Step 1-Concept: For new characters in WoN, we want new concepts, new ideas, things that have not been done before, or if they have, then a new take on something that has been done before. If you cannot come up with a decent and at least 75% original idea, then already you should reconsider if you want to submit your characters. Also, the concept you make for your characters should define who they are, thus ensure that you do concept –BEFORE- you name them or write/draw how they look, because doing these first will narrow your concept down to a set path, which ruins your character.
For this guide, we will use the concept of necromancy, or raising the dead if you will. That there is our concept, but to put a spin on it and make it a little more original, we develop the idea of ‘Soul Contracts’, which if our character can get someone to sign while they are alive, however he does it, he controls their soul for the rest of time, allowing him to manipulate it at will, however he can still summon zombies and skeletons and whatever without their having signed a contract, but it there will be no conscious, just a killing thing. This makes him cooler than your average idea for a zombie summoning ninja, and in that we have our concept.
Step 2-Names and Appearances: Naming your character, and deciding what they look like should come next. As WoN is set in a feudal Japanese setting (though not actually feudal Japan for those who cannot make the distinction) it is important to remember some cultural points when designing your characters.
First: In Japanese culture, and for that matter many Asiatic cultures, the family name takes precedence over the personal name. Thus characters names should be styled as [Clan Name] [Personal Name], and not the other way around as is prevalent in Euro-American culture.
Second: Throughout history, many family names, even in western society, were created to show social class and function in society, (hence the large number of people with the last name ‘Smith’, whatever you were smithing, that was your name, and a lot of people were smithing at the time) so it is important to ensure that your clan’s name matches with your character’s concept. Do not make a fire clan, and then make the clan name Kaze (wind), as that is pointless and makes all that work you did in concept moot.
Finally: In a feudal Japanese setting, it should also be pointed out that names should, as a generic rule, be in Japanese. Phil Kowalski may be the greatest ninja ever, but unless he changes his name, he’s not getting into the game. As a rule, the entire Shogunate is Japanese in naming, thus anyone who exists within the borders, or just outside of the borders, will have Japanese names. In the future, it may be that other countries are introduced outside of the Shogunate, at which point different options may be considered, but for the time being, keep it Japanese.
As for the appearance, be sure that it matches with your concept. Element based clans should dress in the same colour as represents their element, and that is a solid and steadfast rule. More abstract ideas have a lot more freedom, but keep in mind that any schemes you do choose must be able to be related to your original concept. If your character fights by raising the dead to fight for him, there is no way he is going to dress in hot pink, he will dress in black, greys and dark greens, purples and reds or dull metallics. You description should also be long enough that the artist designing the character actually knows what she is supposed to be drawing, so write at least a paragraph or two for physical description, it’s not hard and you’ll find your submission taken much more seriously if you do.
So, for our character, we need a name first, starting with clan name. We can use any online translator or our own knowledge if we have it to come up with a name, so we decide upon the name “Hitodama”, which is Japanese for disembodied soul, keeping in line with the concept idea of manipulating the dead, and signing souls to contracts they must fulfil long after their body has passed away. He then needs a name, so using whatever we used before we come up with “Mouretsu”, which means rage, meaning with names we have given Mouretsu a personality trait. Also, while there are many other words in Japanese for rage, Mouretsu sounds similar to Mortuus, which is Latin for dead. Thus we have a dual layering of meaning, which while not many people will pick up on it, it makes your character that much more intriguing and adds a second level to their development.
As for appearance, think about common view of the concept. So his power is death, thus we want him looking deathly, thus we would write something like this:
Mouretsu dresses in a long, flowing black robe with a dull silver trimming. Sickly green symbols cover his robe, though they appear to have no meaning. His robe collar is raised up to his cheekbones, with blood red skulls printed on either side of the collar, and a large red skull appears on his back, though the colour is much darker. He is very thin, such that his bones can be seen through his skin, which is incredibly pale. His eyes are a faint green, and he is completely bald, instead having another strange symbol in red tattooed onto his scalp. In his left hand, he holds a faintly glowing blue scroll (his contract) and in his right he holds a small ornate ritual dagger
Back Story: People do not just randomly exist. They all come from somewhere, and if they are to be introduced into the game, that somewhere is incredibly important. What did they do before the player found them? How did that effect their view on the world? Do they have any relationships with other characters, or other clans? Were there any traumatic events in their life that forever changed them? Or any incredibly good events which filled their life with happiness and flowers? These are all important questions when designing a character, and there are many more you’ll need to think of yourselves.
So for Mouretsu, we decide that he was part of a ritual as a young child that was supposed to kill him, but he narrowly survived, hence his current health problems. He has very few emotional attachments, since he is wholly absorbed in the study of death, in an attempt to work out why he was so special and what allowed him to survive.
That is a very very basic history, but it is enough to give a slight overview of what has happened to him, and what has made him who he is. And that is all we really need for now, though no one will complain if you go into more detail.
One Big Happy Family^^: As you might have noticed by now, characters come in sets of three, all related through a clan. If you are making a character (and there are three possible exceptions to this) they need a clan, and in making a clan, they need two other clan mates. This means you must go through the previous steps twice over, developing two additional characters based off your original concept, then repeat the step just before this once over to create a clan history which is inclusive of everything that has ever happened from founding to the present day in the world of that clan. While writing things for you clan, keep in mind the introduction to WoN, which provides a brief history of the events that have taken place over time in the WoN world. Reference these events, keep your clan involved in what has been happening, otherwise they will be too distant and removed, and will not fit within the game. With this step, you also need to work out who will be (if you have one) the Daimyo of your clan, and who will be the first unlocked character. This will determine how strong you make them, and affect their storyline greatly. It should also be about here that you include creating your clan item, since that will be the final goal for completing your clan, and thus is an important factor for their history/storyline. The exceptions to this rule are White Guardians, Demon Lords, and soldiers in the Shogun’s armies, but we are not looking for submissions of those yet, so do not worry on that subject.
Since this is just a guide, I won’t go into who else could be made, or the clan history, but you’ve read the previous steps, follow them as you have up until this point and things will work out fine probably.^^
Movesets: This is the part everyone loves to do the most, and so you are probably wondering why does it have to be so late? Well, because everything else needs to contribute to it. You should look at characters that are already in the game, and keep an eye on balance updates, you want to make sure your character isn’t too over or under powered, as that will prevent them from being accepted more often than not. The regular structure is simple, three moves, one invulnerability move, and one item slot. Not every character needs to come with an item, as a matter of fact none do in the game, items are part of missions, so do not worry about filling that slot.
So we want to make Mourestu’s moveset, so we look around, and decide we want to do something pretty cool for one of his moves, make it his main special power, so we make this:
Soul Signing: Mouretsu convinces one ally to sign his Soul Contract. In doing so, if that ally is ever killed, they are revived with 50% of their health, and are unable to produce any energy.
Cost: Blue White Random Random
Class List: Tactic, Channeling
Then, we think how will he fight for himself? So we give him a move to attack with:
Skeletal Warriors: Mouretsu summons a skeleton warrior to attack the enemy, dealing 20 damage a turn for 2 turns.
Cost: Blue Random
Class List: Melee, Channeling
Cooldown: One Turn
Thirdly, we need to decide if we want him to have another attacking move, or another special move, in Mourestu’s case, we will go with a combination of the two.
Undead Servants: Mouretsu conjures the fallen bodies of long dead warriors to fight at his side. Mouretsu’s allies gain 20 destructible defence, and Mouretsu gains 35. The enemy team receives 15 damage per turn that cannot be countered. This skill ends once Mouretsu’s destructible defence is removed.
Cost: White White
Class List: Tactic, Aura
Cooldown: Four Turns
And then finally, we give him an invul move, to top it all off:
Inhuman Shield: Mouretsu summons a corpse to act as a shield for him, making him invulnerable for one turn.
This process should then be repeated for all other clanmates, and with that, you have developed a submission worth posting^^
The Final Extra Step-Region Crafting:
Each region houses four clans, a Demon Lord (belonging to one of those clans) and a White Guardian. If you really want to get involved, you can create an entire region, write missions, storylines, dialogue, the possibilities of what you can do in this final step are nearly endless, but at the end of the day, each step you take here requires all the previous steps fulfilled, and so those should always be your main focus.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this, and I hope it helps you with your character creation, please feel free to post any comments, suggestions or criticisms of this guide in the topic, but know that I’ll regularly delete things that are not important to prevent it filling up, so if your post is gone, do not worry.