Biographies are written histories that players can write for their characters.
Having a predetermined history can help a player to determine their character's reaction in certain circumstances, especially for those players who are new to a game world and therefore don't already have a deep knowledge of theme. Perhaps you've mentioned in your character's background a childhood trauma that stands out more than the others, for instance, they were trapped down a well for three days. In an early plot you're trapped in a cave-in. How might your biography affect your roleplaying in that situation?
- Your character might be afraid of the dark or claustrophobic; they may even have a phobia quirk.
- Your character might not have wanted to follow their friends into the cave in the first place.
- Your character is suitably freaked out — and her fears are confirmed — by the cave-in.
Perhaps you mention in the biography that your character once let his temper get out of control and he struck an ex-girlfriend, putting her in hospital. Your character has since sworn never to hit a member of the opposite sex again. On the grid they now face the business end of a pulse assault rifle being wielded by a woman.
Putting together the biography Edit
Perhaps you have a rough idea — 'a pilot' — or perhaps you have a more detailed idea — 'a male pilot who's spent the last three years with a militia but was a prospector before that'. Either way your biography would benefit if you read articles specific to the areas your character would have had experience with.
When you start to write the biography, remember that it doesn't have to be the length of War and Peace, nor must it detail every one of your character's thoughts and actions from his birth to the day he steps onto the grid. It's best to try and keep it to the main points. Your biography should be concise and explain the more important aspects of your character.
Does your character have any family? Are they still living? Are they dead? How does your character relate to his family?
Give a brief rundown of your character's history. Did he go to school? University? What's the most important event of his childhood? Teenage years? Did she have problems with the law? Does he have a career? This isn't a definitive list, but you get the idea. Try to include only events that would have a major impact on your character.
Does your character have any hobbies? Does he like history? Does she play sports? Does it have a penchant for underwater basket weaving?
What's your character like? These are the nuts and bolts of the character. Is he a straight arrow who tries to do the right thing or does he like to cut corners? Is she overly curious, constantly sticking her nose where it's not wanted? Is he likeable or a pain in the ass? Does she have any major problems? Irrational fears? Likes? How does he react to other races?
If you're still stuck for ideas, the following sites have questionaires to help you get your creative juices flowing again: