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Persona Development

A Persona is the fictional historical personage portrayed by a participant in the SCA.

Creating a Persona

Creating a Persona is a process quite separate from more focused areas of interest. Someone who is particularly interested in medieval cookery, or dance, or heavy combat, will be very likely to have a broad, cross-cultural and -chronological interest in that particular activity. In terms of more general knowledge, however, there is no way that one individual, barring unlimited free time, can achieve expertise in every time and culture in Europe in that period. Developing a persona therefore sets you a manageable goal, sacrificing breadth for detail in a smaller sphere.

Typically persona creation begins with selecting a time period or culture that interests you. From there, doing some research on the time period can help you flesh out your persona. Look at the activities, the names, the historical figures, the events, etc. that took place during your time period. This will give you a sense of happenings in the world during the lifetime of your persona (and it may spark a new area of interest as well).

If you so choose, you can begin to add particulars to the persona story. Your character’s history can be fairly simple, consisting of your SCA name, the time and place your persona is from, and a few facts such as occupation, social status and general family information.

Your persona’s life story can also be more complex and include a variety of factors such as: area/time of birth; languages spoken; occupation & craft skills; behavior/manners; pursuits/hobbies; weapons skills; travels; significant events during life (both historical and personal) and area/time of death. To accomplish creating a more multifaceted persona will take time and research. But do not feel pressured to develop a complicated story right away. You can start slow and add more details to the chronicle as you go along.

Additionally, there are questions that you can use in your research to assist you in developing a very detailed history. Examples of a few of these questions are:

  • Would your persona have been literate in your chosen culture/time-frame?
  • What type of money did people of your culture/time-frame use?
  • How does your persona personally obtain goods (food, drink, clothes, etc.)?
  • How did people of your culture/time-frame tell time?
  • How did people of your culture/time-frame keep track of days?
  • What type of clothes does your persona normally wear?
  • What type of clothes does your persona wear for special occasions?
  • What were the eating habits of people of your culture/time-frame?
  • What does your persona eat in a normal day?
  • What types of wildlife live in your persona's area?
  • What kind of religion and religious duties would be required of your persona?
  • What does your persona know of history/science/medicine/geography?
  • How did people of your culture/time-frame deal with trade?

Additional Resources

See Also

activities/arts_sciences/persona_development.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/15 13:22 by Gwendolyn of Aldburg