Posts Tagged ‘Backgrounds’
A character used for role-playing is only as good as his background. Is he a dastardly assassin who realized there is a greater evil to fight? Perhaps a simple farmer who is called to greatness after his village is taken captive by rogue bandits? Maybe he is a simple healer who quests for the power needed to heal a god. Background: It says everything about your character. For those who might be good writers but are coming up short when a background comes into play, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind while composing your background.
1. Know the WorldIf you are going to craft an appropriate background for your character, make sure it fits within the genre you are to playing. For instance, don’t create a gunsmith for a game which takes place entirely in something like ancient Greece. Also, it helps to know a bit of history for the world in which you play. You don’t need to go so far as to become a historian for the game world, but know enough to answer simple questions (like when someone asks you where the kangaroo is from, most will know Australia). It will help you enrich your own character background, as well as giving you a bit more of a foothold into role-playing with others.
2. Have a Good Idea What You WantChoosing what your character does for a living is as important as anything else. Now, it’s not required to have a background that fits perfectly into what your character does know, but be able to explain how he got from where he was in the beginning to where he is now. If your farmer has become a world-renown magician, how did he get there? Was it natural talent that arose at a certain time? Did he come across a magic scroll which empowered him with his gifts? Also, be willing to accept that you can’t be good at everything. Make goals for your character. Even something as simple as ‘reach level X’ or ‘use my skills to do Y’ can help guide you to getting what you want.
3. Your Character is YoursNo matter what anyone else says, you are the one who crafts your characters background. You made him from a peasant laborer to a god-like swordsman of epic speed and stamina. If you desire input from others while crafting your background, make sure in the end it is something you are happy with. You will be the one playing the character for days, weeks, months or years. Sure, you may choose skills or a profession that not everyone understands or likes, but YOU are the one who plays that character. Be willing to work with others for everyone’s enjoyment, but remember that you ultimately control your character.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of FlawsPlaying a god-like character gets really boring after a while. Don’t be scared to spice up your character background and personality with something as simple as a bad habit, like always snapping fingers or chewing on his nails. It could even be something life affecting, like having a bad temper that at one point, your character killed someone and hid the evidence. Flaws, no matter how major or minor, odious or tragic, can add a vast amount of flavor and life to your character’s background.
5. Use Your Background to Give Your Character LifePlay your character with your background in mind and play to your heart’s content. Use accents if you feel your character should have one, or give it voice inflections (even if they annoy others). Don’t be afraid to really steep yourself into your character, because that is the point of a role-playing game: to be someone else, even if only for a short while. And, above all else, allow yourself to be entertained. Your character might die, but if so, make it glorious, heroic, or epic. Remember that the most basic part of your character is where he comes from, so remember that you
Fun is the point of a game. Remember that your character isn’t real, but you should treat him as though he were your favorite fiction character from a good book: he could be real, somewhere.