The Creative Process, Part 1 of 2

WARNING: A lot of this post will seem like free-writing, because it’s very flow of consciousness. Please forgive me for this transgression.

I know that this blog has been rather barren lately. I apologize for this, since my own picky nature prevents me from just posting every poem I have, and I need to create some new content, instead of posting (or reposting) old content from years ago.

This is going to be part one of a two-part mini-series, where I let you into my mind while I puzzle out some details involving a character I am making for a role-playing game in which I’m going to participate. A little backstory: I have chosen to play a character that is a master of stealth and intrusion, yet uses magic with great ease. Rather than multiclass a rogue and a sorcerer, I have chosen to play a Bard, but to alter the archetype from musician to one who is more interested in raiding tombs or lost arks, if you catch my meaning. I’ve ironed out the nitty-gritty, but I want to come up with a basic, one-page, character profile, so I have a good idea of what kind of individual my non-Bard is. Once I’ve come up with that profile, I will share it here.

Before I can begin my character profile, there are two important things that I must decide: his race and his name. Both are equally important because, without a race, I cannot complete the character sheet. Yet, without a name, the character is only so many numbers on a piece of paper.

I’ve given thought to the name, but have quickly realized that the name is dependent upon the race. After all, there are certain tropes to which one must adhere when playing in a fantasy game. Dwarves have a Scottish accent, and have surnames like “Clanhammer” and “Battlefortune”, while the first names can run the gamut from stones (“Flint”) to gems (“Garnet”) to something in-between or not at all (“Gimli”). Elves tend to have flowery names evocative of the woods in which they traditionally make their homes. In fact, many elf names sound like poorly chosen Wiccan spell names, or whatever it is that they call themselves doing.

Of course, my point is that I must decide upon the race first. I’ve got several ideas in mind, and all of them could work to a greater or lesser extent. For this character, the one thing I know is that I would prefer if I was not human. Despite the fact that I mocked their naming structures just moments ago, I believe that Elf could be a strong choice. Blending the martial arts with magic is part and parcel with being an elf. On the other hand, Halflings have a penchant for larceny that is itself an art, and I did envision this character to be more of a scoundrel. Half-Elf borrows from an elf’s skill at magic, as well as a human’s recklessness and desire to do something “to see if it could be done.” Of course, Gnomes are magic, in that they are children of the forest in a way that even elves cannot be.

Now, I could look past the core races, to those who are a little more unusual. Aasimars, being descendants of Angels, play very well on the concept of gifted musician. Tieflings, though, play the rogue so very well. My only problem with the Tiefling is the simple fact that it gets a penalty to Charisma, which is the prime stat I am going to need, since my class is mechanically a Bard. Aasimars are just not a good fit, despite getting a bonus to Charisma.

Dhampir cannot heal like normal. Goblins and Hobgoblins would require me to play a little too much against type. Now, the Samsaran race wouldn’t be bad, especially for a class that’s got a lot of knowledge, but I have my heart set on the idea of a Samsaran Cleric/Inquisitor of Pharasma, so I don’t think that I will be able to use the race until I play that concept.

This brings us back to my initial choices: Elf, Halfling, Half-Elf, and Gnome. I’ve had images in my head – flashes, if you will – of what this character will do and what he can do. While it’s conceivable, I doubt an Elf would fit in those flashes. Honestly, I get the same feeling with Gnome, though it has SOME potential. Half-Elf and Halfling are the two races that immediately fit in my mind.

I think that, for now, this is where I’m going to stop for the night. I will do a little bit of reading for the four “semi-finalists”, and make an informed decision tomorrow.

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One thought on “The Creative Process, Part 1 of 2

  1. “In fact, many elf names sound like poorly chosen Wiccan spell names, or whatever it is that they call themselves doing.”

    That line made me giggle so much you don’t even know. 🙂

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