When it comes to building your next D&D character, sometimes all you want to do is jump right into building out your character sheet.
But there’s something that’s even more important than your character’s stats—their backstory.
We’ve put together a list of questions to help create your character’s backstory and really bring them to life.
Using This Guide
Use these questions to help flesh out your new character’s backstory. This will help you get to know who they are a little better, and give you more to work with as your campaign moves along.
Here are some things to consider when writing your character’s backstory:
- Quality is more important than quantity. Give your character a backstory that means something, rather than writing a bunch of random facts about them.
- Less is more. Don’t overshare with your party at first, and don’t give your DM too much to work with right off the bat.
- You don’t need to answer all of these questions. They’re simply here to help you get to know your character a little better if you find yourself stuck or in a situation where one of these answers would prove useful.
- You might not know the answers to all of these questions right away—and that’s okay! Whether you’re new to TTRPGs or you’re a seasoned player, sometimes your characters write themselves along the way. Keep this guide handy for when the moment arises, and use a separate sheet or journal to keep track of your character’s backstory.
Asking the Important Questions
- What is their name? Do they have a nickname?
- How old is your character? How old do they look?
- What kind of family dynamic does your character come from?
- What was your family’s social status/standing?
- What is your character’s basic appearance?
- What are your character’s emotional characteristics?
- What is your character’s alignment?
- Does your character follow a deity? Who? What lengths would your character go to in order to defend this deity?
- What personality quirks does your character have?
- Does your character have any nervous habits? Vices?
- Does your character have any hobbies or special skills?
- How does your character get along with others?
- Give your character a secret that they keep from everyone else. Why do they keep it?
- What is your character’s greatest strength? Their greatest weakness?
- What is your character most afraid of? Why?
- Where does your character go when they seek peace?
- How does your character handle their alcohol?
- Describe your character’s first physical fight.
- What are two things someone would remember about your character after meeting them in a tavern or shop?
- Does your character have any scars? Where did they come from?
- If you could align your character with a Zodiac sign, what would it be? Why?
- Who trained your character?
- Who is your character’s best friend? Where are they now?
- Who is your character’s worst enemy? How did they become enemies?
- Why does your character seek adventure?
- How would your character react if they stumbled upon the dead body of someone dear to them?
- Is your character superstitious? How does this affect their adventuring?
- Does your character have any tattoos? Describe them and their origins.
- Did your character witness any historical events?
- What’s one memory from your character’s childhood that brings them joy?
- Does your character have any past trauma?
- Does your character have a criminal record?
- Does your character have a historically prominent ancestor or relative?
- Who are your character’s most valuable or important contacts? How did they meet?
- What would make your character cave in an interrogation?
- Does your character have any specific dreams or ambitions?
- How does your character treat others? Do they treat some people one way and others a different way? Why?
- How does your character feel about the government or rulers where they are from? Do they tend to follow the rules regardless of how they feel?
- What would your character like to be remembered for after their death?
Looking For More?
Players and DMs, fantasy writers, and students will find an abundance of useful writing content on our site.
If you’re looking for something specific and we don’t have it, reach out and let us know. We’re here to help you tap into your creative side!