Work in Progress
This article is a work in progress.
Eagle oo8i's How-To Series (continued by MongoosePirate). Today, we will be working on how to make a quality character. And by that, I don't mean making a perfect, insanely powerful character. If you want to, feel free to go to Fanfiction.net. This Fallout series is about more than folks like the Vault Dweller and the Lone Wanderer, and this page will give you some pointers.Hi there! Welcome to Part One of
A character page can either be the easiest or the hardest article you can create depending on how prepared you are. Before starting any character page make sure your character page does not include ANY of the following:
- An unrealistic name - don't name your character Josh Everstrike, High Commander Stigma, Johnson Panty-dropper or any other silly name that just sounds cool in your head. Take your character seriously and use a name that makes sense in the real world.
- Ridiculous credentials - because we can take certain creative liberties with the fallout universe doesn't mean we can go insane with our character's credentials. Don't claim that your character was trained in marksmanship at the age of ten, became a sniper by sixteen and then went on to learn thirteen types of martial arts while disarming atomic bombs with his/her teeth. The wasteland does not turn every Joe and Mary into trained killers and your character can be as pathetic a combatant as you or anyone you know.
- Invincibility in the face of a powerful foe - the situation: your character is surrounded by Enclave troops, but years of martial arts training and his/her father's trusty gun turn the tables and your character manages to hit the vulnerable points in each combatant's armor. This makes NO sense. Whether it be the Enclave, the Brotherhood of Steel or a group of raiders/bandits or what-have-you, YOUR CHARACTER IS AS SQUISHY AS YOU. If your character is outnumbered, out-gunned or against a superior foe then don't expect luck and a few years of combat experience to save him/her. If you don't want to finish your article with your character dying don't paint him/her in situations that will obviously get him/her killed.
- Advanced technology - time and time again this wiki has been faced with authors who will stand for no less than a stealth suit, a plasma rifle, and motorcycle for their character. The wasteland is not a place abundant in stealth-suits or plasma rifles and no matter how many pre-war bunkers you write into your stories, it's unrealistic to deck out your character in advanced gear.
- Affiliations with any canon organizations - in accordance with our rules we IMPLORE you to not claim your character is a part of the Enclave, Brotherhood of Steel, Khans, Jackals, etc. Your character is your own creation, we know that a lot of canon organizations have wonderful back stories and you'd love to expand on them but from past experience we've seen that people just use these canon organizations to justify overpowering their characters.
Things to Keep in Mind When You Start
Character articles are not defined with how snazzy their gear is, or how skilled they are or how respected they are; character articles are defined by their rich backstory. If you start your character out thinking about how powerful you can make them or how cool it would be if they had armor X or weapon Y then you've already failed. If you want to create a piece you are truly proud of, and you should be looking to create that, then you need to focus on his/her story.
When starting your character's backstory look out for common cliches, which among many include: his/her parent's were alcoholics, his/her parent's were killed by raiders/bandits, his/her parent's were assassins/hired guns. These are cliches for a reason, in the hands of most they simply end up being the basis for a bland character.
Another VERY IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind with your character is that he/she doesn't have to be categorized in either extreme of the moral spectrum; your character does not have to be evil or good. There is a lot of middle ground with certain decisions; maybe your character killed a child, but that child's death was pivotal in some sort of greater good. Often you'll find that your character will grow when you explore these gray areas in the moral spectrum.
Childhood sections are often the hardest to start because maybe all you have thought up to this point is about your character's present. While there is certainly no guide that can tell you what to write in this section there are certain guidelines that can help you.
Avoid feeling forced to make your character's childhood excessively difficult or abusive unless it feels genuine. A traumatic childhood can be interesting but if you only write it in that manner because you feel it'd make your character look more impressive then you should avoid it. A completely uneventful childhood does not take away from an already interesting character.
As opposed to an abusive childhood you should use your character's childhood to set the foundation for the person he/she is going to become. For example, if your character is to become a political figure in a certain settlement you can use his/her childhood to explore injustices that existed in your character's youth that he wanted to change or even that he wanted to support because they benefit him.
If you are really stuck with a childhood section then try to draw from your own experiences because your article will be all the more genuine for it.
Here is where articles usually take a turn for the worse. There's a word that users on this site love to use and that is "implausible", learn that word, look it up and live in fear of it. Before you write anything down for this section take a good, hard look at any ideas you may have and think "Does this make sense?". Often people will take the adolescence section to set the foundation for skills that the character will have in their adult years. Now, it's pretty easy to say "Well, it makes total sense that if my character used a hunting rifle in his teen years that he'll be an expert marksman by his adult years". Incorrect. If that was accurate then we'd be living in fear of those Boondock hicks who've been going to the gun range since they were ten.
Your character's teenage years are the perfect place to show why your character's life changed directions. As a teen, you and I, have started to realize a lot about the world, as is natural with growing up. Maybe your character got tired of his life of toil and went on to explore, hoping that life had much more to offer; maybe your character experienced something very profound and based his aspirations off of that experience, or maybe your character is simply content with his life. Don't feel obligated to dramatically change your character in this section but don't be afraid to explore what paths he/she can take in this stage of his/her life.
You should probably take into account a character's puberty, male or female. What level of detail you'd like to go into this is up to you, but a character's adolescent years are important in the formation of their personality. Whether that involves the discovery of someone's sexual orientation or whether they like sex at all is up to you. Standard tropes for this period include embarrassing crushes, doomed teenage love, and rash acts of passion. Teenagers aren't always the most rational after all, and puberty is a big part of that. A character's teenage years can also be when they decided to go an adventure in a fit of wanderlust though their adventure can always be motivated by a more understandable purpose like in Fallout 3, a game where a teenage protagonist leaves their vault to face the dangers of the wasteland.
The years of adulthood are usually the longest and the most active of a character's life as they are in the real life. There should be some thought put into where your character wants their life to go and how their environment will affect that.
To generalize the process, let me pose some questions. As an adult, what perks and traits might your character have to prepare them for their life in the wasteland? How have teenage and childhood experiences affected their views as an adult? Do they have a driving belief, whether it be religious or ideological? Who or what are they loyal to? Do they have public and private views? Are they planning on ever settling down and having a family or would they rather wander their entire life? These questions are just a few that can be answered in your article.
Another important feature of your character is whether you want them to have an active or a passive role in their life. This is often simplified to the terms "player character" or "NPC", but those are rather reductive in my mind, as none of the characters on this wiki should have the power of a PC character like the Vault Dweller, the Courier, or the Sole Survivor. Still, the more active role is the more popular character so it must be addressed.
For an active character, their adult years are usually when they set out to achieve an overall goal, that is if they are a "player" character like in the various Fallout games. These are the characters that usually travel, but they are more defined by their decisive action and active search for conflict aka quests. This is a generalization of course, but it does usually apply. Examples of active characters in Fallout would be Ulysses, DiMA, and all the player characters.
For a passive character, their adult years are usually them just trying to get by and acting more like an "NPC" character. These are the salt of the earth people who are farming, working, raiding, and fighting in the Fallout universe who don't generally care about things like the Brotherhood of Steel, the Enclave, or complicated faction interplay. This does not preclude these passive characters traveling or having an active part in history, but they are just less likely to do so than active characters. Examples of passive characters in Fallout would be Lucas Simms, Dogmeat, and almost all NPC characters.
A person's later years should be a time of rest where they can relax and take stock of their achievements, whether that be through their work, their children, or both. However, real life does not always work that way, and it does not have to work that way for your character either. A lot of the time, many people do not achieve their intended goals and have to live with that in their old age.
If your character survives to a certain age, they will start to feel the effects of aging. Seniors are not as spry as adults are, and physical disability will eventually set in.
Click the button to edit this page, then copy the following template for use in your own character articles:
|Date of birth:||Year of birth|
|Date of death:||Year of death|
|Age:||age as of 2287 or time of death|
|Height:||feet and inches, please|
|Mass:||in pounds, please|
|Race:||human, ghoul, something else?|
|Ethnicity:||Caucasian, African, something else?|
|Occupation:||what does the character primarily do?|
|Status:||is your character traveling? settled in an area?|