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    The Annoying Two-Year-Old

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    psychoticbarber
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    The Annoying Two-Year-Old

    Post  psychoticbarber on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:13 pm

    I have a trick I use a great deal in figuring out details about my characters. I call it the annoying two-year-old method, because it consists of stating a fact about your character, and then asking "Why?", and then answering the question, and then asking "Why?" to the answer, and so on.

    I'll start with the staetment: "I am called to adventure!" It's a good statement, true of pretty much any player-character adventurer.

    So. I'm called to adventure. Why? Because my parents are dead and I'm alone anyway. Why? Because the Evil Duke thought my mother beautiful, but she would not surrender herself to him. Why? Because she was devoted to my father. Why? Because he was the only servant who had helped her escape from her father the King while he raged. Why? Because he loved her.

    After awhile, you get to a point where you can't really get much more out of asking "why" again, and that's okay. If you think you have enough, that's great, if you don't, make another statement and continue.

    I'm a story-teller. Why? Because I loved to listen to the old wise man when I was young. Why? Because his stories told of a long-lost ancient world and they tickled my imagination. Why? Because I'm a curious sort.

    I'm afraid of my own power. Why? Because powerful people attract the Duke's attention. Why? Because there was a prophecy which stated the King's descendant in exile would return and kill him. Why? Because the usurpation of the crown offended the Gods.

    Three statements and a lot of questions later, I have a prophecy which states that I will return to kill the Duke. He's afraid, and takes an interest in powerful people, hoping to stave off his decline. The Duke killed my parents because my mother refused him, and she refused him because she was devoted to her loyal husband, who snuck her out of the King's castle...

    It's a great little trick, and if you let your imagination run roughshod, you can end up with a heck of a backstory in a very short period of time.


    _________________
    "Why would I control you with so clumsy a method as that? I control what you see, what you hear, and what you know. You are already mine."
    --Martin Pale

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