A template is a sort of over-arching category for a character. Generally, a template includes a character and alternate universe versions of that character. Some templates also include multiple versions of a character within a universe or even a single timeline, with divisions based on age, allegiance, facecast, or major character milestones ('Darth Vader' might be treated as a separate character from 'Anakin Skywalker', while staying within the same template).

Templates often share major personality elements. Many templates have common plot elements they hit, too, as well as common backgrounds. (Elements frequently shared by members of a template are called 'attractors'.) Template members tend to have name patterns, but don't always, and it's rare for all members of a template to have the exact same name.

Template Names

Templates usually have a name to use to refer to the template as a whole, as opposed to individual characters within it. Template names can be from a variety of sources. Common template name sources include:

  • The original, most famous, or most central instance
  • A common name within the template
  • A name pattern for members of the template, like a syllable they all share or a word their names are translations of
  • A word associated with the template's themes