Character Plot: Character Histories and In-Between Game Actions

OleanderSky

Artisan
New Hampshire Staff
Marshal
Diversity Committee
This post includes information on character creation, guidelines for submitting a character history, tips for writing a character history, and examples of character histories.

The second post within this thread includes information and guidelines regarding downtime actions.

Character Creation

Are you ready to make a character? Your character's class (such as Fighter or Scholar) and race (such as Elf or Dryad) are the mechanical side of character creation. Your character's history and personality have roots in the national and local source materials on their race/culture, but you have many choices for your character's past, goals, and guiding ideas. Generous or selfish, impulsive or calculating, with a family at home or going it alone -- these are only a few of the many aspects of your character you can develop.

The full rules for Alliance LARP are available as a free PDF. http://alliancelarp.com/rule-book/

Race packets for Alliance Videa are available on this message board. These documents describe the homeland and culture of each race within the world of the Alliance Videa campaign.

Your character's stat card is handled by Logistics. Whether you are starting a completely new character in the database or making a character from a “blank” that has accumulated build (through NPCing, event or monthly blankets, and/or retiring an old character), Logistics will work with you to register your character's name, race, class, and build expenditures. VideaLogistics@gmail.com

Character History Submission Guideline
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Character backgrounds are encouraged! The plot team can help you develop a history for your character originating in any of Alliance Videa’s “Shattered Realms” and cultures. If you have any questions about a culture packet or want feedback on your ideas for your character, the team is available at VideaCharPlot@gmail.com

When submitting your character history to our Plot team, please write "Character History: [Character Name]" as the subject of your email. Please include the following sections. If you get stuck, don't be afraid to work out of order.

Vital Statistics: Character Name, Race, Class, Age, Starting level, Player name

Keywords: 3-6 words or two-word phrases that highlight important aspects of your character. These could be things like Enemy: __, Shy, Drunk, Protective: Children, Survivalist, Pacifist, Mercenary, Fear: Snakes, Tinker, Hates: Slavery, Ally: ___.

Main Body: This is where you tell us the details of where your character has been and where they want to go. Who are they, who are important people in their life, what important events influence them to this day, and what motivates them? The most direct way to tell us about your character is through a bullet point list.

Some things you might include are: family, friends, enemies, interests, fears, goals, personality, defining moments. Some things not to include are: How you defeated a dragon, how you’re really your tribe’s most accomplished warrior but you’re pretending to be Level 2, that your father is secretly the King of Videa, that you are half Fae. To clarify: It would be okay to say that your family was killed by Lord Voldemort and you have a startling scar. It's not okay to say that everyone says you're the chosen one and that there's a prophecy linking you and Voldemort. That second part is up to plot, and you will probably have more fun if you leave room for development in game.

Additional Information:
This can be presented as a story, a series of journal entries or letters, or another way that helps you develop your character. Please keep in mind that the main body is what the team will note as most important for us to keep in mind, and the additional information will not be a focus.

Don't hesitate to ask questions of Plot to help determine the details of your character history. We're here to help!

The character plot team will email you if they have any questions, clarifications, or suggestions, and will work with you to integrate your character into the world. Once we have reviewed and accepted your history, we will let you know.

History Writing Tips

The Purpose of Character Histories

Character backgrounds have two main purposes. One is for you the player to develop the character for yourself and get the feel for what they are like. Writing down traits and history is a good way to prepare to portray a persona. Making a history helps you to find your character’s motivations, personality, and voice. Having a sense of interests, goals, and purpose for your character will make it easier for you to get engaged with roleplay and plot at game.

The other is so the plot team can get an idea of what sort of plot would catch your character’s interest. If you write about topics and themes you’d like to play with, there is potential for us to write something targeted for your character or hook them into an overarching plot that is particularly relevant to their interests.

Character histories are NOT intended to limit you! Sometimes a player has an idea about how they think their character will behave and react, and what will be their main interest. Then the player finds that personality isn't as fun as they hoped. It's okay to change the parts of a character that don't work for you!

Components

Here are some examples of elements often included in a character history.
Childhood/family: Where did your character grow up? What family did they have when they were young and what does their family look like now?
Profession/hobby: How does your character make a living or pass their time?
Friends/Associates: Did your character have a mentor? Were they strongly influenced by a teacher or a friend?
Desires/goals: What does your character want? Are they seeking scholarly knowledge, revenge, riches, fame, redemption, or a lost friend? Do they want to fight monsters, explore new places, or bring peace to others?
Influential moments: What major events influence your character? Is your character still trying to resolve something that happened? This is an opportunity to give plot an idea of something personal your character would like to do, which could potentially be worked into game
Traits: Defining personality traits that influence how your character interacts with the world around them. Are they altruistic, selfish, restless, reckless?

Your character might have goals they share openly, or they might have secrets. Open goals can more easily lead to engagement with other characters. Secrets may be more for your private character development, or an opportunity for dramatic in-character revelation. Whatever you choose, keep in mind that LARP is a social activity, and it's very difficult to play the brooding stranger who watches everyone else from the corner.

Examples

The following character has motivations that are likely to be obvious to other characters. They might keep some things personal, but are overall not mysterious. This history supports an outgoing and eager character, easily motivated to join in on action.

Vital Statistics: Ava Shen, Selunari, Rogue, Level 8, 22 years old, played by Jane Jones

Keywords: Bold, Social butterfly, Opposes: Necromancy, Competitive

Main Body:
-Raised by parents Annabelle and Janine, along with older sister Isabelle
-Ava and Isabelle are both skilled in archery
-Her caravan spent the last 5 years in Wylderkin territory, often trading with several groups
-Her caravan took in a Sarr exile called Van, who suddenly used a lot of Necromancy, and soon afterward turned violent against the rest of the caravan
-Ava would like to find out where Van Resurrected after they were executed for their actions, and if they changed their ways or not
-Ava panicked during an attack by monsters from the Mists two years ago and was very embarrassed
-Eager to outshine her “golden child” older sister, who she sees as more praised and better trained in combat

Additional Information:
Ava loves to sing and is excited about learning the music of Videa. She enjoyed singing with her sister playing lute. This was her opportunity to bond with her sister rather than compete. Ava enjoyed hearing stories and songs from Wylderkin. This was more fun than living in Stone Elven territory. She enjoys many types of competition, ranging from board games to bobbing for apples, but has always been frustrated by her sister's greater accuracy with a bow. She wants to prove herself, to herself and maybe her parents.
A betrayal by an eshdir is different to her than by a Selunari. Eshdir do not feel sela, so the Code of Honor does not mean the same to them. Van was wrong to use Necromancy and would never be allowed near the caravan again. Execution was a just punishment. Still, she liked Van, and she wants to know what happened to them. It seemed strange that they resorted to Chaos Blade, Chaos Storm, and Drain in a conflict with Gnolls that was not even a desperate battle. Though she is sure Necromancy is wrong, she wonders if repentance and reform is possible.

The following character has motivations that may be less obvious to other characters. This character might be private or even secretive. Some players might enjoy having private goals or the roleplay of sharing secrets with a close friend.

Vital Statistics: Jasper Fend, Hobling, Celestial Scholar, Level 3, 30 years old, Played by John Jones

Keywords: Academic, Calm, Curious

Main Body:
-Only child of Ambra (Apothecaries' Guild) and Lan (Geometers' Guild) Fend
-Apprenticed with the Geometers’ Guild initially but ended up with the Company of Scribes. Left the Geometers’ Guild on bad terms.
-Jasper is jaded by the rampant greed and cutthroat opportunism of the Guilds; instead, he is looking for a stable, comfortable life away from the Guildhall
-Jasper is also interested in the nature of the schools of Magic, and how it can be applied to better people’s lives
-Sometimes, Jasper feels disappointed that he did not study Alchemy instead

Additional Information:
Jasper receives praise for his meticulous record keeping. He would prefer to learn more Celestial Magic, but options are limited within the Company of Scribes. Interest in learning more Magic is his primary motivation for traveling outside of the Guildhall, but he does not want to be seen as disloyal and hasn't admitted the truth. He has volunteered to go out and learn about other Realms for the benefit of his Guild.
 

OleanderSky

Artisan
New Hampshire Staff
Marshal
Diversity Committee
Downtime Actions

Eligibility: You may submit an In-Between Game Action after an event you attended or pay-no-played. An IBGA submission informs plot what your character would attempt to accomplish before the next event.

You may submit an IBGA for any one of your characters, even if that is not the character you played at the qualifying event.

Deadlines: Submissions are due by the Monday one week after the event at 11:59 PM. For example IBGAs from the May 4-6 event are due May 14. The winter deadline will be 11:59 PM December 31. If you submit your request after the deadline, we cannot guarantee a response.

Solo or Group activities: You may submit an individual or group action. A player who did not attend/pay-no-play may have their character included in a group write-up that includes at least four qualifying players’ characters.

Group submissions must have the emails of every participant included properly on the form, and every participant must send plot a confirmation that they are in fact participating. One coordinating participant in the group should fill out the Google Form for submission and include the emails of all participants. Google Forms generates a receipt that is sent to all listed emails, and participants can reply directly to Character Plot through this receipt. All confirmations must be received within the one week following the submission deadline.

If you submit an IBGA as part of a group, please do not also submit a solo action unless it is very concise (a letter to an NPC, for example). Please submit a form for the solo action that notes intended participation in the group action as well.

Guidelines: Please keep in mind that the time between events is limited and travel within the Shattered Realms is difficult. Traveling around Videa typically can be accomplished, but there is not a guarantee that a character can reach another Realm. Attempts to travel through the Mists have a high rate of failure. Even within Videa, your character cannot, for example, travel to the capital of every Region and accomplish meaningful tasks within a month. Characters who leave the Videan Realm between events cannot pass through the Mistwall before the next event without being struck dead.

Responses: As a Live-Action Roleplaying Game, we aim to have important moments take place during game. It is possible that the response to a submission will be “this will be handled-in game”. Please be patient while we find a way to make your request happen during an event.

Some submissions may receive the response that an action is approved. For example, we are happy to know if your character goes to see their parents and their childhood cat while they reflect on what has happened to them recently. It is possible plot will confirm this could take place, with no further response.

Some actions cannot take place during an event and IBGAs serve the purpose of allowing for them. Some mundane actions that are submitted may encounter the unexpected. Plot response will inform you of the results of your attempted action. Players with questions about a response are welcome to ask by email, or speak with the writer of their response or player of the central NPC involved during downtime at game if that person is available. In the event that clarifying information is given in person, it is the player’s responsibility to include the main points of that conversation in their next submission to character plot so that it will be in our records. Any information not emailed for confirmation potentially may not be recorded into canon.

The Google Form to submit In-Between Game Actions is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfnwYBYjckJEMa20VTvZtDxvj4W4vMxJGveYa-mJs654ll56g/viewform
 
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