The Complete Origins of Player Characters
by, 01-27-2009 at 08:56 AM (1023 Views)
I was right - a complete copy only existed in my handwritten notes, so I had to transcribe it to digital for you all. It was kind of a test to see how long I can type up one of my note pages- and it took me about 1 and 1/2 hours this morning. I don't remember when I wrote this up- it could well be over twenty years ago. So here goes:
The Origins of Player Characters:
PCs can show up at the most inopportune times- the problem sometimes is integration into the ongoing Campaign! Below is a list of reasons a player character might show up to adventure at any given time.
1) Amnesiac - Unknown Origin, has skills and abilities- but their identitiy eludes them. This knowlwdge may recover slowly or be brought by a physical or mental shock.
2) Assasin/spy - if former is hired to kill a local NPC, if later- here to spy on area for criminal or military purposes.
3) Bard - foolish pcs who desire a bard's status, must spend many years seeking adventures of all sort. This
reason does not confer magical bardic ability- but pcs do have musical/poetic talents.
4) Captive - only recently escaped from humanoid lair. They have lost items or captive friends and need aid to
get them back!
5) Captain - has responsibilty of caring for crew and vessel of a ship (roll type). Usually found only in nautical adventures. Ships run from small sloops or galleys to large frigates or galleons. Evil PCs can be pirates! Watch
out for mutiny!
6) Criminal, escaped - on the lam from the law. Will have swag from recent crimes on their persons. They run a risk of being recongnized and recapturied if the crime was infamous enough. And of course there maybe lawmen after them! These PCs may be evil or just victims of mistaken circumstances.
7) Cursed - PC who offended a superior being or god and now finds a day in the life is just one weary adventure after another. Can the curse ever be lifted? PC must appease the offended diety- maybe with thier own DEATH!
8) Quest/Geas - Magic command to compel PC to carry out an action or deed (Quest nessecitates PCs return to the Caster) or fall under a withering magical attack and die usually with in a year of Spell being cast.
9) Funeral - Close relative has died and PC has journey to pay last respects! There may be an inheritance of money, property or items. But also a likely chance of past debts, old grudges and enemies to be placated.
10) Hunter - Maybe a barbarian from the outer lands! A nomad following game spoor of a vicious beast.. Or a haughty noble with retainers on a hunt for a fabulous creature. Not interested in anything but the HUNT!
11) Mad - Paranoid and dangerous- Unsure of sanity and in times of stress may gibber and breakdown completely. May be incomprehensible to talk to. Perhaps a victim of psionic attack or a feeblemind spell.
12) Mercenary - Soldier of fortune following the winds of war. They will most likely be warriors armed and armored to the teeth. they may however be very poor and thier arms may be in poor shape! Time for an upgrade and money must be made to do it! Mercenaries have no loyalty to any cause or person.
13) Pilgrimage - PC may be alone or with a party. This is a very serious affair often involving religious sacrifices or rituals. This reason is NOT for casual conversation and may be very private and personal.
14) Slave, escaped - PC will find themselves naked with nothing and in a wretched condition. They will do a
anything to remain free from thier captors. These maybe slavers or humanoids on slave run. PCs must keep running and hiding to avoid recapture. They are desperate characters.
15) Scholar - PC may be a mage or a sage, a cleric or a scribe - any class interested in studying of knowledge. These areas could be in the fields of history, geography, magic, nature, medicine, etc. PC will have scrolls and quills and be taking notes of everything.
16) Trapper - Canny and humane trapper of animals for zoos and gladitorial games; but may also be a rural trapper of beasts for furs and creature parts; goods both types will sell on the outskirts of cities. These PCs
prefer the wild and may have faithful animal companion as hunter and guardian. They will have cages, traps, and some way to transport thier goods. They may even have several hirelings as part of a trapping safari.
17) Treaty - an ambassador on a mission of trade, peace, learning or diplomacy. They may well have gifts for local rulers and have loyal retainers and men at arms to help them on their mission.
18) Wedding - PC may be attending local wedding as guest or groom (or bride!) It may be wedding of political convenience or true love. In any case- the date is set, the cleric is waiting. But will PC get cold feet- or be the unwanted guest? (Elaine! ELAINE!)
19) Interplanar Traveller -PC is not from this dimension. Maybe they read a cursed scroll. Or got caught in Psychic Cyclone and ended up here. In any case HERE they are and here they are to stay.
20) Time Traveller - from its origins in Victorian England to the more sophisticated time ships of the 22nd century- PCs have been time travelling for generations now. PC will have time travel device on them- but has it survived the arduous journey through time? And dare the PC interact in a way with this time period that may change history itself?
There's more in this vein. Countries of origin, languages all that rot. But the question is did the players in my campaign EVER use this chart? of course not. Ingrates.