Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24
  1. #1
    Senior Zeitzbach's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Zeitzbach
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Not here, obv.
    Posts
    1,012

    Balancing your characters.

    We love creating OCs and put them in the story. However, sometime, you end up making them too OP and it turns into Sue giggle and shit that is boring and generic. (I'm looking at you, Kirito-kun).

    So how exactly do you keep everything in line? Like, sure you know how to cook and all but should your character know it too? Do you sometime end up making every OCs you created a master chef?

    What about nerfing? I know people train and get stronger but powercreeping in fics is boring especially with the "Let's go train aka getting buffed" chapters. Nerfing is almost impossible too unless you start zapping people power and taking away their equipments like in Castlevania, which is pretty dumb?

    Let's see if there are some other alternative. After writing that long-ass journal in DA

    http://zeitzbach.deviantart.com/jour...cing-429864469 (For this interested. It's freaking long.)

    for character creations, I know I'm going to run into some random "boss battle" trouble later and constantly throwing a "4 v 1" at every boss is going to be boring. "Boss is very cocky and lose" is too much of a cliche too. A lioness uses her full strength even when hunting a rabbit.

  2. #2
    Heretic! FlynnCoyote's Avatar


    Weasyl
    FlynnCoyote
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    248
    Specific weaknesses and character flaws.

    For example, Declen is an unparalleled swordsman, with might and agility to compliment his skill. However he has no training with a crossbow or any other ranged weapons.

    He's a brave and valiant hero, but also too sure of himself and often ends up in over his head and needs help.


    Simple things like this mean your character can be good, powerful but still have limits and restrictions across various scenarios and plots. It's important to have this decided before you goo too deep into the plot.
    * * *
    We'll find a reason, or else realize that we don't need one.

  3. #3
    With regards to strength or power, sometimes it's just being smart that wins the fight overall. In one of my joke articles (Before the days of TVTropes) I made up one law called the "Shikamaru Law". The Shikamaru law states that using the same trick(s) in different or creative ways will win every fight.

    I haven't read Naruto in years, but does Shikamaru ever get any other tricks outside of that shadow trick? Because at the time I wrote it, pretty much every fight Shikamaru had involved him either using that shadow pinning trick or tricking his opponents into falling into it, and then luring them into a trap.

    Throughout my reading experiences, I'm surprised at how... little a lot of authors go into fighting scenes. I mean, in Brave Story (which takes a lot of tropes from video games), many of the fights were over in only a few moves.

  4. #4
    I've never had a problem with overpowered characters, so it's hard for me to say how I "deal with it." You just have to make your characters complex. Sometimes they have to lose, and that losing helps them grow as individuals. Sometimes they'll win but in the process they'll sacrifice something, or maybe they'll realize something about themselves they didn't want to admit. Whatever the case, if a character is overpowered and perfect then it's not so much a problem with the character as it is a lack of imagination or give-a-damn on the writer's part. Even the most overpowered and ridiculous characters can still be interesting to read about because the world and events compliment their bombastic mannerisms.

    Generally speaking if there's going to be any climactic tension like a big fight scene there should be more at stake than just the fight. There should be emotional drama going on in the background that fuels the battle. Like how Obi-Wan and Darth Vader fought at the end of Star Wars. It was a short and kind of meh fight scene but it had a lot of emotional tension in it because it wasn't just two guys swinging light sabers, it was a reflection of how they as characters were combating one another in ideology and strength of will.
    Get a loada this guy here.
    https://twitter.com/DogdongD

  5. #5
    Senior Ruggy's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Ruggy
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    DFW area, Texas
    Gender
    LADY
    Posts
    481
    There's a few things I usually have to check myself on, because they'll creep up on me if I'm not careful:

    - (Mostly for main characters.) Do other characters' worlds seem to revolve around this character? Could I pair up any two random characters and know them well enough to come up with what they'd say to each other without the main character being involved in their conversation at all?

    - Are their flaws secretly strengths in disguise?

    - Does their lifestyle support the skills I've given them? (A character who is amazing at the guitar is, more than likely, going to be spending most of their time rehearsing or performing, particularly if they do it professionally, and they won't have time to also become a kung fu master, a skilled artist, and maintain a thriving social circle.)

    I definitely need to work on personality flaws truly having bad consequences for my characters. Why bother having a character who's painfully shy if she doesn't miss out on anything because of it? Why bother writing an alcoholic whose benders only make him seem cooler, and never have him estranging his friends, neglecting his responsibilities, and spending all day sick?

    I also think it's generally interesting to give some pretty steep penalties in exchange for any 'cool' power a character may have. Maybe you can control magic, but maybe you're also more susceptible to it than those who can't, and you have to be on constant alert for attacks. Maybe you are a third-degree black belt, but you also blew out your knees in the pursuit of it.

    It can be a hard balance to strike, though.
    Formerly gorgonops. I do art-type stuff.

  6. #6
    Senior Matt Conner's Avatar
    Weasyl
    MakePupsNotWar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    male
    Posts
    326
    here's a helpful little quiz If your're afraid that the character you've created isn't balanced enough, either personality-wise or physically. My characters always score ridiculously low, which means they're probably pretty boring
    Yeah? well, y'know...that's just like, your opinion, man.

    Like Chess? Play with me! Just drop me a PM whenever you're down. I have a chess.com account, and I can also set up a game with you on lichess (no subscription process or login required) whenever you like.

  7. #7
    Junior Uncle Dis's Avatar
    Weasyl
    Uncle Dis
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    11
    I just think of it all in the most realistic terms possible. For one, I treat each character as if he were a real person. That means he has to have depth and detail, that he will have reasons for all his strengths and interests, as well as his weaknesses and his dislikes. That means that those around him will have reactions to his behavior, and those reactions will depend on his relationships with them and what kind of people they are. Then as far as what abilities and strengths he does have, how will they affect him and his life, where do they come from, and what are their limits? Even some of their best qualities can also have a downside, just as some of their weaknesses may also have benefits. No character is completely one-dimensional, and neither is any one aspect of him. I've got plenty of characters that seem kind of OP at a distance, but even they have their flaws and weaknesses, as they are still mortal and imperfect beings with distinctly faceted personalities and lives. So I don't necessarily have to stop and consider how to tone them down; it comes naturally. But even then, I step back and reflect on them from time to time, so I can get an idea of what needs further development or what hasn't yet been explored.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Conner View Post
    here's a helpful little quiz If your're afraid that the character you've created isn't balanced enough, either personality-wise or physically. My characters always score ridiculously low, which means they're probably pretty boring
    Ah, the famous litmus test. I love how they include mary sue traits as "a character wearing goth clothing" or using a katana. XD The old fashioned "I hate seeing this trait in fiction so I'll try and remove it from fiction by listing it as a mary sue trait"-trick.

    See here's the thing - those are treating the symptom, rather than a disease. There's way more to a Mary Sue than "She's so powerful, she can always win."
    Last edited by Digitalpotato; 01-27-2014 at 06:21 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Matt Conner's Avatar
    Weasyl
    MakePupsNotWar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    male
    Posts
    326
    Quote Originally Posted by Digitalpotato View Post
    Ah, the famous litmus test. I love how they include mary sue traits as "a character wearing goth clothing" or using a katana. XD The old fashioned "I hate seeing this trait in fiction so I'll try and remove it from fiction by listing it as a mary sue trait"-trick.

    See here's the thing - those are treating the symptom, rather than a disease. There's way more to a Mary Sue than "She's so powerful, she can always win."
    Well of course, it even says so at the top of the test. "Most characters do and should have some of these traits." It's all about moderation, which a lot of fanfiction writers and roleplayers tend to lack.
    Yeah? well, y'know...that's just like, your opinion, man.

    Like Chess? Play with me! Just drop me a PM whenever you're down. I have a chess.com account, and I can also set up a game with you on lichess (no subscription process or login required) whenever you like.

  10. #10
    Some of the role-playing things happens when you wind up using a character for so damn long and keep progressing them. >.<;

    "Hi I'm a level 20/10 prestige class."
    "...hi I'm a level 5 wu jen."

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •