Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Background Questions

In the Star Trek game we're in the process of converting the characters from Risus to Tri-Stat dX. While I like the open-ended freeform approach of Risus, the current group likes the structure provided by additional rules.

Tri-Stat dX is basically a generic version of the Big Eyes, Small Mouth (also known as BESM) RPG. Like BESM, it was originally published by Guardians of Order and is now owned by White Wolf. I've been a fan of BESM's character creation for years now, and have been looking forward to a chance to run it again. I picked the generic version because it's legally available as a free download.

When making characters, the players are given additional points if they provide a background story.  Background narratives are ok, but most of them tend to read pretty much the same (why are so many player characters orphans?) and they lack the details I want as a GM to make the story more relavant to the characters.

To that end I developed the following questions that the player must answer about their character in order to receive the background points.  I have little doubt that I probably encountered some of these questions in various places over my many years of gaming, but that's how life works.

Anyway, here's my list.  I hope you find it useful.  Feel free to add you own questions in the comments!

  • Why did you join Starfleet (or whatever works for the specific campaign)?
  • What are your long term goals?
  • What are your immediate goals?
  • What is getting in the way of achieving these goals?
  • Name three things that you don't want others to know about you
  • Who would you be willing to risk your life for? Why?
  • Who would be willing to risk their life for you? Why?
  • What temptation(s) are the hardest to resist (or motivate you the most)? (Sex, Food, Wealth, Praise & adoration, Booze/drugs/etc,Gambling, Power, Leisure time, etc)
  • Three people (or groups, I suppose) who dislike you, including
    • What bad thing they would like to see done to you (killed,  killed at their own hand, tortured and killed, left penniless, publicly disgraced, etc)
    • Why do they feel that way?