Persona building is not as difficult as you may think. It does take some consideration and time to have one that is put together well and is likely to become self sustainable. I have found two different but effective ways of getting the foundations of your persona: 1. If you are familiar with role playing games, their character generation is a nice place to start. 2. If you are not familiar or want a more detailed look of your persona from the get go then using the question method is good but lacks the structure of the game path. I recommend the role play books for those who may not have any idea what they want their persona to be.

It would not hurt to use one then the other, you might find an idea that you did not think of and could give you a greater insight to your persona.

I am not going to go into the use of role play books because they do a good job of leading you step by step.

I will talk about the question method. The way this works is that you take different topics and ask more and more detailed questions based off that topic.

Example: For background of the Persona, you can start with: Is your persona from a fictional universe? Is it one someone already created or one you made up? Which planet are you from? Country? State? City or town, village, suburb? What was your House like? Your room? And so on.

You can take any piece of that line of questions and go back to get more details if you want. This method is more fluid, is highly dependant on your imagination, and where you want to start asking questions.

Some start with the origins of the persona while others like to start with what the persona looks like. By this I mean how they dress. You can get a lot out what the persona is by what they wear. If your persona wears a suit, they are definitely not a coal miner. If your persona wears a weapon, why is that? Is it ornamental or have they had to use it? By what your persona wears it is very easy to put them into a class within the society they are from. Another place to begin is the name of your persona, if it’s a fancy name it is more likely you come from an upper class, where if the name is generic or short it means you are from the working class. If your name is more of a nickname, or has a title at the beginning, it says a lot about who you are.

Once you get all the meat of your persona you can then start to get into the nuances of it to make it more believable. The persona’s personality, their mannerisms, and their faults. I am a firm believer that if a persona has no faults and is “supermanish”, then it is doomed to become less and less interesting for a person to portray. “Oh, you hit me with this thing and it should have killed me cause its my one weakness, but look how I lift a whole island of it and toss it into the sun.” If you are new to personas I suggest you stay close to home and keep your persona’s personality similar to you. It is always good to start with what you know then if you want to spend the time to research something of interest you can always incorporate it later.

A very important thing to keep in mind is that this persona is yours, you can do whatever you want with it. That includes changing it as much as you want, never feel that any decision you make about your persona is etched in stone. You will find, as you take your persona out of the box and interact with others that your persona will take on a life of its own. It will evolve and change and it should, there is always things to improve upon to suit what you want so don’t be afraid to change it. Remember that this is about having fun.

The Red Fork Empire 

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