Every story has a beginning. Your character’s background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world. Below are some additional options to consider outside of what has been presented in the Players Handbook and other source material.
Describe one ideal that drives your character. Your ideals are the things that you believe in most strongly, the fundamental moral and ethical principles that compel you to act as you do. Ideals encompass everything from your life goals to your core belief system. Ideals might answer any of these questions: What are the principles that you will never betray? What would prompt you to make sacrifices? What drives you to act and guides your goals and ambitions? What is the single most important thing you strive for? You can choose any ideals you like, but your character’s alignment is a good place to start defining them. Each background includes six suggested ideals. Five of them are linked to aspects of alignment: law, chaos, good, evil, and neutrality. The last one has more to do with the particular background than with moral or ethical perspectives.
These are the ideals that your character holds most dear. Create one bond for your character. Bonds represent a character’s connections to people, places, and events in the world. They tie you to things from your background. They might inspire you to heights of heroism, or lead you to act against your own best interests if they are threatened. They can work very much like ideals, driving a character’s motivations and goals. Bonds might answer any of these questions:
- Whom do you care most about?
- To what place do you feel a special connection?
- What is your most treasured possession?
Your bonds might be tied to your class, your background, your race, or some other aspect of your character’s history or personality. You might also gain new bonds over the course of your adventures.
Every hero has a flaw that could one day undermine him or her. Your character’s flaw represents some vice, compulsion, fear, or weakness—in particular, anything that someone else could exploit to bring you to ruin or cause you to act against your best interests. More significant than negative personality traits, a flaw might answer any of these questions:
- What enrages you?
- What’s the one person, concept, or event that you are terrified of?
- What are your vices?