Character Creation -- Backstory

This page is to help you create your character. Think of this as writing a brief story, the story of your character’s life prior to the game. We generally refer to the collection of this information as a backstory.

Writing a Backstory

Your backstory needs a few things:

  • Name. Names in Exalted take many forms. For help, see Names in Exalted .
  • Family information. Everyone has, or had, a family. Think about how your character’s family impacted them.
  • History. I don’t need or want a memoir, but a summary of your character’s past is necessary. If you need help, ask. We have all had writer’s block. :)
  • Friends and Enemies. Who helps you move? Who helps you move a body? Who do you hate? Who hates you? This is important for me building the story around you. The more you give me, the more enmeshed you will be in the world.

Maximum length for backstory: five pages. That doesn’t mean I want five pages. That means I will not read more than five pages. If writing more helps you think about the character, great.

You can write a backstory in many ways. At its most basic, you can do a bulleted list of facts.
Name: Sesus McAsshat
Aspect: Fire
Occupation: 5th Dragonlord of the 13th Legion. Kicker of puppies.
Likes: Pain (for others) Screams (sweet music)
Family: Dad died in the legion. Mom all but disowned him.

You can also relate their story narratively from the 3rd person.

“Sesus McAsshat was a nasty little kid. He kicked dogs at three, servants at ten. His parents became worried when one of their prized horses never made it back to the stable, and sent the young psychopath to military school.”

You can even go whole hog and write the backstory from the character’s perspective telling their story in their own words.

“Growing up, I just got bored, ya know? Reading, writing, history, math, blah blah blah. But one day, I was playing in the woods with my cousin Laylee, and she fell into these brambles, see? She wasn’t really hurt, but all those thorns bit into her something fierce. She started wailing, screaming for help. Me? I just stood there. The blood, the thorns biting into her soft, pale flesh. It was…intoxicating. Beautiful. My shorts got too small, if you know what I mean.

So, when she finally got out and slapped me, why, I had to push her back in. "

This is in no way an example of a normal PC, but I like picking on Mr. McAsshat.

Things to Consider

Here are some things to ponder when you are conceiving of your character.

  • Your character is a Patrician. This means either you were born into a family (in which case, give some thought to what makes your family important), or you were elevated to the status of Patrician. This is fairly rare; many people only become Patricians posthumously. Come up with something pretty epic you did to earn this honor.
  • You are in service to House Tepet. That means you have some set of skills they need. You are not just any soldier, or a fairly good baker. You are the elite in your field in some way or another.
  • At some point, this game may leave Chanos and the immediate area. Keep that in mind when you are considering allies, etc.

Alternatives

If this method isn’t working well for you, or if writing it down terrifies you, we can do an alternate form of character creation. Start with absolute bar bones (Name, gender), and we will roleplay a day in the life of your character. As we do that, I ask you questions, and we flesh the character out. We can also mix in the character sheet creation here, too.

Character Creation -- Backstory

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