Phht's Guide to Character Creation

This is a personal guide. Information within is one person's views and may be more opinion than fact.

No changes are to be made to the guide without consulting the author. Discussions of the guide may occur on the discussion page.

This guide will cover aspects of creating a character for the RP, be it an NPC or a PC. At times, I'll comment on my own character as an example of not thinking things through or of what I mean for an area. You can refer to the wiki character sheet for sections. It's slightly different from the forum character sheet.

Primary Writer: PhhtPhht

Concept

The concept of the character defines them. You come up with what you want the character to be, then work the specifics and details to achieve and expand that concept as best you can.

Type

What type character does one wish to play? A ninja? A civilian? A mercenary? How do they view the world? Are they a jerk with a heart of gold, or an avenger with a chip on their shoulder? Determining this area sets the tone for subsequent sections. Look to define key items that shape the character and their design.

Here one is being general with the concept - maybe the character's a jaded middle aged mercenary that despises Ninjutsu because a close comrade was killed by it. This provides some direction for specifics - not likely to be affiliated with a hidden village, middle aged, not likely to be ranked, would likely have little to no Ninjutsu skill/training, and as a merc may have high Taijutsu and/or Sougujutsu (possibly even fuin/juinjutsu) skill - while providing room for growth and further detail as one progresses.

Role

What role will the character play in a team? Will they be the tactician (possibly high intelligence), the team medic, a specialist in a specific field, or a jack-of-all-trades? Deciding this will give areas of focus and specializations to consider.

My character, Higure Yuuhi was designed from the beginning as a Genjutsu specialist. As I was fleshing out the character, I felt that Genjutsu would be highly useful with placing explosives in places he shouldn't be in, so he got a secondary specialization in Demolitions. This in many respects has backfired on me, given that out of 3 missions that the character's been on, Genjutsu was somewhat viable on only two of them and ended up mostly useless anyhow on both occasions. I was lucky enough that he could fall back on his secondary specialization to be useful in both cases, though the third mission made little use of either specialization.

Plans

Where do you want this character to go with itself? It could be a rank goal, or a job position goal, or whatever. Here you consider "how will the character grow?" within the RP.

With Higure, I never did this step. As such, after the first mission I looked at the character and realized… I had no plans, no future, for him. I had created a character that had no real future. Luckily, the first mission gave me a reason to put a little planning for his growth into existence. But that's only in making him stronger in a stat he never really bothered with working on much. The upside to this was that I could work that as part of his back story when I was working on it later, and part of his growth may be deciding to actually push beyond where he's coasting to make something more of himself.

Specifics

Basics

I consider the basic specifics to cover as "Affiliation," "Clan/Bloodline," "Age," and "Rank."

  • Affiliation helps define where they fit in the RP and where they stand with other players. While most players are ninja and thus would likely have a hidden village they're affiliated with, it doesn't mean they can't instead be affiliated with a country or maybe even a city. One's affiliation may affect the jutsu they know or are more likely to learn/know due to the environment around them.
  • Clan/Bloodline provides the first stat/jutsu information for a character. Members of clans tend to have certain typical skill ranges due to how the clan trains and operates or due to the clan's bloodline. In most cases, a clan would be limited to a sizable family with ninjas within it for a certain number of generations. Examples of clans include the Hyuuga, Yuuhi, Uchiha, and Yukari clans of Konoha.
  • Age helps restrict skill levels and ranks somewhat. Someone who is only 12 is not likely jounin strength unless they're a rare genius like Kakashi or Itachi were. Age also somewhat helps figure out stats like Flexibility, Physical Strength, Stamina, and Intelligence. It's useful for deciding an appearance as well.
  • Rank is only really useful for ninja, though non-ninja mercenaries may be "ranked" unofficially, which is useful for determining stats.

Stats

There are two groups of core stats for a character. The first is the E-S Ranked Stats. These are a person's skills and abilities in various ninja-related fields. The second group is the 1-10 Ranked Stats. These are the physical, mental, and chakra related stats for a character. Beyond the core two stat groups, there are two more areas of stats. One is a character's specializations, and the other is their Elemental Affinity should they have any.

E-S Ranked Stats
The E-S Ranked stats indicate how good one is at a skill. The rank scale is used is other areas - such as jutsu ranks or bingo book rating - as well.

  • Unranked - Generally the ranking of most civilians.
  • E-rank - This is the equivalent to an Academy student. At this level, it is mostly knowledge, maybe some practical application.
  • D-rank
  • C-rank
  • B-rank
  • A-rank
  • S-rank - The top of the food chain.

1-10 Ranked Stats
The 1-10 ranked stats indicate one's ability level with physical, mental, and chakra skills.

From the forum bio template:

  • Intelligence - 1 is Konohamaru, 10 is Shikamaru
  • Flexibility - 1 is Chouji, 10 is Hinata
  • Chakra Capacity - 1 is Lee, 10 is Kisame
  • Chakra Control - 1 is Pre-timeskip Naruto, 10 is Sakura
  • Physical Power - 1 is Pre-timeskip Sakura, 10 is Tsunade
  • Stamina - 1 is… I dunno, Udon, 10 is Naruto

Specializations
Specializations are fields of training that the ninja concentrates on. There are two parts to this. One is the ninja's specialization(s), and the second is specialization certifications.

The first is used for quick looks at a character and is listed in the infobox for a character (and on the forum bio). With Higure, it's "Genjutsu, Demolitions." Some characters, such as many of the genin, lack a specialization currently. Others have several. In many ways, what's listed as one's specialization shows what roles they can play in a team.

The second is Specializations training that has been determined by a ninja village to be of a certain level. Lacking certification does not preclude having that level of knowledge/skill, just that it hasn't been officially tested and noted by the village (possibly because the ninja hasn't applied to be tested for the level). This is listed in the Abilities section of the wiki bio and in some ways could serve as a more in depth version of the first Specialization part.

Affinities
Affinities is largely referring to Elemental Affinity. The core affinities are Doton, Fuuton, Katon, Raiton, Suiton, and Medical. Having an elemental affinity opens the full range of jutsu for an element to the person because jutsu begin to require elemental recomposition by the user after a certain level. Those without an affinity can still learn a great deal of jutsu for an element, but not the highest ranking ones. Having a Medical chakra affinity is important for becoming a fully certified medic ninja.

Some thing to think about when deciding what, if any, affinities a ninja may have - whether they know of the affinity or not - is their location. Water Country and Kiri would have a much larger chance of having a Suiton affinity ninja than, say, Wind Country and Suna that is mostly desert. The "default" possibility for an affinity could always be the one that matches the country their village is in (Katon for Konoha, Fuuton for Suna, Suiton for Kiri, etc).

Other Details

Depth

Depth, as I refer to it here, are the things that make the character more three dimensional. Their name, likes, dislikes, hobbies, goals, favorite places, allies, enemies, and so forth.

Also, details about combat style and abilities. With combat style, take into account one's stats, particularly with Taijutsu styles. High flexibility might have the character dodging strikes and moving around a lot (maybe using a weapon to land damage rather than strength-necessary blows), while high strength and stamina might be more of a 'tank' where they just shrug off the hits to pound the enemy.

It should be noted that, while the Elemental Lands haven't been 100% peaceful since the end of the Fourth Great Shinobi War, it hasn't had any major wars near that scale since then. So while a character's abilities might not be as crazy as some of the canon ninja revealed during the Fourth Great Shinobi War in the manga, it's been a good half century of relatively low combat. So defending a choice on the grounds that it's not any worse than characters from a relatively high combat era probably won't fly with people providing feedback. It's one thing to have such things when crafting a story, but another to have it in an RP with a playable character.

History

Here is where you expand on the general history points formed during the concept phase and possibly added to during the Specifics phase. Things to include here are year of birth (hopefully easy given that one should already know the person's age) and key events in their life - such as graduating from the Academy, getting promotions, joining special groups, etc.

Also, you should take into account politics/trust/realism when it comes to crafting a history. Villages generally don't give vital, high level positions to people that might go missing-nin. And if said person did go missing-nin, it's not likely that another village would take them in, much less put them in a high-security job. That village wouldn't be able to trust the (former) missing-nin, since, after all, he already got a high security position before and betrayed one village afterward.

That's not to say one can't do such a history, but it would have to be really well done to pass. In combination with certain abilities, a well crafted story might not be able to compensate anyhow.

Typical Stats

At the levels of Genin and Chunin, there are separations for the Elite program ninja and the Military program ninja in addition to the New and Experienced separations for all ranks above Academy Student. In some cases, the New level for a rank is equal to the Experienced level for the previous rank for each program. This is because normally people don't leap in skill level from a promotion, though they might get higher rank in some areas due to additional training they receive due to their new rank. Special Jounin is not listed due to the fluidity of what counts. Usually, they'll be similar to an Experienced Military Chunin with one or more areas at Jounin level. Promotions from Chunin to Special Jounin or Jounin are tough enough that the differences between Elite program and Military program ninjas is negligible, so there is no need to separate them. For similar reasons, Kage-level is not separated into New and Experienced because the difference in skill level is also negligible.

The "x(+/-) / y(+/-)" layout for each stat lists the typical minimum skill level and the maximum typical skill level for a rank. A minus sign designates "low" for a skill level - low E-rank, low D-rank, etc - while a plus sign designates "high" for a skill level - high E-rank, high D-rank, etc. A lack of a + or - means the ninja is around the middle of the range for that level. In general, this means that the minimum level for a rank would be E-S and a minus sign, and the maximum would generally be E-S and a plus sign. The entries that have a single letter and both + and - in parentheses means that the skill level is that letter rank and will be the low end at worst, high end at best.

NOTE - My current understanding of Juinjutsu is vague, and this chart was originally made when the only examples of it that I could find were Orochimaru's cursed seal and the Hyuuga Caged Bird Seal. Given that, I felt that typical people would not be learning a lot about it beyond recognizing it and its effects with regards to cursed seal and maybe CBS.

Ninjutsu Genjutsu Taijutsu Fuinjutsu Juinjutsu Sougujutsu
Academy Student E- / D+ E- / D+ E- / D+ Unranked / E+ Unranked E- / D+
Genin - New Elite D- / C- D- / C- D- / C- E (+/-) Unranked D- / C-
Genin - New Military D / C+ D / C+ D / C+ E / D+ Unranked / E D / C+
Genin - Experienced Elite D / C+ D / C+ D / C+ E- / C+ Unranked / E- D / C+
Genin - Experienced Military C (+/-) C (+/-) C (+/-) D / C(+) E (+/-) C (+/-)
Chunin - New Elite D+ / C+ D+ / C+ D+ / C+ D+ / C+ E (+/-) D+ / C+
Chunin - New Military C (+/-) C (+/-) C (+/-) C (+/-) E(+) C (+/-)
Chunin - Experienced Elite C / B+ C / B+ C / B+ C / B+ E / D+ C / B+
Chunin - Experienced Military C+ / B+ C+ / B+ C+ / B+ C+ / B+ D (+/-) C+ / B+
Jounin - New B- / A+ B- / A+ B- / A+ B- / A+ C- / A+ B- / A+
Jounin - Experienced B / A+ B / A+ B / A+ B / A+ C / A+ B / A+
Kage-level A / S+ A / S+ A / S+ A / S+ B / S+ A / S+
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