Every good story starts with a great character.
Today we will be talking about creating characters for beginners. For most of you this will be your first character. This not a full guide but more of a base template for creating characters for any game. Once you have the base built, different rules and and themes will add their own flavor. A more in depth and full immersion guide(along with printable) will be coming out but for now, lets cover the basic.
If you would like to know about larp
Click—–>Intro to Larp—-Click
This is a list of things you would need to fill out to create a basic character. Below I will elaborate each point further.
- A name
- Outstanding/Unique physical character
- Special abilities
Creating a Name
What is in a name? What is the value of a good name? Why do you need a name? Well if you are like any person or object you have a name. Some people tend to think of a name as something to just shrug off but that is just not a good idea. What would we call you in times of battle, what would we say when we need to identify you to another? It’s just to easy to have name. So what makes a good one?
A good name is something you would hold dear, like a symbol for you or your character. I believe what makes a good name is the ability to hold it’s own. My favorite way of getting a name for a new character is actually getting named by another person. That’s how I ended up with my first ever character and I still use such a name to this day. The meaning is there along with the unique spelling adds to my personal brand and it can carry itself well.
My best advice to creating a name for a new character is to do some research. Use your background history of the character to find some inspiration. If he or she is a viking like character, Norse, Celtic and northern Europe names could fit. Another way to come up with some names is to examine some things your character might really love. That’s how nicknames can be born. If it’s something super fancy or needs to be unique, take some dice and the alphabet and go to town. See what you get. Write down a few names you come up with and then pick your favorite.
Now this may very from game to game but the basic races are like elves, humans, dwarves, haflings, catfolk, were creature and monsters.
Elves as everyone knows are the long lived very graceful superior race to humans.
Humans are usually a pretty standard race, able to take on and learn many things but are short lived.
Dwarves are know for being the short stocky race, long lived and found in mountains. Their love of precious medals and great skill in crafting minerals leads them to be known as the best forgers and collectors of gold. Often getting into fights with dragons and like mind creatures.
Haflings the shorter human like race. They live longer lives than humans but nothing compared to elves. They are usually very docile and tend to keep to themselves. They are vary happy just staying in their home and earth friendly villages.
Catfolk are known for being a very sly race. Their life span varies or is unknown. They are most often described with having a nomadic lifestyle. This leads many to be played as a merchant, gypsy or mercenary.
Monster is the category everything else would fall under just because they are not so common as being standard in most rule books. Monsters can include werewolves, fairies, dragon-kind, ogres, orks, lizard-men and more.
How old are you, not to har eh? lol. Or to be a bit more mysterious, put unknown.
Another category that can greatly very from game to game, but there are a few basics. Basics being adventurer, healer, bard, warrior, mage, thief, archer and specialty.
Adventurer is usually just your typical starting class. No special abilities or any magic. Just, you and maybe even a weapon.
Healer, if you have played any game or watched any gaming video, you know how important this class is. Healers keep you and your team alive. They are sometimes weak so they need to be protected but as long as you have a solid team that knows how important you are, you should be good. Just know, a lot of people could potential get mad at you if they don’t get a heal but just know it’s in game and to have fun. Word of advice, if you’re going to be a healer, know your healer spells. It’s a huge part of who you are or who you are not. A healer that does not know their spells could be an interesting character to develop, if you don’t just get dropped by your people first.
Bard, well know as the entertainment class. Bards, depending on what game you are playing, could go multiple ways. Some games bards are more warrior like, being able to wear armor or they could be the other way around being more magic driven. Either way, bards are very fun classes to play if you’re looking to have a class that is driven by the arts.
Warrior, another standard class but is characterized by a lot of armor and usually the ability to use all around weaponry. Barbarian, Paladin and other fighter classes can potentially fall under the warrior tag.
Mage, known as the magic heavy class. Usually for a person who doesn’t want to get into the thick of close combat. Mage can be an amazing character to develop due to the fact of spells having their own nature attached to them and the back story of getting such an amazing power.
Thief. Now we all know what this class is about. Thieves are the class for a character that you would find picking pockets, picking locks, stealing bread and so forth. Other spin offs are rouges, sometimes assassins fall under this and the sneaker people you could think off.
Archer is usually a fighting class that uses mostly range weaponry. Rangers, wanders and other secluded range characters fall under this category.
Special classes. This is where you would find, depending on the game, classes like Druid, beast, Necromancers, witch-doctors, monks, beast-masters, knights, engineers and crafters. Other sub classes that come with there own special set of abilities and so forth.
Every good character has a great backstory. Make sure to include important factors like if they still have parents, siblings, then and now living conditions, friends, possible education, financial situations, fears, pets and so much more. For the start just keep it to about a paragraph. When introducing yourself, that short story will lend you enough material to tell other players who you are but not to make anyone bored with you quickly. Any further development will be given through game play and personal experiences. (printable list coming soon)
Likes and Dislikes
Adding some depth to your character in a simple way is to just add a few likes or dislikes that would stand out with your character. This can even lead to your character carrying their favorite item with them everywhere or to help your characters decision making within game.
Where does your character get there money? Are they a merchant, thief, craft man or task worker? What skills would your character develop to trade within game instead of coins or currency?
What does your character wear? What is your favorite cut of clothing? What about colors, drapes, items and accessories would you find on your character? Depending on what you character wears can also determine what part of the class system they reside in. It can
determine the weather you live in or what type of personality you have.
Characteristics both Physical and Mental
The short side of this is what makes your character stand out. Does your character have a scar or pointy ears? Is there a hidden tattoo with a hidden meaning somewhere on their body? What makes them them? Mental could include any triggers or outstanding personality quality that only come out through verbal or small movements.
Last but not least is the special ability part. This again, will change depending on the game you are playing. Certain games will make certain skills special abilities while magic inclusive games will have their own set. Just a word of cation, watch out how you choose your special abilities throughout your game. Special abilities can have a huge impact on character development so developing skills or abilities that do not work together could send your character into being possibly unplayable. Also the same goes for game development. Just keep track of whats going and keep yourself on the path to having fun.
That completes character creation for today. A more in depth log shall be released later. Also watch out for ways to build characters for individual Larps along with more tips and tricks regarding the subject.