Saturday, October 26, 2019

Character history

When rolling up a new character, players can use these to generate a good framework for a backstory. Background, secrets, and connections have mechanical effects, but players can be allowed to come up with whatever else the GM allows, within reason. Secrets are also freeform and can be invented, but they should have some dramatic impact if discovered.


Where the character grew up. Could be where they spent their whole life, or a childhood home that they left as soon as they could, or a place their family moved to for whatever reason.

Contradiction by Jeff Chen

  1. Farming village
  2. Port village
  3. Mining camp
  4. Roadside inn
  5. Logging camp
  6. Castle outpost
  7. Farming town
  8. Seaside town
  9. Mining town
  10. Merchant town
  11. Castle town
  12. Foresting town
  13. Plains city
  14. Coastal city
  15. Mountain city
  16. Trade city
  17. Forest city
  18. War camp
  19. Ruined city
  20. Nomadic caravan

Collecting the Payment by Stefano Scuccimarra


This is more what the character grew up doing. Players can choose any from 1-10, or they can roll 1d20 for one. Most likely they were apprenticed to their parents, being raised to take over the family profession before they decided to become an adventurer.

  1. Beggar: panhandler skill, ragged outfit, tin cup.
  2. Farmer: farmer skill, stained outfit, and a hoe or pitchfork.
  3. Carpenter: builder skill, hardy outfit, handsaw.
  4. Cook: cook skill, stained outfit, pot & spoon, common spices.
  5. Blacksmith: smithing skill, hardy outfit, hammer, and steel ingot.
  6. Surgeon: surgeon skill, stained outfit, bandages.
  7. Gardener: apothecary skill, stained outfit, bag of seeds.
  8. Scribe: poet skill, clean outfit, quill & inkwell.
  9. Painter: painter skill, stained outfit, brush.
  10. Poacher: survivalist skill, camouflage outfit, knife.
  11. Trader: linguist skill, exotic outfit, 5 foreign silver coins.
  12. Heir: fine outfit, 10 silver coins.
  13. Minstrel: musician skill, plain outfit, instrument.
  14. Actor: politician skill, fine outfit.
  15. Jester: comedian skill, ridiculous outfit, inflatable ball.
  16. Criminal: pickpocket skill, ragged outfit, 3 silver.
  17. Courier: +1 speed, running outfit, hometown map.
  18. Squire: politics skill, surcoat, short sword.
  19. Wizard's apprentice: +1 magic, eccentric robes.
  20. Wizard's subject: ragged outfit, -1 maximum vigor, random magic power.

Siblings by Petar Milivojevic


Players should roll these in secret, or come up with their own if sufficiently dramatic.

  1. Banished from nobility
  2. Fled noble life
  3. Ran away from justice
  4. Escaped wrongful conviction
  5. Hidden gender
  6. Deserted the war
  7. Member of a cult
  8. Holds a powerful grudge
  9. In a long term relationship
  10. Kills small animals
  11. Unusual tastes
  12. Embarrassing interests
  13. Stolen treasure
  14. Stolen weapon
  15. Stolen status symbol
  16. Killed someone important
  17. Hunting a rival
  18. Eats human flesh
  19. Hates anyone of a certain race
  20. Cannot swim

Fly high, my friend by Mauro Belfiore


Characters should start with one scar, from growing up in a dangerous world. Each time they get wounded, it should also leave a scar.
  1. Cut across the eye
  2. Cut across the mouth
  3. Broken nose
  4. Foggy eye
  5. Cuts on the arm
  6. Missing teeth
  7. Missing finger
  8. Missing toes
  9. Cut on chest
  10. Cut along neck
  11. Punctures in torso
  12. Burn on face
  13. Burned arms
  14. Missing hand
  15. Missing foot
  16. Missing ear
  17. Missing eye
  18. Cut across forehead
  19. Punctures in arm
  20. Cut across nose


Players can roll one of these when they create a character, usually getting a benefit along with an open ended question for them to answer, perhaps at character creation or perhaps gradually as they play. For the negative ones, such as debts, I would recommend giving them an exp bonus for paying them off or otherwise solving them. These can be recorded on the party sheet, unless the player wants to keep them on their sheet.

1- People
  1. Your sister Matihl travels with you as a guard. What was she like as a child?
  2. Your brother Sigund is coming along to cook. How was growing up with him?
  3. Your lover is with you to repair leather and metal items. How did you meet?
  4. Mentor Vimatn demands weekly reports. What was their teaching style?
  5. Parents write weekly letters. What do they write about?
  6. An obsessive hanger on tends to get in the way. Why are they following you?

2- Business
  1. Owe 1d100 gold to the cult of the Inner Moon. Were you a member?
  2. Debt of 1d100 gold with Baron Kihlig. How long will they give you?
  3. You owe 1d100 gold to Shosturv, your friend. How good of a friend are they?
  4. An assassin fulfilled a 1d100 gold contract, yet to be paid. Who did you need dead?
  5. There is a bakery you partly own. Why did you set out?
  6. You're the business partner to an innkeeper. What made you leave?

3- Animals
  1. Pet dog came with when you left your home. What does it like most?
  2. Hunting bird tagged along. What do you feed it?
  3. Family mule sent along with you. Does it follow or lead?
  4. Stole a horse. Whose was it?
  5. Missives by bird come from far away. Why do they write to you?
  6. A war dog has taken a liking to you. Just how friendly is it?

4- Reputation
  1. People say you're a lucky one. Is that totally wrong?
  2. Everybody thinks you're rich. Do you try to live up to that?
  3. They say you're clumsy. What was the start of that?
  4. There's supposedly an air of mystery around you. What causes that?
  5. You're said to be fashionable. How do you handle that pressure?
  6. Some say you're an incredible lover. Is it flattering or uncomfortable?

5- Rumors
  1. Word has it that you're cursed. What's the supposed curse?
  2. There's a story that you had a violent outburst. What really happened?
  3. Innkeepers say you trashed a room once. How bad was it?
  4. You're said to have survived impossible odds in a fight. Did you get lucky?
  5. A noble scion is supposedly betrothed to you. Who are they?
  6. Of a crew that ostensibly hid great treasure, you're the last remaining. What keeps you from getting it?

6- Other
  1. A nomadic wizards cursed you to fall short of your destiny. Are you after them?
  2. A bandit leader owes you bigtime. Did you mean to help them out?
  3. The heir of Nuliwim County wishes you stop adventuring and join them. How do they know you?
  4. Baron Shuladn begrudgingly owes you a favor. Is that more trouble than it's worth?
  5. You covered for a squad of deserters. Where did they go next?
  6. You are native to a strange and distant land. What brought you here?

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