OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Does Everybody Need A Character?

Army peeps

It’s not about the diversity. It’s because JIM DOESN’T KNOW WHEN TO STOP CREATING CHARACTERS!

The title may seem misleading, like “does every member need a character?” Well… yes they do, if not what’s the point of being in the game? But this is about something I’ve actually done before and I’m still a culprit for sometimes in game development. What I’m talking about is creating a character for everyone [not members] that seems to get involved in the story. Like creating one for a guy that will only be used once in a while or once, period. Doing this can lead to a giant list of characters you created that end up either forgotten or just deleted.

How is it bad?

As previously stated above, it can lead to a huge list of characters that you don’t use that either get forgotten or deleted. It can bog down the game with useless characters that will probably get used once. Like, creating a character for someone that will probably be mentioned once or have dialogue once, such as creating a character for Jim Larson Dowell III Esq, PhD, DDS, OB/GYN, BsC, SsC, your local mailman. He will be in a post where he delivers a major character’s mail once and then he will sit there or be deleted after.

What about for Red Shirt [Disposable] Characters?


That question kind of answers itself… No. If you’re planning a character that will eventually be killed off in a short amount of time. Don’t bother. You’ll end up wasting time for someone who will be gone soon. However, if you’re planning on getting rid of someone in the long run, by all means you can make a character.






What if I want to show my character?

Instead of making a character, in the post they are first seen describe them very well. Explain who they are and what they’re doing and who for.Think of how a novel introduces a major character. They describe the character and his usual wardrobe and appearance. A good example would be…

Then, through the double doors of the old saloon, a man walked in. Someone greeted him, called him Jim Larson Dowell III Esq, PhD, DDS, OB/GYN, BsC, SsC, the local mailman. He seemed a man near his mid to late thirties. He wore a dusty, slightly torn black button up shirt and a pair of blue jeans that seemed to be faded from years of wear and tear. His hat had a small hole in the side, seemed like someone wanted him dead. He’s been fabled to run with the legendary Postal Gang out west, beyond Laredo.

This way, Jim Larson Dowell III Esq, PhD, DDS, OB/GYN, BsC, SsC has been introduced, we know who he is, what he looks like, what he wears, and who he associates himself with.

Thought I’d offer this small collection of tips so you can avoid something like character overflow that can bog down a game with a bunch of useless characters.