Epic List of Character Building Questions for Any TTRPG Setting

Character building for a backstory in a tabletop role-playing game (TTRPG) like Dungeons & Dragons can be an exciting and fun experience.

It can be tricky though, and sometimes we get stuck.

How about some help?

Below I have dozens of questions for you to help build your new character backstory. Answer as many or as few as you’d like–the idea is that the concepts help spark your creative fire and get you going.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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Getting Started with Character Development

Take the time to create a unique and well-rounded character, from their occupation and life before the game to their goals, motivations, and moral alignment.

The questions below can help you explore your character’s relationships, their skills and abilities, and their personal beliefs and values. They can also help you understand how your character will interact with the game world and the other characters in the campaign.

D&D, or Dungeons & Dragons, is one of the most popular TTRPGs in the gaming world! Delight your players with dynamic sessions, exciting one shots, and loads of fun NPC surprises! A D&D game is a great way to brighten up your week.

Much of your character’s personality won’t really show itself until you’ve been playing for a little while, and that’s okay. You’ll need to get to know your new character as you play. These questions will simply help you build a foundation.

Don’t forget to check out our other tips on building a great character when you’re done!

Regardless of the genre you plan to enjoy, these questions can serve as a guide to help you create a memorable and engaging character that will add depth and richness to your TTRPG experience. I’ve got loads of questions for you, so let’s get started!

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Table of Contents

Click the links below to jump to the questionnaire sections you’re most interested in.

Fantasy Game

Science Fiction Game

Vampire Game

Urban Game

Post-Apocalyptic or Zombie Game

Steampunk Game

Eldritch Game

Western Game

Superhero Game

Pirate Game

Survival Game

Detective Noir Game

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Fantasy Game Character Building Questions

  1. What was your character’s childhood like? Did they grow up in poverty or wealth? Did they have a happy childhood or were they raised in an environment of hardship?
  2. What does your character’s think of their family? Are they from a noble line or commoners? Are they an only child or do they have siblings? Are they still in contact with their family?
  3. What was your character’s occupation before becoming an adventurer? Were they a farmer, a blacksmith, a merchant, a scholar, a criminal, or something else?
  4. What event or circumstance led to your character becoming an adventurer? Was it a personal tragedy, a desire for adventure, a quest for revenge?
  5. What is your character’s goal or motivation as an adventurer? Is it to gain power, wealth, fame, or possibly redemption?
  6. What is your character’s moral alignment? Are they good, neutral, or evil? What are their values and beliefs and why?
  7. What is your character’s religious belief? Are they a devout follower of a specific deity or do they have no religious beliefs? Have they had moments in their life that have solidified their belief system?
  8. What is your character’s greatest fear? What created this fear?
  9. What is your character’s greatest strength? How do they utilize this?
  10. What is your character’s greatest weakness? Is it a physical or mental condition, an addiction, a secret?
  11. What is your character’s greatest achievement?
  12. What about their greatest failure? Is it a personal or professional setback, or perhaps a tragic event?
  13. How does your character handle stress and pressure? Do they stay calm, lash out, or retreat into themselves?
  14. What is your character’s most treasured possession? Is it a family heirloom, a sentimental item, maybe a powerful magic item?
  15. How does your character feel about magic?
  16. What is your character’s opinion on different professions in the world?
  17. How does your character feel about politics? Do they have strong political beliefs or do they avoid getting involved in politics?
  18. What is your character’s relationship with nature? Are they an outdoors person, do they have a connection with animals, or are they indifferent?
  19. How does your character feel about death? Do they have a fear of it, a fascination with it, or a different attitude towards it?
  20. How does your character feel about their own mortality? Do they have a desire to live forever or do they accept the inevitability of death?
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Science Fiction Game Character Building Questions

  1. What planet or colony was your character born on? What is the culture and society like there?
    • What was your character’s favorite tradition from this place? Least favorite?
  2. What was your character’s occupation before becoming a spiffy, futuristic adventurer? Were they a scientist, a engineer, a soldier, or maybe a corporate agent?
  3. What event or circumstance led to your character becoming an adventurer? Was it a personal tragedy, a desire for adventure, a quest for revenge, or something else?
  4. What is your character’s primary goal or motivation?
  5. What is your character’s moral alignment?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on artificial intelligence and robots?
  7. How does your character feel about space exploration and alien life forms?
  8. What is your character’s opinion on advanced technology? Is there anything in particular they are excited to experience?
  9. What is your character’s relationship with their own cybernetic enhancements or genetic modifications?
  10. What is your character’s opinion on the government and politics? Are they loyal, rebellious or neutral?
  11. What is your character’s opinion on mega-corporations and their influence on society?
  12. What is your character’s educational background?
  13. What is your character’s military background? Are they a veteran or a deserter?
  14. What is your character’s opinion on the use of weaponized technology? Are they for or against it?
    • What are some experiences they’ve had that give them this opinion?
  15. How does your character feel about the concept of time travel? Have they experienced it?
  16. What is your character’s opinion on mind uploading and immortality?
  17. What is your character’s opinion on virtual reality and augmented reality?
  18. How does your character feel about genetic engineering and biotechnology?
  19. What is your character’s opinion on the use of psychic powers?
  20. How does your character feel about the concept of a multiverse?
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Vampire Game Character Development Questions

  1. How did your character become a vampire? Was it through a bite, a curse, a ritual?
  2. What was your character’s life like before becoming a vampire?
  3. How does your character feel about their vampirism? Do they see it as a curse or a blessing?
  4. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • vampire hunters and vampire slayers?
    • mortals? Are they seen as food, allies, or enemies?
    • ethics and morality?
    • politics and leadership?
    • vampire magic and supernatural abilities?
    • religion and spirituality?
    • immortality?
    • technology and cybernetics?
    • fashion and aesthetics?
    • art and culture?
    • the vampire’s thirst for blood?
    • vampire-human relationships?
    • vampire-werewolf relationships?
    • vampire weakness and vulnerabilities?
    • other vampire clans or covenants? Are they loyal, hostile, or neutral towards them?
    • vampire secret society and hidden agendas?
    • a vampire’s role in the world’s history and future?
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Urban Game Character Development Questions

  1. What city was your character born and raised in? What is the culture and society like there?
  2. What was your character’s occupation before becoming an adventurer? Were they a cop, a criminal, a business person, or a student? Something else entirely?
  3. What event or circumstance led to your character becoming an adventurer? Was it a personal tragedy, a desire for adventure, a quest for revenge, or something else?
  4. What is your character’s goal or motivation as an adventurer? Is it to gain power, wealth, fame, or perhaps redemption?
  5. What is your character’s moral alignment? Are they good, neutral, or evil? What are their values and beliefs?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on urban gangs and organized crime? Are they pro or anti-gang?
  7. How does your character feel about the urban environment? Do they love the city or do they long for the countryside?
  8. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • urban politics and leadership?
    • technology and cybernetics?
    • urban fashion and aesthetics?
    • urban art and culture?
    • the high population density?
    • urban-rural, long-distance relationships? Is this something they have experienced? Are their stigmas?
    • poverty and inequality?
    • urban-corporate relationships?
    • urban-government relationships?
    • the fast pace of life?
    • secret societies and hidden agendas?
    • how the city landscape plays a role in the world’s history and future?
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Post-Apocalyptic or Zombie-Themed Game Character Building Questions

  1. What was your character’s occupation before the apocalypse?
  2. What was your character’s life like before the apocalypse? Did they have a family, friends, or loved ones?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation in the post-apocalyptic world? Is it to survive, to find other survivors, to rebuild society or something else?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? What are their values and beliefs?
  5. How did your character survive the apocalypse?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • the state of the environment and wildlife of the post-apocalyptic world?
    • the economy and trade?
    • the state of healthcare and medicine?
    • technology and advancements?
    • the state of food and water supply? Are they well-fed, malnourished?
    • housing and shelter of the post-apocalyptic TTRPG world?
    • transportation of the post-apocalyptic world?
    • communication and media?
    • forming alliances and working together with other survivors?
  7. What significant events did your character experience before or during the apocalypse?
  8. How does your character’s background affect their relationships and interactions with other characters in the game?
  9. How does your character’s abilities and skills reflect the challenges of the post-apocalyptic world?
  10. How does your character deal with the psychological and emotional challenges of a post-apocalyptic scenario?
  11. How does your character deal with the moral dilemmas that arise in a post-apocalyptic scenario?
  12. How does your character adapt to the changing conditions and challenges of the world?
  13. What is your character’s history with zombies or similar monsters before the apocalypse? Are they familiar with them from movies, books or games? Have they ever encountered one before?
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Steampunk Game Character Building Questions

  1. What is your character’s occupation? Are they an inventor, a scientist, a mechanic, a pilot, a thief, or something else?
  2. What social class is your character in?
  3. What is your character’s primary goal or motivation?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • the technology and advancements of the steampunk world? Are they fascinated, skeptical, or something else?
    • the state of the economy and trade of the steampunk world?
    • healthcare and medicine? Are they healthy?
    • education?
    • art and culture of the steampunk world?
    • transportation in the steampunk world? What is available for use that your character likes or dislikes?
    • the state of communication and media?
    • religion and spirituality? Are they devout, skeptical?
    • human rights and equality?
    • the state of security and safety of the world?
  6. What significant events did your character experience?
  7. How does your character’s background affect their relationships and interactions with other characters in the game?
  8. How does your character’s abilities and skills reflect the technology and advancements of the steampunk world?
  9. What inventions is your character most interested in or excited about?
  10. What famous people in the world does your character know of? Have they met?
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Eldritch Game Character Development Questions

  1. What was your character’s life like before they discovered the darker, eldritch side of reality? Were they a scientist, a historian, a peasant, a cultist, or something else?
  2. What event or circumstance led to your character’s “awakening” of eldritch reality? Was it a personal tragedy, a desire for power, a quest for knowledge?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? How do they adhere to these morals in their day-to-day life?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on eldritch beings? Are they loyal, hostile, or neutral towards them? How do they respond to their fear of these beings?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on mortals? Are they seen as food, allies, or enemies?
  7. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • ethics and morality?
    • politics and leadership?
    • magic and supernatural abilities?
    • religion and spirituality?
    • eldritch immortality?
    • technology and medicine?
    • fashion and aesthetics?
    • art and culture?
    • their own weaknesses and vulnerabilities?
    • cultists?
    • eldritch secret societies and hidden agendas?
    • their role in the world’s history and future?
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Western-Themed Game Character Building Questions

  1. What was your character’s life like before they came to the frontier? Were they a city-dweller?
  2. What event or circumstance led to your character’s decision to come to the frontier? Was it a desire for adventure, a search for a new life, a need to escape the past, or something else?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation in the frontier? Is it to strike it rich, to establish a homestead, to seek revenge?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? What are their values and beliefs?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on:
    • the native inhabitants of the frontier?
    • other settlers on the frontier? Are they seen as allies or enemies?
    • law and order? Are they in favor for it or against it?
    • the use of violence? Have they ever hurt someone before?
    • the state of the economy and trade in the frontier? Are they a businessman or a trader?
    • religion and spirituality?
    • the environment and wildlife in the frontier? Are they knowledgeable about wilderness survival?
    • healthcare and medicine?
    • education?
    • art and culture? Are they interested?
    • the state of the food and water supply in the frontier? Are they well-fed?
    • housing and shelter in the frontier? Where do they live?
    • transportation? Do they rely on horses? Trains?
    • security and safety? Do they have the skills needed to protect themselves?
    • human rights and equality?

Superhero Game Character Building Questions

  1. What was your character’s life like before they gained their powers? What were their favorite and least favorite aspects about themselves?
  2. How did your character gain their powers?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation as a superhero? Is it to save the world, to seek revenge, to protect the innocent, or something else?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? How do they uphold these values using their powers?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on other superheroes?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on the government and law enforcement agencies?
  7. What is your character’s opinion on the use of their powers? Are they responsible, reckless, careful?
  8. What are your character’s thoughts on maintaining a secret identity and a public persona? Are they open or secretive?
  9. How does your character feel about the public’s perception of superheroes?
  10. What is your character’s opinion on superhero teams and organizations? Are they a lone wolf or a team player?
  11. How does your character feel about their powers, abilities and limitations?
  12. How does your character handle the physical and emotional stress of being a superhero?
  13. How does your character balance their personal and superhero life?
  14. What is your character’s opinion on the use of technology and equipment in their superhero activities?
  15. How does your character handle the loss of loved ones or comrades in the line of duty?
  16. What lengths does your character go to in order to protect everyday civilians?
  17. What is your character’s opinion on the use of deadly force?
  18. How does your character handle public recognition, fame and media attention?
  19. How does your character handle the psychological impact of their powers and experiences?
  20. What is your character’s opinion on the use of their powers for personal gain?
  21. How does your character handle the responsibility and pressure of being a superhero?
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Pirate-Themed Game Character Building Questions

  1. What is your character’s occupation? Are they on a ship? Are they a captain, a first mate, a navigator, a gunner, a cook, a doctor, or something else?
  2. What is your character’s history with piracy? Are they a seasoned pirate, a former naval officer, or a first-time recruit?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation? Is it to become the most notorious pirate, to find treasure, to seek revenge, or something else?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on the state of piracy? Are they loyal to their crew, a revolutionary, or something else?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the economy and trade? Are they wealthy, poor, or something else?
  7. What is your character’s expertise with naval tactics and strategy?
  8. Has your character survived ship battles, being stranded at sea, or other difficult events?
  9. What experience does your character have with maintaining a ship’s food and water supply? What about onboard illness, pests, or stowaways?
  10. Where does your character live?
  11. Does your character own a boat?
  12. Does your character worship a deity?
  13. What sea creatures does your character love or fear?
  14. What significant people does your character know in the pirate world?
  15. How does your character’s background affect their relationships and interactions with other characters in the game?
  16. How does your character’s abilities and skills reflect the customs, traditions and culture of the world?
  17. What is your character’s opinion on alliances and betrayals?
  18. How does your character deal with the consequences of piracy, such as being pursued by the navy or facing justice in port towns?
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Survival-Themed Game Character Building Questions

  1. What is your character’s occupation? Are they a hunter, a gatherer, a farmer, a scientist, a builder, a medic, or something else?
  2. What is your character’s history with survivalism? Are they a seasoned survivor, a novice, or a city-dweller?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation in the world? Is it to find safety, to find civilization, or something else?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? How is this reflected in their daily life?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the environment and wildlife? Are they a conservationist, an exploiter, or something else?
  6. Does your character have any experience with bartering or trade? What does that exchange look like for them?
  7. Is your character healthy?
  8. What technology or advancements does your character use, appreciate, or admire?
  9. How does your character prefer to procure food and safe water?
  10. How experienced is your character in building shelters? Which types of shelters do they prefer?
  11. Does your character have a way to communicate across long distances with other people?
  12. Does your character worship a deity?
  13. What significant events did your character experience in the world?
  14. How does your character’s background affect their relationships and interactions with other characters in the game?
  15. What survival skills does your character have? What are their weaknesses?
  16. What is your character’s opinion on forming alliances and working together with other survivors?
  17. How does your character deal with the psychological and emotional challenges of survival?
  18. How does your character deal with the moral dilemmas that arise in a survival scenario?
  19. How does your character adapt to the changing conditions and challenges of different weather and seasons?
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Detective Noir-Themed Game Character Building Questions

  1. What is your character’s occupation? Are they a private investigator, a police detective, a journalist, a lawyer, or something else entirely?
  2. What is your character’s history with crime and law enforcement? Did they have a past experience as a criminal or a victim?
  3. What is your character’s goal or motivation? Do they hope to solve a specific case, bring justice, expose corruption or something else?
  4. What is your character’s moral alignment? Are they good, neutral, or corrupt? What are their values and beliefs?
  5. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the criminal underworld? Are they well-connected?
  6. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the legal system? Are they supportive or critical?
  7. Is your character cooperative with the media and police? Why or why not? What experiences happened to make your character have these preferences?
  8. What is the public opinion of your character in the world? Are they well-regarded, disliked, or unknown?
  9. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the social and political climate?
  10. How well off is your character, financially? How did this come to be?
  11. What is your character’s opinion on the state of the technology and advancements? Are they using current equipment, or is outdated?
  12. What significant people does your character know?
  13. How does your character’s background affect their relationships and interactions with other characters in the game?
  14. How does your character’s abilities and skills reflect the challenges in this world?
  15. How does your character’s personality and demeanor reflect the tone and atmosphere of the world?
  16. How does your character deal with psychological and emotional stress?
  17. How does your character’s past experiences shape their approach to solving cases and working with other characters in the game?
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When character building for a new tabletop RPG, considering character development and backstory are crucial to having a well-rounded experience.

Closing Thoughts

Character building in a tabletop game can be an exciting experience, allowing us to explore new worlds, themes and scenarios. By answering a set of questions about our character’s background, personality, and abilities, we can create a unique, well-rounded character that will make the game more immersive and engaging.

Take the time to explore your character’s backstory, motivations, and moral alignment. It will add depth and richness to your gaming experience, and give you solid ground to stand on when you’re figuring exactly how to roleplay your new character.

Make sure to check out our other tips on building a great character!

Did I skip a genre you’d like to see some questions for? Let me know in the comments below. I’d be happy add them.

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Love, Malice. I hope you enjoyed the article! I'm here if you have any questions. Feel free to leave a comment below!

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