Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Motivations #9

Article #9 in a regular series where I offer up some ideas for character backgrounds by class.  I aim to collect these ideas together for a future pdf publication.

What made your character decide to become a wizard? Why did they leave their home town? Did they leave family behind or are they looking for something? These are all questions players face when generating their characters, with the best will in the world it's tempting to rely on cliché.

KNIGHT

Paladin by Katie De Sousa
3.  Lost Crusader - You were born into a noble family trained from birth to be a knight and to fight alongside other noble sons as a knight in the kings army.  The tales of honour, glory and valour which were taught to yiu as a child did not prepare you for the grim reality of war when as a young noble you were sent to fight in a foreign land on a holy crusade.  Your training didn't contain lessons on how to kill women and children, or how to burn down whole towns and villages as the army roamed agross the land like some savage beast.  Eventually the tides of war turned on the kings army, in one ferocious battle the defenders had the upper hand and the army was routed, you were lost far from home in a foreign land surrounded by a people that only days before you were trying to slaughter...

4.  A Squire's Chance - You'd followed your knight across hill and dale, tundra and desert, forest and ocean since father entrusted you into his care.  The days are long and the work never ending with never a thank you nor a coin to spend of your own.  When you woke one morning to find him slumped over the table after a night's gambling and drinking in the local tavern you cursed that you would soon suffer one of his beatings if you had not completed your chores.  By noon he still had not stirred, so you went to check on him, he was still slumped over the table.  Gingerly you prodded him with your wooden practice sword and his lifeless body rolled off the bench and onto the floor.  His face was purple and his eyes had rolled up into his skull, there was no doubt about it he was dead.  Your years of hoping for a chance like this had finally paid off, and you swung your plan that you had rehearsed so many times into action.  You swapped your clothes with him, packed the armour and weapons and loaded the horses.  By nightfall you were 20 leagues away from your past and well on the road to fame and fortune as a true knight...

5. Country Justice -  The Prelate of your monastery bestowed the honour of Marschall upon you three summers ago.  Since then you have roamed the five counties tracking down bandits and thieves, defending villages from ravenous beasts which raid their homes for food and rooting out the odd band of goblins or tribe of kobolds who seem intent on setting up home in your peaceful homeland.  The lifestyle suits you, and you've never been happier than when you're riding out into the wilderness to pursue some vagabond or villain intent on meting out justice from the saddle at swordpoint...


PALADIN

1.  An Old Code - You were just a regular soldier in a regular army sent by your lord to burn the library of some town you can't even remember the name of.  The only difference between you and the rest of your company was that you could read.  You knew that setting fire to the library was a bad thing and that the gods would likely punish you for doing so, so you grabbed the first book you came across and stuffed it inside your breastplate.  Back at the barracks that night you opened up the book to read what you had saved from the flames.  It was the life account of a holy warrior who fought evil and injustice wherever he found it.  He was noble in thought, deed and word because he lived by a holy code.  The code which you committed to memory and which you have vowed you will live by from now on...

BARBARIAN

4.  Slave Child - You were not born into a barbarian tribe, you were enslaved into one.  You were born in a land far away, when your parents were killed in one of the tribe's pillaging raids, you were taken back to their land across the sea with the other loot.  You were given to one of the barren wives cast off by the chieftain to raise as her own and look after her in her old age.  Your new mother was outwardly grateful for the kindness shown to her by the chieftain, but as you found out later, secretly harboured revenge against her husband and his new wife.  As you grew up in your new home you were schooled alongside the other children by the best teachers the tribe had to offer in how to fight, track, hunt, fish, sail and survive in the barabarian way and by night your surrogate mother taught you about the world, where you came from and  that you had been sent to her by the gods as a weapon to strike down the Chieftain.  At age 15 you took the rite of passage to manhood and became a fully fledged member of the tribe and at age 17 you took part in your first raid during which you used the confusion of battle to your advantage, slew the chieftain and faked your own death in a burning house.  You have since put many leagues and years between you and your barabrian upbringing and embarked on a new quest to find your true family and true heritage...

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