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PostSubject: Some help please?   Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:10 am

Hello, I am new to role-play I have tried to get white listed on a few other servers and I have been denied. Can anyone talk me though how to make a good role-play character it would be greatly appreciated Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Some help please?   Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:54 am

Well, there is no true "good" or "bad" role-play character, however there are interesting ones. The best thing someone could do for their character to be liked by others is to have weird quirks, and take hits. What I mean by quirks is to have weird things about your character that people can laugh about OOCly. Now, most people think that the best character is the one that runs around able to dominate everything, however the ones that are the best are the ones that need help. The ones that can RP with others to become strong.

Just remember that the key to roleplaying is to get together with others, and create a story, and while in most stories the main character saves the day and the story ends happily ever after. Your story doesn't end, and you can always come back to have your happy ending.

Also, if you need some help with an application as to start working on your roleplay skills, I'm sure someone could lend you a hand. ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Some help please?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:20 pm

Ooh! I've been hoping for a question like this.

Well, first of all you want to avoid what is referred to as a Mary Sue or Gary Stue character. These characters are what could be referred to as 'unoriginal' and 'unbalanced.' An example of one of these characters would be... say... A fighter, lets call him Bob. Now lets break this character down, we'll start with the name.

Bob.

Bob is a very dull, very unoriginal name. Its neutral, and lacks personality (no offense to anyone named Bob.) Its also an abbreviation of the name 'Robert' which, while more common, has a lot more character. Think of the name 'Bob', what do you picture? A boring, average male. You don't hear the name Bob and get a grand image of a knight, or a brilliant engineer.
You're probably thinking "Well okay, now tell me what a good name is, and why its good!" and I will, after I finish hating on Bob. Also note the lack of a last name, a last name is an important thing for a character to have, unless they are using an alias.

Lets take a look at Bob's appearance. Bob is a 20 year old, very handsome man with flowing auburn hair and skin without blemish. His eyes are a mesmerizing, sky blue.

Sounds good, doesn't it?
Of course it does. That's the problem. Bob is described as near perfect, his appearance appears to be made specifically to make the character stand out. Now, I'm not saying that you can't have a handsome character, but what you need to realize is that everyone is going to have a character like that. No matter what I say here, its likely that the majority of people's characters will be 'perfect' in their appearance.

Let me explain something. Many, many people who have characters like Bob make them look like that because the character lacks other detail, the character lacks personality, and they try to make up for it by making him super good-looking. (Also, a roleplay environment is often something people treat as a 'perfect' world, and in a perfect world, you, or the character you play, would be the most stunning example of a sentient being to ever walk the earth. Avoid ideals such as this.)

So, we know that we don't like Bob's name, and we know that he is supposedly a shining specimen of a person... Now what is he like? Well, Bob's parents were killed by (*insert generic thing to murder his family here*) when he was young, which has somehow made him into a brilliant scholar, but who will kill anyone who annoys him or gets in the way of avenging his parent's death.

That's it. You're probably thinking "W-wait, shouldn't there be more to a character than that?" or, if you aren't, you should be. That was an example of the basic Mary Sue / Gary Stue character's personality- an attempt at early character development in the form of a murdered family (generally by whatever the 'evil' minority is within a roleplay environment, for Tolkien style roleplay servers it would be Orcs, for ours? Probably Advita worshippers.)
Now, don't get me wrong, the death of a family early in a character's life is a good motive for the character, but it gets out of hand when every single damn character is an orphan. And that happens a lot, so I encourage a creative way to motivate your character. (Or... you know... just have them develop motives through actual roleplay... Yeah, I like that more. *hint* so should you.)

(Skip the following if you don't feel like reading one of my possibly offensive, slightly off-topic rants :3)
Okay, so, you are most likely saying to yourself, "But... Wouldn't there be some characters like that?". Well, my answer to that is the following: How many people in real life do you know who are orphans from some tragic accident, and who's whole purpose in life is to seek out and murder whatever it is they are blaming for it, who also happen to be perfectly functioning, brilliant, stunningly handsome individuals?
Probably none, because if you do know someone like that, I feel secure in betting that they are withdrawn, have clinical depression, are certainly not without blemish do to the abundant scars adorning their wrists (Apology for seeming insensitive to anyone who does have those, I have them too, just being realistic.) and who feel nothing but despair at the thought of their families dying- not anger. And that's if they haven't blocked the memory out entirely.
Tl;dr: That basic idea for a character is great if you want to play a manic depressive recluse.

Now, the next thing to explain about the character is his history, which was hinted at in the place meant to describe his personality. Here is an example of a bio written by someone who is making a Mary Sue / Gary Stue character:
Bob lived a happily life up until his parents and siblings were killed by bandits when they all went out for a picnic, but left him behind because he was too young to go. After that Bob managed to raise himself, taught himself to fight, to hunt, and to survive on his own. Now Bob is out to kill the bandits who murdered his parents.

The problem here is obvious. Its far too short, lacks any sort of detail as to what his life was like, and is very... very over-used. It is also unrealistic, considering that if he was too young to go to a picnic, he was far too young to feed himself. This character would have starved in his crib, not gone on to become a brilliant scholar and fighter.

So, the last bit of what Bob is like that we need to explain is his skills and his weaknesses. This will demonstrate exactly what I mean when I say 'unbalanced'.

(Note the format. This is what we don't want. We want an explanation, not a list.)
Skills:
Bob is one of the best sword-fighters alive.
Bob is a master mage, able to use even the most complex of magics with ease.
Bob is also a Scholar, and is much wiser than most people.
Weaknesses:
Bob has sort-of bad balance.

...See what I mean? I'll pick through what we have here to explain whats wrong with it.
First of all, sword-fighters are cliche, I always suggest having characters use more interesting weapons. Axes, polearms, rapiers at least.
A 20 year old would barely be able to cast the simplest of spells, magic takes centuries to learn. A 'master' mage would only be a master of one kind of magic, and they would probably be around 300 years old. This doesn't include show magic.
Saying he is a Scholar is redundant. If hes a Mage hes a Scholar.
Lastly, a sword-fighter with bad balance is like a gymnast that isn't flexible, its also not a good enough weakness.


OKAY, now we can move on to what I consider a /good/ character, we'll be using one of my good friend Tentoa's characters for an example, as he has been kind enough to write this for us. Note that this character is taken from a Tolkien setting, but the basic ideals still apply. My commentation on what is written will be contained within double brackets ((like this.))

Quote :
Name:“Widdle” Zebby Bloomfield
I choose names based upon animals and Zebby is the best example of this because I intentionally based her entire personality on a hamster. (sounds silly I know, but bare with me) And I thought of names I’d give to a hamster that would also work for an innocent little Halfling girl. ((This, to me, if a very good way to choose a name. The use of an animal as a base sets the tone for a character's personality as well, which leads to the name and personality having a good sync. Also note that the name is very unique, and sets the tone for the character.))

Appearance:
Zebby has a very simplistic appearance. Her hair is shoulder length, chocolate brown and often tangled. Her eyes are a very cool, ocean blue and offset the slightly tan skin she has from working in the sun all day. Usually she is found wearing a simple red dress which she ties a tattered white apron with pockets around to hold seeds or small tools when she is working. A common trait among halflings is that they don’t wear shoes and have small amounts of hair growing out of their feet, Zebby is no exception to this and often tromps around shoeless. ((This appearance works well, as it even further gives one an idea of the personality of the character before the section even comes into play. The character has a simple appearance, that while not 'average' is far from the attempt at perfection that a Mary Sue or Gary Stue would have. Note that this appearance makes a lot of sense for a character with a name such as hers.))

Personality:
Like I said I based Zebby around a hamster, she’s very simple minded, soft spoken and shy. She has trouble making friends because she works a lot to keep herself busy (and enjoys doing so). Not to mention she is very shy and usually avoids confrontation and contact with others is possible. Due to a speech impediment she talks with a slight stutter and trips over her words. Zebby has a Cornish rex cat that she usually can be found playing with or petting when not working. She lead a simple life up until romance became an option, then it took a very sharp turn for the worse after multiple failed attempts. Which led up to the death of her husband and Zebby following bad advice to drink away the pain; which lead to liver failure and her eventual death. ((This is a very apt example of character development. You simply must understand that a character, no matter how adorable or courageous they may be in the beginning, can always fail, and will no matter what end up changing- for better or for worse. I note that this isn't the way one would form the personality section for an application (obviously due to it ending with the death of the character.) Note the detail given to her, and how you could, with this information, imagine what it would be like talking to her, or being around her. It gives you an [b]understanding of the character which is exactly what these sections are meant to do.))

Notable strengths and weaknesses:
Zebby is not a combat oriented character, she’s a simple farmer and cannot fight worth anything, she’s very shy which leads to problems conversing with others and has a very evident stutter while speaking and has a lot of romance issues due to this as well. She may have a very expansive knowledge of farming but that’s as far as it goes. She’s got a lot of common sense but isn't very educated. I see the only way for Zebby to win a fight is to wack you in the head with a hoe when you aren't looking, but she isn't very strong so that may not get the job done. All and all she’s not average and I find her unique but at the same time I try not to make her over the top and too much of a Mary Sue. ((A perfect example of a character that is unique, but not overplayed. Allow me to explain. A Mary Sue or Gary Stue is a character that is far over the top to the point of being unrealistic, be it unrealistically powerful, or unrealistically weak. This character has her strengths, but overall she is indeed a weak character when it comes to combat. A problem I find is that everyone seems to make combat-based characters... Why must everyone fight? My advice is to have a character that practices a trade... A tailor or a blacksmith. It is, of course, up to you.))

In conclusion:
-Characters that are unique without being idealistic in their creation are best.
-One must be open to having their characters develop and change, be it for the better or worse.
-When Applying, the different IC sections should hint at the characters personality, the goal is to give the reader a clear idea of what the character is like.
-When a character experiences a traumatic experience, really think about how it would effect them. Imagine if it was you, and think about how you would react.
-A character does not have to be combat based for it to be fun to play. I for one hate roleplay combat, it stresses me out.
-Independent toddler characters are unrealistic and should be avoided. If character's family dies when he / she is barely a toddler, they would probably not learn to live on their own. They would die.
-Avoid cliche biographies, orphans are far too common, and having the character's parents killed by bandits is overdone.
-Make sure that your character is balanced, or at least tilting towards weak instead of over powered.
-Bob is a loser.
-When making a character, leave room for them to expand, don't have what they are like set in stone- allow them to change as your roleplay progresses.

...I hope this makes more sense than I think it does o-o
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PostSubject: Re: Some help please?   Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:02 pm

Thanks SO much for the support. Sorry I didn't respond anywhere near when you posted. i see you spent ALOT of time on this post and I reallllly appreciate it!
Thanks again!

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PostSubject: Re: Some help please?   Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:42 pm

Topic moved to help section and locked. If you feel this needs to be re-opened, feel free to PM me.
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