In my time of being an Immortal I have found that there are an excessive amount of people who are totally and utterly
clueless about how to write a description. So, I am hoping that by writing this essay perhaps I can save myself some
time later. Not only will I give detailed examples on how to make a creative and unique description but I will also
include a link to a wonderful help guide for Abandoned Realm's description editor!
First, here are the rules for Descriptions. You must have a description BEFORE rank 15 (or you risk being sent and
possibly abandoned in the eeeevil description room). Each line should be no longer than 75 characters (You can type
'description format' to align your paragraph correctly). After formatting, your description should be at least 10 lines
Before you even begin to write your description you need to come up with some sort of idea for your character's RP.
Whether your character is a wuss or buff or just thinks he's buff or maybe if he is stuck up or doesn't care about
anything, ALL of these things will affect how your character looks. Imagine you are walking through a mall. You see a
man who is dressed in a suit and tie, ironed without a single wrinkle, well groomed, and smelling of expensive cologne.
I could easily make some assumptions about this person, such as they aren't poor and they work in a business and that
they take time to make sure they look nice, among other things. Now on the other hand, if you see someone who has dirty
torn clothes, smells like garbage, and has raggedy greasy hair, you can make some different assumptions. Perhaps that
they have no home or just don't care about how they look at all (perhaps they are an AR Immortal). As you can see
clothes and appearance are very important. We all work very hard to make sure we look how we want to look. Your
character should be that same way. Can you picture a world where all nice people wear white and all mean people wear
black? Of course not. However, it seems that people in Abandoned Realms dress this way. Why not have a deceptive
shaman dressed in all white? Why not have a sweet little paladin dressed in all black so that he can sneak in with the
evil dudes and kill them all! In addition to this, while you are walking through your imaginary mall thinking about
your character's description you see someone with a HUGE FAT HAIRY wart right on their nose. Now I would think this
person would stand out, just because of their nasty hairy wart. You should remember this affect in your character's
description. You have to make them stand out, have something UNIQUE! Not all AR characters should be huge with massive
muscles and beautiful hair and perfect complexion. Of course, that doesn't mean they are all ugly or dirty either (or
that all goods are clean and that all evils are dirty for that matter). Just like people in real life have differences,
so should characters in AR.
Now, some of the first things you need to consider when beginning your description are your character's race and class.
Your race will affect your height, body size, and physical appearance while your class may affect your character's
persona, whether intimidating or clean or dirty, etc. Knowing your race and class is a bit obvious though, and that
is far from the most important thing that will affect your description, it only sets limits. Now, based on your race
and class, ethos and alignment, what is your character's RP? How do they act? How do they feel about other people? If
your character is friendly, then perhaps he has a smile, or if he hates people, a frown. If they like to fight, maybe
they stand in a fighting stance (remember, how you walk and your voice are allowed!). If you are lawful maybe your
character will be really clean, or if chaotic, perhaps dirty or even crazy. As you can see, many aspects of your
character's personality can be portrayed through how they look. The hard part here is just deciding what your character
is like, but you never know. if you have a picture in your mind of how they look, then perhaps you can figure out their
personality from there.
Now that you have some advice for how to think of ideas for your description, let me explain how to use a thesaurus and
descriptive words to lengthen your sentences and make them more interesting. So say I start with something simple like,
"his hair is long". Now that's just boring. So, lets make it more interesting. What color is his hair? Is it
straight? Curly? Shiny? Uncombed? Dirty? How Long? Now, say his hair is brown, and since hes evil/chaotic we will
make it uncombed and dirty, and of course, it would be long because he doesn't take care of himself. I may not know any
good words for 'dirty' but if I look it up in a thesaurus, then I might find something more interesting. How about
filthy, or grimy, or grubby? Of course, the specific word you chose depends on what fits your character best. So
perhaps we can make that simple sentence into "His brown unkempt hair dangles down to his knees, and is full of tangles
and knots". Now, you don't have to be a great writer to come up with some nice descriptive words for your description.
Just grab a thesaurus and have some fun!
There are some things that should never be included in your description. A description should only contain your
physical appearance, how you walk, or the way your voice sounds. There should be no actions. An example of an action
might be something like "He growls at you as you walk past" or "He charges everyone he sees". You can say, however,
that he growls when he talks, or that when he walks he looks ready to charge. There can be no ansi art. Don't tell how
you feel or what other people think; "He loves everyone he sees", or "You are scared at the sight of him" would not be
allowed. While, "he smiles with love" or "he looks scary" would be allowed. Describing equipment is also against the
rules, simply because your equipment is what you wear in addition to your description. Yet, you can mention some simple
symbol, like a necklace or ring that signifies a clan or something of that sort. Finally, a description is only for how
you look, not your history or purpose. People should be able to figure out your history and purpose by talking to you,
not looking at you.
Remember, it's just like real life. If I were to describe myself to someone, I wouldn't describe how I think, or how
you would think about me, or actions that I do, or the clothes I am wearing. I would tell you my height, my hair, my
face size and shape.things like that. The things you want to describe are the same things that you can tell by walking
past someone in the mall. Though clothes are a part of that, the clothes don't make a person, since they can change
clothes so easily. Just remember, first you want to think of what your character is like, then set out some simple
words that you believe describe your character's personality, then use a thesaurus to find the most appropriate words,
and finally write it all up. Remember, looks are everything, just like first impressions. You don't want to ignore
If you need help using editor, our Implementors have taken the time to write a simple guide to show how it is used.
Check out http://www.abandonedrealms.net/descedit.txt