Trying to find a voice for writing up roleplaying sessions –I’m playing a former NPC now Boudewijn has taken over the campaign– I distracted myself into playing with character questionnaires. I now know that Alysei Athal astin Velain has a tenor voice, his eyes are nondescript brownish (from his father’s side; the slight build and thick dark red hair are from his mother’s), he’s fond of fruit, prefers beer to wine and the meat of birds to that of quadrupeds, and doesn’t care for fish much but will eat it when it’s on the table.
But there the trouble started. The first questionnaire was obviously made for characters in modern mainstream novels, not kings of Valdyas.
What is the character’s opinion on homosexuality?
“Er, what? Oh, that people fall in love with someone of the same sex? Well, I like women and so does my sister, and it’s never hampered either of us. Fortunately we didn’t fall for the same one or we’d really have a problem. It’s the Baroness of Lenay that she’s in love with, beats me why, I like the woman but I’m not at all attracted to her that way. The only awkward thing about it that I can see is that one can’t have children, at least not together, and she’s my heir until our sprog-in-the-womb is born, so if anything happens to me and my queen before that she’ll have to set her preference aside long enough to have some offspring. Or she can adopt someone, of course, or name our little brother her heir but I’ve gathered that he has other plans.”
Ooh, this questionnaire is better, at least more universally applicable. It’s for characters in plays.
Current Age 23
Place of birth Valdis
Height Five foot something.
Weight Er, wouldn’t know, not much anyway.
Current Occupation King of Valdyas
Income Ask the treasurer! The royal family is notoriously poor, but this king married money (not intentionally; he married for love in the first place, but her father happened to be rich).
Present place of residence Valdis
Type of residence Technically a castle, though most people call it “the palace”.
Spouse name Ravei Raisse astin Brun
Where / How you met? Stayed with her family for a summer at the age of eight, when she was five. When she was fed up with him reading over her shoulder (she was just getting the hang of it) she hit him on the head with a hard object, probably a building block belonging to her little brother, and that made him fall in love with her irrevocably.
Children? One, in utero.
Children’s names / age We have some ideas but aren’t telling yet.
Hobbies Music, history, horse-riding.
Circle all things that reflect your character:
Hmm, deep water again.
If your character must make a decision, s/he is: Clear-headed, uncertain, sure, weak-willed, arrogant, other…
Depends on what the decision is about, really, and whether Raisse is in on it. Well, not always very clear-headed, and slow to get moving, but sure and strong-willed when it becomes clear. Not much arrogance in Athal.
When giving directions, this character is: Mean, gentle, meek, pushy, overly pushy, other…
Never mean or pushy. Gentle, yes, perhaps too gentle. Meek? Don’t think so. Friendly, a bit conciliatory. His sister would probably make a much better king queen.
When disagreeing, this character is: Uncertain, trusting, suspicious, broad-minded, prejudiced, other…
None of the above. Well, other. Obstinate.
With close associates, this character is: Shy, open, cold, warm, outrageous, other…
Open, lively, relaxed, informal. Especially with wife, family, friends, but also with more businesslike associates. This will be hard when he has to meet the envoy from a country where relationships are much more formal (at least as far as we’ve heard) who is one week away now.
When thinking about her/himself, this character is: Humble, conceited, honest, embarrassed, ashamed, other…
Hard to say that of oneself, isn’t it? Honest but slightly too modest, I suppose. A little more conceit wouldn’t go amiss.
At work or school, this character is: Competent, obsessed, efficient, lazy, hard-working, other…
Definitely competent; lazy and hard-working at the same time. Someone has to push him into working (usually Raisse) but once he’s at it he doesn’t stop until it’s done.
Her or his physical condition is: Superior, excellent, good, fair, poor, other…
Good, getting slowly back to excellent. He’s still recovering from war wounds, more mental than physical but it took a toll on his body too.
Her or his voice is: Loud, high-pitched, soft, low-pitched, resonant, melodious, hoarse, breathy, nasal, grating, whiny, other…
His singing voice is high, his speaking voice somewhat lower; it’s clear when he speaks that he can also sing. “Melodious” applies, yes.
Her or his build is: Toned, overly muscular, fat, slim, puny, other…
Slight (he’s of the House Velain, it figures) but strong and wiry.
Her or his clothing is: Conservative, trendy, cheap, expensive, fashion forward, other…
Good quality, made to measure (he’s the king, after all); his tailor is foreign so especially the festive clothing is very slightly exotic.
How much education did this person complete? Grade school, high school, college, vocational ed, graduate school, no formal school…
Education in Valdyas doesn’t fit that mold, but he went to school for a few years to learn reading, writing, arithmetic, history and things like that, then had tutors. He was the prince, after all. Also, he served an apprenticeship (intermittently, over four or five summers) with a brewer (incidentally his future wife’s grandfather, but he didn’t know that at the time), and learned to use his psychic gifts from (among others) the Baroness of Lenay who his sister is in love with.
This character walks: Quickly, with a shuffle, slowly, with a limp, with a strut, other…
Purposefully, with a spring in his step.
This character sits: Straight, cross-legged, slouched, relaxed, upright, other…
Straight when doing kingly stuff, relaxed when, well, relaxed. A royal upbringing precludes slouching, but occasionally cross-legged especially when playing the lute.
When this character gets angry, s/he: Stops talking, is sarcastic, freezes up, becomes violent, shouts, other…
Fumes, takes action if he can (and gets a slight push).
This character is mostly: An occasional liar, a liar, honest, an exaggerator, dishonest, other…
Honest. No incentive to be anything else.
What is the major difference between this character and myself?
Well, I’m obviously not the king of Valdyas; neither am I a grand master in the Guild of Anshen.
What is the major similarity between this character and myself?
Underestimating his own strength.
What animal does this character remind me of?
That’s a tough one. Not twitchy enough for a squirrel, not sly enough for a fox, not stolid enough for a badger. Somewhere in that region, though; perhaps a ferret or a marten, though he doesn’t like to hunt because killing disgusts him.
Hey! That did help after all! Only, the writeup is in Dutch…