Character creation questions for your players

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I just mentioned that I use a series of questions to help my players make characters in another thread.  So I thought I'd share those questions here, incase anyone wants to use them or can take inspration from them.  If you have character questions you use in your games, please share them.  I'm always looking for some good inspiration.  So here is a list of the questions I have my players answer before character creation.  Some things to get them really thinking about their heroes.  I've had great results with these questions, often getting a lot more than I had asked for. 


1. List at least 5 personality traits for your character. For example brash, confident, shy, arrogant, etc.



2. List a quirk or habit your character has. For example, bites their fingernails, tends to absentmindedly whistle, taps their foot or fingers when bored, etc.


3. List at least 5 living family members. If they don’t live in the same town or city as you, where do they live? What is your relationship like with them like?


4. List at least 3 living friends you have outside of the party.


5. What does your character like to do in their free time? Things like hobbies, other areas of study, art, athletics and so on.


6. What makes your character angry or gets on your nerves?


7. What is your character afraid of?


8. What makes your character happiest in the world?


9. What are your character's long term goals beyond adventuring? Things like raise a family, take over the family business, leave this small town behind and strike it big in the city, etc.


10. List a possession your character has that has some sentimental value to them. Why do they cherish it? It could be their engagement ring, a trophy from a successful battle or hunt, something from their childhood, something given to them by a friend or family member, etc.

Good list.


Our Dm asked us this one time.


-          Does your character have any living rivals or enemies?


-          How does your character view members of different races?

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/1.jpg)

I might just use this list.

Come to 4ENCLAVE for a fan based 4th Edition Community.

 

I really like the advice from this blog, Cooperative Party Building.

Really shakes up the "characters in a vacuum" problem where no one really knows each other befor the game.

Great link, Stix!  That's more along the lines of what I like: not just character backgrounds, but background relationships between characters.  Gives some reasons why they are adventuring together and why they care about each other. 


This kind of session 0 stuff can really be the foundations of a great campaign.


TjD

I have a similar list of questions I pose to each player. The first thing they have to do with a new character is fill out the series of questions in-character. As you can see, there's a lot of overlap between our sets of questions:

When people look at me, what is the first thing they see?
What was life like for me growing up?
Who are/were the important people in my life?
What do I want to accomplish before I die?
What motivates me to risk my life?
What is the worst thing anyone could do to me?
What is the best thing anyone could do for me?
What should my companions know about me?
What should they never find out about me?
What makes me different from other adventurers who share my race and class?
These are some great questions.  I may have to mix in some of these for my next campaign.  Thanks Stix for that great link. 

I got the idea character questions from my DM.  He always had us complete a couple of questions like this to before his games.  It got me to really role play.  It's also nice to have a group that is really into role playing.  They just love this stuff. 

In my campaign, I started them off in a small wilderness town.  I gave them these questions and told them that the people they came up with would be in the town or the game world.  I got back almost 30 pages of characters with descriptions.  I role play them based on what they gave me and they just love it.  My campaign premise was to start off in  a small town and build up their relationships with the townsfolk.  Then a few levels in, the undead outbreak happens and they have to survive while protecting the people they care about.  For a horror campaign to work, they really had to be invested in the game world and its people.  So I had them help make the game world, made them really think about their heroes and got them attached to the characters they helped create.  It's worked great.  They love it, despite being constantly afraid for their loved ones. 
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