View Full Version : Makin a Sign up

May 7th, 2008, 1:57 PM

Sign-Up Sheets are just as important as RPG posts and plots; without a good sign up sheet other members do not have a clear image of what your character is like, as in how he or she acts, looks and feels. In order to know this, your sign up must meet the proper standards, being of high quality; this means plenty of detail and description so that other members know how to act around your character.

Just around four or five lines with proper grammar and good description will get you far. Give a proper in-depth sign-up sheet, not four words long for each section. As an example I have prepared the below sheets so that it is easier for some of you to understand. Now, compare this:


Example one

Name: rachel
Age: 16
Gender: female
Description: tall. long hair and wears black.
Personality: cold. nasty and angry and mean to people
History: parents died when she was ten
Other: none

To this:

Example two

Name: Rachel

Age: 16

Gender: Female

Description: Rachel stands at an average height for her age and has a slim frame, which appears toned and slightly tanned, but not overly so. She has emerald green eyes which are normally obscured by many strands of chocolate-coloured hair; seeing would be hard for her if a pair of black sun glasses was not sitting atop her head to keep the unruly strands at bay. She wears a long sleeved, black crop top, accompanied by a pair of baggy black trousers, which tuck themselves into large boots at her feet. Most of her frame is covered by a large, black leather trench coat which reaches just past her ankles. Around her neck, hanging on a silver chain is a silver pendant in the shape of a dragon.

Personality: A serious girl in battles and a hard nut to crack. She does not fool around when it means there is a battle to be won, instead she concentrates fully on the battle at hand, determined to win and bring her enemies to their knees, but of course, she is a good sport, and a loss is a loss, she can only learn from her mistakes. A good friend and powerful ally, she is a member worth having on any team, but her friendship is hard to gain, and her trust harder still.

History: Rachel has lived alongside her parents for as long as she can remember. Like any other normal teenager, she attended school, sat exams and had to endure the nightmare known as homework. When a letter arrived for her mentioning the beginning of a Pokemon journey, she could not help but take up the offer and make her way to pallet town after bidding her mother and father a goodbye and informing her college that she would be taking a year out to complete her journey.

Other: Rachel dealt with an unfortunate event when she was younger, which included water. Out at sea in a boat with her brother, they were attacked by a Gyarados and the boat was pulled under to deep depths. She made it out alive thanks to the help of her brother's Seel, but her brother met an unfortunate end. Rachel has been terrified of water ever since, but keeps her brother's Seel close by.


Now not only does (fairly good) grammar make it look nicer and makes it easier to understand, but can't you make out a lot more about my character through the second example than you can from the first? Four lines and good description is all it takes to make an amazing character. The trick is to work at your sign up, what I find that helps is to keep a folder of your characters on your PC/Laptop and add to them more detail until you have the perfect sign up. You can then use that character when you find another RPG which suits him/her and make alterations as you see fit.

The Sections

Name: Easy, right? Well, sometimes it can be a little tricky. When signing up for an RPG, always pay good attention to what era your RPGing in. For example, you wouldn’t be calling someone who is running around in medieval times "Bob." Be creative with it and don’t make it something too common (don't use a name someone else has already chosen to avoid confusion): your character should to be unique after all. Also, most RPG Game Masters would prefer a first and last name, so be creative! If you're stuck for names, then don’t be afraid to look up some names using a baby names search on Google or other search engines. That way you can search for a name that has meaning behind it and is suitable for the RPG you are participating in.

Also, don't be afraid to give your character a nickname! It doesn't hurt, and it can really add depth to a character. Maybe their name is Ryan "Ace" Smith because he uses a lot of Flying Pokémon with Aerial Ace! Don't be afraid to be creative, but also be sure not to give them a totally outrageous name.

Age: No matter what anyone says, age can be problematic. Again, pay close attention to the plot and determine what sort of character would be present in that situation. A three-year-old wouldn’t be going to war for the country in a realistic RPG. If it’s a mythical RPG such as Digimon or Pokémon, then there is always the possibility that you will be allowed to use seven-year-olds. Normally the Game Master will give an age limit, meaning he/she will give you an minimum/maximum of what ages your character can be in the RPG, such as ’16-29’. Always pay close attention to what the Game Master is telling you!

Gender: Okay, now this one's easy; unless the Game Master has come up with his/her own genders for the RPG, then it’s a simple matter of Male, Female or Genderless. Bare in mind that its normally a choice between Male or Female unless the GM has stated otherwise, such as if it’s a mythical RPG such as Digimon where Digimon do NOT have genders, or you're using a genderless Pokémon like Porygon or Magnemite.

Description/Appearance: Slightly problematic, this is where people are normally judged in the RPG skills. If you cannot come up with a decent description, then you're outta there! For this section, you need to think. This is your RPG character's looks, your basically making up a character from scratch so just work your way through the body.

Human Description: Think of:

The Head: Give your character a hair style, hair colour (remember that in most Animés people can have crazy hair colours and styles, so in some RPs it may be okay to stretch this), eye colour, shape/size of eyes, nose and mouth, make-up (mainly for girls), accessories, piercings, scars and the general shape of the face. Think of the head as your characters identity, mix it with they’re personality and attitude; a cold, mean character may have their jaw always set, their mouth turned in a frown, eyes narrowed.

Upper Body: Your character needs to be wearing a top, so think of what type of character he/she is going to be, and think stereotypical if you have to. Will it be punk-ish, gothic, sporty, geeky, or perhaps the chest plates and so on of armour? In this are you need to also describe your characters skin colour and frame, that is do they have tanned skin with a well-built frame, milky white with a puny frame? Don't forget about height, weird and how muscular they are - just try to avoid giving exact heights and weights.

Lower Body: Skirt, jeans, shorts, leather, armor? Just take your pick! Your character needs these. Don’t hold back either; are they wearing belts, are their trousers ripped or missing buttons or have some special design? What kind of shoes are they wearing? And dhoes too - black trainers with pink laces, heavy boots with silver clasps, beige sandals, armor-plated boots?

Accessories: Most important part of your character in my opinion, these are what gives your character personality. Necklaces handed down by a family member, heaps of bracelets on your left arm but not your right? Tattoos running up your body, across your face…are you tribal? Leather gloves to do your dirty work, a back pack to keep your things handy when needed, a watch, rings, anklets, gadgets, weapons?!

Creature Description: A little more difficult, but nothing big. The Game Master may want you to play as a creature that could be an anthro (half human, half animal), a Pokémon, a dark creature (vampires, werewolves) or even a creation of their own. Vampires and werewolves are easy enough, they have human like characteristics, give or take long fangs, claws and obviously transformations, and don’t forget to describe what your character looks like after a transformation (if there is one)!

Anthros are also pretty straightforward, as all you essentially need to do is add animal/Pokémon characteristics to your human character. This could range from a snout, long eagle-like talons, a fluffy brown tail or even leathery, dragon-like wings that sprout from your back.

For information on Pokémon description, see below.

The main things to take note of whilst making a description for your character are: the era, your character's personality and its species. You should be okay from there. ^_^

Personality: This holds no limits; it can be whatever you want it to be, but again, take note of the era and the plot. Make sure that your character fits in with the situation. If you are a Pokémon turned human, because of the horrific way the humans have been treating you, then you’re going to be scared and/or angry at them, you wouldn’t want to get along with them, y’know.

There’s not much that can really be said here by me to you, after all you’re the one making this character, but all I can say is, break it down into categories:

First impression: What kind of first impression do they give off? A character could look scary and uncaring upon first glance, and could even be so in presonality and first until you get to know them, or they could even look happy and innocent, but actually be the complete opposite.

General: How does your character act in general, are they intelligent, brave, or scared? How do they act in stressfull situations? Do they flirt and like the opposite/same gender? Are they good at fighting?

Alone: Do they work well alone, do they prefer it to group work, and do they get scared easily?

Group: Does your character get along well with others?

History: Will Edit.

Other: This section is just for any other facts you'd like to mention, such as your character having an allergy or a certain phobia. Basically, if it doesn't seem to belong anywhere else, stick it here.

However, DO NOT GIVE YOUR CHARACTER SPECIAL POWERS. Unless it's a part of the RPG, your character should be just like everybody else. That means that unless there's a specific reason for it in the RPG, your character should not have psychic powers or be able to talk to Pokémon or have the ability to tell when a person is in danger or whatever. This gives you an unfair advantage over other people for no reason, and it's rude to the GM if they never said anything about giving characters special attributes, so AVOID IT.

Extras: Extras can include such things as Wepons, Pokemon, Fighting style or something that the GM has added in which is vital to the plot. Pay close attention to the sign up sheet the GM has provided and add in anything that is relevent. A weapon will need to be described (what kind of weapon it is, how it was made, where you got it from and what it looks like). A Pokemon may have its own sign up sheet (see below). Just add anything that the GM asks of you.

Just remember that your character doesn't need to be this amazing person with a stunning past and pretty hair to be an amazing character. It's all about how much effort and originality you put into it, and the more the better!


Okay, that ends my preach to you all!

Also, if you'd like you can post your sign ups here and get feedback from other members. Post questions if you're not sure of something, or if you would like to add something further! Feel free to use this thread as your character storage if you like, try and keep one post only for yourself, if you run out of space in the one post then make another or link from sites such as Live journal. If you like use spoilers to hide your characters.

More will be added to this. =D

May 22nd, 2008, 4:56 PM
You know, considering the amount of time and effort I had actually put into this I would have appreciated it if you had asked me first before posting it on another forum. I know you didn't mean it and you still gave credit, but it would have been nice.

I have been meaning to add this bit for awhile, so I figured I'd throw it at you so you could add it in here (though you may also want to go back and find the bits that are supposed to be in italics and whatnot). I've also been thinking about a section for powers, but one step at a time. =P Anyhow, this is an addition for Pokémon SUs.

"Some GMs may also want to add the following sections to their Pokémon sign-ups, in which case we'll briefly go over them.

History: Whether they were born in a pack in the wild or raised by a breeder, all Pokémon have some kind of history. Of course, it should be noted that not all species may live the same way, so a Pachirisu and a Salamence probably won’t have similar histories (Pachirisu probably live in large groups and are very social, cheery creatures while Salamence are more aggressive and probably live alone). You should still watch out here, as some people tend to also make clichéd pasts for Pokémon, such as having their entire pack be killed by humans and now seeks revenge on humankind.

Attacks: Some GMs like to limit the number of attacks a Pokémon can have. While this is reasonable so that not only will Pokémon like Shuckle xxxx no longer be at such a huge disadvantage to Pokémon with wider movepools, limiting it to a really low number such as four seems pretty silly. After all, the only reason it’s like that in the games is so the Pokémon aren’t overpowered, which would make the game really easy to beat. In an RPG, you’ll find that the situations you may encounter require the Pokémon to have a few more abilities on-hand (plus it seems rather insulting to say that such intelligent creatures are only smart enough to remember four attacks at a time, which doesn’t even count biting or tackling or birds using the Fly technique). TMs, HMs, Egg and Tutor Moves should also be taken into account here, on both the GM’s and RPer’s end. Can they have non-level-up attacks? Are they limited for such attacks? In the end, it is recommended that if you limit attacks, they should be allowed more than five and less than nine.

Age/Level: While this is included on some sign-up sheets, I’ve found that it’s really just ignored during the RP. Obviously a wild Meowth that was just caught won’t be as smart, strong or experienced as Lucario someone had trained for five years. In regards to age, we have to realize that Pokémon are like animals, and not all animals have the same life span. Houseflies only live for 24 hours, and most bugs in general breed and die pretty quickly. Lions live between 10-14 years (20 in captivity), depending on the breed dogs live around 11 years, and crocodiles and elephants live until about 70!

So if you’re going to give your Pokémon an age, their life expectance should be taken into account as well. Bug-types and rodents don’t live for very long, Rock and Ground Pokémon probably live about as long as a human, and Dragon types can probably live for a hundred years (like the legends of our world say they do).

For levels…well, they’re used in the games to calculate the strength of a Pokémon, which really isn't necessary here. From what I’ve seen, people hardly ever pay attention to them in RPGs anyway. But either way, I have too often seen newbie trainers who started training only a year or two ago and have all their Pokémon between level 50 and 60, and let's be realistic, folks: Pokémon probably don't level up as fast as they do in the games, and not all trainers train their Pokémon at the same time/pace. And I have also seen many people forget that even though it's an RP, a level 10 Growlithe won't fight as well as a level 42 Luxray. But I have seen the young Growlithe pup beat the experienced Luxuray for no reason whatsoever anyway, so to me levels seem silly and completely useless. Besides, it doesn’t say much about the Pokémon itself because you can still have a young Pokémon at a high level and an old Pokémon at a low level (depending on if their Trainer trained them or not).

Description: Since all Pokémon of a species tend to look the same, this isn’t always needed. In some cases, like if it’s a made-up Pokémon or mix or more than one species, this is especially important. However, some Pokémon may have physical deformities, or may wear special accessories, in which cases you should add this in. Some GMs, however, may ask that you still provide four lines for description, in which case you ca just talk a bit about the way the Pokémon itself looks.

For example, I’m going to go and describe a Houndoom as my choice of Pokémon, so read carefully and pick out parts that will help you.

Now, I’m gonna start off saying that my characters looks more or less like the typical Houndoom, but then I’m gonna add some unique descriptions that only my Houndoom would bare:
This particular Houndoom looks to be like any other, with the usual black coat, a rack of bones on his back and the obvious orange underbelly. But upon closer inspection, this hound's coat has silver streaks running through it when bared to the light of both the moon and the sun, and his eyes do not take on the average red or amber colour of other Houndoom, but instead take on a shocking emerald colour. A swift clean scar runs over his muzzle and the rack of bones on his back is scratched and chipped in multiple places as a result of past fights with other Pokemon. A unique aspect of this Houndoom’s appearance is the red bandana around his neck in remembrance of its late trainer. Another thin scar runs down his cheek from the corner of his eye, but fortunately did not blind this ill-fated Houndoom.

As you can see from the above, I took the original appearance of a Houndoom and spruced it up a bit, giving it a rough look and also leading into its personality and love to fight, I also lay a bit of history on the Houndoom through its accessories - that is the bandana given to it by a trainer it once had. Not that hard, eh?"

Yes, that is the Houndoom description you made ages ago. As you can see, I hadn't taken it out for no reason (if you were wondering). :3