So one of the things I talk about every now and again is character creation. How to make a new character, things to think about, ways to make them balanced and interesting, and even lists of questions to consider about them.
But at some point, at least in my experience, you get a character built up and start RPing with them… and then all hell breaks loose.
Because that character takes on a life of his or her own.
And every once in awhile, you turn around in the middle of an RP conversation, look at your character, and say “WAIT WUT? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?!”
Maybe this is a product of my very free and unconcerned attitude towards backstory.
None of my characters have a document where I tell you exactly what happened to them, and when, and how, and why. Aely’s childhood story is the closest thing to that – and she was a fully developed character before any of that came to be. When I start RPing with a character, they do have a loose history, but I’m more interested in seeing where they go from here – seeing how interaction brings them to life and how they take shape.
Without a backstory that’s set in stone, their history is (mostly) their own. I don’t decide when I roll a new character exactly what their opinions are on everything – those opinions are shaped by their interactions in game… and sometimes they come out of left field and reveal something new, and I’m left stammering, wondering when or where they got that from.
The character basically becomes independent from my conscious development process – and I’m free to set them up for things without knowing exactly how they might respond.
Does this happen to anyone else? Do you guys encourage this kind of independence for your characters or do you prefer to keep more control over where things go and how they react?
*This post is inspired by Aely, who threw me a curveball last night. I’m still trying to process exactly what the implications are, but what happened, and what she said, puts a lot of things about her character into very stark relief.
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