Where I came from?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zorilla, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. So I got to thinking about backgrounds and even character themes and I have to ask the question which may hopefully lead to some thought provoking discussion.

    How well do you feel you use your characters background? Do you use it at all? In what ways do you find it the most effective? Could you improve on the use of your characters background?
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thank Thank x 1
  2. My character's background for me is VERY important, cause everything that happened to them in their life is what shaped their personality. o__o So if I have the background first, I look at each event and then jot down how that affected them as a person. And if I have their personality first, I look at the elements of their personality and see what have might have happened to them in the past, or how they were raised, where there grew up, etc to explain why they behave that way.

    I also like to use those things IN game, cause past experience can totally sway a characters decisions and reactions to current events. 8D
    • Like Like x 3
  3. I agree with you Diana! I think that the character background is possibly one fo the most important parts of the character themselves!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I think that is part of what makes roleplay so much fun for me, is not only creating a character and imagining and incorporating their background but also when you see another character (especially one that isn't your own) that is so well-fleshed out and so well thought out that you can understand and pick up and see those background elements. Obviously the RP is written by people and it depends on the individuals, but ultimately the RP itself is about the characters.

    And when you can relate to and understand the characters, see things the way they see them, get inside their heads a little bit, it really increases that sense of immersion.

    I try to think about my characters' backgrounds and how they are affected by previous life events. I feel like I do a pretty good job, but I know I can always be better too.
    #4 fatalrendezvous, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  5. When I make characters, I go into every last detail. And their history's are a big factor in who they are. From their personalities, to their manners, to the way they react to other people. Your background helps you build as a person, and it helps character build into strong, sturdy types. All depends on how you look at it.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. I think the background is both a character developing tool and a plot tool. Sometimes a character has ghosts in their closet, who may come up and start causing problems in the present! Sometimes a character has a difficulty, or an overconfidence, or a fear, that came from something in their background.

    I think it's important to devote time to where the character came from, and what kinds of things happened to them in their past; it gives their character more depth; and it can even help keep the character believable and likeable: for example

    • An incredible swordsman who can take out ten enemies with just their hands and their weapon is a little eyebrow raising... until you find out that they spent their entire childhood and teenage years training under a grand master instead of going to formal education and having fun with their friends; this also explains the social inaptitude. Without that background this character is just an overpowered antisocial jerk

    • The beautiful woman who makes no attempt to hide her feminine charms, but wants nothing to do with any dude who approaches her with romantic intent is just a cold-hearted tease until you find out her first real relationship ended with her getting sexually and emotionally abused and then dumped, causing her to casualize sex in her mind while deciding the romantic side of a relationship was harmful and pointless.

    I got more. Adding background adds depth and believability to your character; I don't start playing until I know at least a few of the major things in their past that shaped them into who they are!
  7. *claps* Thank god almighty for you folks.

    I swear, one of my biggest pet peeves back on RolePlayerGuild (especially when i GMed) was that very very few players seemed to understand the purpose and importance of their history, often throwing in whatever they wanted and not even thinking about whether or not it made sense with the rest of the character sheet (especially the personality section).

    History/Bio/Background is probably the most important part of a character for me, and if i can't come up with an interesting story to tell about them, I'll usually ditch an character i started working on because they just won;t really seem worth it to me.

    the few exceptions are when I'm in a really battle-centric rp and what I'm excited is more a new concept for a weapon or power that i thought up of, and the character is just a vessel for me to test out that concept. Like i said though, those are very rare occurrences, and even most of my characters that start out as vessels for powers/weapons end up being fully fleshed out and given a proper history after enough time has passed.

    I guess this is a side-effect of my love or world building (or it might be the other way around, i'm honestly not sure). When I world build, everything has to make sense in my head, everything has to feel organic and integrated. If two countries heat each other, i need to figure out why, and then think about how their hate and history might affect neighbouring countries and their cultures, economies, etc. even if 70% of that information might never come up as relevant in the rp/story/whatever that i;m creating. It needs to feel like an organic, living world in m head before i can present even a part of it to anyone else, let alone an rp group.

    I guess i view characters the same way (or, again, it might be that I treat my worlds like characters, it's a confusing chicken/egg scenario for me ^^;), every part of their character needs to be explained by something else about them or their circumstances, and the history section is the best way for me to illustrate how the characters can make sense.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Characters, like people, are individual.

    And what I find myself more often focused on is not necessarily a character's circumstances as much as a character's heritage/culture, though I feel a character's circumstances are much more effective in forming a character's psyche.

    I myself was raised in one culture's beliefs, morals, and understanding of the world, while I grew up around those with other people's cultural beliefs, morals, and understanding.

    What makes this so nice is that you can also let culture and circumstances play into your character's lives. Their opinions are fashioned much by the people who raised them, then evolved by the ones who surround them, and then matured as they form their own opinions. Just because your character was born Japanese doesn't make them "Japanese" by nature. In fact--what is being "Japanese?" Neither will it make them more "American" if they were raised in America. It took me a long long time to realize that the world and its people are not defined by labels and cannot be delimited by any adjective you put out there. Everyone--living or fictional--is formed, evolved, and matured.

    Because of this, characters live as much as we humans do.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Character background is important, very, as some folks mentioned above it shapes our characters, their personality, where they are in a story. When I make a bio, I deliberately do not put in a whole history behind where my characters come from mainly because I want to surprise my partner. I don't like revealing everything in a bio or in a first post that way information is made presentable over time. Of course, having in my mind, where my characters come from is a crucial detail. Why they do and say the things they do.