Monday, February 14, 2011

Character Backgrounds: My Stunned Silence

Kevril's Character Sheet.
So yeah I do give my players crap all the time, or I write about the crap I would like them to experience from me. So when I wrote Part I of Getting my players background is no easy task I was surprised today on actually getting a post on my groups Facebook page for his characters background. It was two posts actually, here is the first one.

OK Frank...i know you've "blogged" about how none or few of us have provided a background for our D&D characters. I also know you created a minor one for me...I took it, editted it and added to it. I hope you enjoy it...
Now at first I was worried, when I started up my Star Wars Saga Edition game the same player pulled a fast one on me. For years he has made up these character ideas with screwy names and when he made his character he used his cadre of characters and put them into his background as kind of funny jab at me. Was I going to get the same here?

First I have to say, this guy deserves props, (all my friends personal lives are jam packed with work and/or kids, except for the Twins they have it easy.) He is a police officer for one of the local towns, (One of three in the group in law enforcement) he is married with three kids. Getting him to do things with us is a monumental undertaking that would win him gymnastic awards with all that he does to try and hang with us. For the rest of my group do not take this as me belitteling you, seriously we all know its hard for him to do things with us.

So its with this and my past experience with his "backgrounds" and his sense of humor I felt I might get a jab at me for my talking a bit of trash for not getting a background when "I" wanted it. Really the not getting it wont kill the game I just will do what I normally do and creat things for them and they tend to like it, anyway. What I got from him... I made me happy, it was a good read and I was impressed. He has a great imagination and usually has a great storytelling ability I envy.

Kevril Shieldheart is the Defender of the Flame Imperishable.

Kevril was born to parents Roman and Dalia Shieldheart in the waning days of the Empire. The eldest of three children born to the Shieldhearts, Kevril took his role and place in the family hierarchy seriously. Never one to shy away from chores, duties or family obligations, Kevril grew into a stout young boy with a grim disposition. Kevril and his two younger brothers Kadron and Brax all worked hard assisting their father run the blacksmith shop outside the small farming community they resided near.

While folding iron and hammering steel, Roman would regale his boys with daring tales of courage and stalwartness enacted by the Knights of Nerath, Defenders of the Empire; the men and women who spread the light into the darkness and drove back the hordes of the “Ruler of Ruin”. While the two younger boys would quickly lose interest in the stories, believing them to be exaggerated accounts at best , Kevril would hang on everyone word.

In between the stories of knightly deeds, Roman would impress upon his growing lads that no person deserves to be oppressed and all should enjoy the freedom that the Empire of Nerath provided its citizens. “Give light to those who are in darkness and drive back the evil who would spread the veil of darkness across the world”, Roman would quote.

Those words struck a chord in Kevril’s soul in the same way the hammer rings would rattle his bones each time they struck. He vowed to himself that one day he would be the beacon of light and freedom shining hope on the down-trodden and forlorn. Knowing he did not possess the birthright of a cavalier or the spiritual calling of a paladin, Kevril instead committed himself to become the one thing he felt brought purpose to his life…the calling of the Knighthood.

Knowing the determination and hard-working spirit Kevril had seemingly been born with, Roman knew there would be no swaying his son from his course of action. Upon Kevril’s 17th birthday, a tearful Roman gave his eldest son his blessing to seek his way in the world. On a chill, autumn night with the coals of the blacksmith fire burning brightly Roman pulled a large broad sword from a thick, wooden chest hidden away under a tool bench. The aging smith, with his strong, callused hands presented Kevril the weapon. In his gravelly voice, Roman the blade had been forged decades before and carried into countless battles by Kevril’s great-grandfather Graydon, a Knight of Nerath during the height of the Empire.

So with his family heirloom at his side, Kevril journeyed to join the ranks of the Knights of Nerath. He was disappointed to find Empire he had heard and dreamed so much about defending was in fact, no more. He found few members of the Knighthood even remained. Learning all he could from the knight’s remnants, Kevril once again set out. What he found this time, was even more discouraging. He found very little hope in the land but a seemingly increasing darkness creeping in from all sides.

Kevril is not on a fool’s errand, and he understands the Empire is no more. He sees darkness is everywhere and realizes he must be diligent and strive to empower those who have it within themselves to help drive back the darkness. For those who are unable, Kevril stands at the ready sword in hand. He has joined with a group of adventurers who appear to have likely goals. Kevril’s hope is that they up to the task of restoring the Empire.
I sat there stunned and I knew I had to write about this once I let it sink in. Because initially I could not think of anything other than wow! (and not the MMO)

He took what I wrote and expanded upon it so much. I need to print this, frame it and have it buried with me when I die. I am not looking for this much detail from my players, and not knocking them at all I don't expect them to go this much into detail though I know they can. For one thing I do not think they believe I will continue this game, seriously I was asked by the DM of our 3.5 game if I intended to run this beyond the original one-shot and I said, "Yes as long as everyone enjoys it that is my plan." to be honest that was my intention with Star Wars but I kind of let things get out of hand.

When I look at the limited information I gave him with my brief background he nailed it with his characters origins and peppered in some of the detail bits I put in the original brief background for him. All DM's would be honored to have this guy as a player in their groups.

Sorry I am gushing, he is a pain to DM for since he thinks like a Dwarf and steals like a Halfling Theif even when playing a human.

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About Me

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I am Regional Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region for D&D Adventurers League. Worked for Best Buy as a Project Team Specialist were I did store remodels, support Vendor displays and set merchandising standards for the stores in the Chicago market. He also enjoys playing games (PC, Console, Board Games, RPGs and Miniature Skirmish Games), reading, watching movies and listening to music.