On retention of OOC traits between characters


#1

Opening a discussion here on keeping things from one character to the next.

Not IC relationships, not IC resources and items.

But OOC personality bits and habits.


For example, I am currently on my third PC, and they all like telling stories, This is because I like telling stories.

Now, this means that all my characters will tell stories of Empire at the drop of a ring. Does this fall into:

“All G’s characters are the same”
or
“Harmless similarity between characters played by the same player”, similar to them all being the same height and gender :slight_smile:


On a general basis, what would you consider to be the line of acceptable player traits carried over between player characters?

Because there’s got to be a happy medium between “every character is functionally the same” and “every character is utterly different in every way from every other character”.


#2

All characters played by the same person are going to be limited by the same factor; the person playing them. We can vary accents, appearance (with makeup and costume), and certain behaviours, but at the end of the day we’re fighting against a huge wall of hard-coded personality traits innate to our actual personality.

In my opinion, I think having a few traits common to all your characters is fine, and kind of inevitable. However I always make it a goal to have 2-3 defining personality traits for each character that I make an effort to RP.

If, at the end of the day, you can look at a situation and say “Character X would do such-and-such in this situation, but character Y would do something completely different” then I think it’s ok.


#3

There’s also an element of “what I find fun at LRP”, especially for what are often very long term characters at a game like Empire. If I made one of my characters unable to sing or join in with music, I would cut myself out of my favourite bits of the game! Similarly if someone who mostly goes to fight decides to roll up a non-com they might find themselves bored or regretting it when they see their friends head off to the gate.

Things all my characters will be at Empire:

  • reasonably likeable (I do like playing non-likeable characters, but only in the short term. Empire is a long-term system and I have to make sure I don’t make myself alone and miserable)
  • reasonably musical
  • non-com for health reasons (for at least the short term)
  • have a poor memory, meaning it’s difficult for me to interact with some parts of the game (e.g. Senate) as I can’t retain what’s important and what people were doing about it.

There’s scope within all that to make different characters. I find Virtue, Nation, and Lineage a really good trio of prompts to generate characters that have different focal points, reactions, and beliefs.


#4

My backup is going to be a wretched physical coward, which will be difficult as I love getting stuck into the fights.


#5

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. It’s pure personal preference how different you want your characters to be. If you like playing a specific role, in a specific nation, in a specific group? Nothing stopping you from rolling up pretty much the same character every time you die, as long as you pay diligence to the fact they are different characters and put effort into crafting them.

Bare minimum, in my opinion? New name and backstory, swiftly visually recognizable as a different person. I think it’s maybe polite and big and clever to do more - if your new character is someone that other characters can react to in different ways and have a different dynamic with, that provides game for the people that interact with them, whereas coming back with the bare minimum change mostly just stalls out game, as they don’t have the bond they used to have but can’t envision a vastly different new relationship.

Tldr: there’s nothing inherently wrong with a replacement goldfish, but a replacement koi is more interesting. Or a puppy.


#6

In that case a possible solution is likely to be something to do with seeing a Courage priest, or perhaps a Loyalty priest to help you stay with your nation, and have some fun with needing ‘help’ to do the thing.


#7

I think it will be harder to be very different characters if you are new to larp and don’t have previous experience with acting. I find it can be difficult enough to be a different character from yourself let alone a completely different character from a character that is different from yourself and also from the last one. I find that my excitement mixes with my characters reserved nature resulting in a character just as annoying and persistent as me. What I try and do is build this into my character, this uncertainty, an almost duality of goals and feelings.

I think that you need to start by trying to understand yourself. What are the defining characteristics of you. See if they aligned with you old character. If they did, then try and change some. You can also look at motivation. You may be a story teller but if your motivation is different then you will come off as a different character. You may tell stories simply for the joy of doing so. This character may be quite care free and could be quite fun to be around. Alternatively they could be doing it for money. This character may be fairly greedy and a little bit nasty.

I think as long as the character doesn’t think, feel, act and or look the same then it should be fine. It is amazing what a costume can do to a person.


#8

Nearly all my characters that I ever play can sing. I love the in-character musical traditions at Empire and take any excuse to join in. I do try and change up the songs the character will prefer to sing, but I’ll never pretend not to like singing. What would be the point?


#9

As @LauraH says, why cut yourself out of part of the game you enjoy? You’re paying to be there and have fun over the weekend after all. I don’t think that having that trait makes your characters that similar, and I guess the question is does it really matter if it does? So long as you have a couple of other bits and pieces that set you apart, one or two aspects like that should make little difference.