It can be tricky for RPG players to create an awesome backstory that works for you & helps you role-play better, but also allows your Game Master to create epic roleplaying campaigns and adventures. In today’s video, I go into the questions you should consider to help you create backstories that your DM can use, both quickly and easily. Whether you’re creating a backstory for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, a Pathfinder adventure or a Call of Cthulhu expedition – these tips will guide you to creating a player character backstory that’s worth your while.
Crafting a Strong RPG Character Backstory – 5 Questions To Consider
How to make a good backstory. That actually helps you roleplay better.
- Complex backstory fails
- Your GM doesn’t have a flawless memory nor time to read 1000 words. Keep it simple & clear.
A few questions to answer to make a good backstory:
- Where was the PC born?
- This is a complicated question.
- Ask your GM for local lore/curiosities/names.
- Who looked after you? Provide 1 name, 1 place, 1 incident.
- What was the situation like in the space that they were born?
- How do you feel about it? I am filled with dread, I miss the old days, I am carefree…
- How were you educated?
- On the streets, in a school, private tutors, watching YouTube videos…?
- What was the influence of that education upon you?
- Life education – how you learned to survive as a being in your world – scholastic, emotional, survival, sexual, spiritual, social etc.
- Your class isn’t your education. Why your PC became an adventurer isn’t linked to your education.
- Add in one name – it gives your GM options to build into your backstory and links it to you.
- What was your first job?
- How did you earn a living before becoming an adventurer?
- How did they make money? What did they spend time on?
- How did it make you feel? More clues for you and the GM.
- Why did you become an adventurer?
- And why remain one?
- Why did you leave your job to do this? Was it by choice? Were you forced out? Was it luck? Had you had enough of it?
- Why wouldn’t I do that? Sometimes we just need more. Wanderlust?
- Keep a journal – how did your character feel about their first adventure? Why does the game end when the dice stop rolling?
- Keep a living document on how you felt about each adventure – just a short paragraph.
- There is a huge benefit to doing this – look back at your backstory and remember all your adventures and how your felt about them. Share that info with the GM – they can use it. It provides insight for the GM, and let’s your GM know that you care.
- What you care about in game is really powerful.
Your task – create a backstory or rewrite your existing one. Create a living document on your backstory. Start writing a short paragraph after each adventure that details how your felt about that adventure.