5 Steps to Writing a Killer RPG Character Backstory

5 Steps to Writing a Killer RPG Character Backstory Whether this is your first or your hundredth time rolling up a character for a new roleplaying game campaign, coming up with a compelling backstory can be tough. Maybe you’ve spent a ton of time trying to come up with a character, but you still end up bored with them or worry that they’re one dimensional. Or perhaps you have the basics down and want to take your characters to the next level. The following steps will help you write a killer character backstory, one that will get you excited about your character, provide cues to roleplay them, and give the GM tools to...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 27

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 27 Day 27: What does your protagonist regret most and why? Your Protagonist. We all go through life harboring regrets about things we’ve done or left undone. Your protagonist is no exception. What sorts of things do they regret about their life so far? What are the stories behind each regret? Do the nature of these regrets change by the midpoint of the novel or after the climax, when additional information might have come to light? How intensely do they feel the regret, and do the regreats factor in to the protagonist’s desires/motives or their M.O.? Action...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 26

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 26 Day 26: What is the darkest moment when all hope is lost? Story and setting. If we extrapolate from the fears the protagonist holds, the hatreds they feel, and the antagonist they’re up against, what does the darkest moment in the story look like? What has to happen in order for the protagonist to be hopeless or on the verge of giving up their goal? What kinds of circumstances would make the audience fear that the protagonist might lose as well? This moment, which usually occurs at the three-quarters mark of the novel, should be one of the most emotionally...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 24

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 24 Day 24: What does your protagonist fear most and why? Your Protagonist. Considered a certain way, the flip side of desire is fear: it’s what we don’t want to have happen. As we get closer to Halloween, let the spookiness of the season inspire you to give your character unique but believable fears. What sort of fears does the protagonist harbor? What prompted these fears in the first place? Are they rational or irrational? Will the protagonist have to face any of them over the course of the story? How might they overcome their fears? Action Plan: Write...

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 22

31 Days of NaNoPrepMo: Day 22 Day 22: What kinds of people or things might get in the way of your protagonist achieving their goals? Your Protagonist. Besides the antagonist, there are many other external issues that could hinder the protagonist’s journey to realizing their desires. Who are the protagonist’s rivals, foils, or ex-lovers? What sort of institutions or factions stand in the way of the protagonist achieving their goal? What do they stand for and how is their skin in the game? What about the setting itself: the weather, the landscape, monsters, or the gods? Why are these...

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