Highly Motivated

Sometimes you design a character knowing exactly how you want them to evolve as an individual over the course of the campaign. Perhaps you’re telling a redemption arc where they grow from being a reaver, criminal, or mercenary to a noble hero. Or a meta-story where the PC overcomes the trauma of their past. Maybe you want to show a naive farmhand growing up to be an adventurer like those they heard of, but potentially losing their innocence along the way.

Other times, you just have the mechanical concept or the extant personality and how they will evolve will be a surprise to all parties involved.

Personally, I don’t like having a firmly planned character arc, prefering to base the character’s growth to the events in the campaign. I like to let their evolution happen naturally, reflecting the successes and failures that occur during the campaign. If they lose friends then they might become jaded and bitter, while if they reliably succeed they might retain their optimism. It can still be a good idea to have a solid foundation. An archetypal origin, such as the stableboy running off to play hero, which can lead in multiple different directions. It’s also possible to plan out two possible character arcs and then see which one better fits their growth.