Character Scenarios

I run an intense Dungeons and Dragons game in my spare time, as well as write lots of books with lots of characters.

The players whom I torture in Dungeons and Dragons asked me to make them a set of character scenarios they could answer, to make sure they were playing their characters instead of playing themselves. Figured I’d share it here as well.

Character Scenarios

Characters should all have unique ways of dealing with a wide variety of situations. But oftentimes, we suffocate our character’s reactions with our own personal reactions, or our own personal baggage. It is also easy to accidentally create two characters whose reactions and personalities are too entirely similar.

These are questions to answer for both yourself, and for your characters*, to make sure you and your character (or two different characters, if you wish) aren’t accidentally the same person.

Note: Many of these scenarios may not actually be ‘in character’ for your character. There might be many that would never realistically happen to you or any of your characters—but that doesn’t mean you still can’t imagine yourself in those situations. Remember; Saying “yeah but I wouldn’t do that” is the lazy way out. Don’t be lazy. This worksheet is supposed to help you, not make you close up into a stubborn ball.

*this list should work for a variety of character types; for use in role-playing games, or other forms of  fiction.


Scenarios:

  1. You are trying to enter the borders of a village, but on your way in, a guard stops you and says “We don’t welcome your type here.” How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your (or character’s) Answer:

Character’s (or second character’s) Answer:

  • You are at a bar/tavern, and another person (whom you may or may not have a secret romantic interest in) is getting harassed by another patron. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You are travelling by horseback with a group of people who all have a common goal with an important deadline, however, you come down with an illness or injury partway through the trip. If you continue travelling with your party, you might slow them down, potentially causing them to miss their important deadline. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your answer:

Character’s answer:

  • In order to make new friends to gain an important alliance, you are invited to a party where everyone is expected to get very drunk, and possibly partake in sexual affairs together. Not participating in these events will make you an outsider. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You live alone and your leg is broken, but there are chores around your property that need to be done or else you’re going to be fined for not having a living area that abides by local code. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You have an important visitor who just so happens to be a vegan. You only keep meat in the house and not a lot of fresh produce. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness that gives you only a few more months to live. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You are not strong enough to physically defend the person, but you see someone getting mugged in an alleyway by a group of three individuals. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  • You have a family of four children and a romantic partner. Your children are slightly overweight from a good harvest season, and your romantic partner is small and doesn’t need as much sustenance in general. You, on the other hand, are underweight and have a fast metabolism. A hunger spell occurs, and you do not have enough food to properly feed all six of you. Two people may have to suffer. Who will it be? Why?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. Tomorrow you have a test that you need to pass, or else never make money again a day in your life. You need to study for that test tonight, because you haven’t studied at all. However, a friend calls you and needs help getting out of quicksand in a place approximately three hours away. You’d lose your whole night of study to help… What do you do?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. A beggar asks you for enough money to feed himself for a night. You donate to him, but an hour later discover that the beggar was faking being poor, and actually makes more money than you do. You were conned! How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. You go out into the forest with a good friend and find the skull of a rare animal. You both want it badly. What do you do?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. A specific group of people murdered your entire family, and for your entire life, you’ve felt the need to follow-up with that group of people in some way. What are your plans the next time you stand toe to toe with that group of people?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. You leave home for a week, and ask a neighbor to take care of your mail, your pets, your home, etcetera, while you are gone. When you return home, you find your pets hungry, your house robbed, your mailbox full, and several boxed packages that have been sitting out in the rain. You find out the person who was supposed to be watching your stuff had actually been in the clutch of a new romance that whole week, and decided that having a lot of sex with their new partner was more important than watching your stuff. How do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. There are several feral cats that are continuously mating and having kittens under your porch. You cannot keep the kittens because you barely have enough food to feed yourself, and you can’t give them away because all of the cats and kittens are too fast for you to catch. If the cats don’t stop making babies, they’re going to kill all of your precious birds, and throw off the balance of the ecology near your home. What do you do?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

  1. You and your romantic partner have both been cheating with each other on the same person. When you find out you’ve both been doing this, how do you react emotionally? Verbally? Physically?

Your Answer:

Character’s answer:

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