The character background really serves two purposes. For the player, it’s a platform to explore their character’s persona and motivations before play begins. For the game master, the background is an opportunity to mine for story hooks, draft old friends and foes as NPCs, and note down wants and desires that can be used to push or pull the characters this way or that.
Things to look for:
1. One Ally
2. One Enemy
3. One Short Term Goal - done in 4 to 8 game sessions. then look at new goal?
4. One Long Term Goal - it's the journey sometimes.
5. Internal Conflict - Based on emotional turmoil in the character.
7 deadly sins (greed, gluttony, lust, pride, sloth, wrath, envy), shame of action or thought. with great powers comes great responsibility. loosing 'human' nature by becoming vampire/feeding, going crazy (demon pact)
6.External Conflict - Based on things that can happen to the Chr
Wanted by the Law/Outlaws, Family owes money to someone, NPC dislikes him, a fate/prophesy that can't be avoided,
For the most part, we don't delve into characters backgrounds during the game. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't kinda figure out where you came from. Parents? Siblings? Rural or City upbringing? Where are you from? Why have you come to Thark?
Wilderness – hunter family, clerical retreat, living near elves
Country – the family farm, flock or herders, small town
Seaside – fishers, small village
Mountain – herders, gatherers, clerical retreat
Desert - wanderers, traders, tribesfolk, herders
Urban – merchant, Inn keeper, business family, servant family, nobility or entitled people,
Wanderer – merchant train, entertainers, on-the-run, cursed or shunned or misunderstood
Most characters have things that they do outside adventuring. At the very least, there were chores done around your parent's house. A lot of times, they will become the basis for the job you get for your character.
These interests are at hobby level at the time of the character's creation. If you wish to pursue the characters area of study into more of a profession level - well that's role playing.
I tend to try and instill some of the NPC's with a trait. If your character has the same sort of interest, it might give you an 'in' with them.
It's just a way of trying to round out your character. It's not necessary. Some people wait and develop ideas in the midst of an adventure (knowing that it will fit the situation you are in). Here's a list to jog your mind.
Level of Technology
On the Eldland, the level of comfort is high, but the level of Technology is low. So, maybe we do have light switches, but they probably operate sun stones or plants that absorb light during the day and give it off at night.
Yes, your character can come from another city, kingdom, land, continent, world or dimension. For the most part, this is something you need to just clear with the GM when you are making the character. The more exotic stuff needs a longer and bigger story/reason.
One of the biggest things you need, if you are from somewhere else is a story of how you managed to get to Thark in the first place. Sometimes, it's easy (I went with traders) and sometimes it's not (the government appointed me because my Dad is a bigwig and they want me to go to Thark and learn magic and bring it back).
The GM is an artist. You might at least want to consider what your character looks like. Blonde/Brunette/Redhead? What color eyes? Built like Arnold or Cher?
Speaking of physical appearance - it's okay for you to play someone of the opposite sex. I knew a writer friend in a club who made up a lady character and was astounded by his old viewpoint as he started to write the character. I've actually always considered someone a strong role-player if they are willing to tackle a character of the opposite sex.