If Your Character Was a Recipe….
Even though I liked all the fruits of my labors, when my character tried to share with his house, the other members just seemed just okay about them. The items weren’t even selling in the shop he rented, even though the shop was strategically located to two primary city features. And although he yelled out on the market channel time and time again, shop sales showed that his advertising was falling on deaf ears. Then it occurred to me that the problem wasn’t my character’s recipes at all. The problem was my character.
If my character was a recipe, then he would be described something like this: An off-white bowl of bland-coloured porridge sits here looking forlorn. Any member of the United Union of Crafters can confirm that the description probably would not pass inspection by those who oversee recipe approval – which is a good metaphor for character creation! Obviously it was time to spice things up. Here are some things I tried. Maybe they can help your character, too!
- Dialogue – How do you speak? Do you stay in-character? Do you use a voice or an accent using the “voice” or “accent” feature in the game? Is your accent more pronounced? Personally I find accents annoying, but once my character developed one suddenly people started talking to him more often. And it was flattering when a newbie adopted a similar accent, and claimed to be his long-lost kid.
- Relationships – Do you have a family? My character was bloodlined but his parents were long dormant. So he bought a clan and began inviting aunts, uncles, great-grandparents, third-cousins four times removed, and any other family member he could find across Sapience. They began having family picnics to celebrate major events, and everyone was happy to devour his culinary creations.
- Backgrounds – One of the most underutilized features in Achaea is the BACKGROUND. The admins take this seriously, and once your background is in place you only get one chance to tweak it. Afterward you can add “chapters” to your background, to update people about your life history. This is a great way to add flavor to your character regardless of his profession.
- Poetry – So you aren’t a poet? You say that you could not rhyme your way out of Yudhishthira’s cavern located inside the volcano on Polyargos? Use Google to search for “poem generator” and use one of those tools to create an original poem. Then tweak it to make it unique to Achaea. Here’s an example of something I wrote just now:
Ode to a Pie
The fresh-baked pie slowly cools in the shop window.
Fruity, sugary scents lazily drift along the wintry, Cyrenian streets.
Hunger is a powerful motivator.
Oh, sugary, fruity confection!
The pie beckons likes a tawdry siren.
Why does the pie flirt?
All my coins drop into the shop owner’s grubby hand.
The pie is now mine, temporary as a night with a Theran prostitute.
Will this poem about pies win you a Bardic prize? That’s doubtful, but it is guaranteed to catch the attention of your fellow adventurers. Although the topic of the poem is silly, comparing pies to tawdry women of the night, anyone who has known great hunger realizes the comparison between the two types of temptations. Best of all, when they realize you are a chef they may ask if you really do have a pie that is just that tasty – and you can tell them that yes, you do!
There are endless amounts of ways that you can spice up a boring character. One final way that I will mention is through relationships. Just be warned that getting into a relationship could give a little more spice than you were expecting. As with real life, you may also find problems with in-laws, organizations to which your textual spouse belongs, and other sticky situations. But if things get bad, don’t worry. That’s why Sarapis invented alts!
About the Author
Rick Williams first discovered online games while taking computer classes in high school, and after graduating from his local university he found a desk job with enough downtime to play all of his favorite MUDs. When he’s not working or gaming, Rick enjoys hanging out with his friends and doing things like watching sports at the local pub or mountain biking.