The Ultimate Character Template

Use this forum to help develop your game-making skills, and get feedback on writing, art, music, or anything else you've created that isn't attached to a game in progress.
Message
Author
User avatar
~Julia~
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am
Contact:

The Ultimate Character Template

#1 Post by ~Julia~ » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:54 pm

Ok get ready for a triple post >.<

In my next post I am going to give out a template for designing a character around, if you care about making believable, ful characters I implore you to give it a glance as it is really handy and I use it whenever I make any major character for a story. My post after the template will be an example using one of my character (the main character in Devil Gene R hopefully this will show how effective the template is and you wll get a good understanding of my character without me gong into detail of the entire story. Well here goes:
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

User avatar
~Julia~
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#2 Post by ~Julia~ » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:54 pm

Name:
Story Purpose:
Gameplay Purpose:
Alignment:
Persona:
General Disposition:
Special Abilities:
Education/Intelligence:
Family:
Aspirations:
Addicitions
Occupation and attitude toward it (good/bad):
Objective(s):
What does this character want?:
Who or what do they love?:
What are they afraid of?:
Why do they involve themself in this situation? (plot):
Other roles and identites?:
Single adjective to describe this character:
Skills:
Reports/Answers to?:
Who reports to this character?:
Trademark object:
Common emotions (pick 3):
Signature move or tic:
Nationality:
Ethnicity:
Religion:
Favorite food:
How does this character dress? (standard):
Accent:
Dialogue tics and slang:
Locations where this haracter is most likely to "blend in":
Where was the character born?:
Where has the character been?:
Where does he character live?:
Where will (or did) they die and how?:
Objects the character wears on their body (jewelry, tattoos, etc.):
Inner conflict of the character:
Character reaction to different events (walk through a few beats):
Relation to other significant characters:
What people would think if they saw this person in real life:
A few days before the story what was the character doing?:
How did this character lose their virginity? (if at all):
Emotional stablility:
What do they do to comfort themselves?:
Phobias (fears):
Vanity:
Tagline:
Epitaph, what will go on their tombstone?:
Actor suggestions:
Age and health:
Height:
Weight:
Body type:
Hair color/details:
Eye color:
Facial hair:
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

User avatar
~Julia~
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#3 Post by ~Julia~ » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:58 pm

Name: Raven Blackheart
Story Purpose: She is the lead of the story and most of the events are seen through her eyes. She is on a mission to stop her father's heinous experiments and liberate her sisters.
Gameplay Purpose: Player character
Alignment: Neutral-Good. Most of her actions are heroic in nature, however she won't allow anyone or anything to get in her way.
Persona:
General Disposition:
Special Abilities: She is able to create and maniuplate flame
Education/Intelligence: She has never been to school, however she is well educated
Family: Father---Kyosuke Blackheart
Mother---Rossolyn, the Fallen Savior (unknown to her)
Sisters---Gao, Crowdia, Swan, and too many others to list here
Aspirations: She doesn't have very high goals in life, she just wants to be able to live freely
Addictions: She's a huge otaku and will buy pretty much anything from Japan (she's a bit of a complusive shopper)
Occupation and attitude toward it (good/bad): She's a "Freelancer" and will take most any job that pays, mostly getting hired as an assassin. Her mood differs from job to job but for the most part she's content with it
Objective(s): To put an end to her cursed bloodline
What does this character want?: To live a life without fear
Who or what do they love?: Her possessions are her first love as she has stopped putting faith in people, however she may be opening up to another
What are they afraid of?: That the devil that lurks within her will consume and control her
Why do they involve themself in this situation? (plot): She feels it's her responsibility
Other roles and identites?: None
Single adjective to describe this character: Wild
Skills: Using a self-taught style, she is an excellent swordsmen
Reports/Answers to?: No one
Who reports to this character?: No one
Trademark object: Her long flowing white skirt
Common emotions (pick 3): Happy, annoyed, confident
Signature move or tic: She often scratches her head, however this is a ruse used to check to make sure all her hair is standing how it should
Nationality: American
Ethnicity: Japanese-American (on her human side)
Religion: None (she hates being labeled and refuses to be acknowledged as an atheist)
Favorite food: Strawberry cheesecake
How does this character dress? (standard): She wears a black sleeveless one-piece leotard that stops at the knees, over that she wears a long-sleeve blue jacket, black gloves, a long white skirt and black long boots
Accent: None
Dialogue tics and slang: None in particular
Locations where this haracter is most likely to "blend in": Busy city areas
Where was the character born?: A laboratory (not sure at the moment)
Where has the character been?: Not very many places, but once she gains her "freedom" she would love to see the world
Where does the character live?: Silent City
Where will (or did) they die and how?: Undecided at this moment
Objects the character wears on their body (jewelry, tattoos, etc.): As a marking of her half demon blood, what appears to be a tattoo of a black dragon is wrapped around her left arm
Inner conflict of the character: She sees herself as nothing more than a monster and a weapon yet she wants to strive to appear human in someone's eyes
Character reaction to different events (walk through a few beats):
Relation to other significant characters: She will eventually befriend and partner with Amy, a member of a special church that sees Raven as an enemy
What people would think if they saw this person in real life: She's very bold and wild, they'd be a bit intimidated
A few days before the story what was the character doing?: Trying to live a quiet life in a small village
How did this character lose their virginity? (if at all): She was once apart of a crime syndicate and she thought she was in love with it's leader, but before she could be sure of her feelings the leader forced himself on her
Emotional stablility: Despite all the tragedies in her life, she's pretty upbeat so she's very stable
What do they do to comfort themselves?: listen to music by Yuki Kajiura
Phobias (fears): Being unable to control her demonic blood thus becoming a mindless instrument of destruction
Vanity: She always tries to make her fighting flashy and often daydreams about being in an anime battle
Tagline: "As long as I'm able to kill, my live as a weapon is fufilled..."
Epitaph, what will go on their tombstone?: "A Black Flame Extinguihed"
Actor suggestions: (voice) Megumi Toyoguchi, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (live-action) Royko Yonekura, Kate Beckinsale
Age and health: 18, perfect
Height: slightly taller than your aveage woman
Weight: fairly average
Body type: fit, average
Hair color/details: Black, reaches down to her shoulders however she feels to girls with it down so she spikes it up when going out
Eye color: Blue
Facial hair: None (after all she is a woman)
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

User avatar
A Terrible Rabbit
Regular
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:51 pm
Projects: Kyuuketsuki BonBon
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#4 Post by A Terrible Rabbit » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:10 pm

I also think it's important for authors to really think about why anyone would care about their character. It's so easy for an author to make characters they like that are actually really boring, no matter how fleshed out they are.

number473
Regular
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 4:20 am
Projects: The Duke's Daughter
Location: Cape Town
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#5 Post by number473 » Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:46 pm

Wow, that's quite a checklist! I can only comment that there are a lot of attributes that seem more relevant to a game with some intrigue. If it was a simple Ren'ai not all of them might be needed, e.g. Reports/Answers to... but now that I look at it that's about all >.<

Something like this would be essential when working on a large project with a group. Will keep it in mind (but for now I just create them on the go. I find if I do too much planning I just end up thinking I'm done and then don't get around to writing the actual thing)
Mental weather report: Cloudy with a possibility of brain storms.

User avatar
LVUER
King of Lolies
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:57 pm
Completed: R.S.P
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#6 Post by LVUER » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:40 pm

Not bad... but isn't that just too many? Making character creation process a hassle. And what if some adjustment (or even radical changes) needed for some character along the way? That mean our effort goes to drain...

User avatar
Wintermoon
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 701
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 3:41 pm
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#7 Post by Wintermoon » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:26 pm

I think it's important to customize these templates for what is important to your story. It's good to know details about the character that don't affect the story, but it's much more important to know the details that do affect the story.

Some more attributes that may be useful:
Sexual orientation:
Sexual kinks:
Worldview/philosophy:
Relationship to various organizations:
Political alignment:
Jungian personality type:
For what causes, if any, is the character willing to die?:
Taste (in music, art, fashion, architecture, interior design, etc.) - what does the character consider beautiful?:
Greatest weakness:
Greatest shame:
Fighting style:
How does their personality change in moments of extreme stress:
Rationalizations/delusions:

User avatar
~Julia~
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#8 Post by ~Julia~ » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:06 am

I think you guys are being far too critical, the template can be changed and altered to your likeing and I'm not saying all 50 sum questions have to be used, this is just to hopefully allow you to develop your main cast of characters. Filling this out for EVERY character would just be a hassle and this allows you to organize general information about your leads.

Also if you need to change anything, since all the info is organized it makes alterations pretty easy, I was just hoping to provide what I think is a useful tool as I use it all the time.
[UNDER CONSTRUCTION]

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#9 Post by papillon » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:00 am

One thing that's far too common in fanfic (and some professional writing) is characters who are ALL good or ALL bad. Unless your character is intentionally a monster or an angel, this shouldn't be the case.

So some fun things to ask are: what's the worst thing this character has ever done? What's the nicest thing they've ever done?

Pyre Sieg
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:17 pm
Projects: Untitled (2% progress)
Location: in the land of lolcats, under da bukkit
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#10 Post by Pyre Sieg » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:43 am

Personally, I thought of this as almost alike to the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test. Not to say that those who use this have mary sues, or to say that this template is a mary sue test ( :| or otherwise somehow calling someone out as a suethor, which is far from what I mean), but the usage of the template itself is the same. For example, in order to avoid racking up more points than you should, you make exceptions where it is called for rather than take everything into account. A character with psychic abilities could potentially raise a red flag of sueism. However, if it is normal for psychics to exist in the universe they are written in, then this is excluded because it could be a normal occurrence. However, even if it wasn't, other exceptions are also made that sometimes even the litmus test may not cover, such as if the fact the character was psychic is an important plot point in the story.

Likewise, while it could be useful to use this template in its entirety, it is not necessary and one can easily omit whatever portion of the template they feel is not necessarily useful to them. Like Julia and Wintermoon said, if a part of the template doesn't apply, skip it. Some characters might have a question play a significant role in their life, while another can get away with never bringing it up.

I'm sorry, I just felt like blurting this out after seeing the light debate the last few posts. I don't mean to seem like I'm picking on anyone, and if I do I apologize because that was not the intention for the "rant". But this is great work for a template, it's quite helpful and it gives more to think about for a character. Thank you. :mrgreen:

User avatar
PinkMagus
Newbie
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:00 am
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#11 Post by PinkMagus » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:56 am

I don't think the point of this template is to actually function as a cut-and-dry template, but rather help people brainstorm the many different facets that a character can have. But that might just be me :x

User avatar
Enigma
Veteran
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:53 am
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#12 Post by Enigma » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:13 pm

~Julia~ wrote:Name:
Story Purpose:
Gameplay Purpose:
Alignment:
Persona:
General Disposition:
Special Abilities:
Education/Intelligence:
Family:
Aspirations:
Addicitions
Occupation and attitude toward it (good/bad):
Objective(s):
What does this character want?:
Who or what do they love?:
What are they afraid of?:
Why do they involve themself in this situation? (plot):
Other roles and identites?:
Single adjective to describe this character:
Skills:
Reports/Answers to?:
Who reports to this character?:
Trademark object:
Common emotions (pick 3):
Signature move or tic:
Nationality:
Ethnicity:
Religion:
Favorite food:
How does this character dress? (standard):
Accent:
Dialogue tics and slang:
Locations where this haracter is most likely to "blend in":
Where was the character born?:
Where has the character been?:
Where does he character live?:
Where will (or did) they die and how?:
Objects the character wears on their body (jewelry, tattoos, etc.):
Inner conflict of the character:
Character reaction to different events (walk through a few beats):
Relation to other significant characters:
What people would think if they saw this person in real life:
A few days before the story what was the character doing?:
How did this character lose their virginity? (if at all):
Emotional stablility:
What do they do to comfort themselves?:
Phobias (fears):
Vanity:
Tagline:
Epitaph, what will go on their tombstone?:
Actor suggestions:
Age and health:
Height:
Weight:
Body type:
Hair color/details:
Eye color:
Facial hair:
Thank you, I can use this.

User avatar
Toki-the-Baker
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:19 pm
Projects: Akatsuki Romance- WIP
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#13 Post by Toki-the-Baker » Sat May 15, 2010 6:56 pm

Thanks for posting this template. I started to ech out some of these traits to keep in mind while writing, but it obviously wans't as detailed and skipped out a few important things that you have on here. Thanks.

User avatar
Fluffycrow
Regular
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 6:25 pm
Projects: Akita Files (WIP, mystery/otome)
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#14 Post by Fluffycrow » Mon May 17, 2010 9:41 pm

Ahh, this is very useful. I have a template I use for story/RP characters, but this is a lot more applicable to VN characters. Thanks for posting!
Image

User avatar
cloudyssky
Veteran
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 2:09 pm
Completed: Alone
Projects: Many failed ones
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: The Ultimate Character Template

#15 Post by cloudyssky » Mon May 17, 2010 10:14 pm

Love the template. Seems very easy to understand, simple, and useful. Saving it to a file now.
Projects:
Alone- (Horror/Sci-Fi) Complete! Link
Demokratiya- (Adventure/Action) I'm kind of winging it with this one. Goal is 100,000 words. Yeah, it's gonna take a while.
{Last worked on Sept/28 : Word count (coding and all) ~4500}

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]