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Article - 'Characters and Clich├ęs' by Darth Ash

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Darth Ash tells everybody about various types of characters and character behaviors, and how to match these to make original heroes and villains.

Body

Hello GW. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Cody Hopkins, an aspiring writer and amatuer game maker. Online I go by many names, all are based on different characters(except FireGood, the original). I role play, created a fake newspaper, and post on a few message boards...

Anyways, I am here to write a tutorial on characters. So, lets get started shall we...




Okay, so you should know by now to make your characters believable (especially if you've read the other fine articles on characters). Make them so that the player can identify with them.

Could you identify with someone who is perfect? I couldn't...So. they need personality, preferably one that conflicts with other characters. If you were in a party of four on a quest would you get along perfectly with the other three? That is highly unlikely. You would probably end up wanting to strangle one of them by the end. Well, maybe strangle is a bit strong...you get the idea.

So, what are some personalities you ask? I'm getting there, calm down.




Where should we start? Why not with the...

Standard hero - or cliche hero...perfect in every way, good with magic ,weapons, love, the perfect gentleman...usually sent on his quest by royalty, his parents, or his royal parents ...This is someone to avoid as it has been done to death...easily forgotten by gamers.

Standard villain - Your general evil nemesis. He's either out to destroy the world or rule it. He has great power on all levels and generally has more than one form to fight. He seems to have no REAL reason to do his evil...

Brooding - This character feels life is worthless, especially their own. Always has something depressing to say. May believe they have sicknesses they don't really have. May be suicidal. Always depressed. Can make an interesting character...

Anti-Hero - For more on this type, I refer you to KaosTenshi's article, It's Good to Be Evil 2 : The Anti-Hero.

Reluctant - Generally a hero, this person may know their destiny, but brings it about by trying to avoid it. They may be forced into it by threats and such. They may have started and feel they've gone too far to quit now. This would make an interesting villain...

Legacy - This character is only a hero or villain because their family was before them. Tends to be a cliche...

Amnesiac - Usually on their quest to find out their past. Rarely a villain. Has little or no memory of themself. Can make an interesting story as they find things out little by little...

Outcast - Usually a villain. A lawbreaker. Looked down on by society. Can make an interesting hero... of course, if you have this character as a hero, not everyone will be willing to talk to them, and they may even throw the hero in jail...

Young - Basically young, inexperianced, and impatient. Generally a hero.

Adult - The middle ground between young and old... hero or villain...

Old - Basically old, experienced, patient. Generally a magic using hero...

Immortal - Wise, experienced, patient, strong and good at magic. Generally a villain...

Proving - This character has something to prove. Maybe they were told they couldn't, thought to be weak, too young or such. They may need to prove that they can live up to their reputation. Usually a hero...

Clumsy - Accident prone... Nuff Said...

Angst-Ridden - Usually a hero... Upset because what is going on is their fault. Usually on quest to make up for it.

Happy - Usually a hero... Nothing brings this person down. Always cheery and bright, they could easily anger someone else on the quest...

Strong - You know the type... Warrior, fighter, etc. Both hero and villain

Weak - Both hero and villain, usually a magic user

Average - Usually the main hero... Middle-ground between weak and strong

Angry - Always P.O.ed. Rude to everyone...

Vengeful - There to avenge something, death of friend or family, etc...

Undead - Usually a villain... Died and brought back for some reason

Humorous - Usually a hero... The comedian. Always has a joke. Lightens a tense situation.
EX: Dart Mader - "Duke, I am your father."
Duke - "Well, I hope you're not expecting a father's day card..."

Honorable - Usually a hero... This character's decisions are based on their code of honor.

Dishonorable - Usually a villain... Has no code of honor and purposely does dishonorable things.

Kind - Usually a heroic healer... always has something nice to say. Basically kind to everyone and everything

Mean - Usually a villain... Rude to everyone, cruel to animals and people...

Mixed - Has two or more personality traits... Every character should be mixed, because, well, aren't we?

NOTE: You are encouraged to go against what the personality usually is, for example, A reluctant, angst-ridden villain... or a dishonorable, immortal hero...




We've come to the end of the first part of my character making tutorial... In the next one, you will find more personality traits, attire, name, and bringing it all together...

Questions and comments would be appreciated, spam would not...