[This post was written on the original roleplaygame.co.uk site, circa 2007. I have resisted the urge to edit anything, so all mistakes and crappy writing are presented with any content in their entirety. Since most of the time I outsource work to my future self, it is nice to have some work done by my past self, who was otherwise pretty lazy, particularly as my past self only made 5 posts - which is how long this series will be, posted on Wednesdays. Anyway, enjoy.]
After reading the rules, making new character is the most important part of a role play game. After all, if you do not have a role to play you cannot role play… If you have a good GM, or your group has been playing for a while, you will know what is the game you are going to play, and the style of challenges you will face. I personally like to try different form of character each game that I play, if nothing else this means I get to try out different part of the rules, or equipment list.
Many people when they create a character for a new game, try to make something rather similar to their other games that they have played, this can be quite useful as it means you can jump into any game with a familiar character. Unfortunately, this is probably responsible for the surplus of ninjas, fighters, cookie cutter mages, and other stock characters.
When choosing your character, although an in-depth background before you start choosing characteristics probably isn’t necessary, some idea of the sort of character you want to create is a very good idea. Once you have this very basic character outline sketch, you can start to create characteristics based on whatever gaming system you are using, and from this it will feed into your character and a more whole character will emerge.
When you get down to the number crunching of creating your character, based on a gaming system you will find that there are some things that need to be done. In a cyberpunk type era, having a big gun for a fighter-type character is a very good idea. Having no guns, is probably a bad idea. Based on this simplistic view, there are certain things that you need to get, and it is often a good idea to get a few things that may not be 100% useful but are in character as this helps flesh out who your character is, and some of the gadgets that they pick up will be useful in odd situations, often a GM will notice these and create situations that only you can solve. Great for getting experience points and getting cash where others wouldn’t.
When you are working together with other players, it is good to have a strong mix of different skills in the group. This means that you have to communicate with other players when generating your characters, which is probably a good idea as you going to be roleplaying with them for the next – however long you are together. Having a good mix of skills in the group means that you can approach and face most challenges, plus it makes the Games Masters’ job a lot easier as a wider variety of interesting challenges can be put forward.
Basically, when creating character to be summarised into: what sort of game do you want to play, what sort of role do you want to play, what genre are you playing in, and what is the rest of the group doing?
Answer these questions, and you will be able to see where you fit in and make a good at all rounded character.