10 Minute Character Background

Step 1: Write 6 background and concept elements that you feel are important to your image of the character. These can be a concept overview, a list of important life events, a physical description, a personality profile…whatever you need to get an image in your mind. 6 is just a minimum…more elements are heavily encouraged!

Example – Ancil Bell – Human Death Cleric
1.) Ancil’s family was very devout in the worship of Blediwesse, the goddess of spring. Regardless, he lost his mother in an ultimately meaningless raid by a feuding clan.
2.) Because of his and his family’s devotion to the goddess , Ancil eventually developed the idea that the goddess of life and restoration would surely grant him the ability to restore his own family back to life.
3.) Assuming that if the goddess did not want him to have this ability, she would not give it to him, he experimented with bringing his mother back, but was unable to do so. Rather than bringing her soul back, he brings back a zombie with no soul which he finds morally repulsive.
4.) Bookish as he is, he eventually finds an old tome that he uses to successfully prepare his little sister in case she has to be brought back.
5.) When his sister dies during the next plague, he is able to bring her back.
6.) Because he brings back his sister’s soul and not her body, and her body would understandably be distasteful, he becomes a recluse within the house with only his undead sister for company, attempting to continue with life as normally as possible.
7.) However, it was difficult to be as isolated as he needed to be to keep the secret, and so he was eventually discovered and run out of town. His sister’s skeleton was destroyed, but thanks to the preparation of her soul, her soul remains incorporeal.

Step 2: List at least three goals for the character. Do not include anything directly linked to defeating the Host or fulfilling your role as Starborn. At least one of these goals should be one that the character has, while another should be one that you, as a player, want to see developed over the course of the game.

Example – Ancil Bell – Human Death Cleric
1.) Find a vessel for the sister.
2.) Teach someone else how to perform the same spell. They would have to be morally aligned with his ideals concerning raising the dead and they would then have to take care of the sister in case something happened to Ancil.
3.) He would like to contribute to the party using his healing and necromancy skills.

Step 3: List at least three secrets about your character; being a Starborne does not count. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character.

Example – Ancil Bell – Human Death Cleric
1.) After having brought his mother back as a zombie, Ancil was forced to kill her again rather than allow her to continue in such a miserable existence. He tells himself it was for her good, but is more reluctant to admit that he did it as a means of erasing his own failure and to avoid having to live with a grotesque caricature of his mother.
2.) Ancil does not realize that his sister may not age anymore, but will continue to mature. Whether she will one day regret the decision to forgo an afterlife is something he has largely not dealt with.
3.) Ancil considers himself a moral person with high standards for using his abilities. He has pointedly avoided wrestling with the moral implications of having made such a permanent decision for his sister without her fully being aware of the consequences due to how young she was. Ancil considers himself a moral person with high standards for using his abilities. He has pointedly avoided wrestling with the moral implications of having made such a permanent decision for his sister without her fully being aware of the consequences due to how young she was.

Step 4: Step 4: Describe at least four people that are tied to the character. At least two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you if I need one/they are applicable or in the right place at the right time.

Example – Ancil Bell – Human Death Cleric
1.) Cora Bell - A positive influence in Ancil’s life and responsible for supporting the family in Ancil’s father’s absence, Ancil’s mother was a strict but fair woman who allowed him the freedom to pursue his interest and devotion in the goddess Blediwesse.
2.) Maidie Bell - Ancil’s sister died when she was ten years old and he assumes that she will always sound ten years old. If and how she will mature beyond this is unknown. She agreed to allow him to perform the spell that preserved her soul, largely because as her older brother, she looked up to him and trusted his decisions.
3.) Winthrop Smithy - Elder of the church in his hometown, served as a mentor in lieu of Ancil’s father but was kept unaware of how Ancil extended his teachings to develop his abilities until his wife discovered what Ancil was up to. Became extremely disappointed in Ancil and eventually participated the efforts to run him out of town.
4.) Fearn Smithy - Wife of the elder of the church. Was somewhat suspicious of Ancil’s sudden isolation and discovered the secret that he’d brought back his sister. Whether right or not, Ancil believes that he might eventually been able to convince the townspeople that his use of his abilities pleased the goddess, but for the fear-mongering of Fearn Smithy.

Step 5: Describe at least five memories, mannerisms, or quirks that your character has. They don’t have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor that will help you/me predict/understand your character and their motives.

Example – Ancil Bell – Human Death Cleric
1.) Ancil is at heart a fairly naïve person. He is less naïve now that he has had to deal with so much personal turmoil, but he still generally expects people to be well, or at least, neutrally intentioned.
2.) Having spent most of his time indoors reading as a child rather than playing or spending time with his peers, Ancil is not very physically-inclined.
3.) Most of the knowledge that Ancil has is theoretical and comes from the hours he spent in the church library. Apart from his abilities to raise the dead and heal rudimentarily, he has had few opportunities to develop practical experience.
4.) Ancil was already sort of an isolated person to begin with due to natural introversion and became even more isolated once he revived his sister. As such, he has little experience dealing with people outside of his hometown or his family.
5.) Seriously considered kissing a girl in the last town he was in. He believes this may be the reason he is unable to access his powers currently.
6.) Is a talented piano player. At home, he would largely use it to avoid social interaction, choosing to remain behind the piano at gatherings rather than mingle with anyone else.
7.) Maidie once broke a lamp in the house when both she and her mother were still alive. Ancil took responsibility for it and lied to his mother, so that his sister would not get in trouble. He fooled absolutely no one, but his mother played along and scolded him for it anyway.
8.) Once he is convinced that he is right, it is difficult to sway Ancil. This makes him both a person determined to live by his ideals and extremely reluctant about considering that he might be wrong.

10 Minute Character Background

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