Character Backstory and Personality
Character Concept and Creation
The most common gripe I have had with PCs in the years of my table top experience is reading backstories that are unnecessarily long and useless. I've seen and still have copies of backstory's that are pages long and start from the character's birth. (Check this out as an example)
The problem with such backstories is that they rarely tell me how the character will act in a given scene. In some cases they even pigeon-hole a character so as to allow little to no growth.
This will be especially noticeable in an episodic campaign where a long-winded backstory won't inform character development or make your character more fun to play.
So what will make your character more fun to play?
This is the best place to start – think of the personality that you want your character to play as: nervous, bold, arrogant, shy, unreasonable, cool, confident, timid . Whatever you're feeling start here first. Then have a back story that informs me, why your character is like this.
If you have the hankering to play an overconfident pilot. Then all your backstory needs to do is tell me, what made him that personality. Done. Finito. Can be done in like two sentences.
The Badass Trap
This is a common trap that people get into when RPing. You're character doesn't have to be, nor will be, a slick badass from the beginning. In fact, RPing those sort of characters is actually a bit boring.
Build your character knowing that they have some sort of flaw. I don't mean like a combat weakness, I just mean a character flaw. Maybe they get too easily hotheaded or maybe they're an addict. Characters are more fun to play if they are imperfect and it helps create drama for the group when they are trying to pull off missions.
This campaign isn't about having a team of awesome commando bad-asses that come in, do a clean surgical strike and leave without a trace. It's about a motley group of desperados who are trying to do that but stumble in fun and "Star Wars-y" ways. And maybe sometimes the team pulls of an awesome mission and another time they barely make it out because the Sullustan HAD to show off that he was the best pilot.
The Revenge Target
This is important for this campaign. Remember every member of the Inglorious Rebels doesn't just want to fight the Empire – they are willing to fight dirty. This means that the normal idea of "they enslaved my planet" or "killed my family" isn't enough. They're good reasons to fight the Empire but not a good enough reason to happily join an off-the-books hit squad. You need to think about what evil and personal act of terror did the Empire commit to your character to snap their morality.
To link this into our campaign, I will have revenge targets. Each PC will have an individual who is a part of the Empire that they are trying to kill and every so often the party will "unlock" what I am going to call a "kill mission". These are missions, which are highly dangerous, give a PC the opportunity to assassinate their revenge target.
So your revenge target might have tortured your son before your eyes, your target may have taken your wife as their personal slave. Your revenge target may just be dedicated to hunting you down to the ends of the galaxy because you showed him up once or because you're the last remaining member of a company which they are hell-bent on razing. Whatever it is, think of a reason why your character is willing to fight dirty and tie that into your revenge target.
In short, to make a character fit nicely into this campaign you need a few things:
1. One or two personality traits that define your character and a reason why they have it.
2. A fun or interesting flaw (could be tied into your personality trait)
3. A motivation that explains why your character is willing to break the rules
4. A revenge target – with the chance to take them out should you "earn the chance"
To those who have already written out characters, I can't thank you enough. It's always good inspiration to others. ust remember nothing is set in stone until our first session so feel free to edit and add as you see fit to make sure these four things are answered clearly.
To those who haven't put stuff up, please do so! It makes my job a lot easier to create fun and exciting missions and sessions and gets the us all psyched to play!