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Wallowing in the MUDs with Raslazel

A series of articles about MUDs and gaming in general, involving strategy and commentary on role-play and having fun.

Author: Raslazel

Character Descriptions: Spit and Polish

Posted by Raslazel Saturday July 7 2012 at 2:41PM
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Don't worry, there's no actual spitting involved. What I aim to do in this article is give advice on adding lustre to your character's description and making it stand out. I'll also guide you away from certain pitfalls that trap many new players.

If you don't know by now, I play Raslazel in the best MUD around, Achaea from Iron Realms Entertainment. I'm a long-time roleplayer, both in real life and in video games, and I like to think I know a thing or two about good gaming habits.

1. For serious female characters, avoid describing breasts, buttocks, hips and the like. It's not necessary and most experienced roleplayers will frown on it. She can have a shapely figure, sure. We don't need to know about her enormous, perky boobs. It's degrading, immature and offensive. More importantly, I'm just sick of reading descriptions straight out of trashy novels or adult magazines.

2. By all means, embellish. This is something I get picky about. There are a lot of descriptions with lines like, "his broad shoulders give the impression of strength." While that's fine, it could be a lot better: "his muscular shoulders broaden his powerful frame, adding a sense of strength and stability to his appearance." Less is not always more.

3. Use strong, descriptive words. Is your character tall and strong? Try using hulking, massive and powerful instead of more passive words. If your character is extremely skinny, use words like scrawny, gaunt and undernourished. Go for impact, you want to make an impression on people.

4. Unique is good. If your character has any flaws or physical quirks, feel free to include them. As long as they don't violate any of the basic rules from the previous article, of course.

5. Strike a good balance. You want to be descriptive enough to give a good mental picture, but brief enough that people will actually finish reading your work. A lot of things are better left to the individual to figure out for himself, anyway.

As an example, I've included a screenshot of Raslazel's description. You'll see it at the bottom of the image.

I hope that this short guide has helped with your description-writing adventures. You don't have to be an exceptional writer with a massive vocabulary to write a description, but a little thought and care go a long way to making your character special.

If you've never tried playing in a text world, you should definitely look at the free-to-play games Iron Realms Entertainment offers. They have the best free MMORPGs you can play with no download required.