The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide

Bought it on a whim….

I enjoy role-playing games. Always have. Always will. I think it’s connected to enjoying having somewhere to go when my mind starts to wander. It started with AD&D 1st Edition, various Palladium incarnations, OS Marvel Superheroes, Star Frontiers, AD&D 2nd Edition, the Dark Suns campaign (vastly underrated), Unearthed Arcana (loved that rule book – felt like it spoke to me), Dragonlance (the main 6 books + Legend of Huma is enough for me – everything else is overdoing it), Battletech, Mechwarrior. The list goes on.

But you need friends who are interested and all of my friends have grown up and are doing grown up things. So I got away from it. But it’s recent resurgence in popularity (the monetizing makes me feel awkward – like when you’re parents divorce and your Dad is getting ready for a date that you know isn’t going to work because all he’s going to do is talk about role playing games and what silly thing his dog or kids did the other day – yes that was oddly specific and no, it does not relate to me it’s where my mind went when I gave it permission to wander and no where for it to go).

This has not stopped me from getting back into role playing games. Because now you’ve got so much to choose from and so many other enthusiasts coming out of the woodwork to show off the wicked awesome things they are coming up with. They don’t want you to pay – they want you to play. So far, I’ve come across one game that has got my attention and it deserves some serious love – Heroes of Adventure.

It has the best of everything and it’s so…. simple. And it’s free. I mean, I’ve been playing with it so much I haven’t even seen if they have a Patron, but if they do have one, I’ll throw them money if they keep creating awesome things like this.

The rules take minutes to understand. Takes a little more to make a character and get used to what abilities and skills they have. And then you’re off and playing. And what I’ve done is take it a little too far – I went and created a campaign world from scratch for it. It’s called Ervauses. I’m not done, but I will be in a few more weeks to so (aggravatingly slow but I’ve made my peace with it). I’m toying with the idea of tweaking it and adding some aspects of Cortex to it but I’m holding off. The system is just that perfect.

But all of that leads to the book I just bought – The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide.

I just saw it on a shelf while browsing at Indigo while my wife shopped. I didn’t even check the price. I flipped through the first few dozen pages and decided I needed it. Now, it does turn out that it’s available on Scribd – and I could return the book and just take it from there – but in this instance it’s wrong. I want to give this person my money so they don’t stop doing what they do.

Lots of tables and thought provoking ideas for when you are creating characters. Some of the stuff is pretty straightforward and a more experienced gamer might already have their own homebrew tables that do the same thing. And thirty or forty years ago, that might’ve been me building all kinds of tables and charts (I wish I learned Excel when I was younger – would have made all those charts so easy to build). But this book does all that work and has the added intangible sense that the person writing it really loves tabletop RPGs and I want to support that.

That’s it.

Two things.

An awesome new gaming system – Heroes of Adventure – and a great companion book – The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide. I highly recommend both.

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