PROJECT Quickie Character Builder!

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Minibit, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Disclaimer: I borrowed this randomization idea from this is just a quick breakdown of how this system works.

    Sometimes you're just stuck; maybe you have to create a new character after using a set of established ones, and you don't know where to start! Maybe you're worried your character is too flat or underdeveloped, or maybe you're just in a hurry!


    I like to use a deck of cards, so that'll be the example for this exercise. I'm sure you'll see how items like a standard six-sided die, a bowl full of scraps of paper, a bowl of different coloured marbles or playing pieces, etcetera, could also be used.

    To create a character quickly, we will ask some basic questions, and assign answers to different cards/colours/numbers


    I want to decide my character's social class, so I shuffle my cards, and decide that I will use a number scale of 1-10, 1 being poverty and 10 being extremely affluent.
    I draw the queen of clubs; telling me my character is BEYOND rich; money is absolutely no object and they are probably used to an excessive lifestyle.

    Answering questions can lead to more questions
    let's say I'm deciding my character's appearance; watch how one question's answer leads to another until I have all the information I want.

    What colour is my character's hair?
    • Diamonds: blond
    • Clubs: brunette
    • Hearts, redhead
    • Spades, black.
    (You can play with odds on these kinds of questions too: for example, blond and red hair are recessive traits, so I remove a few diamond and heart suit cards to increase the odds of my character having a dominant hair colour like brown or black.

    I draw the ten of diamonds: my character is blond.

    Now for length: odd numbers are short hair, even numbers are long hair:
    I draw a four of spades: the character has long hair.

    Long hair has a lot of potential to be played with: do they style it all funky or just keep it tied up? I'll use odds and evens again: They style it!

    Odds or evens: Do they style it by colouring, or shaping it?
    Odds: they colour their hair.

    I use the same method to find out if they colour all their hair or just a part.
    Evens: They only colour part of their hair.

    Now for haircut:
    • Diamonds: They let it grow naturally
    • Hearts: They cut it in layers
    • Clubs: they use a straightening iron
    • Spades: they use a curling iron
    I can continue with these questions and answers until I have a good enough idea of what my character looks like. So I ended up with a blond person who wears their hair in long layers and dyes the tips. I'll take this into account when deciding their personality; this person pays at least moderate attention to their appearance, and likes to look a little different from the crowd.

    It doesn't stop there!
    You can use this method to decide lots of things from personality to job to hobbies: here's some starter questions, I'm sure you'll branch off no problem!

    Hair colour
    Eye colour
    Dress style/fashion aptitude
    Distinctive features like tattoos, scars, piercings, birthmarks, dimples?

    Social aptitude level:
    Social class level:
    How self-conscious they are:
    Are they a romantic?
    How likely are they to talk to strangers?
    What are their hobbies
    What are their skills
    What is their goal in life right now?

    Be sure to take established answers into account when asking questions and deciding answers; If you've got a character who's already established as self-conscious, unlikely to approach strangers, and enjoys reading, crosswords and other solo activities, their favourite activities are unlikely to include parties, loud concerts, or taking part in rally/protest groups, so don't include such things as possibilities when designating answers!
    #1 Minibit, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
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