I’ll talk about my back up characters rather than my current one, because she came about in a different way due to me not knowing the system.
For me, the most important part of the character is the visual aspect. When an idea for a character comes to mind, it’s always of how they look and how they act. I’m trained in costume design (for lack of a better explanation), so that’s the best way for me to start. From appearance, mannerisms and how they hold themselves, I can work out a chunk of personality. Do they have a lot of money? Do they do physical work? Do they see other people as equals? Are they self-obsessed? Have they been through a hardship? At the same time, the backstory happens. Why are they like that? Why did that happen? Why those clothes?
An example: One of my back up characters appeared as a Freeborn in tattered, worn, dirty clothing. She was a bit skittish, jumpy, but soft.
This turned into her being nervous, fearful, but grateful and kind.
Why? Why would she act like that? Why would she be dressed like that? A freeborn wouldn’t walk around in rags.
Turns out that it was because she had been a slave and had very recently managed to escape.
How did that happen?
She is from Kahraman, but fled when the Jotun attacked. Through a series of misfortunes, she ended up being taken by Druj slavers.
From that, the backstory expanded. I’m happy to share this one because it might not work due to things that happened at E1, but please, please do not steal her - I am very emotionally attached!
For me, skills and resource come last. Skills are defined by the character, rather than defining the character. If I try to think up, let’s say, a Winter ritualist with an Ambergelt forest, I’m going to have a difficult time.
The problem with my characters forming organically, starting with me just picturing them, is that I have far too many back ups. I have at least three Freeborn characters, an Orc, a Varushkan… They get sparked off so easily. One of them started with me seeing a hat that I liked. A hat. Looking at things is incredibly dangerous.