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  1. #1
    Senior Member Patriarche's Avatar
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    Apr 2018

    Background for MC?


    This is not a complaint, not even a suggestion per se, it's more like a discussion to make things more immersive but I don't believe that it is a priority at all right now.

    One very elementary thing when you create your PC in a PnP adventure, is not only the stats class race etc, but working on his background (which is almost half the fun of creating a new character). The concept of background has even been more exploited as DnD further worked on their concepts and even give additionnal features to your character, such as an additional specialized skill, one more language, or special dialogue with specific characters in the campaign (if you're an ex-officier of the military who is well known, you might have some advantages in a military corp that still respects you for being a veteran, for exemple).

    in video games, it has been adapted as well, in Divinity Original Sin 2 you can choose a few tags that represents your background and give you special dialogues depending on the situation. I think there is also racial-based dialogues, and that's my point today.

    The game considers you're human that has absolutely no knowledge of the world he has been summoned too, with nobody who might know him. If you're a dwarf of a halfling, not one mention of your race ever comes up, and you will always be able to romance a human. While this is nice that there are no race discrimination, it feels empty on an immersive point of view.

    Jubilost is apparently a very big deal for the academic community around Golarion as a whole. Why the PC does not know about him? A barbarian, fighter or even sorcerer might have never heard of him, but for a wizard, alchemist or any class that implies the PC had to study at some point in his life, it seems weird that his name does not ring a bell. There could at least be a knowledge (world) check here so you would not look like a total ignorant baboon. Choosing to recognize him or, even better, to pretend to not recognize him to spite him, would be so much more immersive.

    However those are details. It would be nice to be able to pick a background for our character to further enrich the customisation of our MC. A merchant son, a mercenary, a member of clergy, a traveler from unknown lands (and there could be multiple choices for that, River kingdoms, for the Far North where amiri come from, even from Restov or Surtova), and without a doubt the one who would be most popular, a noble from a fallen houses (usually easier to incorporate in a CRPG than a noble from an active house). Depending on the background, you might choose which starting bonus you want (one more skill, one more minor feat, one random item).

    While very interesting, I know it would requires too much work for a little flavor. One could argue that PnP is all about flavor, because otherwise why not play games like one of the Elder scrolls series or Diablo III and just hack things appart, but the game is satisfying enough as it is that I don't think it urgently needs to offer such a feature as of yet. As part of a definitive edition, in one or two years though?

    Make it with another popular demands, political marriages, add some interesting suggestions from various players that you can read in the forums, like the possibility as a dwarf to create a dwarven-centric kingdom (as a feature for a dwarf that has chosen a fallen noble background, maybe?), or as a barbarian to create a kingdom more rudimentary (seems silly that a baron from a civilized area would dress with dirty leather rags and screams for blood as he swings around his gigantic sword/axe/warhammer. Would make more sense that such a baron would inspire barbarian people to settle?). I know the barbarian one would be tricky to make, it's just something I read in the forum and I thought having the possibility to do that might make me roll a barbarian, when this is a role that has never interested me before.

    Same for the dwarf. The only time in my life I rolled a dwarf is in Dragon Age origins, where you could choose whether to be a noble dwarf or a commoner dwarf. As a noble dwarf, you could become a king of this faction while for any other playable races you had to endorse a noble dwarf, so it added not only flavor but value to play a noble dwarf.

    Anyways, this is more to open a discussion about those kind of features. As I already said, Owlcart ressources are already pretty much busy with every hotfixes and patches to look at this kind of thing. It's just an idea for a possible definitive edition, once all DLCs are out and enough time has passed to work on gamebreaking issues. A new season pass would be welcomed for those kind of features I'm pretty sure of it, even if it is kickstarted.

    TL;DR : being able to pick backgrounds ranging from merchants, travelers from unknowns lands (choose between river kingdoms, surtova, restov or even far north where amiri comes from) or fallen noble could add flavor to the game if it could add a little starting bonus and specifics dialogues. Also adding dialogues specifics to the race you're playing would be cool.

  2. #2
    Hmm.. I kinda like this idea, reminds me of DAO and how I love my Dalish and City Elf protags. But pulling off something like that does requires a lot of work and resources.

    Maybe making something that's less extensive like the one in Neverwinter 2. In the CC menu you can either be a wizard's apprentice or part of the militia. Chosing your personality trait of being a 'natural leader', 'studious', 'devout' or even a 'flirt'. Something along those lines will be great I think..

  3. #3
    Background traits are very much a thing in the pnp game. I would have liked to have a few available that would have a meaningful effect on gameplay and/or story.

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