New Character building

Working on a new character for Vol 2. :) and have some good starting points for personality, general motivations etc.

But wanted to get some fresh ideas on how you guys tackle a new character?


  • So, I'm a forever DM... I've only made two PCs for one-shots... But, if I was in your position where I knew I would have a long-lived PC (assuming you don't Danny it up) I would try this book: The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide.

    Also, I liked the approach Erin took for Josh's game.

    That being said, I've loved your characters in the past, so I think whatever your process has been so far is solid.

  • I tend to draw from a variety of different games to create a well rounded character. I really like the character creation simplicity of a game like Lasers and Feelings because it boils down the essence of what a character is and acts like.

    Reading other games' character sheets also often helps me by seeing if I can fit more specific character tropes (like those in Blades in the Dark or Scum and Villainy) into a larger more general class type like you find in D&D. Finding those varying shades of class types has really helped me in the past find the specific type of character within a class I'm interested in.

    Looking at attributes and types offered in one-shot games like Lady Blackbird where the characters are predetermined but you can further shape them is a cool way to see how you can further shape a character idea you've already got.

    A game like Dream Askew or Flotsam where character creation practically is the point of the game, and everything after that is narrative only can provide a great starting point for finding the narrative hooks in a character. I like to think about the way that those games describe my character--one word answers to things like "eyes" and "look" and "gender" that aren't necessarily the basic ones that are available in a game like D&D, where things are either left entirely up to the player or specified by the rules.

    But the best way I've found to really hone in on what my character is/who they are is to come up with a belief (something they hold to be true) and an instinct (something they do without thinking). Beliefs don't have to be what the character actually does--instead it can be what they strive to do or what they think they're doing, and an instinct is what they actually do. It means really pulling apart the original motivations of the character. Imagine that you were going to get XP for every time you acted on your instinct and every time you tested your belief. How would that affect how you phrase your belief and instinct?

    Can't wait for the new season!

  • That was a great response misczoe. I'm now looking into every game you mentioned, and I love the final thought as well!

  • First, I start off with a gnome. LOL. (I wish I were joking, but as of right now I’ve only made gnomes, thanks to you. 😂)

    Then I usually look at the classes and see if anything pops out at me. What can I imagine a character to be like with these skills? Am I drawn to one because the class looks fun? Sometimes, I’ll spend a few days trying to make a character for one class, then something shifts, and I find myself finishing a character totally different than when I started. It could be something as simple as the name, or a personality that determines this for me.
    I tried making a gnome bard once, and when I was coming up with a name, I really liked “Tapper Snaps.” Well, that seemed to fit better for a Druid, and I totally overhauled the whole character based on the name (final name became Tapper Wickersham, 100% passive boi who utilized many touch based support spells). There was another time I was trying to make a swashbuckler, after a day, I stumbled on Clerics of the Grave Domain and immidiatly came up with a dreary cleric who wasn’t all too eager to heal without first being compensated

    Another thing that influences my character creating is the setting obv. Made a Gnome Illutionist Wizard strictly for a jailbreak game. He had almost only utility spells that he used because he was a professional at sneaking convicts out of prison.

    But with all characters I make, the starting objective is to make a fun personality that would have the best time with the skills he has, and would provide entertainment for myself and others in RP scenarios. 😁

    Also, I do find that working out a character’s core beliefs/personal drive and how they perceive the world helps with guiding myself to staying within the character’s personality and not accidentally act as myself or freeze up to think about how he’d respond. And a backstory really helps to establish that to pull from. Actually, the backstory is probably the #1 “reference” I use to bind everything together to make a character more than just their strong personalities and tropes, and able to grow and have understandable reasons for their actions.

  • Making character is almost more fun for me that playing the actual game sometimes. I think coming from a design background, I get more into the design of the character than some. I usually start with either a race and class combo that seems either ironic or interesting to play. One of my favorite concepts was a wizard halting because she was so chaotic and cute and had no idea what was happening in combat! A thing that I always do is buy a set of dice that matches the feel of the character, I love looking at all the different colors and trying to relate them to the character I’m creating. I love focusing on their backstory and getting into who they are and how they would make decisions because it helps me play them during the game. I also really love designing how they will look and always draw a picture in my sketch beeok so I can visualize who I’ll be playing. So to summarize, I really love getting into the look of the character before going in my detail into their background, but background is essential to being able to play them and make decisions.
  • Well, I have dnd beyond and I just mess around with different stuff, till I find something which I think synergies well, given new races and classes I don't think that's an option for you. I just had to make a new character for a campaign I already had a character in, so in that case I also took some knowledge of the world I had to make a character I thought would fit in great there. I would just say take what you know, have a look at what the pros and cons of the classes and races are, find something you think is interesting and go with that.

  • some times when I have a hard time making a character i just choose a random race that sounds fun and a random class that sounds fun and try to make a backstory. if it does not work just try this again until you got a character you can enjoy.

  • My favourite part of my characters is the backstory. That's probably why my favourite eps is the Bear family saga. Just because it was all part of Brenna's backstory. I also liked Akio going to Fair Fall. I also like to hone in on every detail of my character's backstories.

  • All the proceeding advice is relay good, a lot of the things that I was going to say have already been spoken. The one thing I can say that rely works for me is to dissect the media and the characters you like, and find aspects that you would find interesting. For example, I have recently made an Asimar Bard, but before that I determined the class and race I decided on want traits have. He became one part Bards Tale (yes it's an actual, well established game and I am surprised Reid never heard about it), one part Kvothe (Name of the Wind), One part Amir (Kite Runner), and one part Alcatraz (Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians, not the prison). I then approached different character classes and races and decided which one best fitted this character

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