Good Character Development Questionnaire'

A friend of mine in animation school sent me this questionnaire with a concept of one of her characters. After reading this questionnaire out, I think this is a really good resource to use for developing Roleplaying characters, and could help with apps or just fleshing out your characters more. Enjoy.

Conceptual Illustration

“Filling out a Character”

Character = Name

I. The Character Physically

1. What is the character’s stature and build? Is he overweight? Thin? What is his height and weight?

2. How old is he?

3. Describe his posture. Is it good? Does he carry himself well? Is he crooked? Straight?

4. Is he in good shape or out of condition? Is he muscularly weak or strong?

5. How is his health? Any illnesses or conditions? Any physical disabilities?

6. Is he physically active or out of condition? A fast or slow mover?

7. Is he clumsy, awkward, graceful?

8. Does he move in straight or curved lines? Is he physically tight or fluid?

9. What are his chief efforts?

10. Is the character good looking, pretty, beautiful, average, plain, ugly, disfigured?

11. Is the character aware of himself physically? His looks?

12. Describe his complexion and skin. Dark, light, clear, marked?

13. Describe his hair, coloring, styling. Is it taken care of?

14. How is his usual dexterity? Does he have good hands: Can he do things? Is he a worker?

15. Is he physically tense or relaxed, nervous, controlled?

16. What are his chief tension centers?

17. What part of the body would you notice first?

18. Describe his basic gravity factor. Is there a downward pull or buoyant?

II. The Character’s Clothes

1. How many clothes does this character have?

2. What items are in their wardrobe?

3. What are their favorite articles of clothing?

4. What colors are the clothes? Is there a wide range? Bright or dull? What are their favorite colors to wear?

5. Are their clothes old or new?

6. Were they bought, or homemade, hand-me-downs, expensive?

7. What is one of his favorite items to wear?

8. Do his clothes fit well?

9. Is he comfortable in what he wears or does he “fight” his clothes? Is he confident about the way he dresses or uneasy?

10. Does he care for his clothes? Keep them up and neat? Is he worried about how they look?

11. Does he have to dress a certain way because of his job or position? If so, do his usual clothes fit his real, basic character?

12. Does he dress according to a self-image of himself? Is this self-image conscious or unconscious? At what age was this self-image set?

III. The Character’s Voice

1. Does he speak in a high voice of low pitch? When might he be higher than usual? When lower?

2. Is he a loud or soft talker?

3. Is there a wide range in the voice in volume, pitch, and/or quality, of is the voice pretty consistent and even?

4. Is there good resonance in the voice? Is the voice throaty, chesty, heady, nasal?

5. Is there tension in the voice? Anxiety? Emotion?

6. Is there an accent? Anything unusual in pronunciation? Emphasis? Phrasing?

7. Is it a trained voice or just natural?

8. Does the character “try” to speak well or just “how it comes out”?

9. Is the speech clear or muddy? Does he mumble? Is he distinct?

10. Is the voice comforting or irritating? Reassuring or disturbing?

11. Is he self-conscious when he speaks to others? How large a group could he speak to before he became self-conscious?

IV. The Character’s Mind

1. Is the character smart, dumb, naïve?

2. Does he think quickly? Slowly? Is he quick-witted? Dull?

3. What kind of education has he had?

4. What area of subjects does the character have knowledge or expertise?

5. Is the character impulsive or deliberate in reaching conclusions? Is he logical, rational, or emotional?

6. Does he think out things before he speaks or can he “think on his feet” as he is speaking?

7. Does he have contemplative times? What does he think about when alone?

8. Is he an idealist? A pragmatist? A dreamer? An idea man? An action man?

9. Is his life motivated chiefly by abstract ideals or practical rewards?

V. The Character’s Emotions and Personality

1. Is he an introvert or an extrovert?

2. Does he get along well with people? Does he have charm? Are people attracted to him? Does he like people?

3. Does he have many friends? Any close friends?

4. Is he hot-blooded or cool headed?

5. Does he have a narrow or wide range of emotions? Do they show?

6. Does he indulge in emotional peaks, outbursts, or valleys? Do they show?

7. Would you say he is basically sensitive or callused?

8. Is he suspicious, cautious, trusting, or naive about new people and situations?

9. Is he an aggressive or reactive person? Is he a pusher or a puller?

10. Does he take a positive or negative action?

11. In a danger or emergency situation would he go to it or run away from it?

12. Is the character basically nervous or calm?

13. Does the character have a sense of humor? Does he appreciate jokes? Can he see humor in unfunny situation? Can he laugh at himself?

14. Can he tell a funny story or joke? Do others find him amusing?

15. Is he a practical joker? What is his opinion of tricks or jokes played on other people?

16. Is his humor ever cruel?

17. Under what conditions could he be harmful or mean or cruel to another person?

18. Is he a loving person? Is he full of love and giving or rather bound and tight in this area? Is he capable of relating to others in a loving way? Is he capable of relating to one specific person in a romantic way?

19. Is he loved by other people? In what way?

20. Is he romantically in love now? With whom? Is this a happy, rewarding or frustrating situation for him?

VI. The Character’s Wealth, Power, and Influence

1. Does this person have much money? Does it provide position or respect from other for him?

2. Is he generous or selfish with his money and possessions?

3. Is the character socially prominent? Is he prominent from wealth, position, or office, family history, ability, or accomplishment?

4. Does the character rate high in the “pecking order” with his household? Town? Area? Nation? World?

5. Does this person wield much clout? Over whom and by what means?

6. Can he command others to do his bidding, by word or manipulation?

7. How does he get his wishes or why?

8. To whom is he subservient? Is this submission willing or unavoidable?

VII. The Character’s Activities

1. How does the character spend his time?

2. What does his daily routine consist of?

3. What is his profession or work?

4. What things does he really like to do?

5. What things does he hate to do?

6. What are his leisure time activities? Pastimes? Recreation?

7. Does he play games? What kind?

8. Does he like to eat or drink? How important to him are food and drink?

9. How important is sex to him? What sexual activities does he partake in? Anything unusual?

10. Is his attitude about sex healthy or disturbing to him? Is sex a rewarding enriching area of this person’s life or is it frightening, anxious, or frustrating. Is sex a positive or negative factor in his life?

VIII. The Character’s Favorite Things

1. Colors?

2. Food?

3. Drink?

4. Smells?

5. Time of day?

6. Season of the year?

7. Books?

8. Kinds of literature?

9. Authors?

10. Places to visit?

11. Kinds of music?

12. Musical Instruments?

13. Composers?

14. Metals; gold, iron, copper, pewter, etc?

15. Building materials; stone, wood, clay, tile, etc.?

16. Fabrics; silk, wool, linen, etc.?

17. Pieces of furniture?

18. Plants?

19. Flowers?

20. Trees?

21. Birds?

22. Animals?

23. Miscellaneous?

24. Modern Fairy Tale?

IX. Character’s Fears

1. What things frighten him?

2. Is he motivated by fear?

3. To what extent is he motivated; never, occasionally, usually, constantly?

4. What would this character think were the three most terrible things that could happen to him?

5. What would he think were the three most wonderful things that could happen to him?

X. The Character’s Religion

1. What are his specific religious beliefs? Does he belong to a specific sect or creed? Does he advocate that groups beliefs?

2. How important is religion to him?

3. Is he pious, devout?

4. In what religious activities does he engage? What percentage of his time is devoted to it?

5. How does religion motivate his actions or affect him?

XI. Extra Questions

1. What kind of underwear does your character wear?

2. What is the one thing your character doesn’t want anyone to know about him?

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