Friday, October 18, 2013

Another Way to Flesh Out a Character

Spent a little time last night with Creating Characters: Heroes of Legend by Paul Jaquays and my old gaming dice (and an extremely pupil-dilated Caleb when those dice hit the desktop). With some help from my former DM, I found a clear downloadable version of this out of print book (at least, I couldn't find a recent copy or an old one for less than $50).

Once upon a time, this book helped create Caissa, Kirk, Galena, Rhami, the Harvarkoset children, Raven and Horus. Every character from Star of Justice I first role-played or used as an NPC for a role-played character.

See, some characters spring to life fully formed in my brain. Some need a little help. Like Merritt's mom and siblings. Didn't know he had siblings, did you? Well, he does, but I couldn't quite get them to step out of the shadows of his past and introduce themselves.

We writers are encouraged to know our characters well (some more than others). We're not supposed to write everything we know into the story, but we should know more than we tell you. I can't always pull "fun facts" out of thin air, and a character generator program doesn't give me the specific, hands-on control that I prefer. They also don't go as deep as I like to go into a character's history.

This book is made of tables. Birth Circumstances. Childhood Occurrences. Skill Sets. Blessings and Curses. All kinds of fun and quirky bits that can spark imagination and make a two-dimensional character way more fun.

TT: Remember Raven's reference to her "third birth?" She wasn't talking conversion, folks, but I won't spoil that story just yet.

Merritt's mam is first on the list and coming along nicely. If I want to be slightly more focused on my WIP, I should roll for Gowan Rudebeck next, but Jezreel MacEwan has been bugging me about her backstory anemia longer, so she gets first turn.

Anyway, should be a clickety-clackety weekend as I role those d20 and 2d10 and whatever else Paul wants me to throw.

Happy Friday, dear readers. May your character creation be fruitful and your 20's excessive.

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