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4 - Advice Before Signing Up

*Supreme Mugwump

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*Supreme Mugwump
Some Things to Consider Before Creating a Character

Welcome to Pottersworld! For some of you, this will be your first time roleplaying. We've all had to go through a learning curve on how to do things and plenty of mistakes were made along the way - that's a part of life. Below you'll find some handy hints to aid you in creating an enjoyable and successful character.

The Givens

There are a few "givens" for your new character. These are things you must agree to before you come onto this board.

-- your character is either male or female 
-- your character is 11 years old
-- your character is a witch or wizard
-- your character's parents or guardians currently live in Great Britain
-- you will NOT get to choose your House; one will be chosen for you

Naming your Character

Each character account will need a FIRST name and a LAST name. For all practical purposes, once you create your account, that account will BE your character, so what you call it is very important.

A "first" name (also known as a given name or a forename) is very important. It is what other characters will most likely call you. The first name can be either your character's formal name or a nickname -- the choice is up to you. A characters last name can -- but not always -- tell what type of culture they are from, what their family heritage may be, and what economic class they come from.

The Harry Potter world, just like the real world, has different social classes and family status, so try to think of that when creating a name. Is your character from an old, pure-blood family? They tended to give their children Latin names or names with some tying meaning (after planets, stars, plant families, etc.). 

Some good Name Sources are:

Names & Meanings
Male Latin Names
Female Latin Names
Name Generators

Picking a Character Face


Just as names are important, the second impression one has of your character is that of how they look. Consider that your character does have to age and you may want to pick a celebrity with a long career in acting, or at least a diverse amount of looks to pull this off. Go for celebrities with 'character', not necessarily perfection. 


There are a lot of different views about a character's backstory. Some players/handlers come onto this site with very detailed backgrounds about their characters; some have hardly anything at all. The choice is up to you. Don't worry too much if you don't have a detailed backstory when you join. You can start with little snippets of facts, then develop them further as you role-play. That's part of the fun -- discovering your character as you go!


Along with a character's backstory, many players will have the personality traits of their character worked out before they join, and some will leave them a "blank-slate" until they begin to role-play. Most seem to have at least a little idea of what type of character they want: funny, shy, extroverted, bad-boy, perky, mischievous.


Flaws are VERY important in the building of a well rounded character. Just like in real life, no one is perfect, and that's okay. Flaws are an important part of character development; they allow characters to overcome obstacles and to grow and change just like real people. 

Character Development

It can be difficult to pack in a proper development of a character within the six weeks we call a 'year' but small things do make a difference, even if it's just they get more confident, more withdrawn, calm down, get serious, something bad happens at home, they struggle through a hard class, or any of a variety of scenarios. Things happen to people that make them change a little, even if it's just gaining greater understanding of the world.




Accents can be fun because they give your character a little bit of flavor, and maybe tell what sort of social background they've come from. But if your readers have to struggle through your posts, or you use an accent generator to "translate" your dialogue for you, it's too much. As a general rule, you want to give your readers the 'flavor' of your character's accent without overwhelming them. One or two words per sentence only should be 'accented'. The reader will pick up on this; they "get" that your character speaks a little differently. 

And Finally.... 

The most important bit of advice to offer you: allow yourself to be open to change. You can't and don't know what will happen and won't find out how your character will react. There is no point in sticking to a plan when everything about it has changed -- just try to go with the flow.

There is a WIDE difference between creating a character in a story you are writing, and role-playing a character on an interactive site like this one. When you write a story, you control all aspects of your character..... what situations they get into , the other characters in the story, how the action and dialogue will take place. But in interactive role-playing, you only control YOUR character. You do not control other characters.

What does this mean? This means that other characters may not react to yours in the way you imagined. You may come in determined that your character will be the biggest badass at Hogwarts, only to discover other characters just laugh at yours. You may want them to be the biggest flirt, only to discover other characters want nothing to do with them.

What is important is that you should remain FLEXIBLE to what your character's personality is like. You can try one thing for while, and if it doesn't work, don't be afraid to tweak them in a different direction. It's how real life works -- we act the way we do because of the things that happen to us. Our personalities are formed by these events, and the same will be true for your character. Try not to lock them into a personality type too quickly, and DON'T be afraid to let them grow.

The joy of role-playing is interacting with others, and allowing them to subtly change your character in ways you could have never pre-planned. It's perfectly alright to bring a character in, saying to yourself  "I have no idea where this kiddo is going, but it'll be a fun ride along the way!'"



Revision History

11NOV2018 - Updated term length

3 APR2019 - Edited and Revised ~ Daisy

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