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Writing a Character History

The following questions can be used to create a basic character history. Not every possible question is listed below, but the listed questions are provided as a solid framework in order to get started on creating a history. This outline is encouraged to be expanded upon before being submitted as a character history. Once the provided questions are answered, they should be emailed to the Dust to Dust staff, and a culture packet will be provided to assist with further character history creation and information, as well as to open a dialogue concerning character submissions. Not all questions must be answered, but a framework should be in place before contacting the staff. As a reminder, if a player does not end up playing a character from that culture, the information in the packet is NOT to be carried over as common knowledge to a different character. Culture packet information is NOT common knowledge to the entire world.

Characters are required to have a character history on file before being allowed to take any Disadvantages. However, Disadvantages may be taken first, and remain, provided that the player submit the character history within thirty (30) days of the player’s first event as that character. Players are encouraged to submit character histories a full thirty (30) days prior to attending an event as that character. This makes things much easier for the staff, and it provides an additional three (3) character points! This is not a requirement, merely encouraged.

Questions to Consider

  • Where do you come from?

    Where were you born and where did you live before coming to the game location? The country where you were born or where you lived has a significant impact on how you view the world and how you interact with others.

  • What was your childhood and youth like?

    Your early years can have a significant impact on forming your personality. What were your parents like? Were you legitimate or a bastard? Did you have any siblings? How did you get along with your family? Did you have any formal education or training? How wealthy was your family? Were there any important or traumatic events in your youth that helped shape who you are today? Did you have a best friend or a group of people that you were often found with? When did you leave home?

  • Have you had any Romantic Encounters?

    Romance can have a long-lasting impact on a character. Who was your first love? Has a lover ever betrayed you? Have you ever betrayed a lover? Have you ever lost a love? Are you currently in love? If a player is not interested in romantic stories, this is an excellent way to let us know ahead of time.

  • Do you have any enemies?

    Long-term enemies can add a lot to a character’s history…not to mention potentially having the chance settle the score with them during a game. Do you have any long-term rivals? If you have an enemy, how did it happen? Enemies are rarely born from pure happenstance. Did you insult him in some manner? Did you best him in a fight? Was there a dramatic twist in a romantic entanglement? Is he an enemy of the family? Is a theft at the crux of the complaint? Does he just hate the way you look, and his friends don’t like you either?

  • What single event has affected you the most?

    Was your family murdered by bandits? Was your true love executed for treason? Were they then reassembled by an evil cabalist and forced to spend eternity as their servitor? Did a noble spit on you as a child? Have you been imprisoned wrongly? How about rightly? Have you participated in a war? Were you captured and taken as a slave? Did a noble show you kindness? Was your country conquered by strange lizard people from across the southern sea? Was your mentor eaten by a ghul? Did trolls use the entrails of your sister to perform a Working and summon a spirit to feast on blood? Please note that the Returned recall nothing of how they died.

  • What adventures have you had?

    What have you done since leaving home? Are you a farm boy, off seeking adventure? Did you grow up in a society that praised warriors and began raiding for plunder and glory at an early age? Are you a seasoned veteran of many of the wars that have dotted the land? Are you a member of a Guild who is hired out regularly as extra muscle? Are you a ritualist looking for a safe spot to practice the art? Are you an alchemist who has had to flee? Do you belong to one of the Mystery Cults that have been hounded by the Throne? Are you seeking something? Are you part of an adventuring company? Were you sponsored by any government?

  • Were you involved in any Historical Events?

    Historical Events are a new feature of Dust to Dust that encourages and builds the game’s consensual reality. Historical Events are posted here, and operate on a first come, first served basis. Players may insert themselves into any one (1) Historical Event for no cost. Players must first check with the Dust to Dust staff in order to ensure that the positions are still open. Historical Events span the Known World, and are important events from the world’s recent history. Players might have been aiding in a rebellion in Athral Isle, or helping to suppress a rebellion in the lands of Tarsikka. Historical Events represent widely known information, and are ways to participate actively in the written, existing history of the game world. If players do not wish their names to be listed, but wish to claim a role in an event, that is possible. In this case, the Historical Event will convey that the role is filled, but the information is not known. Players must confirm this with the Dust to Dust staff first, as some roles may not be obscured. Players may pay five (5) Buttons for a role in a second Historical Event, and ten (10) Buttons for a role in a third Historical Event, but the events must be non-conflicting, and no one else may have claimed the event. Players may appear in a maximum of three (3) Historical Events.

  • Historical Events are meant to provide a little extra depth for a character, but they are not intended to be a full character history. It is a single event in the life of the character. It is as defining or as insignificant as the player chooses it to be. Events chosen should fit the demeanor and persona of the character. Many options are available, and one that is chosen should be given careful deliberation.

Creating a Persona

This section is provided to help players form a distinct personality for their characters.

  • What are your best qualities?

    What do people admire about you? Is it your honor, courage, friendliness, or honesty? Do people respect the way in which you keep a tight rein on your homunculus, Bootstrap? Are you a philanthropist and a gift to your community? Do you defend your compatriots with a zealotry usually reserved for the clergy?

  • What are your worst qualities?

    What are your bad habits? What are your vices? The ways in which you continually disappoint people might range from being a habitual gambler to being a wine-soaked drunkard, or perhaps a petty thief, or even being incapable of embellishing even the simplest of tales. Are you incapable of letting even the smallest insult go unanswered? Flaws are great ways to have a chance to improve in an emotionally tangible way over the course of your character’s career.

  • Do you have mannerisms or quirks?

    Adding something that makes you, the player, have to perform something outside of your normal routine is an excellent way to get more in tune with a character. Does your character stroke his chin when in thought? Does she tilt her head to the side when angry? Does he tap his foot incessantly? Does she always scream a battle cry before engaging in combat? Does he refuse to look people in the eye when talking to them? Does she have an accent or unusual speech pattern? Does he have a phrase which he repeats in conversation?

  • What will you risk your life for?

    What are your core principles and values? What friends or loved ones would you put yourself in a life-threatening situation in order to protect? Is it not people, but instead a possession? Is it the chance to earn fortune and fame? Is everyone equal, and open to your protection? Is it your country that invokes these feelings? Or is it nothing at all?

  • What action do you regret most?

    Did you participate in a war? Commit a crime? Leave your homeland? End a friendship? Slay a man for the first time? Report your love to the Left Hand of the Throne for being a deviant and a user of secret magic? Perhaps you have no regrets.

  • What are your goals?

    What your character wishes to accomplish in life can have a significant impact on his actions. Do you wish to become a noble? Do you want fame and glory? Do you seek to understand the innermost workings of the very world? Do you desire great wealth? Do you want to ascend in your organization to the upper echelon? Do you wish to spread the word of the glorious Redwood Throne?

Additional Questions

  • How old are you?
  • What is your fondest memory?
  • What is your most frightening memory?
  • How do you feel about magic?
  • How do you feel about the other nations?
  • What is your moral code?
  • What are your political views?
  • How much of the world have you traveled?
  • What are your hopes and dreams?
  • Why have you come to the game location?