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Trifletraxor

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Looking for inspiration for d100rules, I found this article about character backgrounds:

http://realms.co.uk/blog/articles/the-problem-with-character-backgrounds/

It gets interesting from the "Making it easy for the GM" part and down. I've always tried to get my players to make as detailed a background as possible, with very variable results.

Maybe this method is better? What do you think? Reminds me a bit about the HQ2 character generation, which also have some good parts in it.

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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I think it depends a lot on the game/on the campaign/on the setting. If the game/campaign/setting is centred on a group of adventurers that have gathered for other reasons than "let's kill monsters together" and/or if the game emphasises social interactions, a detailed background will be a necessary part of character generation. HQ2, as you have pointed out, is a good example, eg, the Startar book. I have something similar (alas not on such a scale) for my upcoming Chinese role-game with suggestions: a judge and his constables, a merchant and his bodyguards, a member of the gentry and his retainers,... rather than having it as part of chargen.

But if you're playing classic fantasy just for fun, you don't need a detailed background, do you?

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Even that could be too much. How about...?

A) Three-word character summary

B) Max ten word background description (or other length, to taste)

C) Similar-length 'statement of intent' (what the character wants, as per that article)

and optionally D) About 3 BRP/Pendragon Personality Traits

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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It depends entirely on the type of game being run, as Gianni said. I think that blog poster's advice is valid enough where all the players already know the setting well (such as Glorantha or The Old World, or historical games), or where there is no real setting, just an implied setting (as in most D&D games I've played). In those cases, I think it's fine for the Players to create some background for their characters, though I agree talking about meals is excessive. But for my part I usually spend a lot of time world-building prior to the game, and exploring that world is a big part of the game. It's pointless for characters to come up background on their own, since they don't usually know the world well enough to do a decent job. So we spend a lot of time discussing back and forth to create character backgrounds that work both for the players and the setting. By the time this is over, the players already feel like a part of the world, and I know enough about the characters to toss in plot hook I know they'll be interested in.

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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HQ2, as you have pointed out, is a good example, eg, the Startar book.

I've ordered the Sartar books, but haven't gotten them yet. I have the HQ2 pdf, which have a pretty short char-gen, somewhat similar to the one described in the article. The Sartar one is more extensive it sounds like?

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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The Sartar one is more extensive it sounds like

Yes, you have a scan here of the clan questionnaire we did at a convention: http://www.glorantha.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/20091106162321738.pdf

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