Optional Humanoid Personality Rules

based on the Meyer-Briggs Personality Types

Created by: FlashFire

If you're like me, most of your characters come out with the same basic personality and traits. Yeah, I'm not the world's greatest role-player, but that's okay. There's a better way to figure out a character's personality. It's called the Meyers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. There's a percentile table attached, but its not accurate to real life nor recommended for role-playing (as opposed to roll- playing). Also note that it is possible for someone to fall in-between various categories, allowing for more depth if you wish.

This system boils down to the fact that there are eight basic traits to a human being's personality. These traits are broken into four categories. To make things simple, I'm going to break it down by category.

The numbers before each trait are rolled on a D4. Percentile dice can be substituted if you have more accurate details on the break down of human personalities or if you want more of one Trait than another.

Personality Traits

The first is how the individual deals with the other people. The two traits in this category are fairly well-known, Introversion and Extroversion.

1 - 2 - Introversion: The Introvert deals best with their own mind and isn't very concerned with what other people are doing/saying/ thinking. They prefer to develop ideas and plans by thinking them through, by applying the ideas and facts behind what they have to do. As such, they'll tend toward occupations and projects that deal with planning, organization, and research.

3 - 4 - Extroversion: The Extrovert is the person who is constantly think about other people, and deals mostly with what they think/say/do. They'll make their decisions based on discussion with the group, and like to learn new ways of doing things based on what other people are doing. On the down side, they'll often be impatient and will sometimes act without thinking. They'll tend toward occupations that deal extensively with people or require quick action.

The second category deals with how the individual perceives the outside world. This category is made up by the divisions Sensing and Intuitive.

1 - 2 - Sensing: A Sensor deals with what can be... well, sensed. They prefer to find things out by experiencing them, by facts and proof rather than gut feelings. They'll tend toward occupations and projects that have an obvious practical application, such as mechanics and soldiery.

3 - 4 - Intuitive: An Intuitive person will follow their guts, and like to learn new things. They like to change the way things are done, sometimes for no other reason than that was the way it was always done. The downside is that they may miss out on the facts of a given situation, and their new solutions may not work. They're given toward jobs that deal with new ideas, such as theoretical sciences, and artistic occupations.

Next up is how the individual deals with themselves and makes decisions. These divide up into Thinkers and Feelers.

1 - 2 - Thinker: A Thinker is someone who uses logical thought processes to reach a conclusion. This can be a problem as much as a boon, as the person probably will make their decisions impersonally, hurting those around them without knowing it. A Thinker is given to ruthlessly logical jobs, such as judiciary positions and computer science.

3 - 4 - Feeler: A Feeler will use their values and beliefs to come to a decision. They like to please people, and will choose based on likes and dislikes. These people choose jobs that require a sympathetic outlook, such as teaching, psychology, and sometimes politics.

The last of the categories is how the person deals with the decisions they make. They separate into the categories Judging and Perceiving.

1 - 2 - Judging: A Judger likes to plan what they are going to do and follow that plan through. They prefer to come to decisions and have things finished, the focus on the end goal. These people will deal best with the same kinds of jobs that the Sensor and the Thinker prefer, ones that require a logical plan that can be carried through to completion (soldiery, management, judiciary functions, computers, and so on...).

3 - 4 - Percieving: A Perceiver works best with their options open. They adapt well to changing circumstances and tend to leave projects open for last-minute changes. They're usually curious and like new views on a subject. Preferred jobs and tasks will be ones where things can change on a sudden and random basis, such as spy and detective work, or are at least open and unrestrictive, keeping them away from governmental and corporate structures.

Once each trait is chosen or rolled, these will almost invariably lead the character to a specific personality type, detailed below.

Type Reference:

ISTJ: Serious, quiet, complete tasks by concentration. Is often very thorough in whatever they do. Practical, matter-of-fact, logical, and well-organized. Takes responsibility, decides what has to be done and does it, despite what stands in the way.

ISTP: The cool and collected watcher. They'll observe and analyze what goes on around them, curious but detached. They prefer to work with cause and effect, how and why something works the way it does. Often excels at getting to the heart of a problem and solving it in an organized fashion.

ISFJ: Quiet and responsible. Tend to be the most stable in a group, values loyalty, considerate, and often is aware of other people's feelings. Not usually technically inclined, but the can patiently deal with any amount of work.

ISFP: Quiet, sensitive, and modest about their abilities. Doesn't care to lead and doesn't like to force their values on others, makes a loyal follower. Often lax about getting things done, preferring to enjoy the moment.

INTJ: Driven, they see things in the long term and can find patterns in external events easily. Skeptical, critical, and independent.

INTP: Quiet and reserved. Likes theoretical and scientific projects. Logical and has strongly defined areas of interest. Dislikes groups and dealing with people.

INFJ: Quietly forceful, conscientious, and concerned about/aware of others. Often have firm beliefs and principles, which they can be depended on to follow through.

INFP: Quiet observer, idealistic, loyal. Finds it important that they live by their ideals. Curious, adaptable, flexible, and accepting unless circumstances threaten one of their core values.

ESTJ: Practical, realistic, matter-of-fact. People oriented, likes to be in charge of groups. Decisive, makes decisions quickly, and can take care of both the routine and the major events.

ESTP: Likes action and enjoys whatever comes along. Prefer mechanics and sports, with friends around to help. Adaptable, tolerant, and pragmatic.

ESFJ: Warm and talkative, popular with the masses and cooperate with others easily. Needs harmony and can be good at causing it around them. Likes to do things that directly effect others' lives.

ESFP: Outgoing and friendly, they enjoy everything and help others around them to enjoy it as well. Likes action and making things happen.

ENTJ: Honest, decisive, likes to lead activities. Good at anything that requires reasoning and intelligent talk, such as politics and reporting.

ENTP: Quick, ingenious, good at a wide range of activities. Alert, outspoken, and good at finding logical reasons to do what they want. May argue or take sides on either side, despite their personal beliefs.

ENFJ: Sociable, popular, sympathetic. Respond to praise and criticism well. Concerned about what others feel and want, and tries to help them reach their full potential.

ENFP: Enthusiastic, high-spirited, imaginative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Will often try to improvise, rather than plan a solution in advance. They can usually find a compelling reason to do whatever they want.

Application to a Game

If you're not sure about what you want your character to be, try tracking down a personality test on the Internet. A few sites offer a Meyers-Briggs style of test, as well. Toss in some answers based on what you think your character would say, and it will spit out a type and description of the character's personality. I'd recommend writing down all the answers you give too, for future reference.

No amount of personality should replace an alignment. The character's personality tells you how the character reacts to others and what their outward "face" is to others, as well as how they usually think and reason. The alignment has nothing to do with this. That tool is the character's core beliefs and what they will do when pressed to the wall. An example would by Doc Feral from TMNT & OS. The character is nice, kind, courteous, loves children, gives to charities, and carves up mutant animals like a Christmas goose (occasionally while their still alive). Personality does not dictate morals.

Whatever rule system is used, personality and history should be done first. Before an O.C.C. is chosen, before hit points are determined, before equipment is bought, the character should be given shape. Figuring out a character's tastes and personality first will make the character that much more real. Would someone who is usually kind and courteous choose to be a mercenary soldier? Maybe, but its not likely and wouldn't look good anyway.

But, the end of the matter is to have fun with the game. If bogging down the game with defined character personality and other complex questions isn't for you, then throw it all out. Relax and enjoy the game.

Optional-Humanoid-Personality-Rules.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.