It can be overwhelming to look at all of the options and abilities of the recently departed and try to formulate a fully rounded Wraith. But because Wraith is about regret and remorse, it is almost more important to know you were, rather than who you are or will be. To that end, it may be easier for some to create a human and let the afterlife develop over time.
Effectively, we will be trimming out steps from the standard Core Rulebook creation guidelines. Everything here will refer to the steps illustrated in Chapter Four: Characters.
Arguably, Step 1 is the most important and most difficult. First and foremost, you must have a concept, however the question of How Did You Die? can be glossed over or even ignored. Most importantly from this step are Who Were You? and Why Are You Still Here? It may seem odd to focus on the concept of why you are still hanging around in death, but this is the core element to what creates a Wraith. We have to know what your human was passionate about to learn why they are still clinging to existence after death. So while the details of their passing may be sketchy, what keeps them clinging on is essential. Nature and Demeanor are similarly important, but at this stage they are more for the player than the storyteller. They are simply themes that can help you build the character beyond the initial question of Who Were You? They will start the process of rounding out the character.
In Steps 2 and 3 we start to get mechanical, and again, this is more about who you were, than who you are after death. Think of that first question and how that would apply to a person mentally, physically and socially. What we do (or did) so universally defines how we look, think, and interact with others. Whether we are defined by our career or our diversions, we are a product of our environment. So answering that first question in Step 1 can greatly assist in the process through Step 2.
Step 4 starts to delve into the world of the dead, but there are a couple of points here that should still be touched upon even for the human side of your character. So while at this point we can skip Arcanoi and Backgrounds, you should give some serious thought to Passions. Passions can be one of the trickiest, and most nebulous concepts in the game, they are really the core ideology for Wraith. Fetters, while similar in concept, are not quite as important, but often become fairly obvious when developing Passions. While Fetters have a more mechanical purpose in the game, the Passions are the real heart of your character, both alive and dead. Passions can be really hard to wrap your head around, and can be tricky to find the balance between “too specific” and “too general.” There is a dedicated section on page 216 of the Core Rulebook that is extremely helpful in defining really good quality Passions.
Everything in Step 5 can be postponed until after the prelude, at which point in time we should have a clearer picture of who this Enfant really is.
As an aid toward not only finding a concept, but rounding out that vague image, I have compiled a sort of questionnaire. There are several thought provoking questions that can help you get a clearer idea of the character that is forming in your head. Feel free to use it as an inspirational tool.