Page 858 - Massed From the Past

19th Jan 2017, 6:00 AM
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Massed From the Past
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Newbiespud 19th Jan 2017, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Story Time! Any stories about character backstory NPCs?

27 Comments:

Digo Dragon 19th Jan 2017, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In a Shadowrun campaign, one PC (Keith) wrote into his backstory that his daughter (Miriam) had run away from home. It was part of a series of events where his life fell apart and he turned to the shadows. Many, many sessions into the campaign, it was revealed that this one young Johnson that the party had been working with several times was in fact the player's long lost daughter.

They didn't recognize each other because they both had cosmetic surgery to change their appearances. It wasn't until the PC's ex-wife (Naomi) came to see him during a Johnson meeting that everything clicked together. Literally this happened:

Keith: "It's good to see you again, Naomi."
Johnson: "MOM?!"
Keith: "Mom?"
Naomi: "Miriam?"
Johnson: "Keith?!"
Hugo: "Brad!"
Rydia: "Janet!"
Henry: "Doctor Scott!"
Danny: "Rocky!"
Snowfire: "Bullwinkle!"

I swear it took a good 20 minutes for everyone to regain their composure from that laugh. That was a moment where a movie quote fit just too darn well.
Super_Big_Mac 19th Jan 2017, 7:37 AM edit delete reply
Super_Big_Mac
So I'd put it in my character's background that he'd killed his fiance while on duty as a hidden bodyguard (long story shortish: A bleeding-heart benevolent Lord had come to argue for more protection along dangerous country roads for farmers and traders, and had in fact left his entire century of guards sprawled out along his route).

An assassin shows up, and we duke it out in the shadowy rafters backstage while the Lord is on stage. I kill the assassin, but oh no, turns out it's my fiance.

A few months later down the line, and we're in an Aboleth's lair, having just slain the monster, and oh look, inside that swirling portal's a rather familiar assassin. My character almost died after I failed a (self given) Will Save and ran into the portal, rather than just standing there dumbstruck like the GM had expected.

We ended up Raising her later, and she joined the party, but I almost stupidly tried to solo a Doppelganger Boss pretending to be my long-lost girlfriend.
Digo Dragon 19th Jan 2017, 9:21 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wow, back from the dead and still by your side? Yeah, she's a keeper. :3

Your story reminds me a little of a mercenary I had in a d20 Modern adventure. In his background he was US Army and while stationed partway around the world fell for a nice local gal. The tragedy was that his unit got into a drunken brawl off duty and he had accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend (meant to hit someone else, missed).

Kicked out of the Army, served some jail time, and ever since he's had this guilt that manifested occasionally as visions of his late girlfriend whenever he was in large crowds. The GM used that bit once in a while to make my life "interesting".
Super_Big_Mac 20th Jan 2017, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Super_Big_Mac
Yeah, before she joined up (which was, in fact, AFTER we got TPK'd by the Witch being bitchy in the "It's what my character needs to do" way), every time I was in a position to kill an enemy with their face obscured, I had to roll a Will Save. If I failed it, I could still kill them, but I'd be Shaken for one round. If I crit-failed, I'd stumble, and incur whatever AOOs were possible against me.



For my new character (set at least 3k years in the future from the last campaign), I'm playing a more... "realistic" take on D.Va from Overwatch. I'm a video game loving/playing soldier who gets to wear a super special Suit to fight as part of the elite Gestalt Team. My Suit is a Swashbuckler-Dragon Disciple Sorceress set, its HUD is built like a video game's, and I get an "Objectives/Quest List" instead of mission briefs.

All the same, my character completely understands that she's a soldier, and has full on training as one. And all people are Commoners; The Suits have taken over as what allows us to be all the different jobs. Even Civilians wear Civ-Suits.
Freemage 19th Jan 2017, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
I ran a Witch Hunter: The Invisible World campaign (think horror/pulp/historical colonial period). Each of the PCs got one session where their backstories came up.

In the case of the party's spellcaster, her vampiric sister (whom she thought she had destroyed) came back in disguise to seduce the spellcaster's fiance in order to destroy them both. They got really freaked out when they learned that the sister's minion-vampires all took on the form of the spellcaster herself. The fiance suddenly found himself surrounded by a horde of his lady-love, all hungering for his blood.

Good times....
spudwalt 19th Jan 2017, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
In the 5e game I'm running, I had everyone roll for a random trinket from the table in the PHB. My sister's halfling rogue gets something along the lines of "a needle that never bends from an admirer", so I figured I'd write in said admirer as this wandering halfling bard who just kind of follows her character around.

A few sessions in, they get back from fighting some goblins or something and he's sitting at a table in the inn. Her immediate reaction is to hide behind the largest party member, sneak upstairs, attempt to climb out a window, roll a natural 1 for said climb, and then disguise herself as a fat dwarf before heading back into the inn (which he sees through with a natural 20 on his perception roll). She wasn't able to avoid sitting through bad poetry.

Later, our ranger decided to troll her character by putting a portrait of her (that he found while rifling through the bard's pack during the night) in front of her face so it's the first thing she sees when she wakes up. She immediately tries to go out the window again and rolls another natural 1.

I plan on having him write her an actual song later.
Dragonflight 19th Jan 2017, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
In the game I'm in, one of the players created a paladin who lost her entire family and village to raiders, which is why the God of Justice chose her. The player intended her to be just a bit suicidal, because death would mean she gets to be with her family again, so she kept taking on impossible odds. Because it's a PC party, they kept her alive.

About a game year in, the PC's are undertaking a major test of character to prove they deserve to access an ancient magical oracular device which has been possessed by a demon. One of the tests is the test of dedication, where it shows critical tragedies of your life, and sees if you can keep going on after being forced to relive it. The paladin naturally witnesses the destruction of her village.

The player had been making noises about retiring the paladin and making a druid, because he had a concept he liked more for the druid. So what I decided was that the God of Justice would intervene in that moment, and grant the paladin a miracle of her very own: The mirror becomes a *portal* into the past. Taking it means she leaves the party, and the player is free to make his druid character. But it also means she gets to go back to that day and save everyone, now armed with the weaponry, armor, and levels of the Paladin she didn't have last time.

The PC's return to the imperial capital a while later, and meet the paladin, now a much happier person, having saved her family, and a lot of the village. She still remembers the altered year, which is why she remembers the party. She has even adventured with them as a cameo once since, but is a much better person now than she used to be.
Wyvern 19th Jan 2017, 6:58 PM edit delete reply
This one wizard character was motivated in part by seeking revenge on the vampire who had killed his parents. Luckily, he came from a long line of necromancers and had vast powers.

He came from a whole family of necromancers. Who were now dead.

It was always a fun time when one of his relatives came by to visit, and boy did they ever.
albedoequals1 20th Jan 2017, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
One of my players wanted his unicorn wizard to be a lady's man (or whatever the pony term for that is) so as part of his public backstory he provided a list of his past conquests: Six females of various species and walks of life.

I thought some about the implications, and brought three of them back to haunt him.

The paladin that he got drunk so she would spend the night with him turned out to have been expelled from her order for breaking her oaths. The players found her working as a lowly caravan guard, and helped her get re-admitted to her order by calling in a favor.

The pirate he dallied with turned out to have used him to get information that was later used to sink his ship. One of the great tragedies in his backstory was now shown to be his fault.

Finally, the cat woman he had some fun with got pregnant and didn't have enough money to raise the child, so she turned to a life of crime and ended up fighting the party cleric and cutting off one of her legs. The bad cat was later killed, leaving the wizard to care for his love child.

So now the wizard is taking care of a 6-year-old unicorn-cat hybrid. The player wants to play as the kid, grown up, in our next game.
ANW 19th Jan 2017, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
Did no one here read their back story?
Jennifer 19th Jan 2017, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
I played a veteran 40K guardsman in an online Inquisition game. I'd played him in several other games, but needed a way to explain how he'd ended up in an Inquisitor's retinue. I decided he'd gravitated into the =I= after seeing too many things Man Was Not Meant To Know, but how did he meet the party's Inquisitor who was nowhere near that previous warzone?

I ended up devising another Inquisitor, named for myself, who had grabbed the Guardsman as spoils of war. She discovered he was a little too intimidated by her, however, and looked for another Inquisitor who could better use his skills. (His actual comment: "She tries to be nice, but it's hard to relax around someone who can kill me with her brain.") We decided that the two Inquisitors had cooperated in an attack of some sort, and the new one had been impressed by my PC.

He: Good man you've got there.
She: You want him?

And THEN the GM brought her back in as an NPC in apparent opposition to the party, leading to some tension between players as they started wondering if my PC was a deliberate plant...
Winged Cat 19th Jan 2017, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
"Deliberate plant" makes me think of a green, leafy party member - doesn't need food, just soil, water, and sunlight; can grow back after being nibbled on; maybe grows fruit (which are actually that member's young, or could be if they were planted instead of being eaten or left to rot) - who happens to be a spy for the opposition.
Classic Steve 19th Jan 2017, 8:02 AM edit delete reply
I didn't know it was customary for the GM to write player characters' backstories, considering all the aspects that players decide for themselves.
Jennifer 19th Jan 2017, 9:17 AM edit delete reply
Normally it isn't. I suspect the GM made Rainbow Dash's character because she wasn't interested in doing it herself. Why he ended up writing ten pages I dunno -- he really got into the backstory?
Winged Cat 19th Jan 2017, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
He really got into the backstory for the whole original campaign. These bullies may have been meant to be an early, easy encounter to let the PCs show they could bring light back into the darkness.

That said, weather manipulator speedster pegasus. That's not an everyday ordinary PC starting point.
NexAngelus405 19th Jan 2017, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
NexAngelus405
TAILS OF EQUESTRIA IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!!!! And it comes out on my birthday, too!
Jennifer 19th Jan 2017, 9:16 AM edit delete reply
The day before MY birthday. Hmm...
Freelance 19th Jan 2017, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
My Halfling Swashbuckler had a pretty sizable family, and they were second generation adventurers. His dad was a Halfling Fighter who prestiged into a halfing outrider. His mom was a Druid who leveled high enough to reach the shape shifting levels. Their children tended to be rather tall halflings (the boys) and rather short humans (the girls). Tomas the CG dread pirate, Orkid (orchid) LG Paladin, Lylee (lily) TN druid, and Jonee LG, but too young to go into the lifestyle just yet. Calarvo and Annastasia--the parents--were pillars in the Halfling district in the town and hosted many meals with the community.
albedoequals1 20th Jan 2017, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
albedoequals1
Are the kids of a human and a halfling three-quarterlings? :P
Freelance 22nd Jan 2017, 3:52 AM edit delete reply
*Shrugs.* Well, I tried to make their height such. Like I said, the Halfling sons I made to be at the upper edges of what's possible for them and still considered small, and the Human daughters to be at the shorter end and still considered medium. I think it was at all possible because the mother was a level 18 Druid when she retired from adventuring--high enough for those master-end shape shifting skills.
Ringmaster 19th Jan 2017, 5:29 PM edit delete reply
I made a Rogue NPC meant to be the supplier of less-than-legal items for my unlawful aligned players. The Bard who was a part of the Thieves Guild felt guilty over a deal he RP'd out earlier(selling alchemist fire to Hobgoblins) and confessed everything. So had to remove the Rogue and brought him back as a recurring villain around our...Fourth or fifth session.

He was just a placeholder to provide stuff and when that happened, I had to give him more of a background and now, my entire group of players hates his guts for the last encounter.

So yay?
Darkside 19th Jan 2017, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
I had a character with amnesia, his sapient sword, however, remembered all of it. So the GM came up with his backstory, but it only came up twice.

The first time, he came across the unconscious form of a person in the hospital (so to speak) and his sword started screaming at him to kill the guy. Instead, my character curled up in a ball sobbing because he was partially based on Hanatarou from Bleach.

Later, while travelling through a magic desert, a shade of a king's ghost floated past him, looking at him accusingly. But, because he had amnesia, he didn't recognize the king and kept going.

Turns out that in his previous life, he was an assassin who killed the reigning king, and the unconscious guy was directly related to him (or something, it's been a while).
Annika 20th Jan 2017, 7:02 AM edit delete reply
I've been in a few games where a PC had amnesia. What the DMs came up with was pretty interesting:
One was a warforged who had been recently dug up, but with no memories. It turns out, he was the last king of an ancient kingdom whose soul had been put into a warforged when he died.
Another turned out to be two girls (a black mage and a white mage), who had been magically combined into one red mage.
RuneKnight3 20th Jan 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
In a game of vampire: the requiem there was a guy who was the worst kind of player. Everyone knew he was cheating to one degree or another, but since he was good at speechcraft and no one had caught him, the people running the LARP were willfully ignorant of this. As luck would have it, my coterie became his target of choice in the permutations of politics, probably because we didn't invite him to our games.

He had tried to undermine each of us and when it was my turn he decided to target that I was well known for "not going to court". This was because I was an icky, icky, Nosferatu and felt it was better to bribe the prince with a boon than show up to civil functions I wasn't interested in anyway. This guy demanded proof of my lineage and my connections to the Invictus covenant.

So I go to the GM who had seen my background and I ask "How many NPC's would you like me to include in my fealty chain?"

He rolls a dice.

10

In the World of Darkness system tens explode at least once so he rolls again.

10

He stands by the roll and I go home and write up twenty NPC's with their names, titles, and where they're from including who they're loyal to all the way back to the ultra conspiracy behind the noble Invictus the Prima Invicta. I describe in intricate detail how the bloodline I'm in stretches from the halls of Europe to the later era Samurai, to the modern Americas, and on the night in question when this guy expects a flimsy piece of paper or excuses my ENTIRE FEALTY CHAIN shows up to front for me because they refuse to be insulted by some local "keeper of Elysium", when they are an ancient and respected house.

The poor herald, a player in her second game, had to announce each and every one of them in order as they appeared in game. The keeper had to provide them with blood and amusements. The domain quaked under the sheer political power I literally brought to bear. And, the following game, I was promoted to the next step in status as a clear message that the Invictus would not be given ultimatums.

That guy was so miffed. But it was all background that had been on the books for months, nobody could claim chicanery on the part of myself or the ST. We just used what was there as it was intended.
RuneKnight3 20th Jan 2017, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
In a game of vampire: the requiem there was a guy who was the worst kind of player. Everyone knew he was cheating to one degree or another, but since he was good at speechcraft and no one had caught him, the people running the LARP were willfully ignorant of this. As luck would have it, my coterie became his target of choice in the permutations of politics, probably because we didn't invite him to our games.

He had tried to undermine each of us and when it was my turn he decided to target that I was well known for "not going to court". This was because I was an icky, icky, Nosferatu and felt it was better to bribe the prince with a boon than show up to civil functions I wasn't interested in anyway. This guy demanded proof of my lineage and my connections to the Invictus covenant.

So I go to the GM who had seen my background and I ask "How many NPC's would you like me to include in my fealty chain?"

He rolls a dice.

10

In the World of Darkness system tens explode at least once so he rolls again.

10

He stands by the roll and I go home and write up twenty NPC's with their names, titles, and where they're from including who they're loyal to all the way back to the ultra conspiracy behind the noble Invictus the Prima Invicta. I describe in intricate detail how the bloodline I'm in stretches from the halls of Europe to the later era Samurai, to the modern Americas, and on the night in question when this guy expects a flimsy piece of paper or excuses my ENTIRE FEALTY CHAIN shows up to front for me because they refuse to be insulted by some local "keeper of Elysium", when they are an ancient and respected house.

The poor herald, a player in her second game, had to announce each and every one of them in order as they appeared in game. The keeper had to provide them with blood and amusements. The domain quaked under the sheer political power I literally brought to bear. And, the following game, I was promoted to the next step in status as a clear message that the Invictus would not be given ultimatums.

That guy was so miffed. But it was all background that had been on the books for months, nobody could claim chicanery on the part of myself or the ST. We just used what was there as it was intended.
Akouma 21st Jan 2017, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Akouma
My Iron Kingdoms group does stuff with their background NPCs all the time. About half the party have significant others (although those they all met in-game, so not backstory folks), and basically every PC has had time to deal with what their family life is like on some level. We've even had entire sessions detailing this stuff, with the PCs not in focus filling in the roles of the one PC's family members.

We have Bork, the goblin wizard and tinkerer, who has the most overbearing family in history. I believe I've told the story about how his family found out he could do magic (and in-demand and high-paying skill) and demanded to know "why the f*** they still live in a swamp."

Then there's Jacque, the son of Llaelese (think fantasy France) nobility, working to liberate his homeland from hostile forces occupying it. His parents generally don't approve of his mercenary work, but they're all working towards the same goal so it works out. Oh, and his mother is currently a hostage of those hostile occupation forces, fate unknown.

Then there's Sumali, an giant of a woman from the desert Idrian tribes who have helped us quite a lot along the way towards preventing the apocalypse.

Then Louis, the son of another Llaelese noble and a foreign commoner. He's a gunmage (exactly what it sounds like) and a warcaster (the rarest kind of mage.) He HAD been spending most of his time searching for his father (the noble) until he recently found him working underneath a man named Magnus, who commonly goes by the nickname "the Traitor King." He's trying to bring down the throne in Louis's homeland so he can return from exile. So yeah, there's some bad blood there.

There's Taris, who was an abductee by the cult called the Circle of Orboros. She was experimented on and can take on several aspects of the werewolves the Circle uses in war, but retains her human shape. She escaped in her teens, and was taken in by a family in the Cygnaran (think England) countryside. She was originally the daughter of a key figure in the Llaelese resistance, who has since taken years at a time away from the resistance operation alongside her brother to find her. The reunion when Taris realized she'd found her birth family was quite touching.

And my character is Francis Kiffley. A former lieutenant in the Cygnaran military with a long career. He has connections all across the empire from the various officers he's worked with and under, plus several connections (including Taris's actual father) within the Llaelese resistance from joint operations. He joined the party after his last officer sent his unit and the party on a suicide mission they managed to survive. He apologized to his commander for breaking orders, retired, and without even leaving the room asked if the party had openings at the officer level in their mercenary company. His family is also around, but no major funny stories about them unfortunately.
Ducks are pizzarolls 17th Feb 2017, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
I made a campaign and the center focus was around a monk who had his fate changed by a sorcerer. (He had gone from the protecor of his village to a sheperd) The most fun part was informing the party about their history, and reminding them that they couldn't exactly tear his kidneys out and shove them up the sorcerer's rectum (the exact words of the player) because their allignment was lawful good.