Have you ever thought about your own personality affecting your character's choices in the game? After reading this article: RPG Games: Do Personality Types Affect Role Play? I decided to take a look on my own characters and turns out they all had some traits from me. Do you think it's possible to completely detach yourself from the character? And if so, do you think that character would be interesting for you to play?
The first game I role played was Fable 2 and it turned out (according to the game's good/evil and pure/corrupt levels) I'm always corrupt but neutral in the good/evil department. When I did it for the first time in Skyrim, I forced myself into a Paladin character and found that it was hard to not kill every person on the roads, but it was fun still since he hated the Thalmor immensely.
My current character, Aelric, is kind of a blank slate. Yesterday, I just kinda wanted to make a pure mage to complete the Main Quest and College of Winterhold. Personality wise, he's kinda like me, I guess. He was the owner of a General Store in High Rock, who, for all this life wanted to become a mage. His parents didn't let him, but wanted him to tend to the shop. When he was 25 his parents retired to the Imperial City and left the shop to him. Having never abandoned his dream, he saved up his money for ten years to pay for his tuition to the College of Winterhold, and finally left on a carriage bound for Windhelm. Little did he know, the carriage was carrying supplies to the Stormcloaks. He was arrested as a traitor at the Markarth Border and hauled off with the legion to Darkwater Crossing where they were to ambush Ulfric Stormcloak. You know the rest. Aelric is a bookworm, he wanted to becoming a mage-adventurer and delve into the depths of Dwemer Ruins, and Nord Crypts to discover the secrets of the past, but he never go the chance. His only chance to get away from Daggerfall was in the pages of his books. He brought three books with him when he left, The Book of the Dragonborn, and A Brief History of the Empire I and II, which you can find in the Helgen Keep Torture Room along with his knapsack.
I love to learn about interesting stuff and "hidden secrets," much like Aelric. Aelric is someone who is a commoner, not a mighty warrior or master thief. He was pissing his pants when escaping Helgen. He wanted to throw up when he was told to delve into Bleak Falls Barrow. Gradually, however, he's gaining confidence in his abilities. He came to Skyrim knowing only a basic healing and flames spell, now he has two more learned. That's kinda how I view myself in that situation. If I was suddenly thrown into action, I would be scared shitless at first, but I would grow used to it and come to enjoy it in time. When Aelric was first told to retrieve the Dragonstone, he was equally scared and curious. His dream was to explore these hidden places for his whole life! Once he got in, took care of the bandits, and slaughtered some draugr, his fascination and wonder of discovery took over. No longer was he scared of fighting draugr-- he was an adventurer who knew how to handle them. Being the son of merchants and a merchant himself, the treasures he found at the end were certainly a huge bonus as well. But the joy of discovery is really what gripped him. This same fascination will keep driving him throughout the rest of the game. It will drive him to become the the greatest hero in the history of Nirn.
However, as the character grows, I don't want him to remain stagnant emotionally, which is what I see with a lot of people who roleplay. People's personalities change over time. While Aelric is currently a 35 year old skinny, curious rabbit, his curiosity might evolve into greed, or lust for power. Conversely, it might not change but grow into a mighty, scholarly force for good. That's the beauty of Skyrim, the game itself facilitates emotional and psychological evolution.
I also try to implement a bit of my personality into my Skyrim characters. Most of my characters are very burly and strong and intimidating, or very famed artists, musicians, chefs, warriors, even criminals. I know I have this part of me that longs for attention, and when I get it, I long for more. But none of my characters are evil. My assassins and thieves think of their work as just work, nothing more, nothing less. I show my greedy side through them, doing everything they can for a reward.
Some of my characters are very physically weak, but very strong-minded. I'm not strong by any means in real life, but I can say proudly that I am intelligent. This is where my mages come in. Not strong enough to wield a blade, but smart enough to harness the powers of the arcane.
Of course, I have many characters that are jovial and fun-loving, having many friends and people who care about them. This is usually where my actual Dovahkiin comes in, the hero figure, who helps everyone she meets and slays the evil.
I know people who haven't ever played Skyrim would say this sounds stupid, but I think we put little fragments of ourselves into our characters because our characters ARE little fragments of ourselves.
I think it's possible to separate ourselves from our characters with concerted effort, since I'd be willing to bet that we all naturally include some emotional anchor in our characters - something to immediately ground and connect us. Though I imagine that trying to play someone who is strongly your opposite would come with a healthy heaping of cognitive dissonance to fuck up your day! Or maybe just boredom. Might be interesting to see how strong the correlation is between personality types and character archetypes.
I think that generally when I've RPed characters there's always some piece of me in them, because it becomes difficult to make a character that has no similarities to you simply because that character is harder to relate to. I imagine it's similar to your friends, they may be vastly different than you but share some characteristics or interests with you. I figure (Perhaps i'm wrong) that most people don't get along with others that are completely different, similarly it just wouldn't be enjoyable to play a character that shares absolutely nothing with you. Even at a basic level such as curiosity, kindness, etc. I've played more evil characters but never purely evil because it doesn't seem relatable and ultimately entertaining.
I usually play stealth characters, because I try to be stealthy, I like sneaking up on people, but even the bad characters aren't evil, but sometimes, I have a real hard time not giving a coin to a beggar. If I am not stealthy, I'm either a spellsword usually, because I love swords, almost all of my characters use one, and magic, I think, is just a very cool, and powerful thing, so I think I would use some of I could, I also play hunters, because I think I like to hunt, ive never done it.
When I play a hero, the character rarely lasts longer than level 15, while a neutral, or evil character can last usually up to 30.