Case in point: Some years back, we started a new campaign. I wasn't in the mood somehow to create a new character. Just had no ideas at all. So I looked at stuff I hadn't ever played or hadn't played in a long time, and settled on a Dwarf Fighter. Oh, the heights of originallity I was mining with that choice! I even decided that since I couldn't think up much of a background, I'd play him as a bog-standard Dwarf: loves ale, loves gold, suspicious of Elves, surly, gruff, humorless....
Then the DM wanted a short character background written up by everyone. Bored with the idea, I just swiped a bit of Scottish Clan history, changed the names, put a few fantasy trappings on it and was done with it.
On the way to the session, I started to wonder how I was going to find any spark in playing this character. I didn't want to be bored at the table, or bore my friends for that matter, fully aware of how uninspiring my character creation process had been up until that point. I started thinking about his voice and began muttering things to myself in the car on the drive to the game. I decided the gruff/grumbly voice was going to ruin my vocal apparatus if I did it all night, so I went the other way and gave him a light voice, and for some reason started doing it in a Scottish accent, modeled on a business associate from Glasgow. And I thought that was that.
...Until I actually started to play him at the table. Suddenly, the character was fully formed and had opinions and perspectives on things, all down to using an accent. I couldn't say 'equipment', because 'accurtrements' showed off the accent so much better, and clearly made plain that this was a character with some education.... and the things that clicked into place kept coming as I exploited that accent to its limits. What would have been a forgettable character for everyone, turned into one of my all-time favorite characters! Aye... finding a character, indeed...
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.Playing RPGs since 1977
• Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.—Here Be DCC Monsters—VOORAK, L, Hunter, S10, A12, Sm10, P6, I13, L15, AC 10, HP 3, Spear +0 1d8, Init 0; R 0, F 0, W -1, Holy water, Pelt, 3 iron spikes, 1d ration, 4-leaf clover (Find secret doors) (+1), Com +1
SARKLA, C, Gatherer, S9, A14, Sm14, P15, I14, L8, AC 11, HP 5, Knife +0 1d4, Init 1, R 1, F 1, W 1, Chest, Basket of veggies, 2d ration, lg sack, waterskin, torch, Seventh son (Spell checks), Com +1
TARR, C, Hunter, S14, A11, Sm15, P13, I8, L8, AC 10, HP 3, Spear +1 1d8+1, Init 0, R 0, F 1, W 1, Holy water, Pelt, 4 torch, flint/steel, 1d ration, sm sack, Fox's cunning (traps), Com
TELVA, N, Herbalist, S13, A6, Sm9, P6, I12, L10, AC 9, HP 2, Club +1 1d4+1, Init -1, R -1, F 0, W -1, Chain 10', Herbs- 1 lb., 50' rope, 2d ration, torch, Speed of cobra (Init), Com