Character Creation Workshop

A place to RP in the SLOP world.

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Character Creation Workshop

Postby Andrick » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:10 pm

A character creation workshop is just a rote instruction in how to make a character. I will start with the basic foundation of what to do with the character creation form found in the Character Proposal thread and explain each part of it.

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"What does this mean?"
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Full Name:
Though this one is straight forward, some thought may be necessary to prevent inadvertant puns set up by such innocuous names like Baldwin Nobb. Nicknames and aliases should be seperated or made to stand out like Cristof "Krieg" Schwarzes.

Critter:
The "Slop" setting depicts mostly modern vertabrate animal anthromorphics. The general population has two arms, two eyes, a nose, opposable thumbs for the hands. More than four limbs does not appear on anything. Some critters are named off here. Anything other than this is going to need a plausible explanation for its existence. Ditto for hybrids, aliens and gengineered critters.

Apparent Age:
This is how old you wish your character to seem to others. This age is not entirely looks but also takes into account the common actions and affections of the character. A young person with a conservative mind-set and a taste for black cofee may be thought of as being older than he or she actually is while an older person may be mistaken for the younger person's junior simply because he or she cannot keep still and babbles about innane things.

Oft said quote:
A common quip or saying of the character which expresses something about him/her. Alternatively one can put a philosophy or a statement which sums up the character. "Wishing something is so and actually doing something to make it so is what seperates the courageous from the cowardly" and "*sigh* Of course not because then it'd be too much like right" are examples of a motto and a saying respectively though it can be simpler and more pop-culture related like "Hakuna matata" and "Eat my shorts".

What is your character's personality?
This should be more than just a list of adjectives like what one would find in a horoscope. Think about how often your character would laugh or cry, if they are given to emotions and how they would display them. What would a character look like when he is walking to work or sitting in a classroom?

How does s/he interact with others?
Will he act differently among friends and strangers and, if so, how marked is the change? Essentially, what kind of an impression will the character leave on a complete stranger after interacting with them for ten minutes? How does the character handle a problem with others?

Give an example description of your character.
You should have enough information that you can already visualize your character. Think about what the character would be like should you meet him/her. How does your character dress? What is the height, build and other immediate physical characteristics which another person can easily describe from casual observation? What is the most common expression on your character's face and what is the usual posture for this character? Hair style, fur patterns, unusual shifts in clothes like always having the sleeves rolled up or a hat pulled low over the character's eyes are important things to note.

What makes your character stand out from the other Slopiverse denizens?
Your character (just like you, the player) is one among billions of other people. In the endless tides of other people that flow and ebb through various locales, what is it about your character that would cause another character to take notice of, and choose to interact with, yours? The vivacious and chatty coronado with the expander folder full of papers and wonder in his eyes talking to a dour fel girl whose composure and taciturn confidence is betrayed by her unconcious habit of playing with a curl of her hair. Meanwhile, across the room, a gangly blackmouth that was adjusting his sap gloves catches your stare and returns it with an intensely predatory look and a twitch of his eyebrows as if to say "I caught ya' lookin'." There may be twenty other people in the room, but these three characters stand out from the rest because of these things.

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Character Concept
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Even veteran role-players can often stumble on this fundamental. Character concepts are the gist or basic description of a character or person condensed into a few lines. It is a focus for the most important aspects of this character from which everything is fleshed out or built.

Example: Indiana Jones is a college professor of archeology who embarks on world spanning quests to recover relics and knowledge for the world to know and learn from long gone civilizations. He is learned, capable, stubborn and unorthodox. He's also gained the enmity of treasure seekers and looters as wel as having developed a real hatred of the Nazis. A bit long, but it does sum up the character as we have seen him in the movies. We are to focus on those traits which we want to play, those things which will shine make the character shine in his element.

The things to remember when coming up with a concepts are:
What do you want the character to be about?
How does the world look at your character?
What are the things that seperate your character from other people?
Will you feel comfortable playing those traits without guilt or discomfort?

Ultimately, it is you who will be playing the character and it is important to try to play your character as close to the role as you envision for your concept.

A common concept for beginning players is one based upon themselves. It is simple to play since it is oneself and beginners can easily take such a familiar role. Just take those traits which you see about yourself and romanticize them; make a better you for the purposes of story and add or take away traits as you see fit. There is nothing wrong with doing this and several veteran players use such a basic concept in a pinch (myself included).

More advanced character concepts stretch from moral or ethical questions with the character representing the answer by his choices or eventual actions. Philosophies and mottos can be put to the test by designing a character about such things. A simple motto like "turn the other cheek" may be broadened out to a concept of a deist whom will not harbor resentment or vindictive thoughts to those that harm him or others around him. He will offer charity and mercy to those he can, even becoming an obstacle to willful violence by people onto those for whom he offers his protection. Compassion, generosity, kindness and optimism are his tools to effect his will upon the world.

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Nothing here is set in stone and may change as the RP needs change.
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"Y'know, if nothing else, living here has incredibly sharpened my 'Hey, there's someone coming for my dick!' defense skills." - JET
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Andrick
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