June 20th, 2002

It's All Me

Bio of a Space Tyrant

Something ishmael02 said in his "How do you create an RPG character?" poll has been nagging at me for a couple of days now, and it occurred to me that I should bring it up as a topic. Here's a quote, snipped for clarity:

[My character's background writeup] ended up being around six pages, nailing down everything from where his skills came from to how he ended up with a 'saber - and the GM hasn't cared to see it.

This struck me as a side comment, not an actual complaint, but it still bugged me. I can't imagine playing under a GM that wasn't interested in reading any detailed information I developed about my character.

As a player, I tend to write elaborate bios that may reach or top six pages. As a GM, I encourage players to generate as much detail as possible about their characters, including bios of their own contacts and friends. If one of my players handed me a 20-page writeup, I might cringe a bit, but I'd read it, for any of a number of reasons: To make sure there wasn't anything in it that directly contradicted the way I wanted the game or the world to work. To better assess the character, and come up with more appropriate and interesting scenarios for that character. To look for additional story hooks and cues. And finally, just because I would feel I owed it to the player. Anyone who's actually interested enough in my game to produce something that elaborate deserves the courtesy of my equal interest in their character.

What do ya'll think? Would you play under a GM that didn't want to read your character bio? Would you allow (or encourage) a player to have pages of bio that only they knew about, for their own role-play guidelines?
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