Character Pages

Often, when I’m reading a choicescript game, I would lose track of the NPCs. I would see a name and go, who the heck is this again? This is especially true for fantasy names, or when all the names are from a single language/cultural background. Does anyone else have this problem?

I feel like “character pages” are a quality-of-life improvement: basically a page or a few pages on the stats page that describe who the characters are, and possibly dynamic updates based on their interactions with the player. A lot of games do this, but unfortunately, most games don’t. What do you think?

Character Sheets: Y/N?
  • Yes, more games should have character pages
  • No, games shouldn’t have character pages (why?)
  • It depends on the game
  • It doesn’t matter

0 voters


I wouldn’t say that character sheets are bad, but I tend to be uninterested in them. To play devil’s advocate a bit on this, I think it’s tempting to rely on them too much. For example, if I’m worried my characters are hard to distinguish and keep track of, I could make a character sheet - but I’d say it would be better to work on improving the characters to make them more interesting and memorable (I concede that there’s some real merit to using them to help keep track of characters with names that are hard to remember, or characters with a lot of titles or something, though). Or say I have a great idea for the character’s backstory - I could bury it in the character sheet, or I could find a way to bring it up in the story proper, with context and meaning to it. Though having it in one place doesn’t mean it can’t also be in the other, of course.

That’s not to say that character sheets in and of themselves cause problems or aren’t worth having. I just think it’s easy to misuse them, or rely too much on them, or … I dunno. I guess I’ve just played enough games that had dictionaries in their menus instead of actual worldbuilding and development that I’m suspicious of metatextual stuff in general. :man_shrugging:


Depends on the game.

If you have a lot of NPCs, then yeah I’d recommend having them. In Keeper of the Sun and Moon for instance, I paid attention to only half or less than half the NPCs because there were so many of them.

Other stories where you could have profiles (detective profiles, psychological profiles, etc.) I can see having them.

Overall I’m leaning and caught between depends on the game and yes, please. It depends on how many NPCs you have and how memorable they are to me. If you introduce a ton of NPCs at once, I am going to forget who’s who and what everyone looks like.

As long as the character sheets don’t break immersion. Don’t tell us about their backstory when it could be an interesting opportunity in the narrative. Don’t tell us their personality, show it to us in the narrative. Things like that.

But by all means, please include the physical description. Halfway through the story, I start to reimagine what the characters look like instead of what the author tells me they look like.


it would be nice to have character pages. I’m really bad with names


I like just the name and a image. If it is just that, cool! But I don’t want a novel under each one, let me figure that out through your story.

If its just an image and name, I see no reason not to include it in the game (outside of commission costs haha). But if it isn’t there, you won’t get an angry “Why are there no character pages?! Argh 1 star!” Just nice to have


Character pages are nice, especially if the game is particularly long or has a lot of NPCs. I tend play games over the course of a couple of days or weeks, so it’d be nice to have character sheets so I could avoid my usual experience of going “wait, who is this person and why should I care about them again?”.

I think it depends. If a game has a lot of NPCs, a character sheet would be nice to track who is who, etc. If the game has a few NPCs, and you bump into them quite a bit in the game, I don’t think you’d need one…If the characters are pretty complicated, or two characters look alike, maybe a character sheet would be nice too?

I used character profiles in UnNatural but only for members of the SRT/SCI or potential recruits in the second game.

Not for all NPCs though. I think having the more important NPCs recorded is a good thing. Especially if you can add flavor text where the “profile” is basically what the MC knows about that character and their opinion of said character.

Character pages can be fun additions, but I’m of the opinion (and this is purely an opinion) that if the reader is unable to keep track of who the characters are without the use of the character sheet (especially if this causes confusion of the main plot) then the writing is in need of improvement.

Similar to how wikis are used for more mainstream media, I might not recall every fact about an obscure game of thrones character, but if the prose itself mentions them in the correct way at the correct time then I can at least put the name to a role in the story, even if they were last mentioned a few chapters ago. Or, if a fact about the character is integral to the plot, then it should be mentioned in a way that I am able to recall it.


To me, it depends. I think a lot of tracking has to do with the writer’s ability to truly differentiate characters. I’m not just talking outward description. I’m talking vocabulary, cadence, voice, background, goals, fears . . . In aggregate, a character will seem alive and memorable or not. I think, in some ways, the better writer you are the more characters you can handle. I make rules for my characters’ speech patterns at the beginning. Sometimes simple like: he will only say five words at a time and never use a word more than two syllables that isn’t a proper noun. Or, this person doesn’t understand consequences so never uses conjunctions. Or, this person fished their whole life so they understand everything via nautical terminology. Usually, by the time I add 3 rules, people start feeling pretty distinct.

There are other easier tricks, I think. Avoiding similar sounding names. Spreading out when you introduce them. (Total length becomes a factor, here, since I don’t think you want to be introducing anyone major from Act 2b on.) I think the “first impression” idea is pretty important. Some of this is on the reader too–some people pay better attention to character, some focus on the plot, some have better memories. And how fast they read. Someone who puts it down for 3 days halfway through might need a refresher.

To directly answer your question, ideally I could write so that people didn’t need reference. But Shakespeare (in his plays) listed all the characters at the beginning. More recently, George Martin had to make family tree for all the houses in his ASOIAF series (GoT).


i personally like it, as i am quite forgetful when it comes to characters especially when a lot is being introduced. character pages allow me to remember a certain character and at which part i met them in the story.

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You’d think so from looking at a typical edition, but he did that in very few of his plays as best we can tell. Measure for Measure is a rare exception where the Dramatis Personae may be authorial. Most of the Dramatis Personae that we read now come from later editors.