Character names should follow these 3 rules: No Bobs, No Merlins, Nothing Goofy
Home Community Race
Characters Race If not a player race, choose Human
Religious, Arcane, Monastic or Military Compound
Humans in most games have a rural background. If you choose to play a character from a larger city, you should make sure to work with your GM to determine the nature and location of that city.
Cold (arctic or subarctic)
Warm (tropical and subtropical)
What is the land like temperature range where you were born?
What is the dominant terrain of the land where you were born? This may have some bearing on the type of terrain you find comfortable or the range of your Knowledge (geography)
All characters learn some basic skills as children. This instruction may provide a direction for their later interests and careers. This table tells where you focused as a child—your favorite subject. Keep in mind that your skill selection should reflect your childhood education. If you don’t want a particular skill suggested by this table, simply roll or choose another.
School of Hard Knocks
Most families that can afford it make sure their children get some formal schooling. Sometimes this education is a part of an apprenticeship program, or it may be a natural outgrowth of helping with the family business. It’s okay to use this table more than once, but make sure your choices here are backed up on your character sheet.
Special Military Training
For most characters, the idea of making a living as an adventurer starts as little more than a dream. Instead, most characters are apprenticed to a trade, inducted into the religious or military order the family is affiliated with, brought into the family business, sent to the fields for planting and harvesting, or given some other task-related instruction.
Became a Refugee
Death in the Family
Injury or Physical Defect
Some events in early childhood have lasting impacts on a character’s future development.
Many characters get their first sense of the wide world they live in during their teenage years. Use this table to determine what exciting or heartbreaking events were the highlights of your character’s youth.
No Pivotal Events
Some events are so significant that they change the entire course of a character’s life. These events are not necessarily tied to a specific age or experience level but might occur at any time. Remember that you don’t have to use this table if you don’t want to. For many, this table represents the last significant thing that happened to your character before the first adventure begins.
Every family has its favored sons, gifted daughters, and crazy aunts and uncles. If you want a truly strange family, roll on this table more than once. This table uses the term “ancestor” because it’s likely that these well-known people aren’t around to influence the character’s career directly. But with your GM’s approval, there’s no reason you can’t simply substitute “family member” for “ancestor” anywhere on his table. Every ancestor you select should prompt you to write a one- or two-entence description of who that person was and why they matter to your family. This information does not need to include a complete character template, just nough data for your GM to use as hooks for an adventure and for you to have Interesting stories to tell about your family.
When trouble comes knocking at the door, how will your family respond? In areas where conflict is rare, military training may seem quite extraordinary, even distasteful. In areas where the threat of danger is real and constant, not being prepared is viewed as the worst kind of stupidity. Dwarves in particular usually have some form of martial training due to the constant threat of danger from their underground dwellings.
Apart, yet entangled with the worlds of their parents, half-elves never have an easy time finding a place to call their own. Those who do often find such a place outside the normal structures of either human or elf society. How wealthy is your family? While this information doesn’t have any direct bearing on the wealth of your character, it may be a useful bit of background information to help describe your character’s attitudes. It’s also a good motivational hook for your GM.
Some families have a shared ethos that impacts the decisions and actions of their members. In general, small communities composed of relatives or near relatives rarely tolerate shady or evil residents.
Family Political View
Politics plays a big role in every family. Even in a quiet kingdom with a beloved monarch, your family may have a strong and avowed commitment to supporting the ruler and his/her family. A sense of discord with the current system can create any number of really interesting background details for both you and your GM to use.
Family Power Structure
How does your family organize itself? Most families have some form of structure, even if it is only the “respect” of a child for a parent. The more complex the family business or intrigues, the more detailed the family power structure should become. however.
Family Public Ethics
Beyond Reproach/Beneath Contempt
Regardless of what the actual ethics of the family may be, the perception in the community may differ due to a variety of circumstances.
Does your family have a specific religious commitment? If you answer that question “Yes,” the obvious follow-up question is “Who?” Your family may worship a pantheon, a state religion, a group of deities based on alignment, or a “cosmic truth” like law or chaos. If you make an unusual choice, substitute that option wherever the table references a “deity.” Remember that this represents your family’s religion, not necessarily your own. individuals but has an occasional bad apple.
A Black Sheep or Two
You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your relatives. This table describes how the community feels about your family, based on the behavior of its members. This overlaps a bit with Family Social Standing and Family Public Ethics, because all three answer the question “What do they think about your family?” Once again, if you get wildly different answers, brainstorm an unusual reason or simply roll or pick again.
Family Social Standing
Skilled Trade or Merchant Family
Positive Religious, Arcane, Monastic or Military Affiliation
Negative Religious, Arcane, Monastic or Military Affiliation
How do other people in your community view your family? If your family is prominent, their social standing may extend to include surrounding areas, or perhaps even the entire country!
Minor Childhood Enemy
Jilted Lover’s Friend or Relative
Enemy of the Family
The Enemy of My Friend Is My Enemy
Enemies, from local bullies to major villains, can shape your life as much as your more positive relationships. At the least, a good set of enemies provides your GM with an excellent foil for heroic adventures!
No Known Relatives
Few Living Relatives
Many Living Relatives
Huge Extended Family
This table includes uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, links by marriage, links broken by marriage dissolution, etc. The tangle of familial relationships can be as detailed or as simple as you desire.
These friends might actually be other heroes that your character will adventure with, or they may be NPCs for your GM to use for mood, setting, or plot. In any event, create as many or as few as you feel necessary, in as much detail as you wish.
Mother’s Parents Alive
Father’s Parents Alive
One Grandparent on Each Side
Three Grandparents Alive
Many humans have living grandparents. In the longer-lived races, grandparents or greatgrandparents are even more common. You should decide how many of your character’s elders are still a part of the character’s life.
No Instructors of Note
Many people form strong bonds with teachers, mentors, superior officers, etc. For the purpose of this table, we’ll call them instructors. This relationship provides not only excellent basis for creating NPCs, but also suggests what your 1stlevel class might be. Once you’ve checked this table, make a note of your instructor’s name, location, etc.—and decide whether your instructor is still alive.
Two Living Parents
One Living Parent
Both Parents Dead
Parents Lost or Unknown
Adoptive or Foster Parents
Raised by Wolves
Probably the most important basic relationship a character has is with his or her parents.
Second only to the parent/child relationship is the relationship between a child and siblings. This table determines how many brothers and sisters you have.