RPG Notes 3

RPG Notes: Creating Characters

Here are some things I’ve picked up about creating a character for and RPG. Some of this only applies to final fantasy style games where you have set characters rather than a game where players get to decide the character attributes (like an MMORPG).

Names

  • Don’t pick names used in well known RPGs, so no Clouds, Tifas, Chronos etc. Some names are a bit different like Edgar (ffvi), Nina (bof), etc, because these are more generic names that often show up as a real person’s name so you can use them but sparingly if at all.
  • Unless you game is influenced by a particular mythology you should avoid mythical names like Thor, Freya, Zeus, Ares, etc.
  • If you can’t think of made up names either use common names or to be more interesting use cultural or historical names, you can find a vast number of names here.

Classes

  • The tried and true classes like mage, ranger, fighter are good but if you use them you should spice it up by adding a few less common ones like falconer, nun, or something like that.
  • If you game isn’t in a medieval setting have fun with the classes like sniper, scientist, aviator, cavalry, etc,

Races

  • If you choose to have character races you have several options, you can always go for the tried and true humans, elves, dwarves, etc. which is perfectly fine for a very traditional fantasy game setting. However if you don’t want to go in that direction there are many other options for a fantasy setting. This link will take you to a mythology and folklore site which is a wonderful source of ideas for a fantasy rpg.
  • If you are doing a sci fi rpg you can create all sorts of alien races, cyborgs, androids, humans of course, genetically engineered species, mutants. All you have to do is invent them and their names.
  • Now medieval and sci fi are the most common forms of RPGs but your game can have any setting, maybe your characters could be animals like in the Redwall series of books, or dinosaurs, or aliens living on another planet who have never had contact with humans at all, or any number of creatures.

Personality

  • Now this is probably the trickiest part of creating a character. Each personality should have an impact on the game play, if you have a smart aleck character he might get himself in trouble by insulting the wrong person, a smooth cool character might be able to get on the good side of important people, a shy character might have trouble pushing for information.
  • Another thing to think about is what type of character do you want this to be, is he a traditional brave questing hero, or someone just thrust into this situation by circumstance, or a reluctant hero that is only doing it because he’s being forced to or has some profit as motive not the greater good, or maybe your hero is actually a villain.

Physical Characteristics

  • Now this is an area that requires creativity. Anything goes as long as it fits your game setting and the characters personality. For example, any character could have red hair, or green eyes, etc. however a street theif isn’t going to be wearing diamonds and expensive gowns (because if the thief could afford those they would retire).
  • Now you don’t need to be an artist for this, if you’re the designer and you have someone else making your sprites, models, or portraits you should give them something to work with, a written description of the character can be extremely useful.
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I'm a sculptor and jewelry designer from Maine, I sell my work at Noadi.etsy.com. I work primarily in polymer clay and mixed media. My work is inspired by science, nature, and my beloved cephalopods.

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