Killing John Smith: Creating Original Characters (Lit)

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Killing John Smith: Creating Original Characters (Lit)

Post by RabidFox »

The Reception Hall

Welcome to my tutorial on creating original and interesting characters while avoiding common clichés and other highly flammable material. The purpose of this guide is to demonstrate the many ways in which originality can be obtained without mauling your character beyond recognition or turning them into the next-next Chuck Norris. It will provide enlightenment on all areas of character creation, as well as the hellish fires of character corruption.

With that said, let us proceed to the lesson.

The Confessional

At one point or another, every author has been guilty of creating a John Smith or a Jane Doe. This section aims to reveal the enemies of character creation, so that you may shoot them the moment they enter your brain. Perhaps the greatest enemy of originality is the God Character or the Perfect Incarnation. This is the wicked tyrant that we will be discussing first.

If there is a God, it isn't You

The God Character is the person—Or alien or animal or what-have-you—that has no faults or at the most very few of them. He is the Hitler of creativity and the bane of many writers across the world. The Perfect Incarnation is handsome, charming, and talented to the point of absurdity. He never scores less than an A+ for fear that his over-bearing parents will excommunicate him for life. He is the jock, the honor student, the high school sweetheart, and the Broadway star all rolled into one, blindingly spotless package.

However, he can be beaten by following a set of rules.
  • Names are not always fountain pretty. Often times, they are horrendous and repulsive. Avoid giving your characters unrealistic "stage names" that make them sound like they're expected at a film shooting. Aim instead to give them a name that is drably ordinary. If you must be exotic, then go with something that is merely uncommon. There are a lot of uncommon names out there that don't sound like the person was dropped off the back of a tour bus.
  • Nobody is so talented as to be able to do anything that is presented to them. This goes for academics, games, sports, and—Where the problem seems to appear the most—fighting. Even the best student makes the occasional not-so-good grade, and even the best fighter will slip up and hack off his own foot. To avoid creating a character that is skilled beyond belief, make a point to give them plenty of faults and weak areas. This can be a school subject that they struggle with, a habit of tripping over their own feet, a weapon that they find impossibly awkward to wield, or any other kind of unfortunate attribute.
  • Rarely will you walk down the street and encounter a person that is so attractive that you stare and gawk like a lovestruck fool. Avoid making your characters unbelievably beautiful as if they were a Greek Goddess or flawlessly handsome as if they were carved out of the finest marble. While there are surely pretty people out there, most folks are painfully average.
  • Many times in life, a person will feel the need to rewind events and prevent themselves from saying or doing something ill conceived. Nobody always knows the right thing to say or the right thing to do. Give your character some realism by having them make the occasional poor choice.
Basically, what this list boils down to is that nobody's perfect and that everybody fails somewhere and somehow - Even the over-glorified town hero. Remember that and avoiding a God Character shouldn't be a problem for you.

Even Villains Slept with Stuffed Animals Once

This is the next area where I see the most clichés, and thus will be our next subject of focus. The problem that I see with most "evil" characters is that most evil characters are ridiculously evil. The evil character in the eyes of the majority lies at the deep-end of the black pool. He has no good qualities about him except for the fact that he's good at being evil. Even Hannibal Lector had friends and made his mother smile. He may have done some bad things in his life, but his entire existence didn't revolve solely around killing people. This is what folks need to realize when creating a character that could be considered immoral and perhaps even monstrous: That nobody can be defined on a black and white scale; everybody lies somewhere in the gray area.

By keeping a few things in mind, characters with immoral qualities can become more believable and less stereotypically wicked. This part of the tutorial is also helpful for avoiding the stainless saint cliché.
  • People who do underhanded things like steal, cheat, lie, and kill aren't always the dullest star in the sky, just like people who do socially approved things like donating all of their money to charity aren't always the brightest, either. Shady people are often pretty clever, as they'd have to be in order to avoid getting their hands chopped off. But then a lot have just average intelligence, too, so this rule works both ways. While very dumb and exceptionally smart people exist, it's more believable to throw your character somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.
  • Goths wear all black, chains, and combat boots, yet can be some of the nicest people that you could meet. Just because someone wears a lot of black and bad ass accessories doesn't make them wicked, shady, or even mildly immoral. Most thieves and murderers look like your average Joe on the street in plain clothes and no-notice shoes—You couldn't pick them out just by looking at them. While there are assholes that certainly get power trips from looking like a vampire or a biker, most people of questionable status go along with the crowd.
  • Contradictions run through the human race—Or in this case, furries—like a plague. Honor students with clear records could be shoplifting from malls with their friends. That jackass who always gives you a hard way to go could work as a volunteer at an animal shelter. The man on television who shot up a mall could have been the picture of sanity. People can be capable of things that one might never expect, even the seemingly lowest bastard or the purest saint. Try to give your character realistic depth by avoiding black and white images.
  • Not everyone who steals does so because they're a lazy asshole who doesn't feel like working for their money. Some people can be weighted down with two jobs, be taking care of three kids, and still not be able to afford their lifestyle. Some people can be simply desperate. The same goes for people who have killed, cheated, lied, or done any other number of immoral deeds: The circumstances are not always drenched in apathetic disregard for others or a burning hatred for mankind.
In a nutshell, what this part rounds up to is that "evil" is a strong word with a narrow definition. In order to make a believable character, it's best to mix in both good and bad qualities, so instead of thinking of everyone as either black or white, try to place people on a scale of different shades of gray.

John Wayne worked at an Ice Cream Stall

This part will focus on fighters of all kinds, including swordsmen, gunslingers, and even your unfriendly neighborhood bar brawler. A cliché that I often notice is the impeccable warrior, the man who cannot be beaten or at the least rarely fails. He is the John Wayne of the novel world, the Chuck Norris of literature. He is a kid's fantasy. While every piece of fiction is undoubtedly fiction, you still want your reader to believe that the characters you're proposing could actually exist. If a character is a gunslinging hero that never comes out of a duel with a scratch, then he could only be an overpaid actor who plays cowboys with people that make a career out of letting him win.

If you want to avoid an unbelievable fighter, then you should always keep the following things in the front of your brain.
  • All people experience a loss every now and then. Most folks lose quite a bit. This is true for anything, not just fighting. Instead of aiming to make your character always on top, try to occasionally yank the mat out from under their feet. In role-playing, vanity can become a problem when neither person wants their character to lose in a fight. If you think a battle has gone on long enough and the other person doesn't seem like they're going to volunteer defeat, be the bigger man and take a dive. At least you'll have something to fight about later.
  • Regardless of whether a character wins or loses a battle, they're going to get at least a little scuffed up if not littered with nicks and bruises. Even if you're only mentioning how much effort it takes to perform an action, it's good to put the mortality of your character on display. Nobody does a triple back-flip while holding a heavy sword "effortlessly", not even those people on TV who have spent their entire lives performing gymnastics. Even professionals have to spend some considerable energy to do what they do, and the work takes its toll in the form of pain, sweat, and exhaustion. Try to avoid giving fighting characters unbelievable amounts of stamina and skill. Make a point to have your character receive the occasional injury, and to show that the fight is taking some realistic effort on their part.
  • No man alive can expertly or even moderately make use of any weapon he's handed. Weapon skills have more to do with than simple experience at handling that weapon, and are affected by personal talents, body build, age, and stamina. It takes a long time to learn how to even decently use a weapon, never mind master it if ever. Never imply that your character can use "any" weapon, and instead focus on a particular kind or family of weapons. The skill level given to your character for a particular weapon should reflect the character's age, body build, stamina, personal talents, handling experience, and whether or not he's had instruction.
  • Most people in an army or warrior's union of any kind are at the lowest rung on the ladder, otherwise there would be no one to lead. There is no shame in being a simple soldier—You don't have to be a renowned Captain or a whore-laden General to be a good fighter. In order to make your character more believable, try giving them a low, humble status in exchange for flashy stars and stripes.
Stripping the Chicken

Instead of making an individual part for every stereotype, I only did so for the most troublesome ones and am simply going to group the rest of them here. I can't fit every character cliché into this tutorial, but I can include some of the more common enemies. In order to make things more comprehensible and concise, the following will consist of a simple list of character stereotypes, which should be used as a basic brain buster when creating characters. If one of the upcoming categories could apply to your character, you may want to rethink that character's design.
  • Straight A Wonderboy
  • Boring Nerd
  • Untainted Saint
  • Sinister Murderer
  • Brainless Lackey
  • No Good Street Thug
  • Godlike Warrior
  • Beautiful Mistress
  • Dumb Bully
  • Dark Mysterious Stranger
  • Stoic Chief
  • Useless Addict
  • Irrational Lunatic
  • Rugged Cowboy
  • Patriotic Soldier
  • Smooth Gangster
Checking into Rehab

In this section, light will finally break through the darkness and shine on some healthy alternatives to terminally ill clichés. Methods on giving your Believable Bill that appealing tan will be brought into the open. Read on to be saved from the hellish fires of character corruption.

A Refill for your Imagination Drip

Perhaps the word here is not really "original" but "believable". It's hard to make a completely original character without ending up with a two-headed monster from planet Uranium, and even that's been thought of. The common misconception behind the creation of so many John Smith's is that Believable is Boring and that Unbelievable is Exciting. But the unfounded truth is that you can create believable characters while still keeping them original and interesting. After all, it's not whether you're an alien-hybrid or can speak twenty different languages that makes you complex—It's all the little details that build up over the course of your life. These are the things that spark interest and provide originality. Let's take a look at a list of tips to get that IV of creativity into your veins.
  • If you're going to be creating a character for a time period other than the one taking place right now, research is your crisis counselor. Go to a library, check out some books, or for those of you who are allergic to leather, get on Wikipedia.org - It's usually quite accurate. The only way to make a good period character is to have a good amount of knowledge about the period they're from.
  • Your character was not dropped off by a stork. He has parents, and therefore he also has grandparents, as well as aunts and uncles and cousins and maybe even an ex-wife and two kids that hate him. While you don't have to role-play your character's family, you should at least acknowledge that he has blood ties somewhere.
  • Balance is your safety net. Sure, there are lots of people out there that seem to lack this trait, but it's a cheap solution to keep your china from falling off the shelves. When you think that your character may be looking too good, sling some mud at his sparkling white shirt. Just keep in mind that balance control also works vice versa.
  • Height can be a tricky topic for furries, due to all of the various species that are given anthropomorphic qualities. My advice would be to go along with the standards of the fictional world that you're writing in, or if you're not sure, then just use the closet human equivalent. The average height for humans varies depending on ethnicity, gender, age, and diet. For stats on these factors, use Google.
  • Occupations are various for all time periods and for all social classes, as well as necessary unless your character is a kid, a bum, or disabled. Money has to come from somewhere, food has to be bought, and rent has to be paid. Clearly define a job for your character, preferably something that you yourself have done or at least understand. If you'd like your character to have a career that you don't know how to accurately write, then do some research. You don't have to be an expert, but it's better to at least get the basics right.
  • If your character is going to be a drifter, he still needs a way to sustain himself. This means a method of getting money and food, and shelter when the weather is unfavorable. Drifters without vehicles will usually stay with people when they get the chance, even if they don't know them very well. And since they don't stay in one place very long, it's good for them to be open to a lot of different ways to make money - A man can't just steal everything he wants without eventually getting caught. This kind of life can require a lot of charity.
  • The world is diverse—That's just the way it is. Any believable environment is full of people that all have their own opinions and ways of doing things. Just because your favored character disagrees with one of your spur-of-the-moment creations, don't make the cameo out to be a complete loser only so that your shining star can look good. Be fair with your pen.
A Night Light for the Lost

Now for the last scene. In this part, I will be providing you with useful references that can help you along the path to creating better characters. These are all websites that you can easily find online.
  • Orangoo Spell Checker - Because the first step to recovery is cleaning up your act.
  • Firefox - A good web browser with a good spell checker for the convenience-dependent citizen. Beats Internet Explorer any day of the week.
  • Wikipedia - Perhaps the most useful resource on the Internet, Wikipedia is an extensive encyclopedia edited by people all around the world. It hosts a myriad of knowledge, spanning just about every topic that one could think of.
  • Medieval Occupations - A broad list describing occupations from the medieval age.
A Few Last Words

If you have any comments or critique for this tutorial, please leave them in a reply to this thread. Thanks for reading and good luck in killing John Smith.
Last edited by RabidFox on Sat Apr 24, 2010 1:49 pm, edited 19 times in total.

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Post by Jackie Haystack »

Very good, and very useful. Reading this I can almost definitely tell that Jackory is not original (that and I confess to being heavily influenced by trace from two kinds). But as for Nicholas, I'm not sure, opinions? Maybe.

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Post by xcaezarx »

This is not to say that making these characters is really bad, but we do have many of these characters already. Ace being one of them. (my Ace, not the imposter. *growls*) While you should try and keep these things in mind, the reason that stereotypes exist is because they are there and prevalant. its easier to make a stereotype rather than an original character. Just try not to make them perfect. I used to (before i had to stop RPing) put Ace in alot of magical RPs. The catch was, he couldnt use magic. I balanced this with exceptional use of MOST weapons. Never all. Or perhaps he could only shoot little lightning bolts, good for dispatching NPC's but never for fighting another PC.
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Post by RabidFox »

@xcaezarx

I don't think you realize just how many different kinds of weapons there are, and how much one weapon can differ from another in the same class. Saying your character can use "most" weapons in an exceptional manner is including most types of swords, axes, polearms, atlatls, gloves, knives, chain weapons, blunt weapons, bows, crossbows, darts, slings, shurikens, maces, chakrams, wind and fire wheels, firearms, etcetera. That's only counting personal weapons AKA small arms, nevermind siege equipment like ballistas and trebuchets.

For example, a rapier is wielded in a much different way than a longsword, rapiers being used mainly for thrusting attacks while a longsword uses a combination of striking, cutting, and thrusting moves. Because of the differences in weapon structure, the two different swords require two very different styles of combat, both of which take practice and instruction to wield even decently. One can't simply pick up a longsword after learning the rapier and know how to wield a longsword, and vice versa. Waving around a longsword day after day won't make one a master, either, as the moves require refined techniques to have any practical use. Step into a duel with a man that's actually had instruction with the longsword, and one will quickly lose.

Another example is a heavy spear versus a halberd, or a javelin versus a pike. All are polearms yet at the same time all are wielded quite differently. A heavy spear is no good for throwing due to its weight, but it can be used for thrusting attacks. A halberd, being an axe blade topped with a spike mounted on a long shaft, is used for cutting and stabbing. A javelin is basically a lightweight spear and is thrown. A pike is a very long, two-handed thrusting spear. Each weapon has its own set of tactics, and just because a man has used a halberd doesn't mean he knows how to throw a javelin.

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Post by xcaezarx »

Knowladge of a seige weapon is really very simple. Loading it may take learning, but it is easy to see the rope that holds the weapon back, and cutting or releasing it really shouldnt take too much intellect.

And I am very well aware of the different weapons Todd. We already had this argument.

And by the by, a Javelin, while capable of being thrown, was really only done so as a last resort. Especially in earlier times, it was extreamly inefficient to throw your weapon, as most people had to buy their own weapons. This ment that most people who bought them ment to keep them for longer than one battle, somthing that you dont plan on with a javelin. Once you reach the Roman empire, you finally get into the Javelin as a "thrown only" weapon. But at that point, the roman government was paying for the gear, and it was standardized. but this was past the medieval age that we (meaning Feila) are involved in. And when I say most, i really mean prevalant weapons, not obscure ones.

e.g. Shurikins were never prevalant weapons. Ever. They do minimal damage and were not very effective at much of anything, unless you trained extensively in target practice. But again, since they were never prevalant, the only places that may have used them are japan and possibly costal china. Which is what to us, Kahun? I forget. Anyways, it didnt spread to the west till much much later.

Anyone can use a firearm. That doesnt mean they will hit what they shoot at every time, and I certainly dont pretend for Ace to hit everything he aims at.

Actually, crossbows came into being BECAUSE they were so easy to use. Training the bow took a very long time. Instead, you could give a peasant, who had never touched one before, teach them the basics of how to load a crossbow, and let them loose on the enemy.

Chakarams and Wind and fire wheels were, again, never prevalant weapons. They were exotic, and not very cost-effective compared to a sword.

Besides all of this, this is a little off topic.
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Post by RabidFox »

I'm not arguing with you, Robert. I was just showing you that there's no way a man can use most every single weapon in existence with exceptional skill. When one says "most" weapons, they are including, whether intentionally or unintentionally, almost every weapon in the world, not just the West. I'm not trying to wound your pride, and this conversation is very on topic for the subject of this thread.

But if you want to get technical, then so be it.

Weapons do require instruction and practice in order to make any practical use of them, otherwise the wielder can end up hurting themselves or an ally, or just be simply useless in battle. Even drafted farmers were given training with the weapon that they would be using. In China, during the Ming Dynasty and the Mongol raids, farmers were taken from their land and taught how to fight based on their preexisting skills with farming equipment. This method of training was to make it easier for the farmers to learn how to fight efficiently.

For example, the pike was often used in hedgehog formations, especially by men who had not received a lot of training in tactical maneuvers with the weapon. This formation simply consisted of the men standing with their pikes held out at the enemy. But it would take better trained troops to make use of the pike in an aggressive assault.

A crossbow may have been a lot easier to learn in respect to a longbow which took years, but it still required at least one week of professional training to be used with effectiveness. Not to mention, just because one knows how to properly use a crossbow doesn’t give one exceptional accuracy or range.

Javelins have been used since prehistory as throwing weapons, and are designed primarily for that purpose. While a javelin is almost always thrown by hand, hurling devices can be used to achieve greater distances. For example, atlatls and the Australian woomeras are tools that assist in spear throwing. Javelins have been common throwing weapons by many different peoples throughout time, including the middle ages. Their ability to be thrown is what has made them effective, and they have been used from behind shield formations, for hit-and-run attacks, from horse back, in stand-off encounters, etcetera. The javelin was one of the Welsh’s main weapons. During the Norman and later English invasions, the primary Welsh tactic was to rain javelins on tired, hungry, and heavily armored English troops and retreat into the mountains or woods before the English could pursue them. The tactic was very successful as it demoralized and damaged the English armies while the Welsh were barely harmed at all.

Shurikenjutsu is a traditional Japanese martial art and was a supplemental art to more commonly practiced ones involving swords, spears, staffs, and grappling. It was not useless nor rarely practiced, but it was considered a secret art. It was taught at many famous schools and often played a vital tactical role in battle. The shuriken was a secondary weapon that was primarily used to cause distraction, deterrence and disruption, to hinder the movement of the enemy, or discourage pursuit. They could also be lodged into the ground in order to slow down pursuing forces that would step on them. Shurikens were not primarily used as killing weapons, but could be wielded in close combat as push daggers. They had a wide variety of uses and could be made from readily available materials, such as construction nails and roofing washers. Unlike bladed weapons, antique shurikens are often not well preserved, largely due to their original status as throwaway weapons. While the "throwing star" is the popular conception of shurikens, they have taken many different shapes and designs. A shuriken could be as simple as a straight, iron spike AKA a Bo-Shuriken.

Chakrams were used in combat by the ancient Indians, and the Chakkar was used extensively by the Sikhs. The Indians and Sikhs are Asian peoples, but that doesn't make them any less existent or prevalent. Westerns aren't the only people in the world.

Not just anyone can pick up a gun and be effective with it. It may be simple enough to explain how to load and fire a gun, but actually being able to wield and aim one to effectiveness requires training and practice. There are many different kinds of guns. Some guns give off different recoil than others, which can cause a person not to be able to wield one model but be able to wield another. Entire police forces may not be able to wield a certain gun because they can’t handle the recoil, ultimately making their accuracy useless. We’ve had cops here in my town shoot literally hundreds of bullets at a suspect and not hit him with a single one of them, and these men are supposed to be trained professionals. I’ve handled guns myself, and I can tell you from personal experience that aiming a Magnum Revolver is a lot harder than aiming a 9mm Beretta. The recoil on a Magnum Revolver is a bitch, but you can barely feel the recoil on a 9mm Beretta.

Siege engines required siege tactics, but I’m not going to get into that. I’ve written too much already and I’m ready to start wrapping things up.

All I really want to get across is that there are tons of different swords, axes, bows, polearms, etcetera, and saying “most” is including way too many weapons. Even if you said that your character could make exceptional use of most Western weapons that were common during a certain period, that’s still including an unbelievable amount of weaponry. Wielding an axe is a lot different than wielding a sword. Simply put, it takes training and experience. Your character, Ace, is only twenty-five-years-old, and I find it impossible that he could be a pro with so many weapons, even if he was one-hundred-and-ten. You’re not just saying that he can do so decently, you’re saying that he can do so with above average talent, quote “exceptional use”.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, find a list of weapon classifications and start combing all the weapon types and their members from maces to axes to swords to pitch forks. Like I’ve said before, one sword can be very different from another sword, and the same goes for other classes. Just because you can use one doesn’t mean that you can just pick up another and use it efficiently without any knowledge of it. Often times it doesn’t matter how much one practices with a weapon, one simply cannot make good use of it. You also have to take into account that you'll not only be using a weapon, but using it against people who may have more training and experience with their chosen weapon than you.

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Post by JamesG »

In the hopes of helping the creative, original character process, I have devised this list of questions for anyone to review at their leisure when making a character, if they are interested in originality.

These are yes or no questions. If your character answers more questions with 'yes', it is likely those traits are already abundantly present on the site.

1. Does your character have any psychological defect or abnormality?

2. Is your character's family entirely, or mostly deceased?

3. Is your character a private military contractor, mercenary, assassin, or such occupation that includes murder in its description?

4. Is your character able to operate, carry and otherwise show proficient skill in the use of more than one weapon type?

5. Is your character inhabited by a demon, ghost or other supernatural phenomena?

6. Can your character alter its form in order that it might spend a period of time in a heightened state. ie: Does it have a 'super' form?

7. Is your character able to repel or otherwise survive with no noticeable effects all attacks directed at it?

8. Is your character unoccupied, that is with no discernable job?

9. Is your character homeless, or otherwise with no permanent residence?

10. Has your character's family been abusive or otherwise unsupportive to an abnormal level?

11. Is your character wise beyond its years, or otherwise shows knowledge on most subjects discussed?

12. Is your character capable of any degree of murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault, or any violent crime without feeling any negative emotion?

13. Is your character undisturbed when witnessing acts of murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault or any violent crime?

14. Does your character's magical power, if any, have the capability to alter the landscape on a large scale, or affect a multitude of objects, structures or persons within a certain radius on a large scale?

15. Is your character unaffected by shocking scenes, surprises, extraordinary or unbelievable events?

16. Has your character any form of amnesia, short or long term memory loss or any associated memory problems?

17. Has your character any form of memory problem that prevents memory of its parents or family members?

18. Has your character's conception or birth been influenced by a god or other supernatural power?

19. Is your character cursed by a god, supernatural phenomena or similar?

20. Is your character an orphan, or has otherwised been raised by an alternate guardian than its parents or immediate family members?

21. Has your character ever been enslaved, born into slavery or otherwise spent some part of its life a slave?


The more 'yes'es your character got, the more unoriginal it is, basically. I may add more later, should I think of any more.
Last edited by JamesG on Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Secluded »

I love this guide. It's pretty much all of the things that I've thought about character creation, even if I don't always follow it strictly.

It just seems more fun to RP with a character who has a bunch of flaws.
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Post by Indrick151 »

I'm just going to put in a quick side comment on the weapons, it is theoretically possible to be a master in one weapon and therefore have some talent in a few similar weapons due to a transfer of skills, (it has been shown by psychologists that this does occur when two things are similar), so one could apply knowledge of using a longsword to using other similar weapons (mostly swords), such as a rapier, they might not be good, but they could use the weapon with a degree of competence due to the carry over of some skills from using a longsword, but would have no skill in using axes or lances etc.

However this could also work against them, rules with using a certain weapon may get in the way of using other ones, such as knowledge about how to use a sword may actually to a degree impair ones ability to use a different type of weapon as they try to apply rules and skills that they learnt with a sword to a completely different weapon.

So while its not beyond the scope of possiblity that one could pick up a weapon that is similar to one they know how to use and be able to use it with a degree of competency, it is unlikely that they could just take any weapon and use it expertly. Its like a sportperson who plays cricket could in theory use certain skills and carry them over to baseball, they won't be brilliant at it, but they will be able to do better than someone who has never played baseball before because of the set of skills they know from cricket.
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Post by RabidFox »

While it is true that some skills may be carried over, the user would still have to learn the tactics for that individual weapon even if it were of the same class. Despite that a longsword and a rapier are both swords, they are wielded very differently. When you have a sword that is used primarily for thrusting, you can't use longsword tactics to effectiveness. Therefore, you will have to spend some time readjusting how you think about swords in order to use a rapier, because in the end a rapier is a rapier and a longsword is a longsword; they are not the same weapon. This is just an example, and I understand where you're coming from, but know-how of using weapons in a life or death situation is far more critical than learning baseball on top of cricket. Most sports are designed to be easy to learn and a lot of them involve physical abilities that are easy to transfer from one to the other. However, swordplay is more complex and dangerous, and the consequences of losing a match are much greater.

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Post by Bigfox3 »

In that list of yours, I noticed two stereotypes that I've used before that aren't on there: Dumb blonde and Sexy Scientist. What's your opinion on those two?
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Post by Moloch »

A stereotype usually requires some stereotypishness, aka not sexy scientist. A really geeky sexy scientist in a super hero movie is a stereotype.
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Post by RabidFox »

Bigfox3 wrote:In that list of yours, I noticed two stereotypes that I've used before that aren't on there: Dumb blonde and Sexy Scientist. What's your opinion on those two?
The Dumb Blond is becoming less and less "Dumb" and more and more "Smart", so it's become common to see both stereotypes. On one hand, you have the traditional blond and sexy woman who is consequently incredibly stupid, and on the other you have the blond and sexy woman who is "surprisingly" intelligent. You're more likely to see Dumb Blonds being portrayed as bimbos, and Smart Blonds being portrayed as successful, white collar workers.

As for "Sexy Scientists", I haven't seen many. Most scientists are portrayed as being the opposite.

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Post by WilkFiadh »

Good tutorial. Though...I seem to find that in trying to make a character original I end up making them unoriginal. Ex: I spent a lot of effort coming up with Drugi's past and finding out what effects the events would have in shaping his personality and viewpoints, but for all that work he has a rather unoriginal personality (at first glance at least.)
Any tips on how to resolve this?
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Post by BecHund »

Great tutorial. Very helpful and amusingly true.

Just wondering, in your opinion, have I done a pretty good job of making intresting yet reasonable characters that follow Feila's guidelines?

I'll admit Karb is probably a bit out there but my bard can't even sing so at least I can't be accused of making god characters. Lol.

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