Application anxiety - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Application anxiety

Here's my 'standard' template. If you're putting in more effort than noted, being too verbose and invested can get you rejected just as much as nothing at all.

When I GM a game, an application with four pages of backstory often gets rejected due to 'wall of text' issues. A level 1 PC should be parsable in a few sentences. A level 20 prince of the realm may need a little more.

At this time of year (post US-summer holidays), the number of games starting has a big spike. Unfortunately about half will crash by September and another 20-30% will be dead by Christmas. This makes 'shotgun' applications a little necessary just to get the longevity.
Doing 10 applications in one day (even if bad or not to your preferred level of detail) will help get over the anxiety hump. Once play starts, characters can shift dynamically from the initial application as the party shakes down and sorts out their relationships. Too much detail makes this process more difficult (more can be added as you develop).

SummaryName: name
Concept: "x!"
Race: x
Gender: x
Nationality: x (x)
Deity: x
Moral Alignment: Good/Neutral/Evil
Exact Alignment: x

Appearance x

Quote "x."


Personality Two paragraphs (50 words) maximum

Background 3 paragraphs (150 words) maximum

Writing Prompt:
Using this Random Generator, take three random backstories and make an application in the above format. You have 10 minutes (using an alarm) to do so (not including finding an image; that is a rabbithole. If you do want to find an image, again, 10 minutes on an alarm).

Setting: Game of Thrones at the current TV point (the Wall has fallen). You are from a small village between the Wall and Kings Landing. The militia has been called up to defend the village against the army of the dead.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is just do it. Even if your character is not accepted, you can re-use them later for something different with a few tweaks.

Why not create some characters for the Adventure League
Of course, that assumes you want to play D&D 5e, but it does mean your character will get past the creation phase.

Originally Posted by GM Saint
Speaking as someone who almost exclusively GMs, I can say this is actually a problem for us as well. For me, at least, the application process is brutally stressful. I hate having to tell someone who is excited about MY GAME that they can't play in it because X and Y are better applicants. That's why I rarely ever publicly recruit for games.
I just want to third this sentiment. Whenever I publicly recruit for a game, it's always a rough process to decide who actually gets to play. I know that this doesn't really help with Scream's feelings that they've poured effort into a character that now feels dead. But solidarity-- we don't like it anymore than you do, and it sucks that we've got to reject really great players and applications.

My understanding of psychological wisdom is that one very effective way to deal with anxiety is to confront it. Not necessarily head-on, full-force, throttle to the max confrontation. But confronting it in small ways to learn that it's not world-ending. Make an application here or there. Especially if it's for a game that requires less detailed application. Exposure to an anxiety-inducing stimulus without a major negative repercussion is a way to teach your brain that you can deal with the anxiety. It's not a matter of making it go away-- it's a matter of saying "I can still function and do the things I want to do, even though there's this anxiety associated with the process." This is actually how severe anxiety in the form of chronic panic attacks is dealt with-- stopping the panic attacks is extremely difficult. Instead, they work with their patients to get them to function and do what they need to do even while a panic attack is happening. The negative feelings are still there, but it doesn't become debilitating.

(Note: while I hold a formal degree in psych, I don't work as a professional psychologist in any capacity, so I might be way behind the times on modern psychological theory/practice.)


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