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Character Development and Storytelling for Games, Second Edition by Lee Sheldon

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AVOIDING STEREOTYPES

Square-jawed heroes, hook-nosed villains, gravity-defying big-breasted women, wise-cracking cowardly sidekicks, wily thieves, scheming clerics, wise bearded magicians, old crone-like witches, stubborn dwarves, grass-chewing rustics … the list is a long one. Take a profession or race or physical trait and, thanks to centuries of character-creation, almost immediately a personality trait pops into your mind. These are stereotypes.

Stereotype: A generalized, non-contextual portrait of an individual that does not take into account unique qualities all individuals possess.

Relying on stereotypes in narrative fiction is not as bad as in real life where failing to see the real person behind a stereotype can harm a relationship ...

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