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 - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!
Here Be DCC Monsters...
Pbp Secret of Bone Hill characters:
Flavia, WAR, Beekeeper, L, Str 10, Agi 10, Stm 7, Per 10, Int 12, Lck 7, AC 10 hp 5, staff, jar of honey, 10-ft pole, 1 pc chalk, 50' rope, 2 torches (1 lit)
Hector, DWARF Apothecarist, L, Str 5, Agi 11, Stm 12, Per 10, Int 6, Lck 10, AC 10, hp 11, sword, shield, cudgel, steel vial, chest, flint & steel, empty flask, lg sack
Chendris, WIZ, Alchemist, N, Str 11, Agi 9, Stm 12, Per 15, Int 13, Lck 15, AC 10, hp 3, staff, empty flask, 50' rope, 2 candles, lg sack, oil (1 flsk), 1 torch, snakeskin tome; speaks gnoll
Darrow, CLR, Hunter, N, Str 11, Agi 12, Stm 8, Per 16, Int 7, Lck 12, AC 10 hp 5, short bow, 6 arrow, 10-ft pole, deer pelt, torch (lit)