Character Backgrounds for Dungeons and Dragons

  • by
dnd backgrounds

Before your character joined their currents adventuring party, they lived a full life of twists and turns along the way. This past is what defines the motives and ideals of your character in the present, and this is recorded in your character’s background. DnD Backgrounds are something we often see left blank on character sheets, as often people do not know how to write them. They don’t know what is important to include or what isn’t. So, here is your guide to DnD character backgrounds.

There are ways to cheat the system, such as using an online background generator, and if you wish to do that yourself, we recommend Kassoon.

Although this is convenient for some people, it does not offer a personal story that perfectly fits your specific character. You cannot achieve the quality of a character background you put your heart and soul into. Besides, it’s all too well known that a good background means a good character.

So, where do I start with my dnd backgrounds?

First things first, you need your Dungeon Master to inform you on the type of world their building, or you could end up creating a childhood growing up in the wild west when you enter the campaign and it turns out its set one thousand years in the future, and everyone has robot servants. It is important to work with your Dungeon Master when creating your character’s past. Ask them things like ‘What kind of settlements are there? What is the class hierarchy like? What does the world map look like and what is the theme?’ These questions are very important and can help establish your character’s place of birth and where they’ve grown up.

Once you’ve figured out the town or city your character came from, it’s time to introduce the family. Who is your character’s father? Who is their mother? Do they even have parents? Are those parents alive? Does your character have any siblings? You can introduce the parents in their own little character profiles, or you can write yourself a little paragraph. It’s up to you how you format your dnd background, and you can do it however you want. You can also write your dnd background from first (I/My) Or third (He/She) person, depending on what feels best for you.

What do I do next?

Most of the time, a character is a way they are because of a tragic, or life-changing event. Take your time thinking of a defining moment in your character’s life. For example; ‘My best friend was killed by an evil Tiefling called Lawrence. I have dedicated my life to finding him and seeking revenge. Think of something like this that gives your character a motive. They have their own little mission to play out during the game, and if you play your cards right, the Dungeon Master might include your sub-plot to the campaign and give you something to personally enjoy.

Another good example of a life-changing moment is ‘A stranger invited me to join him in a secret criminal guild where I stayed for a couple of years. This gives your character a previous occupation and a link to an existing guild (ask your Dungeon Master if there are any guilds you can be connected too). You can use this during the game to help your party find communications or shelter. You need these life events to tie you to the DM’s world.

Do I need to include other members of my party?

You can if you like. It’s completely up to you. You and one other member might work together to design similar dnd backgrounds and tie your two characters together – siblings perhaps or friends who met in the past. But if you don’t want to do that you can make bonds with NPC’s. Mention special people that your character might have met in the past. Relatives, Friends, Enemies. Anyone of importance who left a great impression on your character.

If you’re really struggling for ideas on dnd backgrounds, templates can be found online that might help you. We recommend the one made by Arcaneeye.

We hope you found this article helpful in creating your personal character background as we know how intimidating that big background box can be… There’s an additional thing you could do here and that is buying The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide which would help you to create the most interesting story for your character.

And now that you know how to create good dnd backgrounds, you can move on to your own Dungeons and Dragons character creation!