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Beginning Character Interview
Published by Dragavan on 2006/11/28 (1271 reads)
This is something I have used (in one form or another) for a long time, but after reading something on Fear the Boot's forums about a checklist of questions I decided to make a version to put up here for the public. I am also going to include a version of this in the private interactive rules wiki for owners of the game to use as well.

Beginning Character Interview: Senton Region Edition

When creating a character for the first time it's sometimes hard to get a grasp of what you want them to be. You may have a single idea of something you want to do with them (like "I want to be a master thief" or "I want to be able to wield two broadswords like Conan"), but these are often vague concepts or single ideas that don't really make for a fleshed out character. When you sit down the make the character you may have no idea (other than perhaps the few things you need to attain those basic goals) who this person is going to be. It can be frustrating and make character creation difficult for you.

One thing I found very helpful was interviewing the character to be, as if they were a real person. This is a set of questions that can be used for creating such a deeper character in the Land of Karn (currently aimed at characters of the Senton Region, but most of them can be used for most any area of the world, or even any game). You can ask your character these questions before you even start the creation process to get a better understanding of what you may want to do when going through the steps, but it may be good to get some basics rolled and out of the way before you go here (like basic race, sex, attributes, and family background).

You sit down across from your character, ready to interview them for an exclusive print interview. They have agreed to be completely candid with you (even if this is not exactly normal for them to do). "Read" them the questions here and take down their answers. Don't just answer for them, actually answer the questions as the character themselves would answer them if asked in this very private interview. It may even be helpful to do this out loud, although some people will feel silly doing that. Once the interview is done, look through the sheet and use it as a guide for creating their altered attributes, skills, and background information.

Let's start off with something obvious, tell us about your general appearance (race, sex, hair, etc.). Any distinguishing marks or tattoos?

Now let's get into your background a little. Where is it that you were born?

Was there anything unusual or special about your birth?

Who were your parents? What did they do?

Are you an only child or do you have siblings? If so, how many? Tell us about them.

Do you keep in contact with any of your family? Are they still alive? Do you know where they are? What kind of relationship do you have with them?

Was there anything you were really interested in as a child, like a hobby or sport? Did you pursue it or let it slide? Were you supported in your interest by others?

At what age did you leave home and for what reason (school, work, travel, run away, etc.)?

Have you had any professional education or training? If so, where?

What was your first job? Why did you not keep at it, or did you?

Now let's leave the childhood and move into a larger scope. Have you traveled outside Senton much? If so, where did you go and why?

How do you feel about foreign travelers coming into the region?

Did the Great Senton/Vinto War that ended about 50 years ago have much of an affect on you and your choices in life?

Have you ever worked for or served the King and crown in any way? Like military service or in local politics?

What do you think about how the new King is running Senton these days? Have you followed his first years since his father's murder?

If officials came to you and ask you to drop everything and do something to help out the king and crown, would you? How would you feel about that?

Do you follow one of the major faiths of the Creators? If so, how devout are you? If not, what do you believe in?

If your church officials came to you and asked for you aid in some immediate issue, would you drop everything and help them out? Why?

What is your current job and how long have you been doing it? Is this something you enjoy and see as your future?

Now let's get a little personal. Do you have any special career, hobby, or dream goals for your life in the near future?

What do you do when not working to pass the time? Any hobbies or things you enjoy these days?

Have you started your own family yet? If so, tell us about them. If not, do you plan to?

What is something you have done in the past that you are most proud of?

What is something you have done in the past that you are most ashamed of?

What is something that you would never tell most people, but that you really like?

What is something that you would never tell most people, but that you really hate?

Is there anything you consider very special about yourself?

Is there anything you don't like about yourself?

What really frightens you?

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Now take your character's answers to these questions (if they actually continued to answer through them all... I have had some who would walk out in the middle) and continue on building your character to match what you now understand about them. Certain skill choices, background information, personality traits, likes, dislikes, Personal Belief Structure, and more will be a lot easier to work through.
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