Behind a Character (Backgrounds)

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Behind a Character (Backgrounds)

Postby administrator » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:31 am

So you've decided to write your background, but you're not sure where to start... Don't fret. We've got all the brains in the world. If this is your first character, I highly recommend working with an experienced player to figure out how your background should be written. Remember, even if you do this, that YOU have final say, not the person you're working with, in how you write your background. The Narration staff has final say on whether or not it's accepted though.

Formatting your background
  • A specific format is not necessary
  • The style you choose for your background format should reflect the background and your character themself.
A character's background should describe why they are they way they are when you begin playing them. The circumstances which brought your character about and made them who they are. The level of detail to which you aspire should be based around your character themself. If an event was more/less important to the character's current state, it's level of detail in your background should represent that.

What should a background cover?
  • Your human life
    • Who were you before you were a vampire?
    • What path did you take that gave you your current spent character points?
    • What did you do as a human? (what kinds of things, be specific or not... up to you)
    • What led you to vampire society? Did you know about it before your embrace?
  • Your embrace
    • Why did your sire embrace you?
    • What was your embrace like? (specific or vague)
    • Why did your clan/sire/sect select you?
  • Your vampiric life up to this point
    • Who are you now?
    • What do you do now?
    • What things on your character sheet came from this part of your life?

If you have certain things on your character sheet that are above average (4+ dot) or seem out of place for your character, this should certainly be explained in the background. In reality, every single dot should be explained, however, there isn't always time or space in your background's style to write all of them in. It should at least attempt to explain your character sheet and what it is filled with.

The most useful backstory will be the foundation and framework for a character's identity. It's shaped entirely by their past experience, their own reflections on it and the things that influenced their mind and/or sense of personal growth. How they react to things that happen to them are just as important as those things that happened, if not more so. The more in depth your background, the easier it will be to play your character according to that background.

Despite all of this, it is not recommended to write every minute of your character's life in a massive 500 page novelization of your character's life. Leave enough vagueries in your authored work that you can fuzz things in and out for how your character operates. You can't see every contingency upon character creation, so you need at least some wiggle room.

After reading all of this, remember - be creative. Write your story, not mine. If you feel that something in this quick "how to" should not be included, or something I haven't included should be, then change it up! Create your character the way you see fit.

And enjoy the game!
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