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Foxfire and Afira's Handbook to Role-Playing

Character Creation is one of the most important elements that a player can lend to the game. A character is the collection of personality traits, physical appearence, stats - or the predetermined points allocated on a character sheet that detail the strengths and weaknesses of a character, and personal touches that a player adds to bring a character to life. When creating a character, there are several important steps to consider.

The Gender Male, Female, Neither, or Other.
The Age Young, Old, Dead, or Timeless.
The Race Humaniod, Dragonkine, Fae, or Other.
The Personality Kind, Mean, Obnoxious, Funny, or None.
The External Scars, Deformities, Hair and Body Type.
The Name Ohakmar the Bloodthirsty, Ginger, or The Stranger.

The Order
Our first tip is to choose not to follow our order for character creation. Everyone creates their own order that they believe is the best. Others just follow a character sheet and go from there. These are only the basics you need to "conceive" and be the mother/father of a well thought-out persona that is playable. You need to believe that this character could have existed or does exist... Even if he walks around carrying sacks of the fingers of his victims, a hachet, and a make-up job that even Kiss would be jealous of-in a fluffy pink bunny suit.

The Gender
The next tip is to pick a gender. Simple enough right? You're a male, you want to play a male. Playing a female or a genderless enoch is too creepy or nasty or "gay". Remember that roleplaying is based around breaking boundaries and becoming something that you are not. Playing a female isn't just for the storyteller anymore, or vice versa.

The Age
Creation tip number three is to establish an age. Age can lead to more important decisions about the character, like his values, his knowledge of technology, his social graces, and his physical appearence. One must remember that age isn't just how hunched over he walks, it's also why he may believe that women are devious, malicious creatures who unleashed the wrath of the All- mighty, so must be made to pay. He may have been brought up in the Ice Ages, magically transported to the 19th century Old West. Age can also determine what type of sexual appetite this person has... A 19 year old is far more likely to be concerned with the opposite or same sex than his schoolwork.

The Race
After choosing the gender and age, we then look to ethnic origin or actual race of the individual. Physical looks are usually based on ethnic heritage. However, with so many mixed race individuals in society, it becomes harder to say that one character looks distinct from another. Facial features can be drawn out if you have an artistic bone, or fleshed out on paper. You should also consider his background for ethnicity because of the way it may effect his clothing, physical appearence, stance, wealth, outlook, and pocessions.

The Personality
Tip number five is probably the most important part of character creation. It can be a daunting task to complete a whole new person that is completely seperate from youself. However, you can base some of the characteristics on yourself, or something you know you can play. Another suggestion is to grab a dictionary, pop it open and let your finger fall somewhere, and repeat. Choose about 10 or more items, and make youself put them together in a story. It can be items that mean something special to your character like a rabbit you had when they had when they were five. Always ask, "How did it affect my character?", "Why would they remember it?", or "What happened to that object or feeling?" The personality you create needs to be three-dimensional, that is to say, a person would have a set reaction to stimulants in an environment. Know the immediate family. Develope them so that you know the history and heritage and upbringing of the person. Don't forget the classic, is this person good, bad, or in-between? What distinguishing acts has this person done to place him in this catergory?

The External
When you meet individuals, there exists a tendancy to remember traits that are external. Of course, this varies from person to person as to what they would remember. For instance, a man could find that a beautiful woman would make a much deeper impression than a man described as ordinary would. Different types of physical external traits exist; height, weight, physical body type, skin tone and coloration, abnormal appendages, scarring, eye color, and clothing such as eyeware, shoes, or the lack thereof all comprise elements of physical description. Assess the nature of your character and add characteristics that would enhance the appearence or perhaps make them less memorable.

The Name
Last but not least, your character's name. This can be a defining moment for you. A time to use your imagination, or lack thereof. Will you choose a normal name? Or something alluring, unique, or dark? This is your time to experiement. While we would normally recommend to keep it in genre with your character, we understand that sometimes we just need a little bit of flair.


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