The how to create a good character thread and more...

Pull out your pack and head on down to the Prancing Pony for some great Role Playing (try to stay in character)!

Postby Wandering but not lost » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:07 pm

Ok, I noticed that there was a lot of different threads popping up like how to avoid one liners and such so I thought that, being absolutely in love with characterization, that I would pass on some of what I have learned throughout the years. I have seen all sorts of characters here in my 2.5 years. I have seen characters that were amazingly in-depth with complicated backgrounds and strange personality quirks that really made roleplaying with them a blast. Then I have seen the flat and cliche characters who only tend to look for combat. While those writers may be great at describing the gruesome orc blood spilling over the ground like tiny rivulets of magma- that is only a small part of the actual role playing experience<BR><BR>I believe, though I may be wrong, that there are perhaps three aspects of roleplaying- setting, action, and character. Of the three, I believe that character is the most important though many would argue that setting (of which I am counting plot) may be more important. My arguement would be that without character, plot cannot exist beyond a cliche. Take the great freedom thread for example, Anriel created a great thread that revolved around her character's conflicts inside of a kingdom. As an escaping princess, that brought a great amount of plot from her character. From her character's dilemma arose the following- a war, 2 great villains (by magpie jen! Oh where has our birdie flown too?) and a legendary quest throughout much of middle earth with numerous plot twists. What made it great? The character's created the story. Thus, the plot revolved around their unique aspects as opposed to the typical "lets slay the dragon" type cliche's. It is much harder to create a unique plot than a unique character since characters have so many more faucets. Thus, if a plot is rooted off a character's conflicts and personality, it will ultimately be more unique and memorable.<BR><BR>Inorder to make a character, the most important decision (in my opinion) is their past. Where did they come from and why are they here? What drived them to leave? What keeps them from returning? Did they have a family? What were they like? What did they learn during their life esp. pertaining to things like magic or combat (since that is often going to be used)? Who taught them? etc. Without knowing what atmosphere created your character, how can you create them? How can you role play with them if you barely know them. Think of it like a friend, the more you know about them the more interesting and enjoyable your time together is. Let me give you an example of what my character (Wandering) has for a past.<BR><BR>Example 1: Wandering was born to two very powerful mages- a half elf name Aldamara and his human father Iluvian. His father was a legendary swordsman and mage who reached among the pinnacle hieghts of skill in both. (I also created a fighting style for this which I post with but do not have time to describe). His father however had a rival who was envious of Iluvian's level of skill. The rival discovered that Iluvian held a sword which gave him much of his magical powers and attacked Iluvian's house. Inorder to protect his son, Iluvian and Aldamara were killed but managed to kill teh rival in the process. One of Iluvian's disciples took and raised Wandering from near birth (since Wandering was less than 3 when this happened) They retreated with the sword and lived among the Lossoth people in the north. There Wandering was taught his father's fighting styles but and eventually traveled the world with his master learnign. Wandering became adept not only in the use of the sword but medicine and ranger like skills as well. Having traveled so long with his master, the wilderness became his home, thus he Wanders but is not lost. Since his parent's death however, Wandering never actually learned his name and instead went by Wandering. To condense this a lot, one day Wandering, near the falls of Rauros, woke up with the sounds of battle and saw that his master had vanished. There were dead orc corpses and some unidentifiable corpses as well. Not knowing what had happened and unaware where his master had went off to, Wandering began a search to find him again... That was where he joined the pony, not knowing if his master is alive or dead and actually not even knwoing about his parents or any of that. He learns that much later when he actually finds his master again.<BR><BR>That is my character's beginnign history. Though I have played him for 2.5 years and cannot expect someone to simply create all that from scratch, there are some aspects of it that I find important to note- first, Wandering has a purpose. He is looking for his master (father like figure) and is unaware if he is dead or alive. Wandering even has an emotion, though I did not describe it. He feels insecure and confused without his master, like he had lost a father. He started very immature yet skilled. In freedom, there is a great part where he overhears Snowdog and Anriel and misinterprets what they are saying. He tried to fight Snowdog over this interpretation.<BR><BR>That brings another interesting point- character flaw. While it is easy to give a character strengths (I put all of Wandering's on his skills so to speak) it is also necessary to counter it with flaws that give you room to improve your character. My character started out feeling very alone in the world wihtout his master and very immature and almost paranoid. He had lots of skills but did not know exactly when to use them. This almost prooved very dangerous in Freedom. Over time it is great to start conflicts in threads (not literal conflicts but plot conflicts) around these flaws. maybe have an old flame show up and try and entice you away from your quest. Or, maybe have a racial animosity over dwarves cause trouble when that princess you need to save is surprisingly a dwarven princess. These types of character traits can make things interesting.<BR><BR>Besides history and flaws, one of the funnest things to make are quirks and goals. With quirks, it is important to try and make them somewhat unique and identifiable to your character. Snowdog is a master at this. I still remember him for having the best tea in the land. lol. What does your character like, dislike? When they order a drink, do they order water, ale, tea, or the stuff that takes grease off a driveway (aka alcoholism). Are they quiet and secluded (great for mages) or loud and outgoing. I had a great time when Wandering met another character I created. While Wandering was more quiet and collective, Aberath was loud and very spontaneous. It was an interesting foil (a foil character is an opposite character that serves to bring out the character traits of both characters by the comparison). Wandering for example, always wears a blue cloak (though it used to be brown). Brown was a sign for apprentice, blue is a sign for master. A simple but very identifiable trait for Wandering. If I asked someone who knew me who the blue cloaked figure is, they's probably suspect it was me. Oh, btw, Wandering drinks water except once when there was a tragedy he became an alcoholic for a brief time. <BR><BR>Now, goals. What drives them? This works into personality. Wandering for example wanted to learn magic. He became like a sponge for magic and eventually became the apprentice of Radagast (where is ol' Radagast anyway?). Wandering also wanted to find his master. As well, being a lover of herbs and medicine, always liked to stop and catalogue new types of herbs and medicine he found growing around during his travels.<BR><BR>There are other things you may want to consider, and many I am sure I forgot. Some things maybe... where does your character hold their weapons? Wandering keeps a back up poisined knife near his boot. He also had throwing darts in a pouch on his belt and hidden in a small pocket in his sleeves hand hemming. Little details like that, if put together, can make things more interesting.<BR><BR>Of course, you want the basics- a name, race, eye hair color age build etc. also, always play in character. Think of their emotions and reactions and work with it. Sometimes a character's emotions and reactions may be different than how you as a person would react. Use the character like it was a real person and people will respond to it like a real person and thus get to know and enjoy it. I am sure there is a lot I could add so if anyone wants to post any commments or questions I think this would be a great forum for discussion. I hope I can even learn some things from what people comment.<BR><BR>btw, if you want to know more about my character, read my "Wandering's Quest thread" it is a thread I do entirely by my self and update every so often. It is in a sense my ode to characterization. I wrote this because I love characters. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Novice » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:19 pm

This deserves a bump.<BR><BR>I'd add my thoughts, but I'm in the embryonic stage of RP, so they wouldn't help much. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-blush.gif"border=0><BR><BR>Maybe other experienced players would consider laying out their character building techiques?<BR>
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Postby erinhue » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:58 pm

Hail Wandering, Excellent advice from one who knows<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> I'm gonna make this required reading over in Role Play 102
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:16 am

Go Wandering.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>This is useful information, I just hope that more people read it and take heed, of these thoughtful words. Experience is indeed a good teacher.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:20 am

Oh, well thank you. I was just bored really and thouhgt it would be fun to do something like this (and it was <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> ) I am glad if anyone finds it insightful. I am trying to think of stuff to add to it. Maybe in a little bit I will get an idea
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:53 am

Yeah well I voted for it actually. I wanted to figure out how this voting thang works.
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Postby Mellaurelom » Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:56 am

Very nice, thank you! I've seen too many people who give a goos physical description but don't spend any time figuring out WHO they are and WHY they are out wandering around. Bump this for sure!
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Postby Snowdog » Thu Jul 18, 2002 8:00 am

<< <i>Besides history and flaws, one of the funnest things to make are quirks and goals. With quirks, it is important to try and make them somewhat unique and identifiable to your character. Snowdog is a master at this. I still remember him for having the best tea in the land.</i> >><BR><BR><img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0> I still trade in the fine tea leaf and coffee bean, travelling from the far north trapping wolves and taking their pelts to thwe Oasis Inn in the track-crossing of the Khand-Umbar/Pelegir-Harad road. They bring a good amount of tea and coffee, which is a commodity in the north... I still use that trait. I gave some tea and coffee (along with 10 gold coins of King Elessar) to the Inn in the Forest for ... a couple nights and meal and beverages...<BR><BR>I have yet to post Snowdog's character in the <a target=new href="http://www.tolkienonline.com/thewhitecouncil/messageview.cfm?catid=25&threadid=34533">Character Archives</a> thread, but have gotten my other characters listed in one post.
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Postby Tempest » Thu Jul 18, 2002 12:46 pm

Hey Wandering! Nice to see you again! Good points too! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:45 pm

Wandering,<BR>Great idea! Very good and well made points.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I too have to agree the most important aspects about an RP is the Characters, for without them the RP does not move and does not have any quality. Characters is the first aspect needed in an RP the second is the plot, and setting. Anyway very good points made.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR>*~Leslie~*<BR><BR>P.S. I give this thread a vote too's!!!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR>Also I have a sudden craving for tea, Snowdog.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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Postby NabooHuntress » Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:46 pm

Was I sending you some vibes? I really needed this yesterday when I was trying to come up with a new character. Until now I had always jumped in making up someone as I went along, it isn't easy to develope a complex character. Thank you, Wandering.<BR><BR>Snowdog, can I have some of your tea? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0>
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Postby Snowdog » Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:03 pm

Well, its being served up at the Inn of the Forest Keep!But I can boil up some water here on this fire and steep you ladies some. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif"border=0><BR>Naboo, you did well with your character!<BR>
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Postby erinhue » Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:44 pm

Sure yer right, Leslie darlin<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0> Agarak's got pleanty of character<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Jul 19, 2002 12:26 am

Oh, well thank you very much for all the compliments. I am glad that this has helped a lot of people. One thing too I want to point out, concerning villains (though I have yet to play one), is that many of the same rules apply. With villains, they often fall to cliches and can end up the overpowerful guy who rules by terror (I will admit, my personal villain in my stories is somewhat that figure but with a little bit more to him). The most interesting villain that I have ever encountered, again, was in Freedom by Magpie Jen (where is that birdie?) what she did that made the villain so enjoyable was that she often posted side posts about what the villain was doing behind the scenes. She made a very indepth character by working off Anriel's character and plot and then kept the characters informed as to what was happening. That created a sense of suspense as you saw something developing but was not sure what the villain was plotting. Radagast also implimented this strategy well in the thread Northern Wastes (started by Snowdog). He was able to utilize the strategy of posting in the villains perspective (even though he was far from the other characters distance speaking) and created both fear and intrigue by allowing us to "get to know the villain"<BR><BR>Imagine, if you have a villian constantly refering to something like "plan A" and always seeming to rely on it, the characters will eventually get to be suspicious (out of play of course. In play they are unaware of anything) and worried yet curious. That is part of what makes a villain great<BR>
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Postby heliona » Fri Jul 19, 2002 3:45 am

This thread is great, and made me realise how much I loved Wandering's character. You neve knew what he was going to do and was unpredictable. That made him a good character. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> (At least for me, maybe everyone else knew what he was going to do!)<BR><BR>I've found that playing a villian is much harder than a good guy. (I have actually attempted to do that while trying to finish Shadow Over Arnor, and the fact that I was stepping into Radagast's shoes didn't help!) When you're a baddy, you generally have to make it so the goodies win, since that's what normally happens in LOTR. Magpie Jen (my favourite birdy) was brilliant at making her villians believable and human, and Radagast's were really quite scary!<BR><BR>I'm going to vote for this, although I don't know how you do that yet! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby EdaintheRanger » Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:00 am

Heliona Hi!<BR><BR>It's great to see you back on the boards. I guess you must have finished for another year now. How's things? I'll E-mail you soon.
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Postby heliona » Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:31 am

Hi Edain! Yes, I've finished, and hence have time to come here! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Trying to sort out photos at the moment, and failing miserably! <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0>
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Postby Carnimiriel » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:09 am

Some nice advice - I tend to think that character is THE single most important aspect in collaborative writing, because if the characters are well-written, a lot of the other things take care of themselves.<BR><BR>If you have a strong sense of who your character is, you can invent situations to put them in (action/plot) that will reveal aspects of the character or give them something to react to.<BR><BR>Characters need a past, some sort of goal or purpose, a personality, etc. but this needs to be flexible enough to evolve over time.<BR><BR>On a Tolkien roleplay board, it is preferable to connect the character to some place, event, or person that Tolkien invented. Though I know sometimes people invent their own kingdoms or bring in characters that while they may work in Tolkien's world, aren't tailor-made for it, I think it makes a thread more coherent and makes it easier for others to relate to your character if there is some obvious connection.<BR><BR>Let your characters have a life of their own, give them some breathing space and don't try to force them into a rigid mold. Perhaps if they become 'real' enough they will sometimes surprise you in their reactions.<BR><BR>Make your character someone that you would like and understand, but not a duplicate of yourself. I think this holds true even for villans, because the villans that fall into flat sterotypes are the ones who are just plain evil and don't have any obvious motivation for their actions. Perhaps you want your character to come across as evil to others, but you, as the writer, have to have a soft spot for them. You have to understand them and be somewhat sympathetic to why they are the way they are. <BR><BR>I say this not just from a writing standpoint but from an acting one, as that is part of my real life profession. I found out long ago that you can't play a character that you don't like, which sometimes means you have to find a way to like a pretty unlikeable character.<BR><BR>Make your characters strengths and attributes realistic. I have struggled with this at times because my main character, Carnimiriel, carries a pretty powerful artifact. It would be easy for me to write that she wipes out a lot of enemies in a blast of fire, but I try to be very careful not to do that. She makes mistakes. There are limits set on what she can do and where she can do it. Drawing on the power of the stone she carries exhausts her and she cannot keep it up for long. Seemingly invincible characters who can 'blast' any monster that finds its way into the story get tiresome.<BR><BR>I have been writing Carnimiriel for long enough that she is very real for me, but sometimes she still surprises me. She has less of a chip on her shoulder than she did when she started out, though she still has a temper! She has matured greatly and gained confidence in her own abilities. Almost as soon as I dragged her into the Pony, she managed to fall in love, which had never been part of my original plan for her, and in the Fourth Age threads where I use her she is the mother of twins.<BR><BR>I hope some of that is good advice and not just random rambling. I don't mean that my character is a model for anyone else necessarily, but if you want an idea of character background, you can read a story I wrote before I even came to TORC that helped me set up my character here:<BR><BR><a target=new href="http://chimeras.virtualave.net/carnimiriel.html">http://chimeras.virtualave.net/carnimiriel.html</a>
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Jul 19, 2002 2:44 pm

Great advice Carnimiriel. I agree that realism as far as their traits and such is important. A nice mix of tolkienesque fantasy with realistic personality. I like what you said about villians a lot too. I think that is a good point about having to understand why they are evil and sympathize with them. To the very basic point, for any character regardless of alignment, you have to be able to sympathize with them and understand them. By knowing them, you can tell how they are going to act and respond. I often have trouble starting characters partly because I do not know exactly how they are going to react yet. Their personalities, while set to what I plan them, have yet to develop to where the character wants them. I hope that makes sense. You see, while you will want a character to start out as shy or outgoing, as you play, the charcter will dictate his own personality and emotions even if it is not where you want them to go.<BR><BR>Simply, listen to your character and, I guess, not yourself. That sounds strange but I think it is true to many respects.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Jul 19, 2002 2:59 pm

two other brief points I wanted to add. First, if you play a villian then that means you should probably sign a blood contract to be the last player to leave a thread because nothing will kill a thread quicker than if the villian leaves. Even if there is a lot of great rp'ers, if a villian leaves a thread then the plot dies out because nobody knows exactly what is going to happen and, because of politeness and the board's rules, nobody will just pick up the discarded villain and keep on going as if it was their own. <BR><BR>The other point that is a common newbie mistake (erinhue mentioned this in his role playing 102 class and I just thought I'd emphasise it) wait till there is an opportune moment before joining a thread. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when a new poster just jumps in at a deciding moment of the plot, that his been building for about 2 weeks and tries to either change things or simply "appears" from a mistaken teleport spell. It can really interrupt the flow of a board. I have yet to finish reading Erinhue's rpg 102 thread but I am sure that I will because it is full of great advice- a must read. He writes a lot about entering threads so i will not go itno much. Just, if two characters are talking, maybe start youself in a thread as just observing as a shadow in the distance or something for a while then wait until there is a good moment. Slide in, don't use the jaws of life. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0>
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Postby Novice » Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:29 pm

Such great advice deserves another bump......<BR><BR>I'm reading, reading, reading and learning.....<BR><BR>Actually, I might add a personal little insight: if the character you've created is competely anathema to you, the writer, it can be really exhausting to maintain.<BR>
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Postby Snowdog » Fri Jul 19, 2002 4:52 pm

<br><br><< <i>Radagast also implimented this strategy well in the thread Northern Wastes (started by Snowdog).</i> >><br><br>I have to set the record straight here... Nothern Waste was actually started by Jon Goatleaf on the old UBB. I took the time to copy it to this board, but never seemed to get going again for me.<BR><BR>Ok, on baddies. I have written a character who though inherently good, had bad tendencies. I got criticized for this once because I 'blurred' the line between good and evil. All he did was for the cause of good, but sometimes his 'methods were unsound'. It was my most dynamic character I created with much backstory, and it spawned a whole family tree. Amazing how this can grow!
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Postby Alaklainiel » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:43 pm

hey, I just want to say this thread has really helped me see what my flaws are in my writing. This thread has been very helpful. Thanx to all that have submitted advice!!<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0><BR><BR> thanx again<BR> -Alaklainiel
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Fri Jul 19, 2002 11:46 pm

Oh, you are most welcome. In fact, thank you. It is comments like that which inflate my already massive ego <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> Snow, you are very much correct. I forgot that Jon indeed did start it though I feel very much that you kept it going. And I agree that your character was very interesting because his methods were unsound. You have done one thing which few people on the mb have dared, to play a character who was somewhat inbetween the lines of good and evil. That made it very interesting but also was a testiment to your skill as a writer and poster.
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Postby gladrieltook » Sat Jul 20, 2002 10:50 am

What i really like about working on 'the trilogy'(Troll's nose, Lebennin conspiracy, quest of revenge) is that we all helped build each other's characters. Khorazir, Canamarth, Dellom, Lady of Rohan, and I all added to the character of Dellom, although he was origanally created by the poster Dellom. Dellom, Khorazir, and Canamarth gave him character, I gave him a past (and an end), and LoR gave him new life. We also give depth to each other's characters. For example, the characters Visilya, Turin, Maradir, Faramir, Eowyn, Aliya, and Cynara are all connected. Visilya and Aliya are half sisters, parted by Dellom's hatred of their father, and Cynara is Aliya and Maradir's Daughter. Maradir is Faramir's best friend, as is Turin. Turin is engaged to Visilya, and Eowyn is Visilya's best friend and Faramir's wife. They all connected and they all add to each other.<BR><BR>My favorite character that I have created (i'v made several), is Visilya. She's the daughter of the late Captain of the Secret Gaurd of Minas Tirith(invented by your's truelly), and by birth right, she's the Captain now. Her parents were killed by her father's former best friend(dellom). She spent her entire childhood as a nomad, wandering the lands and finding anyone who would take her in and teach her. She spent her entire life preparing to kill Dellom. And finally, when she was almost 40, she killed him in a great battle. Visilya's character traights include iritability, hotheadedness, emotional instability, and a temper to boot. She is betrothed to her beloved Turin, whome she met by shear accident in the Troll's Nose.<BR><BR>Visilya is really fun to work with, becuase her personality can change just like that. One minute she'll be laughinf with you and joking around, and the next she'll be barking orders like a drill sergaent. She's especially fun to play when she's with Turin, becuase she goes from being this tom-boy warrior woman, to a mushy-gushy girly type. Lady of Rohan thinks it's funny, but she's no better with Eowyn.<BR><BR>But I have a bone to pick. These amazing all-in-one invincable characters. Ladies that weild swords like great warriors, and yet twirl around in silk dresses. Come on... YEAH RIGHT!!! You don't see it in the men. It's the girls who are guilty of this crime. They'll slay a hundred orcs single handed, without a scratch, and then rip their dress or sprain their ankle while dancing. Please... We at the trilogy try to make our characters as down to earth as possible. They're mortal(though maradir and aliya are part elf), they have genuine feelings. They get hurt, they feel pain. Faramir breaks at least 3 ribs in TN, and a few more in QOR. Visilya is crippled, Eowyn pregnant, Cynara has a broken arm. We give our characters a serious beating. But we have fun, becuase we beat up the 'bad guys' in the mean-time. Slay some orcs, lick your wounds, slay a criminal master mind, lick your wounds and get married...lol. Yup. We can't even have a peaceful wedding<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> I believe LoR and Khor are already plotting a good way to crash the party, and some of our title options aren't helping.... "The long Expected Party.... Eru save us" was one suggested by our dear Cynara...<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-rolleyes.gif"border=0>
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sat Jul 20, 2002 11:35 am

Gladrieltook,<BR>Yep you've got a very good point about characters who go into battle and walk away without a scratch. I don't like invicible characters, so I try to make my characters as non-invinicible as possible. <BR><BR>Like with the two main characters I play, both have reasons for being out and about Middle Earth. Leslie can not remember most of her past she remembers certain things such as her first name, how to use a bow and sword, and minor things like that. Which is why she wonders around Middle Earth, she could not figure out who she is by sitting at home doing nothing. But then again she doesn't know where home is either, and her memory lose is one of the biggest injuries she has to deal with. Of course whenever I'm in a battle in an RP, and no one else gets injured I'll write it out to where I get injured just to try to show the other persons that they too can be injured. <BR><BR>My second character Declynn is basically as bad as I'll get to playing a bad guy even though Dedclynn is a good guy. When she was younger she was ambushed by a group of men of every race. They beat her, starved her and did 'other' things to her. Due to what happened to her, she has a major additude problem towards most guys (Not to sound rude, but thats the way I made the character). In a way this chaacter is perminately injured, probably for the rest of her life. But she still gets injured a lot, espeically since both characters arevruff and tumble type girls.<BR><BR>I also must say that neither of my characters like dresses thought, both Leslie and Declynn believe dresses are a pain and neither one ever likes wearing them. Although in the From Imladris thread, Leslie has been contemplating wearing a dress to impress Edain, but I'm still not sure if I'll have her wear one or not...LOL<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0> <BR><BR>But what I can not stand is the 'Oooh I'm injured' *Next day* 'Oooh I'm fine' type thing. Or the instant cures I'm injured one second then just fine the next. Those make the RP unrealistic just like the invincible characters.
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Postby Snowdog » Sat Jul 20, 2002 12:22 pm

<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-confused.gif"border=0> I didn't know Khor was in Quest. You mean Khorizar I think?<BR><BR>Wandering, I was referring to my Ranger character from Shadow over Arnor, Halasían. He was a lousy father, unfaithful to his wife though she was faithful to him, and beat up and raped a thieving woman who stole his horse... not exactly characteristics of a Dúnedain Ranger.<BR><BR>Snowdog is an anomaly of time and I take the pieces of each RP he's in and put them together as part of a life story for him. He's had his moments of evil and self-doubt, undying love and heartbreak, and also of strength and stoic demeanor. My characters all, Frea & Forca the twins of Rohan, Halasían, Forcwyn his wife, Hayna his elder son, Hamoor, Hayna's son, Hanasían, Halasían's younger son, Dorhilas, Hanasían's grandson, Halcwyn, Halasían & Forcwyn's daughter and Hanasíian's twin sister, are all mortals. Snowdog and Rían are mortal... I seem to have not the thought or ability to write immortal Elven characters.<BR><BR>There seemed to be an abundance of what I call Xenarwenian characters swamp the RP threads since the movie release. They are beautiful Elven princesses who are invincible in battle and have miraculious healing power. Some I see are done well but most are rather shallow. Give a read through the Character Archive thread.. its quite interesting.<BR><BR>A peeve of mine in RP is the time/distance factor. Sure writing RP for travel of days and days is usually based on character interactions and usually either lead to an attack of orcs or such, or much distance is covered in a day or two. The moon is full for weeks and such... Usually if distance is needed to be covered and the interaction on the trail has played out, then one should take it upon themselves to write in narration, 'And the days passed without event and they came to..' or such. Anyway... this is a thread on Character development, not RP timelines. A whole other subject.
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Postby Wandering but not lost » Sat Jul 20, 2002 8:01 pm

I remember that you impressed me very much in freedom when you asked what the moon cycle was at and then took careful trackk of when it would be full again. lol. I think the biggest problem with the moon is simply that it is hard to notice when soemone posts it as full. I realized that mistake early on so I barely ever post using the moon anymore simply to avoid the whole mess.<BR><BR>Yes, I agree, it is important to keep track of those details. Also, it is hard sometimes with time passing. Often I will try and pass a few hours (12 or so) in each of my posts if little is going on simply to keep it moving. I think though that it is perhaps risky to pass too much mroe time than that simply because people may have plans etc. Maybe a day or two at most. I don't know. I just want to avoid the newbie mistake of having weeks pass in a post etc. or saying "not much happened we're there." You never have a problem with that though. I think time passage is one of the harder parts for me though. Maybe not so much on the mb but in my own personal writing it gets difficult.
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Postby Galhadrim » Sat Jul 20, 2002 8:59 pm

What an excellent thread. I've always believed that characters drive everything. That's one of the reasons I love to write here when I should be putting effort into a novel I have kicking around inside my brain. Here is where I can find a plethora of well written characters. What I've got in my head is a concept/story searching for a set of characters to run with it. Without characters you have no life in your plotline.<BR><BR>Joining the Heritage thread was a thrill for me because I took a minor, throw away character out of a post and turned him into Captain Ruhk of the Sagath Blood Watch. (The Sagath are a noble yet brutal race out around the Sea of Rhun.) The thread had no villian yet and I took the chance to bring some conflict and tension to it. He quickly became a driving force behind the action and I think everyone enjoyed it. But as has been posted here, a villain can only hang around as long as he is interesting. So I gave him motivations (honor and duty to King and nation, even if the King is a bit nuts) and a past (a family he felt guilty for abandoning that was killed by a mob protesting his King). These things began to show him as an actual person who just happened to be in conflict with the main characters. Now he is evolving again as a different villain begins to take center stage.<BR><BR>But enough bragging. There is a technical point I wanted to make. Good characters are essential to smooth collaborative writing. If we are trying to avoid one line posts we need well understood characters to do it with. I tried very hard to get to know the characters of everyone else so I could use them in my posts to carry the action forward in a believable and non-offensive manner. That's what makes for a great thread. And I love to see my characters and plot twists taken up by others and expanded on. Even when it's not what I expected (trust me, I've had a few Australian curveballs thrown my way in Heritage) I still jump at the challenge to work it in somehow.<BR><BR>So I hope my bit of advice has helped here. You'll know you have a well written character when he stands up in someone else's post and carries on a dialogue that seamlessly fits your own writing style.
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Postby Leslie-ElfWarrior » Sat Jul 20, 2002 9:14 pm

Snowdog,<BR>Good point on the Zenawenien thing. I hope I'm not included in that though. I've never considered my characters to be warrior pricess' who are invincible in battle and such. As far as I'm concerned with my characters one is overly shy, but wonders around trying to remember who she is and where she comes from, and nine times out of ten gets involved in everybody else's quest but her own. While the other is like a sister to her, who has had the hard life with the saddest problems in the worst turn of ways. She useually has the ice witch's attitude and is extrememly hot tempered about any guys touching her in even the slightest of ways. Both have exceptional problems and such, and can never seem to get things strait. Also both are like the odd couple when their put together in an RP. Although both are like sisters and in most cases very much alike; one is extremely shy and calm, and in dangerous situations serious yet keeps a certain resolve. While the other is extremely hot tempered and has an attitude problem, and in dangerous situations gets even more hot tempered and more then likely loses her resolve. And while one wishes to remember who she is the other wishes to forget. Warrior princess? Not these two...LOL<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>
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