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Professor Otterseed's Tips and Talks about Story Writing and Character Writing

Hello everyone,

A quick disclaimer for everyone. I'm not a real professor but I do have a diploma in Motion Picture Arts and a big part of that is script writing in the pre-production stage of making movies/tv shows.

Now when writing any normal story it is just the responsibility of the writer(s) to establish the setting, the characters, the plot, the journey for the characters, and the main message you're trying to tell in your story which is a really important part of writing the story because your message is usually always the answer to the question you should ask yourself before writing a story; Why? Why are you writing about this particular thing? Why is it important? Why should you tell this story?

In Star Wars: The Last Jedi the main message or theme of the movie was failure. Hardly any of the characters accomplished their goals and nothing really got accomplished. In Django Unchained the main message for that movie was freedom for obvious and not as obvious reasons. Now the discussion isn't about film analysis so I'll stop with the examples.

Now for writing for role-playing games like Urealms, the responsibility for telling the story is split between the GM and the players but before we get into that let me give a quick explanation of the 12 steps of the hero's journey.

The Hero's Journey is a template of story telling that is used in almost every story. It contains 3 acts (1, 2A, 2B, 3) and each act contains 3 steps. Today I will just talk about Act 1.

Step 1 is the Ordinary World. This is where we see the character(s) everyday life and what is considered normal or mundane. This doesn't have to be boring or feel like the vegetables you're suppose to eat before eating your juicy steak. In the beginning of the third Thor movie it started out with Thor trapped in a cage talking to the corpse also in the cage on what he's been doing and just what has been recently on his mind to pass the time, breaking free from his chains, and kicking a lot of ass. This established that Thor is this powerful god, he's been using his time looking for infinity stones, and discovering that the prophecy of his home being destroyed is near. It wasn't boring at all we learned about the character and his day to day life.

The Ordinary World is both the GM's responsibility and the player's. The GM must create a setting like a village or a throne room, or a battlefield for the player's and then the player must roleplay their characters day to day life and let everyone sort of learn what this character is like before going on the journey that will most likely change the character at the end of the story.

Step 2 is the Call to Adventure. This for the most part is completely the GM's responsibility. This is where drastic change happens for the character(s). This can be as literal as you wish. Make a NPC that gives you a call to go on this adventure or be very sadistic like someone we all know and have a villain or some power rip away something the character cares about that will end up sending the character on the adventure.

Step 3 of the act is called Refusal of the Call. This is where the character rejects the change caused by the call to adventure. This step is important for at least one or two of the players to achieve. Refusing the call demonstrates that your character has depth and is conflicted. Characters being conflicted is interesting. Imagine if in the Hobbit when Gandalf showed up with all those dwarves at Bilbo's House and asked him to go on a dangerous journey to a far away place if Bilbo just said, "Sure, I'll go." Him saying no though and then later changing his mind and catching up to them creates a much more interesting character. One or two of the player's characters should be conflicted with the Call to Adventure but remember to accept in the end or otherwise you aren't in the campaign anymore.

That's all I'll make people read for now. If anyone has any questions on writing a back story for your character or making an interesting campaign or anything at all that you're having creative troubles with please feel free to ask me questions.

I'll talk more about the hero's journey and how it should be used in a role playing game at a later date in this thread. 


  • What about characters who lust for adventure and jump at any opportunity? Do they skip step two entirely or does it somehow manifest in some other way or are they just not good characters? I'm talking like a book with one main character
  • @Kingedyou Well a good example of a character like that is actually Belle from Beauty and the Beast but I'm going to use a different good example. Luke Skywalker in a New Hope has a great Act 1. He lives on a farm and he has the same boring farm life everyday then his Uncle buys some droids, one of the droids tells Luke that he needs to go to Obi-wan Kenobi. Luke knows someone named Ben Kenobi but doesn't like taking the droids out alone in the desert with all the sand people which is the refusal then R2-D2 convinces him with Leia's message. There is also another call and refusal later after they get saved by Ben when Ben tells Luke about his father, the force, and the jedi, and coming along to rescue the princess. Luke doesn't want to leave his family behind but then later discovers that his family is killed by the people who kidnapped the princess and gets convinced to go.

    Give your character a situation they aren't entirely comfortable with to cause the conflict. Don't change the character, change the scenario for the character that makes the story interesting.
  • edited February 2018
    @TurnipOtterseed A good, educational thread for the writing community on the forums, and the roleplayers/GMs in the fangames.

    One thing I'd debate you on for the main show, mostly because I'm a nerd: Does a story of this type need a hard meaning?

    In popular media you will often want a hard meaning, as being too open-ended risks having a flawed plot, or a lackluster ending. For example, if the original Star Wars trilogy ended with the death of Luke and the main villains of the Empire in a massive explosion, the obvious statements concerning redemption and good vs evil are lost. Instead, you get something more sour, concerning the price of war, peace, and evil. Not only that, but these messages would be more vague, and risk being lost on the audience. Therefore, you'll want something concrete, and usually happy or bittersweet.

    But in less popular forms of media, such as poetry, you'll find that theme isn't quite as distinct. Of course, there will always be mood and some form of subject matter, but as Ars Poetica states;

    "A poem should not mean
    But be."

    To explain, good poems shouldn't have strict meanings. They should have those vague meanings, themes that the reader derives on their own. Of course, there will be a biographical meaning of the text, as the author has to have some connection in order to produce any passion, but this is not an obvious theme nor the "true" theme. Major media can have personal meanings as well, but they do not encourage it like poetry and some forms of fiction do.

    Now of course, for the small stories in the fangames and fanfics, I would advise against writing in this style unless it comes to you naturally: it takes time to get it right, and it isn't healthily prevalent in the media to learn through osmosis, as one does with most stories. But for the main stage of URealms, I'm uncertain as to which is better. For instance, the Sandbolds arguably became a campaign with subjective themes: The Sandbolds were reprehensible monsters to some, while others found some scraps worth saving; therefore the ending of the central plot was very subjective. Those who hated the Sandbolds might have interpreted, "Those who commit atrocities will get their comeuppance, at least by the powers I have in this story world." Those who didn't think the Sandbolds were pure, yet didn't believe them deserving of genocide might have interpreted, "Those who are seen as evil by the mob will be cast away by acts more far more evil than their judged crimes." In this way, the Sandbolds had a more poetic style, one that was more like a retelling of lifelike events in dramatic fashion, with no easily discernible ending. But is this the more effective method? I would say yes, but I have no hard evidence to say it is objectively better, neither do I see any for the counterpoint.

    URealms is, surprisingly, a new type of storytelling; a play with no true script, just stage directions and an ear to a muffled audience. While the old rules of media will certainly apply,  new rules which may end up serving it better.

    @Kingedyou A character with wanderlust is never inherently bad. But if they come up with a reason to travel with no discernible goal or interesting rationale, it is weak. For example, they may be adventuring in the woods one day, and find a mysterious gate they've never noticed before. Or they may have a dream of a princess, telling them to seek out the 7 red gems in order to save her life and become the new king. Or they've been weary of their small town, and climb aboard the first army caravan that rides into town. These aren't quite as direct as a villain kidnapping their sister, but can be just as, if not more, effective.

    Just make sure there's moments of doubt.
  • @Talespinner ; Does a Urealms campaign always have a hard meaning? Not always. Does a Urealms campaign always have a purpose though. Yes. Urealms is a series like any TV show. Sometimes it has a message, sometimes it just wants to add more members on Boben's Crew. Each campaign Rob makes he wants to accomplish something in the universe of Urealms as well as show us a good time. I guess you could compare it to Doctor Who. Sometimes it wants to teach you about the equality of all intelligent life forms and the other times the show just wants to put the Doctor and his companion in a dangerous situation to grow closer and have their relationship change for a feature episode.

    "Everything has an exception. That also includes the statement that everything has an exception."
  • edited February 2018
    @TurnipOtterseed True. There must always be a purpose insofar as moving the plot. Yet with how few and isolated the characters we "follow" are (the only meetings we've had between major characters are Chimera vs Galen, and Bopen vs Virgo, and the small interchanges inbetween like Lance and Bopen), the plot won't really move like a normal TV show. TV shows themselves follow scripts even harder than movies. The show jumps around to different settings and characters with each episode, perhaps even to different universes. I would argue that a URealms show must always have a theme of sorts (objective or not), as the current trend is to focus on a mostly insignificant story, then expand to the bigger picture. To not have a lasting impact on the audience would be to have a campaign that isn't memorable; an episode that merely moves the plot. I kind of want to think of URealms a bit like the original Star Trek, an episodic series with drastically different situations made memorable by moral quandaries and streaks of familiarity. Yet even that's not the perfect example.

    The closest thing I can compare URealms to (in this state of mind) is if you combined wrestling with a fantasy Star Trek, and not only is that a statement of madness, but I don't even think it scratches the surface.
  • @Talespinner I think you could consider how Urealms is right now as still establishing the Ordinary World for a much bigger story. I kinda hate how I keep going to Star Wars for examples but we're sort of right now at the part of a New Hope where we're watching Darth Vader board Princess Leia's ship.

    It's also important to keep in mind that the first thing any role-playing game is, is a game so you almost have to balance the gameplay in the campaign with the story that's in a campaign. Of course role-playing games are different than other games that have a story in it which makes this all just a big unique circumstance. That's one of the reasons why this thread exists though so we can all learn and improve together. 
  • edited February 2018
    Hello again everyone.

    Today I want to talk about all the steps in act 2 of the hero's journey and how both players and GMs can use this in the story of their character and the story of their campaign.

    Step 4 of the Hero's Journey is meeting the mentor. Commonly this part of the journey is literal and the hero finds someone to help him get to the end of his journey. What this actually is is the hero overcoming the fear he/she had in step 3: refusal of the call to adventure. It's the decision that the hero will go on the journey. Now the GM can and probably should have NPCs to point the party in the direction they need to go but a different player could also be the mentor that shows the hero(s) the way. In the beginning of the purge campaign Justin's character, the Mayor, can be seen as the mentor for the rest of the characters showing them a way to escape the city.

    Step 5 of the Hero's Journey is crossing the threshold. This is the hero fully committing to the journey and crossing from the Ordinary World to what is called the Special World. Using an example from the Purge campaign again this would be when the party jumped in the sewer pipe and left their normal lives behind. The living characters could have not gone down the pipe and stayed in the ordinary world and lived the lives they would have been allowed to live in the ordinary world. This of course would have gone against what the player's characters would have done in the situation but I'm just using a hypothetical. All the GM has to do is create a "special world" for the player's character to cross into.

    Step 6 of the Hero's Journey is called Tests, Allies, and Enemies. This is where the hero first experiences the special world and is faced with different obstacles and starts to learn and develop by solving these obstacles. These obstacles can be physical, emotional, mental or maybe a mix of everything. A lot of fun can be had here in a campaign for both the players and GM. The GM can put a combat encounter here, have NPCs slowly fall in love with characters, have puzzle rooms, just anything to give the players opportunity to develop their characters how they want. Players most likely have to improvise here and figure out how they want their character to develop in relation to the trials around them. An example of this step can be the entirety of the last Tower of Ultimate Wizardry campaign or the part of the Princess Bride where they go into the fire swamp and face all 3 dangers inside it.

    Step 7 of the Hero's Journey is The Approach to the Inmost Cave. This is where the players' characters prepare for a really big moment and are about to face a great danger. It can be a literal approach like when Dorthy and her friends approach to The Witch's Castle and before they get there Dorthy gets kidnapped by the flying monkeys. Then it can be not as literal like the supper in Django Unchained when Django gets found out by Decaprio's character. There should be an increase in tension or suspense here, a sense of increased difficulty. The GM doesn't always have to make sure to create a scenario here that makes the characters feel the tension but the players (and if you're Rob, the audience too) should feel the rise of danger approaching.

    Step 8 is the Final Ordeal. This is the climax of the journey. What everything has been building up for. This is Darth and Luke fighting in the Emperor's Throne Room, Gollum fighting Frodo and Sam in the heart of Mount Doom for the One Ring, and Bopen fighting Virgo. Usually some form of death or rebirth happens like Gollum falling into the lava, Darth Vader sacrificing himself to save his son from the Emperor, and Virgo crushing Bopen's Skull. Usually the dice will determine what form of death or rebirth will take place in this step of the journey. The GM should be prepared for all outcomes of the Final Ordeal, this should be the boss fight you prepared at the end. The players should know that another form of death that can happen is the person your character use to be. If your character was struggling with something about themselves like an attribute that was negative or a cornerstone that the character had a problem with or even a positive thing that your character has maybe the results of the Final Ordeal causes that to die.

    Step 9 is called Reward. This step isn't always as pleasant as it sounds. It can be a little sad but usually people should feel some relief or acceptance in this step. The story shouldn't feel completely finished here. This is when Frodo and Sam are just lying down on the side of the exploding Mount Doom, they finished their goal, they saved Middle-Earth, although it seems like they're still going to die. As a GM you'll have to find a way to cool of the tension of your players after a hard Final Ordeal but not cool them off all the way because their should be still some unfinished business. As a player your character should have gone through enough development by now that you should be playing someone that isn't like the character that you started out with. It doesn't have to be drastic difference but after all they just experienced does it make sense for your character to be somewhat changed?
    Remember to ask yourself that question at this point of the journey.

    So that's all the steps of act 2 of the Hero's Journey. As always if you have any questions please ask them. Sorry if it's all a little too wordy to read.

    I'll talk about the final steps of the Hero's Journey tomorrow and how they should be applied to writing characters and writing campaigns. Have a good rest of your evening. 
  • I keep rereading this thread. It's really good and helpful. I graduated last May with a BA in Theatre Arts, and this post as been reminding me of my time in the Playwriting class. 

    One of the things I keep remembering is the lecture on the the Inciting Incident. Is this part of the "Call to Adventure Step?" If R2 never was bought by Owen and Luke never saw Leia's message, then Luke might have never left Tatooine. The inciting incident is the thing that pushes the protagonist out into the world. 

    .....I think I might have answered myself......

    Anyway, wanted to thank you for putting this here. In the Urealms Group I play in, one of my fellow GMs has helped me with my GMing skills and a big point we always come back to is that the Campaign is the story of the characters. And reviewing the Hero's Journey here has made me start to rethink my next campaign. Thanks, man.
  • @Siphonthenight Your words fill me with warmth and determination. 
  • Hello again everyone.

    Time for me to finish up talking about the Hero's Journey with the final act of it.

    Step 10 of the Hero's Journey is The Road Back.
    This is where the Hero decides what to do next. Sometimes their is no question about it where in other times a decision needs to be made. Usually the decision is to stay in the Special World or to return to the Ordinary World. There also is a realization of a new or old but smaller problem for the hero. In most cases this is just a task the Hero needs to do to go back to the Ordinary World.
    Usually GMs end their campaign right after the final boss is defeated with maybe a quick roleplay wrap up or a discription of what happened. This is the equivilent to rolling the credits right after the Death Star gets blown up. The GM should prepare enough campaign for the player's characters to transition back to the Ordinary World from the Special World and maybe add a challenge for the players to get back to the Ordinary World. Players should think whether or not their character wants to leave the Special World and also if they want their character to return to the Ordinary World.

    Step 11 of the Hero's Journey is Resurrection.
    This is the final time the Hero encounters death. This is where a final climax in the story is made. The hero using everything that they learned becomes something new and defeats death in a resurrection. Their are tons of examples for this step like in Django: Unchained when he returns to the plantation and blows up the mansion with Stephen in it. Also when in HP and the Sorceer's Stone Harry wakes up in the hospital with Dumbledore next to him. The GM should plan out a moment of death for the characters so they have a chance to experience some time of resurrection to however the GM sees fit.

    Step 12 of the Hero's Journey is Return with the Elixar.
    This is when the Hero is back in the Ordinary World with the rewards and experiences and we see the Journey resolved. You're back in the Shire, having a celebration with some Ewoks, or 6 feet under dirt as a kingdom mourns your death. I think ahead of time the GM should have 2 or more endings for the story they want to tell but still be ready to possibly improv a slighty different ending since you might not know entirely how the player's characters will develop in the journey. Help your players get an ending fitting for their character whether you think it should be good, bad, maybe even bitter sweet. If you want even create a cliff hanger if you want the story to be a series of campaigns.

    Well that's all of the steps of the Hero's Journey. I hope that gave everyone ideas and inspiration on how they want to make their future campaigns. Remember that their are exceptions to everything including the statement that their are exception to everything. Be the creative genius that you want to be.

    Next time I will be talking about the creative process and how, if you are having writers block how to fight past it.
  • Oh man the Hero's Journey... In Grade 9 we had to do a final essay on whether Luke from Star Wars was a true hero or not. I was the only one to argue he was not. That was fun!

    That being said, what do you think the most important quality(ies) in a main character is(are), what makes a person get the "that's a hero" vibe? Is a first impression important or can a reader/viewer change their views on a character? Not in a misunderstood kind of way but a backround character to hero kind of way. If that makes sense.
  • This is all very interesting, I didn't know most of the steps of the Hero's Journey and I find this a valuable resource and inspiration for making stories. But, maybe not in the way you would think...

    All steps of this template seem so... ordinary, that I feel that they are unimaginative. I don't think they are ineffective, in fact, if it's a template it must be a good way to tell a story, but I like stories that carry me outside the typical boundaries of storytelling... That's why I think that knowing this template and consciously diverging from the steps or reorganize them can be a good way to write original campaigns/stories.

    For example, The Skeleton King finished with Step 8: The Final Ordeal, the battle between Virgo and Bopen was the climax of the campaign and it ended that way, there wasn't the need of others step for the hero/heroes. Climax as an ending can be a good decision, there isn't a need to return to the Ordinary world (or to show the return).

    Another example, about the Refusal of the call, I feel Heroes shouldn't always rejects change, and most time I will prefer a Hero who show initiative and acceptation of the adventure because that give more importance to the character himself rather that its destiny. If Bilbo would have said "Sure I'll go", yes he wouldn't seem conflicted, but it doesn't matter because it would have raised more questions "why would he accept", "what are is motives". And he could be still a conflicted character, but this time, not about his "refusal/acceptance of the call" but about "the reasons of this acceptance, if it's justified..."

    I could find ways to exploit each step of the typical Hero's Journey to make it more original, and that's the point that I'm trying to make : why stopping to a template when we could do so much more by playing with each of its parts and forcefully going against it to make a story more surprising and original.
  • @ShadowPoow I think what's important for characters to feel like main characters is for the audience to be able to relate or understand them. For example Dexter in the show Dexter is a psychopath which makes it hard for most people to relate to him with the exception that he kills other murders which is quality that more people can maybe relate to but thanks to flashbacks of his childhood and hearing him monolouge about his life and his desires we get the chance to understand him. In knowing their is comfort.

    It works the other way with Antagonists too. If we do not understand a character or can't relate to their actions and on top of it all their actions are presented as negative for the characters we do understand and relate to then we feel its clear not to trust or like this character. In not knowing their is fear. 

  • @Dalard Their is good and bad when playing around with the different steps of the Hero's Journey. Mostly good though. In fact I encourage it. In Django: Unchained, Quentin Tarantino made Step 2 Meeting the Mentor instead of Call to Adventure. In thinking everything is bound by the exact steps of Hero's Journey would make it very hard to analize and interpret movies and books. I also warn straying too far from the Hero's Journey. A Climax as an ending can feel like sex without cuddling afterwards and just leaving right away. But like I always like to say "Their is an exception for everything including the statement that their is an exception for everything." Do what feels right and execute what you wish to accomplish.
  • I see your point, @Dalard , but I still think parts of this could be used in campaigns to make them better too. For example, the last campaign I played in was one of my favorites, but it ended 5 minutes after step 8. Granted, there were two climactic boss fights, but at this point in the campaign it was 4:30 in the morning Eastern time and this campaign had went on for 8, glorious hours. Due to how late it was and how late the campaign ran(The gm planned it to be a bit shorter but sometimes rp and encounters can mess with the length of a campaign), we were fatigued and were ready for things to end, but at the same time the ending of the campaign greatly effected the world we play campaigns in(It's called Tavron and it has 3 continents each with their own lore that fits together, but still has their own feel) and there were so many great characters that while we were satisfied with the ending, I think going through the last few steps of the Hero's Journey might have made this amazing campaign even better.

    I've noticed in our group that we normally tend to have the final encounter and do a little rp if any at the end of campaigns and this thread has me curious to see if having a little bit of the end of the Hero's Journey would make a campaign even better. 

    While there may be was to go against the grain and do great campaigns without the Hero's Journey, this thread has inspired me to think how campaigns can be bettered with using it. Thanks @TurnipOtterseed for this thread...

    Also this thread has realllllllllllllllly made me want to talk about my character from the last campaign I played(the one mentioned above) and how I've began to see the steps he took without having the Hero's Journey in the back of my mind the whole time....also I kind of just want to share about the world me and my friends write about/play games in/and even minecraft rp in in a thread too..

  • Hello everyone,

    So the creative process is something people can have a struggle with. In fact I'm currently having a little trouble on what to write down here myself. I know where my destination is (finishing talking about the creative process) but I don't know how to get there. That is until I too go through the creative process to talk about the creative process.

    Now I believe anyone can be creative. I've had friends come up to me and tell me, "I'm not creative like you, I can't do the things that you do," but I know they can. The difference between a creative person and a non-creative person is that the creative person asks more questions.

    What if...? That's the only question you need to ask yourself to become a creative person. What if there was a type of snail that was part man and moved around really fast on their butts by being able to constantly fart. What if rocks could talk but were just really shy? What if their was a one true Nisovin that was locked in a secret vault on a deep-sub level of a Nisovin prison? Once you've asked yourself one of these questions ask yourself what you like about it, what you don't like about it, what could also happen.

    What if the true Nisovin was locked up because he knows where Gnomes come from? What if the believer Nisovins just wanted to lock him up because he was a constant reminder that they were believers? What if Nisovin has been getting super buff in his isolation waiting for him moment to escape and kill all believer Nisovins?

    See? I literally just came up with a badass campaign idea because I kept asking myself What if...?

    Another thing you can do is get ideas from your own experiences. This usually works best with romance sub-plots between NPCs as long as it's tasteful but I don't know your life, maybe their is an experience you've had that would make for an excellent adventure. Maybe you knew someone that struggled with substance abuse and you can make an E.X.P campaign loosely based on that. Maybe you had an imaginary friend or a pet that you could use to make a story about friendship. Maybe even a part of high school that was wild or interesting like a school trip, a sports game, or chess club. Extreme chess club...human chess.....gnomish chess......GOBLIN CHESS. That was just a train of thought I just had that I was typing out as I was thinking it. I think it was very educational.

    Some other things to keep in mind is to know what you want to create. If it's a story, what kind of story is it? What is it about? Is there a lesson? Am I going to write another campaign about how good and evil are just perspectives? If it's a character, what is this character trying to achieve? What is the character's purpose? Does this character have any flaws? How important do you want this character to be? Do I just want to draw a random attribute for this character and call it a day?

    Well that's all I'll write about for now. As always I'm here to help and answer any questions you may have. Hope this inspired you to ask more questions. Always ask more questions.

    Next time I'll talk deeper about creating a character in a story and how to flesh the character out further than drawing a random cornerstone and attribute.
  • @TurnipOtterseed So what Urealms campaigns do you think use this style the most and what are your favourite campaigns? (I’m wondering if they have a big overlap)
  • @Mega_muncher I wouldn't really consider this a style. This is more of just a way of thinking that leads to the creation of many things in the art world. Say right this second if I want to make a movie I need to ask myself a lot of questions before I've finished making the movie. What genre of movie do I want to make? When is the story taking place? Where is the story taking place? What is the story about? Once I ask and then answer these questions plus another 1000 or so questions I know what to do and I can put in the work to make that movie. Without making any questions for myself I'm stuck.

    Den of Devils is Robert's best work. Buckeroos was also pretty entertaining. I look forward to the day he makes something better than Den of Devils. 
  • Hello everyone,

    So say you're a player fresh from character creation thinking, "What do I do with this character to make him/her really good?", or you're a GM trying to make important NPCs for your story and start thinking, "How do I make these characters interesting for my players to interact with?". Well here are some tips.

    Players shouldn't think that they are bound by their attribute or even their cornerstone. In terms of the game it's a mechanic but in terms of the story its more of a guide. Say in two different games by some chance I get Thief as my cornerstone and Greedy as my attribute and my class and race are the same also, you don't have to play the same character twice. Greedy gives you a rule about gold in character creation but greed comes in many different forms. The definition of greed on google is, "An intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food." All humans have some desire but what makes someone greedy is the desire being selfish and intense, almost compulsive. Now that's very broad which means you have a lot to work with which is where you start asking yourself questions about your character to find out what you really want. What does my character want? Does the thing that he/she wants feel like a need? Does this greed revolve around my entire character or is it a subtle flaw that he/she tries to hide? You can answer all these questions quite differently and in doing so will result in quite different characters and in doing the same with the cornerstone, class and race will give you an even wider selection of characters.

    Players should also plan out how their character is going to change throughout the campaign by using the Hero's Journey and talking to the GM on how they plan on laying out the campaign. The GM doesn't have to give spoilers to their story or anything just say what the campaign is about and how many "acts" the players have to implement their character development.

    Another really small tip which may work a little better for movies is create 3 or more tiny facts about your character that no one will ever know even in your character introduction. This works for players and GMs. Some examples would be a favorite colour, a small hobby, some form of plastic surgery. Stuff know one needs to know about but the fact that you know these facts about your character affects how you roleplay this character and can make your character seem more real like you truly are whoever you're roleplaying.  

    GMs have a harder time making characters in my opinion. They don't have to just go off of Attribue and Cornerstone which allows freedom which is what makes creating hard. Restraints like drawing a random attribute makes a lot of the decisions for you and gives you something to work off of. Your story though is not random. You should have a reason that the prince in the keep is loud an annoying. You should have a reason why the store owner is racist towards dwarves. You should have a reason for your character for wanting to kill the moon. It's all the reasons that connects and fleshes out the story. Done kinda wrong though it can make everything seem too obvious.

    I'll talk more about this subject next time but to here's summing up everything I just said.

    - Search the definition of your character's attributes to give yourself more options

    - Make a loose plan with the Hero's Journey and how your GM is splitting up the stages of the campaign to have some idea on how you're going to develop your character.

    - Create facts about your character that no one will know to flesh out your character and make them feel more real.

    - GMs should have reasons for how all their NPCs behave to connect the story and to create a message or theme.

    As always I'm here to help and answer any questions you may have. Have a good day and keep asking questions.
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