Let me begin by clarifying the title. In no way am I trying to say that I am the authority on what is and isn’t acceptable in a character. This is really just a few helpful hints and tips for someone who’s trying to make a Fantroll and wondering where to start, or what to do to make sure it’s not a flat, stereotypical character.
Table of Contents
Selecting a Theme
So, you’ve decided to make a Fantroll. You’ve got a lot of stuff to decide; a name, a caste, horn shape, personality, quirk, Lusus, Hive, symbol— Augh, it’s almost overwhelming— but first thing’s first.
You’ve got to pick a theme.
Keep in mind that not everything about your character has to revolve strictly around this one theme.
~A lot of the canon characters have something you take at face value; Equius, for instance, is associated with horses. But, he’s also into archery, mechanics, being STRONG, is a strong proponent of the social structure, and enjoys the “fine arts”. A lot of that has nothing to do with Horses.
You may want to look towards constellations in choosing a theme and symbol for your character. Usually, your troll should not share a symbol with a canon character. Aside from ancestors, no characters in canon have been shown to share symbols with anyone aside from their genetic predecessors.
NOTE: If your character is the spawn of a canon character:
This is not recommended. It serves no purpose, characterization wise— yes, sure, it proves your ship was successful, but your character would not hatch until decades after the canon characters have died, and would live in a much different Alternia than the one portrayed in Canon. They would also have personalities entirely different from those of their predecessor.
Back to business; Choosing a theme.
I’d look to the stars! No, really!
Think of an item or animal. Birds, maybe? There has to be a constellation for that!
This is where the tough part comes in; research. Google ‘bird constellations’; you get a bunch of hits.
Apus, Aquila, Columba, Corvus, Cygnus, Grus, Pavo, Phoenix, Tucana…
Wow! That’s a lot to choose from. Each one is associated with a different bird; for our purposes, we’ll look at Cygnus (the swan). Now, we research swans.
Hm! The genus of swans is Cygnus, too! Maybe we can use it’s family, Anatidae, somewhere.
They mate for life. So, maybe this character would be very careful about choosing Quadrantmates? The word ‘swan’ comes from the word ‘sing’. Maybe we can incorporate sound into their hobbies? Music?
Females: Pen. Males: Cob. They’re waterfowl, so this character may have a pension for swimming.
They’re migratory, so this character may be nomadic— but wait, does that clash with Alternian culture?
Yes, it does! Trolls live in Hives. So, let’s find some other way to incorporate it. Maybe they leave their hive for days at a time, scavenging? That’s lowblood behavior, unless it’s just for fun…
There’s a lot of creative liberty you can take with this part. Choose what best fits your character, what interests you, and look up pictures of the constellation you chose. This’ll help in choosing a symbol later.
^ This whole step is critical. ^
TL/DR: Find an item, find a constellation based on it, research, research, research.
Many people choose an item— take an anchor, for example, and just go off of presumed knowledge. Anchors, ships, water. A seadweller. Hey, Anchor’s even six letters! His symbol can be an anchor, his horns can look like an anchor, and he likes sailing. Cause, y’know, ships. Quadrants, too, cause of ships.
See the difference?
—Choosing a Name—
Start with this; the first thing people see about a character, assuming it’s finished, is a name. Chances are, if your Fantroll’s name disobeys the 6 by 6 letter rule, they probably won’t be warranted a second glance.
K A R K A T
V A N T A S
Six letters in each word, totaling 12. (Strangely enough, a reference to how many players are present in their session! It seems to be constant on both Alternia and Beforus, though, so even if your SGRUB session has fewer players, this rule still applies.)
That established, names like “Sollia”, “Kurlox” and “Allexx” should be avoided, all for different reasons.
The first, Sollia, sounds like a name for a genderbent Sollux, and will therefore link your character to a canon character. This will usually make your character seem unoriginal, even if they’re perfectly decent!
The second, Kurlox, is much too similar to Kurloz. People will ask, ‘Did you even try at all?’ Even if the character is acceptable. If the name’s bogus, remember, people won’t care enough to read further.
The last one, Allexx, seems harmless enough. We’ve seen Calliope fit her own name into the 6 letter configuration, right? So what’s the issue? The fact of the matter is, Allexx is a very human name. We’re not making humans here! These are Trolls, with their own unique culture and naming system!
Now, let’s check back in with the Bird-Theme. We have Cygnus— that’s six letters already! As much as we could easily use that, we could also use Anatid, Atidae, or Serifo, all of which are 6 letter portions of that animal’s nomenclature.
Let’s take Cygnus, for now. It’s easy to pronounce and look at, but seems kind of amorphous. Maybe that works best as a surname?
Finding a First Name
A lot of the trolls names are simply their theme in another language. Karkat means ‘Crab’ in Hindi.
…Swan in Hindi? That’s not very helpful. To Google translate!
Cisne, Labud, Hattyu… Well, let’s make this character female. Cisne Cygnus could work, if we added an extra e… Cisnee?
Maybe there’s a different way.
Her theme is birds in general, and while the constellation is associated with the swan, this doesn’t have to be her only feature. Let’s look up a few other birds, and see what we can get!
How about Magpies? Why not? They’ve got similar coloration to swans, and also add a facet of intelligence.
Now, modifying the name.
Female swans are known as Pens.
Magpen? —That sounds like she’ll be associated with art, or have something to do with pens.
Magpin? A different combination that draws more on both birds, and it’s still a homonym! This works!
TL/DR: 6 letter rule applies, no exceptions. Branch away from conventional names.
Finding a Caste
(and other Traits)
From Rust to Indigo, you’ve got fair game. Anything goes!
…Alright, I lied. There are a bunch of things you need to avoid here.
Blood colors should not be entirely saturated. (Karkat’s blood color, for example.) These are mutations. Very rarely do these occur. Ever.
This isn’t to say you have to stick strictly to particular canon colors. Variations— slight variations— are fine.
No rainbow blood.
No rainbow anything, actually. Terezi’s blind, but not even she wears rainbow colors. She sticks to what all trolls wear (I can hear you naming Kanaya as an exception from across the universe, but she’s an exception just like Karkat’s an exception. Special snowflakes.)
Now, let’s look at Magpin.
She seems like she would have an elegant personality, and therefore an elegant lifestyle to match. That being said, it rules out the life of a lowblood. Rust through Mustard is out.
The Temperament of a swan is nothing nice, and violent tendencies rise as you move up the hemospectrum. To snap into fits of uncontrollable rage, that’d be Cobalt. But do we want her to be that violent? Maybe not. Something more controllable and tame— Olive or Teal.
That’d give the lifestyle that would lead to her personality, and leave her with the desired temperament.
Let’s look at Anchor. Ships, boats, seadweller, guy, ships. Eridan’s purple. Done and done. Huh, sounds kind of like Eridan, actually. Minus the genocide complex.
You see what’s going on? Because of the caste and theme— half nautical— he’s slipping into a canon character’s shoes.
Not every seadweller has to be ocean-related.
Not every blueblood has to be pretentious and STRONG.
Also, note that a lot of Trolls have psychic abilities. Nearly all of them— Karkat, Nepeta, and Kanaya excluded (to the best of my knowledge)— can do something. Communicate with animals or their Lusii telepathically, utilize mind control, use Chucklevoodoos—
Vriska’s vision 8-fold and Sollux’s Psiionic abilities, however, are unique to them.
Fangs are common among trolls, as are sharp teeth. Lowbloods have blunter teeth, while Highblood’s are sharper.
TL/DR: Rust-Indigo, watch the temperament between the two. Docile==>Violent. No Mutants, or Tyrianbloods, though the latter is more acceptable than the former.
Deciding on a Lusus and a Hive
For a Lusus, go back to what your originally researched. If it was an animal, you’re set! In fact, most objects are associated with animals in some culture, but it’ll take a little bit more digging. Or, the Lusus could be less related to the theme, and more related to the personality. It’s really up in the air!
Size is entirely irrelevant. Tinkerbull, for example, was based on a bull but was super small, while Vriska’s, Spidermom, was MAAAAAAAASSIVE!
Hive wise, you need to take into account the caste of the character. Higher castes are given more means by which to construct, and therefore have larger, more lavish hives. Seadwellers live underwater, and can have huge palaces, while Rustbloods are usually left with smaller Hives farther inland. There are also cities, and apartment buildings.
Nepeta, as far as we can see, lives in a cave-like hive! This is all very much up to you.
Quirks and TrollianHandles
Ah, Quirks. From being as simple as not using capitalization or punctuation to USING ALL CAPS ASIDE FROM ONE PARTICuLAR LETTER, they’re endless. It’s important that your troll’s quirk is readable, and that it’s not overly littered with ƒånç¥ symbols.
If your symbo+l is doable, maybe incorporate it into the quirk.
Some even have constant precedents, like Equius’s D —>.
Puns are pawsome, too!
Also, 413 is the number of the Blind Prophets. While Terezi may be the only follower we see, it seems like they are an established group or legend on Alternia.
Numbers in place of letters is fine, too. But we’ve seen what T00 M4NY C4N D0 thanks to Mituna. Be careful!
Trollian is a little more tricky. If you want to be really picky, your very limited in the letters you can use. The Troll’s handles are all based on the building blocks for DNA and mRNA (or amino acids). This being the case, the only possible combinations contain two of the following;
A U C G T
That’s usually considered very flexible, so don’t stress over it too much. Use a thesaurus for some really neat handles! For example, I might use singingSwan for Magpin. It works… but it could be better! (Besides, swans don’t sing!)
So, we go to the Thesaurus.
Much more refined, and it follows the rule! Bonus!
This is totally optional! Not all characters play SGRUB.
Rather than going through one of those long Title tests and answering how you think your character would answer, focus more on their personality. God Tier is meant to be a challenge for players when they get to that point, they would have fulfilled their potential entirely.
So, where do you want your character to be by the end of their session? The problem with this is, the classes and aspects are highly interchangeable and their meanings are up for interpretation.
But, for your convenience:
Lord: Strongest class: only appears in a two player session.
Muse: Most passive class: only appears in a two player session.
Assuming your session isn’t Null or Void, you’ll need one Space player and one Time player per session. The Denizens are also thought to be Aspect-Specific (Dirk and Claiborn are exceptions, again.)
You may want to avoid penkind or brushkind while making your fantroll; I see that particular weapon set very often. Though, it’s entirely up to you. No one can tell you you can’t do something because it’s been done before!
This is really up to you. Maybe look at your characters hobbies and traits, and think about what kind of weapon they’d prefer? If your character is physically weak, don’t go giving them some kind of super heavy iron weapon.
Some weapons, like Ahabs Crosshairs, are basically off limits bar extenuating circumstances. Those are Canon Character’s weapons, from their ancestors! It’s fine to have a weapon from an ancestor, but you might have to do a little bit of planning for them, too.
So I Made a Character, Where Can I Show Them Off?
Try msparp.com, or create you own fan adventure at mspfanventures.com! There are a bunch of places to show off your newly crafted character, and those are just two. Have fun!
These are just a few points. Thank you for reading, or skimming; I appreciate it. And remember, these are suggestions only! I’m not trying to tell you how to make a character! It’s a creative liberty, really, and everything is up to you. These are just a few things I’ve seen fantroll makers get a lot of bunk for, so I figured I’d just type this up.
Thank for reading, again!