Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Secret World: Giving a Character Character

Below, we have some fun character development for The Secret World. It is my not fact-checked application to the guild we mentioned in the last post. I'm not willing, you see, when it comes to applying to guilds to jump through hoops. But, if I get the opportunity to, you know, apply in character? I'll take the time to do it.

I don't think some of these things are real things. This character probably is as "realistic" as a standard academic you'd see on "Bones" or "White Collar." In short. Not really. Plus, he swallows a magic bee.

Hello sir,

Our mutual friends in New York suggested that I get in touch with you. I have included my brief resume below. Thank you for your interest. I am currently located in the D.C. area, but am able to travel on short notice through our usual means.

~ Eric Shields

Eric Shields

Education: Emory University
* MBA Library and Museum Sciences, 2000
* B.A. in Literature and Folklore, 1998

Work Experience:

American University -- Adjunct Professor, Folklore and Library Sciences
* Teaches two courses a semester; one on comparative folklore for senior level students and one on introduction to library sciences

NIST -- Expert and Volunteer
* Drafted NIST documentation for preservation and authentication of period documents

Smithsonian Folk Life Festival -- Volunteer
* Conducting interviews, working with native speakers to transcribe local myths and legends
* Producing and building sets and replica artifacts
* Restoration and preservation

National Archives
* Document preservation and verification
* Supported local universities in authenticating period diaries from the 1600s to the 1900s
* Acted as liaison to Service branches and other government organizations to collect and preserve historical documents; received clearance while supporting Navy programs
* Contributed to more than 20 government publications, dozens of Congressional reports and quoted as a leading expert on the founding of the U.S. Navy
* Drafted U.S. ships' histories for the U.S. Dictionary of American Fighting Vessels in partnership with U.S. Naval Historians

Emory University -- Graduate Work Assistance Program
* Library and tutoring experience
* Research and primary source investigation
* Co-wrote "History of Emory University" with head librarian, received editorial

Extra Curricular Activities
* Supports local re-enactment and theater productions
* Recognized as an expert witness for the Georgia and D.C. courts on matters of document preservation and authentication



Take this as an object lesson on how you can start to make a character, not just a stat block. I took a few aspects of my life that I understood and knew well, and then tweaked them. Much of role playing is wish fulfillment. Remember: Most people's first characters are just "Me, with magic" or "Me, with a sword."

A mock resume, like above, can help you flesh out things about your character. You end up glossing over some details. For example, his promotion is ridiculously fast, I would imagine; I probably should move his graduation dates back another 5 years or so. This is part of ignoring dates, a bad habit when making characters that leads to lots of continuity problems.

You also get to learn a bit more about your character when you do a writing assignment like this. For example, this guy is probably significantly more academic than I am. I tend to go with what works; judging by his back ground, he has a very process driven sort of existence.

Though, some interesting facts. If he graduated in 1998, putting him at early 20s. So, by 2008, he's 30. By 2012, he's probably solidly getting ready for a midlife crisis. Which, I guess, sets him up perfectly to decide to change from government and education to investigation. That and, you know, realizing he has magic and should shoot monsters.

At the mid-30s, knowing most MMO characters, he's probably going to be one of the older folks in the guild. He's primarily an academic, with no real even fake background in shooting monsters, so he's probably going to be relegated into not shooting monsters when it comes to actual role-playing, except when needed. So, when given the choice, let's make sure he picks up investigation type missions over raw muscling.

He's also going to be kind of an outsider in the Illuminati. His academic back ground, especially from a school in Georgia, probably paints him as something of a modern Southern gentleman. He's traditional; his work in restoring and preserving documents also paints him as fascinated with history. He's probably, personality-wise, a much better fit into the Templar. So, why would he join with the Illuminati? That much I haven't figured out yet, besides they simply found him first.
He looks too old in this now. Still, pistol uppercuts for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. I think that my second character will use a lifepath generator to create a truly weird background. Jan essentially shares a discipline with me, with some varied focus.


Are you commenting? Thank you! Please be nice; I'm lazy and would hate to actually have to moderate things.