How much back story do you like to have for your characters or for characters in game you run?
I get the opinion from many old school blogs that back story only comes up if the characters survive. The proverbial "you meet an Inn" as if the characters were born there fully formed. In other games I play back story is more important. Even with the same group of players I see differences depending on the game played.
Starting on my My Back to Basics posting, I wanted to get some basic ideas where the players want their characters to come from.
So I talked to my boys today about it, about their characters and how sometimes the greatest heroes start out as small. So here is what my oldest came up with.
His characaters (I am lettting them play two each) are Dragonborn brothers that grew up on an orphanage/farm. Farming is not considered to be a good choice for a dragonborn (even though they are raising giant boars) so the lowest members of society are left with the chore. Dragonborn are used hunting their food, but they see the need for farmed food as well. So farms are a bit of a necessary evil, but these farms are not easy work.
Liam's characters are dragonborn brothers working on this farm. They don't know, at least not yet, that their father was a great adventurer who did from "Dragonitis".
I thought this was rather cool. AND it shows why I am loathe to indrisciminantly kill characters. Could you have imaged a movie or book where you follow the hero for a bit only to have him die in the third scene/chapter only to die and have him replaced by another character. The movie was named after Indiana Jones, not Sapito.
How much do you know about your characters before the game starts? Or is your character just a collection of numbers to you or do you figure it out as you go along?