The character creation process is one of the most important steps at the beginning of any campaign. The choices you make will echo over the course of many levels. Making a truly memorable character requires you to make a lot of important choices. From race, class and attribute distribution all decisions will factor into the overall enjoyment of playing this character.
While the numbers and powers that describe your character are of great importance they are not the most important factors in the design process. The key to creating an engaging character is developing a back-story full of life and intrigue. This process isn’t easy and often takes more time than selecting powers and equipment.
A fully fleshed out character provides you, as a player, with more opportunities to role-play in a meaningful way. Your decisions will carry weight as they are derived from the creative process of defining your character. Listed below are 27 questions that every character you create should be able to answer about themselves and their background.
- How old is your character?
- Are your parents still alive?
- If one or both of your parents are dead when and how did they die?
- Who raised you after your parents died?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Have any of them died?
- If any siblings have died how did they die?
- What do your siblings do?
- Is your character married?
- Does your character have children?
- What social class is your character from?
- How has their upbringing affected their world view?
- How did your character get started in their chosen class?
- Does your character have any heroes or inspirational figures?
- Does your character have any significant personal items?
- Is your character religious?
- Is your character guided by a prophecy?
- What is your character’s view on magic?
- Has your character ever served in the military?
- Has your character ever been arrested? What for?
- How did your character meet his current adventuring companions?
- Has your character ever crossed anyone?
- Does your character have any enemies?
- What are your character’s goals in life?
- How important is the accumulation of wealth?
- If your character died tomorrow what would they be remembered for?
- Where did your character learn or train their skills?
There are other ways to approach character creation and you may find the following articles useful.
- Creating A Character Around A Concept
- Character Creation Tips
- The Importance of Planning Ahead
- Character Motivation
- Make Your Characters More Than Just Numbers
What steps do you take when creating your character’s back-story? Do you follow the same steps for every character or do you find that the creation of each character is a unique experience?