Character Background Creation Questions

Submitted by blu4lyf on Sun, 03/27/2011 - 17:16

What follows are a series of questions designed to help with creating your character's background. Some of these questions you won‘t be able to answer on your own, so sit down with the GM and discuss those questions.

Perhaps the best way to approach this is to go through and answer each question with an essay type of answer. Then take each of those answers to create a complete essay on the character.

I typically award some amount of xp for the essay.  

  1. Parents
    1. Who were the character‘s parents?
    2. Did they raise your character?
    3. If the character‘s parents didn't raise your character, who did and why?
    4. What did your character‘s parents do for a living?
    5. Are your character‘s parents still alive?
    6. Where are your character‘s parents?
  2. Siblings & Family
    1. Did your character have any siblings?
    2. What has become of your character‘s siblings?
    3. Does your character keep in touch with them?
    4. If your character doesn‘t keep in touch, why not?
    5. Was your character the oldest, youngest, or somewhere in-between?
    6. Does the character have any cousins, uncles, or aunts?
    7. Does the character plan to any family of their own?
    8. What kind of person is the character looking for to have as their spouse?
    9. Is the character actively looking for a spouse, or just waiting to see what happens?
  3. Childhood
    1. What was your character‘s childhood like?
    2. Were there any significant events during your character‘s childhood?
    3. Did your character have any childhood friends?
    4. What has become of the character‘s friends?
    5. Does your character keep in touch with them?
    6. If you character doesn‘t keep in touch, why?
  4. Role Models
    1. Does (or did) you character have any role models?
    2. How did these role models influence your character?
    3. Did your character know their role models personally?
  5. Profession
    1. What did your character do before entering the adventure?
    2. Who trained the character to do what they do now?
    3. What is your character‘s relationship with their instructor?
    4. Where is their instructor now?
  6. Morals, Ethics, & Religion
    1. What are the character‘s moral, ethical, and religious beliefs?
    2. To what lengths will the character go to defend those beliefs?
    3. How did the character come to believe in these things?
    4. How does the chracter‘s believes fit with their alignment?
  7. Habits & Appearance
    1. Does the character have any unusual habits?
    2. Does the character have any unusual physical traits?
    3. How did the character get these unusual characteristics?
    4. How do others tend to react these characteristics?
    5. What does the character look like?
    6. Does the character have any scars or tattoos?
    7. If the characer does, how did they get the scars or tattoos?
    8. What is the character‘s hair, or eye color?
    9. Does the character have an unusual gait or accent?
  8. Character Interaction
    1. What is the general reaction to the character from others?
    2. Why, in the character‘s opinion, do others react that way?
    3. How does the character feel about these reactions?
    4. How does the character treat others?
    5. Does the character trust easily?
    6. How does the character relate to others?
    7. Is the character shy and withdrawn, or a condescending snob?
  9. Killing & Death
    1. Has the character been exposed to death?
    2. How does the character view death?
    3. Can the character kill?
    4. When did the character decide (or learn) that they could kill?
    5. Why would the character kill?
    6. Are there specific people that the character would like to kill?
  10. Friends & Enemies
    1. Does the character have any close friends?
    2. What kinds of relationship does the character have with their friends?
    3. What kind of people are the character‘s friends?
    4. How did the character begin their relationship with their friends?
    5. Does the character have any bitter enemies?
    6. What kind of people are the character‘s bitter enemies?
    7. How did these people become the character‘s bitter enemies?
    8. Does the character‘s enemies know that they are enemies?
    9. Does the character know any of the people in the adventuring group already?
    10. How does the character get along with that person?
  11. Mental Issues
    1. Does the character have any mental problems?
    2. Does the character have any phobias?
    3. How did the character get these mental problems or phobias?
  12. Daily Routine
    1. What is the character‘s normal daily routine?
    2. How does the character feel when their daily routing is interrupted?
  13. Historic Events
    1. Was the character present for any significant events in the campaign‘s history?
    2. How did the even affect the character?
  14. Ancestors
    1. Does the character have any notorious or celebrated ancestors?
    2. What did this ancestor do?
    3. What do people assume about the character when they find out about their ancestry?
    4. Does the character actively let be know their relationship to their ancestor, or try to hide it?
  15. Homeland
    1. Where is the character‘s homeland?
    2. What is the history of that homeland?
    3. Is the character patriotic, or a social outcast?
    4. What is the character‘s opinion of their homeland?
    5. Does the character still call their homeland their home?
    6. If not, where is the character‘s home now?
  16. Dreams & Goals
    1. What are the character‘s dreams?
    2. What are the character‘s goals?
    3. How does the character intend to acheive their dreams or goals?
    4. How does adventuring fit within their plans to acheive their ambitions?

These questions are based upon questions that I found on the Internet in the mid-90's. I have searched multiple times for the original author, to give them credit, and found that the questions have been copied about so many times that it is no longer possible to identify their creator.