1. gaisterson

    gaisterson New Member

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    how can i diversify my character's personalities?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by gaisterson, Mar 22, 2019.

    ive been trying for a while now to make my 12 characters for a game im working on be more diverse personality wise.

    my characters personalities are:

    #1 cocky scoundrel
    #2 goody 2 shoes
    #3 no nonsense smarty-pants with envy issues
    #4 fighting obsessed tomboy
    #5 mother like mentor
    #6 playful flirt
    #7 kind hearted priestess
    #8 numbskull brute with heart of gold
    #9 protective brother but also a playboy
    #10 monotoned scientist
    #11 cheerful maid
    #12 shy good girl with upsetting past

    the problem i have is that i feel like i have too many "good girl" characters, and that maybe i should change some of their personalities. does anyone have any ideas for what i dont have included here in order to change up the personalities a little. also, i know i havent gone into that much detail on each individual character, so if you have questions for me on said character, you can just ask.
     
  2. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site! :D
    That's probably nothing to worry about! As long as you add more to flesh out each character, you probably won't need to change much of what you already have :)

    One of the big things would be if each pair of characters has at least one similarity and at least one difference ;)

    Did you ever watch the TV series Firefly or the movie sequel Serenity?
    • Malcolm Reynolds has a very wide emotive range that can look serious when he's working, goofy when he's not working, or goofy when he's working, whereas Simon Tam has the much narrower emotive range of always trying to be serious all the time, but they've both made it clear that their core responsibility in life is to take care of the people around them.
    • Jayne Cobb is brutish and Kaylee Frye is giddy, but they both see their life of crime as a source of thrills instead of just as a day job for making a paycheck.
    • Simon again is normally prudish and Inara Serra is a professional "companion," but they've both had to get used to leaving behind a few of the creature comforts they'd grown up with.
     
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  3. gaisterson

    gaisterson New Member

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    now that i think about it, it would make more sense for them to be friends if they had similar personalities. i mean, how often do you see a super serious "no fun here" person being friend with a fun loving goofball?
     
  4. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    You just described the lead protagonists of my Urban Fantasy novel ;)

    Alec and Amy (both hetero, but not a couple) like to joke about how it's ironic that Charlie's a lesbian because Alec and Amy both try too hard to make everything into a joke, and Charlie being super-serious makes her the Straight Man :D
     
  5. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned

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    Actually, it's not that rare. They just need something else to unify them, and some tolerance.
    When I think of the motley groups of players (not characters) that I've been in D&D campaigns with ...
     
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  6. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    In real life, or in fiction? In fiction, very frequently.
     
  7. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere... Contributor

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    Have you considered different races and ethnicity? It usually is a good place to start.
     
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  8. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    If it's for a game, there's a lot that can be said for a character's personality by how they fight. You can use their battle animations to give them a bit more flavor. Like, maybe the brother/playboy is very controlled, yet forceful with his weapon, and the monotone scientist is slower and more precise than the others? The flirt could swing their weapon around as their 'idle' animation, while the shy girl can hold it close to her and not move very much. The brute could do that thing where a character leans their weapon on their shoulder and bends backward slightly, and the priestess could lean forward, as if alluding to them being in prayer or something like that.

    Games offer you a lot of options for showing personality through character designs and animations, so you should keep those things in mind when crafting your characters.

    Or, you could intentionally have a couple of characters be very similar, and play off of that by highlighting the little things they differ on? For example, one of them could focus on those little things and try to prove that they aren't that similar, and the other character likes that there's someone that's so like them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  9. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    1. Motivation. What do your characters want?
    2. Needs. What do your characters need? How does they motivation develop from their needs?
    3. Flaws. Character flaws. Flaws in skills, life situations, everything...
    4. Inner diversity. More dimensions. Atypicality.
    5. Social structure.
    6. Self/essence. They look more like identities than humans. Think identities as cloths and self/essence as a human inside those cloths.
    7. The base for character growth/arch.
    8. Backstory. Character backstory + story backstory + how these interact.
    9. Self reflection.
    10. Values and value structures.

    If you work these through, you might find some good answers.

    If you do it character by character, you find out that they start to change and develop. And so does the bigger picture of your game.

    Don't think about plot at all while doing that.
     
  10. Cirno

    Cirno New Member

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    I think it's best to view personalities as more of a color wheel rather than a little drop-down menu of choices, if that makes sense? Let's take the "good 2 shoes" and the "shy good girl," for example; they're both responsible and good-natured people who intend solely on taking the straight and narrow, but one of them is clearly much more introverted and meek than the other. Perhaps the goody two shoes in question is much more extroverted and outgoing than her friend, preferring to bask in the attention her accomplishments and talents draw to her--and she encourages her friend to do the same because she believes that's what's best for her.

    Meanwhile, shy good girl would be far more humble in her approach to things, and would have the effect of grounding the goody two shoes whenever her efforts go just a bit too far. They're fundamentally different people, but they come together because they want the same thing. You can create an endless amount of dynamics like this between characters on any end of the spectrum, but the important thing is that the audience can reasonably compared and contrast the two people the more they interact.
     
  11. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    What does race and ethnicity have to do with personality?
     
  12. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    These aren't personalities, they are two word charactateurs. Personality is what the sum of their behavior looks like, and that summary can't be made with one sentence.

    I don't know if you game allows for real personalities to be shown, or if you really do just need a wider variety of stereotypes to select from a drop down menu. Is the goal to create realistic characters, or to just have types that the player can feel they are choosing from?
     
  13. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I believe it is more culture than race. I have a few hyphenated American friends and several are from England and the contrast is interesting.
     
  14. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    While I would agree that a random sampling of African Americans and Asian Americans are likely to show cultural personality variations that average out to a perceptible difference - being black isn't a personality trait. Any individual can have virtually any kind of personality, regardless of whether it accords or conflicts with their ethnic average.

    In context, the problem of "I have too many good girls" is not combatted by saying "Make one Latino".
     
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  15. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    While I totally support increased diversity in fiction, race and ethnicity isn't going to define a character--it would give even less information than these short labels. And the short labels invite stereotypes.

    These characters need to be expanded. As you (the original poster being the "you") expand them, you can give them backgrounds, including race and ethnicity, which may then add nuances to their personalities.
     
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  16. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere... Contributor

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    Because we're all influenced by our environments. When I was worked in Germany for my church, I had a companion with me who was training me at the time. In this particular congregation, we had this old lady who ran pretty much the women's organization in that area. One day, she wanted to talk to my trainer. And for half an hour they talked. I didn't know any German so I was doing the few things I knew how to do. When they were done, my trainer said to me, "Oh my goodness, I think she's mad at me." Now, my mother was German, and after my trainer told me everything this old lady said, (which was basically bluntly saying things she could do to improve). I laughed. When she asked what was so funny, I replied, "Dude, if she hated you, she wouldn't have given you advise. She'd just let you fail."

    You see, in America, you kill people with kindness. Germans? There's no sugar coating. First off, the language doesn't even allow to sugar coat. Is that not different then how we do things in the West?
     
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  17. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    That is a story about culture, not race or ethnicity. The women gave advice because she grew up in Germany, not because she has German DNA.
     
  18. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

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    Sounds like my Brother and me, LOL. I think you can guess which one of us was the Goof. :p
     
  19. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Ethnicity (I picked the first definition that Google gave me: "the fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition.") isn't about DNA. Having a German mother is, to me, definitely a matter of ethnicity.

    Edited to add: I agree that adding race or ethnicity to these brief character tags (I wouldn't even call them descriptions) doesn't tell us anything about personality. (Well, ethnicity could point to the broadest of trends; culture can influence personality.) I'm responding to the narrow issue of whether ethnicity has anything to do with DNA. I realize that your final remark may have been only about race.
     
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  20. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    That isn't the way the term is most commonly used.

    "I was born in Pasadena."

    "What is your ethnicity?"

    "I'm Irish, Chinese and Italian."
     
  21. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Interesting. I haven't often heard it used that way, but I suppose discussing that would be at least two levels away from the main thread topic, and this thread is the relative rarity that hasn't veered wildly off topic yet. :) So I'll refrain from trying to tug it off the tracks.
     
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  22. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    That is also how it is used on the news when they're talking about Indonesia's "ethnic Chinese" population, referring to part of the population that has been there for hundreds of years.
     
  23. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere... Contributor

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    Okay, so are you really interested in actually contributing anything valuable or do you just want to play identity politics? Because if you want to play identity politics using definitions you learned in your grievance study classes, then you get to play with yourself. I don't play word games.
     
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  24. John-Wayne

    John-Wayne Madman Extradinor Contributor

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    :supershock: as in SoCal (Southern California) ? That's my Place of Birth/Hometown as well.
     
  25. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    Contributing? I'm trying to bring things back to reality after you suggested that race is a personality type. Regardless of any political affiliation, that is obviously false.


    And I really think it is ridiculous to have to defend using the right terms for things like nationality or ethnicity on a writing forum. If there is anyplace where words matter on the internet, shouldn't it be here?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019

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