Saturday, November 28, 2009

Talamhlar - Character Backgrounds

The following is an outline for developing your character's background in the Talamhlar campaign. Feel free to go as in-depth as you want, as long as these minimum elements are addressed.

Players Handbook 2 Backgrounds

The PHB2 provides examples of different background elements from 5 different categories (p. 178). When you create your character, choose elements from at least 3 of the 5 categories (listed below). You are NOT limited to the examples given, which are just examples presented in the PHB2.
  • Geography - Describe the environment in the region where you were raised (ex. desert, forest, mountains, urban, wetlands).
  • Society - Describe your social and economic status (ex. poor, wealthy, nobility).
  • Birth - Some characters may have unusual birth circumstances (ex. among another race, blessed, cursed, omen, prophecy, born on another plane).
  • Occupation - This is what you did before your adventuring days (ex. artisan, criminal, entertainer, farmer, mariner, merchant, military, scholar).
  • Racial Background - Use the racial overview for ideas, I'm not going to list off all of the examples from the PHB2.
Backgrounds come with minor mechanical perks. Background elements each have some associated skills, but these are flexible. Basically, if you choose a skill just make sure that it makes sense in the context of one of your background elements. You gain a background benefit from ONE of your chosen background elements (if you have an idea that doesn't fall into one of the 5 categories, feel free to use it). Your background benefit can be one of the following:
  • +2 bonus to checks with a skill associated with your background.
  • Add an associated skill to your class's skill list before you choose your trained skills.
  • Choose a language associated with your background (Common, Elven, Dwarven, Draconic, Deep Speech, Giant, Goblin, Primordial). If you're a member of some organization and it's appropriate, you may choose a "secret" language (for example, the members of some Druidic circles learn "Druidic," certain thieves guilds utilize secret languages, etc.).
Additional Details

In addition to the background elements presented above, provide the following information about your character.

  1. All starting characters have been living in the city of Helmund (or, alternatively, in the wilderness surrounding it) for at least a year (see campaign brief for details on the city). Describe how you came to be in the city, and what you've been doing there.
  2. List two goals that your character has. At least one of them should be one that you'd like to see developed over the course of the campaign.
  3. List two secrets about your character. One of these secrets your character is aware of, and the second is something he/she knows nothing about.
  4. List and describe 3 people associated with your character in some way. At least one must be friendly toward your character, and at least one must be hostile.
  5. Choose at least one other player character and describe a connection that your character has with him/her. This can (and probably will) be completed after all characters have been submitted.
Magic Item Wish List

This step is optional, but is highly recommended if you want to customize some of the magic items recieved as treasure. Note that if any PC has the Enchant Magic Item ritual, items of your level or lower will be available for the market value listed in the books (if you buy magic items from NPCs who can create/enchant them, the cost may be between 10-40% higher). Items recieved as treasure will be higher level than your character, and most likely out of your price range.

Your wish list can contain up to 5 different magic items. If you recieve an item that was on your wish list, you may add a new item to the list. You may realistically find items up to 6 levels higher than you, but lower level items are more likely to appear. Listed enchantments may not appear on the same weapon that you use, but the 4th level ritual Transfer Enchantment (AV) can, obviously, transfer it. I recommend you pay special attention to "The Big Three," which are 1) Weapon/Implement (attacks), 2) Armor (AC), and 3) Neck Slot item (NADs, or Non AC Defenses).

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