In the context of storytelling games, a character is a fictional person portrayed by a player or a Storyteller. A player character (PC) is the character portrayed by a player, while Storyteller characters (also called non-player characters, or NPCs) are portrayed by the game's Storyteller. Characters are mechanically defined by various traits, which vary from game to game, as well as by the expected non-mechanical aspects of a character: personality, motivation, back story, quirks, and so on.

In some games (mainly larger games, especially LARPs), assistant Storytellers may be selected to take on the role of one or more prominent Storyteller characters in order to free up the primary Storyteller(s) to act elsewhere.

In Troupe Play, which is mainly used in Ars Magica, each player has a roster of multiple characters that they might play, though they will usually only play one of these characters at a time.

In Wraith: The Oblivion (and, optionally, Kindred of the East), each wraith's Shadow is played as a distinct character by another player, who is called a Shadowguide.

For lists of canonical Storyteller characters, see list of Storyteller characters.