17 March 2013

Random Background Generator: Roll All Dice

It has been my observation that many players, when confronted with creating a new character, suffer from something akin to writer's block. They are, after all, engaged in a similar process: charged with generating a unique personality with whom they may be spending a great deal of time and facing a dauntingly blank sheet of paper. This role-player's block can strike players of any level of experience. Regardless of the amount of background information a player is expected to provide, it can sometimes be helpful to generate some of it randomly. The following tables are provided as an option to players who are suffering from the dreaded role-player's block. Feel free to use the results from any or all of the tables.

Random Background Generator
(Roll All Dice)

Family Reputation

Roll 1d4

1. Despised
2. Tolerated
3. Respected
4. Admired

Personal Relationship

Roll 1d6

1. Disowned
2. Scorned
3. Unappreciated
4. Appreciated
5. Beloved
6. Favored

Number of Siblings

Roll 1d8

1. One
2. Two
3. Three
4. Four
5. Five
6. Six
7. Seven
8. None

Extended Family in Household

Roll 1d10

1. Cousin
2. Maternal grandfather
3. Maternal grandmother
4. Paternal grandfather
5. Paternal grandmother
6. Maternal aunt
7. Maternal uncle
8. Paternal aunt
9. Paternal uncle
10. Roll twice or choose none

Family Occupation

Roll 1d12

1. Artisans
2. Beggars
3. Craftsmen
4. Criminals
5. Merchants
6. Nobility
7. Peasants
8. Scholars
9. Serfs
10. Soldiers
11. Tradesmen
12. Woodsmen

Motivation for Adventuring

Roll 1d20

1. Addiction to danger
2. Chosen
3. Conquering fear
4. Curiosity
5. Debt
6. Fame
7. Fortune
8. Fugitive
9. Hobby
10. Investigation
11. Last option
12. Lost
13. Mistaken identity
14. Refugee
15. Rejection (of or by: family, village, civilization, etc.)
16. Revenge
17. Rite
18. Secret mission
19. Spiritual quest
20. Wandering


  • "Family Reputation" refers to how others view the player character's family.
  • "Personal Relationship" refers to how the player character is viewed by his or her family.
  • "Number of siblings" does not mention whether they are brothers or sisters. This can be chosen by the player or determined randomly.
  • "Extended Family in Household" refers only to those members living with the player character's parents. The player must decide whether the character also lives with the parents.
  • "Family Occupation" refers to the family's traditional profession. Not all members will necessarily belong to the same profession.
  • "Motivation for Adventuring" may be primary or secondary. Roll more than once on this table if desired.
[See also this example. Or this. Or this. Or this.]


  1. I like the categories you picked and the reasons to adventure are nicely condensed, cool.

    1. Thank you! I tried to make it as flexible as possible. I hope it will serve as a stepping stone for the player's own creativity.