VTM: Endless Night

A Vampire the Masquerade RPG set six months after Gehenna. Some Kindred were left standing, but rebuilding their shattered society is the least of their problems....
 
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 Character Creation Tips

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Margifish
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Join date : 2015-06-26
Age : 37
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Character Creation Tips   Sun Jul 05, 2015 7:38 pm

Envision the role you want your character to play in the RPG: Each character performs a role in a story, even down to the one-use npc accountant who crosses a dark parking lot and falls prey to a player character’s hunger. Establish what role you want *your* character to play, then determine what qualities are necessary for the character to fulfill that role effectively.

For example, A victim embodies qualities of sympathy, terror, and pathos. An antagonist, on the other hand, evokes qualities of ruthlessness, or cleverness, or even brute belligerence. Not everyone is a victim or an antagonist though...maybe you want to play someone who strives to be a hero or protector for others in spite of their vampirism, a loyal friend, or even just the person who can make other characters smile no matter how dark or dire their current predicament is. It really DOES take all kinds of people to make a story (and life) interesting.


Once you have an idea of a role for your character(s), then come up with a basic concept for the character you want to play. A role such as `comic relief' 'bad-ass' or 'villain' is nebulous, but your concept solidifies it more into an actual character.


Allowable Character Types:


Characters can (obviously) be Kindred (Original Old Breed, Post-Gehenna Old Breed, or New Breed), Ghouls, or Mortals.



Sample Concepts:



• Criminal — jailbird, Mafioso, drug dealer, pimp,
carjacker, thug, thief, fence

• Drifter — bum, smuggler, prostitute, junkie, pilgrim,
biker, gambler

• Entertainer — musician, film star, artist, club kid,
model, web celebrity

• Intellectual — writer, student, scientist, philosopher,
social critic

• Investigator — detective, beat cop, government
agent, private eye, witch-hunter

• Kid — child, runaway, outcast, urchin, gang-banger

• Outsider — urban primitive, refugee, minority,
conspiracy theorist, junkie

• Politician — judge, public official, councilor, aide,
speechwriter

• Professional — engineer, doctor, programmer,
lawyer, industrialist

• Reporter — journalist, blogger, paparazzo, talk-show
host, media expert

• Scenester — club-goer, goth, skinhead, punk, barfly,
hipster, substance abuser

• Socialite — dilettante, host, playboy, sycophant,
trophy wife

• Soldier — bodyguard, enforcer, soldier of fortune,
killer-for-hire

• Worker — trucker, farmer, wage earner, manservant,
construction laborer

Your concept is the basic `skeleton' for your forming character. It could be something as simple as "paranoid reporter" or "absent-minded philosopher", to something as complicated as "Transvestite construction worker who moonlights as a stand-up comedian". Pick one you know you'll have fun playing, and then go from there.

Next, keep your concept in mind and then look over the list of natures and demeanors.

These behavioral Traits, known as Archetypes, help players understand their characters’ personalities.

Demeanor is the way a character presents himself to the outside world. It is the “mask” he wears to protect his inner self. A character’s Demeanor often differs from his Nature, though it might not. Also, Demeanor refers to the attitude a character adopts most often — and some people can change Demeanors as often as they change their minds.

Nature is the character’s “real” self, the person he truly is. The Archetype a player chooses reflects that character’s deep-rooted feelings about himself, others, and the world. Nature should not be the only aspect of a character’s true personality, merely the most dominant.

Choose a name:[
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Carefully chosen names enhance characters, while poor ones detract from the character and can lessen the overall mood of the scenes in which the character appears. No matter how much effort you've put into your character or how carefully you've chosen her concept, nature, demeanor, and quirks, if you saddle your vampire character with a name like "Ravyn Nightmist" or "Midnight Rose", its going to be hard for other characters (not to mention other players) to take her seriously.

Now, maybe your character's funny name is meant to be PART of their character (Maybe your tough-as-nails Brujah brawler is named Sydney or Horace, and people snickering about it is what ends up triggering most of his frenzies...), and that's okay, just in general put some careful thought into selecting your character's name. Also, if your character is a white, 100% from European heritage American, it's highly unlikely that she's going to be named Yuki, Sayuri, or some other Japanese name. If your character has an Asian name, they should probably actually BE Asian, not just have a Japanese name because their player loves anime (I've had players do that before...).

Age: For mortal characters, this is easy, how old are they? A human child won't be able to have much of a role in the RPG, since most of the RPG will naturally take place at night, but a teenager or college student could work easily enough...as could someone in their 20s and up. For ghoul and especially vampire characters a character’s age is significant; when filling out the character profile list both their actual, chronological age and what age they physically *appear* to be.

Kindred characters from the New Breed clans will have been vampires no longer than 6 months.

Original Old Breed clan characters can have been vampires for no longer than 250 years, as most elders were killed during the Withering and Beckett is the oldest vampire confirmed to have survived Gehenna.


Personality:


Choose one or two words that embody the character’s personality. The Natures and Demeanors provided for character creation are a good starting point, but don’t feel constrained by them — you can expand your repertoire of archetypes as needed. To make interesting characters, consider choosing personality types that seem to run counter to the “role” that you intend them to play in the RPG. For example, if you are envisioning a master villain who will haunt the other characters at every turn, you could challenge your fellow players’ expectations and make your character friendly, outgoing, even compassionate — someone who believes that destroying the other characters is a regretful necessity, but one that will benefit everyone in the long run.

One big tip to making a memorable/good character is to give them depth. Don't fall for the trap of making your vampire a cardboard stereotype of their clan. For example, just because Tzimisce have a historical tendency to be monstrous and alien in outlook, doesn't mean your character, if you choose to make a Tzimisce, HAS to be that way. Players weren't forced to make characters into cookie cutter Kindred even before Gehenna. After Gehenna, so many things have changed that the playing field has been leveled. Challenge the conventions and mindsets of the other characters if you want. It is YOUR character after all; if you want to play a Lasombra or a Tzimisce that's truly noble in personality and has more morals than a high humanity Salubri...go right ahead! The same goes true for the player who wants to play the opposite of that...maybe everyone *thinks* your Toreador is a saint among Cainites, but is in reality the most monstrous character of all on the inside.


Paint a picture:


Envision what the character looks like, taking into account the qualities you have chosen. Pick out one or two characteristics that make the character interesting to you. Personality and actual character should come before what a character looks like, but appearance can still play a large part of a character too...especially if your character comes from a clan/bloodline that has an inhuman appearance. Its not required, but finding or picking a picture that represents your character to other players can be a useful tool to help them picture him/her during the game.

Weaknesses:


Nobody’s perfect. All people have weaknesses or character flaws against which they struggle. This is especially important with regards to antagonists. Villains who do nothing wrong, make no mistakes, and are afraid of nothing are not only discouraging but boring as well. Blind spots or flaws provide chinks in a villain’s armor that the other characters can exploit, or give an extra level of pathos to a heroic character who must battle not only external demons, but internal ones as well.


Quirks:


Everyone, mortal or Kindred, has quirky habits accumulated over time. Whether it’s drinking milk right out of the carton or only feeding on a mortal to the music of Die Fledermaus, individual quirks further define characters and make them memorable.


Check the list of merits and flaws. These are completely optional, but they can help flesh your developing character out. You can pick a merit only, a flaw only, or one of each, but you're limited to just ONE merit to start out with. There's no restriction on how many flaws your character can have (but you might be seen as a little sadistic if you plague your poor character with too many of them).
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