The first thing one should think about when making a character is their personality, quirks, and mannerisms. Where you apply stats will come to you naturally if you know the type of person you want to play. You should even wait before picking the class you want to play, as your characters personality and backstory will compliment their choice of class.
Good questions for your character:
- Where was your character born
- How does that inform their outlook on the world?
- How does that inform their wealth or knowledge?
- Who are their parents?
- Where they raised by strict or loose parents?
- Are the parents/family still alive?
- How is their parents’ outlook on life similar or different from your characters?
- What skill(s) is your character generally better at than most people?
- What have they done to get good at that skill?
- Where has their skill been most useful?
- What skill(s) is your character generally worse at than everyone around them?
- Why are they bad at that skill?
- Have they made any attempt to overcome this inhibited skill.
- What was your character doing before they left home?
- Who did they inform they were leaving?
- Did they make any promises when they left?
- Does the people they left expect the character to return
- What did the character leave behind?
- Was there anyone they cared about that they worry for?
- Was there anything of value sentimental or monetarily that they left behind?
- Why did your character leave?
- Where they forced to leave or was it a choice?
- Do they regret leaving?
- Do they have any plans to return
- What goals does your character want to accomplish?
- How does they plan to accomplish them?
- What will they sacrifice to accomplish them?
- What will they do when the accomplish them?
If you can answer all of these questions with no more than a sentence long answer then you’re ready for the next step. Remember, you can always change the information from this first step to better fit the continuity of all following steps. Nothing is set in stone until the session begins.
Now that you have a good idea who your character is and what they want to do, think about how they relate to the other player’s characters around you. This can go as close as having your character be the brother of another player’s, or as far as being a complete stranger. It is important to note how much your character know’s about the other’s player-character’s in the session or campaign.
Here are a few important things you should know about how your character thinks about another player’s:
- How long has your character known them?
- When did they first meet?
- How long did they interact with each-other for?
- How would you describe the relationship in a few words (i.e. just business, just recognizable, by necessity, long-time friend)
- Does your character trust them?
- Has your character done anything to betray their trust?
- Has your character done anything to gain their trust?
- Has your character ever had a confrontation with them before, a fight or brawl etc.
- Who won (if anyone at all)
- What was the fight about
- How did the character feel about them after the fight?
- How much does your character know about their past (This can even be false rumors about that person)
- Where did they find this out?
- From who did they hear it?
- Does your character have any conflicting goals with other players character’s? (Answers to these can be non-applicable)
- What goals are those?
- How do they conflict?
Now that you have determined your character’s background you can pick a class that best serves their history and the party as whole. This is where communication with the other players is especially important. Remaining flexible is very important to a cohesive group. Remember, that even this far into the process you may have to change information from the first step in order to better fit your character. Consider the following classes: