Some games are comprised of characters of your own creation. In other games all of the main characters are taken. Other times it simply may become necessary to introduce new characters to a game.
No matter what the scenario it boils down to the fact that you wish to introduce a new character to the game.
Depending on the game this may or may not be difficult. Some simply require you to submit a bio for the character to the list and you're in. Others require you to send them the bio and then they approve it. Still others want a bio as well as an audition post for them so they can see how you intend the character to be played in the actual game.
Because many games are based on a popular book, movie, or television show, many new players think that if they don't remember a show or movie well, or if they don't know what's going on with the plot everyone else is currently involved in, that it is just easier to make up a new character and toss them into the mix. That is rarely ever the case. It is much harder and takes much more time and effort to come up with a new character than what little effort people actually put into it.
No matter what the requirements of the game are, it is highly beneficial to you to put as much effort and detail into a bio as possible from what color their eyes are to what they prefer to eat for breakfast. The more detail, the easier it will be for you to write for that character and it gives them more purpose. It is important to prove to the person who will probably be approving the bio that they belong in the game. Most people only write a short paragraph and as a result many characters turn out to be very similar in behavior and personality. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating them.
Power characters are no fun. Characters who come into a game with all sorts of super powers or mass amounts of money can be extremely well… lame. Powerful characters are almost like a safety net for yourself and always seem to have some sort of excuse to get out of whatever bind they get themselves into. These characters CAN be used effectively. If you choose to take on a character like that, please be careful and don't power play. No one likes a bully.
All people in real life have problems and weaknesses. Characters that come from rich families or who are the happiest little people without a care in the world are BORING. Maybe your character had a shaky home life. Maybe your character was shunned because of how they looked or a power they possessed. Maybe they have a phobia or a disease. Not requirements of course but just remember when creating to keep it real.
A crossover character is a character that comes directly from another show, movie, or story and is plopped down in another setting. Sometimes they are allowed, sometimes they aren't. Sometimes the group requires a bio for that character sometimes they don't.
Things to Keep in Mind When Creating
Name: Obviously your character needs a name. First and Last is generally fine but if you want to give your character a middle name or a maiden name that's fine too. Every little detail makes your character more personal so the more the better.
Alias: Is your character a rock star? A super hero? Do they have a code name or a stage name?
Gender: Always important, is your character male or female?
Sexuality: What is your characters sexual orientation? Sometimes it is interesting to give your character a different sexuality of than your own. (Of course if you are altering a crossover character in some fashion and are using a popular character, this can sometimes be a touchy issue.)
Age: How old is your character?
Birthdate/Sign: When was your character born? Sometimes it helps to look up the signs of the Zodiac and see what traits are characteristic of your character before deciding on this. Including a year isn't necessary and can often be confusing especially since rpgs generally don't keep up with real time. Month and day are good enough.
Appearance: Eye color? Hair color? Are they heavy? Muscular? Skinny? Big boned?
Height: 5'2"? 6'1?
Race: Are they Polynesian? Chinese? Japanese? Elvish? Dwarf? Chinese Dwarf? Diversifying the games and making sure to keep each character original helps keep a game fresh and fun.
Occupation: Does your character have a job?
Specifics to the Game: If you are creating a character for a music oriented game such as Jem, what is their musical background? If you are creating an X-Man what are their special powers?
Behavior: What is your character like? Are they quiet or are they outspoken? Do they chew their nails? Are they friendly to newcomers? Are they shy?
Location: Where does your character live? A house? Apartment? If this is a 'real life' type game, what country do they live in? State? City?
Family: Do they have any siblings? Who are their Parents? Don't be afraid of giving too much detail here either because it is important to know where your character came from. Are they close with their family? Distant? Did they run away?
Background: Put the defining moments of your character's life here. Their likes and dislikes. Does your character have any phobias? What's their favorite color? Talk about your characters childhood. Did they have a high school boyfriend/girlfriend?