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Old 08-05-2004, 11:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Greenstorm is on a distinguished road
I'm practicing pretentious phrasing. Please ignore the title.

On another thread, specifically the gender-bending one, people started talking about where their character inspiraiton comes from.

I was going to post this, but it was off-topic. So:

People have been talking about inspiration. My inspiration (and I really do have a ton of characters; I made one per week on OS for two years, pretty much, which left me with over sixty until I moved mostly to Chia recently) tends to be that there's a hole in the game, as Devi said. These holes can be anything: are there only brutish nobles, and no refined ones? I need to make a refined noble. No tailors? I need to make a tailor. No one's playing the fish-race? I need to do that too. No short people? Well, then, I guess I need to make one of them. No axe-murderers? Well...

I tend to notice there's a hole in the game when I leave my house and see someone on the street, when I hear pieces of music, when I analyse myself -- anything that can bring a trait or a mood to my mind.

You can see that I end up with a lot of chars easily.

I try to limit myself nowadays to things that can be played for a long period of time without growing boring, that have a lot of interactive value, and as a staffer to things that fill out my assigned areas (brothels and church, ironically).

Where do you get your inspiraiton, and which inspirations have worked best for you? Do you find that planning a character out with a long bio is better for you than jumping in?
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Old 08-05-2004, 12:56 PM   #2
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Hrm... I have to say that I often base my characters on myself, to a point, which assures me their personality is somewhat believable. Some quirks, flaws, mannerisms, etc, they can really flesh out a character, and it's as simple as looking at the people around you our yourself.

As for backgrounds... I always like having a detailed past. It forces me to be sure of what I am saying, do the necessary research before I say I'm so-and-so from Genericville. It is important, however, to give your character space to grow as you play it. Sometimes you find that an idea you had in mind doesn't really fit in, and you begin to tweak here and there.

Basically, I'm saying that I like a solid base to stand from, but I also make sure I have a ceiling that's tall enough for me to develop the character I'm playing with freedom.
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Old 08-05-2004, 02:39 PM   #3
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My pc's come out of my subconscious with no rhyme or reason. Sometimes I just want to get as far away as possible from what I did last. Sometime I wonder what if someone...? Then I figure I might as well find out. It's totally random.
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:14 PM   #4
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As for me, I just take an aspect of my personality, blow it out of proportions, and make that char's main trait, and from there I just wing it. As long as I have a main trait, everything is all cool. For example my latest char is sort of a psychotic mercenary with a touch of OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder)
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Old 08-06-2004, 02:55 AM   #5
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These days when I play, which isn't terribly often, I often pull characters verbatim out of "The Silmarillion". Of course this is on less rp-oriented muds, if I wanted to play house with some 40 year old truckdriver living in his parents' ****-soaked basement, I'd just go do that and save on the electric bill of MUSHing. But back to silmarillion, most the characters in there have their own plethora of names, so one can pick one of the less well-known of these, and that way it's almost like a "secret" that you're ripping them off (for example, play as Thingol but name yourself Elwe). Most the character types worth playing (minus minor variations and eccentricities) are covered in silm, and it saves a lot of effort coming up with your own traits (holy crap, some people put so much effort into this "hobby" that it's obvious they have absolutely no life and that they have never actually worked a day during their miserable worthless existence!)
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Old 08-06-2004, 11:31 AM   #6
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Inspiration is always fun to get. Though my problem tends to be it wakes me up one day... then I have to wait a week to put it through the crucible of 'is this really a good idea?' and 'will it be playable?' That takes a lot of ideas out right there, or at least puts them into NPCdom.

Anyway, my best characters are the ones I tended to think about, usually with a basic framework bio. (I'm talking around 500-750 words or so, nothing elaborate, but I do like to think about a character before playing)

Though along with that, I don't like wasting time investing into bios and ideas, which is why I do my screening. So most of my characters tend to work quite well.

My best characters though? I have no idea how I find them, in the end. I've found them from random inspiration, filling holes of not having enough characters... though one of my current favorites is an NPC that took on a life of his own.

I'm also generally a fan of a bio or something so I know where my character is going. Though I have done some in depth research for a couple ideas.
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Old 08-08-2004, 12:22 PM   #7
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Whenever I create a character I generally think about what the character does (ie their profession), what they physically look like, how they behave, and how they are going to fit into the world I am designing them for.

I don't know that I use any part of my own personality, but generally I guess I glean ideas from all sorts of places. I often just let personality devlop and just falll into place. Often profession will be linked to personality - eg. a Mercenary is probably going to be looking out for number one, whereas a Knight Templar is likely going to be devoted to his faith... of course playing an unlikely character can be interesting.

Physical appearance is always the easiest part I find. My characters a generally always of average height and of a fighting build if they are in a combat profession. I rarely make lightly built, agile, tall and acrobatic type characters, because (at least in the MUDs I have played) there seems to be an unreasonable abundence of such character types already. Similarly my characters are never stunningly atractive (though beauty is in the eye of the beholder). The rest of my characters appearance is just whatever seems to fit.

The part I think many people neglect is how their character fits in with the world. Where did they come from? Why are they here? etc. Deliberately making a character based something in the game can sometimes help.

However mostly I play with one character: a human mercenary named Maraz Schwarzhelm. I find that this character is a good character for starting a new MUD because most MUDs have a human race, and where there is combat the mercenary profession fits. Only the name I occasionaly need to change to fit the world.

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