Chalice of the Night
How would others describe your character’s appearance?
Start with the most obvious here and work your way to the details. Go from defining your character’s gender to mentioning any sort of scars or facial ticks they might have. Does your character have a warm, inviting smile, or do his eyes dart around constantly, nervously searching for any sort of threat? Maybe he dresses as plainly as is acceptable and makes himself almost completely bland so as not to be noticed.
What is your character’s main motivation?
For some characters, this motivation may be as simple as maintaining the honor of your ancestors by never failing their duties, whatever they may be. Others may be more specific, carrying a heart full of vengeance. Powerful motivations tend to revolve around revenge, love, honor, pride, or any number of ideals that will keep your character going when all else seems lost.
Who is the person your character trusts most?
This may be a supportive father, a dedicated teacher, a sibling, or someone completely unrelated to the character. Determining who the character trusts is not as important as determining why. What is it exactly that your character knows about this person that makes them so trustworthy? What impresses your character in such a fashion can go a long way to defining his psyche.
What is your character’s greatest strength? Greatest weakness?
Others may have an opinion about what is great or flawed about your character, but what is truly the worst and best qualities he carries? It is important to remember that a character’s strengths are the things that he would be looked up to for, while his weaknesses are there to remind himself and possibly others that he is still only mortal. These traits don’t necessarily have to be epic to define your character, but they should be aspects that help you understand your character’s limitations and purpose.
Does your character have any prejudices?
Irrational dislike of other races would fall here, as well as other countries or beliefs. Most importantly, though, is the why.
To whom does your character owe the most loyalty?
Think of who your character would show the most loyalty in his everyday activities. Is he strictly bound to obey his lord without any other influence? Perhaps he has a wise teacher that he goes out of his way to consult and serve even if the teacher has no direct authority over him. Even trickier would be a knight/paladin with a secret love that he places above anything else. Is there any one person your character would give their life for? When the time came, who would that person be?
What are your character’s favorite and least favorite things?
This is a broad question that is meant to help establish a pattern of behavior. When answering this, start with the rational and move to the irrational. Rational dislikes could be explained for purely logical reasons – such as a fondness for poetry due to his family being famous writers, or a dislike of flower arrangements because you failed your lessons and embarrassed your father. Irrational dislikes can be much more entertaining and far less likely to change – a dislike of theatre actors because your father was shamed for an affair with one, or being partial to red because you won your first duel while wearing a red tunic.
Does your character have any recurring mannerisms?
Does your character bite his lip when he’s deep in thought? Perhaps he has a particular phrase he greets everyone with. When his hands aren’t doing anything, what does he do with them?
What about your character’s emotions?
Even the most disciplined minds have their weaknesses, not that your character necessarily has an unusually strong control of his emotions. Does he have a hard time controlling his disdain for others he sees as acting improperly? Is there a certain situation or “button” that always arouses your character’s sympathy? Perhaps it’s nearly impossible to get your character really angry… or sad… or jubilant.
How would your character’s parents describe him?
It’s entirely possible that one parent thinks the world of their child while the other sees him as little more than a failure. What impact do these relationships have on your character? Is he always trying to win the approval of his family, or does he regard them with disdain?
What is your character’s highest ambition?
Maybe your character doesn’t have any specific goals, and is happy right now with his current situation in life. Once you’ve discovered your character’s goals, take a moment and decide just how far he’s willing to go to achieve them…
How religious is your character?
Proof of the supernatural is evident to most, but those who do not directly deal with the mystic arts don’t necessarily find themselves overly concerned with them. Some believe that while the prayers and devotions of others are all very well and good, in the end one can only rely on his own abilities. Others spend hours a day in prayer, constantly attempting to attune themselves to the rhythm of the universe in search of true enlightenment.
If you could, what advice would you give your character?
One of the most important aspects of enjoying the role you have chosen for your character is seeing just how distanced you are from it. Does your character closely resemble your own attitudes and mannerisms, leaving little to say? Maybe, upon closer inspection, you think your character should change a thing or two? This question isn’t intended to find faults in your character with the intention of fixing them. Instead, recognize the differences, if any, between the character and yourself to help keep you in character once the game starts.