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Maccy

[Eclipse Roleplay] Character Development: How to develop a deep and believable character [Guide]

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(Co-authored by @Riderz and @Maccy for Jackboyz faction discord. Edited by @Maccy for general usage)

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Character Development: How to develop a deep and believable character

 

OVERVIEW

A lot of people talk about RP standards and improving RP standards but most don't quite understand how to do that. This guide aims to help with the key component in increasing your own RP standards; your character. When creating a character, you should always aim for the character to serve or have a higher purpose when it comes to RP interactions and for those interactions to be as believable as though you are talking to a real person. It is imperative that you never stray from the rules and morals you have set for your character into straying the line between your character and your real self as not only does this cause your RP and the character to break down, it often spoils and breaks the RP for others. There is nothing more jarring than being in a group of people and being deep in character and one person makes reference to their real world self, often times using slang to hide the fact that they are MIXING. If you're striving to better your RP standards you do not want to be the one who breaks character.

(Side note: Whilst people don't often get reported for these light mixing comments, they are indeed against rules and you should never be using any slang terms beyond 'Going to sleep' to indicate you're going offline)

 

THE BASIS

The basis is the beginning of the journey. It's important to note that depending on your ability to RP you may be able to get away with having a very shallow basis and developing it through interactions and adding details to your story; but for most people you will need to consider these following things before you have your first interaction:

1) Where did my character live prior?

2) What was my character's upbringing?

3) What experiences has my character gone through to get to their current point?

4) What is the story of my parents and their names?

5) What morals does my character have?

6) How old is my character?

7) What is my end goal with my character?

These are important questions to seek when developing a character as it gives a basic mold for which to base choices and future decisions. Even guide the allies, friendships, and enemies that are yet to be developed. An end goal is key to any development as it uses your character's past to set the start marker and the end goal for which to base all your choices to get to that point. Keep in mind an end goal should feel impossible to achieve as to prolong the character development as long as possible. Easy goals = end to story arc.

WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF AN END GOAL:

EX: Becoming the Main Supplier of all drugs in Los Santos

EX: Owning the largest house in the entire city

EX: Becoming the best street racer in the scene

These goals feel like they would be achievable but push the character to make choices that guides them in that direction. Thus giving the character purpose and reason. Also additionally understanding losses in situations are a part of character development and should always be treated as an opportunity for further RP and story development.

 

ADDING DEPTH

So you've got your characters background and story, good stuff, this should help you decide how your character should approach different scenarios and interactions with a variety of characters. But perhaps you're struggling when things are settled down and quiet, struggling in mundane social RP. Adding depth is a super important part of creating your character if you want to raise the standard of your RP and increase peoples interest in your character. After all, no one likes a backstory exposition dump out of nowhere.

1) What does your character do when you aren't actively roleplaying (When you're offline)?

These can be simple things that enhance your character to the next level. What music do they listen to? What shows are they keeping up with? What movies do they like? Thankfully here on ECRP real world media is allowed to be brought IC and it's often easiest if you pick things you're already interested in on an OOC level (Though doing research and choosing things you aren't interested in is also an option and something you can do if you want to hit that next level of character development)

2) Whats the current familial situation?

When your character moves to Los Santos, their story doesn't just stay contained to the city. If your character still has relationships with their family and old friends, what's their ongoing story? Adding little flavors of new and fresh family stories adds depth to your character and can often inform how they may make decisions differently from how they normally do.

3) Give your character a hobby

When you're not actively doing criminal/civilian/job activities or RPing with your faction/group, it's important to have something to do. This could be a scripted activity or simply RP but it can inform who your character decides to make friends with on a personal level. It may even develop into a faction/group level relationship but it's important that you are able to RP outside of your normal circle so that when socializing with your usual friends, you have things to talk about.

4) Letting personal story arcs affect your character long term development

When you're in a faction/group, that isn't just what your character becomes. They are still an individual with personal relationships and personal morals that may differ from the overall faction/group slightly and that's fine. Nobody is interested in cookie cutter faction members who are 100% identical. Allow yourself to be taken into story arcs that don't involve your usual friendship circle. Also allow these personal arcs to affect your character and their morals, perhaps not in big ways but in small ways at the very least.

 

CONCLUSION

Nobody is going to create a perfect character right from the start. Those who are just getting into roleplay may struggle to have the foresight to add details that make their character feel like a real person. But if you use this guide and perhaps note down answers to each of the questions posed you should quickly find that your interactions with others start to become deeper and more meaningful. It will allow you to continue to have unique and engaging roleplay with characters you interact with on an almost daily basis; and most important of all you'll encourage others to raise their standards to meet yours. Every unique and believable character makes the world of ECRP feel that much more like a real place and I look forward to seeing if this guide helps some people to make characters I'd enjoy interacting with!

Edited by Maccy
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