For those of you who don't know me, I'm Pen. I'm an admin here whose main duties consist of running around the wiki and putting pages into categories. Something I've noticed from my job is an alarming tendency to reuse many of the same plot points and character traits in people characters, which honestly makes my job a nightmare, because I can't tell half of these characters apart anymore because they all seem exactly the same. I mean, imagine a world full of nothing but pieces of white bread. Bland, right? That's my exact point. Listed below, in no specific order, are a few of the worst cliches I think I've seen on this wiki.
This is way too overused. I can see why people do this- Endermen are some of the spookiest video game characters NOT from horror games, and they have some pretty neat powers. The only problem with an Ender character is that
EVERYONE AND THEIR BROTHER HAS AN ENDER-BASED CHARACTER
Hell, even I'm guilty. My first OC, Sparky, was an Enderpikachu at one point. (I quickly reverted him because of how utterly stupid that was, but I still went through with it at one point.)
It wouldn't even be so bad if it weren't for everyone doing it. An Enderman character is fine, but when the world is cluttered with so many Ender characters, then it gets to the point where everyone has the same abilities and the same basic origin. Everyone is a cookie cutter OC, and no one likes that.
I can imagine that most of you have no clue what a Mary Sue is, so I'll let a very reliable source explain: "Mary Sue is a negative term used in fanfiction and literary criticism to describe an original character that is often overly idealized or assumed to be a projection of the author." In other words, a character who is either A) flawless, or B) an obvious representation of the roleplayer.
Don't get me wrong, that second option IS acceptable... as long as option A doesn't also apply to it. You know what's more boring than watching molasses drip down a white wall? Characters who are too perfect. Characters who have perfect personalities, perfect bodies, perfect everythings are boring. There's a reason people prefer Batman to Superman: while Batman had a highly traumatic event in his childhood that caused numerous psychoses in young little Brucie's head that eventually led him to rid the streets of evil, Superman was just raised to be a Grade-A All-American badass whose primary method of doing anything involved beating the shit out it (just like Chris Brown, if you know what I'm saying). Give your characters flaws, make them human/whatever-species-they-are. (I mean, just look at MY OCs. Pen was a drunk, Tess is a prostitute, Will Cardinal is a pervert, and Chlorin has Down's Syndrome) People aren't perfect, and your OCs shouldn't be either.
One of my least favourite categories I've had to make is the "Herobrine" category (which only has 4 pages, but that's 4 too many). People have apparently decided that creativity is just too damn difficult, and that the best course of action when creating a "character" is to put Herobrine in their backstory.
Herobrine is a dated and altogether stupid creepypasta. It's a guy without eyes who rules the Nether. Big woop. Ghasts and Blazes also rule the Nether, and they're much more terrifying than Steve with cataracts.
He's not anything important, but he still keeps popping up, time after time, article after article. He's raised Duran, bestowed powers to Walrus, killed Jojo's family, and also made Jorge's family run off. Oh, and Herobrine's also Jorge's damn uncle.
Powers (suggested by Caedan117)
Being given wondrous powers. Gah. I already kinda covered this with Wilrus, but I'm going to go into more detail about it now.
Being bestowed with these powers is probably the cheapest move I've ever seen- sometimes. Basically, if you're given OP powers, there's a problem here, especially it's from an already cliche source (e.g. Herobrine or Endermen).
I have nothing more to really add for this one. Sorry.
Running Away (suggested by Pokekights)
There's quite the trend here of OCs running away from home, or somewhere. I know you roleplayers are trying to show that this guy is able to survive on their own, or whatever, but this is just stupid. Yes, people run away from home. It's a sad fact of life. That does NOT mean that you should use this as a cure-all method for showing this. Running away is also an immature tactic of dealing with things- YES, THERE ARE REASONS FOR THIS AND I'M NOT TRYING TO INSULT ANYONE but seriously, there are other ways to deal with this. Making your characters run away is immature and common. I can only imagine a large amount of children running around the city alone, as if the Lost Boys from Hook escaped to Chicago.
Sonic OCs (suggested by ElvenShot)
Alternate Dimensions (suggested by Mineupfast)
I'd just like to preface this cliche with the statement that alternate dimensions are not an overly lazy way of making whatever you want happen in a roleplay.
Now, let me begin:
ALTERNATE DIMENSIONS ARE AN OVERLY LAZY WAY OF MAKING WHATEVER YOU WANT HAPPEN IN A ROLEPLAY.
The wonderfully scientific Many Worlds Interpretation has unfortunately been overused by anyone trying to write a story, from fanfic writers trying to make CloudxTifa to roleplayers trying to make a new story that would clash with another story already in place. Basically, alternate dimensions are a cheap cop-out for plot, allowing roleplayers to do whatever they please because "it's in an alternate universe."
Maybe, if you want a story like this to happen, you should start developing a way to morph the current roleplay plot into whatever story you want to have. For example, I've been setting up this death sequence for one of my main OCs for over 3 months now. I'm not just going to say, "oh, let's have her die in an alternate universe or something, bruh." I'm changing her story so that it will eventually lead into her death.
Plagiarizing Character Content (suggested by Aronan, kinda)
Oh, it feels good to be back.
All right, so I’m going to start this bit off talking about copyrights. While a major brand name won’t necessarily go to court against a kid roleplaying on a forum for making Minecraft animations, it’s still something that’s important to understand.
Basically, copyrights protect OWAs (original works of authorship), which is any tangible form that has no technical function yet is also an original piece of content from the author. This is anything from writings, music, and characters. This is a post about OCs, though, so we’ll naturally be discussing characters. I hope that was clear. The developers and publishers own the rights to certain characters; for example, characters from Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra are owned by Nickelodeon. They are the intellectual property of that brand.
Now let’s talk about plagiarism. Plagiarism, according to the Oxford Dictionary for Smart People, is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as your own.” By no stretch of the imagination, we can all agree that characters came from someone’s idea at some point in time, be it through studying past civilizations or a rather rough night in Amsterdam, for example.
Because characters are ideas and characters can also be copyrighted by brands, stealing these ideas is the same as stealing intellectual property from a brand like this. Believe it or not, this is actually illegal. Now, you probably don’t have too much to fear in that regard. No one of us is really that big of a risk to a brand’s integrity, and no one of us will, within reason, be sued for using this property. It is, however, important to note that with more public matters and more public content, plagiarism becomes more of a deal. Basically, in the legal regard, don’t use other people’s stuff so that you don’t look like an uncreative fool who uses other people’s content.
It’s also a problem creatively, though. What kind of roleplayer are you that you can’t come up with your own idea for a character and you have to steal from something else? It’s fine to take inspiration or even basic plot details from someone or something, but to completely rip a character from a previously established work and use it as your own (with or without some minor tweaks to the character that really don’t change a thing) is lazy, uninspired, and reflects poorly on you as an ORIGINAL CHARACTER creator.
Admin Note from SectorCTestLabs: tl;dr I get it that everyone gets their ideas from somewhere (By the way, it IS possible to make original characters based around things such as species from other franchises if you keep it original and keep him/her/it from ripping off of already existing/established characters of said species) but if you straight-up rip characters from other franchises such as, an example used previously, The Legend Of Korra, it can make you seem uncreative and lazy, and can make RP sessions seem like corny fanfictions.
Thank you for reading this article post whatever. I know it seems like I'm criticizing these OCs (because, let's face it, I am), but this is all so that both old and new roleplayers don't fall into the trap of making a bland and repetitive OC. Try shaking things up a bit and make a new kind of OC.
But please, other viewers, don't copy those OCs or I might just have to add them to this list.