Personality Traits, Part 1 – The Lightside

Welcome again fellow adventurers! Let’s take on Personality Traits this time.

In the last series of articles we discussed alignments and attitudes – views that characters have of their world. Now we get to add a few constants of character. We are working towards roleplaying in not only your first adventure with an interesting character, but towards keeping your interest in roleplaying that character in a longer campaign.

We won’t go into as much detail with this and will have more in a future product that will be available soon enough. We do want to cover all our bases though and will follow the same format as Lightside, Neutral, and Darkside though to stay in line with the previous articles.

The idea is that, depending on your alignment and attitude, you will be directed to pick 5 personality traits. For now, let’s start with the traits for Lightside characters.

(Like with previous articles, this was also influenced by Creative Casting: Heroes of Legend, Paul Jaquays, Task Force Games, 1988. ISBN 0-922335-00-1.)

Lightside Traits

(Traits with an asterisk (*) will generally not be found in evil characters.)

  • meditative-poseOptimist: always sees the good side of things.
  • Altruist (*): has a selfless concern for others’ welfare.
  • Helpful: helps others in need.
  • Kindly (*): warmhearted and friendly.
  • Careful: cautious in thought and deed.
  • Considerate: thinks of others’ feelings.
  • Sober: serious, plain-thinking, and straightforward.
  • Teetotaler: abstains from drinking alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Trusting (*): trusts others to behave correctly.
  • Peaceful: serene of spirit.
  • Peacemaker: attempts to calm others during tense situations.
  • Pious: reverently devoted to the worship of an immortal patron or pantheon.
  • Honest (*): always gives what is due.
  • Loving: affectionately concerned for others.
  • Giving: gives freely of themselves and their possessions.
  • Organized: everything has its place.
  • Clean: practices good hygiene.
  • Punctual: always on time.
  • Self-confident: sure of self and abilities.
  • Courageous: brave in the face of adversity.

Why 5 traits?

The reason I said to choose 5 is that it usually offers a more balanced character with traits applicable for role-playing in a wider variety of situations. Obviously your character is not all of these traits at all times. If you think 5 is too many, only choose 3 traits and see how that works for you. The idea is to aid you getting into character – not to avoid it. That said, I find that my players really enjoy the roleplaying aspects of the game and relish making something unique.

For instance, I ran a game at Gax Con here in Moose Jaw not too long ago. Within half an hour, we made 6 characters for the 9 people attending. The evening slot was booked and I only expected that I would get people at the table, but not what kind of people and roleplayers they might be.

Two people that showed up had no experience at all in role-playing. Three had characters ready to go. And we had a blast role-playing for six hours with no combat while they exposed a murder mystery plot. I had seven other plots planned, some with much more combat, but I let them choose what direction to explore.

Ultimately only three rolls were made – and that only because one character pressed their luck with the local authorities. The players really played with their personality traits and the two newer players impressed me with their role-playing ability. The alignments, attitudes, and traits really helped them name and get into their characters and they let me know it.

Next time…

Neutral side personality traits!

Keith R. Byers, A.Sc.T., Esq.

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