EDIT: Please note that:
- This blog is nearly seven years old, and as such may have very dated information or differing opinions from how I think right now.
- Don't take this guide as actual rules to follow to the letter.
Okay, It's finally here. I've been working on this for a while now. At first I was skeptical about bringing this here, but after hanging around here for about a year, I knew it had to be done. Ahem.
A Guide to Fan Characters
Here, I'm gonna point out as many things about making a character that would ruin them that I can think of, mostly consisting of comparisons to Canon Characters. That being said, the first part I'm going to talk about is the species of choice.
Now, this is a bit of a minor thing, but it's still frowned upon for most people to choose the three main generic animal species of the Sonic fandom. In order they appear: Hedgehog, Fox, Echidna. Most people look upon them as unoriginal in characters. However, if done right, they can become pretty good characters despite their species. But here are the main traits in a character you should look out for.
The Traits, and the Looks
When making a character, You really should aim to make them original. Nobody wants to see a clone of another character, unless it's biologically so and has a story to back it up. This includes both looks and personality. Looks especially, since their appearance is the main thing people look out for.
When they are a hedgehog, having quills exactly like Sonic's, Shadow's or Silver's could be a problem. Although I think Sonic's is the most normal out of all the "Quill Styles". You should still avoid having their quills look exactly the same. Try making theirs look a little different, be creative. Change the angle they grow in maybe, or their length, the amount, and/or the size. For example: My character Kyle's quills are very short, while my other character Thunder has several small spikes in a bit of a wild fashion. And Splice? It's too complicated to summarize! As for the younger ones, such as Zap in his youth, their quills can be short and dull, as they haven't fully grown yet.
As for personality, Having them as an adventure loving hedgehog can irk many people. Having them dark and arrogant, and angsty at the same time will cause many people to cringe. I don't know about having Silver's personality, but be forewarned, they might wanna kill him. So...Don't do it. Also, if they're female, having Amy styled hair/quills isn't the only style for a girl hedgehog. There are so many different styles, like mentioned above, so don't let that set up a writers block. And also, avoid having girl stalkers with a crush. Quite a few people already hate Amy for it.
When they are a Fox, it's a tad obvious what you should avoid, yet many people fail to see so. It's having two tails like Tails. Tails is supposed to be unnatural with his twin tails. If you make every other fox out there have two tails, It ruins the whole thing, making it a normal standard for all foxes. And no, don't even think about adding more, because that's not helping the problem. In fact, it's possibly making it even worse. So, Have one single tail. You could also try to give him a little hairstyle to distance himself from Tails. And try not to have his personality match Tails'. Or to be more specific, Keep. Your Fox. Away. From The Mechanics. Bottom line.
Thinking of it now, If you have a mechanic of any kind, you might wanna try to avoid having them being a young sidekick to the main hero.
When they are an Echidna, There are a number of things you should avoid. Namely, The symbol on their chest. While Knuckles' tribe had many different white body markings, most of todays Echidna fancharacters have the same crescent Mark that Knuckles has. If you're gonna have some birthmark, try to be more original with it. It doesn't have to be on their chest, it could be anywhere on their body. Some of the echidnas had marks on their heads, if I remember correctly.
And speaking of Knuckles' tribe, remember that it was wiped out by Chaos, with Knuckles being the last survivor. I'd advise against changing that with your character.
Moving on. The removal of the spikes on their knuckles is optional, Echidnas ARE a type of mole, so spikes on their knuckles to dig shouldn't be too much of a problem, but without them, it adds a bit more originality. Their hair probably shouldn't be exactly the same as Knuckles'. We've confirmed that his entire tribe had dreadlocks, so we can safely assume that was a tribe custom (all comics and Sonic Chronicles aside). But like with hedgehogs, try think of a different style, since they aren't going to be part of the tribe. (I should hope.)
As for their personality, Having them stupid is one thing, but having them stupid and hot tempered? That's too much like the new Knuckles, which is unfortunately known better than the old one. Whatever you do, just don't do that.
The Species - Part 2
Now we're briefly back. That concludes what should be avoided in the above species, but not entirely all of it. There are many other species out there, be creative when thinking of a new one. Here are some other species that were used in the series:
- Cat - 3 times if you count the dropped character Honey.
- Bird - 4 times, if you don't count the various Flicky's.
- Rabbit - 2 times, if you count Cream's mother as a second.
- Bear - 1 time, if I'm not mistaken.
- Bat - 1 time
- Raccoon - 1 time.
- Koala - 7 times. Except they're all in the same game, and in a different dimension, at that.
Now, the most popular out of these for making characters is Cat. It's become slightly generic, which I personally think is bad because Cats are cool. But don't let that discourage you. Unless you make a female cat that looks too similar to Blaze, that is. Now, it's time to get to one of the main problems people seem to face in making a character.
Original Characters VS Crossover Ripoffs
Seeing how crossovers are allowed, it's only natural that people would want to bring in different series to relate their characters and stories to. However, There's a line between crossing over series and taking completely ripping off already made characters. Crossovers are generally two series colliding. Which would mean elements from both sides come together, allowing a whole new possibility of characters, items, locations, plots, etc. But that is not this. This is when you take a character and change him JUST enough to pass as a character from your main series. (Which is in this case, Sonic.)
Mario The Hedgehog. I take Mario and turn him into a hedgehog, giving him a red cap with an M on it, incredible jumping powers, and possibly some overalls if I didn't make his fur match his regular clothes in color. The next thing you know he's in your roleplay going "Mama Mia! We're outta Pasta!" or whatever. And then to further make Mario seem more like Mario, I go and take more characters and make Luigi The Hedgehog, Princess Peach
Rose The Hedgehog, Dr. EggKoopa--And we're gonna stop RIGHT there. Technically it isn't a crossover, but it might as well be since I've just begun to turn all of the characters from the Super Mario series into Sonic styled characters.
Technically, this isn't really against any kind of rules. But it's just very unoriginal and cringe-worthy, and it tends to annoy people a LOT. It also tells them a little something about your creativity.
Solution: Come up with your own ideas, and don't rip off of others.
The powers that a character can have..They range from completely original to blatantly unbelievable. This IS a crucial part of your character. If you want to RP with someone, you have to have this section in order. If you're just making a fanfic, then if you want anyone to read it, pay attention. I'm first going to discuss cloned powers of other characters.
Out of the 4 hedgehogs in the series, Sonic and Shadow's powers are both used the most frequent in a fancharacter. You will often see a hedgehog character who can run at high speeds, usually matching--or even surpassing the Fastest thing Alive. That title belongs to Sonic, it's unfair to just steal it from him like that. If they are fast, don't make them nearly as fast as Sonic.
But the worst problem is Shadow. He has the worst case out of anyone here. People will always give their characters, be they hedgehog or not, Shadow's chaos powers, and then they multiply it by Lord knows how much. They give them so many chaos powers, some new that they made right off the bat and overpowered, that nobody can even really touch them. And then what's worse, some call them the NEW Ultimate Life Form. The more ultimate than Ultimate.
First off, An "Ultimate Life Form" was never really such a great idea for a character in the first place. And what's more, There are rumors that Shadow is somewhat of a ripoff of Mewtwo. Making a fancharacter like that is like making a ripoff of a ripoff, which is a rather sad thing, wouldn't you say? Whether the rumor is true or not, it still does not make the position of your character any better. In my opinion, It's best to just drop the Chaos Powers. However, it's your choice; I have seen people utilize them fairly decently, after all. It's just very easy to screw up here.
Having psychic powers isn't entirely bad, but Silver DOES already have them so you might want to avoid that if possible. Though psychic powers can extend far beyond flight and telekinetically moving objects.
And if female, No Hammers. I'm not gonna go any further into that. No Hammers.
Now, The only real power Tails has is his flying ability. That's only really possible with two or more tails. So, your fox is basically in the green zone. But don't give him any means to fly without reason. i.e owning a jetpack.
Now, I don't know anything about Shade, so I'm just going to Knuckles. Knuckles specializes in superior superhuman strength, and digging with the Shovel Claws. Now, your echidna can be a digger, that's fine, but Try not to give them super strength. If they are strong, they should not be able to surpass Knuckles unless there is a very, very good reason behind it.
Don't give them fire powers if they're female. You might be able to get away with it if they're male, but not quite so easily if female.
Now I've cleared up the cloning powers, The other powers you should avoid are blatent god-modding powers. Such as...
- Being able to move instantaneously whenever and wherever you want.
- Being ridiculously strong, as in three times stronger than Knuckles or higher.
- Goes along with the 2nd one, Being able to destroy pretty much whatever they wanted, no matter how tough, massive, or indestructible it really is.
- Being invincible and immortal, no one can even scratch them.
- Acting like a god, literally.
- Being able to kill whoever they want wherever they were without even moving from a single spot. (usually with psychic powers, but any kind of power that allows this is bad.)
All that listed above is bad for roleplaying, and bad story writing. If they are a villain, it's possible to get away with some of it, but it's not very probable. In fact, not even villains can get away with that easily. This is especially bad when roleplaying. It is completely unfair to the other people roleplaying with you. You don't give them a chance with stuff like that. Their character is capable of things too, they should be allowed a chance to show what they can do as well without the godmodder hogging everything, or killing them off without giving anybody a chance to stop it. You are not the only one who can fight/solve problems/etc. So don't act like it. When it comes to writing stories, It really is not good to do that either. It's bad writing. Sure the series is surreal and unbelievable, but you have to write it so that it's believable to the series. Write like it's possible that the events could actually happen in a Sonic game. Which means keep your character at a reasonable level of power. Nobody will read your fanfiction (unironically) if you write it like that.
Now, here are some other powers that you should take note of. I'll explain in full detail about them. Some aren't necessarily bad, but others can be frowned upon. Some can be good or okay, and some are all or nothing.
- Elemental Powers
- Physical Powers
- Telepathic Powers
- Other Powers
1. Elemental Powers: These are some of the most common powers you'll see around here. They are a little generic, but not necessarily bad. Let me go a little in depth about the various elements.
Fire: The most common Elemental power you'll see out there. Characters with fire powers are all over the place, and a lot of times are just thrown onto the character just so that they'll have some kind of power. Sometimes these characters have a little gimmick with them, to make them more interesting.
Ice: Also common, but not nearly as common as fire. In fact, they're greatly overshadowed by fire. Characters with Ice powers can be pretty good most of the time, and there are a few neat things you can do with them. Lightning: These guys are the most common, second to Fire elementals. They have a lot of things you can do with them, and are often seen as powerful. These guys can get a little generic at times, but other times they can be pretty fun. Everyone loves lightning. (unless it's being used on them or in a storm.) Wind: These are more obscure. In fact, these are probably the most obscure ones. Wind powers can be kinda fun, but also kind of weak compared to the other more physical elements. But if played properly, wind can be a formiddable power to have. Water: Water is in between common and obscure. These people range from being able to create water from themselves or manipulate water around them. A bit of a strange ability, but it can be kinda fun. But if it's the latter form of the power, don't mess with these guys in the middle of the ocean. Period. Earth: About the same position as water, these people you see every once in a while. Since there's a lot to nature, their powers vary a whole lot. They can probably make plants grow or wilt, give life to a dying land, etc. Or they could manipulate the ground itself. They often times can control plants' actions as well as their life. (These guys could be great farmers) Light: A pretty common power. Light is seen as a holy power, and obviously contrasts Darkness like two sides of a coin. Or, it could be like a lantern or something, being a power of everyday convenience rather than for action. The latter form is quite rare.
Darkness: Stereo typed to be the evil element, almost like Light is a "holy" power. You'll see oh so many villains with this element. If he has various powers, you can bet that this element is added onto his arsenal. But if you see the heroes with this power, they're usually the Anti-hero. A pure hearted hero would never use the power of darkness.
There are also a few other elements that people will put in. Such as... Spirit: This can be a bit confusing, and it varies often. I can't give a very good explanation here because I never found out exactly what it was.
Chaos: Chaos Energy, to be exact. This can be seen as an element. And if it's an element, it's probably the most common elemental power out of them all, possibly topping Fire. Most characters I've seen with Chaos Powers are always slinging Chaos Spear at their enemies, then shooting a bunch of Chaos Blasts, then they spam Chaos Control to teleport everywhere or stop time. These guys could be frowned upon, but there are so many characters like this out there, it's hard to tell exactly who is frowning upon them. There are also chaos abilities that are pretty much made up right off the bat to do pretty much whatever the situation calls for. In short, Characters with Chaos abilities can Very EASILY end up being godmodding sues. So be careful with these powers. Heart: The Power of the Heart. Little to no characters actually use this power as one of their own. It basically relies on how strong your heart and willpower is. Oh, how Kingdom Hearts thrives on this one.
2. Physical Powers: These are also common, and usually are added as a side power when you have an Elemental powered character.
Super Strength: This is kinda common, but most common with the echidna types. It's not bad to have a super strong character, but it's a bit more frowned upon when it's an echidna. Super Speed: This is very common. Especially with Hedgehogs and the like. Like strength, it's not exactly bad to have a super fast character, but if it's a hedgehog (or a porcupine), then it's not really good. Bigger frown than Echidna's with super strength. If they're not nearly as fast as Sonic, then it's better, seeing that you had that in mind. but it's still frowned upon. Super Jumping: This is pretty rare, compared to Super strength and Super Speed. It's kinda overshadowed by flight. But it can also be overlapped by the first two, as someone with super speed is usually found doing running jumps, clearing amazing distances. And someone with super strength can just spring himself upwards with brute force. Not always the case though, but it's happened. Someone with super jumping on its own, that's actually kind of rare. Flight: Flight can be pretty rough deciding whether it's good or bad to some people. There are a variety of reasons for a person to be able to fly. But if it involves a person's tail(s), then it's an instant no. If done properly, you can get away with this power.
Able to Breathe under water: This would make sense if your character is some kind of fish, but otherwise, people are gonna be wondering how this is even possible. Few characters with this power have some sort of alternate explanation. But the majority of characters with this super power are using this power out of blatant godmodding.
3. Telepathic Powers: You can do a lot with these. But be forewarned, This can be easily lead to godmodding powers. So be very careful with what you do.
Mind Reader: Quite a few characters out there can read other people's minds. This can get kinda frustrating to the other characters, as they tend to abuse this power. This might also be used at bad times in RP's. Secrets are spoiled before they are properly revealed. I believe this is why people have developed the power of the "Mind Block", to keep nosy mind readers out. Telepathy: The ability to talk to someone using their minds. This is often seen with otherworldly characters, be they hero or villains. This isn't necessarily bad, but without an explanation, it could be frowned upon. Especially if the character using it doesn't seem to be fitting enough to have this power. PSI: The ability to physically affect things around you with your mind. This can range from being an Earthbound/Mother style of fighting, or a bit more unique. Usually seen by characters throwing things with their minds or something similar. What you'd want to avoid: Overdoing the PSI. People have developed going from moving things with their minds to as far as pinning a person down with their mind and/or creating clones of themselves or even rips in the space time continuum. Basically, you're taking this mind thing too far. You shouldn't be able to create clones of yourself by thinking about it, that's basically what it is. In fact, Just in case, you might wanna avoid PSI altogether. It might make the character overpowered.
4. Other Powers: There are other unique powers out there.
Teleportation: Oh god, this is so overused. No. It's so overabused. Whether it's Chaos Control or by some other means, Teleportation is used for convenience rather than necessity these days. And because of that, You could totally ruin an RP with it. For example, Say you're supposed to be going somewhere far away. An entire chapter is planned out for the journey there. But then-"Chaos Control!" They're there already. You completely skipped over that chapter and possibly missed out on an important item or an infinity +1 sword they'd have found along the way. It just ruins it.
Unfortunately, I haven't gotten many of the common ones down. But for now, Try to think of something unique. And think it out thoroughly so that you don't leave any plot holes. Also remember, It is not NECESSARY to have powers. You can make a character without them. Try something else once in a while.
And I regret to have forgotten this one.
The Super Forms
There are MANY ways you can go wrong here, unfortunately. The super transformation is a cool technique that pretty much everyone likes. It's been around since Sonic The Hedgehog 2, so old school Sonic fans won't be complaining about why modern Sonic has it, or anything like that. When people are making their fan characters, they tend to give them super forms. There isn't really anything wrong with this. It's just how you go about it that's the problem. Now, the design for a super form doesn't have to be elaborate or anything. You don't even need to worry about this. Just changing their color could suffice. Remember Sonic 3&Knuckles, Both Tails and Knuckles just flashed white/pink respectively, without actually changing their permanent colors or shapes. Sonic on the other hand got longer quills that stick out and a whole different color (or if he's hyper, then flashing a whole rainbow of colors). So, do whatever you feel like with the design. After all, it's the powers that come into question.
Now, Some people like to go a little too far with the game mechanics, and make it so that their characters need 50 rings to trigger the transformation along with the 7 chaos emeralds. Now, that's not too bad, but when they make it so that they're completely invincible like in the games? That's a problem. Though this could be countered by their 50 second time limit (or however many rings they've collected), sometimes that's just not the case. Be reasonable with your super forms. Now, the standard super form is generally a powered up version of the character's original state. They're granted with enhanced abilities, usually flight, and sometimes control over certain chaos abilities. Now, like above talking about the powers, you should be reasonable. The form can be really powerful, but it has to be beatable on some scale. Be realistic.
Now finally, I'm gonna stop beating around the bush. The problem with these super forms is A: The abundance of super forms crammed into a single character. And B: Transforming without a power source. I'm gonna go over these right now.
Okay, so let's say I give Smash a super form. Super Smash. He's golden colored and his abilities are enhanced greatly, and he can fly. Then I give him a hyper form, His super transformation with the Super Emeralds. (That would actually be Ultra Smash, seeing how that is how his transformation is achieved.) In this form, Smash is way more powerful, and close to unbeatable. The only way to beat him is to match his power with your own hyper form and to best him in battle. And then I proceed to go and give him another form that tops that. I give him a Mega form, which tops Hyper. And then he gets an Ultra form, which tops Mega. And then a Chaos form. And then a Bionic form. and then finally he just breaks out into Super Ultra Mega Hyper Bionic Chaos Abomination Smash. Don't you think I'm pushing it just a little much? The point is, you really don't need so many super forms. I mean, you can probably have another extra one other than the known Super and Hyper forms, but really, don't go overboard. If you really must have multiple forms, Try to have a bit more of a variety. For example, Smash has Super for the Chaos emeralds, Ultra for the Super emeralds, and Light as an extra. (Ultra is still a hyper form, it's just what it's called.) The differences in these forms are as follows:
- Super Smash's power increases greatly, and he has the ability to glide at high speeds and float just above the ground. His fur turns gold in this form. ~Unlike most regular super forms, Smash cannot fly in this state. He is floaty, and he can reach higher areas easily, but he cannot fly. He requires 7 Chaos Emeralds for this form.
- Ultra Smash's power increases dramatically in comparison to Super Smash, and his body gains the durability to match his regular form's strength, and he gains the ability to fly. His build even changes, as he looks much more physically powerful and muscular, amongst other changes. He requires 7 Super Emeralds to achieve this form. ~This form adds more changes that a normal super form probably would have for people such as Sonic. While Sonic's quills change and he gains the ability to fly in his normal super form, Smash only gets such changes when he achieves his Hyper form.
- Light Smash is stronger than Super Smash but weaker than Ultra Smash, and faster than both. He gains the ability to fly in this form, and also the ability to heal other living beings by transferring his energy into them. This also gives them a boost of energy. Another special thing about this form is that he can share his power with another person and let them power up as well. Though the only person who can achieve this actual form through him is his sister, Pearl, who has the same type of potential that he does. The trigger for this form is different. When Smash is pushed to his limits, and feels a strong surge of emotion, with a great feeling of need, the power unlocks and he transforms involuntarily. He burns up his own energy, as he uses no energy source for this transformation. However, once the form fades, he loses consciousness from over exertion. ~And this form is more unique in comparison. It has a few gimmicks about it, good and bad features about it. Overall, it's a different take on the super transformations to add more variety.
So there you have it. Try stuff like that. But let me get one thing straight: Making multiple super forms for each element is not what you should do. You'll just cram too many unnecessary super forms into the character, it makes them look overpowered whether they are or not. Not to mention the trigger would be an issue.
Also, please. Do not have your character freely able to transform into an entirely different species as a super form, or anything, without a legitimate excuse. I've seen Oh so many characters who inexplicably have "Dragon Forms". If the character is already some sort of dragon hybrid, or has some sort of item or is in some way closely related to dragons in a way that would let them transform (thinking of Breath of Fire here.) They could probably be excused. HOWEVER, That is not the case with many of the characters I've seen. They just randomly have the ability to transform into a huge, non-Sonic styled dragon whenever the heck they want. I mean, A random hedgehog boy about 15 years of age with absolutely nothing special about him, no real powers or anything, can apparently turn into a big hulking fire breathing dragon at will! Does that make any sense to you? It isn't just dragons, either. They like to transform into other different monsters/animals, too! I've even seen characters with Fox/Echidna forms when they were originally a hedgehog! And vice-versa, and so on and so forth. And they have NO excuse! They just do! I mean, where does this come from? The ONLY character who got even CLOSE to doing this in the canon series was Metal Sonic, and even THEN it was believable! This just has to stop.
And then there's the power source, or lack thereof. I've seen several characters transforming into Super, Hyper, Mega, Ultra, Etc. forms with out a single thing powering them. This is unacceptable. Not even Shadow, The Ultimate Life Form, can go super without a power source of some sort. You MUST have a power source that is equivalent to the 7 Chaos Emeralds or enough to trigger the super form. You MUST. If a character is able to turn super without a power source, They must at LEAST have some side effects. If they use no power source, then they're using their own energy/life force/whatever within them, meaning that it will drain them and leave them fatigued at least. (see above example: Light Smash completely passes out when finished with his form since it uses up his own energy.) A hyper form or anything above should NOT be achieved without a power source. ESPECIALLY not without any side effects. You don't have to use the Chaos or Super Emeralds to transform, it could be anything that qualifies as a legitimate power source that their body can handle and harness. But still, going into a higher form than Hyper without a power source is considered blatant godmodding. Don't do it.
Not only are some of these guys transforming without power sources, some of them are transforming repeatedly without power sources. To elaborate, they transform, and then when the problem's gone they turn back to normal. Another problem shows up and they transform again. Repeat. Normally, wouldn't this put strain on the body, even with a power source? I believe it would. So how is it that they're doing this without a power source, or any kind of side effects? They're perfectly fine doing this over and over. This could also apply to when they have several different super forms and they just keep powering up to the next level after every 5 seconds. This may or may not be as bad, and MIGHT be acceptable, all depending on the super forms themselves.
But another thing that bothers me is the habit they form when they can transform at will without a power source. They make it a habit to transform whenever any kind of enemy shows up. ANY kind of enemy, unless they were outrightly described as low ranking goons that heroes knock out every day. It ends up killing the whole purpose of the super forms in the first place. And when the time comes when they REALLY need their super forms, it becomes anti-climatic because they already killed the transformation's purpose and general feeling to it. Not to mention that when you side them up with guys who use super forms properly, they look completely obsolete. When THEY finally transform, it just won't feel the same...
So yes. This is a problem. You need to consider your super forms and make sure they're legit, otherwise your character will just seem sue-ish, overpowered, and stupid. Super forms are one of the main things that drive people away when they're not done properly.
Those are the only ones I can think of at the moment. But listen, No matter what power your character has, you really, REALLY should explain why they have those powers. As long as there's an explanation (a believable one at that), they should be fine. But your character shouldn't just HAVE these things. Remember that special powers are Not Normal. Even if everyone's got em these days, they're really not normal. If the powers run in the family, then that could be accepted. But it brings the question of where they originated, which doesn't HAVE to be answered. But it's always good to have an explanation as a backup. Remember this. The characters, in theory, should be normal people. Why is it that they have these powers?
And lastly, here we go with one of the worst parts to take note of. The Back Story.
The Back Story
Several Back stories out there are generic. In fact, it's hard to come up with an original one. But let me list some of the things that I've seen around FAR too much.
The Long Lost Brother
If the character is the Long Lost Brother of another fancharacter, then that's fine. As long as you can make the back story good. But that's not the case several hundred times before. Basically, having your character as the Long Lost Brother/Sister of one of the original characters of the series is a Big Fat NO. It's already bad to have your character related to the original characters. But having them long lost is just an absurd excuse for their absence in the rest of the series. Having a long lost brother/sister brings up the question of their past, which obviously relates to the original character's pasts. Most which are not explained or aren't supposed to be explained, such as Sonic's. It tangles with the stories that the creators laid out, and it screws everything up. Having a character related to an original character, well, lets put it this way. If I were to make a character that was the long lost brother of your character without even asking you, how would that make you feel? With the way your story is laid down for that specific character, having a long lost sibling just wouldn't make any sense. They could probably be an only child, or possibly have hard evidence that there were no other siblings other than the ones in the story originally. They could even have been genetically made in a lab, which would make it impossible to have long lost siblings. Unless they created another one which escaped or something, but even then that's too vague. It's the same way with the original characters. You just can't do with that. And also, as I forgot to mention before, It's the exact same with having your character in a relationship with the original characters. If I were to make a character that was in a relationship with yours without your consent, What would you even think? Your character could be the type to not have any relationships, or worse, they could have already been in a relationship with someone else. Or even worse, they could have already been married. Once again, same way with the original characters. You just cant do it.
The New Ultimate
I know I'm gonna get yelled at for this one, but I'm gonna flat out say it. Shadow is the Ultimate Life Form. Meaning the strongest, best, and FINAL in its series of genetically made lifeforms. Making a new Ultimate Life Form just ruins it. Shadow's Story is already unstable enough as it is after his game, you aren't helping. Whether they were made before or after Shadow, or at the same time and being his brother/sister is just no. The story problems are the same as above. And also, usually when there's a newer ultimate life form, it takes on the Cloned powers of Shadow to a ridiculous extent.
The Villain that Killed My Father
At LEAST this is original to the series. But still worth mentioning here. Basically, the main villain killed off the main hero's father. This is very generic, but if done right can be at least readable. Sometimes it's good, but it's best to stay away from it. It's not always easy to pull this off. You first have to have a motive for the villain's murder. And a reason as to why he didn't kill off the son/daughter. (80% of the time it's the son) You have to do serious brainstorming to make up for the generic points and turn it into a good story. Otherwise, it really just isn't that great.
And now, I'm randomly just gonna talk about some Character Development before I wrap this up. Character development varies a whole lot. If it's a story you're writing, you're in complete control, therefor are responsible for everything that happens in there. But in an RP, Anything could happen that's out of your control. Something could happen that affects your characters physically or mentally. they could receive an item from someone else's character, or a powerup of some sort. But you have to be careful. You're still in charge of your character. You can choose to accept or decline. And if forced into it, You can talk to the leader of the RP. Or you could just shrug the whole thing off as Non-Canon to your series. But if you do happen to accept it, You have keep others informed about what's been going on with your characters.
And that's all for now on this particular guide. I will edit this if I find something to add. For now, Let's move onto the next one.
A Guide to Roleplaying
I could go on a whole rant about RP'ers these days. But I'm going to go in Helpful format rather than "Letting off Steam" format. Although expect a bit of an attitude, I've had to deal with these kind of things so much.
RP'ing is something that should be fun for everyone. A way to get your characters to interact with others. Work together to solve problems, hang out, or fight eachother for whatever reason. Whatever the case, it should have a positive impact on your characters development and your entertainment as well. However, Several inexperienced, misguided, or generally bad RP'ers spoil it for other people. This guide is here to keep you from being one of those people. There are several ways you can go wrong. Here is a list of examples:
- Godmodding: Possibly the most common example. If you've read the previous guide, you should know how it can effect others.
- Controlling other people's characters: This isn't as common, but it's quite frequently annoying. Only under certain circumstances should you be allowed to control other people's characters. And those circumstances are the owner's permission. Remember that.
- Left Behind: Not everyone can stay at the keyboard, much less online, forever. When someone is away, you should wait for them.
- Profanity: Having a bunch of cursing and carrying on doesn't make a good RP. A good RP is much more than that. Unfortunately, some people fail to see this. Also, it's best not to have any other sort of inappropriate content.
- Forcibly Added Backstory: Even you didn't know your character was secretly from some completely obscure clan you've never heard of and had their memory wiped and was thrown out into where they are now. Face it, It's not a good idea to interfere with someone else's story, especially when you don't know the first thing about it.
- Grammar: "Thanks for the gibberish. Didn't get a word of that." You really have to make sure people can understand what you're trying to say.
- Plot Derail: There are a few ways you can go wrong here. It's okay to have a side quest, sometimes. Only when it makes sense. But to change the plot to something completely different? That's a different story.
- Leaving Plot Holes in every step: Do the research. Make sure what your character is doing doesn't contradict anything.
- Attitude: Now sometimes it just may be the character who's being a jerk, but sometimes you can just tell that it's the user himself who needs to be slapped and told off. (Don't actually slap them. Tell them off, though.)
- Official Character Relations: Originally you might think this is just a problem with the character themselves. No..That's only half of it.
These are some bad issues here. Believe it or not, I've seen almost every one of those problems in one RP. I'll cover each of those in full description.
There are several different ways to godmod. We could even break this down into pieces and go over them one by one.
First, lets go over the Auto hits. Auto hits are when you say that your attack hits dead on before you can let anyone else do anything about it. Of course, this also applies for non violent situations as well, but it's basically when you do something that should have a chance of failing, and force it to succeed. Whether it's affecting another character or a plot device that should go through the consent of the one in charge first. This also works in the other way around, where you avoid every attack that comes across you. You can dodge/block, yes, but you shouldn't be able to avoid getting hurt at all. Especially when there are some things that just can't be blocked or dodged by regular means. Doing this can disrupt an RP slightly, that is, if someone catches it. It's also very unfair in battle. This could get you disqualified if it's a contest. But, if no one calls the auto hitting to attention, it could range from making things unfair to making the entire RP collapse in the worst case scenario. (Which HAS happened before, mind you.)
Solution: Play fairly. Make things believable. Imagine if you yourself were in the situation, think about what is actually possible, not what you want to be possible.
Next, we have the powers. Now, you may say Each character to his/her own, but we need to have some standards! We can't have a guy show up with chaos powers, 6-7 elemental powers, super speed and strength, AND telepathy. You're cramming way too much into one character. And that makes them what is known as a Mary/Marty Stu. And NO one likes those. There are other people you know, who can do stuff. You don't have to be like "OMG there's no one here with fire powers! I have to give him fire powers to fill in that empty spot! No one's psychic either!? He has to be psychic so there won't be any lack of PSI! And he NEEDS Teleportation!" How about you just have your character rely on their wits for once? With all of these various powers crammed into one person, now everything's a one man job. No matter how many times a character will tell someone else to get up and do something to help, they won't because they don't get a chance to with the way these guys are running the joint. Not only will these powers provoke spotlight hogging, but it could also disrupt an RP badly. Suppose there was supposed to be a problem, or just a job that needs to be done, and normally it would take 3 people to do in 2 hours. There are several steps to take, and it takes up an entire chapter of the RP. Also take into account that along the way, they discover a useful tidbit of information or an item that would help them later. Now before you get to work, Marty comes along and uses telepathy to solve the problem and teleports them all to wherever they needed to be next. What was once supposed to take two hours with 3 men took less than 2 minutes with 1 man. Skipping over everything. By being too hasty, it's possible that they either ruined the entire RP or doomed them all instead of saving them.
There's also the problems with using powers in battles. Somewhat like autohitting, these powers can make the battles unfair. And sometimes autohitting is combined with this, making it even worse. What types of powers that can be unfair are listed in the previous guide.
Solution: Once again, be fair. Be realistic. Let others get a chance. Your powers don't make you the best. Your character can act like it, but that doesn't make it true. Cut out the excessive powers, and don't rush things.
And lastly, the worst form of Auto-hitting: Auto-Killing. As beat up as your character can get, it's ultimately your choice what happens to them. After all, they are your characters. Their fate shouldn't be someone else's to decide, with the small exception of the one in charge of the RP. But even they have their lines they shouldn't cross. To outrightly kill someone's character is not only unfair, but outrageous. What if that character was the only one they had in the RP? You've basically just kicked them out until they can either somehow get revived or make a new character. Not only that, but Their character is dead. It pretty much means unless they find some sort of hand-wave or discredit the whole thing as canon to their own RP series, They will never be able to use that character, ever again. (Unless they're a ghost now.) Do you realize how unfair that is? What you've just done to the person? Unless you have a warehouse full of phoenix downs, life stones/bottles/noodles, and revival magic or whatever, This is just unacceptable.
Solution: Don't do it. Period.
Controlling Other People's Characters
The name alone should be enough to tip you off that this is bad. But if not, let me delve further into this. It means exactly what it says: When you control a character that isn't yours. This not only makes you look like a control freak, but it's also another way of not giving the other person a chance to do something/anything because you did it for them. What's the point of RP'ing if a person can't even control their own characters? Plus, There's a big possibility that you'd get their personality, reaction, capabilities, etc, wrong. That would just upset the user, mainly. This isn't fatal to the RP, but it could cause people to leave or just not want to RP with you anymore. They might even kick you out.
Solution: Keep your hands to yourself. To each person their own characters.
This is a big problem. It can cause people to leave, or cause a major hand wave over plot holes, in which size varies pretty widely. The thing is, People will just keep RP'ing, despite whether or not their other RP mate is replying or not. Sometimes, if he's needed, they'll say "Okay lets wait for him." Other times, they'll just keep yelling at the character to respond to them when clearly the character would normally respond in some way when talked to the first time. When you keep spamming posts trying to get the character to respond in the same way, each time with more force than before, It just adds onto the stress and makes everything look bad. Plus when the person DOES come back, Chances are they'll be really annoyed. But the worst of all is if you're actually needed, and everyone just goes on without you. Whether you're holding the key to open the locked door they need to get through or the fate of the entire world rests on your and only your shoulders, if they go on without you things will go to pot. You'll find it hard to jump back in logically, ESPECIALLY if they left the entire area you were in before. If you're important to the RP, getting left behind is one of the worst things that can happen to you or the rest of the RP. Especially if they really shouldn't be able to go on without you but do it anyway. Even if you're not strictly important to the RP, Getting left behind is still quite possibly one of the worst things that can happen to you.
Solution: Be patient and wait for others. If you see someone else going on when they shouldn't, Stop them. You should most likely put up a pause sign somewhere so that no one goes on when they shouldn't.
This can be a pretty big issue, considering the fact that many kids hang around these parts. They should not be exposed to such things. And some adults aren't fond of it either. When it comes to cursing, At the very least Censor it. You can't let kids see that! You'll get them grounded if their parents hear them say that! We gotta set a good example for the young in's. I'd strongly suggest that you keep the cursing out. It's unnecessary, and several people abuse it. Can't go a single sentence without hearing something foul. Unfortunately, it's true in real life as well. But that doesn't mean you can't make an effort to be decent. And speaking of decency, don't even think about going anywhere beyond cursing in terms of profanity. You will be hunted down by ban-thirsty admins.
Solution: Keep the cursing to a minimum, if you were to keep it at all. Learn to censor. And don't bring up anything inappropriate. Try to keep things at a PG13 level.
Forcibly Added Backstory
Expect to hear a whole lot of flat "what"'s here, if you see this happening/if this is happening to you. Personally, This must have happened to me 3 times in the past. Here's an example.
--- Violet has lived all her life with her parents in Green Flower City. She never moved out, or moved in from somewhere else in her lifetime. Her memory dates as far back as when she was 5 years old, but her parents have home videos and baby pictures of her to make up for it. She lives a pretty normal, and very happy life. One day she meets a person who claims that he knows her from somewhere. She doesn't remember him at all. But of course she doesn't, because her memory of him was completely erased for her own good, before she was taken to Green Flower City. Before that she was part of a dying clan in a great war, her real mother was an evil sadist bent on conquering the world while her real father died to have her saved from her mother's influence. Her memory was erased so that she would be able to start anew, and she was adopted by her current parents. "Wait, what?" Is her reply. (Along with her creator's, as well.) ---
You see what I mean? Does that make any sense? Let's get straight down to the point. If you want to mess with someone's backstory, at the very least ASK them about their backstory first. That way you can have the two mix without having a character with two completely different backstories at the same time. But don't even do that. Do not do anything to anyone's story without first consulting them. I don't care if you wanted to add suspense with the element of surprise. Talk to them about it, ask them if you can add some ideas to it or something. Don't be upset if they say no, because they already have the character's backstory down. You could really, REALLY screw up their story otherwise. And when it doesn't mix, you just have to stop the RP right there. Unless you could somehow prove that the story bears no relation to your character inside the RP, you need to stop RIGHT there. This isn't so much about what damage this could do to your RP (unless it's actually connected to your character and their backstory) This is about what damage this could do to your characters themselves. It's ALMOST Vandalism, except it's taking a lighter approach, attempting to actually make this canon rather than doing it as a prank or whatnot. (Then again it's hard to tell whether it's a "lighter approach" or not...) You really cannot just go and alter someone's story, or boot their story out the window for your own story for that matter. I don't care if your story is better or crappy. It's their character, not yours.
Solution: Don't mess with other people's stories. If you really must, Talk to the creator first.
This may be a bit trivial to some people, but it's essential to have good grammar when RP'ing. At the very least let people know what you're saying and doing. You should also be descriptive when performing any sort of action. Here's a few examples of Do's, Don'ts, and Preferred.
Sonic: i leik chlidawgs, lulz *gobles 10235t343830850 hcildiogs** *burqs lowdly adn maeks a durr faec*
Do: Sonic: I like Chili dogs, haha. *takes a mouthful of his chili dog, and swallows.* Mm-*burps* Oh, excuse me.
Sonic gave his friend an amused grin. "I like Chili dogs." He assured with a hearty laugh. He took a mouthful of his chilidog, munching happily on it for a few moments before swallowing. "Mmm-" He suddenly let out a loud burp. With a sheepish grin, he scratched the back of his head. "Oh, Excuse me."
That's an example for grammar, mainly. Even I couldn't understand what I wrote in the don't. Here's another example, this time for descriptiveness.
Smash: Spirit Blast.
Do: Smash: Spirit Blast! *throws a punch towards so&so in slow motion, but then breaks out into a high speed seconds before impact, causing a bright flash and powerful knock-back if it hit.*
Preferred: Smash concentrated most of his energy into his next attack, and threw a punch towards Mr. Target's face. He began moving in slow motion, glowing brightly as he was leaving a trail of afterimages. Suddenly he broke out into his normal speed and delivered the blow. A bright flash would occur, blowing the target back if it were successful. "That's...what I call a Spirit Blast."
You see how much better informed people can be if you just describe what it is you're doing? It's not that hard, really. When RP'ing, it's pretty common to see people writing in Script format. (Character: Such and such.) It's not very widely liked among the more descriptive RP'ers, but it's quicker and easier. It's perfectly fine to use script format. However, it's preferred that you use story format. (So&So looked at the camera. "This is an example." He said.) It's easier to read it aloud, especially since if you read script format aloud, it almost sounds like nonsense. Try that sometime and ask yourself it that sounded normal.
Solution: Go for the "Preferred", I'd say. "Do"'s alright, but shoot for the preferred. Just don't..."don't", if you know what I mean.
Now THIS could quite possibly BE the worst thing that could happen to an RP. Now, Let's say the heroes are on a journey to find some legendary treasure. Say the treasure was an object that would give a person immortality. When they finally get to it, the object turns out to be a monster, which surprises even the person in charge of the roleplay, as they had already given hard evidence that the object really was what the legends said it was. Apparently some person out back who thought they weren't getting enough attention decided to alter the plot to their liking.
Or how about this? Before they even GET to the object, Someone comes up with their own quest, leading the heroes to go and save the world from some random monster. Or what about THIS? Before they can save the world, someone ELSE comes up and kidnaps some random kid! And they have to go and save HIM. And before they can save the kid, All of a sudden the whole world is under attack by space invaders! And then someone goes and burns down the next town you arrive at, just because the shop keeper there wouldn't accept credit cards.
Basically, This is what happens when people decide to put their own plots into the main storyline, and derails it from the original plot at hand. Did you already forget that you were looking for the treasure of immortality? Because I did while I was writing that. This can put an RP into absolute chaos, leading to many dead ends often times, and generally stressing out not just the RP'ers, but even the characters themselves.
Solution: Stay on track of the RP. If you have some big plot idea, Make your own RP. If you really must add it to the current roleplay, ask the creator first and let them think about it.
Leaving Plot Holes in every step
Okay, Where to begin on this one? Basically, it's pretty much exactly how it sounds. This isn't always something that the followers of the RP do. In that case, the leader would call them out on it before they could get away with it. Oh, no. This is something that the leader of the RP themselves do. Basically, this is when they start to even contradict themselves. As absurd as it sounds, it's a big problem when the host is doing things that he himself stated should not be possible. Let's say this for example: The heroes are to destroy the artifact of doom before it destroys them and the rest of the world. The Artifact is located in a desert palace far to the south. It can only be destroyed by attacking it with the 7 Chaos Emeralds mixed with 6 specific elements. They are to be looking for the Chaos Emeralds now, and finding people who can use the 6 elements, or know how to make them use it. However, along the way, they find that an entire race of users of a specific element they needed had died out. Then all of a sudden, there's inexplicably one survivor, who acts as if the whole genocide thing never happened. In worse cases, he might lead them to a whole pack of the same race, saying that the extinction never happened. Which is impossible, because they saw the remains of the people who died out. What was left of their village, their graves, even dead bodies lying about. How is it that they know nothing about this? Further going into the example, they are looking for the Chaos Emeralds. They're said to be scattered about the entire world. About an hour later, they find one. They're ready to go destroy the artifact of doom because the other 6 emeralds did some off-screen teleportation into their item bag. And only one person happened to notice and let them know at the most convenient of times. Then all of a sudden they find the Artifact of Doom right out the doorway of the building they were just in. And they destroy it. With only 1 element along with the 7 Chaos Emeralds. Or worse, they destroy it with their bare hands. Now, does this make any sense to you? Why was the artifact there? Weren't they just in the western hills, or something? Why was the artifact there and not in the desert temple FAR SOUTH? And why were they able to destroy it without all the necessary means? How did the artifact get there without them noticing? Why would it appear in front of them of all people? How would it have known that they were plotting to destroy it? There are other questions that come to mind, but you get the main idea. Basically, This is usually the fault of the host, as he obviously doesn't know what he's doing. Sometimes he can go against what's already common knowledge in the Sonic Series, which is also really bad. Other times, he'll just contradict himself and the rest of the RP. Trust me on this one, Stuff like this has happened. And you don't want it to happen. If you find that the host is doing something like this, and you can't get him straight, just leave the RP. Save yourself the stress.
Solution: THINK before you act. Remember the story, You're in charge of keeping it on the right track, so you should NOT be the main offender of plot derailing. Always keep the facts in mind.
Some characters are mean. Some Characters are complete jerks. Some characters just go completely out of their way even in the most dire of times when people should be working together to save their own skins just to make your life a living Hell. This is when characters overdo their jerk traits, to the point where you just want to tear their hair out. (Don't even ask about them being Bald. You don't want to know.) Think of it like this: The character is stalking your character, and just trying to beat them down. Whether they throw insults at him or just punch/kick them like a mindless video game mook. At least the random enemies in games have a REASON to attack you. (most of the time.) These guys just do it because they can. They don't even have a reason to do it. They just do it. They won't listen if you tell them to bug off. They'll stalk you. For the entire. Roleplay. Even to the very climax, they'll be trying to kill you. It's not a score they want to settle. It's not revenge for anything. They weren't even hired to do it. They just beat down on you, and follow you until they kill you. And when they do, they just might keep kicking you while you're down and dead. Even when there's a giant monster threatening to eat you and whoever else is in it's path, they'll still be there, punching and kicking you. They are not related to the plot in any way. They'll follow you to the ends of the earth and back, and if you're unlucky, they'll return in the next RP. And the next. Until you finally just tell the creator to just leave you the heck alone. This mainly happens when the person in charge of the character is just dying for attention, but doesn't know how to get attention in any other way than fighting. This will usually get the person kicked out of the roleplay if it continues, as it's very frustrating to everyone around them. The characters, the RP'ers, everyone.
That's the worst case scenario. You can obviously see that I exaggerated a bit. This has happened before to a lesser extent.
Solution: Need I really say? If this is the only way you can get any sort of attention in an RP, it's best to just start over your roleplaying skills. Look at everyone else, learn from them. And don't be a nuisance.
Official Character Relations
I've already talked about this in the Character Guide. But when it comes to Roleplays, a whole new problem can sprout up. Characters related to an official character can mess with other people's stories, series, all throughout the roleplay. Take a moment to think about this. Let's say your character is Sonic's brother. He's the only sibling of Sonic. You enter a roleplay with a few other people, and you find that the other person's character is Sonic's sister, who is supposed to be the only sibling of Sonic as well. And the other person's characters are Sonic's brother AND sister, and they go by Sonic Underground's series which has Manic AND Sonia, so in their series Sonic has 4 siblings.
Another example: Let's say your character is Shadow's wife. You go into a roleplay with a few other characters. The other person's character is Shadow's girlfriend. The next person goes by the pairing of Shadow and Amy in their series, and their characters know good and well that they are a couple. The last person's character is the daughter of Shadow and Rouge.
So, how do you resolve these big contradictions/time paradoxes? I'm certainly not going to tell you. You tell ME.
Solution: Keep your characters unrelated to the canon characters at all times. Please. If you happen to be in a roleplay with others with characters like that, keep their relations to the canon characters to yourself.
And that's all for now. If you take heed of this guide, you should be able to keep your character from straying off the right path. Now listen here, if you think that I am flaming you or your characters, I am by far not. I am trying to help you. If you are an RP'er, this could save your neck. (unless you RP with a group a godmodders) If you're a writer, this could still save your neck. It's best to read this now rather than have angry critics come at you when it's too late. By then you'll already have made a bad impression on everyone, and it'll be hard to get people to look at you as a good writer/RP'er again. Trust me on this. I know.
I will edit this if I find something to add.