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RP Planet - A Guide On How to Roleplay - The Cast of Characters
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As stated before, roleplays are stories focused on a group of characters in a certain world. Without characters, roleplays just wouldn't be...roleplays. For some people (including myself) character creation is fun and fairly easy, but for others it can be tedious. To prevent you from falling into the "Uugghh, coming up with characters is sooo hard!!" category of people, I'll give you some tips on character creation.
First of all, what sort of characters will be in the roleplay completely depends on the roleplay plot. For instance, superhero roleplays will have superheroes, western roleplays will have cowboys, Indians, and bandits, animal roleplays will feature animals (duh XD XP), fantasy roleplays will feature magical (and mythical) creatures, and dystopian roleplays will have strong people who are really, REALLY good at kicking butt. Since there can be such a wide variety of characters, I'll just skim over some tips about how to come up with good appearances and personalities - what the character actually is is up to you.
Appearance Tips

This is generally the easier part of character creation, with personality being the harder part. However, often in RPs appearance is meant to reflect personality, so a lot of the things here will depend on your character's personality. For instance, if you have a dark and perhaps evil character, give them dark and sinister colors (black, crimson/dark red, dark gray, etc.). You could also give a fiery and outgoing character "warm" colors (red, yellow, orange), cold characters "cold" colors (blue, green, purple), etc. However, these are just suggestions that I mostly made off the top of my head (with the exception of the one for the dark characters; it's a bit cliche, but it works for me). It's all up to you. Just think of your favorite colors (or your least favorite colors), think of your character's personality, and you'll probably find a color combination that seems "right." Note that this mostly depends on what your character is; a majority of characters in roleplays are human (or variants of humans, e.g. superhumans), but there are plenty of animal or magical (or magical animal) roleplays as well. You could also take up drawing (I find that you can draw characters in various ways that show their personalities; drawing can help you come up with appearances for your characters). Also, if there is a certain appearance you like (I find that I like the combination of black hair and blue eyes) and you find coming up with new characters tedious, you could use it over and over in different roleplays (for instance, I have a black-haired, blue-eyed girl who is a character in many RPGs; she has the same appearance and personality each time she appears). You could also base a character's appearance off of that of a character from a movie, TV show, or book that you like. Finally, another thing you could do is do research on the Internet. Get other tips on character creation or look up pictures of whatever your character is. Often people save pictures of humans/animals/magical creatures/etc. who look like their characters and post them on roleplay sites rather than describing their character via text. However, this is not an option on the RP sites I go to; you cannot post pictures there. I am only suggesting that you look up pictures so you can get ideas on appearances for your characters, not so you can do this:



DISCLAIMER: I do not claim ownership for this meme. I just thought it was funny and thus I couldn't help but include it. If you don't like it or don't think it's appropriate for the blog, send me a message and I will promptly remove it.
Personality Tips

What makes a good personality for a character? Well, that depends on what the role of the character is. So, I'll describe the characters and what their personalities should be like by role. Important: Like the appearance tips, these are just suggestions. You don't have to do or use any of these tips; what your characters are like is entirely up to you. In the Divergent books and movies, there are five factions, and each one holds citizens bearing one of five traits: Selflessness, kindness, intelligence, honesty, and bravery. We will base a lot of the character personalities over which traits they have (and which ones they lack). Before I start describing what characters should be like depending on their role, I will give you some more tips: You can research "protagonist," "antagonist," "antihero," and "neutrality" on Wikipedia. The pages about those things might help. Also, I recommend that you Google "list of human emotions" for more ideas on traits and emotions your characters regularly show (I have just used the main five traits from the Divergent series to keep things simple). You can also base the personality of your character off of the personality of a character or person you like (or dislike), including yourself. Like appearances, there may be a personality trait "set" that you may particularly like and want to re-use in different roleplays (e.g. you may like a heroine who is brave, honest, and clever, but also bad-tempered); you can do this too.
Now, on to the list:

Protagonists: There are many types of protagonists with all kinds of different personalities. However, ultimately they are all for better causes than the rest of the characters. They always have at least one of the main five traits listed above. The cliche "perfect" hero (like Superman) has all five; though that's a good thing, perfect characters in RPGs can be boring, and they can also become very annoying when a player makes his/her character perfect to the point of always being right and always winning a battle. The solution: Make your protagonists flawed in some ways. Leave out a trait - or two or three. Making them flawed makes them more interesting (but don't make them flaunt their flaws too often - that can annoy other players; good characters usually overcome their flaws eventually, and having them show their flaws over and over can make everyone else impatient and annoyed with these negative traits). Leaving out four of five may be okay in some cases, but that may deprive your character of too many personality traits and make him/her boring. Therefore, if you choose to give a good guy only one main virtue, you should give him/her personality traits (especially positive ones) that aren't among the "main five." The five main virtues aren't the only traits you can throw in; for example, you could throw in humorousness or hopefulness. So try to mix and match the five traits and perhaps add another trait that isn't included. For info on more flawed protagonists, read the "Antiheroes" section.
Antagonists: All antagonists are flawed (unless your RPG includes the plot twist where it turns out that the good guys are the bad guys and vice versa). They have zero to four (though a bad guy having four of five traits is pretty rare) of the Divergent faction traits. The ones they most often have are bravery and intelligence, while the ones they most often lack are the other three (especially selflessness). Of course, they can lack intelligence (often typical ultra strong but ultra dumb bad guys are used by the smarter bad guys to do the dirty work for them; thus stupid baddies aren't uncommon) or bravery (sometimes bad guys chicken out of things, especially when they see that the good guys have the advantage or that they are in grave danger). Like with good guys, go ahead and mix and match the traits, and throw in a few that aren't among the main five; just remember that villainous characters always lack at the very least one of the five virtues, and they especially lack selflessness. For info on less flawed antagonists, read the "Antiheroes" section.
Neutral characters: "Neutrals" usually aren't main characters (for example they can be innocent bystanders or normal friends of one of the main characters) and thus their personalities are usually simple. Often one trait/virtue stands out (e.g. assume the hero of the RP has two old, normal friends; one is the "funny one," the other is the "sweet/kind one") in them. However, more complex neutrals have a chance at becoming main characters (or perhaps they once were main characters, but they changed to neutral). You can also have a "perfect" neutral (one with all five virtues) without getting bored with the character or backlash from annoyed players because neutral characters don't appear often and you could perhaps use this perfect neutral character to cheer up a main character with his/her virtuous wisdom. However, coming up with personalities for neutral characters can be a waste of time, since usually people don't play as them unless their neutral character will be a main character in the near future, once was a main character, or will help out/get involved with the main characters in some way without really taking a side.
Antiheroes: Antiheroes are basically either protagonists with a lot of flaws or antagonists who have more complex reasons for not being on the protagonists' side while at the same time not really being a fully evil character. These characters are usually dark and complex, and are generally in between protagonist and antagonist without being neutral. They usually lack bravery and morality and can seem/be ruthless, dishonest, and have opinions that true protagonists often don't agree with. They often like to work alone and don't like others getting in their business, which can make them seem to lack a key protagonist trait: Selflessness. Antiheroes who lean towards the heroic side sometimes "open up," revealing that they do in fact have some more of the key protagonist virtues, and thus can be "redeemed" and made a true protagonist; other times they may help the protagonists once in a while but then continue working alone. Antiheroes who lean towards the villainous side often do things against the morality of the protagonists, but they generally don't team up with other antagonists and just do things they alone are interested in (they probably will team up with true villains only if they profit by it). Sometimes the more villainous antiheroes will even team up with the protagonists, but they never do this unless they gain something. As you can see, antiheroes are often somewhat selfish, but they aren't necessarily evil characters.



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