on what makes a good RP character might help inexperienced players understand the nature of the game, and help them participate more effectively (at least, the ones that read). Here are some suggestions, which I may update with more if others chime in with additional recommendations.

A good RP is about balance among the players. It's about good player interaction and team dynamics. It is not about one player - it's not a one-man show. Roleplaying is a group activity, and all players have a responsibility to keep it fun and about everyone.

It is the GM that is primarily responsible for adding the spice to the game - for 'seasoning' the players through the story. A good character isn't overly powerful or overly developed from the start, but rather a 'raw ingredient' - ready to be combined with others and seasoned by the GM.

I think interesting story characters grow, change, and are the product of the story. Characters should start simple, with some basic personality, history, and a clearly indicated role or skill.

Some beginner mistakes/cliche's to avoid:
  • The Over-Powered Character - You will start out with "beginner" skills like everyone else. Writing up text to the contrary won't change it, nor will it impress the GM or the other players.
  • The "I Didn't Read the Lore" Character - Read up on the theme and style of the world before joining in. Both character sheets and player actions should be realistic and in the spirit of the RP's lore guidelines.
  • The "I am Not a Taipii" or "I'm from Somewhere Else" Character - Then you are in the wrong RP!
  • The "Hans Solo" Character - Before you submit, keep in mind there are probably at least 2 other dastardly charming rouges already submitted.
  • The "Orphan" - I equate it to taking the 2 most defining figures in the character's history - and throwing them out the window to make room for something that is generally boring and cliche. A character's family is the single biggest opportunity to give your character a natural, realistic, believable history. Put some effort into it - don't just throw it away!
That all said - I think there are some really good RP character being submitted as well.
Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:05pm
Jeff Leigh - Lead Developer - Right Brain Games

Jen: 10
nice overview jeff
Thursday, August 18, 2011 5:42pm
"The only thing to be scared of in life is the unknown."
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