Welcome to Potter’s Army

Potter’s Army is a roleplaying site that's been up and running since 2007. We pride ourselves on fostering a welcoming and helpful community where all levels of writers are accepted.

In this alternate universe, Lord Voldemort is dead, but so is Harry Potter. Factions continue to fight, Hogwarts educates the next generation of witches and wizards, and the Ministry of Magic does its best to hold everything together.

It is 2030 in the Wizarding World

Help us get new members by voting below

Honeydukes Topsites Top 50 RPGs Top RPG Sites
Word Counter

words: 0


Share
View previous topicGo downView next topic
avatar
Slytherin Graduate
Slytherin Graduate
Selwyn Thorfinn
23 : Alumnus
NoneDeputy Headmaster
HalfbloodPart Veela
profileplotter
shippertracker
Sel

View user profilehttps://www.etsy.com/au/shop/NovelLane

Create Amazing Characters from Scratch

on Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:15 pm
This little tut is based on the character application form.   It's just an overview of how I design my characters, and may help anyone who's having trouble.  

I'm using Shylock Ashcroft's app as a reference for this.



INTRODUCTION

The intro is your character's basic info.  Seems like the easiest part, right?  Wrong.  Even naming your character is more complicated than most people think.

FULL NAME

Lemme ask you a thing.  Who named you?  It wasn't you, was it?  And if you look up the meaning of your name, does that suit you?  Could be, but probably not, right?  Do you even have a middle name?  Do you have several?  These are all things you should be thinking about.

We also know a few things about the kids at Hogwarts.  Most of them have middle names.  The pureblood familes seem to have naming traditions, naming their family members after plants, celestial bodies, mythological figures, etc.  Interestingly, the characters with alliterative names, like Colin Creevey, appear to mostly be muggleborn.  

Naming children after family members is also something that happens, but in some cultures this is taboo.  Be aware of whether it's likely in your character's case.

NICKNAMES

Full disclosure here, I hate characters that come with a pre-assigned nickname (and I am totally being hypocritical because I do fill out this bit).   What would be really nice is if your character was given a nickname through the RP (and any of my characters are almost guaranteed to call yours something weird if you thread with me).

My first ever RP character, Coraline used to get called Corrie all the time.  I always had her react to that because she hated it.  I'm pretty sure that's how it got cemented as her nickname.  It was way more fun than if I'd thought it up myself.

AGE:

Just some words on student characters.  

RP (and writing in general) is not about being realistic. It's  a simulation of what we think life is like.  We can use artistic license.  I can break the fourth wall if I like.

Do not stress about being able to play a younger character.  
Don't worry if you can't remember what it was like to be eleven.  Nobody really expects your eleven year old RP character to act like a real eleven year old.  What is fun about playing those younger characters is being able to develop them through their Hogwarts life, being able to make in character relationships (of all kinds), and have them do frankly quite strange things because they're so young and immature.

One of my favourite things about Selwyn is that he started out as a third year.  If you go to his thread tracker you'll find links to those threads where he just causes mayhem and behaves like a child.

ALLEGIANCE

I always put neutral here unless I'm making a character for something that's wanted.  I know I can always change it later and especially with brand new characters, it's hard to know right away whether the allegiance you choose suits them.  Just because your character is a pureblood or slytherin (or even agree with blood purity) doesn't mean they need to be a Death Eater.

HOGWARTS HOUSE

I always leave this to the end.  I really think writing a character's personality when you've already got a house in mind for them is a bad idea.  Apart from anything else, personality isn't what decides the Sorting Hat.  It's the qualities your character holds in high regard (which is how we end up with people like Peter Pettigrew in Gryffindor and Zacharias Smith in Hufflepuff).

For example, Shylock's current profile is new (so he'd already graduated) but in his original fifth year profile I was half hoping he'd be sorted into Ravenclaw.

If the admins think your character suits another house better, they'll let you know.

WAND

The one thing I don't get picky about!  I figure there's more to wandlore than we know.  If I'm in a good mood I'll go to the pottermore wiki and find a nice wand wood and I like to stick to Ollivander's cores (you'll notice Selwyn doesn't even have a veela hair wand) but there are more wand vendors than Ollivander's.

PLAYBY

I'd prefer not to use them at all.  I only have them for other people's convenience.  

If I had to say something, it would be that I like playbys to look like normal people rather than that weird "perfection" you get with hollywood actors and models.


APPEARANCE

Yay! We made it through the Introduction.  Feeling accomplished?  Now it's time to decide how your character looks (this part actually is pretty easy).

HAIR COLOUR
EYE COLOUR
COMPARATIVE HEIGHT
BODY BUILD


These are all pretty straightforward.  Just one word answers unless you want to add notes.

Some people like to fill it in to exactly match their playby, while others (like me) think of that as a rough guide and use this part to point out differences.

It's also been my observation over the years that the average height of wizards on PA is 6 foot or over (perhaps something to do with giant integration?), so if you know your character's measurements, they might not be as "tall" as you think.

ETA: Try this great site to compare heights of characters, or to compare your character's height to an average.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

This is where you can flex your descriptive muscles.  

I like to include my character's typical style, something about their typical demeanour (does your character have resting B**** face?) and why they're like that.  I also use it as an opportunity to practice my writing by avoiding infodumping as much as possible.


PERSONALITY

TRAITS
LIKES & DISLIKES
GOALS
HABITS & QUIRKS
BOGGART
PATRONUS
DEMENTORS
VERITASERUM
MIRROR OF ERISED


I think the above parts are all useless.  If you're not good at coming up with your character's personality, I guess this might give you ideas, but for me, it just seems like the app was written by someone who likes filling out forms.

I usually bullshit all those parts because I know I'm never going to refer to them again.

PERSONALITY

This is the important part.  Describing your character's personality.  And I, personally, like to see a description here.  That is, something you wrote, not their MBTI type copy-pasted from the internet.  Apart from anything else, MBTI is just a generic profile, it doesn't say anything about who the character is as an individual (and if you don't understand how functions work, you don't understand the types).  If you're going to type the character, use it as a base and expand on it to describe how those personality traits manifest in your character.

When I describe my characters I like to include something about their strengths, weaknesses, (which are often different aspects of the same trait) beliefs & why they hold them, relationships with their family &/or other characters & most importantly what their usual attitude is.

People who are new to writing apps often try to show every side of their character in the personality section and I think that's a mistake.  When I'm reading a character's personality, I only want to know what they're usually like.  People do act out of character from time to time and unless your character does it constantly it's unlikely you'll get in trouble.

FAMILY & POSSESSIONS

FATHER
MOTHER
SIBLINGS
OTHER


All your character's family & stuff.  Give them good names.

BLOOD STATUS

You can only be pureblood if you're canon or have permission.  
There should be more halfbloods in the wizarding world than any other type.
But muggleborn gives your character the chance to experience awe and wonder

SPECIES

You have to apply for this in the claims area.  There's info about each species in the World of PA forum.

SOCIAL STATUS

Class status in the UK is much less upwardly mobile than in other countries.  Basically, it doesn't matter how much money you have, there are people who will never consider you upper class if you don't have the right relatives (look up nouveau riche).  I imagine the purebloods would have similar attitudes, since people like the Malfoys were getting in with the muggle peerage before the Statute of Secrecy.

PETS
OTHER POSSESSIONS


obvious things are obvious

HISTORY

EARLY YEARS


How your character grew up.  If they were muggle, they probably went to school, they were probably startled about the existence of magic.  Maybe throw in something about their first use of magic.  Honestly, this part shouldn't be that long.   If you fill up on milestones here, you won't have much to RP about.

HOGWARTS  YEARS

Unless you've got a first year, your character has been at Hogwarts for a bit.  What did they do?  Did they participate in activities?  What were they doing when the major site plots happened?  How did those events affect them?

For the love of god don't write about how loved / bullied your character is!
 You can't possibly know this because you haven't played the character yet.  And it's a form of godmodding, which is against the rules.

ADULTHOOD

If you have a graduate, you may need to fill this part out. Try to keep it succinct.  You don't need to explain everything that your character has done since they graduated, just give an overview.  

If your character is quite old (I once had a character 104 years old), it's better to give a summary of the major events in their life.  

The only exception I've had to this was Michael Corner, because he's a canon, so we know a bit about his Hogwarts life that I had to incorporate, and then I had to explain what happened since 1998.  And I still think his history is too long.
View previous topicBack to topView next topic
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum