The essence of the game has to be challenge, or in fiction terms it is the conflict in your story that creates the plot. Something gets in the way of the character leading an otherwise uneventful (and peaceful?) life. They get abducted by aliens, they are tormented by feelings of uselessness, they get embroiled in a secret spy game, whatever.
In a Gaming Context:
If we stretch this analogy, then what is it that makes a story great, and a protagonist great? Its the mixture of things that change them, and what they’ve got going for them. Its the same old story: when times are tough and the night is long, the hero digs deep and discovers an interior strength. That kid in IT realizes that he is brave, even Harry Potter discovers that he is stronger in friendship than he is as himself, alone.
How can we translate this into gaming? What if we could measure a character in terms of ‘Challenges’ (the previous post talked about ‘Scars’ or Lessons/Memories).