how to make memorable characters

      how to make memorable characters

      There are several ways to create characters which not only drive the story forward but also are the most memorable personalities in a story line. In this thread we will discuss some of the ways to come up with ideas that other players may often over look in an effort to ensure that the characters you decide to play are both unique and easy for the game master to include in any of the many possible scenes which make up a typical SHARD game...
      I myself have a few techniques for this process but before I cover those I was wondering if any one from the forum would care to share some of the ways you would go about this process, mind you it does not have to be presented in any particular format, just what ever is easiest for you to express yourself... The ideas I intend to present will be from both my own creativity as well as those of other players I have had similar discussions with, in our never ending quest to give life to the bits and pieces of our own personalities through the medium of the game....
      I look forward to hearing from you all soon, and sharing if there is any interest in this thread... :thumbsup:
      I have one of those books that writers use to define archetypal characters. It is really useful for defining a type of person you want to play and helps set you on a path for that type of character. If two players choose archetypes that are at odds in some way it can add to the inherent drama of a game.
      "One without crystal is without life"
      I fully agree that the assignment of flaws is an easy way to add flavor to a character as well as drive an adventure forward.... I myself regularly take a good deal of drawbacks during character creation for this very reason.... and as a Game Master I find it particularly enjoyable to make sure that the drawbacks of my players are not ignored....

      Choosing archetypes which are at odds with one another is also a great idea provided that the two players themselves have an understanding as to what bounds the dynamic will expand to and do not allow it to cause difficulties which produce animosity and make the game itself less enjoyable for others...

      Perhaps the best way to make a memorable character is to combine as many aspects of personality building as possible to ensure a complex and well rounded persona which lends itself to the story in a way that causes the fiction to include the character as often as possible, to do this we often make sure that our backstories are as detailed as possible and use our imaginations to create subtle unique behaviors which instantly evoke particular emotions... things such as being soft spoken or constantly rearranging ones clothing or even speaking using no contractions, and an extensive list of likes and dislikes are all examples of ways to make a character stand out from the crowd and take on a more concrete presence in the minds of other players and those who will later read or hear about the adventure.

      Andrew Bowman uses a technique which takes an idea for a character and lists 3 or 4 things which would be needed for the character to exists and takes 1 of those things away.... forcing the character to adapt itself through the use of unconventional methods in order to exist. I have found this to be a fantastic way to turn a back story on its head and produce stunningly visual as well as emotionally compelling tales which ultimately can lead to a character that many are able to empathize with and find themselves wanting to play along side.

      Another idea is to partner with another player and interlock your history and personalities together and produce for yourselves a creation more elaborate than the sum of its parts, by doing this you invest yourself in the scenes which involve others and provide fictional reasons to showcase the connection in game scenarios. This could be anything from a student mentor relationship, which I have often played, to the relationship shared between mates or relatives to the relationship of a mother to a child or even a person who cooks often and encourages others to eat perhaps with emphasis on those who show little interests in their crafts. Finding a way to link with the other members of the party on an emotional level is perhaps the greatest key to creating the most memorable characters, because as my grandmother often says..." a person will forget what you have done but rarely fail to remember how you make them feel" so during your game take time to share intimate moments and secrets as a way to establish the emotional connection which will keep you in their minds for an eternity....
      Specifically talking about drawbacks if you find one that particularly interests be it a kind of physical condition or something supernatural like having a curse, a demon or being haunted by a ghost if something speaks to you put serious effort into imagining your character and why they have the situation they have, conflict is the most important thing in all fiction more important then character or plot...But weather your character has something as relatively simple as cancer or as complicated as being possessed by a demon remember a character has more then one way to react to something

      As this video deominstrates
      I know right!!! For myself the most noteworthy characters are the ones which have the most difficult time being heroic in the normal sense of the word. Whether it is a character who is simply exceptionally clumsy or a character suffering from a horrible birth defect, overcoming the disadvantage in the game and allowing the hardship to become part of the story itself is a sure way to be remembered by one and all who have the good fortune to play with such a character. I love the fact that in this game even a drawback like blindness does not prevent a character from enjoying the game and being a valued part of the adventuring party, In fact you would be surprised how many players are simply waiting on someone to be brave enough to run a character which allows other characters the chance to be needed or depended upon to keep it safe from harm, everyone loves to be needed and this gives both the giver and the receiver the chance to feel they are making a difference for one another...
      Moving away from Character Traits to PC Species I want to ask, how many people have played a character that isn't a Canid or a Feline? And how many have played a very unusual Animal something like a Kangaroo, Anteater, Aardvark, Toucan, Parrot, Heron, Flying Squirrel, Turtle or anything that isn't stereo-typically 'Badass' like Lions, Tigers, Wolves and all the other Apex Predators
      WOW!!!! There have been an amazing amount of non apex predators used as character types.... let me see if I can recall some of the most notable ones...
      There has been an Aardvark character who had only one eye played in one of our games by a player named Zoltan he made the character a stand out due to the fact that he also used a rifle and thus suffered from a substantial disadvantage having no depth perception... In the same game there was a Porcupine character who suffered from absentmindedness which doubled as an elderly teacher and father figure for most of the other characters, and lastly still in that same game was a child chameleon character who was very shy and withdrawn and seemed more comfortable with suthra than around any of the actual Janah of the world....
      In other games there have been a Flying Squirrel which was the captain of a ship called the BLACK LOTUS. This character was played by the same fellow above who played the Aardvark and when I say he absolutely stole the show you can believe every word, he packed numerous pistols and was one of the most fearsome fighters around despite his small stature.
      Eric Wilman is known for running all sorts of interesting animal types as well and as I recall he has run a rabbit before which was quite amazing.... I am not sure if you have checked out the animal template for a rabbit but if you have not you should, it is stacked full of animal abilities and in the hands of a creative player would be more than a match for many so called apex predators
      I myself have run a hummingbird which used primarily missile weapons such as throwing stars and was one of the deadliest characters to ever take flight, the fact that a hummingbird is the only type of animal which can actually purchase the animal ability known as HOVERING is a subtle clue that they are without question the most maneuverable of any of the flying races, and as such a force to be respected...
      The player known as Joe once ran an Anole assassin which was pretty remarkable due to its finesse with its Change Color animal ability.... He would strike and then flee into a different location and remain perfectly still thus allowing him to gain multiple chances to surprise us and deal horrific damage...
      another stand out character was a skunk played by Scott Jones in a game which was greatly underestimated in the resourceful way it was employed to turn the tide in many a battle in the favor of the party... Its musk spray is a potent weapon which should never EVER be under estimated, there is a reason why this seemingly harmless animal has special markings in nature to let all potential predators to tread lightly and BEWARE.
      The last one I would like to mention is the favorite animal of the other co owner of the game Andrew Bowman, he loves to run variations of HOGS such as Wild Boars and Wart Hogs for characters and the way he does it will leave you speechless and stunned!!! One of his characters was a homicidal maniac who struck terror into the marrow of our bones....

      I am quite sure this is not all but off the top of my head these are the ones which come to mind.... I hope these examples prove that in the world of SHARD any of the animals you might wish to play can be wielded to great effect as we have struggled to make sure the rules allow even creatures you would not think would be notable to gain for themselves skills and abilities which could easily make them the star of the show....

      Have you been able to purchase the Basic Compendium? If not let me know and I will let you know how to do so, before the newest book is released...

      I hope these examples answer your question in a way that helps you to continue to think outside the box and create the most amazing player characters for yourself and anyone you play with

      Night!
      Oh I can totally relate to that... It makes complete sense to put each of them on your Christmas wish list, and if you have been exceptionally good this year there is every chance that Santa will bring them... be sure to add the packet of special shard dice and a handy Game master screen to the list as well... These two additional things are relatively inexpensive and will make your life so much easier when playing the game itself....
      The dice are custom and in the shape of multi colored shards of crystal and quite unique and utterly unlike the typical 6 sided dice most people play with.... I have personally found them to be fantastic to use while allowing me to bring a special bit of personality to my games.... and the fact that they are multicolored usually containing at least one or two of all the available choices makes it easier for me to keep count of exactly how many successes I generate per roll...
      The Game Master screens have a collection of all the important tables conveniently grouped together which prevents the need to constantly be flipping through the books in search of the basic information related to combat, difficulty modifiers, generic Martial Arts Table, Poisons, and a host of other things which should be placed in an area which is both easy to find and easy to use....
      If my guess is correct the additional new book will be available sometimes before Christmas and that makes me extremely happy! However please continue to stay tuned to this forum for the most up to date information we can provide so that you can plan to be one of the first to possess this work of art...