Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
This is a copy-paste (with some additions) from my Tumblr blog (, but it must be reposted.

Twilight of the Hakurei, the club-wide comic tennis/RP (walfasstationwagon.deviantart.…), is turning out just as I suspected: AMAZINGLY. However, one thing that really astounds me is how well the character system is working. If you're not familiar, it's simply this:

1. Pick the character's biggest strength that affects other people. Note the key phrase, "that affects other people." For example, "He's really good at cooking," is not a strength: that's just a regular skill that only applies to one area of life and doesn't really affect others. However, "He's a fast learner," or, "He pays attention to detail," or, "He's very generous," is a strength because it applies to more than just cooking, but any other skill and especially relationships.
2. Pick the character's biggest weakness that affects other people. Once again, note the key phrase, "that affects other people." Saying, "He's never had a girlfriend," is not a weakness, nor is, "He's a nerd," or, "Nobody likes him." Real weaknesses include, "He's really shy around people," or, "He is untrustworthy to others," or, "He has temper issues."
3. Pick which of the two is stronger. The weaker trait will become the main personality. The stronger trait will be brought out in times of great conflict.

And that's all you need to make a compelling, easily-adaptable character. Boiled down to a formula, it looks like this:

Strength + Weakness x Which is stronger = Character.

The thing I like about the two traits system is that any two traits and which one wins can make any number of characters. For example…

(Strength = Bravery) + (Weakness = Selfishness) x (Strength < Weakness) = The wannabe hero who is really a glory hound. He'll act brave in many situations, but in the end, he's only in it for himself.

(Strength = Bravery) + (Weakness = Selfishness) x (Strength > Weakness) = The Knight in Sour Armor. This hero acts selfish most of the time, but in the end, this person really does want to do the right thing.

(Strength = Kindhearted) + (Weakness = Bitterness) x (Strength > Weakness) = The classic tsundere. While she (they're usually shes) is a jerk most of the time, she'll always end up doing nice things for others (not because they like you or anything, idiot).

(Strength = Kindhearted) + (Weakness = Bitterness) x (Strength < Weakness) = The classic yandere. Sure, they'll be super nice most of the time, but make them snap and whoever is in their path is in for a very bad day.

What's cool is that you can develop a dynamic cast by recycling the same traits over again and switching around their positions.

Let's see what characters we can draw from this…

(Strength = Intuition) + (Weakness = Fear) x (Strength > Weakness) = Luke Skywalker from Star Wars

(Strength = Selflessness and Honor) + (Weakness = Selfishness and Bitterness) x (Strength > Weakness) = Rick Blaine from Casablanca

(Strength = Acute sense of Justice) + (Weakness = Losing touch with humanity) x (Strength > Weakness) = Superman (and sometimes a great number of superheroes)

(Strength = Determination) + (Weakness = Regret) x (Strength > Weakness) = Dom Cobb from Inception

(Strength = Honor and Morality) + (Weakness = Paranoia) x (Strength > Weakness) = Hamlet

(Strength = Honor and Morality) + (Weakness = Paranoia) x (Strength < Weakness) = Othello

(Strength = Honor and Morality) + (Weakness = Too Idealistic) x (Strength > Weakness) = Shirou Emiya from Fate/Stay Night

(Strength = Self-Awareness and Honor) + (Weakness = Selfishness and Hedonism) x (Strength > Weakness) = Brolli from Diamond In The Rough.

Quite an amazing system, isn't it? So many characters can pop out of just that simple formula.

If you'd like this system explained a little more, post a trait set below and I can calculate what the character will act like (plus, I could probably give you some contrasting characters to go along with it).
Add a Comment:
ComaTheFreak Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, I'm a bit stuck on one instance of formula. I'm trying to write a main character (who would mostly act as a supporting role), but I can't really figure out if a certain personality trait would be considered a weakness, according to the formula.

Generally speaking, the character has a lazy appearance, because they are unwilling to commit to anything, long-term. They simply live for the moment, but overcoming that would be part of their inner conflict throughout the story. Does that make sense? Anyone who can answer this, please do, because I've been struggling to write this character for a while now, but after finding this, I sort of just... got it (by which I mean it all just sorta clicked into place)? Thanks in advance.
MappaSPintar Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student Traditional Artist
(Strength = Loyalty to Family and true Friends / Good sense of Morality) + (Weakness = Snarky and kind of mean / Bitter) x (Weakness < Strength) = Oliver Morgenstern
(Strength = Huge Optimist / Will to Change Things for the Better) + (Weakness = Unforgiving) x (Weakness > Strength) = Solveigh Andersson
(Strength = Quick Study / Highly Intelligent) + (Weakness = Loyalty to his Family up to a Fault) x (Weakness > Strength) = Gideon Vesper
(Strength = Strong-Willed and Brave) + (Weakness = Arrogant and Prideful) x (Weakness < Strength) = Isamu Himura

(Strength = Strategic Thinker + Kind and Gentle Nature + Loves her Family with all her Heart) + (Weakness = Tendency to overrule others and make decisions for them + Would do next to anything to protect her family) x (Weakness > Strength) = Ramona Piper
(Strength = Charismatic + Knows how to read people) + (Weakness = Unforgiving + Radical in her thinking) x (Weakness > Strength) = Katenka Orlova
(Strength = Gentle in Nature + Leader personality) + (Weakness = May be blinded if confronted with social injustice) x (Weakness > Strength) = Israel Adams

Just did it for my four leading characters and my three antagonists. It works! Really helps you break them down into who they really are at core! Thanks for this - it's amazing!
renkun99 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful guide. I've been meaning to fix up my oc's a bit.
cutabelle Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2018  Student Digital Artist
This is so helpful. I might use it to make/fix some OCs. Thank you.
MarcellaD20 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018  Professional Filmographer
Thank you. This is very helpful white lamb wave 
xxBooBiscuitxx Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
( Strength: A good sense of Morality and Justice ) + ( Weakness: Ill-Tempered and slightly Insane ) x ( Strength > Weakness ) = Helvete
( Strength: Kindhearted and Sweet ) + ( Weakness: Oblivious to others feelings at times and Distrustful to others at times x ( Strength < Weakness ) = Hershey

My two characters I created using this! it was really helpful thanks a lot! :D
The-Multi-Man Featured By Owner Edited Dec 2, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
( Strength: ) + (Weakness: ) x ( Strength <> Weakness ) =
( Strength: A good sense of order + Kindness ) + ( Weakness: Overthinks + No real sense of humor ) x ( Strength > Weakness ) = Shinion Cemore
( Strength: No fear + Determination ) + ( Weakness : Insanity + No Morals ) x ( Strength < Weakness ) = Jonathan Casket
( Strength: Kind + Strong ) + ( Weakness: Lack of care + disconnection with the universe ) x ( Strength < Weakness ) = Janica Casket
( Strength: Understanding of people) + (Weakness: Very Manipulative + No guilt) x (Strength<Weakness)=Jennifer Casket
( Strength: Calm + Collected)+(Weakness: Slothful)x(Strength>Weakness)=Green Guardian
( Strength: Intelligent + Strong Integrity)+(Weakness: Irritable+Arrogant)x(Strength>Weakness)=Time Turner
( Strength: Kind + Good sense of humor)+(Weakness: Oblivious + Irritating) x (Strength > Weakness) = Doorman
( Strength: Strong Sense Or Morality) + (Weakness: Prideful + Lonely + Resentful) x (Strength < Weakness) = No Name
( Strength: Kind + Sensitive) + (Weakness: Fearful+Shy)x(Strength < Weakness) = Timothy Casket
( Strength: Intelligent + Creative) + (Weakness: Rude + Overconfident) x (Strength < Weakness) = Orange Guardian
( Strength: Positive + Energetic) + (Weakness: Blunt + Oblivious) x (Strength > Weakness) = Light Orange Guardian
( Strength: Ambitious + Clever)+(Weakness: No Self Control + Selfish) x (Strength > Weakness)=Brown Guardian
( Strength: Ambitious) + (Weakness: Sarcastic + Hot Headed) x (Strength < Weakness) = Pre-Crash Evan
( Strength: Kind + Determined) + (Weakness: Occasional Short Term Memory Loss + Occasional Pre-Crash Relapse) x (Strength > Weakness) = Post-Crash Evan

Woah... This is a LONG post... happy potato So here's a potato!
testabuddy05 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2017  Student
this is a really good info thanks man :3
Diran-the-vampire Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2017
 (Strength = Kind-hearted and Bad-ass) + (Weakness = Brash and Slightly Psychotic) x (Strength > Weakness) = ?
Imthinkingofaname Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Strength < Weakness sounds better to me
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018  New Deviant Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reminds me of Karma Akabane a tiny bit.

Just a bit, though! =)
MakiceHit Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2017
someone who loves to fight people and has some blood lust, but mostly just fights against those who deserve it
MappaSPintar Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student Traditional Artist
Oliver Queen aka the Arrow.
Krellak Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(Strength=Allocentric) + (Weakness=Short Sighted) x (Weakness > Strength) or perhaps (Strength is > Weakness)

I think I need help with this one. Anyone want to help?

I guess this character is: Having grown up in a stable environment she has a sense of right and wrong. She is willing to help others regardless of the long term consequences. This makes her short-sighted and can sometimes lead her to forget about her own well-being. 
Ecaille13 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2017
YunoTheYoshi Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2017  Student General Artist
Will it ruined a character if it's more than 2 traits for both strength and weakness? Is there a limit for the amount of personality traits you can add to your character?
UnchainedFates Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2017
I think the idea is that you pick the strongest two traits. Not the only two traits.

And there really isn't a set limit of how many personality traits you can have on a character. Especially because being some traits overlap. As long as your character's traits don't conflict one another or create unnecessary clutter, you should be good.

So anyways you could potentially have 2 traits for both strength and weaknesses, but for the purposes of this formula your supposed to pick the top 1 of each category. 
YunoTheYoshi Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2017  Student General Artist
Ah I see, thanks for answer ^-^
IWinterI Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(Strength = trying to be a good leader-determination) + (Weakness = lack of critical thinking-afraind of going somewhere or doing something all alone) x (Strength < Weakness) = 
...What this makes?
Callisto-Galilean Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2017
Your character is likely critical of themselves (weakness), and they're trying to appear to be a good leader.
IWinterI Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you
(Strength=good at getting people to get what needs to get done, done)+(weakness=impatient and sarcastic) x (weakness>Strength)
ArcherArcade Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a pretty great system. I definitely will use it in the near future. I like to come up with my own techniques, but finding ones made by others sure does help!
Have a good one!
DG-Tachyon Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2017
I'm confused, but I wanna use it!
ohwow2 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 29, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
(Strength = Inquisitive and Optimistic) + (Weakness = Not much common sense and doesn't know when to stop doing something ) x (Strength < Weakness)
Could someone help me with this one?
supercat765 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
tried to create ones based on characters I have been working on for a while now
would like to see what people come up with from the formulas

S-(Strength = confidence) + (Weakness = overly self critical) x (Strength < Weakness) = ?
M-(Strength = Mimicking/emulating others) + (Weakness = lack of a defining self) x (Strength < Weakness) = ?
tider101 Featured By Owner Edited Sep 28, 2017
S - A hero who uses their first solution to a problem, but it doesn't always work out - and when it doesn't, they're stuck ruminating on their failures instead of trying something else, unless someone else steps in to cheer them up.

M - Someone who's stuck in the shadow of everyone around them, and is starting to doubt that they're even a person underneath all their lies and half-truths. They try to stick out by doing good, but that suggests to them that they might be a bad person pretending to be decent because nobody else is.
supercat765 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Those basically fit how I would have described the original characters.... but with even better character design
would you mind if I copied those interpretations into my character notes (so I can implement them into the story)?
Krellak Featured By Owner Edited Sep 23, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I need some help with mine

(Strength = Pragmatic and Deep Thinker) + (Weakness = Stoicism and Absent Minded) x (Strength > Weakness)=? 

A: Here's what I think. My character often gives off an expression of being indifferent, when in reality he considers himself a realist and is willing to do what it takes often focusing on the future he forgets to see what's in front of him in the present moment. He's the guy that'll kick a guy while he's down if it gives him answers. Is pragmatic a character trait?

B: (Strength = Idealistic) + (Weakness = Too Optimistic) x (Strength < Weakness)=?  
A character who sees good in all ponies and quick to grant mercy, even in the worst of nonredeemable people. Unwilling to kick a guy while he's down. 

C: (Strength = Adventurous and gutsy) + (Weakness = Stubborn) x (Strength > Weakness)=? 
A character who's willing to go above an beyond regardless of the danger so long as she goes on an adventure. Maybe a thrill seeker? 
tider101 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017
A: Yes, pragmatism is a character trait, and an interesting one at that. It could lead to them killing a villain the moment opportunity strikes, ignoring the wishes of anyone else, especially if someone else is at stake, for example.

B: I think you mistyped something here. I think this one is mostly for a Grey/Black morality scale - in most other cases it'd be a non-issue.

C: Could lead to the characters getting lost, or teammates getting irritated and unwilling to cooperate.
MephistaTheDark Featured By Owner Edited Sep 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How would this work out for a bunch of Characters?

1. (Strength = Determination) + (Weakness = Easily distracted) x (Strength > Weakness) = ?

2. (Strength = Determination) + (Weakness = Hateful) x (Strength < Weakness) = ?

3. (Strength = Kindhearted and Caring) + (Weakness = Aloofness) x (Strength < Weakness) = ?
kaoace Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
help please1!

strength = good listener + weakness = untrustworthy x weakness > strength
tider101 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017
Someone who listens to you and is truly sympathetic, but isn't above abusing the information you gave them for their own gain.
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017
or, if you mean untrustworthy as your character is the liar, then perhaps he's a trickster that listens to others and uses their troubles against them to screw with them for his amusement. In other words, a total jerk.
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017
or, if you mean untrustworthy as your character is the liar, then perhaps he's a trickster that listens to others and uses their troubles against them to screw with them for his amusement. In other words, a total jerk.
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017
alright, I'll help.
Untrustworthy, yet a good listener. Perhaps tries to help people, but has been tricked so many times that they struggle to open up. A heart of gold, that's sealed behind a facade to protect him from liars.
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2017
This is really helpful, and I can probably apply this to every character I'll ever make. Thanks!
Axissyrr Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I need some help with these...

E - (Strength = Natural Leader) + (Weakness = Quick to anger)  x (Strength < Weakness) = ?
M - (Strength = Bravery) + (Weakness = Easily manipulated) x (Strength > Weakness) = ?
D - 
(Strength = Pays close attention to details) + (Weakness = Recklessness) = (Strength < Weakness) = ?
O - (Strength = Intuition) + (Weakness = Egotistical, selfish) = (Strength < Weakness) = ?
MA - (Strength = Mature) + (Weakness = Detached) x (Strength > Weakness) = ?
I - 
(Strength = Compassionate) + (Weakness = Judgemental) x (Strength > Weakness) = ?

I have basic personality archetypes planned out, but I'm curious as to how these personalities would actually play out...
tider101 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2017
E - A powerful leader, but one who can make rash decisions that inadvertently put their followers at risk. Despite this, their followers remain as loyal as ever, leaving the character to wonder if they're worthy of such praise.
M - Knuckles the Echidna. 
D - A detective who doesn't watch where they're speaking, often cluing in the culprits to their mistakes and giving them time to set up an alibi.
O - Someone naturally good at what they do, who parades their greatness and refuses to help others if it costs any effort. A target for bigger bads.
MA - A loner who watches on, unwilling to put themselves in danger except for a very good reason. When they do get into a conflict though, they can usually defuse the situation with well-placed words.
I - A teacher who's a master of their craft, but is quick to single out those with a lesser passion and write them off as having no talent.
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2017
E-A natural leader that's quick to anger? How about a control, yet reliable warrior? They can do just about anything if their group works together and listens to him, but if they don't, he gets angry fast and gets impatient, hindering his skill as a leader.
M-Brave+Naive with more bravery= A stupendous fighter, leading the charge in any fight he's in, but can get tricked into fighting for the wrong side. A bit of a dunce, but is a true hero.
D-Keen eye+Reckless with more recklessness= A genius who's gets cocky and screws up, works well with a good friend to keep them in track, but will get side tracked and overlook certain details because they're focusing on other details.
O-Intuition+Egotistical & selfish with more intuition= A naturally talented jack of all trades that thinks he's better than everyone around him and only cares about himself. He'll do whatever he needs to with great skill, but won't even bother if it won't make him look good or help others. Think of Kirito in SAO abridged.
MA- Mature+Detached with more mature= A smart teacher sort of character who's often the voice of reason, but can end up offending others (say someone loses their friend and wants to grieve, MA will tell them to get up and keep going, ignoring their sadness), you know he wants to help with what he says, but he comes off as insensitive.
I- Compassionate+Judgemental with more compassion= they'll care for the victim of any situation and do their best to help them, but won't have any sympathy for the one at fault, at least at the time. They generally just want to help the one worse off, can be manipulated. (See George Joestar in JJBA for example)
I hope this helped, because if it didn't, then I just wasted a lot of time typing this out.
kaoace Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh my youre very smart!!! help me please aah
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017
thanks, I didn't think it was that impressive, but I guess I'm just strict on myself.
Sylveondream Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Just one question. What's a Yandere?
doomtoy-z Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2017
i know this has been answered, but you should look it up next time instead of asking lmao
The-Awkward-Human Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Someone who kills other people to gain one's affection. Some examples would be: let's say a girl has a crush on a boy that a yandere likes. The yandere would kill that girl without the boy's knowing so that said boy would have less girls to fall in love with, and better chances of falling in love with the yandere. An "if I can't have you, then no one can." type of woman who kills her lover because of betrayal or other personal reasons would also be considered a yandere. I hope this helped you.
Sylveondream Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
OH! Ok
jurassic-bastoo Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2017
Kinda tried to apply it to group a characters I created and this is what i got : 
1- (Strength = Compassionate) + (Weakness = Naive) x (Strength > Weakness)
2- (Strength = Good leader) + (Weakness = Detached) x (Strength > Weakness) 
3- (Strength = Loyal) + (Weakness = Vengeful, sadistic even) x (Strength < Weakness)
4- (Strength = Mature) + (Weakness = Follower) x (Strength > Weakness)
FireworldUmbreon Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My two characters (they are twins):

Tyaena: (Strength = Kindhearted, generous) + (Weakness = Too inocent, naiive) x (Strength < Weakness)

Rhaerion: (Strenght = Bravery, Highly skilled in close combat) + (Weakness= Selfish, Reckless) ( Strenght > Weakness)
ZeMistral Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2017  Student General Artist
How 'bout this?

(Strength = Wisdom) + (Weakness = Aloofness and Troubled Mind) x (Strength < Weakness)

 *Free Icon/Emote* Pusheen (So exciting!) 
Whatisthisgarbage Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2017
Wisdom and gets distracted really easily? Perhaps a pseudo-idiot personality? Where for most situations, they look really stupid. But they end up blurting out the most important information, without understanding how to put the information to use.
Add a Comment:

:iconspaztique: More from Spaztique

Featured in Collections

Journals by Sumbody-Arts

COMMISSION INFO by heliobite

Journals by Adasca

More from DeviantArt


Submitted on
January 31, 2013


48,032 (19 today)
1,238 (who?)