Creating a character’s background can be a tough process. After all, how do you fit someone’s life onto a piece of paper? How do you cover just enough of the character to make them feel real, without establishing so much that the character has no room for growth? I’m here to help with that question, using a method of mine I like to call Alphabet Based Characterization. This ABC is a set of questions following the letters of the alphabet that will help you have a better understanding of your character once completed. So let’s jump right in to these ABC’s, it’s easy as 123!
A- What is your character’s age?
B- Who is their best friend?
C- What is one skill that they can’t do?
D- What was the most damaging event in your character’s life?
E- What action takes the most effort from your character?
F- What was one time your character failed?
G- What does your character stand to gain from adventuring?
H- What does your character hate?
I- What is your character most interested in?
J- What is or was your character’s job?
K- What is your character most knowledgeable about?
L- Who does your character love?
M- What does it mean to your character to be a hero?
N- What is your character’s name?
O- What obstacle must your character overcome?
P- What were their parents like?
Q- What is their best quality?
R- What is their biggest regret?
S- What leaves them feeling satisfied?
T- Are they talkative or stoic?
U- What is one thing they cannot understand?
V- What is their most important value?
W- What do they want the most in life?
X- Is your character xenophobic?
Y- What does your character yearn for?
Z- What is a zany aspect of your character?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a good idea of who your character is. These questions don’t fully cover your character’s background, but we’ll cover that another day. For now you can use these questions to gain a better understanding of who your character and how you want to play them. While you do, be sure to keep those dice rolling high!