Wednesday, August 24, 2016
#RPGaDay - Day25
A wonderful combination of things that make the person cool, and things that make the person not. A good character has reasons to be awesome and reasons others will hate him. Too often, people think the best kind of character is one who always has drama, or one who has the best stats, or one who always is absolutely "true to their personal choices" but I've learned through my over two decades of gaming that those three examples tend to be only perfect for the player playing it. A really good character goes beyond just being a character. A really good character breaks into the meta level, because the character is somehow connected to the other player characters, giving them a reason to interact. Time is not wasted playing the tug-of-war game of getting to know you or deciding whether or not to trust one another. The other players are not forced to wait out that sort of scene to pass before they can finally interact with each other.
Good characters take actions that others can see the logic behind them. They don't exist just to mess up everyone one else's stories, and even characters created exactly to do that are able to toe the line between being forces of chaos, and being asshole player characters.
A really good character remains true to his or her personality, but is shifted slightly when the character concept might be detrimental to other players in the vicinity. For example, one might choose to play an overly-sexual androgynous bounty hunter - and that, personally, is an awesome concept in my opinion - but if in a scene the character starts harassing another (whether player character or npc) and another player raises an alarm about it no longer being fun or possibly treading on unwelcome ground in the game, then that character should be able to be reined in without sacrificing its concept. Maybe the scene is just "we fade to black" as it no longer needs to be given a spotlight. Or maybe that character is just assumed to do things "off camera" so to speak, and the game focuses more on its other traits.
Those make a good character, in my opinion.
What makes a great character?
One that does all that, and is not afraid to suffer, go through hell and high water, because despite all the unexpected and unplanned things that may happen, the character doesn't just give up. He or she fights to get back on top and save the day... or at least... tell the story.
Great characters give everyone a fun time watching how they interact in the unfolding narrative.