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. 

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