How to Develop the Appearance and Aesthetic of Your Character

A quick guide to knowing just how your character looks from their clothes to their weapons.

When building a character for a tabletop game such as Dungeons & Dragons, oftentimes, there isn’t a clear picture of what your character looks like. Unless you have an artist draw them up or talk about how they look, other players and even the dungeon master may not always remember what they wear or wield. We’ve put together an easy guide so you and everyone at the table gets a clear and precise picture of what your character is all about.

While this is more specifically aimed at D&D and other TTRPGā€™s, these can easily be applied to any character creation.

Choose a Color Scheme

When thinking of Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is always depicted as wearing either blue or gray/white. He always walks with his famous walking stick and smokes a pipe. The movies helped cement this image into our heads and we’ve never forgotten it. Color is a great way to make your character stand out from others. When you’re building your character, follow this list:

  • What is their favorite color?
    • Perhaps they wear a lot of whatever color that is. A bard may paint their instruments a shade of purple and take on the name ‘The Purple Pantomime’.
  • Mix and Match Colors
    • You could also try mixing and matching colors too. Wearing colorful vibrant clothes is a great way to be remembered.
  • Hair and Beard
    • Dying your characters hair or beard is a great way to differentiate yourself.
  • What does your character carry with them?
    • Having your character carry around a specific item is a good way to remember them by. It could be something like a weapon, using a particular spell, or carrying a flask or coin they play with.
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Use a Character Miniature Builder

Programs like Hero Forge, Eldritch Foundry, or Doll Divine are great tools for bringing your characters to life. They allow you to customize your character in a number of ways. Once you’re done you can either have a 3D mini mailed to you or print it out yourself using a 3D printer. Many online creators even provide additions such as weapons, pets, and poses you can set your character in as well.

Ruuda Drybarrel made in Eldritch Foundry.

Video Game Character Creators

RPG video games are a great resource for building out your character. Whether it’s Elder Scrolls Online, Neverwinter, Baldur’s Gate 3, or Solasta, all of them give you a chance to create a vivid character. You may end up spending hours in the character creator but it’s all worth it in the end.

You can then take a picture of the character and bring it with you to future sessions.


Examples

We are going to take the list above and offer examples. These are all characters from our epic fantasy Thread of Souls book series. If you are still lost on how to narrow down this information, check these out!

  • What makes Ruuda stand out?
    • On the run from her city’s caste system, Ruuda dyed her hair red, orange, yellow, and white to hide herself from those who may know her. To her friends, she easily stands out during battles and chaotic moments. She also carries around a barrel she wears like a backpack.
  • What does Taliesin wear?
    • Taliesin is a cleric who spent his life putting undead to rest so he wears all black attire. He also themes his outfit around his goddess and wears spiderwebs.
  • Why does Jade have a tattoo?
    • Jade grew up in a nomadic druid tribe where everyone got tattoos that represent culture and tradition. It is similar to Polynesian island tribes.
  • How does Jasita speak?
    • Jasita is very soft spoken in large crowds. She relies on reading people’s minds to get information. She is a researcher and academic and often uses larger words and phrases to get her point across.
  • Why does the Citadel wear pink robes?
    • The Citadel is a place of law and order as well as a school. The robes represent station and power. The color pink was chosen because it is easily noticeble and anyone who sees it will instantly recognize it means the Citadel is here.
      • Fun Fact: It may also be becuase Scott watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and loved how Dolores Umbridge wore pink. It isn’t an evil color at all and that’s what makes it unique and engaging. Not saying the Citadel is evil.
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