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SirGraystone

How to create interesting PC

Rating: 5 votes, 3.40 average.
There's plenty of guide on how to optimize character for most damage or utility but very few on to write a background story. Playing a rogue wearing dark cloth who is an orphan is boring.

Even orphan had parents who died for a reason, had jobs, relatives, you get adoptives parents,... but let say you do have parents, are they farmers, merchants or minor nobility.
A son of farmers may go an adventure to get coins to help his family, he may wear the chain mail of his grandfather who was in a war, and spent a week cleaning the rust from that armor, the son of a noble may be the third child with no inheritance coming so he turn to adventure, but a brand new armor his family paid for.

Or his parents dies and he suspect his elder brother to have murders them. The farmer son may have a brother who was conscripted in some Lord's war and never seen again, is he dead? captured and sold as slave? turn mercenary and don't care about his family?

A character should have a past, a present and a future goal.

A wizard usually have a teacher or mentor who taught you the basic. A cleric should have a temple local or not where she learned. Even urchin growing up in the street have gang they ran with, contacts like fence. All kind of informations that make you character alive, and open way to role play for you and the DM or more interesting plot hook.

- Your younger sister tell you that the farm where you grow was attack by goblins and your family need help
- A mentor or teacher ask your help, (or is missing) is better then just some random wizard you never hear from before.
- The assassin you beat in battle, offer information on your brother and the dead of your parents if you let him go.

What you should not do, with a level 1 character is tell how you were captain of the King's honor guard, the greatest swordman of the continent or a god who lost his powers, you are level 1 barely a notch over normal peoples.

The world is as wide as your imagination, let it go wild and have fun

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Comments

  1. GavinRuneblade's Avatar
    Very good points.

    Also I will add two cautions: First, that creating a character with TOO much backstory is very similar to making one who is supposed to be too high level like the greatest swordsman or the deity examples. Someone who has already been through a whole life's worth of experiences not only is expected to be higher than 1st level, but also doesn't have room to grow. You need enough details that you can understand who you are and why you make the decisions you do and how those things are different from the other players. Two PCs might make the same decisions every time, but if your character makes the decision for a totally different reason, it will still be interesting. And you need to be going somewhere as a character in the game. You want the story to help tell you how your character changes over time. The adventure you're playing needs to be your biggest story, not the history you wrote up alone without the other people at the table.

    Second, don't make the same character every time. That really gets boring and uninteresting.
  2. RolePlay's Avatar
    These are great suggestions and a topic that I think highlights one of the best opportunities to improve FG's role-playing experience!

    Thanks for kicking this off! I hope more people have suggestions for us newbies on how to improve the depth and richness of our characters.
  3. Prozacco's Avatar
    I respect your intent, but due the limitations of both, text-chat & audio/video roleplay, I would say: Please consider that some of us actually ONLY play pregenerated chars or chars with DM or GM approval to actually keep a group alive and functional.

    I don't play analyst, but the main task of a group is making it through the adventure or campaign, certainly with moments of roleplaying the character. But it is not all about entertaining YOU. If it bores you, try to bring on some IC (in character) inspiration to make your fellow players realize they are a pain in the aftermath... Or outright toxic roleplayers, and grow the confidence to replace the incompatible ones & find a new group, if necessary.

    Sure, the classic D&D rogue always comes in dark clothing, many insist a shortsword, oft plus backpack and crossbow, would totally not be a hindrance while sneaking and climbing, and most go halfling to serve a cliche even Tolkien already knew. Point is: Stealth is part of the rogue's purpose aka part of the job. Hence it does make some sense, but so does wearing inconspicuous 'normal' clothing in daylight and public.

    My best wishes for reaching the goals due your efforts here, the side window panel shows me you blogged several further, seemingly mature & thoughtful, articles. Maybe I find time to read some. Blessed be aka Bye.
  4. SirGraystone's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Prozacco
    I respect your intent, but due the limitations of both, text-chat & audio/video roleplay, I would say: Please consider that some of us actually ONLY play pregenerated chars or chars with DM or GM approval to actually keep a group alive and functional.

    I don't play analyst, but the main task of a group is making it through the adventure or campaign, certainly with moments of roleplaying the character. But it is not all about entertaining YOU. If it bores you, try to bring on some IC (in character) inspiration to make your fellow players realize they are a pain in the aftermath... Or outright toxic roleplayers, and grow the confidence to replace the incompatible ones & find a new group, if necessary.

    Sure, the classic D&D rogue always comes in dark clothing, many insist a shortsword, oft plus backpack and crossbow, would totally not be a hindrance while sneaking and climbing, and most go halfling to serve a cliche even Tolkien already knew. Point is: Stealth is part of the rogue's purpose aka part of the job. Hence it does make some sense, but so does wearing inconspicuous 'normal' clothing in daylight and public.

    My best wishes for reaching the goals due your efforts here, the side window panel shows me you blogged several further, seemingly mature & thoughtful, articles. Maybe I find time to read some. Blessed be aka Bye.
    I can understand that not everyones need deep character backgrounds specially for one-shot or short serie of adventures, but limitation of text-chat is not a good reason, I have been DMing campaing in text chat only for the last two years, that as not limited my players.

    By boring I don't mean specially boring myself, I may have use the wrong word, less interesting for the story maybe more accurate, I'll try explain with an example, one of my group is in Harkenwold to stop a group or mercenary taking over, they hear that the village of Marl has been burn down to resisting, our bard was born there, his mother still live there now the group get more involve in the story, it's not just about stopping mercenaries now, it's about family. The story got more interesting for everyones.

    The games is not about entertaining myself, it's about everyones having fun

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