Tag: Roll Tables
Creating a compelling character backstory is an essential part of the tabletop role-playing experience. A well-crafted backstory not only provides depth to your character but also serves as a springboard for role-playing and helps guide your character’s actions and motivations throughout the campaign. With that in mind, I’ve created a rollable table of 10 backstory prompts that can inspire you to craft a unique and engaging history for your next character.
How to Use the Backstory Prompts Table
The table below is designed to be simple and easy to use. All you need is a ten-sided die (or an online dice roller) to roll a random number between 1 and 10. Match the number you roll with the corresponding backstory prompt in the table. Feel free to use the prompt as-is or modify it to suit your character concept better. You can also combine multiple prompts or pick and choose elements from different prompts to create a truly unique backstory.
|1||Your character discovered a hidden talent for magic after a chance encounter with a wandering mage.|
|2||After a traumatic event, your character vowed to protect the innocent and bring justice to wrongdoers.|
|3||Your character was once a member of a notorious criminal gang, but left seeking redemption.|
|4||Ancient ruins near your character’s childhood home sparked a lifelong passion for history and exploration.|
|5||Your character learned their combat skills from a mysterious mentor with a hidden past.|
|6||A prophetic dream led your character on a quest to discover their true destiny and purpose.|
|7||Your character was orphaned at a young age and raised by a kindly stranger with a curious secret.|
|8||A mystical artifact found by your character unlocked their latent powers and changed their life forever.|
|9||Your character is the last in a long line of heroes, charged with carrying on their family’s legacy.|
|10||A close encounter with death gave your character newfound appreciation for life and its mysteries.|
Tips for Crafting a Memorable Backstory
Once you’ve rolled your prompt, here are a few tips to help you flesh out your character’s backstory:
- Keep it concise: Aim for a backstory that can be summarized in a few paragraphs. A concise backstory is easier for both you and your fellow players to remember and can be expanded upon during gameplay.
- Incorporate your character’s class and race: Tie your character’s class and race into their backstory to create a seamless connection between their origins and their adventuring career.
- Include hooks for the DM: Add elements to your backstory that can serve as plot hooks for the Dungeon Master (DM) to weave into the campaign narrative. This can help make your character an integral part of the story.
- Consider your character’s motivations: Think about what drives your character to adventure. Are they seeking fame, fortune, redemption, or something else entirely? Your character’s motivations can help inform their actions during the game.
- Develop relationships: Establish connections to other characters, whether they are fellow party members, NPCs, or even adversaries. These relationships can add depth to your character and provide opportunities for interesting role-playing.
Let’s randomly choose a prompt from the table by rolling a ten-sided die. I got a 7, which corresponds to this prompt:
“Your character was orphaned at a young age and raised by a kindly stranger with a curious secret.”
Now, let’s craft an example backstory using this prompt:
Kael Silverleaf, a wood elf ranger, never knew his birth parents. As an infant, he was found in the wreckage of a small village, which had been attacked by a band of marauding orcs. The only survivor, Kael was discovered by an old, reclusive human hermit named Eldon.
Eldon, a retired adventurer with a curious secret, decided to raise Kael in his secluded forest home. He taught the young elf the art of tracking, hunting, and survival. Kael learned to live off the land and developed a deep connection with nature, thanks to Eldon’s tutelage.
As Kael grew older, he began to notice that Eldon had an unusual affinity for the arcane arts. Eldon was once a powerful wizard, but he had renounced his former life after a magical experiment went horribly wrong, costing the lives of his closest friends. Swearing off magic, Eldon retreated to the forest to live a life of solitude and atonement.
Kael respected Eldon’s decision but couldn’t help being fascinated by the glimpses of arcane power he occasionally witnessed. On rare occasions, Eldon would share stories of his adventures, and Kael became inspired by the tales of heroism and camaraderie. Despite his magical curiosity, Kael chose to hone his skills as a ranger, focusing on archery and stealth.
On the eve of his 100th birthday, Kael received a mysterious letter addressed to Eldon. The letter, written in an ancient script, contained ominous news. A dark force was awakening in the world, and Eldon’s past was somehow connected to this looming threat.
Determined to protect his adoptive father and unravel the mystery behind the letter, Kael set out on a journey to uncover the truth. Armed with his bow, his wilderness skills, and a burning desire to safeguard the world from this unknown danger, Kael ventured into the unknown, prepared to face whatever challenges lay ahead.
This example backstory uses the rolled prompt and incorporates elements such as character motivation, class and race, relationships, and hooks for the DM. This character’s history is concise, engaging, and leaves room for future development during gameplay.
With these tips and the rollable table of backstory prompts, you’re well on your way to creating an engaging and memorable character for your next tabletop role-playing game. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and let your imagination run wild. Have fun and roll some dice!
Every Dungeons & Dragons campaign thrives on engaging and creative storylines. As a Dungeon Master, it’s your responsibility to keep the players immersed in your world with captivating adventures and unexpected twists. Rumors and plot hooks can be a fantastic way to introduce new challenges, quests, or mysteries for the characters to explore. To help you keep your campaign fresh and exciting, I’ve put together a rollable table featuring 10 thought-provoking rumors and plot hooks that can be easily integrated into your game.
The Rollable Table: 10 Rumors & Plot Hooks
Roll 1d10 to determine the rumor or plot hook the characters come across:
|1||A riddle-obsessed creature guards an enchanted sword deep within an ancient, overgrown forest.|
|2||Strange lights and eerie sounds emanate from an abandoned tower on a remote island.|
|3||Cursed bandits hide in nearby hills, hoarding a stolen, valuable artifact in their lair.|
|4||A ghostly ship appears every full moon, rumored to hold a long-dead pirate king’s treasure.|
|5||A notorious thief has been stealing magical items, with a large reward offered for their capture.|
|6||Bizarre crop patterns and agitated livestock fuel local beliefs in malevolent spirits.|
|7||A child’s invisible friend shares knowledge of a hidden, underground city filled with wonders and dangers.|
|8||An old journal hints at the location of a mysterious fountain that grants eternal youth.|
|9||An ancient religious relic lies hidden within a well-guarded fortress in a treacherous mountain pass.|
|10||Gruesome, blood-drained murders lead to whispers of a vampire residing in an abandoned manor.|
The rollable table provides a great starting point for Dungeon Masters to build engaging quests and storylines. Here are some recommendations on how to expand on these ideas and adapt them to your campaign:
Incorporate player backstories: Tie the rumors and plot hooks to the characters’ personal histories, goals, or relationships to create a deeper connection between the players and the story, and encourage role-playing and character development.
Customize the adventure to your setting: Adapt the rumors and plot hooks to fit the unique aspects of your campaign world, such as the geography, history, politics, and culture. This creates a more immersive and cohesive experience for the players.
Combine multiple hooks: Merge two or more rumors or plot hooks from the table to create a more intricate and layered storyline. This can lead to a richer narrative experience and keep the players engaged for a longer period.
And most importantly – have fun and roll some dice!
If you’re a game master or dungeon master, you know how important it is to create compelling non-player characters (NPCs) to populate your game world. But sometimes it can be tough to come up with interesting quirks and traits that make your NPCs stand out. That’s where a rollable table can come in handy!
I’ve created a rollable table of 20 NPC quirks that you can use to add some personality and flavor to your game world. Simply roll a d20 (a 20-sided die) to determine which quirk your NPC possesses.
I hope this rollable table of NPC quirks will spark your creativity and add some fun to your next adventure!
|1||Speaks in an overly formal or archaic manner.|
|2||Has a nervous tic or habit, such as tapping their foot or twirling their hair.|
|3||Obsessed with cleanliness and is constantly wiping down surfaces.|
|4||Forgetful and frequently loses or forgets important items.|
|5||Has an unusual hobby or interest, such as collecting stamps or studying obscure historical events.|
|6||Extremely superstitious and believes in all sorts of omens and signs.|
|7||Talks to themselves or has imaginary conversations with people who aren’t there.|
|8||Is always humming or singing a particular tune.|
|9||Has a distinctive physical trait, such as a scar or a birthmark.|
|10||Extremely indecisive and has trouble making even minor choices.|
|11||Is a hypochondriac and is constantly convinced they have some sort of ailment or illness.|
|12||Overly competitive and always has to be the best at everything.|
|13||Is a compulsive liar and frequently exaggerates or outright fabricates stories.|
|14||Is incredibly gullible and will believe just about anything they’re told.|
|15||Is fiercely independent and refuses to ask for help or accept assistance from others.|
|16||Has a particular fear or phobia, such as heights or spiders.|
|17||Is a chatterbox and loves to talk, often rambling on and on about nothing in particular.|
|18||Is always on the lookout for a bargain and will haggle over even the smallest amounts of money.|
|19||Has a strange or unusual pet that they dote on and talk about constantly.|
|20||Is a hopeless romantic and is always seeking out their perfect match, even if it means going to great lengths to find them.|
|1||Flame Kiss Dagger||This +1 dagger deals an additional 1d6 fire damage on a hit. The blade is hot to the touch, but the wielder is immune to the heat|
|2||Boots of Leaping||These boots grant the wearer advantage on Acrobatics checks and allow them to make standing jumps up to twice their normal distance|
|3||Gloves of Spider Climb||These gloves allow the wearer to climb vertical surfaces or ceilings as if under the effects of the Spider Climb spell for up to 10 minutes per day|
|4||Crystal of Elemental Binding||This small crystal can be used to summon a tiny elemental creature of the corresponding element (air, earth, fire, or water) for 1 minute per day. The creature is friendly to the user, but will not obey complex commands|
|5||Soul Shard||This small shard of obsidian can be used to trap the soul of a defeated enemy. If the enemy is of equal or lower level than the user, the user can choose to summon the trapped soul to aid them in battle for up to 1 minute per day|
|6||Wand of the Magi||This wand has 3 charges, and regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. The user can spend 1 charge to cast the Magic Missile spell, 2 charges to cast Scorching Ray, or 3 charges to cast Fireball|
|7||Vial of Enchanted Water||This vial of water is infused with powerful enchantments. When the user drinks the water, they gain advantage on their next attack roll, saving throw, or ability check within the next hour.|
|8||Cape of the Bat||This magical cape allows the user to transform into a bat for up to 10 minutes per day. While in bat form, the user gains the ability to fly and can squeeze through tight spaces|
|9||Mask of Invisibility||This mask allows the user to become invisible for up to 1 minute per day. While invisible, the user gains advantage on Stealth checks|
|0||Staff of Thunderbolts||This +1 quarterstaff has 3 charges and regains 1d3 expended charges daily at dawn. The user can spend 1 charge to cast Thunderwave, 2 charges to cast Shatter, or 3 charges to cast Lightning Bolt|
Have fun and roll some dice!