Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Monday Motivations #12

Been hectic at work the last couple of weeks so this is a little late: 

Article #12 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.


5. Family Business - Your childhood was a strange one, you were home schooled by both your parents in subjects as diverse as languages, preparation and application of poisons, mathematics, esoteric missile weapons.  You never questioned why you were being taught these skills.  On your 16th Birthday your father told you to go into town and deliver a letter to the baker insisting that you wore your best leather gloves.  Only moments after the baker read the letter his face turned purple and he keeled over stone dead.  You gingerly picked up the letter and to your amazement the postscript was written to you in your father's hand it read. "Happy Birthday Son, congratulations on completing your first job and welcome to the family business.  Now clean up any evidence that you poisoned the baker and come home..."


3. A Father's Secret - You were never close to your father and always saw him as an old an frail man, his body wracked by illness, old age and the rigours of farming life.  When he died during one particularly harsh winter you buried him as custom demands.  Being some twenty years old yourself and with no desire to continue trying to scratch a living from the soil you decided to sell the farm and move to the nearby town.  When you were sorting out the valuables from amongst his possessions you found a book, scrawled within it's pages in his familiar hand were journal entries describing the most fantastic adventures and acts of heroism you could imagine.  Was this really your father whose exploits you were reading about?  The final page was addressed to you and told you where to look for the sword and armour that your father had hidden and that his dying wish was that even though he had not schooled you in the ways of war, that you would take up the sword and shield and fight for truth, justice and honour...


4. True Wisdom from Experience - It is written in the teachings of one of the most venerable ancestors of your temple that one cannot be taught wisdom from a book and that the truly wise must learn from experience.  This tennet has been handed down to each and every monk of your order since and has formed one of the most important lessons that a novice must undertake... The life outside.  Stripped of the comforts of a daily routine and the wise words of his teachers a novice must journey outside the temple for a period of not less than 1 year and return to the temple to be tested by the abbot himself.  Some novices return and fail the test, fewer rise to join the ranks of the teachers, most are never seen or heard from again...

5. The Watchers - It is said that History is written by the victor.  This is untrue, History is written by you and your fellow monks of the order of the all seeing eye.  Once you have completed your training you are despatched to all the corners of the known world to record the passing of events.  Whenever a battle is fought you account for the losses from each side and the amount of land given or taken, you and your brothers have witnessed momentous cosmic events, the birth of kings, the death of dynasties and the rise and fall of nations all with an impartial impassive eye...


5. Side Effects - After that nasty business with the mayor's wife's skin turning purple there was little call for your remedies in your home town.  You decided that there was more money to be made on the open road, so you sold what little possessions you had to buy a small covered wagon and set yourself up as a doktor of physick selling your own remedies for common ailments as you pass through the towns and villages on your way to who knows where...


No comments:

Post a Comment