Role-playing Character Creation

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The creation of your character is an important first step in any role-playing game. There are certain things that are imperative to know when you're creating a character for Underlight.

Basic Characteristics

  • Gender.
    • Do you want to role-play a female or male character?
  • Name.
    • Your character's name can affect how others react to them. You should choose a name that makes sense. Names with numbers or titles pre-attached to them (i.e. Fishy 2534, goober001, King David, Princess Shiva, etc.) can be difficult to explain at times. If you can't picture the name as being published in a story, it's a pretty fair guess that it wouldn't be very good for a role-playing character.
  • Personality.
    • Having at least a vague idea what sort of personality your character will have can help you choose a focus for that character. You should read over the descriptions of each focus included in the Dreamer Manual. This way you can compare the personality you are considering and match it to a focus. For example: Gatekeepers can manipulate the fabric of dreams, altering the walls of thought to protect themselves and others from harmful evocations, even prevent or allow access to the Dream City. Gatekeepers are the warriors of the Dream City. If you character is shy or easily scared, it will be more difficult to pull off a decent Gatekeeper personality.
  • Alignment.
    • While this isn't a physical choice for you to make, it is a vital one. Do you want a character that feels it's their responsibility to take on the task of keeping the Dream safe single-handedly? Maybe you would prefer a character that is "Evil Incarnate" itself, or a character that stands on the sidelines, neutral. Virtually anything is possible in Underlight; it just takes effort on your part to remain consistent with the choices you make as a controller. Note that having an evil character and a character that goes around attacking others is not the same thing. There are many evil characters that are capable of being so without attacking another person. However, anytime there is a valid in-game reason attacking others is acceptable with any character.

Who is this character?

Before we actually begin to role-play, we must consider other aspects, such as: Who is this character? What drives him? What makes him respond to different things in different ways? A character background or history can answer most of these questions. The key to a character history is to ensure that your creativity fits within the boundaries of the environment you wish to play in. Within Underlight, the basics are simple:

  • All characters come from a plane of existence called "Cloudsbreak".
  • Each shard is small, ranging in size from a minute island to the state of Rhode Island.
  • Each shard is mainly agricultural, with very little technology.
  • Only a select few may enter Underlight, this is called the "Awakening".
  • Everyone from Cloudsbreak is the same race, Clousbreakian.
  • Some Cloudsbreakians can use telepathy, but none can use Magic.
  • Each shard is surrounded by a thick boundary, called the "Border Mists". Nothing can penetrate the mists, and nothing can escape.
  • For more detailed information see Cloudsbreak Guidelines.


Now while this may seem restraining, it actually allows you a wide variety of options. Unique and creative deviations from these rules can occur, but this is a rarity not the norm. These "deviations" are allowed based on the uniqueness, creativity, and style of a role-play. What is even more interesting is that you really get two characters in one, a character who lives on Cloudsbreak and his projection into Underlight. If you can answer a few simple questions about your character, it will make role-playing him later much easier and will also help to get you started in rounding out a complete character sketch:

  • How has fate led your character to this place in time?
  • How and where did your character grow up?
  • Does he have family? Where are they? What do they do?
  • Hold old is my character? Who are his friends?
  • Has he ever been hurt? Has he been in love?
  • Is he happy? Is he wealthy?
  • What are his morals? What are his ideas on honor and respect?

Now while this may seem restraining, it actually allows you a wide variety of options.Unique and creative deviations from these rules can occur, but this is a rarity not the norm. These "deviations" are allowed based on the uniqueness, creativity, and style of a role-play. What is even more interesting is that you really get two characters in one, a character who lives on Cloudsbreak and his projection into Underlight. If you can answer a few simple questions about your character, it will make role-playing him later much easier and will also help to get you started in rounding out a complete character sketch:

  • How has fate led your character to this place in time?
  • How and where did your character grow up?
  • Does he have family? Where are they? What do they do?
  • Hold old is my character? Who are his friends?
  • Has he ever been hurt? Has he been in love?
  • Is he happy? Is he wealthy?
  • What are his morals? What are his ideas on honor and respect?

Once you have the basics done, you can flesh out the rest later. Don't be afraid to continually add on or modify things within your character's background, because the more details there are, the more motivation you have for your character's actions.


Description

What does the character look like?

With a strong character background in place you are already starting to become attached to your character and should be thinking, "Wait, what does he look like?" This next step forces you to visualize your character in two different settings. You must first decide what your character will appear like on Cloudsbreak, and then what your character's avatar looks like in Underlight. An avatar is an image of whatever your character wants it to be; on Cloudsbreak he can be tall, while in the dream he can become short... the deaf can hear, and the mute can speak. Whatever you can imagine and wish your character's avatar to look like, it is possible, and probable.

Some of these character traits can be left for people to discover; if you want to advertise certain traits you may place them in your "character description". Just remember that these are physical descriptions: what someone can see, smell, hear and observe when with your character. Also remember that these are In

Character (IC). In Character supposes that elements of real life are be left behind. You are at the threshold of a highly imaginitive world, and to maintain this illusion it is important to filter out real life distractions.

A few examples of good descriptions are listed below; notice how each describes only things that can be seen or experienced by the senses within the game:

  • Tall and wiry, this man has a wasted look, like one that has been ill a long time and bed ridden unable to move. His black clothing shimmers iridescently in the light and is highlighted at his collar by two silver pins. On his left hand he wears a supple black leather glove, though it does not seem to be fully filled out.
  • His square jaw juts from a ruddy, sun burnt face. Bulging muscles strain a chain-mail vest and crisp white surcoat bearing the mark of the City Guard. On his left arm is a round, black shield, deco-rated with a white circle from which eight arrows radiate. Twelve small painted skulls adorn the shield edge. A serviceable broadsword hangs from his left hip, and he grips a spear in his right hand.
  • He is hideous. He has messy beige hair and a short, hooked nose. His skin looks like it’s stretched over his cheeks to the point where it is almost paper-thin. His eyes are huge—like a frogs— they hold a touch of insanity. He has thin lips, which are almost always in the shape of an almost mocking smile, as if he knows something that others do not. His ears are remarkably large, but not abnor-mally so. His skin has a sort of shine to it. He wears a uniform in the colors of the Light.

References