Character Background

Shifting Sands

Player Guide

This is the place where you add the flavor and color for the character. Feel free to include as much detail as you like. Here are the types of things that could be covered. Again, you may wish to wait a session or two to flesh this out.

What is their history?

Where is the character from? How do they feel about their origin and family? Their nationality? What is their current occupation, and did they have a previous career? How did they get where they are? How did they get involved with their factions? How do they feel about them? Are they a true believer or casual adherent? Why are they the way they are?

What is distinctive about the character?

How would other people describe the character? What makes them stand out in a crowd? What is people's first impression of them? What do people notice after getting to know them? Are they ambitious? Driven? A cool customer? Are they haunted by their past? Hot-headed? Vengeful? Try to be descriptive and specific. If they are strong, are they wiry, or built like a tank? Does the character have any flaws? What are they bad at, do they struggle with, or are afflicted by? These should be things that will have influence on their narrative game, like "impulsive," or "game right leg," not simply "doesn't like broccoli." Again, this is intended to inform the roleplaying; we are not expecting to throw these in the character's face every time they try to do something.

What are the character's levers?

What things could someone else use to manipulate them? Do they have a dark secret? What is the one thing you hope your GM—oops, we mean your nemesis—never finds out? Who are the people in their life that they would do anything to protect? What do they value more than their personal safety? [Ed. note: We are not asking this so that we can make sure it comes out in the third game, and not necessarily even ever. But on the other hand, character assassination (i.e. smear campaigns) and leverage through scandal in this time period are a Thing, and this could be reflected, this being a dramatic game and all.]

What does the character want?

What is the character striving for? Why do they want these things? This is the time to explore the dramatic poles. Ask the question why as many times as it takes to get to a dramatic or emotionally-driven answer. For example, an Industrialist might be driven to accumulate wealth because they grew up poor and never want their family to suffer like they had to. This could indicate that they are highly protective of their family and might have a deeply rooted insecurity about being from the wrong side of the tracks. And yet, because they know what life is like on the other side of the tracks, they may feel reluctant to exploit the masses for their benefit. What happens when these things come into conflict? This is a really important exercise. Put some thought into it. Spend some time getting inside the character's head. That said, we expect these to change over time. That's called character growth!

What does the character not want?

What is the character striving against? Why do they want to fight these things? Again, ask the why question as many times as it takes to get to a dramatic or emotionally-driven answer.

What Ideologies do they adhere to?

How do they feel about the issues of the day? Choose one or more primary ideologies from the Ideologies section that the character feels strongly about, whether they admit it or not. How do they feel and why do they feel that way? It's best to know what your character's opinion (strong or not) is about each of the primary and secondary ideologies so you will feel comfortable discussing them when related topics come up in casual conversation.

Who have been the important people in their life?

What were their relationships, how did they feel about them, and why?

Primary connections:

What other characters are they currently strongly connected to? What is their relationship? How do they feel about those relationships? The GMs will assist with knitting groups together and forming connections between different groups in varying ways. These connections will be central to the game, so we want characters to have strong relationships.



Fête Fatale Home  Shifting Sands Home   Player Interest Form