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/tg/ - Traditional Games


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53630417 No.53630417 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Character backgrounds.

I'm new and wondering about this. I'll be joining a long term campaign with some friends and friends of friends, and I'm doing this for the first time. They said to write a little bit about your character.

I wrote like 3 pages and covered her motivations, how she got her skills (level 1 cleric), and what she wants to accomplish. Plus a little bit about her early life and just sort of how she got to where she is today.

What do you write? How much do you write? What are you supposed to cover in this? What are some horror stories about this so I know what to avoid?

It's pretty basic stuff but I still appreciate advice.

>> No.53630459
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53630459

>>53630417
Most character backstories ought to be 1 or 2 pages imo (in font 12 Times Roman Numeral, single line).
For me, 3 pages is edging towards pic related territory.

>> No.53630488

>>53630417

Depends very much on the style and preferences of the group. You need to learn what is expected and how the GM intends to use the information you give them, if at all.

Personally, I always think the most important things in a backstory are the grey areas. If you define every tiny detail, the GM has no wiggle room. A slightly more ambiguous description of events, leaving exact identities out of it if not necessary, not specifying an organisation etc, creates opportunities for your GM to work the backstory into the world itself. That unnamed person might be an NPC or recurring villain they had in mind, that organisation that helped you might have a greater role in the campaign, etc.

But, again, this only works if your GM has the appropriate style and enjoys that kind of collaboration with their players. Talk to your GM and ask what they want and how they intend to use it.

>> No.53630517

>>53630459
>1 or 2 pages

Dude, thats a shitload already. 2-3 paragraphs is more than enough. Chances are its either not going to matter, or they will roleplay something entirely besides what their backstory suggests.

In the rare off chance that someone actually plays their character to their backstory, its great. But its still what happens in the game that matters.

>> No.53630555

>>53630417
>reddit spacing
>guy playing a girl
>writing a short story for your bio
Shit writes itself

>> No.53630578

>>53630417
Character background should be five sentences or less. One for where they come from, one for where they are right now, and one for what they want. If you want to get fancy about it write the first step of how they intend to reach their goal.

As a GM this is also the maximum I'm willing to read

>> No.53630585

>>53630555

Where the fuck did the stupid 'reddit spacing' meme come from? I've seen people using clean formatting on 4chan since I even knew that vapid site was a thing.

>> No.53630608

>>53630517
Well yeah, one page is usually more than sufficient. But I'll happy take two if the player really gets on a roll with writing it up. I'm a pretty fast reader so it doesn't bother me too much.

>> No.53630629

>>53630585
Over the last year or two, 4chan's gotten pretty good at making up buzzwords to use when they want to dismiss someone's post out of hand. Or maybe it's been longer and I'm wearing rose-tinted goggles.

>> No.53630630

>>53630608
Fair enough. But at the point i'm reading 2 pages of fanfic, you better act that shit out to a greater or lesser degree.

If you don't, i'ma take the rulebook and hit you with it for wasting a few minutes of my life.

>> No.53630635

>>53630517
I really intend to stick with it. It's the opposite sort of thing that everyone else is doing. They're all making noble's sons and wizard academy graduates and stuff, and I'm making a slave who thinks Sarenrae intervened and saved her, and all she knows of the world she learned from books that she was fixing/copying as part of her work.

I intend to make the "I'm just a slave and that's all I am but Sarenrae saved me" a core concept of how she acts and how she approaches situations. Maybe she'll find more self-worth as she does heroic stuff, or at least I hope.

>>53630555
Why did you assume I'm a guy? I don't want to shitpost and go off topic but I'm just curious about your reasoning.

>> No.53630655

>>53630635
>I'm a girl btw :^)

>> No.53630667

>>53630629
I think it's been for much longer. What we called each other before 'autist'? I can't remember anymore.

>> No.53630671

>>53630655
this isn't relevant at all to what I'm asking or what I posted. You're the one who brought it up anon, not me.

>> No.53630691

>>53630671
Than you shouldn't have responded

>> No.53630699

>>53630635
If you intend to stick with it, more power to you.

But at the same time, a completely blank slate can become an interesting character, simply because there's no real limit on their reactions.

As a result of that and my party being inept at their own jobs, my monk is currently one of the strongest in our party, the party leader, and the only person actively following the main quest.

He's a 10 cha monk who was just intended to hit things. That was it. i was joining in on the game, and it was my first character, and i somehow became the face, leader, and general guiding force.

Fucking kill me.

>> No.53630720

>>53630635
>>53630417
post it

>> No.53633205

>not forcing your players to write a few pages
>not judging them harshly on it
>not holding things against them in-game
>not using it to kill all their family randomly
>not posting the bad ones online for everyone to laugh at

>> No.53633299

>>53630417
I used to come up with long, detailed backstories, but that eventually killed the fun of making characters for me. Nowadays I prefer brief, somewhat vague backgrounds that are reusable, and give the DM some say in how my character fits into the setting.

>> No.53633307
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53633307

>>53630417
Mostly, it depends on your GM.

Personally, I just learn about my players' characters by walking them through character creation and asking about the reasoning behind their choices. Let them tell me anything more they find important.

If your GM wants an actual written background and won't tell you how much to write, leave the game because they are a garbage GM. If you don't want to do this, then pic related is enough in my opinion.

>> No.53634917

>>53630585
They're referring to posts having single lines of text broken by double spaces and trying to use that as an excuse to both feel offended and part of something exclusive.

Double-spacing for readability is at least as old as the board, it's just more visible now as resolutions are getting uniformly higher it looks like more single-line statements broken by linebreaks. If you look at decade-old posts in 4:3 most will look more like paragraphs. In 16:9, that guy would say they're 'Reddit spaced'. Simple as that.
It's also important to note that the actual reply box is more narrow, so while the first line of this post looks like it takes up three lines in this reply box, it'll probably be only one line in the thread once submitted.

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