Who is my DnD character: Feeling & Acting

Want to impress your DM with your quick and decisive actions in game? Want to be confident in your new character’s motivation for session one? Want to reconnect with your character after a big in-game event?

We here at Mym’s Well have come up with a list of situations for you to consider to help get to know your character on a deeper level. If you can understand how your character would feel and act (they are different things! ) in various circumstances then you know your character well enough to be decisive and confident in your actions and reactions at the table. And if you aren’t sure, don’t stress! This is the perfect opportunity to fill those gaps in your character’s personality and backstory.

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Quick note on feel vs act:

Feel is what is happening internally. They are nervous, or excited, or jealous. When you use these words, ask yourself why is your character is feeling this way in this situation. What in their personality or backstory is informing their feelings?

Act is how your character outwardly reacts. This will be related to how your character is feeling, but isn’t always the logical response. A character who is intimidated may puff up their confidence to cover up their feelings. And remember that doing nothing is also an option. The lack of action often says just as much as an action.

I’ve answered question one for two of my own characters to get you started.

  • Thora the Halfing Paladin – She feels extremely uncomfortable with the pomp and ceremony of upper class society. She prefers the straight-forward nature of regular folk, and despises playing these aristocratic games. Her actions will be wearing an oversized dress over her armor and keeping an eye out for trouble – always vigilant! She will be completely oblivious about judgmental reactions to her behaviour, because she has no use for the approval of the wealthy.
  • Cole the Human Rogue – He feels very comfortable at societal functions, having grown up in a royal court. He doesn’t necessarily enjoy these events, but he knows how to work them. His actions will be schmoozing and charming everyone around him as he effortlessly picks up on the subtleties of this particular society. He will also make the most of a night of free food and drink. A night without revelry is a night wasted to Cole.

Now try it youself!

  • How does your character feel about this situation?
  • How does your character act in this situation?
1D10Situation
1Your character and party have been invited to a ball. This court has formal but unspoken rules on eating, dancing, and conversation, all which will be required knowledge at this event.
2As your party enters the town square market, you notice two children in torn dirty clothing sitting against a wall. They aren’t actively begging, but there is a small cup in front of them. They do not make eye contact with anyone as they pass by.
3Your party is shopping in town, going between carts and shops, gathering various items. As you walk through a dense section of the street, you feel a tug on your belt. You turn and find a child with their hand in your coin purse, looking up at you with frightened eyes. Before you can react, the child runs away with a handful of your coins, weaving through the crowd.  
4During a fight with magic users, you become the target of Blindness. You fail each constitution saving throw for the duration of the fight.
5You and your party are at an inn, eating and drinking your fill after a long day. After your meal you realize that together, you do not have enough money to cover the tab. The half-orc owner of the inn is eyeing you suspiciously as you all search your coin purses.
6You are given a gift of 300 gold from someone who is appreciative of your party’s actions. You are given the gift alone but the intent is that you split the money among your party. No one else in your group knows about this money since it is a gift, not payment.
7You are enjoying some entertainment in an inn, when someone of your exact taste in physical attraction approaches you. They sit next to you, smile, and offer to buy you a drink.  
8You know a friendly NPC has been keeping a secret for a long time. You don’t know what it is specifically, just that they have been hiding something from you. During a conversation with this NPC, you catch them in a lie regarding this secret.
9You have been caught going against the local law by two town guards. You knew the rules, but intentionally broke them for your own purposes (good or bad intentions, depending on your character). You are separate from your party, but they know your general whereabouts. You know that there are two more guards within ear-shot but not currently visible. The two guards attempt to arrest you.
10You and your party are in a new city with a reputation for their rowdy celebrations during holidays. While you are preparing to join the festivities at your inn, you are offered an unknown substance to consume. You are told that this substance is traditional during the festivals, and will make your night one you will never forget.

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