Character Background

When you look at a completed character, you will notice there are still many unanswered questions: Who were the character's parents? Are they still alive? Does the character have brothers and sisters? Where was he born? Does he have any notable friends or enemies? Are his parents wealthy or are they poor? Does he have a family home? Is he an outcast? Is he civilized and cultured, or barbaric and primitive? In short, just how does this character fit into the campaign world?

There are no rules to answer these questions. The Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide are designed to help you unlock your imagination. The AD&DŽ rules do not presume to tell you exactly what your campaign world will be like. These decisions are left to you.

Consider what would happen if the rules dictated answers to the questions above. For example, suppose the rules said that 50% of all characters come from primitive, barbaric backgrounds...and you're running a campaign set in a huge, sophisticated city (the New Rome of your world). Even more ridiculous would be the reverse, where the rules say 50% of the characters are city dwellers and your campaign is set in a barbaric wilderness. Or how would you explain things if 20% of all characters were seafarers and you had set your adventures in the heart of a desert larger than the Sahara?

These pages contain guidelines and advice about how to create a campaign, but there is nothing that says exactly where this campaign must be set or what it must be like. This does not mean that a character's background shouldn't be developed--such background adds a lot to the depth and role-playing of your players and their characters. However, it is up to you to tailor character backgrounds to the needs of your campaign.

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