Thursday, 18 March 2010

Life Rolls On

Do any other players take into consideration how much the numbers that are rolled for stats mean beyond the scores and benefits/penalties they give? I mean, do you consider why the character you're designing has ended up with those particular values in those particular stats? When I do design a detailed PC I try to imagine why the character ended up with such scores and then try to give them a bit of background to explain them.

Let's say I'm rolling a Dragon Warriors character (3D6 in each stat) - there must be a reason why my PC has such numbers. Let's call him Bralbuck.

STRENGTH 11 - Bralbuck is of average build. He never really stood out in the place where he grew up, but he wasn't exactly a weakling. To get in such good shape perhaps he grew up in a community where physical work was required, such as a helping hand in a castle or on a farm.
REFLEXES 15 - He was quick, though. Quick on is feet with speedy reactions. Perhaps his job required him to be nimble, such as looking after sheep or doing a lot of climbing, or perhaps he was practised in avoiding beatings from bullies or particularly nasty peers.
INTELLIGENCE 9 - His education wasn't up to much, so perhaps he is of a peasant or serf class.
PSYCHIC TALENT 9 - Where he comes from there's not much call for magic. Maybe the Church has dominion and does not approve of such practises.
LOOKS 13 - He's a good looking fellow, which probably resulted in some jealousy from other less blessed people which resulted in the beatings and the increased reflexes.

So, going by the numbers, here's Bralbuck's history:

'I grew up in Cornumbria in a small farming village called Break Beacon. We were one of many such villages under the so-called "protection" of a noble to the north who returned from the Crusades when I was just a boy, glowing with fierce piety. His devotion to the True Faith was so strong that within weeks of his return those of a magical disposition found themselves burned at the stake or imprisoned. My father remembers a time when magic users would aid the farms and villages with their crops and cattle. Now any who come to these lands are chased away or arrested. He has told me of some of the wonderous things they used to do and I imagine, sometimes, of weaving my own spells.
My father was a good man and cared for his family well, but he and my mother were not from Cornumbria. They had travelled from Ereworn in search of a new life; the people here were accepting but my parents always felt like outsiders. Because of this growing up was sometimes difficult - the local thugs would single me out and chase me down, and more than once I suffered a beating. I had to learn quickly to be quick on my feet. All this left me with little chance for an education; I rose and fell with the sun working on my father's farm so the opportunities afforded to those of a higher rank passed me by.
I got through my childhood and early manhood relatively unscathed, but always I dreamed of something more. I loved my father and mother dearly, and I loved the friends I had made, but there as always something in me that yearned to see beyond the hills and the fields that surrounded us. My father always said that I would one day feel this, this wanderlust, this need to break free of the bonds of servitude and travel in search of adventure. It was why he left Ereworn, after all, and he had told me of some of the adventures he had on his journey.
I thought this feeling nothing but a fancy, until one day a Knight came riding through the village...'