The word idiotes, in Ancient Greek, actually refers to a private person, someone that is not really plugged into “public affairs”. They aren’t necessarily stupid, they just have their head in the clouds. (see also: idiosyncrasy)
The characers who live in the Village of Idiots aren’t necessarily stupid either. In fact, the game would be boring if we all act too dumb to follow basic instructions, and our roleplay just consists of failing to do things. To make your character more interesting to play with, fill in this blank with an idiosyncrasy – which could be a personality trait, quirk, or motivation:
Most of the time, I am too _________ to get anything done.
For example, maybe your character is too “OBSESSED WITH WRITING POETRY” to function. This gives you a motivation, a positive trait that you could express in any scene. Let’s imagine your poet character is trying to dig a ditch. Maybe you put the shovel into the soil and then stop because an incredible rhyming couplet just came to mind. And hang on, you’ve gotta write that down… now you’re sitting under a tree writing a poem about digging a ditch instead of actually doing it.
Designing your character this way also gives other players creative ways to interact with you. If I’m helping you dig this ditch, and I recognize your obsession with poetry is distracting you, maybe I stand nearby and write down your words so you don’t get distracted. Or maybe you can only work while you’re listening to poetry, so if I want to help, I have to hastily write some rhyming dogrel for you.
If someone tries to help you out by navigating through your quirk like this with you, you should probably let it work! If you block every attempt to help you, people might feel like interacting with you is a waste of time. But as always, try to serve the scene and make everybody’s experience fun.
Once you come up with a character concept, it’s not frozen in place forever! During the pre-game workshop, your identity may shift to include funny quirks or links to other characters.
Your character can change during the game, too. If something about the way you play your character stops being fun, feel free to drop it. It’s also okay to be flexible and evolve, especially in response to others. A good conversation, a dramatic moment, or an interesting twist can send your character in a new direction. You can learn from your mistakes and figure things out — or not!