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Dreamkeepers Forums - Character Creation Tips and Tricks

Forum - Roleplay - Character Cafe

Subscribe to this thread Character Creation Tips and Tricks created by CalicoYorki on July 26, 2014

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CalicoYorki7/26/14 7:07pm
First of all, I would like to note that this thread covers things not covered in the Technically Unofficial Guide to DreamKeeper Creation. That being: where to find inspiration for characters, how to funnel that into your design, and how to construct their personality and backstory. I hope this helps, yes...

~ Point the First: Inspiration & Design Choices
While your personal experience may vary, it always seems to be easier making a design come forth when you have inspiration. This may mean seeking inspiration from multiple sources, perhaps tying them together with a common theme. For instance: you may find a mythological character whose legendary exploits inspire you. Then, you may want to look at other things related to them...Perhaps your character is inspired by Herakles, but as a dreamkeeper, embodies the Nemean lion. Additionally, their Power could be not merely super strength, but vitality which seems to only grow more explosive and insurmountable; they prolong combat for so long that the bodies of enemies can rarely keep up, and at times, neither can their own.

Do anything which can make the process easier, and more fun for yourself. Make lots of mock-ups, make mistakes, have a bit of fun with it. Keep having fun with it. Aaaand keep having fun with it. Familiarize yourself with the character, get to know their personality, develop an affection for them. Don't just make 'a' character - make -your- character. Make them your own. No one gets to tell you how your own design process goes. It can take however long you need, and you can go through however many iterations and promising, but ultimately false finishes before you finally arrive at your conclusion. If you do not develop a capacity to enjoy the experience, no matter how you get to the end, then the act of designing a character that is truly your own will be laborious in a way that it should not be. Yes...

It is also worth note that small, meaningful touches can make a large difference. Small cuts and bruises on the hands suggests that they are a skilled worker who devotes a great deal of time to their craft; mismatched socks or tarnished buckles can suggest laziness, absentmindedness. Being that dreamkeepers tend to embody emotions in some way or another, their colors and form should match to wit. If they are energetic and zany, then their body can be lean and limber, with long, neon-colored limbs. A somber individual could have muted colors, and a withdrawn kind of look to their build. This actually leads us to...

~ Point the Second: Personality
Sometimes, the personality comes after the appearance; in some instances, you should try to put the personality together, as appearance will not be as important. With dreamkeepers and their unique attributes, these are both intertwined in a fascinating way. Yes...

A dreamkeeper's personality can be inferred from their appearance, as mentioned. This can be as obvious or as subtle as you want, and you can combine traits with different degrees of these qualities. For instance, qualities of their face - tall, alert ears, softly-colored eyes - can betray something that the rest of the body does not.

As aforementioned, you must become familiar with your character over time. It's almost like a person, yes...You just don't know their full personality from brief meetings at social gatherings, per say; that's generally a cursory look at the person. For a character, you must develop the masks they wear in public, their inner struggles, and as an important concept: who they are in the dark. Will your character be as valorous in front of an audience as they will when no one is looking? Or will villains do the right thing, when there's no one watching them, expecting them to do wrong? It will help make your character more familiar to you, build a stronger affection for them, and make them more compelling to whoever you choose to make your audience. Yes...

It is a minor note, and something which I personally find fun, that you can easily flesh out and make a character seem more familiar when you give them small, trivial traits. A favorite food, pet peeves, catchphrases or trademark habits...These are easily recognizable, and may help you build a rapport with your character as much as it will the audience. Yes...And although it is a major trait of theirs, I also include here the character's romantic, and sexual preferences. If you are in the habit of making many, many characters, then feel free to make them heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, or any of the romantic counterparts. Although, if this is a territory which makes you uncomfortable, then it is best to not leap in headfirst. You should very readily ask questions in a -respectful- manner if you do not know if you are portraying any of these things accurately, and remember your rules of etiquette. Just because you do not agree with someone's personal persuasions does not in any way give you permission to forget yourself, and spread libel or falsehoods using your characters. If you are already doing that, then seriously, stop it. Now.

Stop it right now.

...

Yes...

~ Point the Third: Backstory

This is, in essence, how your character got to where they are in any given RP, or story, or what have you. What kind of family did they have? Did they have two parents? Did they have a single parents? How many siblings did they have? Do they fit the parameters of a Nuclear American family? Are they anything but? Experiment with this, and how it can change your character's outlook. A character who has been abused physically may be more violent and aggressive, but they might also jump to protect someone from similar abuse. Once again, do not make too many assumptions, or spread libel.

And if you are already, seriously, you need to stop.

You can also explain some current habits or mannerisms through their backstory. Perhaps they are ashamed by their past, or frightened by it, and thus behave differently in order to escape it? Perhaps they are the Atoner, or have adopted the mission of someone close to them whom has died. Keep in mind that in certain settings, their place of origin may influence their personality and backstory in different ways. Do keep from insulting people from -real- locations, however, or using your newfound skill set for evil.

And if you are already: this is the last time. Please. You really need to stop.

...

Yes...Well, I hope this has been helpful.

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