How to create rules for background elements like species, ancestry, lineage, heritage, and/or race for characters.

Background is a generic term that encompasses elements of a character's identity such as species, ancestry, lineage, heritage, and/or race. Not all settings need to support character backgrounds. For settings that do, backgrounds can be easily supported by labeling a character skill set as a character's background.

Creating Backgrounds

Character elements that can be used to support backgrounds include:

  • Skills: If a particular background is strongly associated with particular skills, create a skill set and skills that best represent the related background.

  • Boosts: Use boosts to support any special characteristics or traits. Boosts can be used to support innate racial abilities like "Magical Resistance" or "Darkvision", or cultural benefits like "Drives a Hard Bargain".

  • Hooks: Use hooks to add elements of a character's background that are relevant to the story. Hooks can be used to capture intense rivalry or other tensions between races or cultures such as "Sworn Enemy of Orcs".

  • Gear: Use gear to introduce armor, weapons or other items that may be significant or distinctive to a race or culture. Specialized gear can be used for unique animal companions, or advanced technologies, or to allow a character to possess a prized family artifact.

The group should discuss character backgrounds during Session Zero, and how character backgrounds affect the number of starting skill sets allowed during Character Creation.

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