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Glopicus

New to Tabletop RPG's. Need help creating a backstory.

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So, I'm going to be playing Deathwatch for the first (proper) time soon. I'm creating my PC ad reading through the rule book, and I've come to a stop at "Giving My Character Life". I don't know how much creative liberty I have in making my backstory, whether or not I am allowed to make up fictional planets or battles, or even people for that matter. 

Am I allowed to say, for instance, "My Space Wolf fought with great strength and valor on Chiron Beta Prime in the effort of freeing the enslaved Imperials from their Orcish Overlords; and in exchange was granted the honor of serving on the Deathwatch."?

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Am I allowed to say, for instance, "My Space Wolf fought with great strength and valor on Chiron Beta Prime in the effort of freeing the enslaved Imperials from their Orcish Overlords; and in exchange was granted the honor of serving on the Deathwatch."?

Yes.

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Absolutely.

 

As a setting, 40k in particular is extremely open, with lots of "gaps" in the basic material to fill in your own ideas. For example, there are supposed to be about 1.000 Space Marine Chapters, yet only a small fraction of those have ever been named anywhere, leaving the rest for gamers to make their own. The different livery and heraldry as well as Chapter culture likewise exist in part to make the various armies more "personal", but also to enable players to insert their own ideas into the world. Example: you like samurai? I'm sure there's a Space Marine Chapter for you. It may not be mentioned anywhere yet, but the galaxy is a big place.

 

And even beyond these gaps left by the official material, the IP allows for considerable artistic license, with many of the official and officially licensed sources contradicting each other, which has in the past been explained as the books that we as real people read being distorted by legend, myth and propaganda, leaving it to decide for yourself how your Wh40k looks like.

 

The Deathwatch RPG in particular clashes with a lot of GW's original background, yet both visions of the setting are equally valid. In the end, regardless of whether you make up something completely new, or rather change something that already exists (like Space Wolf history, organisation or Chapter culture), what matters is that you and your group like it (as your changes may affect the game for everyone else), so I'd greatly recommend talking to your GM and fellow players to make sure you're all on the same page and play on common ground.

As much as the many different official sources deviate from one another: within your little group, consistency is a must.

 

Good luck with those creative juices!

Edited by Lynata

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From a GM point of view a player who fleshes out their backstory is a godsend and can be really useful in making compelling sub plots.

 

In terms of 'what's allowed' the main things to bare in mind is that it needs to fit with your character.  If you said your marine killed three World Eaters single handedly in close combat than that is fine but is more credible if you are assault marine CQC combat munchkin than if you are a Devestator.

 

Secondly don't impinge to much on other PCs.  Saying that your character won an honour duel against another PCs chapter is ok.  Saying that your home brew Chapter was invovled in a war with another Chapter that led to them surrendering and having to accept penance is not.

 

Finally leave room to grow/highlight the important stuff.  All marines have been fighting for decades maybe centuries.  They've all been involved in battles whcih for a Guardsman would be considered definitive life changing moments but for a marine was a Wednesday.  So when you right the back story make the highlights a big deal either on an epic scale ('I was part of the 6th Company at the Battle of Klydark that destroyed large warband of Death Guard culminating in their Champion being possessed by Great Unclean One') or on a personal level (I was hand picked by Grand Master Dante to carry a banner at a particular triumph march).

 

On the flip side you don't need to have a compelte biography over the past 100 years.  Leave room for the GM to give you ingame cues like 'Your brother Astartes wouldn't believe you if you told them but you remember seeing this type of crusier near the Tannhauser Gate forty years ago.'   

 

From a GM point of view a player who fleshes out their backstory is a godsend and can be really useful in making compelling sub plots.

 

In terms of 'what's allowed' the main things to bare in mind is that it needs to fit with your character.  If you said your marine killed three World Eaters single handedly in close combat than that is fine but is more credible if you are assault marine CQC combat munchkin than if you are a Devestator.

 

Secondly don't impinge to much on other PCs.  Saying that your character won an honour duel against another PCs chapter is ok.  Saying that your home brew Chapter was involved in a war with another Chapter that led to them surrendering and having to accept penance is not.

 

Finally leave room to grow/highlight the important stuff.  All marines have been fighting for decades maybe centuries.  They've all been involved in battles whcih for a Guardsman would be considered definitive life changing moments but for a marine was a Wednesday.  So when you write the back story make the highlights a big deal either on an epic scale ('I was part of the 6th Company at the Battle of Klydark that destroyed large warband of Death Guard culminating in their Champion being possessed by Great Unclean One') or on a personal level (I was hand picked by Grand Master Dante to carry a banner at a particular triumph march).

 

On the flip side you don't need to have a complete biography over the past 100 years.  Leave room for the GM to give you in-game cues like 'Your brother Astartes wouldn't believe you if you told them but you remember seeing this type of crusier near the Tannhauser Gate forty years ago.'   

Edited by Visitor Q

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Saying that your character won an honour duel against another PCs chapter is ok. 

Brings into mind me and my friend in one game. 

 

Twin-Brothers, like night and day in personality, who were chosen to Dark Angels. My character, level headed always looking best way to deal with the enemies, Inner Circle Initiate. Friends character, hot headed always looking trouble, Ritual Duel fighter (winner by using extra xp to choose the outcome).

 

One other player, Space Wolf, also bad tempered, Ritual Duel Fighter (lost the fight, chose to roll the dice, bad luck -_-  )

 

I think you can guess who were little bit on each others throats from time to time  :lol:

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Yeah, we have a Space Pup and a Deep and Interesting Angel in our group back in the day.  They'd bicker and make off comments, eventually wrestling and then offer terms for a duel.  And then my Black Templar would put them both in the Emperor's headlock.  /flex

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The Deathwatch RPG in particular clashes with a lot of GW's original background

 

Especially the Boltguns! :D :D :D

 

Alex

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