[RPG] Roleplaying a multiple personality character


I had an idea for a character with multiple incarnations with various personalities. Not necessarily a realistic treatment of multiple personality disorder per modern psych, but something more cinematic, like this:

  • Normal: His own, neutral good personality
  • The Bard: a chaotic good character with a talent for music and wordplay, but chooses not to fight
  • The Samurai (or knight or similar name): either lawful good or Lawful neutral with an extreme respect for authority and a tendency to have a "death before dishonor" thing in battle.
  • The Wizard: a studious type that is basically the stereotypical wizard thirsting for knowledge. of either chaotic good or chaotic neutral (in that this personality would do anything to gain knowledge, but tries towards kind and good things first.)
  • The Demon: A Lawful evil version that only comes when he is extremely angry. It will cause him to basically rip someone limb from limb and then beat them to death with their own leg.

How could I implement these personalities without being annoying, a detriment, or just plain terrifying?

I will be playing this character under Pathfinder, but I am looking less for system/rule ideas and more about how to roleplay a character like this without being overly disruptive. Have you played a character with very unusual psychology like this, and if so, how were you sensitive to the needs of the group while being this fragmented?

Best Answer

I played a Gnome Titan in Hackmaster 4e that had a berserker and an elf as alternate personalities due to the random flaws system in that game. They were also pathologically terrified of elves. The important things in making the character work were:

1) having the dominant personality nearly always be in control

2) making each 'character' of this kind be someone the party would be willing to put up with/adventure with.

3) keeping the alternate personalities enough in line with the main character that they make sense as splintered personalities. This is difficult, but helps your character seem more like a character and less like a random collection of things, which is important.


Do not make that decision yourself. Maybe have a Will save or something. This isn't an issue in Hackmaster, but it certainly will be in Pathfinder where there's less system for this. It's probably the most important piece of advice, though, as it's what will keep your character's 'disability' from looking like an excuse to not make any sense and just do whatever you feel like or think is funny, the game and other players be damned (i.e. a sort of super exaggerated 'My Guy' syndrome).

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