Enchanted Realms Rulebook
The player character is defined by much more than a species and some skills. He or she is a person, an individual, with goals, interests, concerns, fears, family and relationships. From performing the cultural upbringing, the player has probably began to get a feel for who this character is. This final step defines one’s personality, which is just as important as those attribute scores.
Defining physical aspects such as gender, height and weight have likely been determined by this point; however, if not, this would be the time to fill in those details. Physical descriptions such as skin color, hair color, eye color can and should be added at this time as well. Things like scars, tattoos or the description of an usual gate are nice details as well.
The following two subsections will help define the history of the character. There is a Background Tool that can be used on the website to assist.
In the game, a player is pretending to be another person, living in another world, which is governed by different physics. To have a sense of what decisions to make, it is important to understand the motivation and influences of this character.
Having defined the cultural skills obtained to date, some of that history has been declared. Now is the time to detail those other parts of the entity’s backstory. The skills gained from childhood and early adulthood… how were they obtained. Was the character an apprentice? Perhaps he or she belonged to a merchant family. When noting on the character sheet the backstory, write as much detail as desired, but a five-page novella is not really necessary. Sometimes just a few words or a sentence can suffice, such as “Criminal, living on the streets of Agmorath, ratted out by who he thought were his friends.” The other details about the past will be captured when documenting the character’s personality.
After thinking about the character’s backstory and how that influences who that character is today, a few key notes should be made, perhaps just a short sentence for the following categories.
Characteristics: This is a general statement of a noticeable personality behavior. It could be “I am very intolerant of those who have a different faith” or “I am a hopeless romantic but fall in and out of love quickly.”
Examples: • I idolize a particular hero of my faith and constantly refer to that person's deeds and example. • I can find common ground between the fiercest enemies, empathizing with them and always working toward peace. • Nothing can shake my optimistic attitude. • I don't mince words and get straight to the point. • I fall in and out of love easily, and am always pursuing someone. • Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want. • I would rather make a new friend than a new enemy. • The first thing I do in a new place is note the locations of everything valuable--or where such things could be hidden. • I make playfully romantic or sexual overtures, My behaviour is intended to arouse sexual interest. • If someone is in trouble, I'm always willing to lend help. • Thinking is for other people. I prefer action. • I judge people by their actions, not their words.
Ethics: This is the goal or the hope of how the character would live in a perfect world. It is the inspiration that drives the character’s behavior. One example is “I aspire to prove myself worthy to my family.” Another is “I am greedy and just in this for the bounty.”
Examples: • Creativity. The world is in need of new ideas and bold action. • Honesty. Art should reflect the soul; it should come from within and reveal who we really are. • Fairness. No one should get preferential treatment before the law, and no one is above the law. • Freedom. Tyrants must not be allowed to oppress the people. • Discovery. My heart is to explore, uncover mysteries, and pioneer. • Love. I seek to experience affection and emotional commitment, whether romantic or platonic. • People. I'm committed to the people I care about, not to ideals. • Greater Good. My gifts are meant to be shared with all, not used for my own benefit. • Logic. Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking. • Power. Solitude and contemplation are paths toward mystical or magical power. • Family. Blood runs thicker than water.
Inspiration: A character’s inspiration is what is important to him; that for which he or she would sacrifice. This could be a person, a group of friends, a relative or even tangible objects. It might be “the workshop where I learned my trade” or “my mother means the world to me.”
Examples: • I want to be famous, whatever it takes. • I seek profits for both personal and public advancement. • An injury to the unspoiled wilderness of my home is an injury to me. • I have an ancient text that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands. • I'm loyal to the captain first, everything else second. • My honor is my life. • Those who fight beside me are those worth dying for. • I fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. • I am in love with the heir of a family that my family despises.
Flaws: Finally, it is important to have at least one character-flaw. These are weaknesses which could undermine the character. Some might be obvious like “I am a binge drinker,” while others might be secretive like “I can’t help but pilfer a little from the share.”
Examples: • I'm an absent-minded type who has difficulty concentrating on things not involving the current task. If no engaging task or topic presents itself, my attention will drift to more interesting matters within five minutes, tending to ignore immediate surroundings. • I judge others harshly and myself even more severely. • I am either near-sighted or far-sighted, in all forms of vision. This may alter Perception checks as the GM deems relevant. • I place too much trust in those who wield power within the worshiped temple's hierarchy. • I am quite inflexible in my thinking. • I like to push people around whenever avoiding consequences. This might take the form of physical attacks, intellectual harassment, or defining the pecking order. • I am unable to keep a secret but self-deceivingly think I can. • I am chauvinistic but can't resist a pretty face. • I am merciless, if not cruel, having a very difficult time deciphering others’ emotions other than how to manipulate them. I truly don’t care about the feelings or pain of others. • I totally miss the point of any wit aimed at me, and I am oblivious to attempts of non-magical seduction. The meanings of colloquial expressions escape me. • I have charitable empathy and am acutely aware of others’ emotions. As a result I feel compelled to help those nearby in unreasonable ways – even legitimate enemies. • Compulsive behavior consumes me. I have a habit – often a vice – that wastes a good deal of time or money. I must indulge this routinely, if at all possible, and do so any time the opportunity permits. • I am very prideful and have great difficulty asking for help. • I believe something delusional that simply is not true. This may cause others to consider me insane. And they may be right! • Suffering from self-loathing due to this trait, I will run and preserve one’s own hide if the going gets tough. • As a secret in my past, an innocent person is in prison for a crime I committed; moreover, I have little empathy to that fact. • There is a scandal which prevents me from ever returning home. That kind of trouble seems to follow me around. • The character suffers from depression and a lack of enjoyment in life. Occasional suicidal thoughts have to be managed. • I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue often finds trouble. • My voice is naturally unpleasant or artificial-sounding. This can impact social interactions by the arbitration of the GM. • I have a weakness for the vices of the city, especially hard drink. • I would risk too much to uncover a lost bit of knowledge. • I enjoy and seek out being with others, even at personal cost, but I am unhappy, distracted, perhaps even miserable, when alone. • I have difficulty controlling my impulses and am prone to lose emotional control in stressful situations. • I have a phobia that that compels me to keep a certain, minimum distance from a particular item or substance. When too close, I am unable to take actions other than self-preservation until beyond the range of being affected by the phobia. • Body language betrays my true intentions. When attempting to lie or bluff, my face or stance tends to give the game away. • I am overly fond of good food and drink. Given the chance, I will be burdened with extra provisions. I would never willingly miss a meal. • I am greedy, lusting for wealth. I find it difficult to resist when riches are offered – as payment for fair work, gains from adventure, spoils of crime, or just bait. • I have a guilt complex such that I feel personally responsible for those who play a significant role in my life. • I suffer from gullibility, believing much of everything heard. I will swallow even the most ridiculous story, if it’s told with conviction. • I am power-hungry and would kill to acquire a title or position of authority. • I love the vices of the city, especially prostitutes. • Jealousy consumes me, which causes me to react poorly toward those who seem smarter, more attractive, or better off. This leads to a general resistance of plans proposed by a “rival.” Further I hate it if another is in the limelight. • I am such an egomaniac that I believe I am far more powerful, intelligent, or competent than in reality. I could be either boastful or just quietly determined. • I may have serious trust issues, even to a point where it is believed that everyone is plotting that person. I never rely on anyone except old friends… and even those have to be questioned from time to time. • I may have a bit of pyromania, enjoying watching fires and setting fires too. • I am truly uncomfortable around strangers and tends to be quiet even among friends. This may have an impact on social interactions. • I have a weakness for the vices of the city, especially gambling. • I need to win arguments, which overshadows friendships and harmony. • I am highly submissive, having no initiative and becoming confused and ineffectual without a “master” to give orders. • I am rather pigheaded, always wanting my own way. This makes me generally difficult to get along with. • I am a trickster who craves the excitement of outwitting dangerous foes. This is not ordinary practical joking. Playing simple tricks on innocent or harmless folk is no fun at all – it has to be perilous!