In Shadows of Darkness
Character Background Questions
Below is a list of questions you can answer for your character to help bring them to life. If you are interested in a restricted or banned character creation option, you will need to expand on these in a way that truly make sense for your character to be with the group.
Basic background questions
In depth background questions
- Tell me a story you enjoyed as a child.
- What is your greatest Fear?
- Tell me a funny childhood story of yours.
- Tell me a secret: What don’t you want the other members of the party to know about you?
- Tell me something you are afraid of (that is not your greatest fear).
- If you were suddenly given 10,000,000gp, what would you do with it? What should you do with it?
- Tell me about a pet peeve of yours.
- Where did that scar come from? (or) Why did you get that tatoo? (or) Is there any special significance about that piece of jewelry?
- What is something you are proud of?
- Tell me three truths and a lie.
- Tell me something you hate?
- Tell me about your closest friend.
- Tell me about your closest relative.
- Tell me about your least favorite relative.
- Tell me about a time when you were wronged.
- What is something you feel guilty about?
- What is the prettiest sight you’ve ever seen?
- What is the ugliest sight you’ve ever seen?
- If you could do any one thing that you haven’t been able to do before, what would it be?
- Tell me a story about a scary occurrence in your childhood.
- Is there anybody you have ever been in love with (tell me about him / her)?
- Tell me what you enjoy doing in your free time.
- Tell me about a dream (or vision) (pleasant or nightmarish) you’ve had.
- What do you keep in your pockets? (What would you keep in them if you don’t have pockets?
- Tell me about how your character came to be an adventurer.
- Describe three NPCs who are role-models for your character. One of these NPCs must be alive, and one dead. The third NPC is up to you. Tell me about who you want to be.
- Describe how your character wants to die. Do you want to die of old age, telling stories to your children? Do you want to die sacrificing yourself to defeat a great evil? etc.
- Tell me three sayings and three curses.
Additional Background Information – if you are looking for further direction for background information, check out these questions.
Where was your character born & raised?
Who were the character’s parents? Did they raise the character? If not why? If not them who?
Describe your character’s family.
Describe your childhood. What was childhood like for the character? Calm and peaceful or turbulent and traumatic?
Does the character have any or did the character have any role models? Describe them.
Has your character ever had a pet? If so, what was it, what happened to it?
What was the worst thing that ever happened to your character & how did it affect them?
Describe a recurring nightmare your character had once.
What kind of relationships does the character currently have? Does he have any close friends? Describe your character’s friends. Bitter enemies? If so who? What are they like?
Do you have a best friend (not a child or a lover) whom you’d protect with your reputation or life? Who? Why?
Has your character had any romantic interests? If so, who, when, what? (you can leave out how).
What is your most important personal possession? Not the magical item you value most but the possession that means the most. How much would your character sacrifice to keep/save this possession?
Name the one thing your character has done which makes him the most proud. Name the one thing of which your character is most ashamed.
What did the character do before he entered the story? Who trained the character to do what he does now?
Alignment, Ethics and Religion
What is your character’s religion? Who is your patron deity? Are you a devout worshipper? How often do you attend services or make sacrifices?
What are the character’s moral and religious beliefs? What lengths will the character go to defend those beliefs? Who or what taught those beliefs to the character?
Do you have a moral code that you follow? If so, what is it?
Can the character kill? (Not ‘kill’ in the sense of slaying evil monsters, but killing another human, possibly as a murder or manslaughter.) Why would the character kill? Does he have any enemies at all? Would or could the character kill them?
How does the character generally treat others? Does he trust easily? Or not?
What are your political beliefs? (i.e., do you prefer democracy, monarchy, rule of the aristocracy, communism, anarchy, etc.?)
Is there any race, creed, alignment, religion or the like against which you are strongly prejudiced? Why? (Note that most Hurvans are prejudiced against elves.)
What, if anything, would your character sacrifice their life for?
Are there any circumstances under which you would abandon your adventuring companions in an hour of need?
What does ‘justice’ mean to your character?
What are the character’s dreams? Ambitions? Goals?
How does he seek to obtain them? How does adventuring fit into this dream, or does it at all?
What type of person would be your ideal mate?
Does the character ever want to have a family of his own someday? If so with who or what type of person? Does your character want children?
What (if anything) would make you stop adventuring? (i.e., death of a loved one, physical mutilation, enough money to retire on, marriage, etc.?)
If your character had to quit adventuring for some reason, what would they do?
What are your immediate goals? (i.e., what would you like to be doing in the coming year?)
What are your long-term goals? (i.e., what would you like to be doing twenty years from now?)
Would your character consider a brief romantic fling? A one-night stand?
What is your greatest fear? (it can be rational or irrational)
Work out with DM — Clear any of these ideas with the DM.
Was the character present during any key events in the history of the campaign world? How did that event affect the character?
Does the character have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? What did he do? What do people assume about the character when his ancestry is known? Does the character actively try to live up to the reputation, try dispel it or try to ignore it?
Are you an extremely loyal member of any cause? (i.e. a loyal servant of a noble, devoted member of a guild or order, etc.?)
The following questions are not intended to be answered at character creation. They are merely prompts for those who wish to further write of their character’s history beyond the point at which they join the campaign.
How would your character describe his current adventuring companions to a friend he trusted? (this can be a work in progress).
If your character had to spend a month without any demands on his time, what would he do to relax?
If there was one thing about the world you could change what would it be (a border, a tradition, a custom, an empire…. cultural/societal/political things not physics)?
Why do you adventure — why have you chosen to risk your life as a career choice?
Has the character ever considered the possibility of his own death? Has he made a will?
What would you like to be remembered for after your death?