Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Facets, Contradictions, and Allegiances

Depth is always one of the elements I strive for when considering characters in role-playing games. Of course this carries over to writing any kind of characters for any story or script. I don't always do it for short stories or novels but I have created characters using role-playing terms and conventions as if I wanted to use them in a game and then used that familiarity with the character to write their part within the story. I recently read a review of a role-playing game and it sparked me to write a note about character diversity. By that I mean the details, the nitty-gritty that differentiate one character from another even though they fit the same social circle, economic strata, and have the same education. What makes one engineer different from another on the same team?

Character diversity can be made by allowing players to select the following. A home country. Political affiliations or leaning toward particular ideals. Additionally there are points where the character differs from the ideas espoused by the party or their group. An immigrant could grow into a new national identity, change politics or move toward a political sub-faction. They could be a part of a guild or association, and from there variegate into a guild-faction. In the context of the game I made the notes for I asked questions like: Is the character part of one nation's military? What is their view of their allies? What is their view of their enemies? Is there competition between units in the same military? Service branch rivalries? How do they compete with other nation's units even when in a united goal?

All of this asks and answers essential questions like what is my character's role in group X, what is it contributing to the local corner of the world, to the country, to the world at large? How does their beliefs shape their style and methodology to their work, job, military service? It speaks to the measure of their character and reveals or further asks how they will deal with situations under stress. When given time. When researching new skills, including magic in applicable settings. When collaborating with others on such skills. Further differentiation might come from another role-playing game approach where a character has their social face and their private face. Not everyone projects their true self all of the time. Even what they do and do not share about themselves could be an important detail.

Mood: disciplined.
Music: Disciples Of The Lie by Iced Earth and Book Of Thel by Bruce Dickinson.

Iced Earth: Something Wicked This Way Comes
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Now at Amazon.COM NOT CA.

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Bruce Dickinson: The Chemical Wedding
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