Blog Archives

Building Authentic Characters

Paizo-Characters

Three of the players in my Pathfinder group suffered character deaths recently.  In the past, I had suggested having, at the very least, ideas for a backup character. One of them, my brother, messaged me with his character’s name, appearance, class, and some background. I always appreciate background information because it helps to weave their story into the campaign.

The other two, my nephews, had a bit more of an issue. They were quick to come up with a class and stats but struggled as far as background and even names. They’re relatively new to RPGs so I can understand how they might not fully appreciate the importance of background for their character. It can be tough to come up with their history, or even events that helped form who they are. To their credit, they did give me (and them) something to work with. How long they remain true to those outlines is hard to say.

As a GM, it can be frustrating when characters brought to the table come off as little more than stat blocks. It becomes difficult to integrate them into the story because there’s no real connection with them. The players barely understand who their characters are. If the players don’t know, how are the NPCs or even the other players at the table supposed to have any kind of bond with them?

On the flip side, it can be tough to know where to start, especially if that character is going to be played in a week or two. Their stats are going to be called on before the names of their parents will be.

Reddit user u/Djinn_in_Tonic posted this guide in the DM Academy and I wish I had sent it out to my players sooner.

 

(Images by Paizo.)