|What's In A Name|
In medieval fantasy games it was common for most people to have one
name, a calling name that would be used in every day conversation (Bob,
John, Sally etc). If the person needed to be further identified then
modifiers or additional names would be used. One common habit was to
name the person after the region that they came from (i.e. Sue of Winterhaven).
Or the person may be named after their profession (John the Blacksmith)
this could be shortened to another form over time (John Black). John
Carpenter would be short for John the Carpenter or John Carpenterson
for John, the son of the Carpenter.
|Titles (In Seagate)|
|The King||Jonas Seabite (Recently inherited the throne from Thomas Seabite, his father)|
|Prince Eastwood Seabite||current designated heir to the throne|
|Duke/Duchess||title that can be held in Seagate|
|Count||title given to an official in charge of a government department|
|Viscount||title given to sub-department heads (not often used)|
|Marquis||title that can be held in Seagate|
|Earls||the first one is responsible for trade and the port, the second is responsible for legal affairs|
|Barons||an honorary rank with a land grant.|
|Baronet||an honorary rank without a land grant.|
|Ambassador||Seagate is authorized several ambassador posts; including elven and dwarvish ambassadors.|
|Attaches||work for the Ambassadors|
|Clerk of the Towers||a title given to mages that are allowed to manufacture magic items.|
|Esquire||an honorary rank assumed as a sign of approval.|
|Justice||there are five senior judges.|
|Precinct Judge||senior official for each city precinct|
|Ministers||Legal officials, typically lawyers or official advisors to the King|
|Lords||typically administrative officials, it is an honorary title given to nobles with no other title Thane; an honorary title given to someone of noble blood who has not other title.|
|Patrician||Official title of a cult leader (although the cult's titles vary)|
|Officer||line police officer|
|Corporal||Noncommissioned police officers|
|Sergeant||Noncommissioned police officers|
|Detective||Investigative police (sergeants and lieutenants)|
|Captain||Head precinct officer|
|Major||Second in command of the entire police force|
|Commander||Senior most police officer|
|Lieutenant||lowest rank officer|
|Captain||military officer in charge of a company|
|Colonel||military officer in charge of a battalion|
|General||senior military official of all armed forces|
|Valorous||A title given to retired military personal.|
|Guardsman||line member of the Town Guard|
|Director of the Guard||Senior Guard Commander|
|Warden||Overseer of crop lands, forests, or other reserves as described by the government|
|Drives and Ambitions for Player Characters|
|A character is more than a set of stats. Here are a few
ideas from (Mongoose Publishing's Classic Play Book of Adventures).
For some players, it is enough just to sit in the chair, roll the dice and move figures around. You can play as a war game.
"The real challenge and the real reward lies in the role-playing. Your character is not you, they are a separate and imaginary person with motives, objectives and dreams that you may not even like or agree with. You can create an idealized version of yourself if you want and almost everyone does this at some stage of their gaming career, but there is little challenge in doing this and adventuring is all about facing up to the challenge."
"Making characters come to life does not necessarily involve writing
pages of background for each one or wearing costume to each gaming session.
What is needed is a clear idea of what the character stands for, what
his ideals are, wheat his background is and how he relates to others."
"Symbols, Scars, Dreams and Memories"
A symbol is some object that the character associates with past events. A typical example of this would be a medallion given to a paladin character when he was accepted into his order after a long, hard period of aspiration and trial. It represents his struggle to be recognized and to make a difference,. It also shows him, whenever he looks at it, that he was good enough, and that he can make a stand for what he believes to be right. By contrast, the same character might keep a child's doll, if this was all that was left when he could not save her or her family. The doll would represent a failure so terrible that he would never ever allow it to happen again.
To help with playing the character and keeping his motivation in mind, choose a dream, memory, symbol or scar that the character could look at or bring to mind in order to remind him of who he is and what his motivation is.
The following is a list of typical motivations that could be used to give more purpose and meaning to a character. Each once is expressed as a character's central though, were he to think about what motivates him. what truly makes him tick. Feel free to add other motivations; this list is not definitive and is only there to help you define your character's drives and goals.
"There Has to be More to Life!"
Characters with this motivation often fixate on a mental image. Their dissatisfaction with their home comes from their ability to compare it with somewhere much more exciting, so they must at least have heard of other places, possibly from traveling adventurers. A character might have heard tales of home awe0inspiring Eastern kingdom, of a land where the tall elves live among trees thousands of years old and weave uncanny songs in the mists of golden palaces, where cats are worshipped as gods and the best of all warriors found dynasties to outlast time. The character usually fixates on one such place as symbolic of all that is "out there" and determines to visit it one day. A character might also have an object as a focus, if it represented something exotic and alien to their humdrum life.
"I am the One and Only"
"This One's for You, Mum"
"Speak Lord, for thy Servant Heareth."
This kind of motivation almost always fixes itself upon a memory of
an experience, the first time when the deity's presence fixed itself
in the character's mind. This blazing moment is at the heart
"The Minstrels Shall Sing of Me."
Fame-motivated characters are often brave and frequently genuinely heroic, as they know that they eyes of the world are watching and that they cannot afford to let their future admirers down. The motivational focus for this kind of character is usually a dream or a waking vision, in which the character sees himself in an idealized form, as the hero he may one day become. This is a somewhat immature motivation and as the character gains experience and grow as a person, he may set it aside in favor of goals that have more to do with other's needs than his own. Characters of this kind often personalize their armor or weapons, so that others can identify them by their distinctive equipment.
"It's What they Would have Wanted."
"I am Needed"
The motivational focus for such characters is usually a memory of a time when they were able to make a difference. A character could fix on a memory of being a provider for a family or even for something so small and simple as being the one who cared for an animal when nobody else would. Motivations do not have to be grandiose things. They can be spurred by an incident that anyone other than the character might find trivial.
"O God, Send Me Enemies of Quality."
The motivation focus for these characters is usually the memory of their first significant victory, along with any scars that they retain from their previous battles. The adrenaline, the sense of power and the sweetness of winning all infuse and give these characters of this kind can always tell you the exact circumstances of his first combat and how he won, whether it was on battlefield or the schoolyard.
"I'll Show Them."
The motivational focus for such characters is usually a scar, a memory or both. These memories haunt the character in his private moments, taunting him with reminders of a time when he had no power and no say in what happened to him. The harsher his past experiences were, the less mercy and temperance he is likely to show to others.
"Just Give me the Money."
Characters who have a desire for wealth as their primary motivation can be very one-dimensional and straightforward to play but also tend to be unchallenging and predictable. They are not necessarily evil, as a love of money does not necessarily mean that you will do anything for a price, but they do have a harder time staying good than other characters, as the lure of material reward has nothing to do with the more spiritual principles. The motivational focus is usually a dream in which the character sees himself rolling in wealth or an object that he has seen in his early years and set his heart on owning.
"I Will Survive."
These characters often have physical scars as their motivational foci, reminders of times when they came close to death. Curiously, some are reticent about showing theirs, while others brandish them openly as if sharing the world to try to kill them again.
"You Killed My Father, Prepare to Die."
Revenge of this kind motivates a character only until those responsible for the atrocity in his life are tracked down and wiped out or until he achieves closure in some other way, such as by rising above the need to avenge himself on others and forgiving those who have wronged him, which is admittedly a rare occurrence. A character may adventure on quests that have no direct bearing on his pursuit of vengeance, as he will need to pay his living expenses and (more importantly) gain experience and powerful equipment so as to have the best chance of victory when he finally confronts his enemies. Characters who have seen a vengeance campaign though to its end can sometimes be left feeling hollow and purposeless, as they had built their whole reason for existence around a task that is now complete.
The motivation focus here is always a memory and sometimes also a scar or an object, each of which remind the character of who he has lost and how they were taken away from him.
Motivational foci here tend to be memories. The character fixates both on the times before the event, which he remembers as a happier and more innocent than the event itself and what followed. It is very common for characters with this motivation to suffer from nightmares in which their losses are relived."
What motivates your character?
|Table of Contents|