Friday, September 5, 2014

Discussion: Getting Back Into Character

How do you get back into character after an extended hiatus from a gamer? When it's been a month, two months, a year, or longer, how do you find the character again? Can you find the character again?

Normally I don't have problems with this. A lot of my characters have developed what I call 'head space' which is basically a place in my head where the character lives. Getting into character generally just involves opening up that bit of space and pulling the character out. The only problem with this is that it only works for strong characters.

By strong I mean fully developed. Ones with personality traits unique to themselves. For example, I'll probably be able to play Ikoma/Matsu Mesutsume or Bayushi Kyoshin at any point in time for the foreseeable futures because both characters developed very strong places in my head. The same is true for my Star Wars Edge of the Empire character Galvin Raeth. It is, sadly, less true for some other characters.

Some just don't pass the test of time. Some get replaced by characters built with similar molds but new understanding and techniques to make the character stronger. Some were never more than a set of stats on a sheet and maybe a quirky name.

But that's me. How do you grab the characters? Do you have any tricks? Sound off in the comments.


  1. I use mnemonics whether it be verbal, whistling a tune, a physical tick of the character, set tone of voice. Often a phrase to bring the character into the forefront of my mind. It's one of the exercises from acting, and it takes some practice. For RP characters I recommend small actions that are easy to just quickly remember. I also discard or reuse them as I stop using older characters.

  2. Certainly physical triggers are helpful, like a voice, mannerism or perhaps even a phrase the character is known for. Reviewing a list of their signature characteristics, goals & fears can help.