Personality and Background Questionnaire for Roleplayinggames

Foreword

Something I find crucial when I play roleplayinggames is not only to produce a character according to the rules, but also so provide it with a background and (maybe most important of all) a personality that makes sense.

Playing is not only about rolling dices; it’s above all about role-playing in my opinion. I have therefore made this questionnaire about the personality and background of your newly developed character. I have tried to be generic and not speak about game-specific terms, but when I wrote this I had a fantasy-setting in mind so all questions might not suite your character and setting.

I have find inspiration to this questionnaire in numerous sources and I won’t mention them here since I undoubtedly will forget some of them. I have played since I was ten years old and have compiled a list, which is the foundation of this document, for many years. The main source has been roleplayinggames and articles in fanzien. Since I don’t remember them all I won’t mention any of them at all. Hence the ownership of the copyright of this material can be disputed.

Maciej Zalewski was kind to provide some feedback, and suggested two new questions (I’ve marked them with ”Maciej”), but most importantly, he has translated it into Polish.

Background

Family

Depending on world, setting and social status one can assume the PC have 1d20 brothers and sisters, a rich noble men won’t have that many children but a farmer might very well have. Their age relative the PC can be rolled by a d20, roll a d6: 1-3 younger and 4-6 older then the PC. For humans about 60% of all born is boys and 40% is girls but the higher the age the more likely it is that a brother of the PC dies and I think this should be reflected in the PC’s family. The youngest child is probably a boy but when it comes to them that are 10 years and above it’s probably 50-50.

You can safely assume that almost all of the brothers and sisters that are above 20 are married which implies the question whether the PC is married or not. If not, how come? Try to write down a little story about why he never married. If married, do the same procedure above to determine the age of the PC’s children (it’s quite likely they have children since you marry if you plan to form a family - and that includes children).

The parents is 19+the age of the oldest child+1d6 years old, the mother is usually some years younger then the father (roll a d4). Are the parents alive or how did they die?

When it comes to the rest of the relatives the only limit is the limit of you imagination. Roll dices and make decisions until you get sick and tired of it - or run out of paper to write it down.

How rich are the family and how have that affected the PC? Did his parents’ lack of money make him greedy or does the money run through his fingers like water when he gets the chance? Is he spoiled and assumes that he can get everything he wants or does he live in poverty even when he got a lot of money? Is the family influential or does people spit in the road when the PC comes?

Adolescence

Who taught him what he knows? What did the PC think of his teacher(s)? Who paid for the training? Did he pay with his work or did some older relative pay for it? Did he make any good friends during his childhood? Any allied or enemies? How powerful are they? What can they do to the PC’s advantage/disadvantage? What does they represent to the PC? Does he despise them or does he follow their slightest bidding?

Appearance

Personality

Specific Traits

Generic Traits

Optimist, Pessimist, Curious, Inquisitive, Naive, Easy to fool, Suspicious, Cautious, Pedantic, Violent, Warlike, Perspicacious, Sagacious, Astute, Single-minded, Self-willed, Obstinate, Headstrong, Reluctant, Conservative, Whimsical, Capricious, Mischievous, Malicious, Willing to Help, Kind, Careful, Repugnant, Cruel, Insensible, Insinuating, Fanatic, Malignant

Personality

Modest, Abrupt, Blunt, Delicate, Egoist, Arrogant, Authoritative, Reticent, Eloquent, Diplomatic, Annoying, Vigorous, Braggart, Antagonistically, Insolent, Retiring, Reticent, Silent, Considerate, Tactful, Mysterious

Honesty

Scrupulous, Particular, Truthful, Liar, Honouring, Righteous, Deceitful, Treacherous

Temperament

Cheerful, Compassionate, Pitying, Sensitive, Humble, Light-hearted, Decent, Nice, Friendly, Gloomy, Depressing, Heartless, Callous, Proud, Conceited, Hot-tempered, Irascible, Strict, Self-possessed, Nervous

Disposition

Tender-hearted, Polite, Courteous, Hard-working, Industrious, Diligent, Lazy, Philosophical, Down-to-earth, Cold-blooded, Compassionate, Pitying, Jealous, Irreconcilable, Self-assured, Self-confident, Cocksure, Uncertain

Energy

Lazy-bones, Dullard, Energetic, Strenuous

Courage

Courageous, Brave, Cowardly, Foolhardy, Rash

Ethics

Aesthetic, Normal, Amoral, Sadistic, Virtuous, Perverse

Intellect

Slow, Cautious, Thinks deeply, Mediocre, Humourless

Saintliness

Religious, Pious, Moderate, Martyr, Disrespectful, Atheist

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19th of September 2007