I've been looking at getting back into RP, and have thought up a few ideas for characters and revised a few existing ones. Haven't thought too strongly of backgrounds for them, but I've got a few descriptions for various addons that I'm using and would like some critique. Using MRP's layout for the sake of information organization.
Name: Steeleye Ashfury Title: Houndmaster Description: This dwarf is clearly of the Dark Iron variety. The stench of sulfer clings to his hair and clothes. His skin seems to have been somewhat bleached by prolonged exposure to the world beyond Blackrock, and his eyes are dim with age. Scars, some fresh, some faded, cross the wrinkles on his face.The beauty of youth is nowhere to be found. This is not a pleasant countenance to behold. The armor he wears looks like it may have once been ornate with intricate details, but it seems the passage of time has not been kind to it.
Additional Notes: His RP set is nearly complete, you can see it here. I play him as bitter and disdainful of everyone around him. I have a general idea of a background wherein Steeleye trained Houndmaster Grebmar, who then violently ousted his teacher. Whether Steeleye is biding his time to make a comeback, or simply accepting that he will never regain his former position and glory, I haven't yet had strong opinions on. While I agree that the master vs. student trope has been done before, I'm wondering if I can change it up enough with Steeleye being a Dark Iron that it could be somewhat fresh. Also, Steeleye has the same kind of bloodhound that is used extensively in BRD, and is named "Dog." The idea I'm trying to convey, without explicitly stating it in a bio, is that while Steeleye is a houndmaster, the animals he uses are tools, so much so that he hasn't even named his hounds. They are trained to be completely obedient and expendable. I'm still working on a way I can tie the image of a dog into a redemption for Steeleye, but I thought that a hunter who treats his animals as weapons rather than companions would be an interesting deviation from the normal hunter stereotype of affection. GOTTA BE A UNIQUE AND SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE HERE.
Name: Gaiahoof Description: There is nothing immediately striking about this tauren. He carries himself in an unassuming manner, and is of no extraordinary stature. Some scars are visble on those parts of his body not covered by armor, but none look as if they tell remarkable stories. His armor itself look worn from battle and travel, but seems to be in acceptable condition. Some paint has been applied the pauldrons and chest, in the manner of tribal or druidic markings, for an unknown purpose. The tauren's face indicates that he is not a young bull anymore. His eyes glance about his surroundings with a casual curiosity, and a slight wariness.
Additional Notes: His RP outfit is complete, and can be seen here. The Wyrmrest tabard is on him currently for looks, because it matches the rest of the armor set. Still debating whether I want to incorporate it into Gaiahoof's RP. I would assume the first reaction would be that Gaiahoof could be a member of the red dragonflight; but 1) dragons have been done to death and tend to elicit a negative reaction from the RP community, and 2) druids are traditionally associated with the green dragonflight. I don't really have any backstory worked out for him, aside from not-being-another-dragon. One idea that wandered into my head was the role of a courier, bringing messages to far off outposts. I also don't have a clan name for him yet. Gaiahoof sounds more like a clan name than a first name, I suppose I could go with that. I'm definitely looking for opinions on that.
Additional Notes: His RP set can be found here. When I made him, I had the "original" idea of making him a converted Eredar, whose nature he would constantly be wrestling with, while seeking to atone for the horribly atrocities he'd committed. Then after a few days of wandering around Goldshire / Stormwind and reading threads here on the forums, I discovered that apparently everyone was a mass murderer in their former life. So I'm leaning away from that idea unless I can find a way to add a unique twist or spin to it. My next idea was for him to be a military attache to the draenei diplomatic presence in Stormwind; slowly learning the language and the customs of the land. Of course, in Cataclysm's advanced timeline, he'd have to be just in from Outland to not have already had extensive contact with the Alliance. I'm seeking ideas on this.
Thanks for looking this over and giving your critique!
The first seems well, although incomplete. A very good physical description, and nothing with enough note for me to mention. As for the notes, the master - apprentice is very well, nothing to complain about here. if you wish to make it more unique, I strongly suggest you do. As you mentioned, it's been done countless times before and it does get repetitive. Apart from that, it is entirely up to you on how your character shall play out his life.
The second, following the example of the first, has a very good description. For the notes, I agree that the red dragon flight has been used countless times, but it is only so because it is a very good story to build on. If you can make your own tale unique enough, I am sure that it will be much appreciated. Second point that you mention is that the druids are most closely attuned with the green dragon flight. Although true, it has happened before that they have worked with both the red and the bronze flights. Anything that relates to one of the three would pass in my books. Lastly, the name. Gaiahoof doesn't make all that much sense to me. Gaia, in our tongue, means our earth, whilst hoof is more closely related to a clan name or a strong leader. Almost a title in some cases. I would suggest something that more closely resembles the average tauren you'd find in thunderbluff. In any case, I'd strongly suggest changing it to something a bit less noteworthy.
As for the last one, I don't have any good ideas for the moment but I will surely get back to you in due time.