You’ve been playing session after session, and it just feels like a lot of the same ol’ stuff. There just isn’t any flavor in your fight scenes, and your dialog has been lackluster at best, and no one else seems to be having that problem. Its time to face the facts: Your character is dull.Characters start becoming stale when their personalities are irrelevant, too stoic, or too routine. But, let’s not dwell on why they’re bad, let’s just concentrate on making them more fun for everyone. Let’s fix your boring character!
Be a little more Quirky
Quirks are amazing in tabletop games. It can really make one character stand out from the crowd. Some quirks are easy to come by, like when you choose a good schtick for your character. Other times its one of those idiosyncrasies that just define a character.
For example, you may be playing a character that loves to sing loudly, even though they’re terrible at it (which has been one of my personal favorites). Or make a character that always has to be up on the current fashions, constantly buying clothes in new towns (yeah, I was always broke for that campaign). However, if you want something a little less irritating, take a look at the quirks from our very own Simple Character Generator.
Become more Motivated
We’ve touched on PC Motivation before, but this is the number one thing that makes characters more fun to play again. A lot of times the motivation your character begins with either starts to wane or the group does not want to explore the story elements of your motivation. In this case, its time to get a new one!
In the past, I played a bard whose entire goal was to collect a magical set of items. She started out with 1, and over the entire course of the campaign, she was only able to collect 1 more. No one in the group was opposed to my character having this as her life’s ambition, but it was irrelevant to their story, they didn’t want to actively pursue it. She left this as a long-term goal but took on the more active motivation that fell into alignment with the campaign.
Get yourself a good flaw
Even the ancient Greeks knew that this is one of the most important aspects to any character. Playing, reading, or watching characters that have no flaw is, well, tedious at best. A good flaw can show inner turmoil, it can influence decisions, it can drive your character’s motivation itself.
Flaws are an amazing way to show character growth and to build towards a goal, as long as they’re done right.
In terms of flaws, the secret for tabletop games is for it to show up frequently, but not too frequently. It should show up once to twice a session tops, without taking away from the overarching session’s story. Well, unless your GM decided that this entire mod was made to torment your PC.
Interesting flaws are even better, not the traditional “heroic” ones. For example, having a flaw that is something like “I just want to save everyone” is not only dull but irritating to play in-game, it leads to constant self-sacrificing actions, popularized in many anime series. It’s an overused trope, and a boring one at that!
I think the best flaw we ever had in our party was a goblin played by Tay, in the first campaign my group ever played. This goblin was a coward when it came to battle. Now, don’t get me wrong, when the going got tough, he would be right there in the fray with us. But every once in a while we would fight a giant spider, and find him on the other side of a locked door. It would only come up every so often, but when it did, it was always iconic.
Let’s wrap this up
What’s the thing that’s tying all of these elements together? It’s to create distinct aspects for your characters. In tabletop more so than books or television, subtlety is not built in. Some aspects of characters have to be more pronounced, in order to make them more distinct immediately. As with everything, it’s a balancing act. It’s making your paladin, not just any other paladin, but your paladin. These aspects will carve out that personality, and give you more tools to actively engage the plot, as well as other player characters.Now’s the time for you to jump in, create some Quirks, and Flaws right away, and get some Motivation in-game as you go.
Did we leave something out? Disagree entirely? Let me know in the comments below!