Developing Your Role Playing Character!

World’s End Tavern: Role-play and Fan Fiction
Developing your Role Playing Character!

So you want to start role playing but are a little wary of just how to create and develop a character that’s more than just a bunch of pretty, colored pixels. You have maybe heard or read threads where people are discussing these characters in such depth that you are confused (and possibly intimidated!) as to how they were created. This thread is meant to help get the creative thoughts going; to put you in the proper mindset and give you ideas of things to consider based off of the creative ideas of others. I have found that my most popular threads (and others have created many as well), are the ones that ask one simple question about people’s characters. I have listed the links to these threads below so you can browse them and get some concrete ideas for things to consider when making your character, as well as what others have done with theirs.

Getting to Know Your Character

It is important to know that simply deciding what hair color your character has or whether they should look angry and determined or happy, is not what creating this character is all about. Once your character enters the world, this is the beginning of your adventure with them. You may have already decided what their history is; where they were born, what their parents did for a living, maybe even how they came to choose whatever path (class, religion, profession, etc) they decided to take. While these things are certainly important, it is a good idea to keep an open mind when creating this character. It is not just about what you want them to be or how you want them to be, but rather, what they want and what they are.

I find it is especially helpful to create your character and play around with him/her for a few levels before deciding that this is the one you will stick with. I for one will create a character and more often than not, before level 10 I will find that guess what? Her name is just not right. Or, her skin color is too dark—it needs to be lighter. Sometimes I even find that the class I chose for them does not fit either and I need to change everything about her at this point. I very often find that who I thought my character was actually isn’t who she is at all. Her personality may simply not fit or what I want her to believe in does not mesh with what she may actually believe in. I end up deleting the character and starting over again until I create one that feels right.

You will probably be playing this character for awhile, probably to level 85 and beyond that, so it is important to get a good feel for your character at the beginning because abandoning a character partway through feels like more than simply abandoning a cluster of pretty pixels.

Developing your characters’ personality is just that: it develops. It takes some time and an open mind to figure out where your character is headed. You may first discover basic things about them: they are fast paced, really lazy, they want to maximize their professions, they don’t care at all about cooking. Basic likes and dislikes along with general personality traits may come through in the first few levels.

As you play, you will then start to realize more in-depth traits; not just their likes and dislikes but what they really care about. Here, start considering what they value, their beliefs, religions, and passions. Also consider how your character came to develop these values. If you’re a healing class, you may care a great deal about learning about the Light. Maybe something happened in your childhood to spark this passion; perhaps you came across a wounded being and healed them causing you to suddenly be aware of the power behind keeping someone else from death. If you’re a Warrior you may feel a desire to protect others from harm. Perhaps your parents were killed in a war, or maybe you simply like carrying big swords around.

Read up on the Lore -- It Does Help!

Do a little research behind the lore as well. This can help you get a feel for what beliefs are out there and who they cater to. Research answers for questions like: What (or who) do the Night Elves worship? And, if my Night Elf does not worship this being, is he/she considered an outcast? Look into the timelines about what has gone on in the past as well as what is going on currently. This can help you determine how old your character is as well as provide ideas for how they came to develop some of the key factors of their personality.
Interact with Others!

You will learn a lot about these types of things through interaction with other players on your server. Interacting with others will really help you learn the current state of things on the server as well as prompt you to develop personality traits and other key factors of your character. But remember, this will take time. You will not have your character completely figured out in one night. Also, do not be afraid to try starting a conversation with someone. I find if you are new it is always a good idea to whisper them Out Of Character (OOC) to let them know you are new to Role Playing. Very often they will be more than willing to help and you will get much more out of them than the simple conversation you were originally trying to start.

Join a Guild!

Joining a guild can also really help with this, however, it is important to join the right kind of guild to provide an appropriate atmosphere for this phase. If you are unsure where your character is going, or are still trying to get a feel for their values, don’t join a heavy Role Playing guild. These guilds are usually very set in what their members believe and don’t provide an environment for the open mind your character currently needs. Rather, join a light/medium Role Playing guild first. These guilds will allow you to experiment with your character and keep an open mind as to where they are going. Get a feel for the environment as a whole and then join a more focused guild with a mission or vision (heavy Role Playing guild). Then you can reap the benefits of having access to the plethora of things these more focused guilds have to offer.

Helpful Ideas to Guide Your Creativity

The threads at the bottom are very beneficial tools. They were designed to help provide ideas for you to consider when playing your character. Don’t try and find answers to all these questions as you physically design your character. Rather, keep them in the back of your mind as you play and interact with other players. Use the answers others have provided to help generate your thoughts so you can develop your own. Role players are pretty creative as a group, so consider what other good role players have done and use those ideas to help feed your own.

Quirky characteristics and fetishes:

What scares you IC?: (Courtesy of Remembrance, Executus)

What will YOUR character do in the end?: (Courtesy of Arixyle, Proudmoore)

Your character's weakness or guilty pleasure?:

Post your character's backstory!: (Courtesy of Ixchel, Hellscream)

Thanks to everyone who has enhanced my Role Playing experience thus far and to all who have created awesome threads for others to help guide them through the experience of getting to know their character. If I have not added a thread that you feel should be here (and I am SURE I missed a handful) simply respond and I will add it. Likewise, if I have added your thread and you do not wish it to be here, let me know and I will remove it.

Hope this guide is helpful to all the creative minds out there =)

(edited to add additional threads)
Nice thing I shall request sticky :D even though in a game as big as WOW I dont think I have the skills of rp >.>
05/11/2011 01:06 PMPosted by Sharkocto
Nice thing I shall request sticky :D even though in a game as big as WOW I dont think I have the skills of rp >.>

Everyone has the skills! Just gotta try it before you say you can't do something =P
I just dont know where to start XD I used to roleplay in other games and Ive only been playing this for 2 months... :P
Well, start by creating a creating a character and thinking about some of the basic traits they might have. Then go a little deeper-- engage with others and see what interests you and if these things interest your character as well.
What intrests me is winning a battle, Nelf, Belf, And Draenei Females, Giant Swords, Valiant Defences, destroying evilness, flying around for a few minutes on a new flying mount, getting awesome weapons. :P arent I strange? yes, yes I am.... <--- yes you are Shark yes you are...
Nice. I love these kinds of threads
This is great. So going to sticky. ^_^
^ Great. Sticky this.
What intrests me is winning a battle, Nelf, Belf, And Draenei Females, Giant Swords, Valiant Defences, destroying evilness, flying around for a few minutes on a new flying mount, getting awesome weapons. :P arent I strange? yes, yes I am.... <--- yes you are Shark yes you are...

That's a start!

((shameless free bump =P ))
I only request stickies to people who earn them. You just earned thirty. If only I could do thirty at once :D
05/12/2011 06:15 PMPosted by Pepitette
I only request stickies to people who earn them. You just earned thirty. If only I could do thirty at once :D

I have no idea what this means but ok!
She means that this thread is soo epic she wants to vote for sticky 30 times
/sticky 35 times

Felory, I've seen you in SMC a few times ;)
Oooohhh lol I don't know why I had trouble interpreting that haha. Brain is slow today =P

And Seraphim I think I have seen you as well!!
Lol, yeah. I run around Wayfarer's Rest when I'm not busy doing dungeons and such.

Edit: I'm happy to say that the only thread I haven't posted on is the backstory one. Even though I've had Sera for quite a while, I'm still trying to organize her life story before her raising.
Yes I have seen you there. I am usually at the Royal Exchange or the Court of the Sun when not in battlegrounds and dungeons or questing. But I frequently walk around everywhere.

I am having the same issue! I really need to spend some quality time reading timelines and figuring this stuff out.

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