Character Backgrounds - On the Fly

Anonymous's picture
March 19, 2012 - 4:53pm
In another thread I talked about creating character backgrounds on the fly. Jedion wrote an article about the Art of Writing Fluff in Issue #15, earlier today I whipped up a new adventure and needed to find a way to introduce the characters. I couldn't think of anything so I started by writing backgrounds for each NPC and realized how well they would work for PC's. Basically the NPC backgrounds can be "reasons why your character is here today." 

Area: Vast Wasteland
Descriptor: soot-covered
Objective: Desertion (flee)
Obstacle: Against the Clock (time limit)

The player-characters are in the middle of a vast soot-covered wasteland caused by an erupting volcano. To survive they must flee, racing against the oncoming lava. The only escape is a space elevator to the west.

  • Cedine the miner; Cedine took this job as a quick payoff (hazard pay) and hopes to buy passage offworld. 
  • Akamel the scientist; Akamel was given a student scholarship to perform studies of unusual rock formations found by miners below the surface.
  • Faia the security guard; Faia is part of a security division sent here to protect miners from wasteland thugs and criminals. 
  • Tria the transport tech; Tria is delivering foodstuff to the miners. Tria's shuttle was marooned here after taking damage from flying debris. 
  • Dakgent the explorer; Dakgent was scouting a safe passage through the wasteland while seeking new digging areas to exploit. 
There is enough information seeds for the Player or Referee to start developing a story/background on-the-fly. 

Kinda reminds me of All That Glitters where Brian created a reason for us to want to take security positions with a corp leaving off-planet. I'm sure he gave it some thought but if felt like on-the-fly-here-you-go-life-sucks-and-here's-some-quick-creds. Smile