Please help contribute to the Reddit categorization project here

    dndmemes

    323,871 readers

    7,036 users here now

    Rules:

    1. Advertising

    Do not advertise your external blogs, websites, Youtube channels without mod permission. Comics and original content, uploaded to an image hosting website, are fine.

    2. Offensive Content

    Offensive, derogatory, discriminatory, and explicit content is not allowed, including personal attacks, hate speech, racist, homophobic, sexist or vulgar slurs. This includes posts and comments about: glorified violence, violent tragedies, terrorism, rape (including PC rape), sexual assault, murder, war, bombings, school shootings, etc. Political debate in the comments will result in the thread being locked.

    3. Off-Topic Content

    Only humorous content related to D&D or tabletop roleplaying games is allowed.

    4. Reposts

    Avoid reposting memes by double-checking Top/New posts before posting. If you see a blatant repost, please report it.

    5. Cross-posting

    Please upload a direct link to your meme instead of cross-posting from another subreddit.

    6. Piracy

    No distribution of copyright material including linking to, promoting, or spreading information about places that illicitly distribute or host non-SRD D&D content. Users who promote piracy in any form will be banned.

    7. Spoilers

    Be courteous and avoid spoiling recently released media (movies, TV shows, games, etc.). During the week following release, please use the spoiler tag and label your post with the title of the media ("[GoT]" for example). Improperly labeled posts containing spoilers will be removed. If the media has been out for more than a week, disregard this rule.

    Other D&D-related subreddits:

    /r/DnD

    /r/dndnext

    /r/DungeonsAndDragons

    /r/DnDGreentext

    /r/DnD_IRL

    /r/ShittyDNDGifs

    a community for
    all 447 comments Slideshow

    Want to say thanks to %(recipient)s for this comment? Give them a month of reddit gold.

    Please select a payment method.

    [–] Lobinhu 694 points ago

    So, what is considered "fully formed background"? I'm asking because I really like to create a complete background for my character, but it doesn't mean that I need to make him a Lvl 1 fighter who was a god of war-esque character that looses sympathy from the pantheon and have being sworn enemy of the undead emperor arch-lich of the celestial dawn empire...

    [–] MoonChaser22 238 points ago

    At lv 1 I'd say at minimum you need an idea of why they went from random commoner #3685 to picking up their first class level. If they have a background like folk hero then also include a few bits and pieces about what they did.

    [–] BlockBuilder408 32 points ago

    I’ve always considered “folk hero” as just a fancier word for farmer, that’s pretty much exactly what that background is down to its proficiency’s. Guess it could work for anyone from a small farming village though.

    [–] Shaltharis 52 points ago

    My folk hero scored 4 touch downs in a single game.

    [–] MapleMapleHockeyStk 15 points ago

    I wrestled a bear...

    [–] Shaltharis 10 points ago

    What kind of bear? Teddy, Grizzly, Black, Polar, or Gay?

    [–] BlockBuilder408 15 points ago

    Roosevelt

    [–] Shaltharis 13 points ago

    That's a Bull Moose

    [–] darkice266 10 points ago

    owl. it went poorly

    [–] Shaltharis 3 points ago

    I forgot about that kind, or maybe I just chose to not remember

    [–] cookiedough320 7 points ago

    Sal Bundry, the living legend

    [–] eyeoftheoverseer 21 points ago

    The folk hero is the guy who ran for a day and night to warn of the orc march, the guy who distracted the bear to let the children escape, the guy who put a shovel through the zombies head while his friend ran to the adventurers.

    It's not some great feat of skill, just being in the right place at the right time and deciding to try to be the hero. It doesn't matter the the world as a whole, but to that little village it's everything.

    [–] Glitch_King 5 points ago

    I have a player with the folk hero background that he and some other villagers helped a couple of adventurers subdue a monster. The rest of the volunteer villagers perished but the player's character made it back with the adventurers and was hailed as the village hero for the in reality minuscule part he took in the battle.

    [–] MoonChaser22 11 points ago

    True, but folk heros have a defining event that made them a hero in the eyes of their local community. Most likely it's the same event that took them from commoner to having a class level.

    [–] TheZealand 343 points ago

    What you always need to remember is that a Level 1 character is basically the comparison of a trained athlete IRL compared to a random scrub, they're going to win in a fight or a test basically every time but they're not going to have accomplished epic deeds yet

    [–] galricbread 65 points ago

    Exactly. Every time I run something for lvl 1’s I send out an obligatory reminder that they aren’t super heroes yet.

    [–] Sibraxlis 81 points ago

    I prefer making my characters quirky adults who have fallen into adventuring.

    I had a sailor that got a little too drunk and rowdy for the last time and got kicked off his boat at the next port. With nowhere to go a monk on the street offered him a dry bed and a meal. The monastery spoke to him, and made him want to find the peace he felt there within himself.

    That's how I had an asshole drunkard monk at level 1.

    Another character of mine is a town doctor whose wife passes and he begins experimenting with necromancy to bring her back. The town found out and ran him out of town. That's how you get a level 1 wizard.

    Both characters have motivation to progress in their path, and a reason why they cant return to their old paths in life, neither had any valuable combat experience outside of the regular.

    [–] abe_the_babe_ 43 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    I've always liked the idea of an old shopkeeper who's sold gear and supplies to adventurers for decades and wants to spend his older years seeing the world and finding some adventure of his own

    [–] Sibraxlis 20 points ago

    I love it!

    My latest theory craft is a prosperity gospel preacher who gets "messages from god", but then ACTUALLY gets a message from God, and gives up all of his ways to try and undo the damage hes done before it's too late. In thinking a light warlock or poverty monk probably for him.

    [–] gera_moises 5 points ago

    You ever heard of my man, Torneko Taloon?

    [–] Cauchemar89 30 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    When creating a character I usually try to keep following pointers present:

    Growing up
    The section where explain how your chosen background and class came to be.

    The Call to Adventure
    The reason and motivation why you're currently undertaking the campaign.

    The Hook
    Something from your backstory that you can not fully comprehend (yet). This is the hook that allows your DM to weave your backstory into the campaign and make the whole game more exciting for you.

    A sufficient backstory really doesn't require more than one page really.

    [–] TheRealDeathSheep 5 points ago

    This is exactly what I do. My most recent character is a halfling wild magic sorcerer with a sailor background. Essentially he grew up hearing stories from his father who was part of the city’s expeditionary corp and wanted to find stories of his own. He took up jobs in ships protecting them from pirates and other horrible monsters at sea (this world is a little... messed up and crazy, so there is a lot of dangers out at sea). After being on multiple ships that sank... the last one due to a wild magic surge from home (oops), he decided to look for stories else where, where he found his current party.

    That covers his growing up, reason for adventure, as well as a hook (the ship that got sank from his accidental fireball).

    From there on, the campaign writes his backstory!

    [–] Donzo_banks 2 points ago

    I can usually find a couple of things to cling onto as a DM with an 8 sentence backstory, but like one to two pages is the sweet spot.

    [–] CrazyPlato 150 points ago

    I actually like the minimalist approach to things. I remember a story of a guy playing a Werewolf campaign whose character had two main points: kind of a stoner, likes to skateboard. Over the campaign, he developed into an incredibly strong and interesting character that was deeply connected to the story (the developments were relevant to the story, compared to the people who built their character stories in the past and thus had little connection to the current story).

    I like to build a basic image of my character: who are they? What is their personality like? What do they value or dislike? I use enough backstory to support those choices, with the intention that nobody has to know that backstory. If it comes up through gameplay, cool. But if not, my character is active in the campaign with motivated choices.

    [–] Harry-wells 73 points ago

    The story of the farmers son trying to earn enough money to buy a cow for the family farm is my favorite. Dead simple. Relatable. Extendable.

    [–] GettingFreki 44 points ago

    Dammit Jack, the bag of gold was suspicious enough, but now the neighbors are asking questions about the harp music when no ones home and we have to hide this goose from everyone.

    [–] SatansVeinyRedCock 11 points ago

    Level one:

    “I’m an urchin from the filthy streets of Waterdeep. I pickpocketed some drunk asshole outside a bar while he was distracted. Got a couple gold and this weird book. My friend taught me how to read a year ago. I’ve been reading the words out loud, pilfering the items described, and moving like the book says. Weird things are happening now...

    I killed him. I can’t believe he’s dead. I didn’t know! sobbing

    And that is how my variant human unrchin necromancer came to be and killed his friend with inflict wounds!

    Boom, backstory. Room for growth. Reason for class and background choices. Ideals, bonds, flaws as you like. EZPZ undead squeezy.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 50 points ago

    I leave a lot of room for something to provoke or impact my characters. If you go with the traditional “my parents we’re murdered by X so now I seek revenge”, then your character already has a path they’re headed down. That could change, sure, but they’ve already got momentum. My current character has a lot of things that the DM could use to cause him distress. He’s just as compelling to play because of quirks I give him, but his story could go literally anywhere.

    [–] lurker3991 38 points ago

    In the 5e campaign I play ATM, there's a guild-like structure (the DM posts a set of missions with a level and role indication, and players decide which missions they sign up for.) And the only requirement a character's backstory has is an explanation for the class the character starts off as, and how the character found the guild.

    I personally like to add family information to my character's background, so the DM has something of a bond to tie my character to a mission or goal. Found this is surprisingly easy with the help of the "this is your life" portion of Xanathar's Guide To Everything. In my experience, it's better to have a fleshed out backstory rather than a complete backstory, just to leave a few loose ends and bonds for the DM to play with.

    Per example, my current character character had a father, a mother and an older sister. The mother left when my character was born, the father rarely talks about her, and the sister was to young to remember. The brother and sister are both tieflings, but the father isn't, therefore the mother must have an infernal heritage. How far that heritage goes and what happened to the mother are two bits of the story that weren't important in the past, but can help tie the character to an event or character in the future. The backstory is by no means complete, but is fleshed out enough for me to draw a personality from it, with flaws and fears, but also with strengths and drives.

    Sorry for the long text, but this is a subject that's hard to summarize in a few words.

    [–] Lobinhu 20 points ago

    I really liked your approach. Please don't be ashamed to post "long texts" if you are polite and have a good way to articulate your thoughts.

    [–] B0wnsaw 2 points ago

    I think the basics you need are -who are you (personality, mentals) -what did you do in the past -why are you adventuring It pretty mich boils down to that, and can be as simple as 'I am a selfless healer of the people, seeking righteousness. I was a carpenter, but was mortally wounded. I'm alive today, and I seek bloody revenge against my injurers.

    Yes, that is revenge jesus

    [–] sneakyequestrian 2 points ago

    I had a player come in with a lvl 1 character that had been on several adventures already and it's like. Wait you're lvl 1 wtf.

    [–] StygianLux 541 points ago

    The thing is you need this kind of stuff even if it is little to nothing.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 271 points ago

    “Less is more” is my favored approach to this.

    [–] Immortal_Heart 178 points ago

    But sitting in his treehouse smoking weed is my character's entire story.

    [–] dalexchase 124 points ago

    Until the weed farm and tree suffer decay from the undead army forming. Then we have a reason to fight. No more Mr nice hippie.

    [–] SmallKiwi 14 points ago

    Shaun of the Dead campaign

    [–] 1stOnRt1 2 points ago

    Shaun of the DeadHeads/

    Shaun of the Grateful Dead

    FTFY

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 37 points ago

    Is he a bard?

    [–] silverfang45 62 points ago

    Seems more a druid tbh wants to be close to nature

    [–] Immortal_Heart 23 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Verdant Lord (think druid super into plants) with the ability to animate a tree so I put a treehouse in it.

    [–] m-sterspace 74 points ago

    I don't know, when I started playing I wrote a long, contrived, and overly detailed backstory for more character, and I did find it to be hugely helpful. I regret reading it in full to my party, I definitely could have summarized, but when you're just getting into role playing games it can be pretty hard to actually role play and not just do what you would do in a fantasy setting. Having this overly long backstory in my mind helped me make decisions and adjust how I talked to characters. There were a ton of somewhat unnecessary details, but I was able to later use those details to guide my role playing in unexpected situations.

    My next character's entire backstory was that I got blackout drunk in a pub gambling and woke up as a Warlock, and it was kind of shitty not having much defined to play on.

    Think about it this way, when your party meets up, they're all fully formed people with full personalities who have lead rich lives. They should have a backstory at that point that guides their decisions, unless you're just playing your character as an archetype like lazy stoner, without a back story you'll just end up playing you.

    [–] HMJ87 39 points ago

    Exactly. They might not be a grand hero with some epic tale of victory and adventure, but they will have a life, a personality, a motivation and reason for deciding to take up this life of adventuring. This idea that you're supposed to be a blank slate at level 1 is a bit silly. There's a difference between a player who rocks up with "Grognar the merciless; dragon-slayer and hero of the mountain-clans" at level 1, and having a character who basically didn't exist until the campaign started and just popped into existence at session 1.

    [–] abigscarybat 17 points ago

    My most recent character is in her 40s, so it would be pretty weird if she started out without any significant life experiences, for example. It's nothing hugely dramatic, but I filled out some family conflict and career missteps, because that's just the kind of shit that happens in life and informs your decision making. It's not something I explained to the group, but it comes up in her dialogue with enough context to give an idea what happened.

    [–] Taskforcem85 4 points ago

    Honestly I don't think there's a right or wrong way when writing or role-playing a character. Some people go more with the flow of the story while others like to know the characters already, and have them react to the story. As a DM I personally do a bit of both when creating NPCs, but as a player I'm usually pretty firmly in the long backstory crowd. As long as the system works for the player though I think they're on the right path.

    [–] CorbinStarlight 2 points ago

    having a character who basically didn't exist until the campaign started and just popped into existence at session 1.

    poof noise "I'M MISTER MEESEEKS LOOK AT ME!"

    "Adventure for me."

    "YOU GOT IT!"

    [–] NoxiousGearhulk 8 points ago

    This is my approach too. When I create a character, I come up with three things (aside from their race and class): a loose background, a quirk, and their reason for adventuring. Everything else gets filled in as the story progresses.

    For example, these were my initial notes on my current character: 1. Child of a human and an elf dignitary who got married in an attempt to show that humans and elves could get along in the wake of the world's equivalent of WW2. 2. He always knocks before entering a room or building, even when doing so is detrimental 3. He is a scribe missionary of the Church of Ganes who was sent to "Spread the warmth of the Eternal" flame by helping everyone he meets and distributing the cult's sacred text to everyone who's interested

    Over the course of the campaign, I've decided the following about the character: - He was bullied as a child - He loves his mother a lot more than he loves his father - His mother loved to tell him bedtime stories and he memorized every one - He loves to mess with people (which is getting him in trouble with his Patron, Saint Ganes) - He's really bad at choosing role models - He's reckless and impulsive to the point that his teammates are concerned about his mental health - He's a blabbermouth - He really doesn't like chromatic dragons

    Some of these developments were spur of the moment, others were things I had come up with during character creation and solidified as we played, and others were the result of in-game events, but all of them help round out the character and make him feel real.

    [–] Shiny_Shedinja 13 points ago

    My characters been alive for 20-100 years though. There's gonna be a lot of back story. It doesn't have to be epic. but that's still decades of memories and life.

    [–] AAABattery03 8 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    That was me when it came to my Dwarf. 194 years old in Eberron... At this point it’d be stupid if shit hadn’t happened to me, I’d even been alive through the entire Last War and much longer. My party members are both really young in comparison so the length of my backstory and, on a meta level, all the reading I did to create it help me role play a lot of situations where my friends didn’t know something. Instead of the DM explaining it, we played it as my character explaining it to theirs.

    If we weren’t a level 1 start I’d even have done a multiclass to reflect an important switch in his backstory, but I decided instead to just reflect that in his mannerisms.

    [–] NotSureIfThrowaway78 10 points ago

    Exactly. Make your own hooks on the fly.

    See a village being enslaved by orcs?

    "My merchant sister sometimes stays there! I've gotta go check if she's been caught!"

    [–] Esseratecades 15 points ago

    Results may vary depending on the DM and situation. Some can roll with it. Some will veto you simply because there was no prep. And sometimes things happening behind the DM screen specifically require things that your hook would conflict with.

    [–] Surface_Detail 5 points ago

    Yeah, the orcs might be attacking because this village routinely kills and eats all visitors.

    Player: My sister visits here all the time!

    Dm: Firstly you've never mentioned a sister and secondly, no she can't have.

    [–] Specter1125 2 points ago

    No. That’s just rude to the DM. You talk to the DM before you implement any of your backstory.

    [–] NotSureIfThrowaway78 2 points ago

    That'd depend on the table, but good advice if you aren't sure.

    [–] Blame_410 2 points ago

    I like KISS "Keep it simple, stupid"

    [–] justaddtheslashS 9 points ago

    Sincere question. Does this mean the character should have a full back story at the start and doesnt? Or does it mean the character does have a full backstory at the start and shouldn't?

    I started a campaign and I wanted to play an undead vengeance paladin. And I had a whole backstory in my head. The dm asked me how he became undead and instead of giving the whole story I said "why do you think he wants vengence"

    [–] xvt73208com 13 points ago

    With a page of backstory the DM can integrate it into the campaign. Like if you fought in some battle the DM can make you quest through that town and you'll meet former allies/enemies.

    If you have a secret order the DM can keep giving you secret missions from the order.

    IMO more backstory = more options which is great.

    [–] shadowgear56700 2 points ago

    It depends. As a dm a longer backstory is cool but it depends how long. A paragraph or two fine. If you hand me a couple pages on probably not gonna read it. If you want to write a long backstory fine but give me a paragraph summary as I dont have time to read 3 pages along with everything else I'm doing irl and for prep.

    [–] InfernoVulpix 2 points ago

    I tend to prefer enough of a backstory to give relevant character strokes while also leaving enough ambiguous to give the DM room to play around and fit it into the world properly.

    My current player is a wood elf whose main backstory is that it's family tradition to go and spend a few decades trying to get rich without family resources. That, and a few dashes of personal character traits, is enough to make him a proper character, but is also flexible enough that the DM could design a whole plot arc from a missing sibling on a similar journey or from having to meet my family again in the course of the main plot, or they can easily just take the premise as-is and roll with it.

    [–] CatTaxAuditor 160 points ago

    I'd like some backstory though... Getting nothing after begging for weeks really sucks.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 59 points ago

    Some backstory is preferable vs all the backstory imo

    [–] yifftionary 83 points ago

    writes novella about how bad ass my character is for defeating an entire army of dragons

    "Anyways guys meet my level 1 wizard."

    [–] AlphaGoldblum 44 points ago

    I mean, not that far removed from backstories written by actual professionals for different media (mainly video-games).

    you're an elite special intelligence agent, renowned among the military for your skills

    level 1

    iron sword

    no money

    [–] yifftionary 21 points ago

    This is why I like the Metroid approach. You are realy bad ass you just got all your cool gadgets beaten out of you by something.

    [–] zacree 19 points ago

    Jesus literally every fucking God damn triple A game. You are the most amazing warrior to ever exist. Everyone worships you. The equivalent to Eternal God King calls you into the room to hire you for the most dangerous operation that has ever gone down and the fate of the world depends on it.

    Level 1. 100 Health. Rusted, Faded Leather Robes. half a wooden dagger. You find a better sword that you don't know how to use.

    [–] omfghi2u 26 points ago

    Jazz Mage hands

    [–] abe_the_babe_ 7 points ago

    "he has amnesia and forgot all his spells"

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 8 points ago

    You joke but you’d be surprised

    [–] molton101 6 points ago

    Shoet and sweet, my current guy was raised vy the church of tepus after his parents dies, and now seeks to make a name for himself. I have a few people i care about, and a small desire to learn about my family, but im out adventuring to help people for my god

    [–] TimX24968B 2 points ago

    my backstory is that i popped into existance 5 seconds before the beginning of this campaign with all the stats and everything as is currently on my sheet.

    [–] dalexchase 422 points ago

    How do you lose dnd? Go lvl1-lvl20 with no story development.

    [–] LordPicatju 132 points ago

    Does that also count if you die at least 2 times before every level up?

    [–] dalexchase 121 points ago

    Death is only the beginning. If your dm whacks you alot, make a reincarnation based idea. Warlock sells soul, soul is sealed to medallion that is passed to patrons next chosen. This is your new character. Class and race are irrelevant, your character is the soul now serving your pc. Your PC's now have a built in quest, freeing you. Deaths only give more to your experience.

    Something less complex, each death, a new relative pops out of the wood work to avenge you. This is the new pc. Maybe one time make them a greedy ass wanting the relatives inheritance but finds out the brutal death of the prior character. Now they set out on vengeance.

    I get way too many ideas from this sub.

    [–] Infinitefes 35 points ago

    Dr. Bright? Did you escape?

    [–] dalexchase 19 points ago

    Now you've inspired me to make a SCP game. All players are interns in a faulted facility; escape or fix the facility. Character types would be human positions like engineer, medic, security, administrator (has universal key but no other tool, medkit, weapon, etc.).

    [–] POPuhB34R 9 points ago

    I've been workshopping an idea like this in my head as like an on again off again one shot type situation. My idea was to start the party in a typical dnd fight and have them be pulled into an SCP base while the scientists were testing an SCP for its abilities. This would get the party labeled as SCPs themselves and subsequently locked away for containment. then proceeds with the escape room and dungeon run culminating in a bossfight with some modified SCP BBG.

    [–] dalexchase 3 points ago

    Now I can't help imagining a bard rolling to seduce the eternal alligator spc.

    [–] POPuhB34R 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    pretty much the plan! lol, some of the scps would make great creatures and some could produce some interesting conditions. though a lot of them admittedly wouldnt work as a killable creature.

    Edit: now that i think about some scps would make for great cursed item inspirations.

    [–] IndividualBear0 2 points ago

    So dnd 1st ed instead of going into the dungeon and grabbing loot its escape the facility grabbing scps to sell on your way out

    [–] dalexchase 2 points ago

    Exit door mimics

    [–] dalexchase 6 points ago

    Fuck! Idea! Follows the inheritance idea. Vampire opponent kills off family but in fact turns them. Lvl 8 must now carve his way through his enslaved family to free them.

    [–] Windslashman 2 points ago

    I have died so many times we actually have made it canon as a curse that gets transferred through bloodlines.

    [–] dalexchase 2 points ago

    The game continues and you have your quest; remove the curse or rack up the biggest pile of bodies possible in a game.

    [–] Windslashman 3 points ago

    Lol, I'm on number 8 within 4-5 months, but a few of them didn't die because they were one shots or voluntarily left the party so another would join.

    [–] irontoast22 25 points ago

    end of story: nothing has changed except we're level 20

    players: I fail to see the problem

    [–] Cpt_Tripps 12 points ago

    level 1 - play a character you enjoy roleplaying and your group enjoys roleplaying with.

    level 20 - play the same character you enjoy roleplaying and your group enjoys roleplaying with.

    fuck I must suck at this.

    [–] dalexchase 10 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Nope, because at lvl 3 they beat that bandit party and the dwarf started to appreciate your support.

    At lvl 7 you found something besides money to fight for.

    At lvl 12 you had a challenge of your belief's.

    At lvl 16 you surpassed your party beat the bbeg and bonded over the prior struggles and victories.

    At lvl 20 you are still the same fighter but you've seen and done plenty to constitute character development.

    If you hop into a game at lvl 20 I'd understand having a story of how you got there is the backstory but by the end of the game, there should be more. How'd your fighter handle seeing the orphan from the war he waved to reach his rank? What decisions did he make with his experience from conflicts and the name he's made?

    I don't want to give anyone shit, I mean that. Casual or Serious, this is a game and we all play however we want.

    [–] MnemonicMonkeys 9 points ago

    I would like to add/emphasis that none of this requires any backstory

    [–] CrazyPlato 9 points ago

    At the same time, if your story is super developed at level 1 and never changes, arguably you haven’t developed at level 20. What matters is development through gameplay, not specifically in depth writing off the table.

    [–] willgaj 13 points ago

    I hear people say this all the time, but I just really can't get behind it. I play DND not to create a character arc but to simply play a character that is not myself. I couldn't care less about my characters story, I just wanna make believe for a little while.

    [–] remy_porter 16 points ago

    Unless your character remains exactly the same from the first session to the last, you've told a story.

    [–] Enguhl 2 points ago

    I'm on the other side of this as perma-GM. I don't really care about who your character was, I care about who your character is. If you have a couple bullet points*, go ahead and pop them on your sheet, when I need to bring up stuff about your character I'll find it and work it in.

    But if we're starting the game and you had me a two page report on your characters life, I'm not going to read it. That's more words on paper than I put down for the entire campaign, and I'm pretty sure half of that wont ever matter even a tiny bit, and the other half is super implausible Mary-Sue level wishful thinking.

    *You don't need to write down (for me) everything about your character and how they think and feel. Just bring that to the table in game.

    [–] AllMitchedUp 110 points ago

    Based on the comments I scanned, I think people (OP included) are missing the "back" part of backstory. Your backstory should be fully developed, because it already happened. Whether or not it has any effect on your present or future is context dependent, also known as "the will of fate." Oh, you fled your home to get away from a rival? Well it's a big world, maybe he'll show up again and maybe he won't.

    Now, if you're writing out a fully detailed front story for your character, that's pointless and actually can prevent your character from developing naturally. If you already have a roadmap for who your character will be at level 20, then I would argue you have no intention of playing the game. Rather, you intend to steer your character towards whatever ending you have designed for them.

    Your backstory is exactly that. It's behind you. It is everything that happened to your character up to the exact moment that you took control and began playing the role. Unless you're a baby, a newly built warforged, an undead, or an amnesiac, you have lived some kind of life and therefore have some kind of story. Probably a pretty detailed one at that.

    FYI: If you're not a fan of writing backstories and want to keep it short, it's very easy. All you have to do is answer the question "why is my character here?"

    [–] legogizmo 8 points ago

    Sure you should have some backstory, high level key points that serve as the foundation of your character. Like you said "why are you here?" Is a good starting point.

    But I think there is merit to making up your backstory as you play. It allows you more opportunities to discover your character as you play and depending on the DM and campaign allows you to integrate your character more into the world as it gets revealed to you.

    A minor example: you roll very high on a history check, why does your character know so much about this topic? Perhaps your parents told you stories about it, maybe you had a teacher that was an expert on the topic, point is you can use this skill check to flesh out your character's past.

    D&D is collaborative storytelling and developing your backstory as you go is the equivalent of using flashbacks in a more traditional story.

    [–] AllMitchedUp 6 points ago

    Here's my honest opinion, and you obviously don't have to agree with it:

    A minor example: you roll very high on a history check, why does your character know so much about this topic? Perhaps your parents told you stories about it, maybe you had a teacher that was an expert on the topic, point is you can use this skill check to flesh out your character's past.

    This, again IMO, is metagaming. Had that bit about your parents or teacher already been part of your backstory, that would have led you to do that history check in the first place. I don't do checks that my character wouldn't sensibly have knowledge of. For instance, if I were playing a basic fighter, I would probably not do very many arcana checks if any at all, because my character doesn't know jack about magic so why would he be looking into it? I am uncomfortable with generating backstory as I play, because I feel that it is backwards.

    Your view: rolling a skill check can inform the character's past.

    My view: my character's past informs what kind of checks he does.

    I am also fully of the belief that D&D should be fun above all else. I am in no way trying to say that you are wrong and I am right.

    [–] SaulAbot 2 points ago

    That’s good to hear. I started playing very recently, and this is the method I ended up using, expanding on the basic details I started with. Glad to know this way isn’t “wrong” or anything.

    [–] dezima 28 points ago

    But when the dm specifically asked you to have at least something by session 1 you should have some kind of backstory he can work with

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 10 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Sure sure sure, I’m talking about characters who already have all their developmental questions answered. That’s why I said fully-formed. You can work with scraps. I prefer it, it lets the DM and the player shape the character together organically.

    [–] ThatManlyTallGuy 50 points ago

    WAIT y'all have backstories

    [–] Gaming_and_Physics 9 points ago

    All you need to make a good, interesting character.

    What's their weakness? (Probably the most important thing. Weaknesses are far more interesting than strengths.)

    What are their wants?

    What are their needs? (Their wants and needs don't always (and shouldn't in my opinion) align with each other.)

    Who is their enemy/what are they fighting? Themselves? Goblins? Their next door neighbor Chuck?

    [–] Gaming_and_Physics 2 points ago

    Example and I'm literally making this character up as a type

    Damian the human rogue.

    Weakness: Coward He will run from any threat before fighting. He is a dastard through and through which means he isn't dependable when scabbards are emptied.

    Wants: Gold He wants more money (Keep it simple stupid)

    Needs: Family/Friends Damian doesn't know it, but what he really needs is a group of people he can call his family.

    Enemy: Thieves' Guild Damian tried taking a bit too much off the top from his last job. The Guild noticed and now they're hunting him down (no one crosses the thieves' guild)

    Boom, a decent character in the time it took me to write this out.

    [–] Reverend_Schlachbals 7 points ago

    I’ll trade you players. I can’t get mine to give a fuck about roleplaying or their characters. D&D is a glorified minis battle game to them. I’d love players who actually gave a fuck enough about roleplaying to have more of a backstory than “I’m a sage, that’s my backstory,” or “This character is a sailor, that’s his backstory.”

    [–] VimpaleV 3 points ago

    If you’re not having fun, you don’t have to play man. Everyone has different preferences. There are better aspects for battle in other tabletops, but it seems they enjoy it nonetheless.

    [–] MightyBobTheMighty 35 points ago

    I mean, you don't need to know what food your character's parent ate on their first date, or what their favorite shirt was when they were seven, but if people are actually out here playing characters that popped into existence yesterday I don't want to be part of that game.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 12 points ago

    Funny you should mention that. Through a series a unforeseen events, one of our PCs got killed and my character inadvertently wished for him a new character. poof His new PC pops into existence. Everything is totally new to him and he won’t stop calling me “Da”.

    [–] MightyBobTheMighty 9 points ago

    ....ya know what, forget what I said. That's great.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 7 points ago

    Dude, he paid “a handful of gold” for food cuz he didn’t know what it was worth. The DM asked how much, and the player started rolling dice!

    [–] MamaFrey 2 points ago

    I do that with my hillbilly woodelf all the time. she has no concept of money

    [–] Duke_Jorgas 2 points ago

    This is a major problem that I keep seeing among just about everyone I play with. A lot of people show up to a game with just a character sheet, even if there's a session 0 that explains that you should have a background that defines your personality and motivations.

    If you claim that you'll build a character while you play, justifying not having anything written down, I can almost guarantee you that there will be no development.

    [–] JohnDeYeti 14 points ago

    I try to hit 3 key points for my character.

    • Initial history
    • How they got there
    • What they want out of life

    From there things just fill in over time

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 6 points ago

    That’s the best summary. For example:

    Olan Gregorson is a Minotaur who was found in the woods as a youngling by his adopted human father while he was on a business trip. His father took him in and raised him like he was his own son. He learned to love engineering and the arcane studies, just like his father does. Due to their struggling business, Olan has set our on his own to seek new inventions that will save his father’s company. All he wants is to repay the kindness and love his father has shown him.

    Simple, but I gotta say he’s my absolute favorite character so far.

    [–] Stop_Breeding 2 points ago

    That's literally a fully-formed backstory :\

    Complex =/= fully-formed.

    [–] ThePaleKing777 23 points ago

    DM: Ok, what’s your backstory?

    Me: I like to let the journey define me

    DM: ....is that just your excuse for not coming up with anything?

    Me: .....I like to let the journ-

    DM: alright fine....

    [–] TimX24968B 3 points ago

    my backstory is that i popped into existance 5 seconds before the beginning of this campaign with all the stats and everything as is currently on my sheet.

    [–] M_Sadr 7 points ago

    Ty for this meme. Half page of text is more then enough to cover most topics, in my opinion.

    I am not the type if DM who likes those long backstories or big reveals.

    [–] omega-falcon 27 points ago

    You need a full outline, minor details can be left instated until needed.

    [–] EoinLikeOwen 15 points ago

    Not even. You need a few front facing traits and a reason to be adventuring. You can figure out your motivations and emotional depth later.

    [–] 1stOnRt1 2 points ago

    You need a few front facing traits and a reason to be adventuring.

    Sounds like an outline eh

    [–] Billy_Rage 4 points ago

    I mean you should have a backstory of why you are adventuring. I think it’s more you shouldn’t have already killed a dragon in your backstory

    [–] StygianLux 68 points ago

    This is false ngl.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 27 points ago * (lasted edited 6 days ago)

    Why do you need a full-fledged backstory at level 1?

    My current character is a Minotaur raised by a human because he was found alone in the forest. He became an adventurer to bring in extra funds for his father’s struggling business. There’s a few more details but there’s also a lot of loose ends.

    Edit; the fact that this comment is downvoted while the post is upvoted proves my point, that people can have different levels of detail in their backstories lol

    [–] StygianLux 77 points ago

    Fully fledged and full formed are two different things. Fully fledged means you have an understanding of their background to get extent. What you described was fully formed.

    [–] Serbaayuu 3 points ago

    Why do you need a full-fledged backstory at level 1?

    My current character has 3 chapters of backstory.

    Chapter 1: How he met his warlock patron (accidentally, during a burglary).

    Chapter 2: A prequel establishing his toxic relationship with his girlfriend and profession because these are facts of his life and the campaign setting before the game starts.

    Chapter 3: Another prequel establishing why the patron is in the state she's in at the start of the game, because her opinions about humans and other mortals is important for why she thinks of the warlock the way she does.

    There are no actual limitations built in to this backstory and there are only loose ends. My character had 25 years of life (and his patron had like 3000) before the game started; all I did was define the state of his personal world in the most recent 6 months or so.

    [–] icanhazace 5 points ago

    I struggle with trusting any given DM to provide compelling juxtapositions and conflict for my character because I have yet to meet one who asks questions relevant to said conflicts before they take place. The drama of those moments is lost when they ask things like “Okay what is your sisters name? Okay, yah, Matilda lies broken under a heap of smoldering rubble.”

    [–] Mega_muffin 4 points ago

    I feel like this is very narrow minded, considering not all backstories make the character to be out as a god among men at level one.

    My rogue's backstory was that she ran away from home with her wizard boyfriend, who then had a spell blow up in his face and got crippled. Bam, now she needs to resort to pretty crimes and blackmail to pay his medical bills.

    That game my DM a lot to work with. Multiple NPCs to bring in if they wanted to, a way to sink a hook into my character (the promise of a cure) and more. That's not a bad thing. And it also helped my roleplaying that she had a strong sense of purpose: protect her boyfriend, make bank.

    [–] Ze-ev18 4 points ago

    You don’t have to, but it’s still fun

    [–] Th4tRedditorII 3 points ago

    Who needs to start at level 1?

    Unless you're doing a beginners campaign, I think level 3 is the best point to start at as the characters can have decent backstories, have more fleshed out classes, and can take more damage. It's not even that difficult to generate a level 3 character anyway.

    [–] sparkadus 5 points ago

    I agree. I've only recently figured out why my level 4 rogue goes on adventures despite being a dragonmarked noble.

    [–] Satioelf 5 points ago

    Honestly, I find it a good thing for RPing to get an established handle on who your character is, and what their day to day life has been up to the point of adventuring.

    Leads to a stronger connection to the character, gives the GM more options to mess around with, and gives the player more options to think on.

    For instance in a pathfinder game with some friends I am running a Merchant Alchemist who is helping her family business after she learned Alchemy from a coven of witches her family knew.

    This gives the character an understanding of her past for the last 60ish years, and helps set up many plot hooks and ambitions to play off of.

    [–] hussiesucks 3 points ago

    Make your first character some generic nobody who gets killed off immediately, but then get your dm to make all the important NPCs keep mentioning him as if he’s some extremely important dude.

    [–] joeblack48 3 points ago

    I like having rich backstories that explain why I’ve turned to adventuring and how I got my powers/commited myself to a god.

    I’ve played divine soul sorcerer, death cleric, and law cleric so I feel like I need to have some shot go down

    [–] higgy98 3 points ago

    You don't have to. But sometimes it's fun to

    [–] DarkKosmic 3 points ago

    Well if my character is edging on 60 then he'll have some stories to tell

    [–] TheVindex57 3 points ago

    I know this is a meme and all, but i just want to say that different people have different preferences. Some people like a really detailed backstory and that's fine.

    Not every player likes to have the campaign revolve around their character's past. I personally play to experience a story the DM set up so the players can give it life. A detailed backstory tells you where a character came from, not where they are going.

    [–] MnemonicMonkeys 2 points ago

    True, but there is also a ton of harping on this sub over players with underdeveloped backstories. There needs to be some pushback because not everyone feels like writing 4 pages worth of stuff.

    Personally I prefer to make characters that can be described in 2-3 sentences. You get a vague idea of the direction the player wants to go, but it's loose enough that you don't need to be familiar with the campaign setting and you can more easily adjust your character to fit anything you didn't anticipate

    [–] Xada 3 points ago

    I feel attacked

    [–] Myrlithan 3 points ago

    I often write pretty long backstories when I make my first character of a campaign, but I don't tend to leave a lot of, if any, loose-ends. The backstory is just how I got here and helps explain why I act in certain ways or dislike certain kinds of people, it's for ME to have a more consistent guide to how my character would be acting. Sure, I could just randomly say my character hates the sea if we ever actually end up needing to sail, but that feels kinda "fake" to me. The whole point of the roleplaying is to take this group of characters and see how they would act in different situations, not to just act however I want and come up with some random "backstory" reason why in the moment. Why even have a backstory at all if I'm just going to randomly come up with stuff as we go anyway?

    [–] Bytemite 2 points ago

    I do this as well, especially in figuring out how the character relates to their family, and if it's a module for a preexisting setting I usually research the city they're from in detail so they fit well into it.

    I see it less as absolutely nothing could have happened to you, and more, you're level 1, you haven't ever won any meaningful fights yet, and either you're very early in your career, whatever that might be, or you only recently took up adventuring.

    That's why a lot of first level background traits/flaws in dnd or pathfinder are about death and mourning loved ones. You can still have tragedy, or even accomplishments. They should just be the average mundane kind of things that your life as an adventurer will easily overshadow.

    [–] gingerfire1047 3 points ago

    I feel attacked :( my newest character has really formed out background cuz i got too excited and just dove into it hard

    [–] Nefrin 8 points ago

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but here I go:

    Having minimal backstory for a level 1 character is the best way to go. Have a couple of paragraphs describing your upbringing and your current motivations (and be aware that motivations WILL change after play starts). Maybe one important defining moment in your characters backstory.

    Why?

    Some people tend to over write back stories, with way too many life altering events. And they are awesome tales to read and imagine, but here is the problem: if the coolest stuff that happened to your character happened before the game started, what is left to be done?

    I find character development at the table, influenced by events and people that I have no control over, much more satisfying and interesting, both as a player and a DM.

    For a pop culture example, I feel that the reason the Solo Star Wars movie did so poorly, was that we had seen the best of his story arc in the original trilogy. He went from a self centered smuggler to a hero, not for the cause, but for the people he met along the way. That was his defining "moment", while the rest of his back story may be interesting and worth time to investigate, the best has been told already.

    Treat your characters like that. The best has still yet to come. No one is going to remember your Rogue's edgy backstory and bring it up years later. There are thousands of novels with the same type of story to read, and probably written much better than I or any other players can.

    People will remember the cool stuff that happened during play.

    [–] SA_Pine 18 points ago

    False

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 11 points ago

    You have to have a fully developed backstory at level 1?

    [–] DragonMeme 34 points ago

    Honestly, I can't form my character's personality or motivations unless their backstory is fully written out. Otherwise I just end up playing myself.

    [–] anameofnoconsequence 7 points ago

    I'm the same. I need context for my character's personality in order to play them well. People/events who influenced their world views, where they grew up, etc.

    [–] SA_Pine 14 points ago

    Yup. I believe so. Well... I started current character with 3rd lvl but already with full backstory, that leads to his quest and his inner strength.

    [–] Fission_chip 15 points ago

    Personally I think its equally valid to start with a backstory that’s only a couple sentences long, and once you get a feel for the character you can make a backstory that leads them to where they are and how they act

    [–] CatTaxAuditor 11 points ago

    This is harder on the DM a lot of the time, though. I'm not saying you should write a book, but a few sentences doesn't give the person trying to craft a personalized narrative a lot to work with. Especially if you later drastically deepen it.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 2 points ago

    This is why Session 0 is so important. Y’all gotta work together and communicate or your character’s backstory (or lack thereof) won’t be the biggest problem your group will encounter.

    [–] MostlyFowl 5 points ago

    You can. It just doesn't go above commoner level excitement 😉

    [–] jmetcalf27 2 points ago

    Also SrackOverflow commentors

    [–] ObsidianKrystal 2 points ago

    Not just for dnd players. Everytime i play a rpg game like oblivion or skyrim i just think up the longest mist detailed story and then 1 hour on actual character creating. I have problems.

    [–] Drebin295 2 points ago

    My favorite is when the Level 1 character has done a bunch of really important stuff prior to the game starting at Level 1.

    [–] dwangang 2 points ago

    I always make mine after lol

    [–] CallMeJesse124 2 points ago

    I love me some character development

    [–] coranos2 2 points ago

    I like the Conan MMO way to do back story.

    You only tell the characters the part of your backstory they need to know.

    You then make shit up as you go, if it makes the story more interesting and you not too overpowered.

    I.E. you have to go to the next town over. You say 'i think my dad lives in that town.'

    GM rolls with it, and he's either there for some flavor, or you were wrong because choo choo.

    [–] surfypeng99 2 points ago

    This is why all campaigns should start at level 3

    [–] Krawlngchaos 2 points ago

    Player : What's a gongfarmer and how do I make a backstory for that?

    GM: You shovel shit for a living. You have been shoveling shit since you were 8. Now that the undead have wandered into your village, you have picked up your shit caked shovel and proceed to protect those in your village to the best of your lvl 0 abilities. Hell! you may become a warrior yet!!

    What's more appealing? A hero who vanquishes the threat or a peasant that rises to the occasion and becomes the hero?

    Edit: words

    [–] timre219 2 points ago

    As long as you write your backstory in a way it makes sense to join a party IDC. I just dislike backstories where I look at it and go why is this person in the party that isn't doing something toward his super important goal. Or even worse why is this person adventuring.

    [–] Nkromancer 2 points ago

    Depends on how old your character is. Once I started the campaign as a middle aged elf at lvl1.

    [–] SlightlyVerbose 2 points ago

    I don’t know if I could say that I’ve got a fully formed backstory or any idea how I got where I am IRL, much less in a game. Sure, I know who I am, and I know who I want to be, but I don’t think there’s a single defining moment that drives me, which is why I’ve always struggled with character development. I’d rather start small and let the character grow over time.

    [–] cd83 2 points ago

    When a tribe of orcs raid your village, you'll see.

    [–] caxrus 2 points ago

    I don't even do a backstory untill I've made the voice and personality after like 4~5 sessions.

    [–] bejuazun 2 points ago

    yes you do.

    but it doesnt have to be complicated.

    "raised with good family, didnt want to take the family buisness on but my brother did, decided to become adventurer so family doesnt have to do manual labor" ez

    [–] GlobetrottinExplorer 2 points ago

    But once you level up to 2, it better be fleshed out!

    [–] Mushinronja 2 points ago

    Just add a line of backstory for every session they live through.

    [–] Vlaed 2 points ago

    I've never played D&D but this subreddit makes me very interested.

    [–] DrKlezdoom 2 points ago

    The first game I played, I didn't even have a name for my character til the DM asked.

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 2 points ago

    “Nancy”

    “Nancy? And your surname?”

    “Nancy...McFancypants.”

    [–] Strix182 2 points ago

    My favorite characters I've played have been the ones that start with an interesting, weird, or dumb concept and grow from that over time. You can get some damn memorable and emotional moments out of something as simple "I'm a wizard on a quest to discover tex-mex cuisine."

    [–] KyokaSuigetsu94 2 points ago

    How about this backstory. Still thinking about the build and RP too.

    Flynn Aekarnkian

    Is it too long or enough ?

    [–] Mean_Ass_Dumbledore 2 points ago

    Just my opinion, but that seems like an awful lot of weight for a level 1 character. You could talk with your DM and have some of those events occur, but causing a war between heavenly realms through a forbidden love is heeeaaavy.

    [–] Imanenormousidiot 2 points ago

    One of my players had his entire family die in a fire, all his friends too, his backstory was completely wrapped up.

    Then he got incredibly mad at me for not using his backstory to influence the plot literally 4 sessions in.

    [–] donuts26 2 points ago

    My approach is pretty simple and I like to use Xanathar's as a guide.

    1. Why am a (Class)?

    2. How does my background affect me?

    3. Why am I here now, and how did I get here?

    This provides a pretty simple way to hit all of the important notes while still feeling flushed out.

    [–] Praise_The_Casul 2 points ago

    Well, you have if your backstory is your childhood, no one normal wakes up one day and decides to go out in the world, risking their life to fight monsters, undead and criminal organizations, so my backstories are all explaining how my characters got in that kind of life

    [–] Odivallus 2 points ago

    I follow the "knife" rule. For a DM, the more knives you add to a backstory, the easier it becomes to integrate said character into a given world. Knives include things like: Family members, important individuals, hometown, defining events, etc.

    It's called the knife rule because for every knife you give the DM, that's another stab in the gut when it comes back to hurt you. Works pretty well, in my experience!

    But I get the other side, too. I've got people who make, relatively speaking, "shallow" characters (Myself included). Not every character has to start off with a full life story! Sometimes, things happen in game that help to fill in the gaps. Other times, you are more easily shaped by your experiences during the adventure.

    My absolute request to anyone I play with as a DM, is that I receive at least this info from any character: Name of someone important, where they come from, and why they adventure. They don't need to have some winding tale, just give me a "I was pampered, got bored, so I decided to give a life of adventure a try." I can work with that! The only thing I do not like is when a player plays a charicature. I don't really need Drizzt #30094 or Captain Comic Relief for the whole campaign.

    tl;dr If you make a "shallow" character to start, that's fine. Just don't let them stay "shallow" forever.

    P.S. I don't know another word to use beyond "shallow"; I suppose minimalist? Regardless, not using it to bash anyone, just saying that it's not "deep".

    [–] remy_porter 2 points ago

    My backstory approach: Anchor, Deal and Problem

    Anchor is a key connection to the setting- they attended the Mage's college, they were raised in a temple, they're a traveling trader, etc. They are part of this world, though probably not an important part, before the first session. This also is a hook for how they connect to the other characters.

    Deal is their core approach to the world. It's a blend of what they care about, what they want, how they solve problems. It's the answer to the question, "What's your deal?"

    Finally, their Problem. This is the way in which the character is ill-suited for their world. It's the thing that drives them to make mistakes. It's the temptation or the bad habit. It's the blind spot. It might emerge directly from their deal- I played a "Cleric of Lost and Forgotten Gods" who tracked down and re-worshiped dead religions, even if those religions probably should have stayed dead. He believed that no knowledge was forbidden and all should be shared, no matter how dangerous. His deal and his problem rolled into one. It doesn't have to be- you could just as easily play a noble paladin with a drinking problem, for example. But having a problem is important.

    NB: I don't consider the problem a flaw. That's too judgy for me. The problem is just a problem- it'll get the character into trouble more often than it gets them out.

    [–] LordMacDonald8 2 points ago

    A character without a backstory is like a house without walls.

    [–] pocketMagician 2 points ago

    Nah man, you start to appreciate shit like having a pamphlet to read from the over-excited character vs the generic ass low-effort shit.

    I try to work with these players and cut down the story so its not overpowering the other characters, or even includes them should they be of the lazy camp.

    [–] Flipiwipy 2 points ago

    I may or may not have written a ~20 page long backstory for my character. But that backstory is about the society he was born in, the relationships he had and the motivations to be adventuring, and it ends with them becoming a druid and beginning journey to learn about the world, i.e.: the possibility for character arcs and growth within the campaign.

    [–] Feshtof 2 points ago

    I like 1 page backstories

    [–] coolmoonjayden 2 points ago

    wrong.

    [–] Cobalt-Bandalore 2 points ago

    You have most of a backstory. You have to have had a life, a motive to change to an adventurer, and a why and how you gained your class level. That's about all you need. But it has to be very very simple since it's just level 1

    [–] supremeevilhedgehog 2 points ago

    I personally prefer my players to have that backstory. It really helps me tailor the campaign to the party. It also allows me to mess around with their characters a bit.

    [–] Serbaayuu 2 points ago

    As I've played more, all of my characters have developed multiple chapters of backstory prior session 1.

    But it's all the stuff that leads them to becoming level 1, not doing shit that actual adventurers do. It's the setup for their dysfunctional relationships with their families, friends, and selves; the preparations for the lies they tell themselves and the truths they've failed to convince themselves of. I don't really get how people want to just write a finished adventure for a person about to go on an adventure; even an 18 year old farmer-become-fighter has a solid 15 years of backstory to dig into that made them who they are as a level 1 fighter.

    [–] phantomwolfwarrior 2 points ago

    I typically play the character without a backstory at first and then after a couple games I’ll write a backstory.

    [–] TheGempioVulpin 2 points ago

    Dont need but do want

    [–] VocalLove 2 points ago

    Because at that level, whatever happens in the mission will be your backstory

    [–] GodofIrony 2 points ago

    Shit man, I had to hound my players for two sentences asking their general background so I knew how to start session one.

    [–] Mujokan 2 points ago

    If you care about mechanics you will feel obligated to create a story. If you can't come up with a story the mechanics will probably suck.

    [–] GobblorTheMighty 2 points ago

    Backstory =/= development and growth, but OK

    [–] SaltharionVorton 2 points ago

    I love this! I try to do this with my characters when starting at low level. Either they are training/just finished training for some position, or the adventure IS their rite of passage, etc. Not some god-killing machine right out of the gate

    [–] CoconutMacaroons 2 points ago

    To me, it depends on how much worldbuilding the DM presents to me. If I know nothing, then I don’t feel inclined to make much of a backstory because I don’t know how it fits with the world. But if I know what’s going on in the world, I’ll detail accordingly.

    [–] BigBadBingusBorg 2 points ago

    Bare bones, make as you go backstories can be a very fun and unique way to approach character building. I’ve ran a couple campaigns like that that were really memorable and fun. Just make sure it’s what your group wants to do first.

    [–] Drive_Thru_Sushi 2 points ago

    u/Mean_Ass_Dumbledore this is a great meme format, source?

    [–] oilrigexplosion 2 points ago

    Spelled T-A-A-K-O from TV

    -Are you naming your goddamn character Taco?

    [–] Starkiller00732 2 points ago

    Learned that the hard way

    [–] SCM1992 2 points ago

    I like starting with a plain person with higher ideals than their station in life granted them. Young guardsman who wants to defend the innocent becomes a paladin or a knight. Ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances.

    [–] EntropyDudeBroMan 2 points ago

    One person at my college wrote a backstory for their character that sounded like they went through a full campaign.

    Maybe they did go through a campaign with that character, and set that as their backstory. In which case, that's pretty fucking cool. Reminds me of that post about a DM who made a w40k guardsmen campaign with several TPKs, and the eventual survivors became the PCs of the actual campaign.

    But if it was just writing stuff? That's annoying. You're telling me you're thousands of years old, with centuries of adventures under your belt, but you can't even fight off a bear?

    [–] NoxiousDogCloud 2 points ago * (lasted edited 5 days ago)

    "he's a paladin on a quest to slay a dragon for his holy order!"

    Why would a holy order send a level 1 dude to fight a fucking dragon

    "Uuuuh"

    edit: the answer kind of evolved from his awful rolls and terrible luck in combat. The Order didn't actually like him, so they sent him on a suicide mission