Character Alignments and Creating a Backstory

The best part about creating a character is deciding your character’s personality and origins. The way you’d go about creating a backstory is first deciding what you want your alignment to be.

Xbox-Live-Player-Alignment-Chart.jpg

(The image shows all of the alignments and what they think about Xbox gaming.)

Source

All jokes aside, each alignment has their own morals and attitudes. I’m going to give you a short rundown of each alignment.

  • Lawful Good characters do good deeds no matter what, and they seek out to fight evil no matter what.
  • Neutral Good characters do good deeds when people need the help the most. They don’t follow orders which makes this alignment ideal.
  • Chaotic Good characters act on their conscious and don’t believe in the law. They are kind and helpful and still want to actively help others in need. They are very much like the Robin Hood characters of D&D.
  • Lawful Neutral characters believe fully in the law. They believe in order and act as the “judge” of any situation.
  • True Neutral characters don’t fall in any of the evil and good categories. They are the most balanced character out of all the alignments since they embody both sides of the scale. They don’t really believe in law or good, but they don’t actively seek out to hurt others.
  • Chaotic Neutral characters are individualists and only want to benefit themselves. They’ll help either team as long as they get something in return. Chaotic Neutral characters can be unpredictable.
  • Lawful Evil characters will do whatever they want as long as their evil deeds fit within their code. This character alignment fits with those who want to control others like a king, or act more like a devil.
  • Neutral Evil characters only look out for themselves. They commit evil just for the sake of it, and they tend to not care about anyone or anything.
  • Chaotic Evil characters are the craziest and most unpredictable characters you can have in a game. They let their lust for killing and greed guide their actions. These characters just want to watch the world burn.

Now that you know what each alignment is and what their morals and goals are, it’s time to start writing a backstory.

  • First, describe what your character looks like. What’s their age? Gender? Appearance? What are they wearing?
  • Next, decide what you want your alignment to be. Do you want to help others? Do you want to cause destruction and chaos throughout the land? This is where you’ll decide your character’s fate.
  • Think about what what you want your characters goals to be? What do they  hope to accomplish by the end of their adventure? What do they expect to get from joining the party? Try and think about what they want and what they’ll do to get to their goal.
  • After writing out your goals, think about your character’s personality. What kind of person are they and how would they react to certain situations. How were they growing up? What do people think about your character?
  • After writing out your personality, think about the universe your character is in. How has the environment shaped your character to who they are today? Talk about where your character grew up and the type of society they were exposed to.
  • Now with all of this information, think about your character’s history. What did they do and what happened to them before meeting up with the current party they’re in.

If you want an example of a backstory I’ve written for one of my characters, check out the paragraph below.

Evette’s backstory:

Kali was born in a small gypsy colony in Esmon (a far off land in the west.) the colony was surrounded by woods and had a long  As a child, she’s always been solitary and preferred to play with her younger brother (Desmond) away from the other children. When she was 12 her father passed away from an illness. Being sheltered all her life, she didn’t understand death.For five years she studied under one of the elders and tried to learn all she could about necromancy. Truthfully, she had no interest in bringing the dead back to life or deal with the undead, but examining the corpses made her excited the most. For these five years, she also learned about different religions and decided to follow the ideals of Pharasma. With her wisdom of the dead, many of the townsfolk would go to Kali for guidance.
In her studies, she learned of a artifact deep in the caves in a far off land that holds the unknown knowledge of the undead but she new she couldn’t leave her home or her family would be shamed. When she turned 18, the neighboring town had been plagued with a mysterious disease. Out of curiosity, Kali traveled over there and searched around the bodies to find out more about how they died. Unbeknownst to her, the plague could be carried through the wind which blew into her community. Over the span of a month half of her colony died. Her mother became deathly ill and died while her brother lost a bit of his sanity.
Feeling outraged, the people in her community banished her and her family to a different land. They believed that she brought upon this disease through her studies. She took her brother to the nearest boat and sailed off to the nearest land. In order to conceal her identity, she changed her name to Evette.
For more ideas on how to write up your character, click the link!
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