Backgrounds

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Backgrounds

Post by Dablu on Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:25 pm

Backgrounds (in my opinion) are really important. Your character will be part of a group with others all striving for some kind of common goal: whether this is a quest, some kind of random goal, or just staying together for safety or companionship. However, every character is an individual with their own unique story of how they got to where they are, composed of possible important events, people, and places. Think of it as their origin story for how they got to be on the path that they're on now. Your backstory is the basis for your future complex motivations, and emotional vulnerabilities.

I want you to create a backstory that I can incorporate into our story, whether this means making the party eventually find and fight the band of thieves that stole from your family when you were a child or helping you on your quest to recover a prized artifact of your God that you've been searching to find for many years. Both of those are random examples, but please try and include an overall goal or motivation for your character so that I can work with that and flesh out your character even more.

This will improve everyone's playing experience and especially yours, as you'll get to experience real-time character development and you'll also get to experience going through something you created. Another thing is, backstories don't have to be long. They should just do what they're meant to do: provide your characters backstory.

Here are some examples of good backstories, and a short few sentences afterward explaining why they're good.

Krull, the Gnome Warlock.
Krull was abandoned as he was born, left in the middle of orc country. This may have proven too much for a small new gnome, but it was sheer luck he survived. He was found by a small band of exiled orcs, exiled due to their wanderlust, curiosity, intelligence, and kindness, all considered unfavorable and even abominable traits for the powerful, nomadic orc tribe they were from. This particular band was headed deep into the mountains to practice their arcane arts, all of them either being wizards or sorcerers, when they'd stumbled upon Krull. They took him in, attempting to teach him various types of magic and combat, until he was aged enough to venture on his own.

However, Krull seemed to be unable to learn any kind of magic, and was generally unskilled in combat even after years of training. After many years, the orc band had decided he was a lost cause, though they still cared for him, and decided to bring him into a city so that he may lead a new, normal life. When they were ready to depart, they were horrified to find out that their old tribe had found them. They tracked them into the mountains until they'd found their place of living. The barbaric tribe of orcs laid siege upon their small encampment, slaughtering them and leaving their corpses nailed upon the doors of their huts. Krull, hiding in the nearby ledges of the mountain, watched and waited until they had left. He came out from his hiding spot after the enemies had left, and retrieved his Elder's staff. Traveling to the top of the mountain, Krull began shouting at the skies, demanding power for retribution.

Although he was ignored by the divines and celestials, the infernal beings of the lower planes heard him, and struck a pact with the gnome. He became a warlock, empowered by his pact with the beings from Hell, and returned to the encampment where the barbarian orcs had made a new home. He burned down their huts and killed every orc but one, who he questioned about the whereabouts of the orc Chief who'd organized this. After hearing his enemy claim he knew not, as they were a nomadic tribe, he slaughtered him as well. He left the encampment in hopes of finding the other sister tribes, and hunting down the one that destroyed his entire world.

This backstory provides an origin for how the character found their powers, as well as allusions to possible mannerisms and personality because of who he was raised by. Even more importantly, it gives the character an overall goal: Kill the orc Chief that ruled over the tribe his saviours were originally part of. This would likely also lead the character to hate traditional barbaric orcs with a passion, providing another significant character trait. This all helps to flesh out the character, past, present, and possible future.


Last edited by Voltes on Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Backgrounds

Post by Str.lrd on Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:44 pm

Ayyy it's me (great example btw)
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