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The following questions are from Mrrlyn's_Magic_Cave and are copied here in good faith.
The (more than) 50 questions to build a character BG:
- What is your characters Sex?
- What is your characters physical size?
- What is the color of the characters Hair, eyes, and skin?
- What is the character's general appearance (i.e., How does he dress, etc.)?
- Where was the character born (City, State, Hospital Name)?
- What is the characters date of birth?
- What was the character's family life like?
- Has the character begun his own family?
- Where or how was the character educated?
- Has the character ever done anything else for a living?
- What are the characters beliefs on church and state?
- Describe the characters Moral code. Include how mercenary he is, whether or not he'll kill innocents, etc.
- What are the character have any goals?
- Why does the character run the shadows? (Why does he run the shadows still, rather than getting a "real" job?)
- What kind of personality does your character have? This should not necessarily be obviously stated in the background, as it is more important for actually playing the character, but it may color or add mood to the history.
- What special qualities does the character possess? This does not refer to skills, but rather at other things, such as How he gets along with people, does he plan ahead, etc.
- Are their certain things the character can't or won't do? Why?
- What things, people, or ideas does the character hate?
- What things people, or ideas does the character love?
- What is the character's name? Give both full birth name, as well as nicknames, street names, etc.
- Determine what your character used to do, before becoming a shadowrunner (very important).
- Decide why your character left his or her old job, if he had one. (also important).
- Come up with a reason for why the character became a shadowrunner. (This very often will tie in with #22. This is not the same as #14, but rather why he started running the shadows originally. What led him to it?)
- How did your character come to know his or her contacts? Contacts are an important part of Shadowrun, decide how and why you know them.
- Does the character have a SIN? Does the character actually use it? Or is the character one of the SINless_masses? This may be affected by the characters previous employment.
- Is the character a full-time shadowrunner? Or does the character lead a Batman-like double existence?
- Which person(s) or group(s) do you love the most?
- Which person(s) or group(s) do you hate the most?
- Which person(s) or group(s) do you respect the most?
- Which person(s) or group(s) do you fear the most?
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite food and/or drink?
- What place would you most like to visit?
- Which person(s) or group(s) are you most loyal to?
- What pastime (that you participate in regularly) gives you the most enjoyment? (WARNING: Answering Sex for this question can and will result in penalties to your character!)
- What pastime (that you participate in regularly) gives you the least enjoyment?
- What annoys you the most?
- What (if any) is your favorite form of art?
- What is your greatest goal?
- What do you think is your characters best quality?
- What do you think is your characters worst quality?
- What is the most important thing you have ever done?
- Which religion (if any) do you follow?
- What is your most treasured possession (and why)?
- What are your three most common dreams?
- What is the Characters current relationship with his family?
- If the characters family is still alive, what do they do, and where do they live?
- Where did the character learn his Skills?
- Does the character have a good luck charm? What is it, and why?
- What type of music does the character like?
- List any past serious relationships that your character has had, and give a brief overview of the relationship.
- Where does your character live? Why does he live there?
- Remember, I, as most Gamemasters, like detail, so if you can think of any other little details, quirks, or whatever that you think might please the almighty GM, then add them in as well. Oh, and your GM won't use any of these details against you at a later date. Really...we never do...
(this is the original 50 Questions, our intrepid GM may decide she wishes to change them)