Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Kuroyomihime
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Kuroyomihime 禁断の姫 / 1st Apocrypha

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I'm curious to know how those of you who take on the role of GM evaluate a character's personality?

Whenever I take a look at an interest check of an RP that I may be interested in, I come around a Personality section in the character sheet template, however, whenever I see someone's character in action there's a tendency (even from the first post onward) to not roleplay their character's personality in the same way they describe. It happens with myself as well, so it's no critique of other's skills as writers, mind you. What I notice is that it's far too easy to write that your character is this or that on the sheet but what you show doesn't match the description at all.

Yet, I rarely see a GM come around and tell a player to play their character in the way they are described in their CS and not the way they want to play it.

So, for you, what's the value of that specific section that come around every so often in character sheets that some people seem to feel discomfort when a GM doesn't add it to theirs (like I mostly do not), or even go out of their way and add unasked information in their CSs?

On the player's side. How do you even manage to write a concise personality for your characters without roleplaying them first? I feel that this is the most complicated part for me, so I'd like to see what others think of it as well.

Also, to complement the above question why is it that, even though some of you don't play what you write down on your sheets; why is it that so many players over here seem to feel an extreme discomfort when a GM doesn't ask for their character's personality? What's the difficult part about "show, don't tell" when it comes to this specific bit of a CS?

Lastly, I'll admit that I raised this discussion in part because, in the past, some people even PMed me saying that I forget to add personality to my CSs which feels kinda patronizing. It's almost as if a GM that doesn't follow the convention is supposed to be a newbie. In a way, this is a topic that can help other GMs that may not like any specific section of a "standard issue CS" to be aware that you don't have to add/take out anything just because of player expectations. It's not wrong to have your own view of how your game should be, at least I think so.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lady Amalthea
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Lady Amalthea This Changes Everything

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For me it is simple - I request a decent amount of information about a characters personality on the CS. Once the posting starts if they do not go by what they have in place I call them out on it. They want to develop the character in a different direction than what they first envisioned for their character fine, but they must do it in Rp and it cannot be a sudden shift for no reason.

So yeah I call them out and for me, I must follow all rules I put in place for my Rpers. My Cs's have to be filled out to approval level just as any Rper that enters my Rps. I must post as much as I require of them. Just because I am the Gm doesn't mean I get away with whatever I want. It means as GM I must lead by example. So if a personality section is there, I better fill it out and I better go by it. (And I expect to be called out if I don't - which I have been in the past by my Rpers. They hold me just as accountable as I hold them.)

Now as a player, to be able to RP a character without ever having posted them before - you start small. First character should be much like yourself. Make small differences. Move from there. For me, after all these years I still use reference. Either with going back and refreshing myself on my characters CS in the CS tab or by referring to my characters quick card. (This is a hand written card I keep in my RP Agenda for each of my characters, it holds their base stuff and all their personality information.) This helps me to ensure I stay on point with each character even when I am drained, feeling lazy, or it is their first post.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by cosmicsherbert
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cosmicsherbert rainbow reaper

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Ive only gm'd once during a dnd session but i dunno. I find that in the beginning personalities can be a little difficult but as time goes on, the people playing them understand them more and tend to be consistent. This was like in the span of 3 hrs tho sooooo lol
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by ArenaSnow
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ArenaSnow Devourer of Souls

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A personality section for me is almost worthless, due to the way I present a character.

A personality does not arise from a static description for me. It is a combination of three things in and of itself - a few keywords to influence my presentation, the biases of the character, and the experiences of the character. Those three things I use to build up personality, and I cannot - and will not - be locked down to a simple description that is supposedly a catch-all for the character. The best personality section you'll get from me is a long sheet of questions that I then answer with the character's personality in mind. And again, for me, personality is a combination of many factors - not a simple standalone description for how they do everything.

It is common and far easier to use yourself as a template. Far easier, yes - and not something I try to do at all. I try to make characters their own little compartments in my mind, unique individuals to remove the 'me' from the equation. I am only a parser. I am not the actual character.

Which is probably why I am half insane, considering the volume of characters I've built up over the years. But the fact I enforce my own aging mechanics does help with that somewhat.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Kuroyomihime
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Kuroyomihime 禁断の姫 / 1st Apocrypha

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For me it is simple - I request a decent amount of information about a characters personality on the CS. Once the posting starts if they do not go by what they have in place I call them out on it. They want to develop the character in a different direction than what they first envisioned for their character fine, but they must do it in Rp and it cannot be a sudden shift for no reason.

So yeah I call them out and for me, I must follow all rules I put in place for my Rpers. My Cs's have to be filled out to approval level just as any Rper that enters my Rps. I must post as much as I require of them. Just because I am the Gm doesn't mean I get away with whatever I want. It means as GM I must lead by example. So if a personality section is there, I better fill it out and I better go by it. (And I expect to be called out if I don't - which I have been in the past by my Rpers. They hold me just as accountable as I hold them.)

Now as a player, to be able to RP a character without ever having posted them before - you start small. First character should be much like yourself. Make small differences. Move from there. For me, after all these years I still use reference. Either with going back and refreshing myself on my characters CS in the CS tab or by referring to my characters quick card. (This is a hand written card I keep in my RP Agenda for each of my characters, it holds their base stuff and all their personality information.) This helps me to ensure I stay on point with each character even when I am drained, feeling lazy, or it is their first post.


I see. That's a sensible approach.

I understand it even though I hardly do fully-fledged characters to take part in my games. I come from a long-time tabletop RPG background so I'm not used to GMing/DMing a game and playing it on a PC level at the same.

A personality section for me is almost worthless, due to the way I present a character.

A personality does not arise from a static description for me. It is a combination of three things in and of itself - a few keywords to influence my presentation, the biases of the character, and the experiences of the character. Those three things I use to build up personality, and I cannot - and will not - be locked down to a simple description that is supposedly a catch-all for the character. The best personality section you'll get from me is a long sheet of questions that I then answer with the character's personality in mind. And again, for me, personality is a combination of many factors - not a simple standalone description for how they do everything.

It is common and far easier to use yourself as a template. Far easier, yes - and not something I try to do at all. I try to make characters their own little compartments in my mind, unique individuals to remove the 'me' from the equation. I am only a parser. I am not the actual character.

Which is probably why I am half insane, considering the volume of characters I've built up over the years. But the fact I enforce my own aging mechanics does help with that somewhat.


Oh, I get what you are talking about. I do something similar as well. However, I got the habit of writing a small piece about the character to give them a trial run of sorts to get aa feel of the character in advance.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Lady Amalthea
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Lady Amalthea This Changes Everything

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@Kuroyomihime Ahh, see TTRPG is where I started, back in the 80's... That is where I got a lot of what I do today. How I handle things, how I do character sheets, etc. My TT characters have custom sheets for everything from ADnD to Shadowrun to Nightlife to HoL and so forth. (They're longer than my Cs's here...)
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Arya10108909
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Arya10108909 The Fantasy Queen

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I think you have to know what you wanna write-and you have to stick to it. For me, it's a LOT of mistakes in a row, calling myself out, messing up, and all over again until I finally get it. Or, I just leave it and beg forgiveness.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BrokenPromise
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BrokenPromise Infinite ReWind / Yas Queen

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Something that I think is greatly underappreciated in this topic is the other characters. I have a character who was suppose to be shy and weak personality wise, but becomes very violent when mistreated or disagreed with. But nearly all of the characters around her end up pissing her off, so she's not very shy most of the time.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Rai
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Rai Not my final form.

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So far I haven't found people not playing their characters as they wrote them to be a problem. The personality of a character is what makes someone want to roleplay as them. From my recent experience. It could be that when I GM my RP Ascension a part of understanding the world is to have a characters personality run up against the culture of the world. A cheeky thief for example would have to take a liking to areas that are not heavily guarded. This will require a understanding of what parts of the world is vulnerable to thievery. In this way personality meshes will with character creation and world building.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Dervish
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Dervish Let's get volatile

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I have a love/ hate relationship with personality fields. While I'm fully aware that no character survives the inception to execution phase unchanged, it's still a section with merit since it has a bit of utility keeping things like mannerisms, quirks, opinions, and other static bits of a character that doesn't fit in a bio in a tidy and easy to reference spot.
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by PaperCranes
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PaperCranes A ball of anxiety

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I prefer more nuanced chars than extreme chars. Nuance is hard to do though. Seriously, it is kinda difficult to pull off!
Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Burning Kitty
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Burning Kitty

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Personality section is always optional as far as I am concerned. If a GM says I have to fill it out, I will but I never go by it. The personality develops as I play not before.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Rithy
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Rithy

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It's quite common for the personality of a character to jump around a lot during their first 50 posts, it usually takes a while to get them down :P

We see that in tabletop games too! People will often fumble around in random directions with their character before they eventually solidify on a single theme or personality.

Expecting people to know exactly what their personality is going to be like at the beginning of a RP before they've even tried their character in action with the other players is a bit optimistic methinks, and might run the risk of being unnecessarily constraining ^_^
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Aceofreality
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For me, their abilities and magical types drive their personalities to some extent, or at least their personalities are heavily based off of how I interpret their magical types.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Stormflyx
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Stormflyx Queen of Doggos

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I think the personality section of a CS is quite important... as a guideline of sorts. I usually think of maybe 1 or 2 strong personality traits I would like my character to have and build with that. If I write a character who is of a 'nice' personality type however, I'm not bound by that - a nice person still does shitty things - just the same as a shitty person probably does nice things. If I see someone in a roleplay acting really really far out of what they wrote in a CS I might bring that up, same as if I see them being completely one note I might try and push them to explore.
Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by PlatinumSkink
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The personality section I consider to be one of the most important fields of the character sheet. History, abilities and personality, those are the three things that truly make a character. Though, I would never call someone out on not having their character perfectly follow the personality section they have put up.

What's important to me is that when someone reads a character sheet, they get an idea of who this person is. The other sections aren't guaranteed to do that. So simply having a short paragraph telling me how nice or edgy or whatever this character is? It gives the reader an impression of what kind of character the player wants to play. That impression I find to be important to both the GM and to other players.

Then of course they don't need to strictly stick to the personality section. That's their choice. But at the very least, the reader of the character sheet has gotten an impression. Yeah. Character development is a thing.

Edit: That said, if you as the GM feels it is unnecessary to have, you can totally skip it. As the GM, that's your choice, heh.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Light the Dark
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Light the Dark fighting evil by moonlight~

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Since I make a new character for just about every RP, I tend to go with a few personality traits to start. Very basic things to give my character a direction I want to go in, which I can then develop as I RP the character.

A few from recent RPs:
->Argumentative, Challenging, Charismatic, Proud, Compassionate
->Compassionate, Stubborn, Restless, Courageous
->A touch standoffish; can be charming when she wants to; kind - but only when no one can see her being so; sometimes does things 'for the hell of it'

So I have a general idea of how I want to play a character, then branch out from there as I rp.
Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Silver Carrot
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Silver Carrot Please do not eat metal vegetables

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I usually have an idea of who my character is before I play them, but putting it into words before I've got their personality nailed down through roleplaying enough to sum it up with the correct words...there may be errors and contradictions.

If I HAVE to know my character and their arc well enough to fill out CS sections with words before I've even played them, I probably won't join that rp. Not my style.
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