Jewels of the Crimson Moor
Personality and Mannerisms
The following is a list of 9 different questions that can help you to get a better idea of how your character might react in certain situations. You don't have to follow the same path every time but it's good to get an idea of how you envision yourself. If it helps, you might want to write a couple of the words you select on your character sheet so you always have a reminder of some of the important actions or emotions that your character feels.
How do others perceive you in social interactions?
How optimistic are you?
How trusting are you?
How assertive are you at a decision point?
How conscientious are you about following rules?
How empathetic are you?
How courageous are you in dire straits?
How do you feel when faced by setbacks?
How are your nerves?
The easiest way to bring your character to life at the gaming table is to adopt distinctive mannerisms-particular patterns of speech or other behaviors that you can take on at the table to convey how your character looks, sounds, and acts. If you are naturally inclined to spin dice or shuffle cards while the game takes place, you might consider incorporating that behavior into your character.
Perhaps your character carries a deck of cards that he shuffles when he's bored or nervous, or maybe she crouches to the ground and creates little sculptures out of rubble while she's waiting for her companions to decide where to go next. By contrast, another character might vociferously participate in those deliberations, frequently resorting to exclamations such as "By Kord's right arm!" to emphasize his opinion.
Speech patterns can be even more distinctive. A dwarf who never enters battle without shouting, "The dwarves are upon you!" injects a dose of fun roleplaying just as the die rolling is getting most intense. A wizard who never speaks except in haiku might be carrying the idea of distinctive speech to an extreme, but if you can pull it off (try writing a page full of standbys to cover common situations before the game begins), everyone at the table will remember your character for years!
Another good way to think about speech and other mannerisms is to create specific prompts your character says or does when using certain powers. For example, your paladin might yell, "Feel the might of Bahamut!" every time she uses the righteous smite power, and murmur, "Bahamut's healing breath wash over you," when she uses lay on hands.