If Motivations describe what your character does, Attitudes describe what he says when he does it. Attitudes are the core of roleplaying, and are deeply tied to motivations.
This is where a character gets spunk, and where it becomes interesting at the table. Other players don’t care as much about your character’s Background or Motivations as you do, but they will certainly respond to a well crafted attitude.
6 Page PDF
This Character Sheet includes sections for every part of the Character Wheel. It is system agnostic, so feel free to use it with any character for any game.
I’ve Had Just About Enough Lip Out Of You
People don’t behave in just one way all the time. They react to things. Your character shouldn’t either. He should have a variety of opinions and reactions to various situations, and behave differently when experiencing various emotions.
As far as Attitudes go, the significant ones are those that are likely to land your character in trouble. “I get excited around fuzzy animals” isn’t a significant detail unless you’re addicted to fuzzy animals and also allergic. Instead, focus on things like, “I can’t help but spit in the face of authority figures.” That one will affect the story.
For Attitudes, I’ve included a seven axis alignment chart. This chart has been very successful in the past because it really only takes minute to fill out, but forces you to think about the character in several dimensions.
The various axis are as follows:
Introverted ↔ Extroverted
Selfish ↔ Charitable
Individualist ↔ Collectivist
Emotional ↔ Rational
Gentle ↔ Abrasive
Leader ↔ Follower
Libertarian ↔ Authoritarian
A note about the difference between the Individualist/Collectivist axis and the Libertarian/Authoritarian axis. While they are very similar, the former is aimed at how your character behaves, whereas the latter is more about how he believes society should be structured. It’s entirely possible to have someone who works only for others but believes that no man should have control over others, or to have a man who works only for himself and believes that all men should be controlled.
People behave differently in various situations. These are called personas, but I’ve chosen the more obvious Situation Personalities to describe them.
The most common persona is the one used around the Party Members, as this will be the one played ninety percent of the time. Take some time to consider how you want to play this, and then revisit it after you’ve played a few sessions. If you wish it to, this entry can help prevent you from always playing the same character.
Personas also change when your character is surrounded by various social situations, including Family, Close Friends, Lovers, Large Groups, or when he is Alone. He may also act differently when in Dangerous Situations than he does when in Professional or Unfamiliar Situations.
Emotions are complicated things, and they can have a wide effect on different people. Here is where you decide how you handle each of them. You’ll notice that each emotion here lines up with an Emotional Trigger under the Motivations section. Use this for your convenience.
Take some time to consider how your character reacts to Anger, Depression, Envy, Fear, Joy, and Lust. Make them interesting. Include any vices or rituals he may engage in.
Lastly, decide upon the character’s Pervasive Emotional State. Is he usually angry or afraid? Maybe he does casual meditation to keep calm.
Similar to handling emotions, some people have difficulty handling Stress, Loss, or Guilt. With your game likely being combat centric, these situations will occur regularly and might trigger the emotions listed above.
This is where you can try to sum up your character’s general attitude in a single quote. Your elevator pitch, so to speak. Try to have fun with is.