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    What is an OC in RP?

    OC stands for “original character.” It’s a character, created by a player or writer, that does not exist in the official storyline, setting, or universe of the game, book, or series being referenced.

    As the term implies, original characters are unique to the creator’s imagination and are not part of the canon or official narrative. They are often used in fan fiction, roleplaying games (RPGs), and other creative endeavors to add personal flair and new dynamics to existing worlds.

    OCs can vary greatly in complexity and background, from simple additions to fully fleshed-out characters with detailed histories and personalities. They allow players and writers to explore narratives and interactions that are not confined by the original work’s boundaries.

    OC FAQs

    What’s the difference between an original character and a fan character?

    An original character is entirely the invention of the person creating it, without any basis in the original work’s canon. A fan character, while also created by a fan, is based heavily on the existing world or characters of a specific fandom but isn’t part of the official storyline.

    Can original characters be used in any type of roleplaying game?

    Yes, OCs can be used in almost any type of roleplaying game, whether it’s a tabletop RPG, a text-based online game, or a live-action roleplaying game (LARP). They add individuality and personal storytelling to the gaming experience.

    How do I create a well-developed OC?

    To create a well-developed OC, start by defining their background, personality, motives, and relationships. Consider their strengths, weaknesses, and how they fit into the world of the game or story. It’s also important to ensure they are balanced and integrate well with existing characters and settings.

    Is it acceptable to use someone else’s OC?

    It is generally not acceptable to use someone else’s OC without their permission. Using another’s OC without consent can be considered disrespectful and a form of plagiarism. Always ask for permission and respect the creator’s wishes.

    Myths about OCs

    There are misconceptions that original characters are only for amateur writers or that they cannot be as compelling or as fun to play as canon characters. However, many OCs are well-crafted and add significant depth to the narrative or game.

    Many players also prefer the freedom that original characters provide. With a canon character, they may be held to specific standards or may be asked to RP their character in a specific way. With an original character, they have the freedom to roleplay as they wish.

    Another myth is that OCs are always overpowered or perfect, known as “Mary Sues” or “Gary Sues.” While this can happen, many creators strive for balance and realism in their characters and choose to incorporate believable flaws and limitations.

    OC examples

    • In a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, a player creates a gnome bard named Jinko who travels the land searching for his lost family’s ancient songbook. Jinko is not part of the D&D official lore.
    • A fan of the Harry Potter series writes a story featuring Lira Blackwood, a wizard from a small European country attending Hogwarts, who is not mentioned in J.K. Rowling’s original books.
    • In a Star Wars fan fiction, an author introduces Kira Sunstrike, a Jedi Knight who survived Order 66 and seeks to rebuild the Jedi Order. Kira Sunstrike does not exist in the official Star Wars universe.
    • A participant in a superhero roleplaying forum creates Night Falcon, a vigilante with no superpowers but with advanced martial arts skills and high-tech gadgets, set in a city not found in any existing comic book.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."