A Character Trope is a recognizable element of a story that defines or conveys information about a character.
They come in two main flavors:
- Characters as Device - tropes that define a given character's role in the plot.
- Characterization Tropes - tropes that define a character's personality or motivations.
In some cases, a particular trope falls into both categories. Such a trope is generally a major element of a character, that defines their role in most stories. However, the same trope can sometimes appear as just a part of the back story of a character, or as a nuance or filter applied to modify their story role. There's a lot of grey area involved, which is probably why the page you were just on linked here. The truth is, given a long enough campaign, and a bit of character development, any "Characters as Device" trope can shift to being a "characterization trope". It's still useful to have the categories, though, for discussing the primary role of a trope.
Aside from the discussion of semantics above, this wiki uses the page tag system to categorize these tropes for searching, and also to automatically feed the random character generator.
To facilitate those purposes:
- tropes that could be defined as a "Character as Device" should be given the tag character
- tropes that could be defined as a "Characterization Trope" should be given the tag of universal_characterization, male_characterization, or female_characterization, as appropriate.
- Characters - people, but often more specifically the speaking roles of your story.
- Characterization - the process of conveying information about characters.
- Profession - the jobs a character might use to support themselves. Sometimes these overlap with Characterization or Characters as Device tropes. In other instances, the tropes further subdivide the professions, such as absent minded professor and mad scientist both of which have the profession scientist.
- Stock Characters - categories of instantly recognizable character concepts that get used in numerous settings.