I recently re-read this old post on Fair Escape about creating a larp character that can be a “star” of the game. Definitely read the article for a fuller explanation of what “star” means, but for me, it means being recognizable to other players and having my plot hooks and personality acknowledged by Plot.
But does Ianthe, my Fifth Gate character, have these qualities?
1. It helps to be Big.
Ha, no. I am… maaaaaybe 5’3″ or 5’4″ with my stompy boots. I don’t even have a fabulous headdress to add height! And there are a looooooot of really tall people in this game.
2. It helps to have an outrageous costume.
Maybe? I mean, I don’t have a full mask, or face paint, or bulky armor, but I do have both my invocation circle, with its complex hand-sewing and -painting, and my Orb of Battle, which lights up in a multitude of colors. I think they’re eye-catching, at least. I also think the silver and blue owl hairclips I have, being at face level, are particularly noticeable.
3. Create a character from the unpopular options.
Sort of? I feel like all the Orders have gotten equal attention from Plot so far, but some are certainly smaller than others. I think Primarch is probably the least populated Order, but Arcane Circle is relatively small, too — 11 players out of ~74 at the first event.
(To be fair, this was not my intent at all. I saw “members of this Order wear cloaks and robes” and “circles!” and was like, “I’m going to make a character with a circle cloak of invocation!)
4. Show up regularly to the events.
Well, so far, yes 😉 Barring major incidents, I don’t see me missing any in the first year.
5. Play a powerful character.
Eh. I haven’t done so great for this, yet. I started the game at 43cp, which was only 3 above the base 40 you get for creating a character and writing their history. I am hoping to be at cap for game 2, however.
I also not a badass at fighting, which is part of this equation.
6. Buy plot coupons, aka information skills.
Not yet! Next game.
7. Be loud.
8. Be stupid
9. Be weird.
These three all sort of go together for me as “have memorable character traits,” and I think they’re true for Ianthe in general, although I may have to play them up more.
Ianthe’s the sort of person who will badger Baron Sunderwynd on why he was allowing the Bloodred Moon to run rampant in his barony. (Anti-authoritarian, hoooooo).
She’s the one who is always saying, “May I ask an impertinent question?” — and then asking it, regardless of answer.
She’s the one rushing headlong into the forest to make sure there was no one lying unconscious out there.
She’ll spend time telling you about her ridiculous genetic experiments. Or her pet owl Snorri, who likes to get drunk. Or that embarrassing thing Rolant did once.
She is going to help the hell out of the Champions at Ebonfall — whether they want it or not.
10. Be evil.
Nah. Ianthe might have a darkness to her, but at the end of the day she’s still relentlessly good.
Then again, so was the Silverfire King, we thought! So, we’ll see how that goes.
In the final analysis, I scored 6/10. Some of these are things I can work on, like getting more CP and info skills, or making her reckless, anti-authoritarian, impertinent, short-sighted personality more evident. Some are never gonna change — not gonna be taller, not gonna wear stilts.
All of this gets me thinking about why we play the characters we play. For me personally, anti-authoritarianism is a theme that comes up a lot in characters I create, both in fiction (hi, Yfre) and in larp. It does tie into an aspect of my personality I’m still trying to get a handle on. It’s also just a fun thing to roleplay, and the consequences are more entertaining in fiction than in real life.
How about you, Dear Reader? What are the tropes you keep coming back to in creating characters? Do they have “star” quality?