methods.in.the.madness

The Window
CHARACTERS WELCOMERULESOPTIONALSSTORIES
introduction
how it works
tips and tricks
a walkthrough



Characters

Characters who are unique and entertaining are central to good roleplaying. When characters are fully fleshed out, with personalities, backgrounds, and polished demeanors, the crude plot framework which the Storyteller lays out becomes full and alive. It is the characters, after all, who guide the interaction, and through their deeds each chapter is made memorable. The process of character creation is one of the most important aspects of how the actors add to the story.

Character creation is not at all about rolling dice to get traits, cross-referencing charts to figure stat levels, or adding up points to make sure your character is balanced. It's not about following a series of steps to fill out a character sheet. It's not a specific process at all. True character creation is that undefinable storm of creative energy where you come up with a unique, imaginary individual whom you bring alive.

Most other roleplaying systems maintain a complex hierarchy of checks and balances to pigeonhole your character into their world stereotypes and make sure he's exactly as "powerful" as everyone else on the party. If you conceptualize a character who doesn't fit into this mold you're forced to either change your character or change the rules; neither option makes much sense. The Window character creation rules guarantee that you'll play exactly the character you want.

The Window assumes that the Storyteller and the actors can take care of themselves. There is one universal alternative to any rule, and that is good roleplaying. So long as everyone follows the Three Precepts, the creation of character traits and skills ceases to be a competitive issue. How "good" your character is becomes a moot point. The question is how real is she? How does she fit into the story? How personal and truly unique is the description you've constructed for her? Playing "weak" characters can be every bit as fun as playing super-people, and most mature roleplayers are skilled enough to involve themselves in the story no matter what sort of character they're acting.

With all of this freedom, you may feel a bit directionless and not know where to start. Some roleplayers argue effectively that there are advantages to more structure in the character creation process. If you're one of those people, I tip my hat and encourage you to use whatever system modifications you think are necessary to make the Window better fit your style. However, I also encourage you to give the freeform style a try; you may find that it works for you...

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