In the Family

I wish this strip was pure fantasy. In one campaign I ran this actually happened. The guy knew his entire family’s backstory back five elven generations and they were one of the most important families in the world having discovered magic from dragons and founded cities. But when I asked him about his character’s backstory, the recent past of the PC he’d be playing, he had almost nothing. He wasn’t writing a backstory, he was building a world.

Right now I’m running a few Adventure Paths, so backstories are functionally irrelevant and do not factor into the adventure. But I do like mining backgrounds and character histories for ideas. There can be great adventure hooks in backgrounds, provided you don’t need to look back ten thousand years.