|The fact that you are a character does not mean that you have character.|
The way Limpey describes his idea of 'exploring dungeons, not characters' matches my own. It isn't one or the other. It's that the exploration of the dungeon, or the bomb-blasted wilderness, or the vast reaches of space leads to character development.
Exploring a character's distrust of the federal government, or belief in Mormonism, or an inability to choose between the boring but caring guy and the sexy but dangerous guy, DON'T necessarily lead to an exploration of ancient crypts, nuclear wastelands, or strange new worlds. Don't get me wrong, it can. But it doesn't necessarily.
A will lead to B, but B may or may not lead to A.
When A leads to B it may not be Nobel Prize/Oscar worthy characterization, but it will develop somewhat.
As Limpey succinctly says,
I explore dungeons, not characters, and throughOr, to quote the old proverb, adversity builds character. That's at least what I mean when I say "I explore dungeons, not characters."
the course of exploring the dungeon and having the adventures, the character is
formed. The character is not a collection of adjectives, he or she is the
product of events.