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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Help in role-playing my character?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently playing a CG elf fighter named Calidor. The problem is that I've never been a very skilled role-player and I'm hoping to improve. I was wondering if there were any tips that some of you veterans could give me?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Zach J.; 2010-04-07 at 12:05 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    "CG elf fighter" isn't really much to go on. Put in details. Everything from the one thing he lives for to what kind of fruit he likes is fair game.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    I guess it might help if I post some stuff that I'm trying to use in role-playing the guy.

    Calidor is an elf warrior and an orc culture enthusiast. In the land of Septaria where the campaign takes place orcs are samurai-like warriors instead of brutish barbarians. He's not a very friendly individual and I think he could even be a little meaner than I'm playing him. Still, he's a good guy and he hates bullies. You see he was actually the son of minor nobles before he took up an adventurer's life and his older brother was a spellcaster who constantly bullied him so there's kind of a brawn over brains thing there as well. That's all I have so far.

    Edit: I don't know if ability scores will help, but just in case...

    Str 15
    Dex 18
    Con 12
    Int 10
    Wis 12
    Cha 9
    Last edited by Zach J.; 2010-04-07 at 12:10 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Dinosaur Museum aw yisss.
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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    I've got a bit of a quick'n'dirty starting point for roleplaying I encourage my players to think about:
    Which part of your character's alignment is most important? Is he Chaotic Chaotic Good, Good Chaotic Good, or just Chaotic Good (both equally important)? What exactly does that mean for him?
    Fetish - what does your character have a "thing" for? What does he really like?
    Phobia - what is your character afraid of? Can be an all-out phobia, or a more philosophical dread.
    Virtue - what is the defining "good thing" about your character? and/or, what good thing will he go to extra lengths to do?
    Vice - what is the defining "bad thing" about your character? and/or, what bad thing will he go to extra lengths to obtain?
    Short-term goals - what does your character want to achieve in the near future?
    Long-term goals - what does your character want to achieve before he dies?
    Why is he what he is? What's his story?

    edit @ new posts: Might be worth thinking about just what the ability scores mean to him. e.g.:
    Why does he have a low Charisma? Is he bad-looking? Is he hard to get along with? Is he just not particularly "likeable"? Is he bland, does he blend into the background? Is he lacking in self-esteem?
    Does he revel in his high dexterity, or wish he was a bit stronger and/or tougher?
    etc...
    Last edited by Serpentine; 2010-04-07 at 12:12 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Thank you for the post, Serpentine. I'll have to spend some more time thinking about some of the topics, but there's some really interesting stuff there.

    The alignment thing is something that's still giving me a lot of trouble so I don't know how to answer that at the moment.
    His Fetish is definitely orc culture. He just spent 20gp on a translation of a biography on Jung Tak, a famous Orc general in Septaria.
    His Phobia...hmm at this point it's public speaking. I'll have to give this one some serious thought.
    Virtue and Vice...I'll have to think about these a lot.
    His short-term goal is to master his damned two-bladed sword! Seriously these things are frustrating!
    His long-term goal? At the moment he's kind of aimless. In fact our whole party seems to suffer from this malady.

    His bad charisma stems mostly from the fact that he's not very attractive to elves. He's regularly confused for a half-elf due to some of his less-than-androgynous features. He's also not very emotional and I think that plays into his low charisma as well. He's much more comfortable with his actions than his words. He realizes that speed is just as important as strength, but at the same time he wishes he was a strong as the orcs he wants to emulate.

    His fairly low mental scores make me think that he's not very imaginative in general. He's got a pretty Alexandrian approach to problem solving. "The door is locked? Break it!" I imagine that his older brother, a spellcaster, berated him constantly for his lack of subtlety and imagination.
    Last edited by Zach J.; 2010-04-07 at 12:29 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Also I'm no artist but here's a sketch I did of Calidor:

    http://batfan1989.deviantart.com/art...hter-159702668

    Edit: And here's a pic by my much more skilled friend and DM:

    http://taylorbrooke123.deviantart.co...hter-159863798
    Last edited by Zach J.; 2010-04-07 at 01:07 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Math_Mage's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    [wild speculation]

    Okay, so now we've got lots of individual elements and we can start tying them together. Family misfit, fetish for a non-elven culture, probably more interested in practicing with his sword than communing with nature...the guy's a natural outcast from elven society. Who are his parents? Are they on good terms? (Probably not...) Does he resent his brother's talent and intelligence and generally superior attitude? He certainly doesn't seem the type to play Caramon to his brother's Raistlin. That could translate to a general anti-intellectual bent, or just the 'brawn over brains' attitude you describe, hence the interest in orcish society. But he's spent so much time with this reactionary attitude, so much time delineating what he isn't--he isn't a stereotypical elf, he isn't a brainy guy, etc--that he's never really got around to figuring out what he is. Hence the aimlessness and lack of long-term goal. Potential character development could go in that direction. Maybe he realizes that this fetish with the orcs is just an expression of his internal frustration with elven society, and begins searching for some positive expression of himself. Maybe his fetish develops into a full-on mania and he devotes himself entirely to orcish ways. This is a Chaotic Chaotic Good character, because most of his defining traits are individualistic rather than moralistic. This is a rebel without a cause.

    Or, perhaps his brother's taunting slides off him a little more. He wields the sword not as a rejection of elven society, but as an acknowledgment of what he is and what he does. At some point he said, "So I can't help people the way my brother can. Fine, I'll help them the way I can." His interest in orcish society is developed because in orcs he finds a people that better embodies his modus operandi. Maybe this causes a bit of a rift with the family, which is set in the traditional paths of elven doctrine and unwilling to consider the merits of another approach, particularly one espoused by orcs. Good Chaotic Good, an independent spirit who sets aside cultural norms in pursuit of self-improvement. Maybe not the somewhat mean guy you're thinking of, but there are ways and ways to make that happen.

    [/wild speculation]

    Don't have to borrow anything from what I say, of course. It wasn't exactly creative thinking on my part. It's an example brainstorm. But once such a character theme is developed, you have a better foundation for thinking about how to make your character's words and actions fit his motivations and personality.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Oh wow, Myth Mage. Those are two very compelling characters you've managed to craft from my random bits of writing. I'm quite impressed. I really like the second character you describe, the Good Chaotic Good one. Very interesting. Thanks a lot!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Calmar's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    At first glance he looks a bit like a cross between Bruce Lee and Spock on your friend's painting. Maybe these two could be mined for role-playing ideas.
    Last edited by Calmar; 2010-04-07 at 06:25 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach J. View Post
    His Fetish is definitely orc culture. He just spent 20gp on a translation of a biography on Jung Tak, a famous Orc general in Septaria.
    His Phobia...hmm at this point it's public speaking. I'll have to give this one some serious thought.
    Virtue and Vice...I'll have to think about these a lot.
    His short-term goal is to master his damned two-bladed sword! Seriously these things are frustrating!
    His long-term goal? At the moment he's kind of aimless. In fact our whole party seems to suffer from this malady.
    Next step is to see how he deals with these things. Let's take the phobia as a starting point. Is he going to avoid all forms of public speaking? Or is he going to try and conquer his fear? Has he already tried to conquer it and given up? Any number of characters can fear public speaking. How they handle it is what makes them different.
    If you like what I have to say, please check out my GMing Blog where I discuss writing and roleplaying in greater depth.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    A quick thought:

    He likes orcs? You should make up a specific famous orc he wants to emulate. A historic orc leader with a great presence who led them to some sort of victory, or a mythic figure like Heracles or Bhima remembered for his great strength. This orc is now your character's hero. Ask your GM if your orc hero fits in with the setting's orcs, or even if he already has one built in that you can use.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Oooh, great idea, Caphi! He just bought a biography about Jung Tak, a famous Septarian Orc general so it's the perfect time for him to start learning about a new role-model. Thanks a lot. I'm gonna go give Jung Tak some stats!

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RogueGirl

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    Default Re: Help in role-playing my character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calmar View Post
    At first glance he looks a bit like a cross between Bruce Lee and Spock on your friend's painting. Maybe these two could be mined for role-playing ideas.
    (I am the artist.) And OMG yes! I actually thought just about the same thing! I think it comes from trying to make a "not elfy elf".


    But honestly, Zach has been doing a fine job at RPing, especially compared to the rest of the party. But I really like the fact that he's going out of his way to improve himself. As a DM I do like a healthy RP side to my games. The only suggestion I could make is that Callidor was raised as a noble, while not being particularly skilled at social graces, he still knows them.

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