Role-Playing Games (or RPGs) have evolved a long way since the pen-and-paper days of Dungeons and Dragons. But one core principle remains: It's a lot easier to immerse yourself in a game if you're using a character you've created yourself. Designers who build character-creation into a game know that there's more than one way to play a game, and let players build a character that suits their style of play. Different games have different ways of building a character, but there are a few common points to consider.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Role-Playing Game that allows character-creation
Find a game that allows users to create their own characters. While some series of games, such as "Final Fantasy" or "Dragon Quest," don't give this option, more and more games--"Oblivion," "Neverwinter Nights" and "Fallout 3"--make the most of this feature. If you're not sure whether the game you want to play supports character creation, check the information the box or website or ask sales staff at a computer games store.
Boot up the game and select "New Game." In most RPG games, the character-creation section is triggered when players start an adventure. Give your character a name to get started.
Choose a race and character class for your character. In the tradition of pen-and-paper games of old, most RPG games allow you to specify whether your character is a human, sprightly elf, muscular dwarf or member of other mythical races. This is not to be confused with class--this is where you determine whether your character will excel in the Warrior skills of combat, the Assassin's stealthy creeping or the Magic User's range of spells.
Customise your character's appearance. Some games, such as "Morrowind," offer a set of prefabricated body and face types to choose. Others offer a more full-featured face and body editing interface, where players can create characters in any image using a range of sliding bars that define everything from body height to eyebrow width. Note that your character's appearance doesn't alter the in-game performance--it's purely cosmetic.
Choose skills for your player. Most RPG games offer a wide range of areas where your character can excel, from heavy and light weapons to speech-craft and bartering.
Review your selections of name, race, class, appearance and skills. When you're ready, click "Continue" or "Start" to begin your adventure with your custom-built character.
Tips and warnings
- Different games offer different ways of creating a character. For instance, "Morrowind" asks players a series of personality questions and offers a character based on the answers given; but it's still possible to bypass these results and build your own character from scratch.
- If customising your character's appearance to resemble a real person, work like a police sketch artist: rather than working on the whole picture all at once, isolate one feature at a time to focus on recreating it. You'll be surprised at how realistic a character portrait you can draw this way.
- In many games, the skills chosen at the game's start determine what tasks your character will need to perform to level up (grow in skill and strength), so choose skills that you look forward to using in-game. Don't create a character with high lock-picking skill if you plan on playing as a gregarious hero who talks his way in the door.
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