The Ten-Minute Background--Post your characters!

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I've given my players the task of filling out your background questions, and it's been the easiest and most painless thing ever. Integrating their desires and character histories into the story arc has never been easier.

It's like a source material feast.

Well, thank you! This format has worked wonders for me, especially since it gives me enough tools not only to ties the characters into my forming ideas, it also gives me a chance to think about how to build relationships that are meaningful to the players.

For instance, one of the characters is a lost scion of an Eladrin noble family. Another is a changeling who escaped the Feywild because of Eladrin witch hunts, and has a missing brother who is working a sort of changeling underground railroad. A third character mentioned a mentor character who was secretly grooming him to be a member of a secret society.

I took these threads and began weaving them together. The Lost Princess's family, for instance, is the one that was persecuting the changelings. The mentor is helping the changeling's brother smuggle other dopplegangers into the world. And so on.

Another thing i've noticed is that, when the players are stuck for ideas on contacts (which they very often are), they've chosen other player characters as contacts, which means they talk about their backgrounds with each other at least to a small extent and form relationships that can make it much easier to organically form an adventuring party.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I don't follow a specific format like you do, but I do encourage my players to spend time figuring out how they fit in the world. I find the best way to promote it is to actually use the character backgrounds that the players give to draw them into the story or be some kind of background.

For example the most senior role player in my current campaign makes very in depth backgrounds. I love it personally, we will spend days talking about how his character fits in the world. In the campaign I just started, he is playing "Echo Stormheart, also known as the Chaos Shepard." To make the story short, weird things happen around him. When he was born, there was a storm that hit the remote town his mother lived in. They never knew his father, and his mother was dead when they heard the baby's voice echoing through the house. They never spoke of what they saw in there to him. Odd things happen around him. Animals, not through magical compulsion, will either hate or adore him, and people will mistake him for someone they know all too commonly. He knows things that any rational person would wonder how he could know something without pre-disposition. He has two oddly colored eyes one is silver and one is green. The silver one turns colors from time to time without him noticing. There's more oddities and background about him, but that gets you the gist.

He plays his character as a good character who always tries to see the best in people, and his own personal theory is that his senses are a little weird, and that's why the world around him acts so oddly to him. As if he can see in to the past or the future at times. The truth is though, Vecna himself, actually came down, ripped out the eye of the newborn, and placed his own eye into the socket. Since then he's been growing up with the eye telling him secrets, and recently, secrets of undead. So much so, that in game, he actually unwittingly turned a dead imp into an undead imp that now follows him. It was a pretty big shock for a good aligned character to realize that he could raise the dead into undead, especially because he worships Pelor!

It'll be funny when I have the paladin in the party drop the bomb "If your hand causes you to sin then cut it off and cast it away," as a hint to him that he has an evil body part. It'll also be interesting to see whether he turns evil due to the influence of the eye, he actually puts his eye out to remain good, or he struggles his entire life with the eye playing with him.

Why do I bring this up? Because when other players see that when you make a background, it'll mean something, they in turn want to make a background as well.

While long, detailed character histories such as these are always a bonus, they sometimes get out of hand. Perhaps the player is writing so much because he expects to be the main focus of the game, the "main character" above all others. Perhaps they mean well, but present you with a history so long it resembles the last Harry Potter book; while it may be an interesting read, it also doesn't hit on the parts that DMs really need to know about in a manner that is easily accessible. I know that I don't want to wade through the Next Great American Novel to come up with a few adventure hooks when it's crunch time and the players will be at the door in fifteen minutes.

It also encourages the players to focus on different aspects of the character. Our group had the most trouble with coming up with contacts because they were used to playing loner types with no ties to anything. Once they started putting thought into it, these concepts bloomed. Naturally, I had some silliness (one player wanted to have a pet demonic talking skull named Murray, since he was playing a necromancer), but over all it was fun and very productive.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Perfect. Simply Perfect.

One of our RPers is that guy who makes the power point presentations and is some how linked to every person in every kingdom.

3 of our RPers just roll dice and at most there justification is "I'm a x".

This will give enough background and not TOO MUCH background. Short sweet and simple. Many thumbs up.
Since I'm bored and can't sleep, I'm going to make up another example character using one of the NPCs of my game. I encourage those of you who like this thread to post your own Ten-Minute Characters if you feel so inclined.

Spoiler Alert: Those of you in my Rise of the Fallen game can just skip right over the secrets portion of this background, m'kay?

The Ten-Minute Background of Bodak Steelgrinder

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

"Oh we are adventurers!
Mighty, mighty adventurers!
Going to kick their *****es!
All the way to Kelsenon!"
--A drunk Bodak trying to inspire morale among his companions


background
1) Bodak Steelgrinder is a Dragonborn wizard from the Keregorn Mountains, way up north of the current setting, in the ruins of the Kelsenon Empire.
2) He is a self-trained adventurer, whose only magical training came from scraps of spellbooks he attained on his travels. His magic tends to be flashy and not exactly stable as a result.
3) As a self-styled adventuring mercenary, he cross-trained in the arts of fighting. He likes wearing heavier armor than most wizards and wields an axe, but he dosen't know any of the better tricks of dedicated fighters.
4) He was once part of an adventuring band investigating the activities of a group of evil vampire bloodmages called "The Order of the Fair." However, his group was outclassed and split after a failed attempt to infiltrate an Order stronghold. Bodak narrowly escaped the debacle with his life, and took to wandering as much out of fear of reprisal as dragonborn wanderlust.
5) Bodak has a love of all things draconic, seeing such items and lore as linking him to a great heritage. He is especially fond of tales relating to Lost Arkhosia, the ill-fated dragonborn empire.

A few more, details important for this character's role as a patron in my game:


6) After wandering for several years, Bodak came to the campaign area. He felt that this was a good place to put up stakes for a while, and he now feels he's far enough away from the Order of the Fair to relax a bit.
7) He joined the local adventurer's guild, known as the Draconic Botherhood. He quickly distinguished himself, and was surprised to be offered the leadership of the guild when the old guildmaster retired. He quickly learned, however, just why the guildmaster was so quick to promote him, an inexperienced newcomer. The Brotherhood is suffering severe financial difficulties and is caught in political struggles with the other guilds in town, and Bodak does not command the respect of the other adventurers he is nominally in charge of. His appointment was strictly so the old guildmaster could flee with the remaining coins in the coffers, and he has been struggling to clean up the mess ever since.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.

"There ain't anything in this world like being an adventurer, let me tell you! You get to travel to exotic lands, explore long-forgotten sights, uncover fabulous treasures, meet interesting monsters...and kill them!"

goals
Since this is an NPC, these are going to be more of my goals as a DM.1) I'd like to see Bodak rise above the problems surrounding the Draconic Brotherhood that he was placed in, most likely with the PCs' help.

2) I'd like Bodak to come to some closure regarding the Order of the Fair.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

"You know, I miss the good old days. Traveling through the dark dungeons and solving cunning traps, exploring the astral sea, being chased by wizard cabals controlled by vampires...ok, I don't miss that last one very much, but the point still stands: you have it good."

Spoiler time!
1) Bodak has been courted by the head of the Merchant's guild, who is offering to cancel some of the Brotherhood's outstanding debts if Bodak will use his position to send muscle against the dockworkers of the city, who are trying to organize their own union to combat unfair Merchant Guild policies and practices. Bodak doesn't want to do this, but he's becoming desperate to get out of the crushing debt and ruinous interest rates his predecessor incurred. The temptation to give in is awful, but he's heard of a few treasure-laden ruins in the area which might allow him to get free without resorting to the dirty politics, and he's pinning his hopes on the new band of adventurers he's signed.

2) Though Bodak isn't aware of it, vampire spawn have begun appearing in St. Clarice. The Order of the Fair was run by a vampire, and if Bodak suspects that the Order has infiltrated the city he will stop at nothing to see that the vampires are rooted out and destroyed, with the hopes that he can finally find his way to their leader and slay him.

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3) Bodak isn't aware that he's a pawn in another game. Gerard LeVaine, the Jack of Ashes, is preparing a Xanatos Gambit designed to ruin the reputation of the church of the Raven Lord. The first step of his plan is complete (the vampire spawn infiltrating the city). Gerard is not a member of the Order of the Fair, but he has learned of Bodak's history with them and is planning on manipulating that to his own ends. Gerard wants the vampire spawn to be uncovered, because he has set things up to appear as if the Raven Lord's temple is their source. All that needs to happen now is an incident that will expose the spawn...


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

"I got a problem. You remember Jerek? Yeah, the git's gone and started up his own rival mercenary band. That's bad for business. now, I know you've had your problems with him before...so while I can't officially offer you a contract to forcibly disband his pack, I can guarantee that the Brotherhood will be exceptionally grateful if someone were to take care of that jerk and his men. Do we have an understanding?"

contacts
1) Bodak has a pet: a spider the size of a cat which he calls Bug. He refers to the spider as his "familiar," though he doesn't seem to have any mystical connection to it. He found the spider chomping on one of his boots the night after he tried to perform a ritual from a burned spellbook, so you can see where this impression stems from. Bug seems quite friendly, for a spider that can eat birds and rats.

2) Jerek Redscar is a mercenary who was employed by Bodak for a while. But Jerek is a jerkass and Bodak realized that he was a liability after a bar brawl that resulted in the bar being burnt to the ground. Bodak severed Jerek's contract, and the human is still bitter. Worse, he's been hired on with the St. Clarice watch specifically because Sheriff Bulrick despises the Draconic Brotherhood and wanted to put a thorn in Bodak's side. Still, as a member of the Watch, Jerek is bound to follow town law, so Bodak can bring attention to situations requiring the city watch.

3) Bodak has recently hired on a group of promising adventurers. At least, he thinks they're promising. They remind him a lot of his former companions, at the beginning of his own adventuring career...though perhaps that isn't an encouraging sign. But he helped bail them out of trouble during that bar fight, and they proved themselves against Jerek and his band of thugs. They just need a little time to gel, and some training to smooth away the rough edges...he hopes. He really doesn't have any other choice but to hope that they will be the answer to his problems.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

Saved for later.

design notes
Bodak was actually a character I once played in one of my first 3.0 games. I decided to bring him back because he was very fun to play.

So when I brought him in, he acted as a DMPC, filling the role of the party wizard. The players liked him, and he accompanied them on several adventures. I deliberately strove to avoid DMPC traps, which helped a lot.

The campaign I am running now is a world-wide reboot of a previous campaign that ground to a halt due to DM burnout. 4th edition gave me a change to go back with my party and start the game from the very beginning, giving everything in my world an "everything old is new again" vibe. Previously, Bodak had been a half-orc working on the Dragon Disciple prestige class, but my original concept for him was to have been a dragonman, so the Dragonborn race switch was a perfect fit. I put him as a guildmaster to make sure he didn't act as a DMPC and follow the party around, acting more as a patron than the companion he was last time I introduced him. This may have failed, as the party has stated openly they like him enough to try and get him freed of his obligations of guildmaster to get him to come with them on an adventure or two, which works with my goals for the characters.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
While long, detailed character histories such as these are always a bonus, they sometimes get out of hand.

Yep. You nailed it on the head right there. It's always a bonus. If it's out of hand, then you don't have to deal with the out of hand parts. If you have a good two way communication with the player, you can work together to make a background you're both satisfied with.

Although you mentioned earlier, 15 minutes before game is not the time to read and consider a background. I generally work with players on and off for 2-3 weeks before I start a game with characters that are meant to do something a bit more than a straight forward story like "X is killing people. You people decide to stop him."
I tended to go that route in the beginning, but as I got older I found I had less and less time for the process of meeting with people. And sometimes, getting a background was like pulling teeth...some people just kept dragging their heels, and I wouldn't get anything from them until we were actually rolling up characters, which made it difficult to plan things ahead.

The background format I developed works to provide a "concept framework" for getting me the important parts of the characters. Not all the players are great writers, after all. And I've found it's easier to reference these shorter backgrounds as compared to the longer ones I've called for in the past, which speeds up adventure design immensely. And those inclined to write longer, more detailed things have not been diminished...far from it. I still get the longer background format. This just helps distill what I need at any given time down into a manageable one or two pages.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Another background, for yet another NPC from my campaign. Yet again, I remind those from my Rise of the Fallen game to ignore the Secrets block to avoid spoilers

The Ten-Minute Background of Dominique Leroux

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

1) Dominique is a half-elf from one of the near-by villages. She is pretty and has raven-black hair.
2) She has come to St. Clarice to get a new start on life, after a rough childhood hanging with one of the local gangs. She is trying to escape her criminal past, but her skills as a rogue may prove useful to adventurers.
3) She dated the leader of a gang of hooligans in her village, but he was abusive and when she called it off he took to stalking her. Eventually he got caught and is spending time in the village stockade, but he won't be there forever, and she is afraid he will come looking for her.
4) She works a very low-paying job as a tavern wench and can only afford lodgings in the red-light district of the town, which doesn't help her reputation much. She longs to find a more lucrative line of work, but doesn't want to turn back to larceny to obtain it. She's been considering looking for employment at the Draconic Brotherhood.
5) Recently, her life has taken a turn for the strange. Ever since a vivid nightmare a few weeks ago, she has been having odd blackouts, and is waking up in strange places. People have been telling her they've seen her in places she doesn't remember going and doing things she's sure she wouldn't do. And then there is the odd magic that has crept into her life...during a brawl at the tavern she worked at, she somehow caused a man's eyes to start bleeding. She fled, but heard later that the bar burned down in the aftermath. And she thinks that she saw her old boyfriend there, watching from the balcony. She's terrified, and is looking for help.

Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.

1) I would like to see Dominique get past the scared little girl that she is right now and blossom into a more confident character.
2) I would like to use Dominique as a love interest for one of the players.
3) I would like to see the Shards of Jillian hook explored over the course of the campaign.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

Keep Out, Rise of the Fallen players!
1) Dominique's nightmare involved her killing people who looked amazingly like herself, and then stealing their souls. This dream is recurring, and every time she has it she finds she's had another blackout. She wonders what this means, and she's scared of the vision.
2) Dominique is one of the Shrads of Jillian, holder of one of the pieces of a dead goddess's soul. The blackouts and odd powers are manifestations of this power beginning to awaken in her. The Shards are drawn to each other, and unconsciously seek each other out. Their ultimate purpose is to put the dead goddess back together.
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3) The reason Dominique is having these blackouts and finding out she's acting strange is because she isn't Dominique. Dominique is actually dead, killed by another one of the Shards who stole her soul and tried to integrate it with her own. This attempt failed, resulting in the Shard carrying two intact souls that war for control of the body.


Step 4
: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

1) Claude Perriot, Dominique's old boyfriend, is bad news. He is an abusive, hateful bastard and has recently acquired a taste for murder for hire, having joined a secret assassin's guild. When not out doing jobs for the guild, he is stalking Dominique to make her life miserable. he's currently living under the name "Tayce," which is the name of a bogeyman figure.
2) Old Leroux is an Eladrin wizard and Dominique's grandfather. He creates magical tattooes for a living, though he used to be a wizard for the royal court of an Eladrin queen. Dominique visits him when she can. He is knowledgeable about a great many things.
3) Martin Tenbones is the owner of the Three Keys Inn, an inn/tavern/gambling hall in a nicer part of town than Dominique has been living in. He has offered her a job at his place after meeting her a while back. Dominique doesn't know what to make of his interest, though. He says she reminds him of someone he once knew, but she doesn't like the wistful way he looks at her sometimes, and suspects he has ulterior motives.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

1) Once, when Dominique was very little, she went off to play in the forest near her village, she came across a strange ring of mushrooms and felt a tingle in the air that seemed magical. She believes that place was a fairy ring, but she was never able to find it again to make sure.
2) The icy slap of a belt across her face when Claude was in a bad mood, coupled with the tears and helplessness she felt, is one of her least favorite memories.
3) The vivid nightmare she had a few weeks ago where she met a person who looked just like her, talked with this doppleganger at length, and then killed her and placed her soul in a black gem has woken her up screaming several times now. Worse, when she wakes up from this dream, often she finds herself far from home, and can't remember how she got where she was.

Design notes--contains spoilers, so KEEP OUT PLAYERS!

Dominique was one of the NPCs from the previous 3.x campaign. She was the love interest of one of the characters, and her twisted backstory just grew more so as the campaign progressed. She started with having the Evil Twin thing with a BBEG called Mai'ali. With the reboot of the campaign she's in, I decided to mix things up and turn the Evil Twin thing into a Multiple Personality thing.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I've done similar, but this thread has me inspired. Great minds at work and fun as heck to pick from! I'm asking my new 4E campaign group to give me background (and i've stolen a number of your ideas from here - unabashed plug!).
I'm looking to do a number of short "flashback" scenes, ala "Lost" - maybe one each gaming session. Each would feature one or two of the party's main characters and the other players will get NPC parts to play in the scene. I'm wondering if anyone else has done much with flashbacks and how well it worked, was everyone interested in other folks' backstory, and how did you reward the "encounter" (i'm thinking with Action Points maybe?)
I've done similar, but this thread has me inspired. Great minds at work and fun as heck to pick from! I'm asking my new 4E campaign group to give me background (and i've stolen a number of your ideas from here - unabashed plug!).
I'm looking to do a number of short "flashback" scenes, ala "Lost" - maybe one each gaming session. Each would feature one or two of the party's main characters and the other players will get NPC parts to play in the scene. I'm wondering if anyone else has done much with flashbacks and how well it worked, was everyone interested in other folks' backstory, and how did you reward the "encounter" (i'm thinking with Action Points maybe?)

A DM I played under did this, though it was more like a pre game "prelude" than a flashback. I'm done this as well. mostly it's doing one-on-one things with players during the week. Trying to do flashbacks while in the main game can get dicey, as can having players play NPCs (something I did a lot of when we were playing Mutants & Masterminds). It's doable, but the more often it happens the more people might wish to get back to playing their "real" characters, so it should be used sparingly.

I was curious...to any mods out there, is there any chance of making this thread sticky?
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
And another. At this rate, I'll run low of PC allies and start into the villains of the game.

The Ten-Minute Background of Leroux Eol'rim, Bralani of Autumn Winds (old Leroux)

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

1) Old Leroux is an old eladrin who owns a shop in the Temple District. There he makes magical tattoos which dance and move of their own accord. He has been in the town of St. Clarice for over a century.
2) Old Leroux was once a noble, a Bralani of Autumn Winds, but left the Feywild for reasons he never discusses. He came to The World carrying a young half-elf child, and has watched over the descendants of that child ever since, playing the role of mentor and kindly grandfather figure.
3) Old Leroux is a sage, and has a great store of knowledge on history, arcane teachings, and religion.
4) Old Leroux is an old, old eladrin. his skin is a warm nut-brown color, and he is bald, with mystical tattoos covering his thin frame. His eyes are a solid white, and glow faintly when he concentrates.
5) Old Leroux is good at heart and means well, but he has an unfortunate tendency to be condescending towards those of other races, viewing members of those races as children who must be educated.

Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.

1) I hope the players come to Leroux for his patronage and his knowledge. He is meant to be an ally and perhaps a patron for the party.
2) There are some interesting secrets that may be revealed...I hope that the party comes to care for Leroux, so that, when these secrets are revealed, the players have an emotional investment in them.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

Rise of the Fallen Players keep out!
1) Old Leroux is a member of the White Fox Society, and uses his knowledge to further their ends. Lately he has been involved in the smuggling of changelings from the Feywild, helping them escape the persecution that they face beyond the veil.
2) Old Leroux isn't aware of it yet, but he is beginning to succumb to The Madness, an ancient eladrin curse that drives the eldest of that race insane, slowly but surely. His double life is beginning to take its toll on his mind.
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3) Old Leroux is a spy for the Eladrin court. He manipulates the White Fox Society into working for the interests of Lady Wynowill, a Ghaele queen who has been manipulating the World for a century in preparation for an eventual Eladrin invasion of The World. The changelings Leroux "helps" are actually being lead to their deaths.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

1) Dominique Leroux is the granddaughter of the child Leroux came into the World carrying, and he watches over her when he can.
2) Audric Cwellen, a half-elven Paladin in the service of the Goddess of Love and Beauty, regards Leroux as a trusted friend and mentor.
3) Sheriff Bulrick of St. Clarice dislikes "that creepy old elf," but even he respects Old Leroux's wisdom, and will (grudgingly) take his advice on matters related to the security of the city.

design notes
Yet another revisited NPC from a previous game, Old Leroux was a mentor figure for the party who died (well, was petrified). In keeping with my "everything old is new again" design for my new campaign, I decided to make Leroux less altruistic this time around and more sinister. This way, he can lead the party into danger (and adventure!).
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Urantikkel Pin Slamminfools - Gnome Fighter
Str 16, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 12


Step 1: Write five things about your character's concept and background

1. Born and raised in the Feywild in one of the largest gnome cities, Faeraer.
2. Gnome Pride 'nuff said. (Thinks gnomes to be natural martial warriors; the reason he's such an amazing warrior has nothing to do with years of training, just natural racial battle magnificence)Worships Kord and believes Kord created the Gnomes as only that would explain how awesome they are in battle.
3. Claims to have succumbed to wanderlust. Left the Gnomish Battle Brigade to see the world and expand his arsenal of Gnome Bad-assness.
4. Loves tinkered tricks to befuddle his opposition
5. His alignment is truly neutral, but for non-altruistic reasons will easily sacrifice himself for his allies, save a village from marauding orcs, or any other deeds that separate heroes from the common folk. It would take intense philosophical arguments to detect his alignment is really unaligned rather than good and a firm disbelief of altruism. Urantikkel does these deeds simply for a thirst to name accomplishments. Firstly for himself; "A long list of deeds isn't going to add itself to my name" - Urantikkel pin Slamminfools. And secondly to win glory and renown and ultimately earn a seat next to Kord. "I'm pretty sure every morning begins with a drinking contest, then there is the before noon battle. Those that live through it get to enjoy the second drinking contest. Then there is the afternoon battle, which is much more fun than the before noon battle. All the weaker races like the humans, elves and dwarves have tuckered out at this point and just watch on the sidelines and the real champions fight it out. If too many people are alive at this point an after the afternoon battles will commence until there are about 50 or so who get to eat with kord that night. I plan on sitting next to him" - Urantikkel Pin Slamminfools



Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game

1. His goal is to locate the gnomish artifact Arumadd, the Gnomish Battle Hammer wielded by the greatest gnome warrior, Urantikkel (his name in most gnomish stories is quiet long and names many many deeds) . Urantikel the great fought readily in the Drow Wars. The war between the Drow, Eladrin, and Elves had far reaching consequences and almost all the races of the fey were involved. Urantikel and his weapon, Arumadd was lost in one of the last battles that took place, the battle of Segienabar. The knowledge of where this battle happened is known to only those with truly epic history skills. He believes the hammer is not in the Feywild and searches for clue's to it's whereabouts.
2. His much more realistic goal is to learn new fighting techniques to bring back to his brigade. He is also a beer connoisseur and plans to roam the world for a spell tasting all the best brews.
3. Slay a dragon is definitely on his to-do list. The gnomish name for dragon slayer is f'leshk Ra Tal and Urantikel Pin F'leshk Ra Tal Slamminfools just sounds cool.
4. He is a little delusional, maybe... He really just wants everyone to know the true might of the gnomes by being what he believes to be a paragon of his race. Only he's anything but that.. he doesn't tinker himself, has no real magical abilities, and his phasing ability barely works. More like a broken flashlight blinking in and out for a couple of seconds



Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet.

1. He didn't choose to leave his brigade as he often says. He was forced out of his position politically by the commander's son Wanndinel Difflepoof. This was due to an intense rivalry that inevitably led to Wanndinel losing. Humiliated he spread lies about Urantikel to his father and ultimately placed me in a position to be removed from my position. I officially am taking a very extended leave with an emphasis on "don't come back." They have replaced me with a very well respected gnomish warlord named Graveldust Roughntuff, the only gnome to beat me in a arm wrestling fight; but he only did it once, and I was connoisseuring my ass off that night..
2. Wanndinel Difflepoof has hired a gnome assassin to make sure that I never return. The troops hold me in such high regard that if I returned I could easily usurp him. He is obsessive and paranoid and will only relax once I've been removed from the picture. Luckily I told no one of my travels, unluckly I brag to everyone about how bad ass gnomes are. "Isn't it too bad you aren’t a gnome" is my calling card. How hard can I be to find? Only the DM will know.



Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character through blood, romance, or honor. Two of them are friendly, one is hostile.



1. Graveldust Roughntuff, his best friend and current leader of the Gnomish Battle Brigade. Both of them started out in the Gnomish Death Squad and worked their way up the ranks. They have always had a friendly rivalry. Graveldust would go to great lengths to help out with any situation I might be having; it would take a great amount of pride swallowing to get me to ask him for help from him however.
2. Rasanna Tinkertatter, My sister she left home about five years ago and wanders around selling gadgets and gizmo's. She is an excellent tinkerer and has made our family quiet proud. Some of the gear I'm wearing she invented, like my helmet's shaded lenses that come down when I nod sharply twice.
3. Wanndinel Difflepoof, a sniveling waste of a Gnome. Spoiled and weak. If he wanted to he could lend me the support of an entire brigade of ready bodied gnomish warriors. Not likely to ever happen. He fears me and for good reason, if I ever found him in a dark alley I'd show him why Kord gave us gnomes strong well oiled bodies!



Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate but they should provide some context and flavor.

1. Urantikkel remembers the first time he heard the story of the exploits of the greatest gnome champion and loved how they shared the first name. He remembers when he was a child, thinking that someday his list of accomplishments would extend his name across the pages of a book.
2. The first time he held a gnomish war hammer as a kid. Running around pretending he was the great gnome champion Urantikel Drow Slayer!
3. The day he earned his nickname "Shadow" not because of his silent movement, but because he cast the biggest shadow! "That's all muscle boys" - Urantikkel Pin Slamminfools
4. His involuntary leave that he was required to take and the pure betrayal he felt after many years of service; after first setting foot on this world he added a middle name Pin (elven for free).
Here's a writeup of a PC for a campaign that never quite got it's groove.

Boscombe Blackwater-Human Ranger, Unaligned.
Background
"I'm a man of few words, so most of these aren't mine..."
Show

1. He is from further South, speaking with an accent no one can place.
2. He lost his elder sister to an arranged marriage with a phony nobleman, who later killed her to gain infernal power, and fled.
3.He set out with a number of his cronies to avenge this slight. All but one have died.
4.He had a falling out with the other survivor, leading this fellow to seek work elsewhere, while Boscombe quickly became entangled in a failed burglary, sentenced to a life of hard labor.
5.Due to a sudden outburst of religious fervor, he has escaped, and renewed his hunt.


Step 2:Goals(I got 3)
"The gods don't speak very loudly, so you have to be a good listener."

Show
Short Term- Kill the paladin Gyrecroft, who murdered his sister.
Medium Term- Stay focused. "Lives were lost before, because you were weak."
Long Term- find a way to redeem himself for his previous mistakes.

3:Secrets
"I still remember the look in her eyes, when she sent me away. Ah, well-that's noblesse oblige for you..."
Show
(Known) Boscombe's relationship with his sister was not strictly familial, thus casting shadows on his motivations for stopping this genuine villain, as well as his quest for renewal.
(Unknown) Gyrecroft is still the Titleholder of the Blackwater estate. If he died, it would revert to Boscombe, probably just in time to be extremely inconvenient.


4: Relationships- 2 positive, 1 negative.
"We're sending you back to hell- Your puppeteer too."
Show
Eridd Ewestooth, Male Human, LG. Set out with BB to avenge his honor. Along the way, he grew enraged at the pointless loss of his friends' lives, as well as Boscombe's disregard for danger. Now employed as an Alderman, of sorts, it was his influence that prevented Boscombe from being executed.
Mithril, Male Cat, UA. the plump silver tabby at the largest nearby town's Inn. Takes an uncommon liking to the Southerner, and his odd manner. Most locals are shocked to see Boscombe soften so much in the animal's presence, even if cats ARE the eyes of the gods...
Gyrecroft, Male Human, CE. many aliases. A thoroughly evil fellow, he has managed to run the fortune gained from the estate into the ground, and now finds himself compelled to partake in dangerous rites to keep his demons (personal, and literal) happy. While he knows he is hunted, his recent activities have left him blindsided to the approaching danger.


5: Personality
"I see. Kava, convince him of the insistence to the contrary..."
Show
Boscombe keeps himself amused with a well-honed sense of gallows humor, revealing a nuanced and educated mind. He speaks more or less constantly, mainly to himself at low volume, raising his voice when he has a particular point to communicate. He's not unfriendly, but seems genuinely disinterested in much that goes on around him.
Mannerisms:
"I need 4 beers here. My companions probably would like some as well..."
Since his self-led conversion to Kord, Boscombe exercises regularly, often doing calisthenics in harsh weather conditions. He eats and drinks well in towns, but remains peckish on the road. The nearby townsfolk avoid him, but no longer doubt his good intentions. When he is adventuring, he donates to any Kordite temple or shrine, anonymously if possible. He is not evangelical in any way, but will meet any challenge to his faith head-on.


For fun, imagine all these quotes are delivered by Peter Stormare. It's how I spoke them, after all.
I wonder if anyone's reading these...Again?
I read your background. Ta-da! The ten-minute background is my favorite. It makes you want to play the character.
I read them. And it keeps the Background thread bumped, which means more people can find them and post their own.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Another NPC background, this time of a full-out villain. As always, beware spoilers, PCs in my game!

The Ten-Minute Background of Doctor Gerard LeVaine, the Resurrectionist--Tiefling Necromancer, Evil

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

"Please, allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth...and taste."

Background
1) Doctor LeVaine is a tiefling descended from a line of nobles who, during the Hundred Years' Chaos, made a pact with devil lords for power, disregarding the curse that would mark them "unto the last generation."
2) Doctor LeVaine came to St. Clarice claiming to be a physician looking after Brother Maynard, high priest of the Sacristy of The Raven Lord. During his time in town, he has helped the poor and unfortunate survive nearly fatal accidents and diseases, earning the nickname "The Resurrectionist" for his seemingly miraculous remedies.
3) Among his patients are the two children of the Lord Mayor of St. Clarice, which has earned him their eternal gratitude and an inroad into the city's high society, which give him a platform for his outspoken opinions on city politics.
4) The leaders of the local temple of Syriia Amyra, the Goddess of Love, and Cyra Morwyn, Goddess of the Sun, are not on good terms with Gerard. The Bishop of St. Clarice mistrusts his motives, while the Amyran Celebrant dislikes his vanity and arrogance.
5) When not working, Gerard dresses flamboyantly in a fine but gaudy courtier's garb, complete with a large, floppy feathered hat that draped over his horns.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.

"Oh, I've been around for a long, long year. I lived around Abbeville, until I felt it was time for a change."

Players keep out!
1) Gerard is seeking a magical tome that he believes lies in a crypt in the ruins of Abbeville. This tome was supposedly penned by the Raven Lord himself, and contains a great many strange necromantic rituals dating back to the time the god was an evil lord of death rather than the more neutral god he is now.
2) Gerard is also working to discredit the churches in town as part of a master plot to drive people from the worship of the gods in order to weaken their power. He has had some success, and is busy obtaining scandalous gossip about the leaders of the two churches to slip into his rants.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

"Allow me to share a slice of personal philosophy. The gods are not worthy of the veneration man places with them. In fact, to the gods, we are but tiny crawling insects, and they will kill us for their sport."

Keep Out, Players!
1) Gerard is a necromancer. His "Miraculous" remedies are nothing of the sort...he is killing his patients and then transforming them into well-preserved undead as seeds for his plan to ruin the good name of the Raven Lord's church. The undead he has created do not yet realize what they are. He is expecting a mass panic to break out when these walking wounded are uncovered.
2) Victoria Montaire, the Mayor's daughter, was turned into a vampire at Gerard's hand. She has been taken into his confidence, and is actively working to help his plans along. What Gerard doesn't know is that she was a necromancer before her transformation, and has decided that Gerard's plans are moving too slowly. She has decided to help him out with what she thinks his goals are (creating an army of undead to conquer the city and sowing terror through undead attacks), which are actually hampering his ability to get his intricate plan set up properly.
Show
3) Gerard LeVaine is a Vampire Lord, able to walk around in the sun and ignore many of the weaknesses folklore assigns to vampires.
4) Gerard was behind the Doom That Came To Abbeville, as part of a previous, failed plot.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

"Friends? I have many who are friends with me...but very few I consider friends in return."

Contacts
1) Victoria Montaire has developed an obvious crush on Doctor LeVaine since her treatment at his hands, and is pursuing what many feel is a slightly scandalous relationship with him.
2) Brother Maynard, the high priest of The Raven Lord, is Gerard's patient, and though he is gravely ill his words still hold influence.
3) Xat, a changeling wizard, is a useful spy for Gerard, feeding him information on the politics of the city. Lately, however, Xat has come to suspect his patron's motives are less than pure.


design notes--CONTAINS SPOILERS
Gerard is the BBEG of our game. He was always foppish and arrogant, but he moved from a human cleric necromancer working on lichdom to a tiefling wizard necromancer who is a vampire. The change has been interesting. Still, his MO hasn't changed...he was always the sort of manipulative chessmaster villain. This background doesn't give away too much of his ultimate goals, mostly because I'm holding open the possibility that he might actually buy it before his plans progress to the point they did during the last campaign.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I read your background. Ta-da! The ten-minute background is my favorite. It makes you want to play the character.

I couldn't agree more. It keeps the information to a reasonable length, and everything is where it belongs, so you don't have to shuffle through it to get a particular fact. What redundancy there is actually helpful. Great Idea!
Here's my pathetic attempt at a character:

Xavier Blackcrest
Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

1) He is a child of the mildly wealthy Blackcrest family who was lost and raised for the first few years of his life by poor parents. His real parents were dead by the time they found out (that's how they found him, they were looking for an heir).
2) He enjoys gambling and dueling, which is why he is skilled with the sword. He's outgoing and likes to do absurd and flamboyant things.
3) He started adventuring mostly on a bet, but also because he was bored. He will prefer whichever adventure effects the most people, because of his flamboyant tendencies.
4) Although interested in women, he won't stay with one for very long. He has forgotten several a month after fighting to the death over them.
5) He


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.

1) Defeat his rival Interrer Greenson once and for all!
2) Make a bet with any major villain in the campaign, and win.
3) Becoming famous, ideally without doing much work.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

1) No one outside the estate knows about his past.
2) His real parents are alive. They were forced to move to a slightly distant city because of bad weather.

Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

1) Xavier's estate, while not strictly a person, grants him significant resources and connections.
2) Xavier's fencing trainer, Toolazytothinkupanothername, is still something of a warrior, but won't be helpful much with events that occur outside his hometown. His greatest use may be in training other PCs to help them learn some of the same skills.
3) Xavier and his rival Interrer Greensen have insulted and dueled each other enough that no competition between them can be friendly. Although they do not outright try to kill each other unfairly, they scheme to ruin each other's reputations and forturnes.

Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

1) All the friends he played with growing up.
2) Being taken away to a strange new place without his parents.
3) Meeting his rival. This memory is very twisted and exaggerated - they were actually sort of friends for a while, but he doesn't remember that part.
I like it. He's not superman, and you're aware of where his faults lie. I might suggest shoring up your secrets, however. They often make a good excuse to earn xp.

Monsieur Tutheinco-Ponayme could be called Toulouse, to good effect, although everyone might still call him "too lazy". :D However, if this disgusting trend of nobleborn characters continues, I shall have to post some sort of antidote. Serfs up, yo.
And another NPC. This background is useful not only for PCs, but those NPCs that you want to spend effort on. As always, Players of my Game should not read this, or at the very least beware spoilers.

The Ten-Minute Background of Brother Lazare Maynard

Step 1: Background.

"We should not fear the end. It is not a curse, but a blessing. Imagine, if you will, the true curse of immortality. Imagine watching all that was once good rot and fall into corruption. Of all the friends whom once you knew so well age and die, while you remained behind..."
--Brother Maynard, from a sermon performed two decades ago.


Background
1) Brother Maynard is the head minister of St. Clarice's local Sacristy of The Raven Lord.
2) He has served the church of the god of the dead faithfully for decades, but he is sadly approaching the end of his human life-span and has grown gravely ill.
3) He has turned to his physician, doctor Gerard LeVaine, to provide his care in his last days. However, his illness and senility have lead to him being removed from the public eye.
4) His visitors report that he has become increasingly obsessed with a book, ranting about it endlessly when he slips into his episodes. What book this may be is unknown, just that he wants this book, and he wants it badly.
5) Despite his advanced age and illness, he still conducts his duties as a minister of the Raven Lord, tending to the business of preparing funerals and burials for the city.


Step 2: Goals.

"THE BOOK! Bring me the book...please, fetch my book. I must have it. I must have the book, before it is too late...BRING IT! BRING ME THE BOOK! please...the book...bring me the book..."
--Brother Maynard, during a fit of dementia.


Goals
1) I would like Brother Maynard to represent some of the horrors of aging for my players. His deterioration should seem tragic, especially as he grows ever more desperately ill.
2) Since one of my players is a cleric of the Raven Lord, I want him to act as a foil for her, and perhaps a lesson in blind faith.


Step 3: Secrets

"...and in the end, what is it all worth? Nothing. It's ashes, and dust. Where do the ashes lay? On the shattered, burned ruins of all of our hopes, our dreams..."
--From one of Brother Maynard's rants, as he is held deep in the throes of dementia.


Players out!
1) The book Brother Maynard rants about is actually the Liber Mortis Necronomicon, an unholy tome penned by The Raven Lord in ages past, when that deity was an evil god of death rather than the unaligned god of the dead he is today. Why he wants it is anyone's guess, as the book contains only horrible necromantic rituals, supposedly including the ritual that created The Dark Reaper himself.
2) Bishop Antoine Montaire, one of Brother Maynard's oldest friends, is growing increasingly worried over the minister's illness. He suspects Gerard LeVaine is actually keeping Brother Maynard sick instead of treating him. His Eminence the Bishop is planning on launching a full investigation of Doctor LeVaine in the near future.
Show
3)Despite being in the service of the god of the dead almost all of his life, Brother Maynard found, as he approached his own end, that he didn't particularly want to pass into the Shadowfell. In fact, he found the ravages of his body as it aged horrifying. So when Gerard LeVaine offered him a chance to survive his illness through the use of necromancy, which the church should abhor, he found himself leaping at the chance to avoid death through the slow wasting away of his body. He is not as sick as he seems, and only maintains the facade because it is expected of someone his age. In fact, he is actively helping Gerard LeVaine set up and execute his plans. He lives on as a wight, filled with evil energy and an insatiable hunger. He helps Gerard because Gerard has promised him access to the Necronomicon, which he claims has a ritual that will grant him true immortality instead of just undeath.


Step 4: Contacts

"Fetch me a physician. I feel pangs and tremors beset me once more, and I wish relief from the pain. My end will not be long now...I wish to go with my dignity easily into His embrace."
--Borther Maynard, a year and a half ago, before making the acquaintance of Gerard LeVaine.


Contacts
1) Doctor Gerard LeVaine is Brother Maynard's physician and confidant, and the minister regards the good doctor as a trusted friend and companion in these, his last days.
2) Bishop Antoine Montaire is Brother Maynard's oldest friend, though they have grown distant from each other since the minister's illness began to overtake him. His Eminence the Bishop still visits Maynard, though infrequently these days as he has many other pressing duties to attend to.
3) Brother Maynard has a less cordial relationship with Victoria Montaire, daughter of the Lord Mayor, who has become infatuated with Gerard. He sees her as a silly, spoiler rich girl dragging the doctor into her pit of decadence, and has said as much in her presence.


design notes
Brother Maynard is a new NPC, a villain for the game I'm currently running. He is essentially Gerard's right-hand man. He also embodies a fear I have of growing older and approaching death trapped within a shell of sickness and infirmity. Maynard has decided to go to horrible lengths to escape this natural fate, which he should be a champion of given his profession as priest of the death god. In this way, he represents corruption on several different fronts. He should be a holy man approaching the end of his life with dignity, but instead he is a sick old man who has made a deal with a devil for petty reasons.

He also shows off another design principle: he knows several other NPCs that I've made up. This "six degrees of separation" approach creates a complex web of interactions and allows me to have one person affect a whole string of others in relation to the PCs. I always try to tie my NPCs to other existing NPCs, because it's easier to build plots this way. I will eventually detail all the other NPCs I've referenced, such as Audric Cwellen, Sheriff Bulrick, and Victoria Montaire.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Here's an actual PC I am playing, Robin "Redcap" Powrie, a vicious, bloodthirsty gnome ranger.

The Ten-Minute Background Robin Redcap [Evil Gnome Ranger multiclassed with Fighter, Level 2]

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

"Me people were butchers, brigands, and thieves...and I wanted go grow up just like 'em!"

background
1) Robin Redcap is based loosely on legends of the Powrie, a vicious, murderous little fey. He is callous, bloodthirsty, and lacking in manners, and has a habit of dipping his cap into the blood of fallen foes, "to keep the cap the right color."
2) Robin grew up in the Feywild as part of a wandering gnomish clan. He is proud of his race and his heritage, though his clan wasn't much better than a band of brigands with airs of communal pride.
3) Robin learned his ranger fighting skills among the militia of his clan, and he helped defend his clan from attack (as well as helped out when they raided other settlements).
4) His clan was scattered after an attack by an eladrin militia, so he left the comfort of home to wander The World and make a living as an adventurer.
5) Part of his "live for the moment" attitude is fueled by a legend among his clan. It is said that, unlike the souls of most other beings, the souls of gnomes are fragile and may not survive the trip through the River of Time to be reborn, instead breaking apart into pieces of soulstuff to be absorbed by other newborn spirits. When the Goddess Jillian was still alive, she watched over gnomish souls and helped them survive the transition, but she was slain by the Dark Reaper, her own soul torn apart and scattered, and this left the gnomes without a patron to watch over their souls and keep them together. This means that most of his clan believe that they are living on borrowed time on their final life, so "eat, drink, and be merry" has become a tradition among them, and Robin is a product of his people.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.

"Us gnomes? We don't get t'go on the soul carousel like ye other folk do. We get one spin o' this life, so I'd rather make mine fun. Eat, drink, and be merry and a'that. Oh, and kill things, too."

goals
1) I'm interested in playing against stereotype with this character. I'm playing a fighting, vicious gnome, counter to expectations. I'm not only testing how well a non-optimized character can work in 4th edition, I'm also interested in the idea of the short, violent little redcap legend and I want to see how that would play out as a character.
2) I'm interested in seeing the character develop. He might turn away from his vicious upbringing and choose to be a little more noble in his actions, depending on how things go.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

"There's more t'me than ye see. Not, y'know, a whole lot, but it's there."

Show
1) Robin doesn't know how many of his kin actually escaped the raid of the Eladrin wild hunt that destroyed his clan. He might be surprised at who survived.
2) Robin dislikes the agents of the Dark Reaper, thanks to the clan legends of the death of Jillian. The subject of the Dark Reaper is a sort of berserk button with him, and he has no mercy or pity for undead or Dark Reaper cultists, and heaven help those who get in his way.
3) This is the DM's secret, and as I am not the DM of this game, I don't know it.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

"Yah, I know ah don't have much in th'way o' friends. 'S a conseqeunce o' this life o' mine, y'see."

contacts
1) Robin doesn't have many friends, given his crude and vicious nature, but he's made one with Splug, a shifty goblin rogue that he met a while back. he hasn't seen the goblin in a while, but they're thick as thieves when together.
2) Trin Fairweather (of the Southdown Fairweathers) is an adventuring companion who endlessly praises Ason, God of Travel and Fortune, and is openly disgusted with his violent ways. She seems to have picked him as a target in need of salvation, but she's also decent in a fight and Robin feels they make a good team, even if he'd like to tell her to shove her religion somewhere unpleasant at times.
3) Aigen Korrelis is a race traitor in Robin's eyes, a gnome who joined forces with the Dark Reaper. The last time they met, he tore open Aigen's face with his blades, and he left the gnome to die after dipping his cap. What he doesn't know is that he didn't finish the job, and Aigen's soul didn't die with his body, instead forcing it to rise again and seek him out for revenge.


design notes
Robin is a character I play, as opposed to one of my NPCs. I wanted to use the new Gnome rules, and I also wanted to play with the idea that, in my world, the Gnomes are the ones responsible for all the legends of nasty little people. Robin was based on the Redcap, an evil murderous goblin from English folklore. He also is my chance both to play an evil-leaning character and to play a character against type and expectations.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Another NPC backstory. This is turning into quite a theme.

The Ten-Minute Background of Marcel DuParis

IMAGE(http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh275/Ravingdork/ElvenNoble.jpg)




Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

Background
1) Celebrant Marcel DuParis of the Lyceum of Amyra is an eladrin cleric who honors the goddess of love. He is the high priest and administrator of the local temple of Amyra, which is quite influential in the town of St. Clarice.
2) He and his wife hail from the Feywild. For many years, they lived in the human town of Abbeville, until the Doom that destroyed that city four decades ago. They were the one who lead the survivors from the city to St. Clarice, and it was there example which lead to the boom in popularity that the Amyran church enjoys to this day.
3) Celebrant DuPairs is a distinguished-looking Eladrin with aristocratic features, long silver hair, and violet eyes. He has a pleasant, soft-spoken demeanor and tends to dress in long, flowing robes.
4) Marcel is especially supportive of mixed-race marriages and pairings, and he is outspoken against the cruelty sometimes demonstrated by the City Watch. His political leanings have a lot of influence on his flock.
5) It is well known that he and the Bishop of the Great Church of The White Lady do not get along well, and they are rivals for the spiritual well-being of the city's inhabitants. The two faiths differ greatly in doctrine, and Bishop personally holds Marcel responsible for the decline of his beloved faith in the town. Marcel regrets the Bishop's opinion, but he refuses to be held accountable for the Great Church's decline.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.

Goals
1) Marcel is a patron, and the keeper of a lot of secrets, so he's an important person for the party to get to know. He's also at the center of a web of intrigue, which allows for great roleplaying and adventures dealing with St. Clarice politics.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

Keep Out, Rise of the Fallen characters!
1) Marcel DuParis is seeing someone behind his wife's back. He has become enchanted with a raven half-elf who calls herself Mai'ali, who is slowly seducing him so she can get at the secret records library of the Lyceum.
2) He doesn't know that his wife, Angelique, is also being unfaithful. She has been growing closer to the paladin Audric Cwellen, who is Marcel's most trusted friend. He also isn't aware that Gerard LeVaine has become interested in these affairs, and is spying on him in order to create a scandal that will rock the people's faith in the Amyrans.
3) Marcel is the local leader of the White Fox Society. In addition to his relatively light duties as the high celebrant of the temple, he organizes all the White Fox Society's covert activities. He is currently supporting the Faceless Underground (a changeling "underground railroad" that helps these oppressed people escape the Feywild,
Show
or so he thinks--See Old Leroux's entry for more information
) and he is also working to weaken the power of the corrupt Merchantmen Guild and the draconian City Watch.
Show
4) The Church of Amyra is run by Eladrin loyal to the crumbling Avaleron Empire. In secret, they are manipulating human and elven bloodlines, encouraging the creation of half-elves to have a breeding stock that can help introduce human blood into the Eladrin gene pool. They are doing this because they hope it will weed out The Madness, the horrible curse that causes Eladrin to go insane as they grow older. Marcel and his wife are the coordinators of this effort, though they are unaware that Old Leroux is a spy for the Eladrin Court who is manipulating the White Fox Society to serve the interests of the Eladrin Empire.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

Contacts
1) Angelique DuParis is Marcel's wife and confidant. She helps him run the temple and handles most of the day-to-day affairs while he attends to the church's business. Though they make a wonderful couple and an excellent team, they have grown apart as of late.
2) Old Leroux is one of Marcel's most trusted friends. he often consults with Leroux on important matters, and they share many interesting tales.
3) The mysterious raven-haired half-elf Mia'ali has entered Marcel's life and enchanted him. He is fascinated with her, and spends time with her when he can. His intentions towards her are, however, not entirely innocent.
4) Bishop Antoine Montaire is one of Marcel's most bitter rivals. He administers the Shroudmist Abby, dedicated to the Lawful Good goddess of the Sun and Civilization. His church was dominant during the founding of the city, but when Marcel and the refugees from Abbeville arrived, their faith quickly won over the locals, and people flocked from one church to the other. This did not endear him to the Bishop, who blames Marcel for stealing his people away from the true faith. Marcel regards this rivalry with disappointment, for he respects the Bishop's conviction.


design notes
Marcel was dead in the previous campaign, killed in a plot by Mai'ali to terrorize the city of Abbeville long before the party arrived. This time around, I decided to put him in as an active NPC so that the party has a chance to save him from his previous horrible fate. And after that decision was made, his role increased. He is now a very important figure in the campaign, and one that a lot of other characters revolve around.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Awesome, dude!

no, not you, Awesome_Dude! ;)

good idea, good examples, consider it stolen!

Thanks,
AKW
Thank you, and please, feel free to post your own characters.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
Here's an actual PC I am playing, Robin "Redcap" Powrie, a vicious, bloodthirsty gnome ranger.

The Ten-Minute Background Robin Redcap [Evil Gnome Ranger multiclassed with Fighter, Level 2]

I love this background. But I'm a bit biased, as I love gnomes who focus on beating the tar out of things with their man strength.
I think it works best to run your questions backwards, it seems to roll better in my experience.

For example, start with 3 childhood memories. People tend to be much more free-wheeling with making up childhood memories, as they don't see the immediate connection to who their character is now.

Move into defining 3 people, 2 allies and 1 enemy, (parents count as 1), sometimes many adventures are simply orphans, because that way they don't need to think about parents, family life, etc, of the character. Starting with childhood memories, oftentimes a relation with a parent is hinted at. This is build off of, and then you are 33% done. It is easy to bang out two more relationships.

Secrets step, this is often build into the 3 relationships, either as something MORE on top of the relationship (maybe a why) or else something that the PC is more than just not happening to mention to the other party members, but something he is actively trying to keep some close relationships from finding out about. Being secretly married to the barmaid in your home town, the rest of the aventuring party isn't going to care, but being secretly married to the barmaid in your home town, and neither set of parents know about it, that is already more interesting.

throw these all together and you get some great hooks for storyline goals. Just like the 2 goals are DM hooks for adventures, these underpinnings are great hooks to build your 2 goals off of.

Round it out with 5 (or more) 'interesting facts' about your current situation, 3 of which relate to your goals, secrets, relationships, or memories, but 2 of them must not, and now the creative juices are really flowing, and only 2 must be totally new. Often you get 2 totally new ones and 7 that are related to the work done before.


I have also found that looking at pictures or parrosing a collection of figs can really give good hooks too. I've know people to grab the smallest dwarf mini (because it was older...we seem to have gone from 25mm to 28mm to now pushing 30mm) and decide he wasn't just going to play a dwarf, but a dwarf who was short even for dwarves...now why was he short? Malnutrition as there were some severe famines in the family hold those years located close to the old border defined in the goblin wars 500 years earlier. Most other dwarves see the war as old history, but on the border the goblin raiders would often burn the mushroom fields, and eventually his parents in tears sent him away as a foster-child to some distant relative, sitting in his guilded halls.

Now, the actual armament of the miniature (shield or no shield? axe or hammer?) depicted the armament of the character, and as that was pre 4ed, now is when the attribute scores would be chosen with an eye for the feats each weapon can utilize.

To me that is a much better way of doing it than looking at the feats, picking a weapon, then trying to find a miniature that happens to have the same weapon choice, but otherwise has no relation to how you see your character
I think it works best to run your questions backwards, it seems to roll better in my experience.

For example, start with 3 childhood memories. People tend to be much more free-wheeling with making up childhood memories, as they don't see the immediate connection to who their character is now.

Move into defining 3 people, 2 allies and 1 enemy, (parents count as 1), sometimes many adventures are simply orphans, because that way they don't need to think about parents, family life, etc, of the character. Starting with childhood memories, oftentimes a relation with a parent is hinted at. This is build off of, and then you are 33% done. It is easy to bang out two more relationships.

Secrets step, this is often build into the 3 relationships, either as something MORE on top of the relationship (maybe a why) or else something that the PC is more than just not happening to mention to the other party members, but something he is actively trying to keep some close relationships from finding out about. Being secretly married to the barmaid in your home town, the rest of the aventuring party isn't going to care, but being secretly married to the barmaid in your home town, and neither set of parents know about it, that is already more interesting.

throw these all together and you get some great hooks for storyline goals. Just like the 2 goals are DM hooks for adventures, these underpinnings are great hooks to build your 2 goals off of.

Round it out with 5 (or more) 'interesting facts' about your current situation, 3 of which relate to your goals, secrets, relationships, or memories, but 2 of them must not, and now the creative juices are really flowing, and only 2 must be totally new. Often you get 2 totally new ones and 7 that are related to the work done before.

In truth, any of the steps can lead to character development. When I write up the NPC backgrounds for instance, often I have a good idea of what secrets are surrounding them, so I work on those first, then turn to Step 1 and Step 4, using Step 4 to identify other NPCs with whom my party is likely to interact and creating a sort of web or relationships. Since I'm a DM most of the time, I don't worry so much about Steps 2 or 5, though those steps are sometimes useful if I want to flesh out the NPC more. This background is modular for a reason...it can be adapted to suit the needs of the game a DM is running.

I've found Step 1 most useful for hammering out an image or concept. It allows the players to start thinking about what sort of character they'd like to play as they are jotting down ideas. The goals get fleshed out, then the secrets. I've found that the hardest part of character generation in this method is Step 4, because, as you point out, players are used to creating characters with no other ties. Many times, they will chose other PCs to put in these slots, which is actually very useful for party cohesiveness.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I love this background. But I'm a bit biased, as I love gnomes who focus on beating the tar out of things with their man strength.

Thank you very much. Robin is fun to play, though as the only evil character in a mostly unaligned/good group his viciousness causes some tension, so I try to keep his bloodthirstiness aimed solely at monsters.
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
These are some great jumping off points. With improv, we focus on the who but get some where, what, and why in there for flavor, and that's what you did. Good work, you've just made someone's dnd life a lot easier :D
Monsieur Tutheinco-Ponayme could be called Toulouse, to good effect, although everyone might still call him "too lazy". :D However, if this disgusting trend of nobleborn characters continues, I shall have to post some sort of antidote. Serfs up, yo.

This is the best post.



The lack of qualification is conspicuous for a reason. Also, I'm going to post my own 10-minute character background here in a bit. I play a homebrew race. The character concept is far from original, but feel like he's sufficiently unlike the characters the Foglios have written.
Aliuenna (Duchess Rilia), Feylock:

Step 1: Write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.
Concept/Background

1) She is a duchess in hiding, trying to gain her position and power back. (See secrets)
2) She always wears a mask when in public, she never shows any skin.
3) She is the daughter of a very rich merchant. When her father died, she inherited his market empire. Control of that empire is currently in the hands of her childhood mentor, Dolthen, a dwarven blacksmith.
4) Her husband was very abusive. Because of this, she does not tolerate similar abuse from others to anyone else, especially women.
5) As a young girl, she was very manipulative, and used some combination of her looks, charms, blackmail, and/or kindness to control the other young boys and girls. She ruled her neighborhood empire as controlling as her father ruled his merchant empire.

Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.
Goals

1) She will see her husband penniless and dead or imprisoned; not by her own hands, but as a result of his own actions, unrelated to her, which she will manipulate to cause his downfall.
2) She wants her duchy back.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!
Secrets

1) She has a completely different identity than she shows. She is a duchess. She owns a large merchant empire.
2) Her husband has already had her “funeral.” In the eyes of the kingdom, she is deceased. Only her husband and a few select others know that she is actually alive, somewhere, and he is always on the look out for her.

Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.
Connections

1) Dolthen, one of her childhood mentors. He's a dwarven blacksmith, and is currently in control of her father's merchant empire.
2) Calvara, the other of her childhood mentors. She's an elven seamstress. The last Rilia had heard of her, she was arrested for demon worship and her shop was burnt down. Calvara was the one who helped Rilia escape from her husband and gave her the knowledge to make the pact with the fey.
3) Boljen, Duke of Trace. Her husband. She was married to him as a political move for her father. Her husband was very abusive. She escaped from him, and in response, he had her father killed and Calvara arrested.

Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
Memories

1) Rilia remembers the first night her father took her to the negotiation tables. This started the many lessons as he taught her how to own and operate multiple businesses. She remembers the look on his face and the love in his eyes when she showed great interest and promise.
2) She remembers a week spent with some peasant girl, teaching the girl how to be pretty, how to dress, walk, etc.. so the boys would notice. She didn't do this out of friendship, but rather so that she could gain the girl's loyalty. It worked better than she had thought.
3) Rilia spent years locked in the manor proper under the strict law of her abusive husband. She remembers the first night he became impotent. He blamed her, and punished her. She would have died if not for the care of one of her maids, who happened to have grown up in an apothecary.


Here's the long version I wrote up before I found this wonderful thread.

Character Flavor and Background

Feylock I wrote up the other day for my friend's campaign. The campaign is in a newly founded Kingdom (~50 years ago) of his design. Dealing with devils and demon's is strictly forbidden, and is actively hunted down. (This plays into her background story). Campaign hasn't started yet, though.

Anyways, here she is: Basically, she escaped from her abusive husband and made a pact with an ancient fey. She wanted to be powerful enough to remain independent. The ancient fey had its demands, one of which was, "To never be forgotten." I designed her powers around that concept.

Her appearance I designed around the modern Venetian Carnevale costumes. She wears a full dress and mask any time she's not alone, even into combat.

Appearance:
She may be a woman of small stature, but with her back straight, shoulders squared, and head held high, she commands respect (or fear) greater than men twice her size. Regardless of people's attitude or opinion of her, everyone tends to do as she says, and folks are less likely to lose their temper when in her presence. She wears elaborate and elegant dresses that flow around her as if they are actively trying to conceal her presence. A beautiful mask covers her face, well built and artistically crafted. The mask is pale white in color, with images of leaves, flowers, and butterflies painted in hues of green and blue, the same colors as the lips. Beneath the mask and dress, she has long auburn hair and pale green eyes, with high cheek bones and slightly pointed ears, as evidence of her elven ancestry. Her contract with the fey is written upon her skin, starting right above her eyes and spiraling down her body ending at her toes on her right foot, as if a thin sash were wrapped around her body a handful of times. The letters are the pale green color of moss, about an inch tall, and written in a language long forgotten. Only a handful of individuals have ever seen her contract.

Powers: Every time she activates a power, her contract slightly warms up, starting at her feet, as if drawing the power from the ancient fey within the earth.

Misty Step: When she steps, autumn leaves in a misty fog scatter as if a swift wind had just hit; fog and leaf alike swiftly fly to where she reappears.

Shadow Walk: Her dress seems to take in the shadows of an ancient forest, making it more difficult for one to determine just exactly where she is.

Warlock's Curse: With a slight flick of her hand, or a quick glance of her eyes, she induces a curse upon an enemy. Whether or not her enemies can feel her curse, or even know it's upon them, she has yet to care.

Eldritch Blast: Part of her pact with the ancient fey, barely remembered, was for it to never be forgotten. It granted her the ability to draw upon the essence of its memories, but with old memories comes old pain, which the recipient of this blast feels distinctly.

Eyebite: You can't see her eyes, but you get the distinct impression that she is looking directly at you. You can't look away as those black eyes slowly start to consume you and everything around you. Everything is gone. Where are you? “Oh, Gods!” you cry out, “My head! The pain!” And then it all stops, and you're back where you were. What seemed like an eternity was just barely a moment. Everything's the way it was, except she's no longer there.

Witchfire: “You want to know why people sometimes scream when under my glare? I will tell you. Fire once scoured the world, at the cost of many a fey life. I simply allow them to understand the pain the fey went through. It is not my fault that the memories are sometimes too painful to bear.”

Curse of the Dark Dream: “Tell me, Mistress Aliuenna. In the heat of battle, you are able to make my enemy turn, this way and that, so he may fall to my blade. How is it that you do this?” “Well, my young friend,” her words come forth from behind the mask, lips unmoving, “The ancient fey want to be remembered, and I simply allow for that to happen. I conjure visions of the ancient times, before the dawn of man, elf, or dwarf, when the world was deadly and dangerous. The ancient fey then come out to play, and my thoughts help guide their ploys.”


Background Story (Long):

Her name is Rilia. She grew up the daughter of a rich merchant who owned multiple shops and stores of various trades. She never knew her mother, as she died when Rilia was very young, as her father tells her. As a young child, her two favorite stores to hang out in were the blacksmith's shop, because the long bearded dwarf that worked there, Dolthen, was really nice and let her watch, and the dressmaker's shop, because the elven seamstress, Calvara, let her help when everyone else was ignoring her as a child underfoot. She loved playing with and trying on all the dresses the nobles had ordered for their daughters.. It was from these two that she learned to speak dwarvish and elven.

She grew up well mannered (in polite company) and decently educated for a merchants daughter. She was always very polite and charismatic as the dinner parties her father hosted. And although her relationship with her father wasn't the closest, she did learn a thing or two watching him work. Her father business dealings taught her the subtleties of the business and political world, like how to tell when someone is lying to you, and how to use simple words and gestures to get what you want. She was an excellent pupil, and her natural beauty only added to this.

By the time she was a teenager, she had control of the neighborhood. She could easily control the young men with her beauty and quick words, especially if a promise of a future kiss was given with a half smile. The girls she controlled through fear or respect, or some combination of the two, depending on who it was. Some, who struggled, she helped. She would teach this girl how to dress (often by having some boy steal a dress for the younger girl to wear), and how to walk to be noticed. Another girl she would blackmail with a dirty secret the girl didn't want to get out. Either way, fear or love, she had control. All the older folks in her community loved her little charms, and she was always the most polite and caring person they had ever met. Regardless of what anyone thought, no one could deny that she was one of the most beautiful girls in the kingdom.


At 15, her world changed. She was told that she would be marrying a Duke. It was a political move, her fathers attempt to gain political power and standing. She understood. She more than understood. She was going to be a Duchess. She was going to be nobility. She was ecstatic. The only thing better, she thought, was to marry one of the King's sons, but you have to be a Noble first, possibly even Royalty. She enthusiastically accepted her new title: Duchess Rilia. Six months into the marriage, she found nobility to be quite different than what she had imagined. The duke treated her like a prized trophy: one to be kept locked up so only he may see it. Which he did. Often. He only let her out of her quarters at the manor house when they had to officially show up to the king's yearly social balls, or when he had political company over. At the first ball, she learned everything she could. At the second, she manipulated her way into a position of power. She tried to use this power to gain her freedom. The duke discovered her ploy. She was beaten. By the third ball, she started pleading with the other noblewomen. They were no use. Finally, she called on her father for help. Once he heard of how she was treated, he demanded the duke to release her. Within the week, she heard news of a horrible tragedy: her father had been killed.

Years passed. She gained the trust of her servants, she opened a secret communication to her old elven mentor, Calvara, via letters, and set up a plan to have herself “kidnapped” at the next King's Ball. During the wait, Calvara, sent her papers of rites and rituals to summoning an ancient fey so may gain the power she would need to gain independence. The was a problem. The ritual must be performed in an ancient forest. There was no ancient forest in the manor proper. She spent the next year memorizing it. Everyday she would read it. She started writing it anew. She started writing it backwards. She burned every copy she owned. Everyday, she would write the ritual twice. Once forwards, once backwards. She would burn the copies.

The time had come for her to enact her plan. It was the King's seventh ball since her marriage. The kidnapping went perfectly according to plan. Nearly. She noticed something wrong. The men were familiar. They were the Duke's men. He knew of her plan. He let it happen. He wanted her gone. The kidnappers took her to the old elven forest. They made camp. They kept her. They raped her. They moved on. They took her with them. Months passed. Other women were kidnapped as well. She saw them come and go. Some were traded off as slaves. Others were killed. Others attempted to escape. She never saw them again. Did they make it? Were they killed?

More months passed. One night, she escaped. She initiated the ritual she knew from memory. She made a deal with an ancient fey spirit. The fey spirit had demands. It wanted to be remembered. It wanted blood. It wanted the taste of flesh long forgotten. She agreed. She gave it flesh. Her flesh. It took her and had its way. It ravaged her body. It ravaged her mind. It bathed in her memories. It took her in ways she didn't know possible. She took it. She didn't cry. She would endure. She would do whatever necessary. The first deal was complete. It gave her power. Power she had never felt before. A power that filled her soul. She returned to the camp. The men were still there. She killed one. Then another. A third was killed before the rest knew she was there. She made herself seen. They took the bait. She ran. They took chase.

She lead them back to the site of the ritual. She summoned these new found powers from within and she killed them. Violently. All of them. She nailed them to the trees and flayed their skin open, their blood dripped to the earth. The second deal was complete. She had earned its trust. She was given more power. Power she could feel crackling behind her eyes. The pact was nearly complete. The fey spirit drew up into form, earth made mud from blood soaked ground formed a humanoid shape, fallen leaves made up its skin, flowing vines became hair, and an ancient fey power barely seen by mortals glowed forth as pale green eyes. The final contract was written up on the bark in an ancient fey tongue no living mortal remembers. The last deal to be completed when she signs. She agreed.

It drew a finger across her arm, her blood dripped forth from the wound. When her blood reached her fingertips, she signed the contract. The words glowed green with power and flew off the bark, swirling into the air. They surrounded her, like fairies and sprites in the wind. They consumed her. She screamed, a scream of pain and joy beyond any she had ever felt. It seemed to last an eternity. It stopped. She is alone. No sprites, no letters in the air, no ancient fey spirit. Only her, and the bodies of the dead men on the trees, their blood still splattered across her flesh. She looked down at her naked body. She saw the letters of the contract inscribed onto her skin, in the same pale green color that were the eyes of that ancient fey. The letters start at her right temple, go down across her nose, to the back of her neck, over her right shoulder, her chest, around her back, across her waist, down her right thigh, and ends at her toes. Large letters, two fingers width, worn like a thin sash wrapped around the body four times. She cannot read the contract, but she knows every word, every letter, every meaning. She walked back to the camp. She released the other captives. She grabbed equipment: clothes, soap, backpack, etc.. She searched for a lake. She washed the blood off her. The contract cannot be washed off. It was there to stay. The ancient fey would not be forgotten. Not by her. The third part of the deal was complete.

She grabbed clothes from the bag. They didn't fit, but they would do. She concealed herself under the cloak. She returned to Calvara, her mentor. She wasn't there. The shop had been burnt down. It was burnt down months ago. The children on the street told her a witch lived there, a woman who made pacts with demons and devils. An old man told her the woman was arrested. The tavern owner down the street told her that some duke had the placed burned down. She hunted down Dolthen. She found him working at the same blacksmith's shop. He had inherited it from her father. His loyalty to the family was always strong. Dolthen had things for her. Things left by her father. Things left by Calvara. They were locked in separate chests. Dolthen gave her the key for one. “The other,” he told her, “may only be opened with the power of the fey.” He didn't know what it meant, but he was told by Calvara that she would know. She accepted the key. She accepted the offering of a room. She had the chests delivered to her room.

She opened her father's chest first. It was full of old documents of his business. Papers on finances. He left a will. Dolthen got the smith's shop. Calvara got the seamstress' shop. A few others earned their own businesses that her father help set up. She got everything else. The manor, the money, the business. Everything. The papers were dated the week her father died. He must have known the Duke would have him killed. She vowed revenge.

Calvara's chest was next. There were no locks. There seemed to be no seams. Headed Dolthen's words, she invoked her new powers. She focused them on the chest. It opened. Inside were stacks of books and scrolls. Arcana. This must have been why they claimed her witch. They were wrong. They used it to erase her trace to the Duke. More revenge. Power crackled within her. She became calm. She grabbed a book from the chest. She read until she fell asleep. She spent the next several months studying the books and scrolls from Calvara. She never left the shop. She was afraid she would be recognized. She didn't want Dolthen to get hurt. When she wasn't poured over a book or scroll, she was applying her studies to her powers. As time passed, she became more confident with herself. She started to venture out at night. She would travel to the other side of the city, to test her powers on some unsuspecting thug. More months passed.

One night, she was almost recognized. Outside a tavern. A girl from childhood. Not one who loved her. The girl recognized the beauty. Rilia quickly returned to Dolthen's. She would need something better than the night to hide her face. She would need something to give her a new identity. Rilia called upon Dolthen to build her a disguise. A Mask. Like the one's worn by nobles in the old kingdoms, of ancient times. The one's Calvara used to tell her about as a child. A mask to hide her face, to hide her pact. A new face. She drew upon her father's funds. She had dresses made to match the mask. She had Dolthen's men pick them up for her. The mask was finely crafted Dwarven steel. Light weight. Very durable. The dresses were sturdy. Strong. Flexible. Capable of being worn in the ancient elven forest. These were her specifications.

The mask was painted in fey design. It became her new face. The dresses became her new skin. They felt comfortable. Like a second skin. She would no longer be recognized by anyone. No one would know of her pact. No one who wanted to live. A new name, as well, she realized. A name flashed across her mind. She didn't wish it there. She didn't will it there. It came of its own accord. It came of fey accord. Aliuenna, it whispered. Aliuenna.

She left everything with Dolthen. All her inheritance. All her money. All her land. It was time to hide Duchess Rilia. Hide her behind a new face. A face with a new name: Aliuenna.

And in the night the Duke awoke with a start, the sweat of fear dripping down his face. Two words echoed in his mind, “I'm coming.”


New:
What made me design this character

A long time ago (before 3.0 came out), I had a character design that I never got to make. Mainly because my RL game discourages playing opposite sex characters. I don't normally enjoy playing female characters, but every now and then I like the challenge.

The original idea was a woman who woke up on the shores of the River Styx in Baator. For those that don't know, if you touch/drink/etc.. the waters of the River Styx, you lose your memory. Permanently. She'd wake up naked, with scars all over her body (torture from devils), and, of course, absolutely no memories of her past. What she doesn't know is that she used to be a powerful warrior, captured by devils, and totured for 15+ years. She escaped. She swam the river to get away. Now, here she is. Once back in civilization, she would wear a mask to hide her scars.

With the making of 4th Ed, I decided to take that character design, and make her an Infernal Warlock, claiming that she made a pact with a devil to get out of the Nine Hells. However, my DM stated that there would be no Infernal Warlocks in this campaign, so I had to change her.

I made her a Feylock, but that didn't seem to fit the background I originally had planned. So instead of physical scars, I gave her mental scars. In keeping with the mask, I needed a new reason to for her to want to stay hidden. Giving her a powerful rank where she would be easily recognized, and putting the written form of her pact on her skin gave me the perfect reason for her to wear a mask.

All in all, a lot of the flavor has changed, but she still wears a mask. Maybe one day, I design another mask wearer, with the original intent of the background.
The lack of qualification is conspicuous for a reason. Also, I'm going to post my own 10-minute character background here in a bit. I play a homebrew race. The character concept is far from original, but feel like he's sufficiently unlike the characters the Foglios have written.

OMG! Jägerkin! I cracked up as soon as I saw that! I am so convincing my DM to put that in his world. GG kicks ass.

Also, you should put something in there about how much Jägers love hats. "Hoy! Nize Hat!" :D
Here's my pathetic attempt at a character.

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

Example: Lenasu tenfinger

1) Lenasu was born to a small family, him, his parents and his sister. His father was the head of the guard and his mother was the owner of a small tailor shop.
2) His sister was kidnapped and after his father was unsuccessful with his search attempts Lenasu decided to take up the task of looking for his sister in the big world. He left his home with his best friend.
3) After weeks of searching his friend was killed in combat by a young white dragon. Lenasu kept searching by himself.
4) He stumbled upon a town where he suspects they may be holding her. Gets in touch with thieves guild, doesn’t accomplish much.
5) He leaves and keeps searching for a couple of months, still no leads, and no companion neither.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.

Example:

1) I would like to see Lenasu find a partner that will either accompany him on his travels and search for his sister, or a partner period.
2) At some point, preferably later in the campaign find his sister and take her home where she will be safe.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

Example:

1) Lenasu is bisexual. No one else knows, and since being attracted to men is against the moral code in his society and culture, he has been trying to get rid of that side of him, with no results.
2) Lenasu is anorexic, but he doesn’t know it. Every time he eats he gets full quite fast, and so he eats less than he has to. Sometimes he eats even if he is full, but that doesn’t happen very often, and so, he is quite skinny for someone his height and age
3) I don’t know… I’m not the DM..

Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

Example:

1) Rician Littleknight was Lenasu’s best friend until he was killed fighting with Lenasu against a young white dragon. He still hasn’t gone back to his hometown and so he thinks Rician’s family never got the news, but he is wrong.
2) Alusys Littleknight is Rician’s older sister. She somehow found out about her brother’s death and has decided to take revenge, she thinks it’s Lenasu’s fault that her brother’s dead, and so she wants to kill Lenasu.
3) Yebin Thistledown is a strange little creature from the Feywild called a gnome. Lenasu met the gnome in a Forest and saved him from a pack of Howlers. The Gnome makes all sorts of alchemical items and gadgets, and loves collecting odd souvenirs and items, as well as "recreational herbs." He operates a bizarre patchwork shop.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

Example:

1) Lenasu remembers his first crush, which was on a man named sir Jamros. From time to time he would come into Lenasu’s mother’s shop and buy very fancy outfits.
2) Lenasu remembers the first time he saw a mushroom, and the panic he felt. He has a terrible phobia of fungi. He threw a rock to break the fragile fungi
3) Lenasu often remembers his fight with his parents right before he left. There was a big argument as Lenasu was about to leave in search of his sister, and right there, at the door, his father started yelling at him for not accepting his sister’s disappearance, and Lenasu answered with how could he give up on his sister so easily. And with bitterness on his tongue he left his house and he hasn’t returned to this day.
3) Yebin Thistledown is a strange little creature from the Feywild called a gnome. Lenasu met the gnome in a Forest and saved him from a pack of Howlers. The Gnome makes all sorts of alchemical items and gadgets, and loves collecting odd souvenirs and items, as well as "recreational herbs." He operates a bizarre patchwork shop.

Wow, that sure looks...familiar. ;)

Good to see all these cool characters appearing on my humble thread...keep up the good work!
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I like to recycle, it's good for the environment.
I have two characters for our current campaign, neither of whom I've had much time to flesh out beyond the concept stage. This has given me the opportunity to detail them now. :D
So first off: Malydion Thallyris, Elven Ranger (TWF)
Step 1: Write five things about your character's concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don't have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.
"My past is my own to know."

Concept/Background

1. Malydion was born and spent his childhood in a large elven settlement in an area where the boundary between the Prime Material and the Feywild is especially thin - as such, the populations of his village and the nearby Eladrin one were unusually intermingled.
2. When Malydion was a young student of the sword, not a child any longer, but just entering adulthood, he became infatuated with a young Eladrin girl, and courted her. He spent more and more time wandering the Feywild with Alinaera, venturing farther and farther into its depths.
3. One day, Alineara led deeper than he had ever been into the Feywild, enticing him to chase her until he became hopelessly lost, and Alinaera nowhere to be found. He was "rescued" by the Queen of the Winter court of the Sidhe, an ancient, unimaginably powerful, and ultimately alien being.
4. The Winter Queen Mab kept Malydion at her court for years, her finest warriors training Malydion at his request in the arts fighting with two blades. The queen had convinced the young elf that his love was a captive of the Summer Queen, Mab's arch rival among the Sidhe.
5. After training him, Mab sent him on a path back to the Prime Material, only to find that his village was gone, and had been for a hundred years. The Eladrin settlement nearby had been destroyed completely by a Fomorian raid, and following that, his own home had withered, hidden and forgotten. With nothing holding to that place, Malydion began wandering the world. Although he is free to do as he will for now, the Fey never do anything for free, and he knows he is never beyond Mab's call.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.
"Summer stole my love and Winter stole my freedom. Its a toss up really, who I would see dead first."

Goals

1. Malydion wants most of all to find the Queen of Summer, and force her to return his lost love. Unfortunately for him, the Summer Queen can tell when those who seek her mean her ill, and can move her court accordingly, or misdirect those who seek to find it.
2. Malydion also wishes to get out of his debt to Mab whether by paying it or by finding a loophole, he doesn't care, so that the politicking of the Sidhe will cease to hold him, and he can live without the knowledge that he is bound to another's will.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!
"Secrets are the bread, butter, wine, and currency of the Sidhe, all at once."

Secrets

1. Malydion secretly serves the Winter Queen Mab, bound to further her agenda when called upon by her to do so, until such time as she deems his lifedebt is repaid. Often this means combating agents of summer, which he does not mind in the least. However Mab's commands aren't always so easy to comply with.
2. Alinaera, Malydion's heartthrob, was not in fact an Eladrin, but a changleing, a doppleganger, in service to the Winter Queen, tasked with luring Mal into making a debt to Mab. That the debt was entered under false pretences does not make it any less binding, but it does mean that Malydion's anger at Summer is misplaced.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honour. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.
"There are no friends in the Court of Winter. Only Servitors, and Those they serve. One may fill both these roles at any time, and often simultaneously."

Connections

1. Upon returning from the Feywild, in the timeworn remains of his home village, Malydion found one soul remaining: His first mentor in the sword, a ranger named Caaren. The grizzled old elf was the last remaining survivor of the village, having watched all the others die or leave. He told Malydion of had happened, and that the astonished youngster had been gone almost a century, despite not having aged a day. Before moving on, Caaren taught Mal as much as he could of the ranger's craft and bid him make his own way in the world. Caaren wouldn't leave, as he said his responsibility was to that forest, and to the memory of the village that resided there, but if Malydion needed aid, he could call on the old one.
2. Despite a somewhat frosty relationship with the Queen of Winter, Malydion is nonetheless her vassal, and just as he is bound to serve her, she is bound to provide him with aid if he requires it. Malydion prefers not to request it however, as it only deepens his ties to the Winter Court.
3. Dayereth Kalimdorn is a Warlock (Fey Pact...obviously :P) also bound to Mab. In contrast to Mal however, the arrogant, ambitious Eladrin serves her willingly, even eagerly in hopes of gaining more and more power. All he seems to do is mire himself deeper into Mab's games. With the arrival of Malydion at her court, Mab's attention on Dayereth waned, and in a fit of jealousy, he tried to murder Mal. The plot was foiled by Mab herself, who favored Mal, and Dayereth's hatred for Mal grew. The warlord would like nothing more than to see "the traitorous usurper" of his position defeated and discredited in Mab's eyes, that he might take his "rightful" place as her champion. However, Dayereth would aid Malydion if directly commanded to by Mab, or if he could be convinced that doing so would hasten Malydion's exit from Mab's service.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
"My first memory of the Winter Court was dazzled awe and fear. My dealings with them have robbed them of their awe. The fear has only grown."

Memories

1. Malydion fondly remembers his childhood in his village, especially his courtship of Alinaera, but these memories are always followed by his last glimpse of her face as she disappeared into the Feywild forever, with a coy smile on her face.
2. One of his most vivid memories is of waking up for first time in Mab's court, in the heart of a winter forest, deeper into the Feywild than any sane mortal knowingly ventures. He cannot remember getting there, or anything after passing out from exhaustion, lost in the depths of the domain of the fey.
3. Finally he remembers the joy and relief he felt at being told that he could leave the cold, dangerous Winter Court and return home at last. This is only dwarfed by the despair and confusion that hit upon finding his home long abandoned, everyone he had ever known lost to time.


and I'll post the second, a human warlord later.
Aris Tochad, Paladin of Silvanus (multi-class Ranger)

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

1) Born and raised for his early childhood in Calimshan.
2) Forced to flee after his lycanthropic mother was beheaded by the prince who sired him.
3) Was saved in Calimshan and guided to the Dancing Place in Highdale by an angel of Silvanus disguised as an older warrior, who taught him to wield a blade and shield, as well as hunt and live off the land.
4) Blessed in the Dancing Place as a paladin of Silvanus, a rare calling, as an active defender of wild places. Although his primary allegiance is to Silvanus, the other gods of the Dancing Place are honoured by him – Mielikki, Selûne and Oghma – as is Chauntea, friend of Silvanus.
5) He's been selling himself as a mercenary to get closer to the wild places of Faerûn but yearns for the chance to wander off with a group of like-minded individuals to refresh the balance between civilisation and wilderness.

Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game.

1) To discover the true nature of his calling to paladinhood and not to being a cleric or ranger, as most followers of Silvanus become.
2) To further the goals of at least of one the Dancing Place gods in a major way.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

1) Tochad is unsure of why he was called to be a paladin and aggressively seek to further Silvanus' goals. He believes that Silvanus' plans are growing in force and will soon be forced to choose between his faith and his friends, and fears it.
2) Tochad's call to paladinhood is indeed a mark that Silvanus' plans are becoming more aggressive, but Tochad's calling is not the minimal calling of civilisation vs. wilderness, but a battle against a great evil aberration that is yet to be revealed and a key member in the building of a new Harper organisation.
3) [DM's fiat]

Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

1) Alrik Modrenistu, a cleric of Silvanus at the Dancing Place and a mentor and guide to the young Tochad. It was Alrik who witnessed Tochad's calling to paladinhood and has been counselling him in how to go about this unusual task.
2) Lyrrisil Pandaelinthor, an elven ranger of no small skill, a former Harper who sees the loss of the organisation as a great failure on the part of good aligned creatures in the world.
3) Tochad Ul Haddayim, the prince who killed his mother. He has left Calimshan on a personal crusade to not only kill lycanthropes wherever he might find them, but also to kill his shifter offspring. He is aided by his brother, who succeeded him as prince, who is more than happy to rule in his stead.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

1) The meeting with the angel of Silvanus in the palace where he grew up and the flight from Calimshan. The angel was a middle-aged man of awesome prowess with the scimitar he was wielding (non-magical) and guided the young Tochad all the way to the Dancing Place in Highdale.
2) The wind the Silvanus used to annoint and appoint Tochad to be his paladin, along with the feeling of cold knowing there were people in the world dedicated to eradicating wild places.
3) His first mercenary pay – and how dirty he felt for taking money for doing work he would have been doing anyway.
Great Job! This makes it much easier as a player and a DM to create a more interesting story for the character. Here's my crack at it.

1st Level Paladin Blaine Gorgax

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five things that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.

1) He is a young paladin coming from a family where he lived with his mom and brother Gorg on a small farm.
2) He never knew his father, although Gorg does, he never gets any information out of him. His mother seems to tell him what appears to be lies of noble heritage he doesn't believe her (though they are true).
3) He is outgoing and very charsimatic, he looked up to his older brother Gorg a very uncharismatic strong type who got into "a little trouble."
4) His brother Gorg left one day to fight in a arena tournament for money and fame, he was never heard from again. Blain went to the arena three years later to find out the where abouts of his brother, when he asked around no one ever heard of a Gorg Gorgax. Asking around further he realized that a ogre had won the tournament he keeps a special hatred for ogres.
5) Blaine immediatley began his training after the arena incident and found the calling of the paladin. He trained with a group of templar knights for three years before he set off on his quest to relive the world of evil and other misdeeds. When he returned home his mother was brutally raped and murdered by a band of orcs whom he discovered to be named The Death Bringers.

Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.

Example:

1) Blaine is looking for his long lost brother Gorg and will hope to unraveal the mystery on what happened to his brother.
2) Blaine would like to discover about his father and why he left for him but not Gorg.

Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!

Example:

1) Blaine secretly knows that his brother was still alive after looking through criminal files in a church archive.
2) Gorg changed his identity to Go-Go when he entered the arena, he is a cold blooded killer with nothing on his mind except death and more death. Go-Go killed Blaine's father when on his quest for a orc chieftain. Go-Go went through a terrible operation that turned him into a half-orc!

Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.

Example:

1) Dean was one Blaine's best friend before he left off to his training. He still keeps in contact with Dean and hasn't seem him in years but has had word of him being a merchant being pesterd by bad stuff.
2) Lord Daggoth the paladin that trained Blaine. He reports to him frequently and feels he has a duty to obey his teacher and will do anything he asks of him (except that you sick pervert).
3) Generic Ogre #1 was the creature who won the arena and is expected to know more about his brothers where abouts. Blaine will never initally kill any ogre, unless he needs to, without questioning them first.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.

Example:

1) Blaine remembers the day before his brother went off to the arena Gorg and his mother were arguing about his father and the heap of trouble Gorg was in. He couldn't here clearly but he vividly remembers what Gorg said that night to her "You think I'm in trouble, look at yourself you dirty *****! At least I didn't make dad leave because I was sleeping around no that was you!"
2) He remebers his mom crying every night after Gorg left.
3) He remembers training with Lord Daggoth after he found out his brother was still alive and Lord Daggoth kept telling him if you seek him, you will find nothing but sorrow in your dreadful journey...
These are some wonderful ideas!

Gabryl_Kaine, was Malydion human before he went off into the Feywild? Did the service to Mab change him into an elf?
56816218 wrote:
What I find most frustrating about 4E is that I can see it includes the D&D game I've always wanted to play, but the game is so lathered in tatical combat rules that I have thus far been unable to coax the game I want out.
When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray
I hope you enjoy it; it took me much longer than ten minutes, even though it's still a little clumsy.

Ignatius (Ignatz) is a Jägerkin Fighter of about 163 years with a Ranger multi-class. He's about 6'4", with green skin and midnight blue mutton chops. His messy hair is pressed flat by his prized ushanka, and he wears an old cavalry jacket over his scale armor.

Step 1: write five things about your character’s concept and background, five thngs that you think are the most essential parts of your character. You don’t have to stop at five, if you like…this is just a minimum.
Concept/Background

1. The setting is steampunk, Eberron-esque Europa. Ignatz lived in the far northeast and served for many years in the Jägerkin pack as a guard to the Heterodyne house.
2. He was part of the escort of the Lady Heterodyne and her newborn son, but was separated from them when a minor house staged a military coup. Ignatz was held prisoner until the rebellion was quelled, but when he rejoined the pack he found that the Heterodynes had vanished.
3. Ignatz left the pack 45 years ago, charged along with a dozen others with wandering until he discovers the fate of the missing Heterodynes or their progeny.
4. He has a wanderlust uncharacteristic of Jägers, even if it isn't very strong by others' standards, and he has no Jägerkin traveling companions because of this. Gerhardt is a Jäger who left with him when they left the pack, but he chose to leave Ignatz rather than continue into the west. Ignatz continued without him not out of stubbornness, but more out of a slight fatalist streak. This streak, incidentally, is a source of ironclad cheerfulness.
5. He adventurers because he genuinely enjoys it, and because it's the closest he can come to ensuring that he'll eventually stumble onto some sign of his lost patron house.


Step 2: List two goals for the character that you, as a player, think would be cool to see accomplished in-game. During any session in which you take positive action to achieve that goal, I will award you an action point that can only be used in scenes furthering that goal. These Action Points are separate from the action points you gain by resting and reaching milestones. You can change goals later, though you lose all the accumulated Action Points for the goal you abandoned.
Goals

1. Ignatz prizes plot hooks dot look like dere's gonna be gut fightin', and likes to push his party towards those.
2. Ignatz is, of course, always keeping an eerily observant eye out for any hint of his old masters.


Step 3: List two secrets about your character. One is a secret the character knows, one is a secret that involves him but that he is not actually aware of yet. This will help me in creating plots that center around your character. I will also be creating a third secret which you as a player will not be aware of, so expect some surprises!
Secrets

1. Jägerkin have an extremely keen sense of smell, and the scent of a Heterodyne is keyed into them. Ignatz caught the faintest touch of that smell on a half-elf Warlock named Thalion, and sticks to him like glue, hoping that he might unknowingly lead him to a surviving Heterodyne, directly or indirectly.
2. The son of the Lady Heterodyne, Faustus, is alive, an adviser in the court of the Deschain House. He is unmarried but has several illegitimate children, one of whom is male.


Step 4: Describe three people that are tied to the character though blood, romance or honor. Two of them are friendly to the character, one is hostile. All can do something useful for you, if you can get the situations to line up. If you like, you can include an enemy of yours here as well, so I have an instant NPC nemesis to throw at you.
Connections

1. Thalion the Magnificent is a Half-elf Warlock, and the first member of the party. Ignatz helped him get out of a tight spot with a few Hobgoblins on his way into town, and has since refused to let him out of his sight, good-naturedly insisting that Thalion owes him for saving his life. The rest of the party formed around the pair.
2. Gerhardt is an old companion of Ignatz's, and bears him no ill will, despite having taken his leave less than two years ago. He would be more than willing to assist Ignatz, but he is reluctant to leave the cold, black forests around his home and wouldn't be seen in western Europa unless driven by great need.
3. Faustus, a 46 year old Artificer, is the only living Heterodyne, and uses an alias to avoid discovery. He uses his influence with the Deschains to keep Jägerkin far from him; he is extremely adverse to the responsibilities of his royalty and prefers to play with politics from the sidelines, milking his influence to live in luxury. His position is well established, and he has gone undetected for a very long time.


Step 5: Describe three memories that your character has. They don't have to be elaborate, but they should provide some context and flavor.
Memories

1. Ignatz recalls having sired a few children a hundred years or so ago, but can't quite remember who their mother(s) was. Jägerkin families are less common than human ones, and many Jägerkin children are simply raised by the pack.
2. Ignatz can recall many, many wars under both peaceful and warlike Heterodynes, against all manner of armies.
3. Ignatz fondly remembers the belonging and comradery of the pack, and the comfort afforded him by Gerhardt's presence when they left the pack together.
I like how everyone's stealing my idea to keep each step in a hide box. Makes me feel special. :D