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A Background Explains a Lot! DnD Background Generator
To be a player in a Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) game, all your really need is some dice, some books, and a character. If all you're really interested in is the game play, this will do you well. However, if you enjoy details, and want to tell a story, your character's background is an opportunity to do just that.
Everything your character is can be a direct result of experiences and guidance he or she had in the past. People don't wake up one day and decide that they're going to be a lawyer today, or a construction worker. There's a story behind the decision to pursue that vocation, and the same would be true for your characters.
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DnD Background Generators
Wizards of the Coast offers a DnD background generator for non-player characters, and even though it's specifically for NPCs, you can tweak the information it gives to suit a player character.
The D20 RPG Assistant is a program created by the folks at RPGWEB.COM. It's not free like the other two, but this program offers a lot more than a background, including a character generator, a fractal mapper module, a die roller, a whole party generator and even a weather generator.
Although it's not specifically a DnD background generator, this character background generator offers a quick background meant to fill in the blank spaces of your character's background. It produces a full web page of plain text that can be cut and pasted as you please. If you don't like the ideas it presents, click the "Generate a background" button again, and it changes things up.
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The Cons of a DnD Background Generator
For those who enjoy telling a detailed story, a background rich in character history is a chance to spin a story, explaining everything about why their character does what he or she does, likes what he or she likes, where he or she comes from, and where he or she is going.
In a case like this, automatic DnD background generators are not usually the best route to go without adding a little embellishment. Try taking the stories generated and adding to them, or editing them a bit.
Another downside to using DnD background generators is that the story is not going to really be unique. While this may not be a big deal to you, it could mean a lot to someone who plays in groups with people he or she may not be entirely familiar with. If you use a DnD background generator, chances are you're going to run into someone else who does as well. It simply wouldn't do for your character to end up meeting another character with the exact same background!
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What's Your Favorite Generator?
Do you use a DnD background generator, or know of one you would recommend above the ones mentioned in this article? Do you have feelings or opinions regarding the use of such programs that you'd like to voice? Please share in the comments below!