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Character Building
Posted by: Whitney M (IP Logged)
Date: February 19, 2014 08:40AM

I know we will see some old faces, come Spring 1, but I was curious what things look like for those making new characters. What is your process? What are some things you like to do when making a new character, especially one you'll (hopefully) be playing for a while?

Besides nerd-ing over build and what disciplines I'm interested in, I've been trying to perfect my new character playlist, which is usually the step I need before I can start writing backstory.

What are some things you are doing?

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Steph T (IP Logged)
Date: February 19, 2014 03:45PM

I buy wigs.

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Michel S (IP Logged)
Date: February 19, 2014 07:18PM

Figuring out how to dye my hair properly.

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Jennifer C (IP Logged)
Date: February 22, 2014 09:00PM

Costume first. . . . Instead of form follows function its story follows fashion!

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Jennifer C (IP Logged)
Date: February 22, 2014 09:00PM

Costume first. . . . Instead of form follows function its story follows fashion!

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Jennifer C (IP Logged)
Date: February 22, 2014 09:01PM

Costume first. . . . Instead of form follows function its story follows fashion!

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Brandon W (IP Logged)
Date: February 26, 2014 01:02AM

First step is usually finding his voice. That helps a lot with figuring out what kind of man he is. From there costume, mannerisms, and playlist.

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Steph T (IP Logged)
Date: February 26, 2014 03:17PM

In more serious tone, how I build a PC is a bit different than how I build an NPC. An NPC, I start with figuring out what role they are filling in the world. Are they pushing a particular type of plot? Supporting an area of the world? Those sorts of things drive what is most useful in a concept, so I nail that down first before going to the next step.

For a PC, I figure out backwards: what area of the world do I want to explore? Either by reading the rulebook, talking to friends, or if it's my second or later character I probably have an idea of where I want to wander.

So from there I form a concept. What does my character care about? What motivates them? What don't they care about? I try to boil them down to a simple core concept. Here are a couple:

* Krystal: My Boyz, my Boyz.
* Zarra: I like plants better than people.
* Lola: I take care of myself, darling.
* Intern 112: I'll do anything to get promoted.
* Achra (ToV PC): I'm running from who I am.
* Althea (ToV ex-PC): I am fascinated by the beauty of death.

Everything follows from there. I pick a backstory colony, collaborate with any other folks I might be entangling backstory with to create an interesting narrative. FI doesn't pull much from backstories - what you do in-game is more important - so I tend to be lighter on those than with other games. I design a costume, revise for wearability (which will depend on how much combat the character expects to get into, of course). Shop for wigs, because I'm an addict. (Don't wear a wig as a PC. 3 hours tops.)

Yeah, it's a fun process. smiling smiley

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Steph T (IP Logged)
Date: February 26, 2014 03:17PM

In more serious tone, how I build a PC is a bit different than how I build an NPC. An NPC, I start with figuring out what role they are filling in the world. Are they pushing a particular type of plot? Supporting an area of the world? Those sorts of things drive what is most useful in a concept, so I nail that down first before going to the next step.

For a PC, I figure out backwards: what area of the world do I want to explore? Either by reading the rulebook, talking to friends, or if it's my second or later character I probably have an idea of where I want to wander.

So from there I form a concept. What does my character care about? What motivates them? What don't they care about? I try to boil them down to a simple core concept. Here are a couple:

* Krystal: My Boyz, my Boyz.
* Zarra: I like plants better than people.
* Lola: I take care of myself, darling.
* Intern 112: I'll do anything to get promoted.
* Achra (ToV PC): I'm running from who I am.
* Althea (ToV ex-PC): I am fascinated by the beauty of death.

Everything follows from there. I pick a backstory colony, collaborate with any other folks I might be entangling backstory with to create an interesting narrative. FI doesn't pull much from backstories - what you do in-game is more important - so I tend to be lighter on those than with other games. I design a costume, revise for wearability (which will depend on how much combat the character expects to get into, of course). Shop for wigs, because I'm an addict. (Don't wear a wig as a PC. 3 hours tops.)

Yeah, it's a fun process. smiling smiley

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Amanda S (IP Logged)
Date: February 26, 2014 07:17PM

I do this in an odd way.

Since I already write a lot, I tend to poke around the "characters" section of my brain. See if anyone steps forward I haven't heard from before.

Then, once they tell me who they are, and what they do, we decide on details. I normally find a bunch of character development question lists with as many varied answers as possible. (This is the part of the process I like to call "So-and-so surprised me and said this...")

After that is ironing out backstory. A lot of backstory can be determined on how skewed the character sees it in their own eyes, and that's why the development questions are so important to me. Gets those odd personality quirks out there. This part includes tying into other backstories.

After backstory, it's build, costume or otherwise. Any particularly strong appearances and a lot of what they say without words is here. I like using one of the theatre things I was taught here: even if they're a background character, dress them so people know what they are on sight. Quiet yet passionate? Monotone/drab with a bright dash of color. Heroes tend to have more details put into their costuming than background characters. Little things like that.

And holycrap are accessories, no matter who you are, key to a character.

Playlists are the last thing I tend to do, other than aquire the garb I've decided on. It's the final step to get into their head, to really immerse myself into who they are.

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Wendy M (IP Logged)
Date: February 27, 2014 12:27AM

I start with a costume/accessories. Totally something about designing/making the character would own that helps me get into their head.

Adalie, my first LARP character started, with a little doll. Jeff actually wrote her history and my grandmother made her dresses. So the doll helped to flesh her out in my mind. Who gave it to her. How does she carry it around, ect.

Maille, the fantasy character that replaced Adalie, started with a plaid hat and chemise. I really wanted to play a weaver, because by this point I was obsessed with crochet and just starting to lean to sew. Her main dress was bought (gasp!), but I had a friend help teach me to sew and make chemises. Totally set the stage for her being a student of a weaver.

For FI, I started with Sophia and wanted to play a mathematician, but not a nerd. The idea was to be subtle, so I started with a water bottle cover that represented the density of Germain primes. To the average person, it was a striped coozy, but it demonstrated a mathematical idea. I also made her a kerchief with the same pattern. That kerchief, and her random braids, really defined Sophia for me.

Jane started with her cyber lox and vest. I actually struggled with every costume piece I made. I made her hooded vest too big, then took it in too much so I couldn't use the buttons I ordered. Her wool pants I sized just right, but ripped the butt seam falling during a tampered attack. Seriously, she fell apart every game. That should have clued me in smiling smiley

Hannah...she actually exploded. It started with a bunny hat to hold bullets and then continued on with a matching coat, fingerless gloves, boot toppers, a kerchief and a backpack. And then a crocheted purse. And a sewing kit...yeah she demanded to be a diva. I found her black jumper on deep clearance at Athleta and decided I needed a red shirt to stick with the theme. I wanted a sporty hooded red shirt with interesting details....and after ten stores and a ton of shirts, I realized Id have to settle for pink. Every time I went out to buy red, the perfect pink thing would pop up and scream "Hannah!". I totally didn't create her. I had ideas and she evolved from them on her own.


Rymaus Liena “Ellie” Dax

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Steph T (IP Logged)
Date: February 27, 2014 05:42PM

I wish I could "like" all of these posts. smiling smiley

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Hunter A (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2014 11:21AM

I start with a story. I dont generally write point by point character histories. Instead I will write a narrative of some important event and figure out how actions will define the character. I try to get into a characters mind and figure out what will make them tick and what drives them. From there I figure out what I want for a costume that will reflect subtlties and what not. For Rex I did it backwards. I decided I wanted to play a cowboy and made the most ridiculous costume I could. To be fair. He started as a joke to troll everyone when you thought we were all dead. To further the ruse, I wrote a stream of consciousness story in his voice full of shenanigans and bad deciscions.

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Chelsea S (IP Logged)
Date: February 28, 2014 02:31PM

For me its a character point. I have this horrible habit of playing civilian characters, because I always feel like they would be part of the world. Gera was just that, a civilian who could do a little doctoring but not much else. Ayita my ToV character is a dancer who can do many things, but some of them not too useful in majority setting. Mika, my new FI character I was determined to make her a bit more useful. And she started with the idea of a 'little sister'. What would a little sister be in the game? So, I took that and ran with it. She likes MANY things. most of them pink. And glittery. And fun. And positive! I find key elements that I want to keep to the character, from costuming (For Gera it was all about her costuming. Every last little detail) to voice (no accent this time!) , and down to motives!

YAY character!


Michelle *Mika* Slade >n.n<
Colony Touchstone 505 Morale Officer!
" Perks you up where you need it!"

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Wendy M (IP Logged)
Date: March 3, 2014 09:39AM

I'm both excited and terrified to meet Mika...


Rymaus Liena “Ellie” Dax

Re: Character Building
Posted by: Sabrina W (IP Logged)
Date: March 10, 2014 04:31PM

Music, music, and more music. I establish an idea of a character, general personality and what not, then I start a playlist. Generally the playlist is made up of either songs that make me think of my character, or songs that attach to specific events in their backstory.



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