How do you name (and "characterise") your MC?

I tend to pick one of the default first names (adds to immersion!), but choose a custom surname as I like using the same one for every game. Like the ghosts of already-read stories are inexplicably linked together and don’t just fade away. It feels reassuring… I don’t know.

And what about appearance and personality? As close as possible to yourself – random every time? Does it depend on the story or follow the whim of the moment?

More generally, I guess my question is: how do you like to roleplay?

(apologies if this thread has already been made or if this is out of place)


I usually come up with an idea for my mc either while reading the premise of the story or during character creation then I expand on the idea during the next chapters. If I’m enjoying the game then I will come up with another mc to do a run with. As for the names I either use one of the defaults or use a appropriate for the game name generator though once in a while I would use my own name(Though I mostly did that when I was a child)


I have several different OCs that I use depending which fits best, and change some details to fit the game. I also have a mostly blank slate human OC that works for most (but not all) games with a human MC. If nothing fits, I’ll make a new one. Sometimes I find I need to restart as I learn more about the setting and realize my MC doesn’t work.


I make a new MC for almost every IF sdjfhnheijrkfd. I’ve only ever reused an MC like… twice. I typically mold them to fit the world, and for in-world customization options, It’s usually whatever will give me the most entertaining outcome, hsnudifhunkerfd. I do like sticking to certain characterizations for my MCs, though.


Coming to a new game, I use a semi-standard MC on my first playthrough, one who is sort of, but not completely, based on me and on characterization tropes I like, because I need to devote a higher proportion of my attention to learning the world and the characters, and don’t have as much mental space for “getting into character”. On replays, I’ll branch out in whatever ways seem most interesting based on the story and the setting (except into evil, I don’t do evil :eyes:).

Edit: As far as names, I have a small stable I choose from if I don’t like any of the suggestions given (or if there are no suggestions).

Personally I do self-inserts, so I use one of my names (or a variant/equivalent depending on the setting; the list of preset names helps a lot [when offered, since not all games have them] so I know if I’m gonna stand out with Elisabeth) and act as I feel I would in the circumstance, basically. I used to go for a more idealized version of myself, like what I’d like to be, but in the past year or so as I’ve gotten more comfortable with myself, I enjoy making “me” a lot more. Same in proper RPGs, now, where like when customizing instead of making what are very clearly characters like I did when I was young, I try to make myself, faults and all. It helps make the “character” more interesting/well-rounded, visually and personality, than just doing some ideal, at least for me. In any case it makes me happy since I kinda like myself now and it’s fun seeing how I’d get by in whatever wacky circumstances the game throws at you :slight_smile:

also it’s very therapeutic when i can totally let loose and do things i clearly cant irl in some situations instead of just freezing up, and I wouldn’t get that release if I was just directing a character.

I guess since I thought of it and am here typing already, there is a clear downside to it, in that I can get pretty intensely invested in stuff since “I’m” there, which isn’t the best since I already run on pretty high emotions due to a personality disorder (Cluster B is super fun). As such I can end up taking things very personally, which occasionally ends up getting directed towards the author :/. The disconnect of playing a clear, distinct character would prevent that, and would help not getting as bothered when there’s not an option I’d pick, among other things.


First run through a game demo, I use an OC that can pretty much fit anywhere. She’s like a litmus test to see if I’ll like the game, but also to see how defined the MC is for the game.

Once I decide I want to play, then I start figuring out my MC. How that MC develops depends a great deal on how defined the game forces my MC to be.

For a game like I, the Forgotten One, where the MC’s history is well-defined, I will often go with one of the suggested names (for that one, it’s Kveta). For games where the player has more freedom, I go into super hunt mode of the perfect name… and when I say superhunt mode, I can take a long time to find the right name for a character. Once I have the name, I start figuring out how the character behaves, personality quirks, etc.

In games where the history isn’t defined (like Wayhaven), I develop the character’s history as I go along and see “who” they are. I get very in-depth with their histories, their reasoning, etc. Sometimes, that causes a disconnect in the game (like in Wayhaven, where the MCs are forced into feelings or forced into behaving a certain way, where it feels like they’re groveling at the RO’s feet), which results in fanfic if it becomes too bad.

I never play two different games with the same character. I do sometimes end up pulling a developed OC into my own writings that are unrelated to the game that “created” them. That’s only for the ones that are very well-defined by me, rather than the game having their history and personality set in stone.

As for appearance… that, honestly, just depends on my mood at the time. I’ve got blonds, brunettes, redheads, short haired, long haired, and everything in between. Ditto with skin and eye color.

When I create characters, I don’t really think about them in comparison to me since I don’t like self-inserting (I really wouldn’t fit well in most of these worlds and would flip off most ROs for being so damned wishy washy). So the creation is part whimsy, part vibe of the story/world, and part whether I want to be cooperative with the author or not (sometimes I’ll go contrary just because I don’t like being forced in one direction of play).

Fun question!


When I’m beta testing, my first playthrough is always a self-insert. I don’t give my own real name to my character, but I use something (setting-appropriate) with a similar aesthetic (e.g. Anthea), or that means the same thing in another language, or that otherwise resonates with me. I make the character as much like myself as possible, from appearance to goals to values, within the parameters of the game.

Outside of beta testing, I don’t self-insert at all, and I never reuse characters. I usually go in with a general idea of the sort of character I want to experience that story as, and refine them as I go. The box art sometimes helps shape my ideas about the character, particularly in terms of gender and appearance. I choose from the provided list of names, always. I don’t usually go out of my way to make the character unlike me. Sometimes I end up with a character very similar to myself, other times with one that’s very different. They’re probably similar slightly more often than different, but that’s less to do with the character being me than with the significant overlap between the kind of thing I like to read and the kind of thing I like to do.

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My MCs usually share some of my core beliefs and some personalities. My MCs are usually empathetic, loyal, and patient but they’re more confident when meeting people and more of a risk taker and do not easily get angry as I am in real life. I have a hard time playing an evil character though. In terms of physical appearance, usually my MC has either black or auburn colored hair, blue or green eyes, short-haired and freckled.

However, I have devoted some time to further fleshing out my MCs history. Mostly to avoid taking me out of the immersion when the games I played in series format since we don’t have much info until the series is done.

Edit: I forgot about names. I usually name characters depending on the setting of the game so if it’s set in 1920s England like Tally Ho, I searched for names during that time period while if it’s urban fantasy, I create a mixed heritage since I am from a mixed heritage. But I have favorite names to use like Gabriel, Brie, Olivia, Alexandra, Alexa/is and Catherine.

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I like historical references for names. Aurelius being a favorite that has only backfired one or twice. I’ll play all sorts of characters but my first run is usually going to be some variation of good hearted and empathetic. In games with combat I tend to keep it practical, a sword, an assault rifle, whatever seems versatile in setting. More games should offer a halberd option. Staying in the mind of a truly reprehensible character is hard for me, I don’t do it often even with games where it’s an option.

On a side note I love angst so if there is some prior trauma or experience I can shape the mc with, I tend to. Even if it’s something comparatively minor I like the extra wrinkle it adds.

This depends on the tone of the story for me, I usually play around what I feel like is ‘fitting.’ In any modern setting, my default character names are Alois Dupont and Qiao Hua, though outside of that :person_shrugging: . The only things pretty set in stone for me is that I prefer playing agile over strong, and short over tall, otherwise I’ll interchange eye colour, hair colour, hair length, etc.

First playthroughs tend to be pretty narrow in scope to whatever I chose first then in subsequent playthroughs I usually have a goal (for a new RO, for a new ending, etc).

@Dej Gods, I love the name Aurelius. Though I am curious what the historical connotation is because I purely associated it as a vaguely ‘elven’ sounding name meaning fair haired.


The most famous example would be Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, who you may remember from the first twenty minutes of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator if nowhere else.

It’s from the Latin for gold, Aurum, and roughly translates to golden one or yes, fair haired later on.


My first playthrough is always done as roughly the same character, who I played in RPGs years ago. This is because I find that it going through with a strongly designed character helps me focus on the story instead of trying to min-max my way through the game. After that first playthrough, I have no real set pattern and I play whatever seems interesting. I don’t really do self-inserts, so I’ll vary up MC genders sometimes and things like that.

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I’m realizing that my characters are usually mostly nonviolent. Even if they’re someone who is fully capable of violence, like a soldier or even a hitman. They tend to use as little violence as possible, or at least trend towards nonlethal forms of violence whenever possible.


I always create only one MC for a game and they are always more… hm original character? I mean they have nothing to do with me in appearance and personality and sometimes even gender.

I have a list of favourite names & surnames. What name I choose depends on various things - the plot, who MC and their social status (If they come from aristocracy, I have special category with elegant, fancy names. MC who is an orphan and thief wouldn’t get such a name), genre of the game, mc’s origin - for example the game is inspired ancient China. But since I didn’t have Chinese names on my list, I had to find something new. So, yeah, some have unique names, but that’s rare. I tend to favor about 4 names and I choose most often :sweat_smile:

Appearance… Sometimes I start reading the prologue and already know what the main character will look like. It comes intuitively. Sometimes the appearance is associated with the name. For example: Soren and Sanna are Scandinavian names so if MC gets one of these they’ll probably be blonde with fair skin. And if I’m not sure about appearance, I choose those features that ROs don’t have - if no one has auburn hair, I’ll choose this color etc. :person_shrugging:

Personality. It totally depends on which options I like the most and how other characters react to mc.
In one game I like the way author writes a joker and flirty MC in another I may prefer stoic behavior. That’s it.
The only ones I never choose are shy MCs. I hate them xd


Those are actually my favourite LOL

But to answer the original question, I actually always make my MCs as characters I admire, or am attracted to. They’re never ME. Sometimes, that means they kinda all act the same (I do always make them look different though), but I am okay with that. Reading a story for me is like watching a movie, and I am watching my favourite actress play out these different roles in different movies, but she’s always cast as the same type (unless that personality doesn’t really fit the story).

My MCs tend to be nice, goody-two-shoes, optimistic and a bit shy. However, the only time I step away from that is when the story kinda already has a set MC, or an MC with minimal customisation (WHICH I DON’T MIND), and I go along with whatever the writer chooses.

Whenever I try to play an evil MC, I’ve realised it’s never the “evil” I want…

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Many times I name my character with the names of Alex and Luke (although if they are fantasy games I can use derivatives like Alec or Luka) and when the environment allows it, I use the last name Aguilar (again if a world is fantastic or very out of what would fit a Hispanic surname because I use the surnames that the game presents)

Usually the personality of my MC is very varied due to many introspection work that I did about myself. From the more well-known spectrum I can be a protagonist who takes the issues he faces seriously but can also be funny with a few, also be humble on many issues as well as often being good at the story.

If we talk about an MC who is going to do bad things, he would be the type who seeks power to get revenge or who also has limits in the process of wanting to harm another, for example if I am going to kill my enemies, I have limits on who kills like children or animals.

I also give these facets of personality when my character faces an event that makes him evolve from a shy and insecure boy to a man who becomes closed, more serious and dangerous with his enemies but still with his youthful desires to protect those who loves.

That’s an interesting topic, I love discussing MCs!

I never self-insert and always create a brand new character for every game I play. First I look at the stats to check what kind of personality traits are available and also play the demo for a bit to see what dialogue options are there, and then decide on what character is most interesting for me to roleplay on my first playthrough. Of course, the character will additionally shape during the actual gameplay, but I already have a basic concept before starting. I like to play as all sorts of characters, I may prefer some types more than others, but I still try to make my MCs different from each other.

The next step is deciding on character’s appearance. Before I started to play text games I only played games with graphics because I really enjoy designing my characters visually. I was hesitant to play text only games because of that, so I found a workaround and decided to create all my MCs in The Sims 4 before starting a game. I’ve been playing Sims for years, so I just kinda combined two hobbies together. I first check the demo to see what customizations are available for the MC and then proceed to make a sim with that in mind.

I choose unique names and surnames for each of my characters. Sometimes I use default names as a guide for what kind of names is appropriate for the setting, especially if it’s a fantasy game, but I still choose a custom name in the end. The meaning of the name doesn’t matter most of the time, I just want it to sound good. But if the meaning is fitting for the character, that’s a nice bonus!

I’m curious, how other people visualize their non-self-insert MCs, if you do it at all. Do you just imagine them, use face claims, draw them or make them in avatar maker of sorts? If anyone is willing to share, I would be thankful :smiling_face:


Same here. I think the problem is that, most of the time, the shy characters are so foreign to me–with the stuttering and blushing and flustering over every little thing–that it just feels weird to play. Quiet and reserved, I get. I can even understand blushing, to a certain point. But losing your shit because someone is flirting with you? Nope, don’t get that at all, and it is uncomfortable to try to RP that.

That said, the oblivious ones are fun to play, and I can totally understand them! You know, the ones who just don’t understand they’re being flirted with until someone flat out says, in no uncertain terms, that they want to be with the character. XD

Well, given that all I can draw are stick figures, drawing is out!

At first, I just visualize the main characteristics (hair color, eye color, skin color, body type, etc.). I don’t really bother with a face claim until they start becoming more solid characters.

Then, I end up hopping around with face claims. I’ll settle on one for a bit, then be like, “nah, she doesn’t fit” and find someone else. That process takes a long time, and sometimes I never find anyone who fits well, I just find someone workable.


As a blind person, the only things I need is name, surname, gender and my stats. Like I’ve said before in another post, there really is no need to customise the crap out of an Mc, especially if many of the things won’t even be mentioned. As for naming the characters, I just usually enter my own name or something I like, then I play to win.

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