So I was thinking about ways you could make characters more interesting. This thought originated because of people who have a hard time getting into character. People who maybe need a bit of a nudge to roleplay something more interesting than just, I follow the questline and kill the monsters when they appear. I think it is cool to get into a rhythm with your character as you play but it definitely helps to start somewhere and perhaps evolve it into something more.
So here is a list of things that could be interesting about your character. Sometimes it is nearly a curse, sometimes it is just something that you do. Again these are to help people get out of their shells and get onto the tabletop with their character's voice and actions.
- you spill half of every first drink of the day making sure to not spill anything else the rest of the day
- you have a habit of cutting your coin purse slightly when you look through your pack
- you have to evacuate your bowels after each battle
- you take a peek in each mirror you find, just to be sure of something but you aren’t sure of what
- you grow a fondness for making a symbol with your blade on a tree, cloth, etc. whenever you kill
- you hum or whistle or play(by tapping or otherwise) a “theme song” whenever you have your weapon in hand and not actively speaking
- you grow increasingly afraid of the dark as your imagination runs wild while in complete or near complete darkness
- you are unable to quite remember peoples names and refer to them in only informal monikers
- you swear you heard something and have a habit of flinging something in the direction of sounds to see if someone is there
- you notice every pickpocket on the streets of every town you ever walk into
- you keep finding a certain item that is not very useful but you feel compelled to keep them (e.g. needle and thread, toothpicks, an herb, twine, spoons, counterfeit coins, jars, etc. )
- you have a burning desire to eat a certain food or drink that only shows up every so often, when it does you are certain to buy it and look for it in each civilized place you visit
- you keep running into someone who isn’t part of a quest line or has anything of value for you, they are just a friendly face
- you steal every loose coin you can see and sometimes wish you were better at it
- you wish you had an animal companion but aren’t a class that is good at keeping one or has one naturally
- you won’t use man-made objects, or won’t stay long in any civilized city after having lived most of your life in the wilds
- you collect some sort of gem and are looking for the biggest one
- you write letters to someone and let them know all about your adventures ( mentor, loved one, for posterity you send them somewhere or hide them even.)
- You make maps of all the places that you find
- you create a place where you hide all of your treasure, set up traps to keep it safe, keep pets there, so you never stray farther than a few days journey without making plans to do so
- you believe your weapon is an inherited family heirloom that has magical properties and will defend that it does but it has no such thing. You also won’t trade it for better weaponry without it breaking eventually
- you need to do your make-up whenever you wake up for the day or if you're a dude get your facial hair all did up or war paint. If it gets messed up you really need to fix it.
- you collect trophies of slain monsters as memorabilia
These are just ideas I might continue adding but the point is to create an opportunity for the players to make themselves stand out more at the table. This will also probably make sessions more interesting and be good practice for things you could do other than just moving from point A to B.
More thoughts: I was thinking more about this and I really wanted to emphasize the fact that this is about making your game more intuitively interesting. When you enact these sorts of role-playing quirks the goal is to let people know by acting it out. It could be something that you tell the other players at the table about, or more interestingly it could just be something that they know your character will do. Like in real life when you have friends with quirks. They often will say "I really enjoy cheese" but to what extent? Well you just have to watch them act out their fondness for hardened dairy products. So instead of telling everyone, "my character has a fetish for hummingbird art", just, whenever the situation may arise, act like your character has a hummingbird fetish.