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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:
ArcaneHermit Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2018
(Strength=Kindhearted) + (Weakness=Obsessive(Videogames) ) (Strength > Weakness)

Was thinking of a possible Protagonist under "The Gamer" vibe. Albert one that'd have a sort of 'Genericness' to it, yet end up flubbing under their own vices at times. Or have a sort of "Chuckoolander" sort of mentality that could blind them to common sense. I think?
ioki2622 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2018
(Strength=Bravery) + (Weakness=laziness) (Strenght<Weakness)

Is a werid combination and I need a third opinion. What do you think?
CrystalCollision Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2018
a very unmotivated person kinda just going about life with no aim, not much passion for anything so they don't put much effort in anything, but if a situation arises where they need to step up to help someone or themselves they'd do it without hesitation. Idk that's what I got from it
ioki2622 Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2018
xAngelstarx Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
( Nice = Generous ) + ( Shy = Timid ) ( Strength > Weakness ) What do you think?( I’m testing if I’m using this right. )
Liv3r Featured By Owner May 15, 2018  Student General Artist
(Strength=compassionate)+(Weakness= constantly consumed with raw fear)x(Strength<Weakness)
What do you think this equals?
Warriorcatsfandom25 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmmm... Maybe a character who is very passionate and outgoing but is secretly terrified of everything and has anxiety but people don't think they actually have anxiety because there's a myth that you can't have a big personality and still have anxiety?
Rosewalaroo Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
(Strength=Caring and selfless)+ (Weakness=Can be overly protective, and a bit of a temper)x (Strength<Weakness)

By overly protective, what I mean is, this is a character who can turn into a dragon. He will fry you if you try to hurt his loved ones.
(Strength = Selflessness and Caring) + (Weakness = Temper*) x (Strength < Weakness) = What's the result and how can other characters help control his weakness?

*Elaboration on temper: His strength can sometimes cause his weakness. He spends a lot of energy on taking care of everyone because he mistakenly thinks thats what leaders do. He tends to (unintentionally) keep his stress and anger bottled up. When someone opens the cap of this figurative bottle, it explodes. 
Gastriorra Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Disclamer: fully opinion based.

The first thing that came to mind with this description was a constantly grumpy commanding officer who has a tendency to bark when he doesn't mean to and is a secret softy. In trying to take care of everyone the people under him would have a lot of respect, especially if he's a strong leader, and wold probably get used to his attitude. 

If you want him to be able to learn not to always push himself into almost mother-henning everyone I may suggest a support character. Either someone he sees as an equal or superior (aka someone he doesn't feel responsibility for) to teach or guide him, wether directly or acting as a cautionary tale.

Hope this helps. :)
XManAwesomeness Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2018
Thanks so much! As this character is based off of my own self, this helps me understand how I too would react under such circumstances. Given your suggestion (which I fully agree with), it seems like i don't need to add an extra character to the equation. In the book I'm working on, my friends help me lead this Revolution against a tyrannical government. Its a huge collaboration, but sometimes i need other resources.

Again, thanks so much! 
Gastriorra Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem, glad I could help :)
kronos2915 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Apparently all of my characters are huge failures, as I can easily pin down their weaknesses, yet I struggle a lot with the strength part
afjklol Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a bit rare, most people I see find it easier to make up a strength. Which is why there's so many mary sue/gary stu.
Krellak Featured By Owner Edited Mar 1, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(Strength)=Thirst for Knowledge + (Weakness)=Blunt and Judgmental x (Strength < Weakness)=?
ConnivingPuffin Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
Most of the time they are always trying to find new things to learn but when they are in a tense situation, they are very judgmental.
ComaTheFreak Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2018  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.
Nomisluck Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2018  Hobbyist
You need a strength that they will eventually become, so far you have two weaknesses, lazy and spuratic. Maybe they will eventually turn into someone who does have their shit together.
ZoraSpringer Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2018  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) = ?
Unga8 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's your everyday evil villan for ya.
Imthinkingofaname Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Strength < Weakness sounds better to me
KarinaWithHeadphones Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2018  Student 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
ZoraSpringer Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2018  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. 
ConnivingPuffin Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
I think i might have it, but i'm not sure,

Most of the time they
Put themselves before others.
in time of need they

will forget what they need to do

I made it a haiku with a extra line
Unga8 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well...Short sighted isn't really a personality im afraid. So maybe change the weakness to something else?
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?
Unga8 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well i guess that's your protagonist in your typical anime seires (Or catoon whatever you like). But like mostly in anime they train to get better. (Or other series i don't know).
milkywayyz 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? 
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