Character Backgrounds

Hey folks,

I wonder if anyone might want to share advice and/or tips on writing characters' personal histories. I have read the in-game help file, but still want to know a bit more before writing my background permanently. A few questions: Is first- or third-person generally preferred? How important is it to specify a geographic origin for your character (for example, explicitly saying "is from Shastaan" as opposed to "grew up in a small sea-side town")? 

Additionally, does anyone have suggestions about any exemplar backgrounds I might check out to get an idea of what a spot-on background might look like?



  • edited December 2013
    Write it somewhere other than Achaea to begin with. Read every word letter by letter to pick up any spelling issues that a word processor can miss. Ask someone else to do the same. Once happy with it, leave it for a few days then look at it again (to deal with possible "what the f was I thinking!?" issues).

    I look at backgrounds as more of a historical account than a journal or memoir, so I personally think that third-person looks better, but that might just be me.

    As for being specific vs being vague, I think it really comes down to preference and what feels natural when you're inventing the character's past. On the one hand, you can go look at the descriptions in Shastaan and weave some of their essence into how the character's childhood home felt. On the other hand, if your story doesn't want a fishing village that has a major port attached, but the character is still from Eastern Sapience, maybe vague is the way to go.

    Also, good on you for committing to a public background. I've always had one for each character to help me guide their choices and actions in-game, but I've never actually saved one officially.
    I play  -Enrai-  -Luhar-
  • ShirszaeShirszae Santo Domingo
    edited December 2013
    There's no such thing as a 'spot-on' background. It all comes down to preference. Also, do bear in mind that the in-game background things cannot be altered or deleted or anything after you commit to them. Personally, I prefer having my character's background information to myself, and telling it personally to those I choose, in the manner of my choosing. 

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...

    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

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