4 Reasons Why Describing Your Tabletop RPG Character is Important

The Character Description Section from every edition of Dungeons and Dragons
Since the guys at JADE can't be trusted to hold on to their character sheets, I keep them all safe and sound in separate binders divided by edition. With access to so many characters sheets I often flip through to see what kind of characters the guys have created and to see what information they are filling out on their sheets.

The one common thing I noticed was that on most of the sheets in my binders, the Player Character description sections were either empty, or woefully lacking.
I wanted to make a case for filling out these important details in game, so here are the 4 reasons you should fill out the Player Character description sections.


Akelius Flint

1. The Details Can Change the Game

Having these descriptions on your sheet will change the outcome of scenarios. Let me explain; if you have your exact height recorded and are quite small it can be easier to hide behind terrain. However if your character is very large then there might not be anything in the same area to hide behind. Either way, that small detail changed what you could do in the game; making it more interesting.

To cite an example that happened to me in a game, my character Aeklius Flint in Hymns of Vagabond Game 8 was wanted by the Serratic League on suspicions of theft. To throw off the guards I shaved my beard, and altered my character description to match, making it much harder for them to identify me in an age before photography. Having the character details filled out actually saved Flint's life in this case, and if that isn't a game changer I don't what is.

John Applewood

2. You Will Be More Attached to Your Character

Beyond knowing more about what your character looks like and how they act, having filled out this information will make you more attached and invested in the character you are playing.

Creating Elijah's character John Applewood took an entire evening. We had to fill out each section of our 6 page 2nd AD&D character sheet including the large character description section. When Elijah was done he really felt like he knew who his character was, and that came through in his role play. In game he was able to talk as though he had a past in the area, and was able to lean on his traits, and in some cases physical size to roleplay through situations.

The time he spent creating his character was well worth it.


Sharky McCoy

3. Your Sheet Will Seem Less Barren

Sharky MCoy's Character Description section is the most filled out of any of the 5th edition sheets I have here... And it is sparse to say the least. Just look how empty the page looks. It is begging to be filled with information.

In 5th edition, they also devoted an entire page to describing and setting up your character's back story, ops obviously they also thought it was important. Don't be lazy, fill it out and use your character sheet to its potential.

Raymond E. Howard

4. It's Fun

Part of role playing is coming up with a character, and having a description of who they are and what they look like is an important part of that Not only can it be fun to go into this level of detail with a fictional character, but beyond that you can get pretty funny while still providing meaningful information.

Look at how Dave described his Barbarian. Eyes: Disarming, Hair: Flowing, and Skin: Glistening. He used the character descriptions to describe aspects of his character, while still having a laugh. Despite his roughness there is a softness to his eyes making him more approachable. His hair luxurious and flowing, and you can imagine his muscled skin glistening with oil or sweat. Dave did a lot with a little here, and really showed off his wit; coming up with an amazing way to describe your character that continues to give me a chuckle to this day.

So if you don't already start filling out those character descriptions, and enjoy what they have to offer to the game and around the tabletop. who knows it may just save your character's life someday. And as always, happy gaming.


Written by: Andrew Gregory

4 Reasons Why Describing Your Tabletop RPG Character is Important 4 Reasons Why Describing Your Tabletop RPG Character is Important Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 11/30/2016 01:45:00 pm Rating: 5

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