If you are reading this you are trying to make the best character you can. Or maybe you've never made a character before and want to know some things to help you fit in. Let's see what you can do. There will be some repetition as some factors key into many different places. It just means you should take heed of them a bit more seriously.
Know the setting!
This is perhaps the biggest flaw found in people's characters. Know what you're bringing them into. For the most part the general rule of thumb is to make something fitting to the site. Often you'll be able to tweak a character, but starting fresh is better than expecting for all your achievements that no one has heard of to count. It gives you more credibility as well.
A Better Profile: Making a character that'll last
Your name is something that is going to stick with them a long time.
Do not to:
- Name them after a reputation (ie ___ the Great, ____ the Silent, etc)
- Reputations change! Plus you haven't earned that title here
- Name them after a title. (ie King ___ , Captain ____ , etc)
- Jobs change!
Try not to:
- Name them something generic. (Flame, Shadow, Frost, etc)
- These are fine and dandy... but there's a lot of them... just saying.
- Have a long name
- This really is just a tip rather than a rule for a better character. Nicknames were invented to shorten them. If your character has a really long given name, limit it to the first name and put the rest in the profile for trivia purposes. Consider if a function needs the player to type it out to interact with you (mail, messaging, etc) you don't want to be the person they dislike having to send you things because your name is so long!
Tip! Try etymology and baby name websites to help find a name. Mix and match languages. Respell things. That's how names came to be in the first place!
A lot of times you will have a selection of races to pick from. It is important to know what they expect from that race. Adding in your own flare may not always be welcomed, or maybe something you think you are being special with is really just overdone and annoying to them. If you have the option to create your own race, consider other races around it. Don't make a custom race that is a mirror of another!
Consider the time period or age of the world. It's really awkward to have a character that is as old as the world, and it turns out you're too old or too young. Also age does not earn your character instant respect in any circle depending on the site you are on.
Tip! If you have a character who looks younger/older than they are, list the real age in the profile anyway.
As stated before, it is very important for you to know the setting and what you can get away with. And as stated before, your best bet is to just pick something already in place and tweak your character accordingly. Homeland is another one of the excuse routes people take to explain why they believe they should be allowed to have a certain aspect that otherwise wouldn't be welcomed. It does not always fly in rp circles.
Height | Weight | Other Details
Be logical in these, know the race you play to know the standards in height and weight and what else goes with it. Keep things moderately simple so you have some play for the actual rp. We don't need a paragraph about your looks when its going to be roughly the same paragraph you are going to be typing to us later when we interact with you.
When it comes to writing up a background, think about what you want people to get out of it. If there are important details you want them to be interested in maybe you shouldn't put down an entire novel for a background. Less is more in that case. And remember, you don't always need a background to thoroughly enjoy your character. Sometimes letting them just be Joe Blow from Down the Road just lets you jump right in and make him extrodinary through events in-game rather than because of stuff in his history and you'll adore him more for it.
Interactions: Getting people to let you in
At this point you've noticed all the pretty badges on people's profiles and want to know how you can get some for yourself. Or maybe the badges aren't your schtick, you just want to be allowed to have some legitimate awesome power, maybe get yourself headed to official godhood... or maybe you just want to have good interactions with folk in general.
It all boils down to just about the same. Be social, keep yourself open, keep true, and also: don't make characters to suit them.
Essentially this should be self explanitory. You need to go places and talk to people to know what's going on. Showing up and rping in the room with people is a good way for them to know you exist. It also helps them to remember and maybe put you on the path of something greater before either of you even realize it.
Keep Yourself Open
For this aspect, you should be more willing to let your character fall into unsavory situations. Let them be a hostage, let them get hurt, you don't have to let them be killed off (but its okay if you do, death is not the end!). This will have people be more willing to include you in larger and larger things.
If you get into a plot, follow through. It is highly irritating when someone offers themselves up to be a hostage, and then demand they get let go because their plans changed. It makes people unlikely to play villian for you again, or let you be their villian when you decide you want to try being one. Things happen offline that make it hard to complete a plot, but that is an entirely different subject than what this point is trying to make.
Don't Make Characters to Suit (also, you don't need superior abilities to be awesome)
Another thing that tends to go completely wrong and unuseful to the cause of developing a good character and good relations among the rest of the rpers is if you keep poofing up characters to suit their every need just so you can be part of the plot. It's fine and dandy that you want to be part of it... but remember that the whole point of a plot is to have an adventure! You can't have an adventure if the problem is solved before the end of the hour. The more people in the plot, no matter how small a part, the better. Instead of altering your character to suit the needs, see how else the group can accomplish the task. Don't worry so much about being the hero.