Announcements: Initiative: Promoting Forum Roleplay » Universe of the Month! » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newcomers » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Assignment Help Service at Affordable Rates » Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it » Viking Music / Norse Songs - Germanic Paganism » Capitalism » Panspermia: a Case for Cordyceps » The Ethics on owning a Housepet » I just really had to share this plot idea. » Materialism » Satire & Comedy » Platonic numbers » No complaints (a little bit of rappin) » Any multi-player roleplay videogamers here? » Needing a woman's perspective on a concept » Gluts and Gaps » Universal Basic Income » Impending Pursuit Q&A » Eudaimonia » Loot! » Natural Kinds » I have a funny idea »

Players Wanted: DEAD! » Looking for new RP Buddy(s)! » Sands of Oblivion » Looking for Role Players to join an active universe » Looking for Empire of Cendalia Players » Seeking Roleplayers for The Isekai Wonderland Project » Hadean The Brave - Fresh Blood » Just a trophy of status - long term, story focus! » Kingdom come looking for roleplayers » The Last Dragon! » Roleplay Return for 1 x 1 » Players wanted for a science fiction adventure. » Players needed for Fantasy Romance reboot » One(1) male & Two(2) Female Roles OPEN <3 » Talmora: Kingdom of magic » Looking For A New Partner » Hellboy characters » 18+ Writing Partner [Fantasy, Romance, Etc.] » 18+, Multi-Para to Novella Writers please! » Looking for roleplayers »

Understanding Your Character: Building A Relationship Map

a topic in People and Places, a part of the RPG forum.

Character biographies, journals, connections, and other reference guides for any in character information necessary for your players!

Understanding Your Character: Building A Relationship Map

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Remæus on Wed Jul 25, 2007 4:22 pm

In many cases we build characters based on a certain concept, and over time, as the character meets other people, the character grows. Sometimes, the character grows in unexpected areas, other times, they fit the rigid guidelines that you've set for them. I've found a technique that helps define who a character is, where he came from, and ultimately, determine what is going on in your creation's fictional mind. We're going to create a relationship map.

Let's start by drawing (on paper or on the computer, MSPaint will work fine.) a circle and writing your character's name within. This is going to be your center, and your starting point for your relationship map. It doesn't matter how big this circle is, but leave room for others on the page.

Next, pick one of your character's relationships, whether it be an NPC or another player's character, and draw them a circle, too. Yep, that's right - put their name in it. Now, draw a line between the two circles, and write on that line the nature of the relationship. ("Is friends with..." or "Holds a grudge against...")

You can repeat this as many times as you wish, and even with entities not associated at all with your character. Eventually, you're going to end up with a spider-web mesh that might be several pages large, with tape holding it together. I like to try and keep mine to one page, but you're welcome to expand upon your relationship map as much as you feel it should be. In many of my maps, I end up drawing two separate lines for every relationship, with an emotion attached in either direction.

This really starts to get useful when there are many other characters that you interact with, and you can't remember what relationship you have with them, and you can't determine how your character should be acting. Just open up your character's relationship map, look at your relation to them their relation to others, and become better at playing the role of your character.

Please, feel free to share your relationship maps here, and share your stories!
Last edited by Remæus on Mon May 05, 2008 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Added an example to the diagram explanation.
Alvin Toffler wrote:The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Take a moment and consider joining my Patreon group, where I share personal development updates and plans for the future...

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Member for 17 years
Contributor Progenitor Author Promethean Conversation Starter Inspiration World Builder Conversationalist Friendly Beginnings Builder Greeter Beta Tester Arc Warden Party Starter Codeweaver Group Theory Person of Interest Streamwatcher Helmsman Recruiter Maiden Voyager Tipworthy Salesman Property Buyer Visual Appeal Concierge Cult Leader Lifegiver Storyteller Donated! Anomaly Hunter Giver

Re: Understanding Your Character: Building A Relationship Map

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby pixelgami on Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:28 pm

These might be useful! I've used Open Mind in the past for paper outlines. Never though of using them to map character relationships--duh!

Here are some free/trial ones I pulled up on Source Forge:

Open Mind

The Brain

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

GWC Veteran
Member for 17 years
Progenitor Promethean Conversation Starter Conversation Starter Conversationalist Beta Tester Contributor

I know this is a pretty old topic but I'm going to do that now :P
Sounds fun. A lot of fun.
Also sounds like a helpful tool when writing stories.

Thanks a ton, Mr R
Speak softly and carry a big stick.
That way, when they dont hear you, you can hit them in the knees.

I'm finally back. I'm terribly sorry I was gone so long.
Avatar: My girlfriend and I... Yes I'm showing off <3

Tip jar: the author of this post has received 0.00 INK in return for their work.

User avatar
Member for 14 years
Conversation Starter Conversationalist Friendly Beginnings

Post a reply

Make a Donation


Become a Patron!

RPG relies exclusively on user donations to support the platform.

Donors earn the "Contributor" achievement and are permanently recognized in the credits. Consider donating today!


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest