While every system has its own system and rules for making a character, players tend to have their own system once they get comfortable. Today I want people to share how they make characters, and in particular where they start.
Are you the kind of person who makes the person - name, basic backstory, desired job, etc - first and then seeks the mechanics to make it work or do you handle the mechanics and then craft the person around what you have on the sheet? Perhaps somewhere in the middle?
Over the past few years I've found myself coming at this from multiple directions. For some characters I've had a complete mechanical build in mind already that I was making the character to work for. For others I've had character stuff in mind an then had to find. Normally I tend to start with a more mechanical mindset at the fore, because a big part of what I like in character creation is the gamist part of it, and effectively I want to bring something to the group and cover a base that may not be covered.
For example, it's not uncommon for me to find out what others are playing and do the system equivalent of "ok, then I'll bring the Rogue" or "I'll make the cleric." It is less mechanics here as it is a role. I am going to make someone who can cover the sneaky aspects for the team, or the healer role. From there I tend to peruse my options for character creation and see if anything grabs for story potential and go from there.
Of late in systems like L5R I've had fun starting with Advantages/Disadvantages I want and seeing what I can take to craft a story, then deciding what School/Clan combo goes best with that. For example, my current L5R character has Black Sheep, Dark Secret, Brash, and Sworn Enemy (Sibling.) Doesn't that just tell a very intriguing story? From there you just build the character (and yes, that is more points in disadvantages than most GMs will allow, and yes I live in fear of meeting a Bayushi Courtier.)
So how do you build your characters? Sound off in the comments.