The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 105
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    90sMusic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    LA, California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    It is so ridiculously predictable and kind of mind blowing honestly that even after all these years of playing D&D, anywhere from 1/3rd to 1/2 of player backstories I read involve their family being dead.

    Sometimes they are murdered, sometimes they just died from natural causes, whatever. But Regardless of the reason, players love their families to be dead.

    Just curious how often you run into this EXTREMELY tired trope and when choosing players for a game, do you ever pass over any that use the same tired cliches like "Dead family" as the catalyst for their adventuring career beginning?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    At some point, we all have dead family. Unless the adventurer is a race that is biologically immortal, I highly doubt their great great grandparents are alive by the time they are born, much less old enough to actually go out and adventure. If the characters being adventuring later in life, it is possible their grandparents and possibly even parents have died of natural causes at this point.

    Enough being a smart alec aside-you are clearly talking about dead immediate family. I don't see it as an inherent problem-few adventurers have strong family ties, as adventuring is both extremely dangerous and will call you away from your family for possible years or more. It is pretty rare for an adventurer to be incredibly close to their family, or for their family to be relevant to a story. Killing them off just makes things easy-they have nothing tying them down so they can run off and do whatever. People who are married and have children rarely just up and leave them. Likewise, you can't just bring your family on an adventure...

    A lot of players use it as a vehicle for their character to go on the adventure-the BBEG is clearly tied to their dead family/village/sibling etc, so it is motivation to engage in the campaign. I have had a couple characters with no living family, but plenty with some living family and some with all immediate family being alive, including children of their own.

    It is a trope sure, but it exists for good reason. Certainly it can be cringe if it is ham-fisted, but I don't see any reason to be inherently hostile towards it. Again, being close to your family makes it very hard to adventure, and having no living family is easy, particularly to new players.
    Guides
    Monk dipping for pathfinder druids, a mini guide
    Trapped Under Ice-Geddy2112's guide to the Pathfinder Winter Witch
    I contributed to this awesome guide to chaotic good

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Generally I won't hold it against them. I almost never use it myself however my favourite character has a dead family (although her step-father is alive...ish, still moving, kinda lichy). I always make sure that they have a connection which replaces the familial bond though. Maybe to a street gang or an orphanage or a step-family or a school. Honestly 1/3 to 1/2 isn't even that high and about what I'd be expecting from a shifty group of vagabonds.

    I asked one of my players about this and he said that he was playing a good character and in such a violent world if he had a family he wouldn't be leaving them alone. Probably the best response which I ever got to the question.

    I wonder how many members of the French Foreign Legion have dead families...
    Firm opponent of the one true path

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Adventurers need a reason why they aren't leading happy normal lives.

    Stable balanced people don't become adventurers. At least that's how I see them.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Depending on the campaign setup, family can often simply be far enough outside the physical or conceptual scope that it just never comes up.

    On the other hand, I've purposefully written up a family for one of my characters as their adventuring motivation.

    He came from a culture that expected the a man to take in his brother's wife if his brother died, and his dead brother left behind a large family. And the PC already had his own kids. So instead of just getting by, he went out adventuring to score some treasure hauls or big rewards / bounties.

    One of the ongoing elements of the character was that he'd go off alone to "take care of some business" with a big chunk of his share whenever they were in a major city, and never had "throwing around" gold like the rest of the PCs. One of the other PCs kept insisting that my PC was "off wenching and bedding strumpets", which eventually got the other PC punched in the face.

    The truth was that he was making arrangements to securely make the funds available back home.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    The Dead Relatives trope is often a reaction to GMs who use any living relative of the PCs as plot, forcing the party to go on rescue mission after rescue mission like Spidey chasing after Mary Jane. While some folks don't mind this, others feel manipulated & resentful at this "attempt to hijack their backstory."

    Of course, the Dead Relatives trope can just as easily be its own jumping off point for adventures: PCs can reclaim inheritance, avenge a wrongful death, run from authorities accusing them (rightly or not) of arranging the death of a relative for their own profit....
    Iron Chef in the Playground veteran since Round IV. Play as me!


    Spoiler
    Show

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphetryon View Post
    The Dead Relatives trope is often a reaction to GMs who use any living relative of the PCs as plot, forcing the party to go on rescue mission after rescue mission like Spidey chasing after Mary Jane. While some folks don't mind this, others feel manipulated & resentful at this "attempt to hijack their backstory."
    Yeap. And I think many of us have had that GM who thinks that this is the entire reason for backstory, maybe because they've watched too much Hollywood / pop fiction.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Lake Superior
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I've never had a character start with dead family in there backstory, but one DM I've had made a point of killing them off during the campaign.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Orc in the Playground
     
    90sMusic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    LA, California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Anytime I see someone say their motivation for killing a BBEG is because he wiped out their village and killed their family, I already put that player way down the "desirables" list because it makes me feel like they aren't even trying or just don't care enough to come up with any real motivation outside of the same old tropes.

    You could just be an adventurous type, a thrill seeker and want to be an adventurer for that reason.
    You could've just spent too many years pouring over old books and studying in quiet libraries and just wanted to get out there and actually do something or put some of the magical power you have accumulated to good use. As Samwell Tarly puts it, "I'm tired of reading about better men."

    You could just see adventuring as a get-rich-quick scheme (because honestly, it is) and are doing it just to line your pockets.
    Or maybe you just genuinely believe in the cause of trying to do your part to make the world a better place.

    There are all kinds of motivations for going out into the world and most normal, well-adjusted people simply move out of their family home into their own and start their own lives when reaching adulthood and their parents no longer hold any sway over their future or career choices. The idea that their family HAS to be dead in order for them to want to do anything other than live a mundane life seems silly to me.

    I mean I imagine some folks who aren't just super poor might even move to entirely different cities or villages than where their parents lived and they aren't even close by enough to impact their personal lives and stories at that point except maybe when you go back to visit for special occasions.

    I have often wondered if this was caused by Disney since essentially all of their classic works involve at least one dead parent and it caused some kind of psychological impact on people or if it's just some deep seated issue people have with their own families and don't see the value in family. I've known countless people who say things like familial ties mean nothing to them and the concept of things like blood is thicker than water just doesn't exist in modern generations. Family was SUPER important back in the day. I just find the whole situation very odd that people are so heavily attracted to this trope.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    90sMusic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    LA, California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Yeap. And I think many of us have had that GM who thinks that this is the entire reason for backstory, maybe because they've watched too much Hollywood / pop fiction.
    Most players i've known have enjoyed seeing elements of their backstories being added into the game world because it validates their existence and means that the time they took to write their backstory actually had an impact on the world instead of being a pointless waste of time.

    Players also usually like personal quests related to their backstory.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    The avenging orphan is usually a thing of the past with my gaming groups.

    Currently only one character in my game is an orphan and that's because his parents died of tuberculosis but he has an uncle.

    Oh...I forgot the other one, his family is all dead because he was under a curse and slept for 300 years. In that instance the point wasn't to kill off his family but to explore a concept of playing a character that's out of place, wakes up and knows no one and doesn't recognize the society as it was.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2017-09-22 at 04:38 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Lots of people in my group have characters that come from broken families, but not completely dead ones. The go-to trope for us is "dead mother, estranged father" for some reason.

    I think I'm the only person who ever went whole-hog and wrote "dead family" into my character's background. That character was motivated to give his family a legacy- have their name remembered through his own deeds. He wound up being such a game-changingly overpowered character that he conquered whole civilizations and became a dictator with a massive cult of personality. So that was a thing.

    I don't see a problem with it, personally. You can take any old trope and make something interesting out of it. In fact, it's often more fun to intentionally start from a well-worn cliche, and build it into something weird. Getting huffy about somebody using a trope seems kinda try-hard to me.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Drakevarg's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vvardenfell

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    The only time I can think of where my character was explicitly an orphan as part of their backstory was in my first campaign ever, where the DM made that backstory element part of the game's basic conceit (the entire party had grown up in the same orphanage). Though after playing that character across like three different campaigns, it ultimately turned out that I wasn't an orphan because my parents were dead, it was because my parents were the lords of the Fae (literally Oberon and Titania) and they wanted me to grow up with a mortal perspective so they dumped me in an orphanage somewhere with a gaggle of half-siblings.

    Since then, my characters have had parents who were uninvolved (half-dragon paladin who grew up in a monastery), far away (they lived in a tribe while I was out doing mercenary stuff), or just never came up (most of the time), but I've never specifically cited having dead parents as part of my backstory. More often than not I see the "dead family" motivation as an excuse to not characterize them and allow the PC to exist in a vacuum. That's the boring part, really. PCs who just sort of exist with no real background to speak of.

    It's definitely possible to make the dead family thing work. Frank Castle losing his family became his driving factor, but it's made clearly apparent that the incident scarred him and defined his outlook, it didn't just sever his roots. The people who raised Luke Skywalker had to die for him to leave home, and while it didn't seem to bother him too much it was clear he was frustrated and dissatisfied where he was and it was hardly the end of his family's impact on his life.

    The dead family thing can work. The problem only comes in when it's used as a cop-out because the player doesn't want to be a part of the world they're exploring.
    Books Owned:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Player's Handbook
    Dungeon Master's Guide
    Monster Manual
    Monster Manual III
    Complete Adventurer
    Complete Arcane
    Complete Divine
    Complete Warrior
    Draconomicon
    Fiend Folio
    Frostburn
    Heroes of Battle
    Heroes of Horror
    Libris Mortis
    Lords of Madness
    Planar Handbook
    Sandstorm
    Savage Species
    Stormwrack
    Unearthed Arcana
    Races of the Dragon
    Races of Stone

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drakevarg View Post
    More often than not I see the "dead family" motivation as an excuse to not characterize them and allow the PC to exist in a vacuum. That's the boring part, really. PCs who just sort of exist with no real background to speak of.

    ...

    The dead family thing can work. The problem only comes in when it's used as a cop-out because the player doesn't want to be a part of the world they're exploring.
    That shouldn't be that much of a drawback, though. If a player wants to just put together a quick, tropy background for their character, it doesn't make them less of a player for it. Nor does it make their character less of a character. Maybe the player just wanted to focus on personality over history, and saying their family is dead is a quick way of making sure they don't have to overthink it. Maybe the player just cares about what happens now. Those are not bad points of view.
    Last edited by Potatomade; 2017-09-22 at 05:00 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    The Lakes

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    Most players i've known have enjoyed seeing elements of their backstories being added into the game world because it validates their existence and means that the time they took to write their backstory actually had an impact on the world instead of being a pointless waste of time.

    Players also usually like personal quests related to their backstory.
    We (Amphetryon and I) were specifically talking about the way some GMs, and too much fiction, treat "supporting characters" as expendable drama fuel. In the minds of those GMs and writers... spouses, SOs, parents, children, friends, old flames, all exist to either be threatened, hurt, kidnapped, killed, etc, to ratchet up the "drama"... or to betray or mistakenly hate the PC / protagonist. If we see attention paid to a supporting character in those games or fiction, it's a sure sign something like this will happen involving that character.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2017-09-22 at 06:07 PM.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I blame my childhood role-models:

    - Batman

    - Superman

    - Spiderman

    - Wolverine

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lord Raziere's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I recall that being something some of my characters do, but not all of them.

    Ironically, the characters whose parents and family were saved from any death by backstory or DM were the ones that were simply never mentioned in the first place. They weren't important to the character's backstory so no one paid attention to the fact that the parents were never confirmed to be alive or not. so if you want your character's parents to stay alive, simply make them as unimportant as possible and have the characters actual problems and motivations have nothing to do with family or anything.

    killing off the family is meant to be an exploration of how important family is, because it takes away an important support structure for the protagonist so they have to find a way to replicate family and thus re-achieve that important bond. it explores family by showing us someone who loses and regains family. Ironically the times when you keep the family alive but important, they end up being antagonists and its an exploration of how a family can be screwed up, so the lack of a family is often show how a family is positive and the presence of a family is often how negative it can be. this most often occurs with nobility in fiction. which is fitting, given that noble families were scheming evil political jerks who were unfair to everyone involved. mixing family with politics and important decisions over land is unsurprisingly not a good idea. the protagonist often ends up rebelling against their family to do whats right in that situation.

    whats that you say? a positive blood-related family that doesn't die, doesn't turn evil, and doesn't be a jerk to the protagonist of these kinds of stories in some manner? I'm sure there are examples out there if you look, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.
    My Fan Fiction:
    To Catch A Mew
    A Kalos based pokemon fan fic. Now up to Chapter 24!



  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2015

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    A lot of my characters have ambiguous family relations. That is it just didn't come up. I've got a few characters who have dead family and some who have strong relations with their parents, siblings and occasionally (although I didn't actually get to play this one) wife and kids. It was a one shot character who was an almost stereotypical paladin for a one shot.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    There are all kinds of motivations for going out into the world and most normal, well-adjusted people simply move out of their family home into their own and start their own lives when reaching adulthood and their parents no longer hold any sway over their future or career choices. The idea that their family HAS to be dead in order for them to want to do anything other than live a mundane life seems silly to me.
    Even today this is a culture specific thing with a lot of exceptions - the nuclear family structure is if anything less common than extended family structures. That's without things like outright clan structures, feudal obligations, or even the benefits of living in larger groups amidst more serious concerns about roving bands of violent people. Heck, there's even the matter of a significantly more rural society with hand tools making it somewhat harder to set up new farms and the like.

    On top of that, adventuring is inherently extremely dangerous, and thus the sort of thing likely to appeal much more to those at the margins of society than those with social obligations (such as the clan connection). That encourages certain characters, and the survivors of devastation are in that category. Others are outcasts and outlaws, former soldiers who've been displaced, pilgrims, and essentially a lot of other archetypes that are also likely to get criticized as being cliche.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    We (Amphetryon and I) were specifically talking about the way some GMs, and too much fiction, treats "supporting characters" as expendable drama fuel.
    This is one of the things that drives people towards the dead family trope, but it's probably still a smaller factor than huge sections of the hobby being built around a small team of adventurers doing dangerous stuff for personal gain. If the standard game was instead about characters embedded in a community balancing their conventional community obligations with being pushed to greatness we'd get different characters.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    So personally, I don't really like interacting with NPCs where the PC /should/ have a strong emotional connection, but it's specified as backstory rather than built up through roleplaying interaction. I can't usually portray it well at all without those previous conversations having existed, and so it just feels shoddy and makes me annoyed with myself.

    Therefore, I'm perfectly happy to /have/ a living family, but I don't want them to come up in game. But to a lot of GMs, this basically causes ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND; they just don't grok at all why someone would want anything in their backstory not to be spotlighted. And so they do it anyway, I get annoyed, and they get annoyed because in their mind they're doing me a favor and I'm being weird about it.

    Simpler to have the family out of the picture and avoid hurt feelings.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by 90sMusic View Post
    Anytime I see someone say their motivation for killing a BBEG is because he wiped out their village and killed their family, I already put that player way down the "desirables" list because it makes me feel like they aren't even trying or just don't care enough to come up with any real motivation outside of the same old tropes.
    This is way down my list of red flags. Of course, if the character is now perpetually brooding, no longer values human life and has a sword called 'Mourning Razor', yeah my snowflake/edgelord detector just went off.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    So personally, I don't really like interacting with NPCs where the PC /should/ have a strong emotional connection, but it's specified as backstory rather than built up through roleplaying interaction. I can't usually portray it well at all without those previous conversations having existed, and so it just feels shoddy and makes me annoyed with myself.

    Therefore, I'm perfectly happy to /have/ a living family, but I don't want them to come up in game. But to a lot of GMs, this basically causes ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND; they just don't grok at all why someone would want anything in their backstory not to be spotlighted. And so they do it anyway, I get annoyed, and they get annoyed because in their mind they're doing me a favor and I'm being weird about it.

    Simpler to have the family out of the picture and avoid hurt feelings.
    What I do is ask the player to write an interlude with family who might be relevant.

    I can continue the voices that they establish for the NPC(s).

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    At my table, the matter, quite honestly, rarely comes up. Probably not a sign of the best character development, but hey. My current character, however, is pretty much defined by her dead family, since it makes her the last of a noble house. Fallen noble families are kind of common in the setting, though, since the brutal conquest of the country the game is set in is the most recent and prominent historical event.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Alcore's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Intersex

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    When I first started playing my characters never had family. I didn't want to deal with so they were dead, murdered or otherwise unspoken. However they have been a catalyst for the current game. Sir Greenhilt's case is a unique one none of mine could relate too.


    As i got more experienced more family show up in backstory, rarely were they all alive though. It has been avoided like the plague by every GM. Which i would expect; it's a touchy subject and while i wouldn't mind most would not consider stepping on that land mind.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Esprit15's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Middle of Nowhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I tend to agree with the "people with strong social connections don't normally go adventuring" camp. That said, even when I employ the dead family trope, I try to leave a thread to connect them to the world. The orphan was taken in by a kind librarian who served to educate them and make sure they reached adulthood. After fleeing his destroyed village, the young man took refuge in a church and devoted his life to serving X god. The necromancer studied his mother's old spell book after she fled the town's angry mob, and is unsure whether she lives or not.

    The dead family is not always the catalyst for adventuring, but it serves to explain why the character doesn't feel a need to stay near any new loved ones, and why they might adventure beyond simply defending a small town.
    Awesome avatar by Cuthalion

    Spoiler: Old Avatars
    Show


    By Ceika, Ceika, Linklel (Except for one that appears to be lost to time)

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    2D8HP's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    San Francisco Bay area
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    Oh, generally I find that most DM's require a "Back-story", and the longer and more tragic it is the more likely a PC of mine will be accepted.

    Jokes on them when "Mournblade Stormwind" turns out to be played as a combination of Captain Haddock, Julio Scoundrél, and Pepé Le Pew



    Mournblade Stormwind



    Fortunately PC creation may be systemized:
    Name:
    Quote Originally Posted by Inevitability View Post
    Edgy name generator! Roll 3d20!

    d20 First name Last name (1st half) Last name (2nd half)
    1 Agony Beast Arrow
    2 Dagger Black Blade
    3 Ghost Blood Blood
    4 Ghoul Cold Bone
    5 Gloom Dark Crow
    6 Misery Despair Dark
    7 Mist Doom Demon
    8 Moon Ever Death
    9 Pain Fright Eye
    10 Raven Fury Flame
    11 [Refuses to state first name] Grim Heart
    12 Shadow Hate Ice
    13 Shudder Never Mark
    14 Spider Pain Martyr
    15 Talon Poison Scar
    16 Twilight Razor Shackle
    17 Venom Steel Skin
    18 Wander Storm Skull
    19 Whisper True Snow
    20 Wolf Vengeance Sword

    A few try-outs:

    Talon Despairmartyr
    Dagger Razorflame
    Twilight Poisonice
    Venom Darkcrow
    Misery Whisperdeath

    Working as intended, it seems.

    Class, Race, and Tragic Events:
    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    Well, here is an edgy character generator I made for 5th edition D&D. Use with the name generator. Enjoy!

    1d6 Race
    1 Human
    2 Half-orc
    3 Drow
    4 Half-drow
    5 Tiefling
    6 Ghostwise Halfling


    1d10 Class
    1 Fiend Warlock
    2 Shadow Sorcerer
    3 Assassin Rogue
    4 Undying Warlock
    5 Death Cleric
    6 War Cleric
    7 Berserker Barbarian
    8 Hunter Ranger
    9 Vengance Paladin
    10 Shadow Monk


    1d8 Backstory p1 1d8 Backstory p2
    1 I was abused by 1 Family member(s).
    2 I hate 2 Dragon(s).
    3 My family was killed by 3 Orc(s).
    4 I am a transformed 4 Demon(s).
    5 I am in love with a 5 Devil(s).
    6 I killed a 6 Drow
    7 I have the soul of a 7 Ghost(s).
    8 I work for 8 Assassin(s).

    Alignment:
    Quote Originally Posted by Belac93 View Post
    I'll add some stuff to the class table.

    Alignments that are edgy? I would say CG, CN, TN, LN, LE, NE. Gives us a nice 6 alignments.
    1d6 Alignment
    1 Chaotic good, Probably racist.
    2 Chaotic neutral, 'classic' edgy character.
    3 True neutral. Pragmatic to the core.
    4 Lawful neutral. Probably serves an evil higher power.
    5 Lawful evil. Lives by her own code.
    6 Neutral evil. Like chaotic good, but probably racist towards more people.

    Edit: The characters that are being ended up with are awesome. My tables do have a lot of bugs (killing an orc isn't much), but with the working for your family, what if your family is evil?

    Fashion accessories:

    (Sadly requires some actual creativity, but fortunately not much)
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Grimblade Mourncloud rued birth into this world of pain and especially wearing spiked bracelets and skull epaulets to the mall that matched those adorning Darkfire Stormwind who's tragic deal and awesomicity had no match. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
    Verily if Darkfire Stormwind had any tears left to shed, surely they would turn to steam upon release due to the bitter fires that rage inside one such as Darkfire Stormwind! Just a gaze from Darkfire Stormwind steel colored eyes (which were set off well by the spiked bracelets, and skull epaulets) was enough to turn one such as Grimblade Mourncloud into a mere tepid stain at the mall!
    Darkfire Stormwind tragic deal and awesomicity were such that Darkfire Stormwind only spoke of Darkfire Stormwind in the third person. Darkfire Stormwind just liked to say Darkfire Stormwind!

    This personality is good for any campaign!
    Quote Originally Posted by ZX6Rob View Post
    Well, hold on, I think we're missing one of the most important parts of the proper edgelord here.

    He's got to be misunderstood! His misanthropic nature is simply the outward manifestation of a deep-seated insecurity, resulting from the internalization of the notion that he is apart from others and always will be, that he somehow stands alone, and that no one will ever truly understand the incredible, titanic struggle within himself, nor will he ever truly be able to relate this to another person, no matter how close they become.

    Darkedge Shadowblade's behavior and affectations are, in large part, due to this deep-seated need for understanding and acceptance. And yet, as a half-tiefling, half-aasimar assassin, given incredible gifts in the art of death that, in truth, are more of a burden than a boon, who can truly claim to understand or know him? Of course, he does what he must do to survive, and so he will tell himself, as his black-edged knife cuts the throat of one more unsuspecting nobleman, fatted on the wealth of the nation that he's enslaved with his unjust regime; but there will always be that shadow of self-doubt. The kind that can usually only be expressed during brooding internal monologues while Darkedge Shadowblade crouches, hunched and ready to leap at a moment's notice, on the silent gargoyles of the largest church in the city -- itself an impossibly large symbol of greed and lust for power given form in unfeeling stone -- as the rain pours down his hooded and implacable face.

    You gotta' have the rain. That makes the whole scene.



    It's all 'bout word count, and packing in angst and tragedy.

    I keep harping on this, but it's frustrating.

    As I said before, I've never seen any back story histories ever actually used, but most DM's demand them.

    I've seen a DM who specified "no evil" PC's accept players as far as I can tell based on word count, including another player who's PC was a Cleric of a "God of Murder", and since I actually read the back stories the other players submitted, it was obvious to me that despite "Chaotic Neutral" being on the character sheet (with quotation marks!), that the PC was evil.

    The "campaign" ended very shortly after it started when the DM quit, after the players actually played the characters suggested by their PC's back-stories.

    He selected the menagerie of PC's, and had he actually bothered to read the back-stories he demanded he should have guessed how the PC's would have acted, and since all the PC's selected had the longest back-stories it was obvious to me that he just looked for length.

    I know that the more text I submit the better my chances of acceptance is.

    As an experiment, I submitted the same back-story to two different DM's, one with a few extra paragraphs tacked on at the end that really added nothing to the story

    Guess which one got accepted.

    For a PbP at this Forum I once submitted this:

    Mournblade Stormwind


    Though he'd "lived", if you could call it "living" for years, growing soft in this city of men, Mournblade remembered the forest.

    Mournblade loved the forest.

    The sound of the wind, the river, the birds.

    And foot steps.

    He loved his family as well, but he always felt the call of the forest, where he could live without speaking, and be still.

    And listen.

    And wait.

    For his prey.

    He told himself he hunted to feed his family and neighbors, but deep inside he knew that wasn't true.

    He needed the sounds of the woods, as well as the quiet.

    And to watch

    And to listen.

    He heard the woods burning.

    He had lived through forest-fires before, but this was different. There had been no lighting. And he heard screaming.

    Elf screams!

    In an instant from so still he would appear to be part of the woods, he became quick as a deer running from a couger, and he ran towards home.

    Towards his family.

    Towards everyone he knew.

    He saw the burned bodies.

    And the arrows.

    And something else.

    A banner.

    Men's banner.

    Mournblade knew then that he would leave the woods.

    He had a new prey.

    Mournblade Stormwind curses cruel fate:

    CURSE YOU, CRUEL FATE!


    THERE WILL BE A RECKONING!



    The PC was accepted.


    If ever DM's stop requiring back-stories with piles of dead relatives in order to play I'll be happier as I often regard the back-story submittal ritual as a chore.

    It's all about demand

    I pile 'em high in order to play.
    Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all


    Extended Sig




    PBP's

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
    Does the game you play feature a Dragon sitting on a pile of treasure, in a Dungeon?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja_Prawn View Post
    You're an NPC stat block."I remember when your race was your class you damned whippersnappers"
    Snazzy Avatar by Honest Tiefling!

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
     
    90sMusic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    LA, California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I suppose coming from a family with a lot of members in the military, the idea of people leaving to adventure having to be emotionally messed up just seems ridiculous to me. It's like saying people who sign up to be soldiers don't have families or don't want/care about their families because they could spend 12 months being deployed elsewhere.

    Your familial connections that exist with living people can be a good motivator to go adventuring as well. You could want to keep your homeland safe or just build wealth to eventually return home with.

    If anything, adventurers have a lot more freedom to actually go home when they want to and aren't explicitly obligated to do the things they do and it would realistically be a much more "family-friendly" profession than a soldier because you'd have a lot more control over where you go and when you go.

    Also, i'm a big fan of character development, and a lot of times your family is a big part of who you are and why you turned out the way you did. Seeing everyone just write them off as unimportant characters not worth mentioning ever makes me a little sad.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Orc in the Playground
     
    90sMusic's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    LA, California
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    The reason I want a backstory for characters in my games are to get an idea of their outlook on life, attitude, how they respond to some situations, and also to see the creativity of the player and see if they come up with anything remotely original or just basically copy-paste some generic action hero story.

    But then again, I also use backstories in all my games at some point. :) I incorporate old friends, relatives, their life goals, any personal quests they may have, and so on.

    But I just about never take players with dead parents. Just too tired of the unoriginality of the whole thing.

    "my parents were killed by..." "my village was destroyed by..." and so on, just hate seeing it crop up constantly. Just like every character that looks like it was modeled after some anime edgelord, that is an automatic rejection.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    People with families do not your standard adventurers make? But, since one of my biggest gaming influences was The Hobbit, I don't exactly airways make your standard adventurer. And even in games that aren't murder-hobo centric, I'm not interested in family playing a role. Why? Well, because I've never had a GM run them "right". My response has always been, "well, if that had been their family, my character would have turned out completely different."

    So, I'll stick with playing a character who is "not from around here", thanks, and let my family's vitality remain an unimportant (to the game), off-camera mystery.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Curiosity: How many player characters have dead family?

    I was giving it some thought and honestly in the games I've played, family hasn't really come up too often - when I've played, usually the players give their backstories to the DM and reveal very little for the group, preferring to let their character story unfold through RP, and it's not often my friends in character ask about each others' families. However, I don't doubt that it happens a lot - in my current game I'm helping guide two newer players, and both have dead parents, and I know my husband's character also has dead parents. Since I don't know the other players' backgrounds yet, I can only assume it's more of the same. Personally, I prefer to be ambiguous about my character's parents. Typically I play a character who's parents aren't in her life but are most likely alive somewhere - either they abandoned my character, or my character went on her own way at varying ages, or she was kidnapped or got lost and ended up on her own.

    Actually this thread gave me a really good idea for my next character - I would really like to play one who is adventuring to earn money for his/her family, and while s/he will travel with the party wherever they go, the thought of returning to family is always on the mind. And I think it would make an interesting interaction if the party gets to my character's hometown.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •