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Does your PC backstory make sense?


Call me a bit anal (and some do), but does the PC you play have a backstory consistant with their planet of origin' UWP?

If your PC is a rogue, pirate or corsair, did they come from a planet with a low (or no) law level? Does your paladin-like crusader come from a planet with feudal government origins? Did your belter grow up in a system that has an asteroid belt or did your character's weapon skill come about as a result of the tech level found on their world of origin? Was that body pistol skill acquired on a planet where such a weapon was the norm?

I suppose that this all could easily be explained by stating that regardless of their world of origin (randomly selected) your PC's wanderings through the 4, 8, 12, etc years terms of service allowed them to acquire those skill and feats (not found or allowed on their (randomly selected) world of origin). But, where's the fun in that?

Of course, if you want to get down to the nitty-gritty, how about creating a PC, joining the Marines (or other service branch) and then trying to match their acquired skills and feats relative to the planets they served on? If they acquired a laser weapon skill, do a little research and find a planet with the right UWP to allow that skill. This requires a bit more work, but if the GM gives points for role-playing or good background development just imagine his/her surprise when you can list some of the planet's your ex-Marine served on and what skills came about therein. You could even invent a few small skirmishes on various planets (give them those grand campaign names) where your Marine conducted several strike assignments and was awarded the SEH but wounded in the process, or the name of a pirate hangout where your former naval officer cleaned out a nest of interstellar thugs.

It also is a great exercise in getting the PC familiar with multiple star systems. Their former "neck-of-the-woods" is now more familiar to them and a bit more believable. All those cold numbers now become some great 'round the campfire stories to share with others. You might also get to know some of the local haunts the GM can work into the campaign and maybe two or more of the PCs will have served on the same planet or patrolled the same stretch of space (or even fought on opposite sides?). :D

Too detailed?
I usually do something pretty close to this for my characters, and try to help the players do this when I'm ref. I try to match my background story to the home world UWP, and I try to find a home world with a UWP that would fit my character's beginning skills.

Any service characters that receive medals or awards, I come up with a location for the battle or incident.

I did this once for a bunch of pre-generated Marines I created for a one-shot, "Aliens"-themed adventure I ran once. All the players were reading over the handouts I gave them on their characters, the battles they had been in, the campaigns they had served in, what ships they had been aboard, etc. One of the players said, as a joke, "Obsess much?" Another said, "Really. You need to get out more."

Funny, I believe those were the first two characters to die. ;)
It is more fun to make them come up with the backstory, especially if the details are inconsistent.
A barbarian from a high tech world, could have been a stowaway as a kid.
A Vargr born in the Aslan territries.
Someone with Broker 6 from a low tech world.

Anything that is hard to explain, make the player come up with the story.
I just finished writing a page and a half backstory for a Belter/Marine I've been running and It was a lot of fun. Almost like a bit of solo play.

It was a bit of a challenge to incorporate a few of the game details, like despite having a Soc of 7 being first cousins to a Grand Duke, Soc 25.

I also got to incorporate a few odd quircks like a fondness for Salmon Milkshakes.

I highly reccomend everyone give this sort of thing a try.