This is a question about something I've noticed in my own play style, asked because I want to make sure that I and those I play with enjoy the game as much as possible.
I played AD&D and 2e ten thousand years ago, and have been back, with 5e, for about six months. This time around I've played a bunch of one-shots and two- or three-session campaigns, and I'm also playing in two long-term campaigns. The characters I've played in these games have been mechanically somewhat varied—I've been a human Wild Magic sorcerer, an elven Arcane Trickster, and a half-elven College of Eloquence bard.
I can't help noticing, however, that, though my characters' mechanics are different, I keep playing the same personality over and over again (a grumpy gay slut with anger management issues). I've read a lot here and elsewhere about people bringing the same class/race over and over again, but I haven't seen much, if anything, about characters with the same personalities.
I get it; I'm obviously working something out. I myself have anger management issues, and in the opposite direction from my characters; it's really hard for me to show my anger, and it's really hard for them not to—meaning that when I'm pretending to be them I have a kind of freedom I long for in real life, where I spend all my time pretending not to be grumpy. And given that my husband and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary yesterday, my slut years are at this point a distant memory, so playing characters for whom they are a present reality allows me, again, a kind of freedom I don't have in real life (though, to be clear, I much prefer my current married life to my old slutty life).
So I understand why I enjoy playing characters with these particular personality traits. I just don't know whether I'll start to get annoying to the people and groups I play with for more than a one-shot, whether I'm short-changing myself on what could be a more fulfilling experience of the game, and/or whether there's another drawback I haven't thought of.
(For what it's worth, I have yet to finish a long campaign, so while I've played the same personality with some of the same people a few times, it's not like my grumpy gay slut with anger management issues has now been plopped down three times in the valley of Barovia wearing a different hat each time. So who knows? Once one of these campaigns ends maybe I'll want to play a different kind of person.)
Anyway, I have to assume that I'm not the only player to have this tendency, so I'm interested in hearing from others who either have had it or have played with those who had. If I try to branch out character-trait-wise, will I and others have a more fulfilling experience? If so, do you have any suggestions for how to start doing so?
Revisiting this question two years later I realized that I've found a fulfilling answer, so I posted it below for anybody who might be wondering about the same issues.