Zze Character-Building Backgrounds
For those players who are interested in a litte inspiration to flavor their character's backstory
Everyone you’ve formed any close connections to has died horribly under mysterious circumstances. Friends, lovers, co-workers, all have died messy deaths. Even stranger, each death came about out in a way that was materially beneficial to you – to the great suspicion of those acquainted with your story. You legally own many businesses and properties – but many of which you dare not even visit.
Out for Adventure
Despite coming from a xenophobic village, you were gripped with wanderlust from a young age. Your skills developed from your venting your frustration at not being allowed to leave the village. Now of age, there’s nothing to keep you shackled to your home, not even an extremely beneficial and attractive offer of matrimony.
The Psion’s Experiment
Plucked from your normal life by a twisted Psion – you were used as the subject of one of her never-ending experiments, extraordinary abilities blossoming in your mind. The experiment was used to implant another’s abilities into the subject – and you were one of many. Some gained the knowledge of an experienced mage, the other gained the skill of an expert thief, others the might of a daring champion. You were one of the few to survive the experience and make it out of the Psion’s devilish laboratory to the outside world.
The Wild Lord
Though born a noble, you were not content with the stuffy restrictions of upper crust society – and played a series of escalating pranks on the other nobility. While they started off innocently enough, slipping the occasional frog down a high matron’s bodice for example, they soon grew far grander in scale… Until finally even your esteemed position could protect you from judgment no longer. You have been banished from the city of your birth for a decade – during which the hope is that you will learn the error of your ways. This banishment came as a gleeful relief and you have taken well to the adventuring life. So much more exciting than stuffy court balls. However, the air of nobility has never left you – and your posture remains as perfect as your speech.
The Bounty Hunter
Once a feared assassin for a powerful guild, you received an order to kill one of your friends. After refusing the job you received the assurance of the guildmaster that your friend would be taken off the guild’s death list. However, the next time you visited your friend’s home you found them lying on the floor in a pool of their blood. You killed your superior in revenge, but were unable to reach the guildmaster herself – as she was far too well protected. After, you assumed a new identity and rejected the assassin’s profession. Over the following years you became a famed bounty hunter – one of the best – widely known not just for your success rate but also your refusal to take the target’s life unless absolutely necessary. However you have no qualms killing monsters or people if the situation demands.
The Child Prodigy
Blessed with abilities far beyond your years, you have developed a cocksure, sarcastic and mischievous attitude toward all circumstances life has to throw at you. This has given you an irreverent attitude that many established authority figures resent – but so far your abilities have always been enough to get you out of any jams your tongue gets you into.
Favored by Fortune
Some people have all the luck and you’re one of them. Though born to a poor family in an obscure village – your life has been uphill ever since. You caught the eye of a traveling lord who took a liking to you and funded your training in your chosen profession. You excelled in your studies and became a favorite of the masters, despite spending many of your nights out on the town instead of studying. Thus far everything has always come easily to you and life is a game that always seems to tilt in your favor.
The Sole Survivor
Born amongst a clan of nomads, everyone you knew was wiped out by a royal decree for reasons you still are unaware of. You barely escaped the genocide by signing on board a ship for a year and a day. When your term expired you were left ashore not far from your current location. The experiences have left scars deeply etched and slow to fade.
You are a tough-skinned badass with a sarcastic wit. You’ve spent the last several years working as a mercenary, smuggler, hit-man, bounty hunter or whatever else paid the bills and didn’t require you take too many orders. You couldn’t care less what other people think of you, having no desire to make friendly with anyone and you live for the promise of a good fight. Despite these brutish tendencies, you have a tendency for good buried deep down in you – one that comes out more often when you’re dealing with the helpless, especially children. However, you’re quick to pass off these slight twitches of generosity by saying they weren’t worth your time to fight and maybe some help or coin will get them to shut up and leave you alone. You’re infamous for going into a shop and buying a dozen winter coats – only to inspect them afterward and claim to notice some miniscule flaw that justifies throwing them into the alley… Where homeless children can pick them up to keep warm.
You were raised by your single father. A living legend and famed adventurer – he trained you in the ways of your profession. However, your father suffered a crippling injury when you were barely thirty years of age – leaving him unable to fight in combat. His enemies took advantage of this, and in his crippled state were able to steal control of his famed brewery away from him. Utterly shattered, your father actually stopped drinking because of this. However, it is now ten years later and you have come into your own – determined to restore the family’s fortune through your adventures and take revenge on your father’s enemies… The Silverferns.
King of Jesters, Jester of Kings – you have entertained in all the courts of Elyssa and speak a ready wit in their every tongue. However, after a noble’s daughter fell in love with your dashing smile and winning charm, you were banned from entertaining in noble households. Robbed of your profession – you have applied your skills elsewhere for the requisite income to keep up the high standards of living you enjoy so much.
After being orphaned at a young age by a vampire attack you were adopted by a sect of well-meaning priests dedicated to Valeria and Ceredon – the sibling deities of justice and mercy. Service to these twin gods is always a challenge for the faithful, as the harsh justice of Valeria often runs counter to the mercy of Ceredon – a conflict that is difficult to juggle for every priest of the Celestial Siblings. While you found these ideals inspiring, the passive nature of the order – preferring preaching and private theological discussions to true action – began to grate on you. In a tense decision, you broke from the main ranks of the order to become a Justicar – one who seeks to see Valeria’s justice met out in this world through sword and spell when words wear themselves out. While the position of Justicar is distained by the priests who raised you… The outside world has great respect and often more than a little fear of the few but mighty Justicars that walk the land.
Raised in a tribe on the edges of civilization, you journeyed out on your Quest of the Seasons – a journey of personal discovery – nearly seven years ago. Barely five months after leaving your comfortable village you came across a band of slaves being transported through the salty marshes of Nevendor and did your best to rescue them. You succeeding in saving most, but were eventually overcome by the large band of slavers. You were nearly killed, but were saved by a passing traveler of prodigious skill – the equal of your own. Together, you were able to overcome the remaining slavers and escape. Once safely away, you swore a life debt to your rescuer – vowing to be their partner and friend for as long as you draw breath. You have traveled together ever since.