Character Concepts™

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Character Concepts™

Post by The Z on Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:07 am

No snazzy titles or silly advertisement pictures, I'm afraid. This time, I'd rather focus on using my limited creativity to come up with some character concepts, as the title might suggest.

So...characters! I've always been bad at setting up characters of my own, usually just ending up creating one more for race/class reasons, then only afterwards starting to think their RP careers. This is probably one of the reasons for why I've never really played any deep/complex characters, even if I began the whole thing during late 2006. Not that I haven't been able to have fun despite it!

Now I don't want to dedicate this whole thing just for my own needs, so everyone is free to snatch tempting characters (unless they're really good!) if they'd like. I'll also throw in my two coppers for when I get inspired. Right now I'll do it, just because it'll be an example!

1) Former Human, now Forsaken = Just descriping the basic structure of this. You'll create a human character of your choosing, then after a good while, have him/her die and come back as a forsaken. I remember someone actually did this on DB eons ago (female rogue, I think) and I remember really liking it. Only "problem" is the fact that you'd need to play the human for 6-12 months at least and become somewhat known in the RP -community to make the transformation meaningful at all, in my opinion.

2) Journalist. I think someone has already used this concept, but no matter! Could be done in serious/silly fashion, probably with nearly any race possible, though for some reason I immediately think of either a gnome or goblin...but whoever it'd be, he/she could be there at all sorts of events and happenings, whatever as a legit reporter or as a leazy papparazzi taking photos from hiding and afterwards writing a story mostly based on rumours and imagination. Some sort of Historian could also do.

3) Taxi driver. Again available for various races. Someone driving/flying characters to their destination, whatever they're too lazy/drunk or just incapable of getting there themselves. A bit easier to create these days, thanks to mounts being available for all your chracters, so no need to get that hog or rocket for more than just one fellow. Flying skill still required for latter, of course.

That'll do for now, I think. Feel free to toss your ideas!

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Sanara on Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:54 pm

I did Larem (Draenei Mage) as an investigative journalist for a while, though she wasn't actually working for any specific news source, rather freelancing. She did a pretty decent report on the (at the time) extremely corrupt SW Council and IF Senate, but for some reason I never published them and both of those have changed a lot since then, so no point to it now. I think Elloa used to attend events with her gnome to do the specific thing you suggested though, reporting for her little magazine she posted here on the forums... Ah, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Good stuff.

As for a character concept, I stand by Time Traveller.

Gnome (or Goblin) Engineer (Bronze Dragonflight/Time Magic travelling would be too precise) that appears at random places at random times (usually timed nicely to "coincide" with seemingly important events!) and either knowing, or NOT knowing various things about the current time and participants. Essentially, every time he appears is at a different point in his own timeline, and completley randomly so.

Yes, this would obviously be completley silly. And I love it.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by erwtenpeller on Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:07 pm

The Z wrote:I usually just ending up creating one more for race/class reasons, then only afterwards starting to think their RP careers.
This method of character creation has served me well. I start playing them first, then puzzle their background story together as I go along. The character and their mannerisms, rhythm and way of speech are a lot more prominent in day-to-day rp then the background anyway, and I've found I feel most comfortable playing along with the feel the model I'm playing with has.
Sanara wrote:As for a character concept, I stand by Time Traveller.
Thelos wrote a lovely conceptual story about how Time Travel could be portrayed in world of warcraft. It can be found here:
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Definitely worth a read.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Izzifix on Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:01 pm

An old one of mine that never saw use:
The Criminal Lawyer! We've got a good few villains and criminals, we've got laws, judges and occasional trials. The Lawyer is the superhero who makes sure that our beloved criminals stay out in the streets where they belong. He will take your gold, so that they can't take your freedom. The Lawyer may try to lobby for less black-and-white, right-or-wrong laws to the authorities, sue the guards for police brutality... Saul Goodman is nothing compared to this menace, that sadly hasn't gotten to plague the city of Stormwind yet.

Edit: While I haven't had the time to create him myself yet, I am working on an organization he'd feel at home in.
2nd edit: No. Do not combine concept with actual morality or virtue. Don't even think about it.
3rd edit: Might find plenty additional work with divorces, RP relationships being what they are.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Cid on Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:36 am

I somehow imagine a goblin when I see that particular character concept. ^^

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Thelos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:45 am

Draenei priest.
Panda monk.
Forsaken Death Knight.

...Yeah, that's pretty much the extend of my creativity.

On a more serious note:

I'm not a fan of character concepts. I'd approach character creation trough contemplating which personality traits I want my character to have, or which tropes I'd like to embody. Is my character shy or social? Introverted or extroverted? Clever or dumb? Brave or cowardly? Perverted or chaste? Selfish or selfless? Etc etc,

As soon as I've gathered enough character twigs to make a statisfying bundle, I can use said bundle to fit any sort of concept I like. My pandaren monk is flexible to the extend that he can be a soldier, an adventurer, a cook or whatever the hell I need him to be. No matter what kind of 'concept' he's currently being used for, however, he'll always be perverted, clever, brave, selfish, extroverted and social. And what he has become has, to a very large extend, been dictated by the model I use to play him and the class he is.

I mean, just look at some of these goofy animations:

Spoiler:
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How can you resist playing the lovable old eccentric pervert if you have a /kiss animation like that? It's perfect! Pandaren males also have a very boisterous, eccentric belly-laugh, that rips with a good "OHOHOHOHO"; it matches the jolly eccentric perfectly well. Monks in specific also have a lot of energetic animations you can use, which encourages me to make his personality very bubbily and upbeat. In many ways, he's like a monkey.

However, the pandaren model has a lot more going for it than this mere monkeying around business. They also have their fair share of more serious, sage-like animations; the Shado-pan set I crafted hid most of Paozi's facial features and accentuated his hands, which encouraged a more mysterious personality.

Spoiler:
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See? Mysterious. Enigmatic. Quiet. Observant. Put some different clothes on your model and suddenly his entire personality can shift! I decided on using this duality in the pandaren male model to my advantage and give him a layered personality; he is both a bumbling party monkey. a sagely old monk and a dangerous ninja, who uses the other two personalites to mask his more dubious and darker personality traits. He's an actor at heart: and those with acting experience know that a very effective way to play a persona in a convincing way is to inflate and highlight certain traits of your personality, while hiding others. People are, after all, complex constructs, with many different contradictory personality traits. No person is merely introverted, or completely extroverted. Everyone is a little bit of everything.

The energetic, eccentric monkey chiefly uses animations like /kiss, /lol, /dance, /flex and as many question marks and exclemation marks as possible.

The sagely, calm, wise monk uses /bow, /kneel and avoids too many exclemation or question marks. If you want to play a more calm and reserved character on a pandaren male, you'll need to avoid the highly eccentric and goofy animations and stick to the serious ones (of which there are plenty to play with)

I find that having characters with personality is vastly more important than having a 'concept' for them. Whether your character is a reporter, a soldier, a guard, a criminal, a lawyer, etc. doesn't really say much about him or her. Lawyers can either be boring characters or interesting characters, depending on their personality.

Thankfully, Blizzard crafted character models that are already full of personality. So the only thing you really have to do to give your character personality, is pay close attention to what is happening on your screen and use it to your advantage.

From my personal experience, the more specific and novel a certain character 'concept' is, the more the personality suffers under the weight of having to fit that particular concept. Laywers become lawyers and are not allowed to be anything else; cooks are cooks and are only good for cooking; but what kind of persons these lawyers and cooks are, we'll never get to know. It gets even more jarring if the character concept is so limiting that it rules out a whole wealth of animation the model has. It's a given fact that the Pandaren male model smiles when he nods; so, if you want to play a perpetual frowner on a pandaren male, you'll either have to always wear a mask, or avoid nodding.

TL;DR: I don't believe in character concepts. I prefer thinking about my characters in terms of personalities over functionalities. And said personalities are oftentimes determined by the models themselves: it's more of a matter of exploring the character than actually pre-determining anything. The way you create your character's personality is by picking and chosing which elements of your model you wish to accentuate and which animations you wish to eschew.

---

...I have no idea what this rant was even about. I should stop thinking out loud!


Last edited by Thelos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:19 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Ixirar/Kavalis on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:54 am

Berahnek wrote:An old one of mine that never saw use:
The Criminal Lawyer! We've got a good few villains and criminals, we've got laws, judges and occasional trials. The Lawyer is the superhero who makes sure that our beloved criminals stay out in the streets where they belong. He will take your gold, so that they can't take your freedom. The Lawyer may try to lobby for less black-and-white, right-or-wrong laws to the authorities, sue the guards for police brutality... Saul Goodman is nothing compared to this menace, that sadly hasn't gotten to plague the city of Stormwind yet.

Edit: While I haven't had the time to create him myself yet, I am working on an organization he'd feel at home in.
2nd edit: No. Do not combine concept with actual morality or virtue. Don't even think about it.
3rd edit: Might find plenty additional work with divorces, RP relationships being what they are.

While the concept is cool, I believe we have 14 of this exact character running around the Cartel, and due to how Stormwind works (Guards convict you, make up the punishment and don't release you till it's been dealt. No real trial) they never get to do -anything- at all.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by siegmund on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:57 am

Ixirar/Kavalis wrote:
Berahnek wrote:An old one of mine that never saw use:
The Criminal Lawyer! We've got a good few villains and criminals, we've got laws, judges and occasional trials. The Lawyer is the superhero who makes sure that our beloved criminals stay out in the streets where they belong. He will take your gold, so that they can't take your freedom. The Lawyer may try to lobby for less black-and-white, right-or-wrong laws to the authorities, sue the guards for police brutality... Saul Goodman is nothing compared to this menace, that sadly hasn't gotten to plague the city of Stormwind yet.

Edit: While I haven't had the time to create him myself yet, I am working on an organization he'd feel at home in.
2nd edit: No. Do not combine concept with actual morality or virtue. Don't even think about it.
3rd edit: Might find plenty additional work with divorces, RP relationships being what they are.

While the concept is cool, I believe we have 14 of this exact character running around the Cartel, and due to how Stormwind works (Guards convict you, make up the punishment and don't release you till it's been dealt. No real trial) they never get to do -anything- at all.

You -can- plead for a trial if you wish. Guards don't seem to tell you but you can. Plus most people don't like to go the trial way since they last sometimes forever, gathering witnesses and so, time. Of course trials have happened in the past! You just got to say you want one but it's a long route in the end.

Also being a lawyer isn't "OH my gosh we have rights! You don't know how the law works! Why can't I whisper to my client in jail?! Go away!" *Panda in big black suit* Yes you have 14 of those.

Not really sure on the situation of judges myself, but it's worth asking, that or whispering an officer of the guards probably... Of course the right one, most new members of guards tend to not know a lot of things.

As added I think there was a trial once with one of your lawers, no? Forgot what the case was about but it did happen far as I know.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Ixirar/Kavalis on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:14 am

The last trial we've had in the Cartel, far as I'm aware, that involved anything outside of guards arresting you and then punishing you, was months ago. Door was -meant- to be retarded (that was the concept. A retarded hillbilly pandaren.) And as far as I'm aware, he didn't act up like that OOCly. He wasn't one of the lawyers I was talking about. I never considered him.

I've personally lawyered somebody out of jail -once-, and with how guard arrests work, it's hardly ever worth it to go through a trial, since arrests almost only happen when the eyewitness is a guard. You can't really plead innocent when a guard saw you commiting the crime.

If a guard wasn't present, 110% of the time, the criminal will have dispersed by the time the crime is reported. Be it by leaving the area for a while or by putting on a hood and adding "Is totally disguised you can't tell this is the person never nope totally fool proof" to their TRP. In the past 6 months, there has been -one- case where a lawyer may have done good, and that case was solved by my char pointing out that no crime happened and asking Zelium to explain why Tom was in the cells.

90% of the people that come to the Lady wanting to be a lawyer never ever get to do any lawyering at all, because the system doesn't work like that. The guards don't need a judge to convict you of anything unless you personally plead for a trial. If you plead for a trial, you're going to be stuck down there in the cells for ages while that trial is arranged. I don't think anybody will pick that route.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Theodoric on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:15 am

Fun to see how you do it, Thelos. I guess I begin at the other end, starting out with something I want to do, then pick an enviroment I want to do it in. Then, often, just before I start RPing, I'll figure out one or two key elements of how he/she acts and thinks. The rest of the personality will come in its own time, at some point during interactions with others I'll know what feels right.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by The Z on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:27 am

Thelos wrote:...I have no idea what this rant was even about. I should stop thinking out loud!
I think I can understand it still and I do see your points. Of course I wouldn't want any of these concepts to be specifically strict and not have any room in them for expanding and such, but I feel like they could be useful for some players. Of course I could've just named it "Character Professions" or something, which could be used for existing characters and whatnot, but...mneh. I'll quickly loose the track of what I was on about as well.

Naturally coming up with an idea and using it yourself would be the most ideal choice, but...I'd need some real imagination for that! Do they sell that in stores yet? I recall sometimes seeing people mention, that they've based their characters partially on some fictional comic/movie ones, but that always seems like a...I don't know, too easy of a choice, if that makes sense? Unless you of course add a spoonful of your own flavour to that inspiration you got, which I guess I'd just be too terrible at, thus not really wanting to make a fool of myself by creating something that ends up being more stereotypical than it's even possible.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Thelos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:31 am

I think (meaning I could be wrong) my point was that all the inspiration you need is in the actual game. Just look at your character and how he's animated and it will tell you how to play it.

I guess this is easier with more advanced models like the Pandaren and the Goblin, though. These models just have so much character that you really don't need to imagine adding much. I suppose it's a different story with a more bland model like the human male, to name an example.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by The Z on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:37 am

Oh yes, that's quite true. Goblins are pretty perfect for sleazy characters, thus Z as a bartender wasn't that big of a stretch. I also mentioned in the WoD-thread, that it could be very likely that I won't create a new RP character before the new models arrive, which will probably work as a great inspiration.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Izzifix on Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:53 am

Goblin animations <3

And I see your point, Thelos, but also in the negative sense. Say, by looking at the male Draenei model? I don't really get anything at all. He's just too enigmatic and blank. Then you have female Nelf, where the animators wanted to make a cheerleader, while the previously established Lore suggested fierce amazons.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by erwtenpeller on Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:33 am

The Female Night Elf is a bit of a duality. They can be played off as serious as long as you avoid the more bouncy animations like /cheer.

I took them to heart and played the most bouncy, goofy night elf mage Stormwind's mailboxes ever saw, though.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Thelos on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:20 am

You can't escape the idle boobjiggle, however.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Izzifix on Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:47 pm

The packmaster
We've all seen feral-ish worgen, despite their whole questline leading to mastering the curse and achieving serenity and all. We've seen groups of worgen assemble in packs, even. The Packmaster is the bastard who is running around undoing the nigth elves' neat rituals to get a few full-size dogs for his own amusement. That bastard. I bet he's clicker-training them too.

The Warlock
A warlock. Who isn't running around stealing souls. Who isn't hellbent on a quest for unlimited personal power (or killing Mace Windu). Who isn't a liability to his homeland and the alliance (yet). Who has a personality, history, a belief and a worldview that differs from that of a demon. I'm using this one myself, but feel free to join in on the fun.

The Bank
A bank. Run by people. Monetary RP. Investments and loans. Demanding back the money afterwards. Or making an example of people. Which is nice. Punctuation. Is. Nice. Too. Sorry.

DETHA-druids!
Ethical and humane treatment of animals could be fun. Perhaps even more so on Horde-side, given the orcs' relationships with wolves, the Tauren's hunting culture etc.

Rebels with an actual cause
Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again! When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, there is a life about to start when tomorrow comes. Basicly, we've had our share of riots. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking of separatists and revolutionaries, planning the bright, new future over pitchers of wine in the local tavern, spreading the message in the streets. I'm talking about the dream that bind these people together. About peaceful protests. That kind of thing.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by siegmund on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:25 am

The Warlock
A warlock. Who isn't running around stealing souls. Who isn't hellbent on a quest for unlimited personal power (or killing Mace Windu). Who isn't a liability to his homeland and the alliance (yet). Who has a personality, history, a belief and a worldview that differs from that of a demon. I'm using this one myself, but feel free to join in on the fun.

Sounds kind of like mine. But he does like gaining power, a bit trough selling and aquiring gold and magical items and whatnot.

The packmaster
We've all seen feral-ish worgen, despite their whole questline leading to mastering the curse and achieving serenity and all. We've seen groups of worgen assemble in packs, even. The Packmaster is the bastard who is running around undoing the nigth elves' neat rituals to get a few full-size dogs for his own amusement. That bastard. I bet he's clicker-training them too.

This one can possibly work in diffrent ways too tough, the Bloodfang are helping the Stormpikes. Felwoods worgen possibly as well who follow the den mother (She's a night elf worgen as are those there I belive). Easy to be someone somewhat related with one of the two, still feral and whatnot but these are mainly Alliance allined.

Though of course can be be like you mentioned! Maybe one from the Wolf cult is still about a packleader or a small group, or whatnot! (Note: It's only so fun to joke that worgen are dogs, but when you make them puppy dogs GTFO)

orcs' relationships with wolves

Beastiality. Detha is gonna take your beast away.

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Re: Character Concepts™

Post by Izzifix on Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:36 am

That "concept" was mostly a joke on behalf of randomly not-serene worgen, to be honest. Kind of spamming this thread with concepts I've been keeping to myself for some time too, though, as I had revelation that my time isn't in fact unlimited. Here's a more interesting one I won't be using any time soon myself:

The Shrink
Psychology and magic combined in this shadow priest specialized in the magical realm of the mind. Possibly related to the justice system somehow, either for diagnosing criminals and getting them treated, or for Crime Scene Mind Visions. Well fit for elven and pandaren characters, due to their experiences with Sha in pandaria, and the madness inducing old gods from the war of the shifting sands. Significant amounts of communication required for enjoyable RP to come out of it.

Could be taken to a less altruistic extreme too, like we see in the Batman Arkham Asylum series. The criminally insane have their moments, and insanity is not rare on Azeroth.

Speaking of crime scene analysis, that leads me to the next.

The Detective
Murders aren't exactly uncommon where RPers assemble. The guards, however, tend to have a high percentage of plain, old soldiers. The detective is an excuse to create neat murder mysteries, make a crime scene, clues and false clues and see what happens. Shining at crime-events, but also available for less planned things. That the existence of such would encourage more thought to any given crime, and possibly with time a higher class of criminals, is just a bonus.

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