So now you have some basic and some advance terms down. So now we're ready
to create our characters. Now hold on, drop back and think. This is not an
easy process as many know. There has to be some pattern or guidelines to
follow...well, yes there is. Here is a technique that might work. At least
it's the method I use. Funny...it ended up being a 12-step program. <grins
Now this seems like a strange thing to do first, but I would recommend
it. One of the building blocks of characters are their personality.
Everyone has a general disposition that they follow and if you pick this
first, everything else can fall into place. Is your character normally
happy-go-lucky? Secretive? A blabbermouth? Cynical? Arrogant? Gentle?
A trickster? Overly analytical? Are they intelligent or dim-witted?
For a beginning roleplayer, it'd probably be best to not pick something
all that far from your own personality, just adapt it as if they were in
that world. As you get more advanced, you can try variations on your own or
even the complete polar opposite of your own.
Gender also comes into play here. It'd seem an obvious choice that you'd
choose your own gender but sometimes the personality you pick determines
what gender. It might fit one better than the other. Or you might choose
to be a tomboy as a personality. So they are intermingled somewhat.
Once you have a personality, you can move onto:
Now that you have a general personality, you can start sketching out
your character's background. But don't expect to finish it in this step.
The background is a continuous process that'll finally end when your
character is fully fleshed out.
But now we have a personality. There has to be something in the past
that makes them that way. If they are to be arrogant, maybe they were in
high society. Or maybe they had something that no one else had, a special
gift, a certain item. Maybe it's just inherited from the parents. If
they're cynical, maybe something major happened in their life that really
disappointed them or disillusioned them. If they're secretive, maybe they
used to talk a lot but one day it got them into trouble and they took the
Never will you find someone have their past not define who they are in some
way. It could be as simple as genetics or an elaborate twist of fate that
brought them to the point they are at today. Remember this is just a
sketch. You'll be working on this through all the steps bit by bit.
Now that we have some background, we can move to:
Seems easy, but choose the place that they were born. Unfortunately, DA
makes this seem too easy: just select the name of a town, but it's more than
that. Were they born in the midst of the town, where all the hussle and
bustle is? Or were they born in the suburbs? Maybe a farm. Maybe they
weren't even born in a town at all, but lived in one of the ransacked
cottages in the East Woodlands? Or they could have even been raised by
goblins or kobolds.
Again, this ties a bit into personality too so that
should narrow down your search a bit. It is hard (but not impossible) to be
arrogant if you lived on a farm. It's hard to be cynical if you lived in a
wealthy neighborhood and always got what you wanted. But the overlying
personality is a guide, and an interesting one. Arrogant on farmlands?
Maybe your character's father always praised you and left you in charge of
everything. Maybe you've never been off the farm and had no idea of things
being better outside it. Where you are, to some extent, defines who you
But region does come into play as well. A farm in Suomi would be much more
common than a farm in Rucesion. The whole community acts, behaves, feels a
certain way. In the region of Suomi and Undine, the locals would be more
likely to be bitter about the conduct of Loures and more critical of them
than Piet or Loures itself. A wizard from Rucesion might not raise any
eyebrows, but a wizard from Mileth or Suomi might call some attention.
as far as religion goes, you'd be far more likely to know about the gods
whose temples are close by than those that are halfway across the world.
Maybe a child from Rucesion got stories from their grandmother of the glory
of Deoch and were stunned when they first travelled there to examine the
temple. There are many roleplaying elements that you can draw from the
background, one only needs to look for them.
So you're starting to be a flesh and blood Aisling now...but we still need
some things. Onto...
Your character is an Aisling, which means they were once a mundane. How
does the transition feel? Glorious? Disappointing? Enlightening? Does
your character feel amazed by the new found freedom or frightened of it?
The stories we see on television of blind people regaining (or simply
gaining) their sight usually portrays it as a wonderful gift, but it doesn't
always happen that way. Many are terrified by the new sights, some are
disappointed, some break-ups occur because who they thought they were going
out with or marrying was someone completely different. Becoming an Aisling
is somewhat like this. It will definitely be a different experience, but it
might not always be bright and cheerful.
Also, what does your character remember from being a mundane? My character,
for example, has an ELABORATE mundane background (if you ever want to know
it, I'd tell you, but it might spoil the reaction later) but he remembers
precious few of it. Some think that making a character have amnesia is a
cop out of not fully developing a background, and sometimes it is. But many
true roleplayers have the actual background drawn out but their character
doesn't know the half of it. What they remember, and how much of it they
remember also affects who they are. Did they have a job? A specific task
that no one could do without? If so, what did the society do when they
found that your character wanted to travel the world? Can they ever go back
or are they scorned from there? If they didn't have a job, how did they
make their living? Maybe they were too young to even consider it.
Youth...that brings us to our next step:
How old is your character? Again, it seems like a simple question. But
those who are older have more experience and background. If they're young,
are they young and impetuous, or did they always listen to their parents?
If they're old, are they wise from it or do they continue to make the same
Ah...now mistakes leads us into the next section...
They don't have to be exactly FATAL, but are there any personality quirks
that your character has? Can they not stand a certain race? Why? We're
gradually learning that there are many more humanoid, intelligent, and
semi-intelligent races in Temuair than we previously thought; we have the
Mukul, Kobolds, Goblins, Grimloks, Dubhaimid, Dwarves, the Tuatha de Danaan
(basically faeries or fae), and (thanks to Nenya) the Eldar. That brings up
another good point, does your character see mundanes and Aislings as two
different races, or do they respect their mundane brethren?
Does your character have any fears? If not, are they reckless in the face
of danger? Is the fear just an inconvenience or does it completely paralyze
them or make them flee all together?
Is your character completely fascinated with something? Could be simple
infatuation but it could also be something that they completely drop
everything if they see a beautiful flower or a cute girl.
With the major flaws out of the way, you can work out:
These are fairly obvious. It doesn't necessarily have to be an item, it
could be a person. Or maybe just a personality trait. Maybe it's the
morning sky as the sun appears over the mountains. Or maybe it's simply a
type of food. Whatever it is, the character acts it out.
Again, this ties into background. Everything does. With all these steps,
simply add another question: Why does my character do this? If you ask the
why, something in the background should surface.
Now the character is a nimbus of feelings and emotions and events. It's
time to start giving them a shell to exist in.
DA gives the ability to choose hairstyle, color, and draw a portrait. If
you can't draw, at least have a written description of yourself for your own
purposes. When all else fails, you can choose a haircolor and style you
like, but it could also reflect in your personality and/or background.
Maybe where you come from, a child with green hair is only born once every
100 years. Maybe the hair is stained red with the blood that your family
has spilt over the years. Maybe their eyes and hair is red to match their
flaming personality. Be (I know people hate this word, but tough) creative.
DA also allows for hairstyling and dying. This is an interesting aspect.
Maybe your character is so vain that they need a new style every day. Maybe
they're never satisfied with the way they look so they do this every once
and a while. Maybe your character needs a cunning disguise to try and talk
with someone or sneak into a place. Maybe they just want a change.
Whatever the reason, the possibility is there. And if they never want to
change it, maybe they scorn the people who aren't satisfied with themselves
who do constantly change it.
Once you have the top, you need a bottom to it though...that brings us to..
Is your character average build, husky, lanky, well-muscled? Would you
consider their figure attractive? Maybe they have a distinguishing scar.
It doesn't necessarily have to be from Sgrios. Maybe they have some sort of
mark or tatoo. Some distinguishing features are always interesting to add.
But we also know, clothes make the man (or woman), so next we go to...
Before you can figure your clothing, you have to wonder what class/path your
character is going to choose. Choose one that fits their personality and
background (in fact, you might have already based the background around
this). In case you haven't already done so, this is the time to do it.
But what type of clothing attracts your character. I assume you've already
chosen a gender so that essentially cuts your choice in half. If you've
chosen a class as well, that cuts it to 1/5th as well, but there are still
many possibilities. You start, as a peasant, with one choice (shirt or
blouse) but after you've taken a class, there are at least 5. Once you've
reached your 11th insight (2nd Circle), there are 9 possibilities. At your
41st insight (3rd Circle), there are at least 13 possibilities. At the
71st, at least 14 right now, but eventually it'll be 17. And more
possibilities open earlier if you gain noble recognition.
Warriors have a couple extra choices earlier (I think 26 and 55 but I'm not
At your 15th insight, there are (technically) 4 more possibilities but I
would not enter this into your decision. The political garments should come
only if you want the OFFICE first. The garment comes second. And even if
they take a position, will they wear the uniform constantly or only
occassionally? Is it because they're proud? They like the style?
Dartanian rarely wore the demagogue pelisse because he didn't want to put
himself above anyone else. He DID like to wear the burgess cloak because of
the style but he didn't like the position it put him in so he wore it
So which of these choices will you wear most? You don't always HAVE to wear
the best armor. And note that it is not "dyed" but tailored to fit a
region. Maybe, no matter how ugly it looks, your character stays true to
And there are also the two wedding garments if you think they are
There are also several rings, earrings, gauntlets, and such. Sometimes you
wear what you think is the best protection, but also sometimes the
creativity lies in the ABSENSE of wearing them. Until he lost it, Dartanian
always wore only one gauntlet, always on his right hand (which is a task, I
always have to equip lockpicks, then the gauntlet, then remove the lockpicks
:P). You can develop a story around why they wear or refuse to wear certain
So now we pretty much have our entire character planned. There are two
The only real necessary part of this is to speak with semi-formality. Try
not to use common slang. Also try to link it to your character, though this
is not always necessary. What I mean is that a warrior would be more apt to
grunt when they speak, have a harsh tone, maybe use bawdy jokes and (if you
can find some of this, great, but it's not a requirement) older slang. If
you read some of the notes in Shakespeare books, you might see some slang
terms. But it's a suggestion and not a necessity. If you speak of things
affecting and relating to Temuair, you're in the spirit of it and
As you get more advanced, though, regular speech might not be enough. Some
sort of speech impediment might be interesting. Thome might with thoo speak
with a lithp, whilst others would find it meet to have their discourse take
a haughty tone. Meybe ya spake aws a fawma, or <nods his head, and points
to his mouth, showing he's mute. Or ye might 'ave a wee bit o' th'
Scottish accent in ye. There are many ways to do it or insert your own
dialect. (By the way, if you couldn't understand them, they were,
respectively: Some might wish to speak with a lisp, while others want to
speak like high society. Maybe you speak as a farmer, or maybe you're mute.
Or maybe you use a scottish accent. And another by the way, that's the type
of hybrid accent Dartanian uses if you didn't know.)
You could actually speak some language that no one else understands. Keep
this to a minimal though, as lack of communication doesn't help roleplaying
at all. But there could be an occassional interjection that they use
("Brethic commreda Diaso!" or "My god's curse upon you!" and yes I
completely made that up :P) or they use it to describe something that
doesn't exist in the society. Maybe their culture doesn't have a word for
something that exists in the DA world at all. This can make for some
And also, if they speak another language, where did they learn the common
Ardmagh tongue? DID they learn it fully? You have to use it somewhat or
else people would be mad, but your grammar could be extremely poor (don't
confuse this with people who can't do it normally :P).
All in all, speech can say a lot about your character. You only need to
look into it. Also note (which actually was pointed out to me by someone
else or else I'd still be doing it today) that people with impediments or
dialects don't WRITE with the impediment. Their thinking might draw out a
bit of the accent, but overall, you wouldn't write something with a lisp or
leaving out the letters. If that were the case, the mutes would be SEVERELY
handicapped since they couldn't say or write anything at ALL.
Now, bear with me. This last step should be easy now that everything is
No matter what order you decide to do the rest of these steps in, I would
always, ALWAYS recommend saving the name for last. The name is the first
impression that people get of your character. It should reflect the
personality, background, everything that you've worked out. As well, it
should reflect the world of Temuair. "2kewlD00d" simply doesn't cut it.
Even if you choose an alias instead of a name, pick one that relates to the
personality and world of Temuair. One that's creative. Using something
like "TheWizard" or "RoguelyOne" just isn't using that interesting muscle,
whereas "ShadowKnight," even though no one would call their child that,
holds some creativity to it. And if your character uses an alias, make sure
they have a "real" name too, maybe one that they only use with their
friends, or something their parents call them that is a constant
embarrassment. Don't accept that that is really their name, unless the
parents were feeling REALLY spiteful.
And one last tip for general roleplaying before I end this off, don't treat
people as if you know their name right off, even if you do. Be sure to
introduce yourself. If you're polite, call them "sir" or "madam" until you
ask their name. If you're not, you can always say "Hey you!" but don't
assume. Even if you can say you know their name from their writings, act
amazed when they first tell you their name "YOU'RE the famous bard,
Kallestra???" I assure you, it'll be a much more pleasurable experience
when the attempt is made.
"Roleplaying for a better Temuair one day at a time"