A face claim (or a FC for short) is “a term used in role play games to describe a person used for the physical description of a character. Said person can be anyone, but is typically an actor or animated character.”
Face claims are usually chosen because they resemble the player’s own appearance. For example, if you were playing as a blonde, blue-eyed character, then you might use Miley Cyrus as your face claim.
There is a thin line between using a face claim and ripping off someone’s image; if the person in question has not given their explicit permission for others to publish or use his/her images (for example: celebrities), then it may be considered plagiarism.
Therefore, it is considered good manners to ask the person in question for permission before using his/her pictures. You can either ask them via email or conversation, whichever way you prefer.
Both of the following are perfectly fine examples of asking permission:
-Dear Mr./Mrs. X, I have recently created an account on a role play website and I would like to use a picture of your as my face claim. May I have your permission to do so?
-Hello, Mr./Mrs. X! My name is Y and I recently created an account on a role play site which allows the use of face claim photos. Seeing that you resemble me physically, may I please use one of your photos for my character’s description? If you do not feel comfortable with it, please let me know why so that I can learn from this experience. Thank you in advance!
You might also want to remind them what you are using their picture for; if they get confused by people who look like them appearing everywhere out of nowhere, then trying to explain the situation to them might help.
Face claims may also be chosen by the resemblance of their personality/character to your character’s personality/character; for example, you could use Taylor Swift as a face claim for a person with blonde hair and blue eyes who sings country.
Although there are people that choose to use celebrities as face claims, they are not perfect, nor are they supposed to be used in most cases. If at all possible, it is much preferred to use photos of yourself! It shows creativity on your part and makes your role play look more personal. On this same note, using pictures of real life pets is also an acceptable face claim if they resemble the physical features of what you are looking for (for example: same eye color or similar fur color)
If you are using pictures of yourself as face claims, it is acceptable to edit them slightly if needed. For example, maybe you have glasses in real life that your character does not have, then having the picture edited so that they are not there would be fine. It also helps to erase things like tattoos or piercings , because others might use this against you role playing with them (for example: “Oh, I see your face claim has a tattoo on their left wrist… wonder how good they are at hiding it”)
On the other hand, editing faces too much might cause suspicions among the community who will wonder why your face claim looks different from photos published on social media sites. If they do ask about this, then simply explaining that you used photo editing software to make them less recognizable should do the trick.
If your character’s family background is important to their story, using real life family members as face claims can be a great idea. For example, if your character suddenly turned out to have royal blood in his/her veins, it might not hurt to use someone with similar features (i.e. light brown hair and green eyes) as their face claim because this will help create an image of what they would look like.
It is also perfectly plausible that some characters resemble each other so much that they could be considered twins or even triplets . If at all possible, though, try to avoid using photos of the same person for different characters, not only because it will get confusing, but also because it lacks design.
Please bear in mind that face claims are not meant to be perfect; they are supposed to resemble your character’s looks! For example, you could use anime characters as face claims (as long as they look like how you imagine your character would look like), so long as their hair color and eye color resemble what you want. Also remember the fact that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” so if someone tells you that your chosen face claim does not work out for what you were looking for , remember that this is subjective . The person telling you this might be more picky about these things than others, or might have different preferences entirely.
It is also perfectly fine to contact your role play’s admin with what you are looking for and ask if they can help you in any way.
Just remember that there is nothing wrong with using photos of yourself or someone else as face claims (though it would be good to double check the rules of the site before hand) because everybody has different preferences when it comes to these things! If someone tells you that your chosen face claim does not work out, try having another look at them; sometimes seeing it yourself might make you change your mind about how your character will look like (and thus change their personality accordingly). Thank you for reading my article 🙂
If at all possible, though, try to avoid using photos of the same person for different characters.