View Full Version : [Background] Barbarian

2007-01-18, 02:39 PM
This is quite literally a desperate cry for help from the many background genius who browse the GiantITP forum boards. And now that the shameless flattery is out of the way, unto the request.

By this Saturday I am have a highly detailed background for a character in my RL D&D games. And by highly detailed I mean ALOT of background information which apprantly is required for mysterious and scary DMly reasons. This is also for a barbarian going into frenzied beserker. I've been given free reign to make up the names of people or places as need be in this pursuit as long as I cover some basics.

Signifigent Others: No lonely orphans. I have a couple of these already father, mother, siblings, the owner of the circus (see below), and a fellow circus worker. But my character is around 30 years old and I'm sure he has more then those.

Personality: This is one of the hard parts. I want to avoid the barbarian archtypes like stupid drunken mess or soft spoken giant. I have somewhat general idea for this but nothing defined.

Appearence (Present): This I have my own ideas for but anything garish or gaudy someone wants to tack on is okay by me. He used to be a circus performer after all and likes bright colors and odd patterns. Something like wearing a jesters outfit over his armor or having a harlequinn's color scheme on said armor.

Attitude (Youth): What he was like as a child. This I pretty much have down.

"Far to the south, where the burning sun will choke the life from those not careful in their explorations, a variety of barbarian cultures lay. Unseen by the passage of time and untouched by the foolish outsiders who die in the sands. For generations they have lived in the shadow of the sacred temples of their ancestors, silent guardians to the sorceries and magics that are buried inside. Each tribe given another territory to protect and watch. Duty was impressed upon the children as well as the rituals to follow and obey. Jameak Serpenthelm had come from a long line of second-rate shamans and was expected to follow in that route during his life. However the dour young man decided after seeing the hidden laughter and chuckles of his fellow tribe mates that this would not be for him. Instead he choose to follow the path of a warrior and to prove through strength of arm and will that his line was not something to merely tolerate and laugh at, but instead something to be proud off. To this end he was one of the ten youths who partcipated in the Trials of Succession. A series of physical obstacles and trials that would determine which child would become the chieftain's apprentice and successor. At first he did well in the challenges until the final rounds when he was beaten out by another boy. This was Jameak's first experience with the burning rage inside of him when he jumped upon his rival and throttled him something fierce.

While he had not won the competition the current chieftain learned something quite different about Jameak that made him stand out. Jameak had a feverent desire to protect and care for those under his rule, while the boy who had won had merely participated because he had been forced to by his parents. And in an unprecedented move named the young Jameak as his heir then and there, completely bypassing other trials he would normally have to complete as well. Knowing that Jameak would need to expierence things outside of the desert before he could become a true chieftain, his mentor told him to explore and expierence the outside world until news came back to him to return..."

If anyone has suggestions for fleshing out this part then I'm more then happy to hear them, though I think that might be enough.

And Age: This one of the only other defined things I have. 33 or 34.

Of course I consulted the Wizard's NPC background maker, in order to gain an understanding for a basic framework and got this...

Both of Jameak’s parents are alive, but in poor health. Jameak has lost contact with his parents or did so prior to their death. Jameak is the oldest child of a large family (more than five children) who love and admire him. The barbarian's family emigrated here recently. Jameak is the first generation born in this area. How does the community react to Jameak’s family? Well, truthfully, the family is the subject of dark tales. The barbarian has a group of about ten people who hate him who employ monsters and other exotic creatures against him. Luckily, though, the character also has found favor with the people of an entire city or large institution (like a church or order of knighthood) and allies who can do scholarly research into ancient lore when needed.

Which while it gives little help with the actual details helps me to clarify some things (Heck I was startled that some of it even matched what I had already planned.)

What I came up with myself is more sketchy.

Jameak joined up with a wandering band of, for lack of a better term, circus folks once he was into the civilized lands up to the north. He paid his way by being either A) a strong man or B) a juggler and was a great hit doing it too. (Character is supposed to be famous or noble in some way, forgot to mention that.) Everything went good for awhile and Jameak came to think of the owner as a surrogate brother and one of the acrobats became his first love. Everything was good and the only real trouble he encountered during this point were the occasional rowdy customers, escaped circus animal, or stupid monster attack. Enter jealous rival performers who burned down the circus mid performance. Many of the other performers were caught in the blaze while others were able to escape. Jameak was one of the ones trying to rescue his friends when a collasping beam knocked him unconsious. When he awoke his home away from home was destroyed and he was starkedly reminded about how unfair life could be.

Is pretty much what I have. I would like to ask for the creative minds who dwell here's help on more specific events or circumstances in his life to flesh it out some more please.