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09-06-2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Character Creation Guide

Character Creation Guide


The purpose of this guide is to give first-timers a good idea of how to create their first role-playing character. Even if you aren't a first-timer, you might want to read it anyway. Who knows, you might learn something new.

Please note that this is a guide, none of the following are truly set down in stone as rules, although omitting some things presented here may make you look silly.

Note that in this section, your topic name must be the name of your character and nothing else!

A few words before we get started:

First things first, why would you want to spend what may be hours of your day typing up a character sheet here? There isn't really a single answer to this question, but most people find it necessary to keep track of a character's persona, history, and well, everything about him/her/it. No matter how good your memory is, chances are that you would forget bits and pieces of detail that you've assigned to a character, having a record helps you recall them. It also helps other people know and understand your character, as I don't believe we have any one where who can read minds from hundreds/thousands of miles away.

Before you get cracking, try to get a decent image of your character in your mind, i.e. how they look like, their basic mannerisms and behavior, stuff like that.

Character sheet template:

Below are listed the basic necessities of each character sheet, along with explanations as to what you should put in each section. I will provide a blank one at the end of this guide.

Name: Self-explanatory.
Age: Include both the character's actual age, and the age they look like if they were human (this note is useful for elves, ya know, what with 100 = 18 and that sort of stuff). The latter only applies if your character's race is remotely humanoid.
Gender: Self-explanatory.
Race: Human, elf, orc, halfing, dwarf, archon, werewolf, ostrich, beaver, whatever. Note though that if you're using an obscure or self-created race or if you've modified the basic definition of one of the more well known ones, you should probably include a few words to describe the race.
Alignment: The extremely abbreviated version of how your character behave with respect to the world around them. Most people use the Dungeons & Dragons alignment system for this purpose, and it works pretty well. Note though that although you may designate yourself to being a particular alignment, you are by no means fully bound to what that alignment represents.
Class: This section is intended to give people a good idea of what your character is capable of, actually assigning a name to what that is is recommended, but not absolutely necessary. Note though that like race, if you are using an obscure class, say Hexagon Master (don’t ask), be sure to explain it.
Occupation: What your character does for a living, can be “Unemployed”.
Height: Self-explanatory (meters or feet, doesn't really matter).
Weight: Self-explanatory (kilograms or pounds, doesn't really matter).
Eyes: Color of eyes. Can be anything you'd like really, blame magic or anime for people having weird eye colors.
Hair: Color and length of hair. Can be anything you'd like really, blame magic or anime for people having weird hair colors.
Notes: Any other physical features not covered by the above should go here, e.g. scale color if your character is a dragon, missing a limb or something, claws or whatever.

The above is meant to be an at-a-glance quick reference of your character, kinda like an ID card. The sections below are more involved and probably will take you a bit to complete.

Appearance: In basic terms, this section pieces together much of the above so that it actually makes sense. Describe the usual appearance of you character, like what clothes they wear, things that they carry. Keep in mind that although you create a description here, you should still occasionally describe your character in any RP, especially if their appearance deviates from this pre-described state at any point.

Personality/Character: This is pretty much an elaboration on the alignment you put above. Describe how your character behaves. Note that this section is probably the least needed one of all the ones put here, since you'll be writing it out anyway in any time you use the character.

History: Write a quick biography for your character. It doesn't have to be horrendously detailed, just enough to show how the character became who they are.

Special Abilities: Any sort of special attribute about your character should be noted here. Examples include: any aptitude in use of magic, ability to pilot mecha, proficiency in sword stabidy slashyness, capable of breathing fire from nose, is a gourmet chef, etc. If your character is a regular magic user, you might want to have a listing of spells/spellbook here too.

Equipment: Indicate any and all weapons, armor, gadgets, and items your character might own, where they are located (i.e. anything that's in any storage facility counts), along with a brief description of how they appear. Make note of any details that might be important, e.g. sword has a command word that lights it on fire, communicator broadcasts on a secure channel, carton of milk will spoil in three days, etc.

Legal Information: If you'd like to copyright your character or whatever, here's the place to do it.

The above is pretty much all people would need to know about a character. If you feel like I've missed something, by all means, add further information as you see fit.
Blank character sheet template:




Special Abilities:


Legal information:
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