Character Inspiration

Recently I was out with my friend and bloodthirsty GM Jay and we discussed gaming and characters over a pint. We spoke about the games we are currently playing, the fun we have, and the characters we play. It got me to thinking about my own trends in characters and what types I play the most. My character “resume” is varied. I have played The Noble Hero, The Irreverent Hero with a Heart of Gold (and a shotgun), The Kender, The Angry Whirling Blade Halfling, The Half Mad Warpriest, The Smooth Talking Assassin, The Smooth Talking Smuggler, The Emotional Vulcan, The Son of Thor, The Force Using Mystic, and a bunch of others i can’t recall at the moment. A varied past to be sure.

When I am creating a character for a game I often find pictures and even music to play that fits my concept both before and during my process for thinking up character ideas. I load songs onto my mp3 player and listen to them during my commute and just imagine different aspects.

Writing a descriptive but brief background/history also helps. It acts like a mini-intro to my character for the GM and the other players. It also is good that my buddy Andrew is an artist because I can describe my character to him and he will draw an awesome picture of it being cool in some way. I then incorporate it into my character sheet.

What inspires your character creation? What inspires your characters in general? What are your favorite types of characters to play?

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3 Comments

  1. Hmmm, an interesting walk down memory lane, Rob. In the past 18 or so years, I’ve played the heroic Son of Ymir (I see your Son of Thor and raise you!), a white-robed warrior-mage, a redneck werewolf who loves watching the Spanish television channels (“Hot damn! Lucha Libre is on!”), a flail-swinging metal man, and a sword-slinging barbarian cannibal demon-hunter. Some variation, but definitely not as diverse as yours though.

    I guess I’ve fallen into a pattern here. I tend to play physical characters who have that noblesse oblige to the rest of the party. It’s something I want to make a conscious decision to avoid for the next time I create a character (that wizard I’m writing up for Jason’s online game is showing some potential).

    The main difference between Rob and I as far as character creation is concerned, however, is that I tend to create a drawing of the character first before fleshing it out with stats and background history (pretty much the reverse of Rob’s process). I finish up the drawing, take a look at the character’s posture, facial expressions, equipment drawn along with him, and then look to bring that to life on the character sheet. Sometimes it works. And others, well … I’ve been known to draw the same character a few dozen times with new looks to them. I guess every character can be viewed as a work in progress in some way.

  2. Damn, memory lane. I’ve played an insane disease-loving chicken toting cleric, a fereral marshall who will shoot you in the leg, a pirate immortal, and an asshole who wielded a baseball bat and later became the lord of Asgard.

    I guess I’m into playing bizarre characters or just jerks. ( Or for the correct term : Assholes)

    Andrew did a lot of my characters justice with his artwork, and I remember the long line we would have to wait on when we started a new game due to the numerous requests Andrew got to illustrate the characters.

    If I played now, I would develop characters which would be the complete opposite of my personality or thoughts/beliefs. Maybe stray away from the pricks and anti-heroes and make a character that was worth a damn for once, and no some parody of who I am or what I’d like to be.

    In improv shows I find myself trying to go against my own personality traits and create characters that are ‘new’ to me. I have played the sidekick, low status folk, meek folks, but all of them had some endearing quality which made them well rounded and not some parody of a archetype.

    But I do admit, I miss those Sunday and Monday night games of Vampire and Champions. Maybe I can convince you all to hold a ‘retro-con’ one weekend in the new year and I can drag out all the old sheets and come up there for a weekend.

  3. A retro-con sounds great to me, Mike. Just as soon as you get your buttockses up here, we’ll get a game going.

    Hope all is well, my friend.


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