And Now We’ve Got Some Beards

Continuing in my series of “What does your character look like?” posts (see: hats), today let’s think about beards. Classic fantasy settings imply a decent amount of scruff on its heroes and NPCs. When I build a character, I’m more likely to envision his physical traits: height, hair and skin color, etc rather than his clothes. Along with the physical traits I usually have a pretty good idea of what his facial hair will be. For humans and half-elves my characters are usually either clean-shaven or have a goatee + mustache. Generally I use the facial hair style to convey some stereotypical aspect of his character. Thankfully for us gamers, Matt McInerney of pixelspread has created a nice infographic (my other hobby) of beard types compared with how trustworthy the wearer is. This is a great resource for players and GMs alike. The beard-types are most applicable to humans but it’d be awesome to see a Warforged sporting “The Philosopher.”

These stereotypes are nice shorthands for both coming up with a character description and allowing players to grasp what another character may be about. Going against type should be used sparingly and to great effect.

Reported to me via the flowingdata blog [full picture].