Five (Plus One) Questions for Players to Answer for a Character

All of this discussion of finding that emotional bond with a character in a campaign brought up something I was discussing a while back with Mike (forged). There are questionnaires all over the ‘net for fleshing out a character, but that only gets you so far.

drama_masksI was reading an issue of SciFi Magazine a couple of months ago and found an interview with actor Joe Morton (Eureka, Terminator 2). He was talking about how he prepares for a role. And he said he tries to answer five basic questions when he works on any particular story.

1. Who am I?
2. Where am I going?
3. Who do I expect to meet?
4. What do I want?
5. What extent am I willing to go to get it?

These questions work just as well for characters in a roleplaying game as they do for an actor or actress in a feature film, television, or other kind of performance project.

I’ll add another question to this list also… because we as roleplayers don’t have a props department or costume designer at our beck and call.

6. What does my outward appearance tell others?

This may not help me create a character I can emotionally engage with right away, but it might help me gain some perspective before gaming. Looking at these before a session may prepare me in ways I can’t immediately see.

For example, in our current gaming group we only get together once a month or so. Answering these questions would reacquaint me with my character and what we were doing during the last session, as well as reconnecting me with my fellow PCs – all of which would hopefully get me engaged more quickly than I have been in my current campaign. I might even go so far as to write down answers to these questions at the end of a session so I might quickly refresh my memory at the beginning of the next.

What do you think? Six simple questions to help get back into the swing of things.


p.s. If you’re interested in some ideas to answer question #6, check out the freebie PDF that you get if you subscribe to the Moebius Adventures News – 7 Areas to Consider to Make Magic Users Unique!

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2 thoughts on “Five (Plus One) Questions for Players to Answer for a Character”

  1. Good and useful stuff. I have been pondering a 20-questions list for my players to help them think about their characters. The questions above (or variants) will likely form the first part.

  2. @Sean – Cool. I’ve seen many longer questionnaires, but always like to keep it simple. Hopefully this will suffice for at least the before & between games to help keep things straight. 🙂 I’d be curious to see what your other 14 or 15 questions might be.

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