Characters and Motivations

I’ve been thinking about Scott’s post in which he talks about attitudes towards character development, but I think that he may be conflating two different things: approaches to playing the character, and the type of character one plays. I think they’re related, but are not the same thing at all.
Scott’s List was:
1) hero fantasies
2) ditzes
3) competency
4) real life
and although he didn’t number it
5) different as possible from oneself

Heroes, Ditzes (or Eccentrics, as Rachel prefers) are, I think, types of characters, Oneself and Competency are approaches to playing a character, and Different as possible from Oneself is a motivation for playing a type of character.
For instance, one could easily imagine both playing a Hero because it was different from oneself and attempting to play the Hero in a maximally competent fashion.
Actually, the topic of categorizing styles of play, motives for playing, and even types of characters has been chewed over at great length in places like the rec.arts.gaming.frp.advocacy newsgroup and elsewhere.

2 thoughts on “Characters and Motivations

  1. Russell says:

    I think I play characters that are different
    from me in one or two ways, and similar in
    all the others (except as follow from the
    differences.) It's like an experiment, where
    you want to control for other variables to
    see the influence of one. Thus, playing
    Evil characters means that I'm experimenting
    with bizarre moralities. Any other experiment
    will usually lead to playing a Good character,
    out of self-delusion.

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