D&D Backstories

  • So I'm about to embark on a new D&D campaign with a few friends, got around to the bit about creating the backstory for the character, and figured it'd be fun to see what everyone else has created for previous sessions. I imagine some of these will be lengthy reads which is perfect, the more detail the better!

    Name : Alabaster Lovelace
    Race : Human
    Class : Warlock
    Alignment : Chaotic Neutral
    Age : 52
    Backstory : Born of the Illuskan people, Alabaster lived a rather ordinary life, although he was always fascinated with reading as much as he possibly could. He married at the age of 25, to the love of his life, Lucille, and got a job at a university as a professor of higher learning. The university had a vast library, filled with all sorts of research documents and ancient tomes. One day, Alabaster stumbled upon a book that he had never seen before, bound in leather, with no title on the cover. Upon opening this tome, he was unable to read any of the script, but the name "Ebrietas" echoed in his mind, causing him to quickly close the book and take it along with him. The next few weeks were torturous; an unknown presence lingered in his mind, not allowing him to sleep and slowly driving him mad. He awoke one morning with a strange glyph imprinted on his wall. Upon examining it further, he was able to decipher a phrase, "Sacrifice her and you will have your life back." Although his love for her was eternal, he could no longer suffer in this fashion. After performing the deed as she slept, he quickly turned himself into the guard, admitting to his heinous act. While in jail, he became haunted by the voice of his dead wife, unable to distinguish if he was going insane or if she was truly communicating from beyond the grave. She requested they be together again and informed Alabaster of otherworldly magics that could make this possible. Alabaster performed a stunning jail break and set off to learn more about Ebrietas, to potentially destroy the tome that caused this curse or at least ensure no one else discovers it, and to make his wife whole once more.

  • I recently played a character who was a bard who was on the run from his bard college's loan sharks, being too poor to pay back his tuition. He had witnessed a battle between two supreme wizards as a child and some magical backlash imprinted itself on his skin. The school offered to call his tuition even if he let them skin him, he wasn't too thrilled with the idea. So he became an adventurer, partially to stay on the move, partially to try to earn enough money to buy his life back.

  • @Carmichael Yeah, I don't think I'd be too fond of someone skinning me either. I love bards (thanks to Pervince) but no one in our group has the heart to play one sadly.

  • Here are the 3 characters I am running right now.

    My first character ever, this is a West Marches campaign, more open ended sandbox than campaign. It let's us switch out characters and even players based on availability

    Name : Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast (shamelessly stole this name from my favorite series of detective novels
    Race : High Elf
    Class : Wizard (Illusion School)
    Alignment : Chaotic Good
    Age : 225
    Backstory : Pendergast was a detective before heading out to the West Marches, hearing there was a great need for help out there. It is odd that a noble, would go down the path of a private detective. At the age of 100, on the eve of his adulthood, it was revealed how his family came into so much wealth. They had created a farm of awakened trees, taking their sap, and using it as a magical cure-all. Disgusted with his family, he spent a year working in the family business, gathering evidence of his family's wrong doing and learning the skills of the detective trade from a close confidant. He became a whistleblower and destroyed the family in the process. He learned he loved helping people and became a detective, also learning the skills of illusion can be particularly helpful to create distractions when investigating.

    I love this backstory, because our party found awakened trees in one of our adventures and discovered they are in trouble from a miasma in the area. I am hoping we pick that group up again soon so I can take the party to help.

  • @Lexad Gotta love when a character's backstory completely applies to the task at hand.

  • My next character is also part of the West Marches. I rolled this one up when some new people joined the group and needed to be on an equal level with them. I have actually found I enjoy this more than my wizard

    Name : Grant "Yggdrassil' Mathis
    Race : Half Elf
    Class : Vengeance Paladin
    Alignment : Lawful Good
    Age : 35

    Grant's elf Father died in a goblin raid before he was born. He was raised by his mother until the age of 6, when she had a terrible illness. He lived in the streets until he was 12 and was old enough to join the military as a squire. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a Captain, with a squad of his own. He was led into a no win situation and was tricked, leading 200 of his men as well as a small town of women and children to their deaths. He was left for dead. A paladin by the name of Jude Holden, a servant of the god Torm found him on the battlefield and healed him. He spent the next two years, being trained in the path of vengeance by Jude. Before being sent by Jude to the West Marches as his final test, Grant and Jude found the leader that led to the death of his men, and executed him for his crimes against humanity. Jude took the man's ring and now fiddles with it when he is struggling with a decision.

    @SabotageTheTruth , I had a framework of the magical cureall and the family being corrupt in my background. My DM let me slightly retcon my history after we found the Awakened Trees.

  • @SabotageTheTruth said in D&D Backstories:

    @Carmichael Yeah, I don't think I'd be too fond of someone skinning me either. I love bards (thanks to Pervince) but no one in our group has the heart to play one sadly.

    My final character is for a weekly campaign I just started, using the Lost Mines of Phandelver.

    Name : Van Lawliet
    Race : Half-Elf
    Class : Bard (1) Warlock (2)
    Alignment : Chaotic Good
    Age : 25

    I just realized that Van is the exact opposite of Grant in terms of parentage and being raised.

    Van's father was an elf merchant, his mother a human. Mother died in childbirth, and was raised by his father. He and his father loved each other deeply and Van led a privileged life. His father unfortunately crossed the local mafia-like org. and was killed for not paying for protection. He took his mother's maiden name to hide from the mafia, living in fear they would want to kill him like his father.

    Van ran to another city to get away from the mafia and lived an as urchin from the age of 8. He was found a year later by a traveling bard by the name of Alban Pentegast. A half-elf like himself, Van found not only a mentor, but a father figure. Van was taught in the ways of entertainment, music, and working the crowds. Van convinced Alban to let him pickpocket the crowds as well when times were tough, using Alban's performances as a distraction.

    The two joined a traveling troupe (Corellan's Call) for several years, becoming a part of their community. He learned to weave magic into his music from the other troupe members. Van has recently felt he needs to do something more with his life. While he has learned to live the meager life of a performer, he still remembers the wealth from his youth and wants to see if he can ever reach those heights again. He figured, why not adventuring, should be easy enough.

    This has been an interesting character to play and I am still figuring out how to RP him. He started off as a bit of coward, his first action in the game running away from Goblins and blindly shooting a crossbow at one, killing it with his eyes closed. He got a little more brave when we were fighting against red brands, as they reminded him of the thugs who killed his father, extorting the local economy. Then he faced Zombies and a Nothric, becoming terrified again. He was knocked out by the Nothric, and while passed out, unknowingly entered a pact with the Archfey Dahm, the god of music. He was freaking out through the battle pleaing to live and he just wants to play music, which Dahm has now allowed for him to do.

    I dipped two levels into the Warlock and will soon go back into Bard. I wanted the ability for Van to be playing his lute in combat while forming eldritch blasts from his lute to fire at people. Since he is a level 2 warlock now, I get the charisma bonus so it is now better than a crossbow, and can also use Silent Image as many times as he wants throughout the day. On top of that, having 2 recharging level 1 spell slots on a short rest will be fantastic for healing and support.

    It was great roleplaying this because Van suddenly became much more bold and a leader after the pact. He didn't follow any particular god, but now he knows he has a god on his side, so what does he have to fear. The rest of the party was really confused about the change in character and it was fun explaining the thought process.

    Sorry for posting so much. I only started playing D&D back in November or so. I really like putting effort into the backstories. My buddy who runs the West Marches campaign says he wishes the others in our group put the effort into their backstories. I am still working out the kinks of the actual roleplaying, but I love writing the backstories.

  • @Lexad I've only played as warlocks and paladins and all I gotta say is... there is no life better than warlock life. I almost thought you tied together the backstories of your characters since there's the Pendergast/Pentegast thing going on.

  • @SabotageTheTruth Yeah, the Penteghast was a little on the nose but I liked the name.

    I am really liking that as a level 3 character, i have 2 Bard spellslots that regenerate on a long rest, and 2 warlock spell slots that regenerate on a short rest. That is going to be incredibly handy. Yes, I am missing out on level 2 spells for a bit, but I am getting some great utility, plus the unlimited silent image is going to be awesome using it like a cantrip

  • @Lexad We started yesterday at level 3, so I was able to use invisibility, disguise self, and awakened mind to some frightening degrees. I've literally created multiple personas already that find reasons to leave and come back (a la Mrs. Doubtfire) but it's a hell of a lot of fun.

  • @SabotageTheTruth said in D&D Backstories:

    @Lexad We started yesterday at level 3, so I was able to use invisibility, disguise self, and awakened mind to some frightening degrees. I've literally created multiple personas already that find reasons to leave and come back (a la Mrs. Doubtfire) but it's a hell of a lot of fun.

    Also just caught Ebrietas in your description.
    alt text

    That is a terrifying patron to have.

    I named my familiar on my wizard Rom. He is an eagle.

  • @Lexad Rom isn't a vacuous spider?

  • @SabotageTheTruth said in D&D Backstories:

    @Lexad Rom isn't a vacuous spider?

    Unfortunately not. I just liked the name a lot.

    Having an eagle familiar is S-Tier when scouting with the perception. And my DM is letting me have Rom swoop in on an enemy I am attacking to get advantage on attack rolls.

  • @Lexad Not bad at all! I really wanted to go the familiar route (especially seeing all the shenanigans Ian is getting into with his cat) but I couldn't pass up getting to hold onto a Book of Shadows.

  • You can also have the familiar go into a pocket dimension and then pop up behind a locked door for additional scouting.