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23:32, 16th April 2024 (GMT+0)

Character Backstory, Description, Possessions.

Posted by der WachterFor group 0
der Wachter
GM, 18 posts
45 years of RPGs
Ich bin dein Freund.
Thu 3 Nov 2022
at 02:42
  • msg #1

Character Backstory, Description, Possessions

In addition to a brief biographical sketch of your character, I'll want some idea of their inner life. These aspects may play into your Sanity loss/recovery or otherwise play a part in the story. They include Ideology/Beliefs, Significant Person/People, Meaningful Location(s), Treasured Possession, and Trait(s). You can pick from these lists or roll them if you aren't inspired. You’ll be able to share this information in character as you want.

Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following. Make the result specific and personal to your investigator.
1: There is a higher power that you worship and pray to (e.g. Vishnu, Jesus Christ, Haile Selassie I).
2: Mankind can do fine without religions (e.g. staunch atheist, humanist, secularist).
3: Science has all the answers. Pick a particular aspect of interest (e.g. evolution, cryogenics, space exploration).
4: A belief in fate (e.g. karma, the class system, superstitious).
5: Member of a society or secret society (e.g. Freemason, Women’s Institute, Anonymous).
6: There is evil in society that should be rooted out. What is this evil? (e.g. drugs, violence, racism).
7: The occult (e.g. astrology, spiritualism, tarot).
8: Politics (e.g. conservative, socialist, liberal).
9: “Money is power, and I’m going to get all I can” (e.g. greedy, enterprising, ruthless).
10: Campaigner/Activist (e.g. feminism, equal rights, union power).

Significant People
Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following. Make the result specific and personal to your investigator.
Think of names for these people.
First, who?
1: Parent (e.g. mother, father, stepmother).
2: Grandparent (e.g. maternal grandmother, paternal grandfather).
3: Sibling (e.g. brother, half-brother, stepsister).
4: Child (son or daughter).
5: Partner (e.g. spouse, fiance, lover).
6: Person who taught you your highest occupational kill. Identify the skill and consider who taught you (e.g. a schoolteacher, the person who taught you the ropes, your father).
7: Childhood friend (e.g. classmate, neighbor, imaginary friend).
8: A famous person. Your idol or hero. You may never have even met (e.g. film star, politician, musician).
9: A fellow investigator in your game. Pick one or choose randomly.
10: A non-player character (NPC) in the game. Ask the Keeper to pick one for you.
Significant how?
Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following to determine why that person is so significant to you. Not all of these options will mesh with every person, so you may invent something.
1: You are indebted to them. How did they help you? (e.g. financially, they protected you through hard times, got you your first job).
2: They taught you something. What? (e.g. a skill, to love, to be a man).
3: They give your life meaning. How? (e.g. you aspire to be like them, you seek to be with them, you seek
to make them happy).
4: You wronged them and seek reconciliation. What did you do? (e.g. stole money from them, informed the police about them, refused to help when they were desperate).
5: Shared experience. What? (e.g. lived through hard times, grew up together, served in the war).
6: You seek to prove yourself to them. How? (e.g. get a good job, find a good spouse, by get an education).
7: You idolize them (e.g. for their fame, their beauty, their work).
8: A feeling of regret (e.g. you should have died in their place, you fell out over something you said, you didn’t
step up and help them when you had the chance).
9: You wish to prove yourself better than them. What was their flaw? (e.g. lazy, drunk, unloving).
10: They have crossed you and you seek revenge. For what do you blame them? (e.g. death of a loved one, your financial ruin, marital breakup).

Meaningful Locations
Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following. Make the result specific and personal to your investigator.  Think of a name for these places.
1: Your seat of learning (e.g. school, university).
2: Your hometown (e.g. rural village, market town, busy city).
3: The place you met your first love (e.g. a music concert, on holiday, a bomb shelter).
4: A place for quiet contemplation (e.g. the library, country walks on your estate, fishing).
5: A place for socializing (e.g. gentlemen’s club, local bar, uncle’s house).
6: A place connected with your ideology/belief (e.g. parish church, Mecca, Stonehenge).
7: The grave of a significant person. Who? (e.g. a parent, a child, a lover).
8: Your family home (e.g. a country estate, a rented flat, the orphanage in which you were raised).
9: The place you were happiest in your life (e.g. the park bench where you first kissed, your university).
10: Your workplace (e.g. the office, library, bank)

Treasured Possessions
Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following. Make the result specific and personal to your investigator.
1: An item connected with your highest skill (e.g. expensive suit, false ID, brass knuckles).
2: An essential item for your occupation (e.g. doctor’s bag, car, lock picks).
3: A memento from your childhood (e.g. comics, pocketknife, lucky coin).
4: A memento of a departed person (e.g. jewelry, a photograph in your wallet, a letter).
5: Something given to you by your Significant Person (e.g. a ring, a diary, a map).
6: Your collection. What is it? (e.g. bus tickets, stuffed animals, records).
7: You seek answers to something you found but don’t know what it is – (e.g. a letter you found written in an unknown language, a curious coin found among your late father’s effects, a silver ball dug up in your garden).
8: A sporting item (e.g. cricket bat, a signed baseball, a fishing rod).
9: A weapon (e.g. service revolver, your old hunting rifle, the hidden knife in your boot).
10: A pet (e.g. a dog, a cat, a tortoise).

Pick or roll 1D10 for one of the following. Make the result specific and personal to your investigator.
1: Generous (e.g. generous tipper, always helps out a person in need, philanthropist).
2. Devious (e.g. secretive, lies even without reason).
3: Dreamer (e.g. given to flights of fancy, visionary, highly creative).
4: Hedonist (e.g. life and soul of the party, entertaining drunk, "live fast and die young").
5: Gambler/risk-taker (e.g. poker-faced, try anything once, lives on the edge).
6: Arrogant (e.g. exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities)
7: Innocent (e.g. artless, credulous, guileless, gullible, ingenuous, open, unworldly).
8: Loyal (e.g. stands by his or her friends, never breaks a promise, would die for his or her beliefs).
9: Superstitious (e.g. believing in magic, chance, fortune, fate, and the like).
10: Ambitious (e.g. to achieve a goal, to become the boss, to have it all).
der Wachter
GM, 19 posts
45 years of RPGs
Ich bin dein Freund.
Thu 3 Nov 2022
at 02:45
  • msg #2

Character Backstory, Description, Possessions

In addition to your character portrait, you'll post a description of your character. Include physical appearance, usual clothing, facial characteristics, voice, etc.

Here's an example of my own.
For all that he seems to be continually eating, Stanley is a small, thin fellow, pale-complected even by the standards of The Smoke. His clothing is rather worn and slightly shabby, his bowler hat in particular evidencing several dents not altogether successfully blocked out. Though worn on the uppers, his shoes are kept in good repair with newish gum soles.

He has a full, if scruffy beard and his mouth is thin, set in a perpetual grimace, as though he has eaten something sour. His eyes are red-rimmed and his nose red and raw. He always has a black handkerchief to hand.

He normally speaks in the accents of a typical Londoner of the middle class with a bit better diction and more refined vocabulary than the common throng. His voice is generally quiet and slightly rasping. He smiles rarely and it is a rather disconcerting expression, not natural to his face.

You can choose words from this list to use in your character's description.
Plain   Handsome   Ill-favored
Pretty   Glamorous   Baby-faced
Smart   Untidy   Dull
Dirty   Dazzling   Bookish
Youthful   Weary   Plump
Stout   Hairy   Slim
Elegant   Scruffy   Stocky
Pale   Sullen   Ordinary
Rosy   Tanned   Wrinkled
Stuffy   Mousy   Sharp
Brawny   Dainty   Muscular
Strapping   Gawky   Frail
der Wachter
GM, 20 posts
45 years of RPGs
Ich bin dein Freund.
Thu 3 Nov 2022
at 02:46
  • msg #3

Character Backstory, Description, Possessions


Possessions will be somewhat circumscribed for these investigators. Just about anything of real value has been sold or pawned to meet necessities.

You should include on your character sheet any items that you consider essential to your characterization. Otherwise, I operate on the basis of what my late friend John Addis called The Prop Closet. If you need/want your character to have some mundane item, it's there.

But it must be reasonable in that circumstance. Cigarettes, matches, pocket or wristwatch, pocket knife, flashlight, compass--anything your character might have in her/his pockets, purse, car trunk, suitcase, briefcase, knapsack (including the knapsack, if reasonable)--will be a given. Anything suitable to the location is also allowed: a fallen branch in the woods, a fireplace poker in a parlor, a carving knife in a kitchen, a rake in a garden shed, a toolkit in a car trunk. But don't expect a rocking chair in a forest clearing or a revolver in a church pew.

More uncommon items will have to be pre-specified and/or up to Keeper discretion.
This message was last edited by the GM at 11:20, Thu 10 Nov 2022.
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