As far as character background, as a DM, I have gotten player involvement to be so much more intense and in-character by session 0 from spending 2-4 hours with each player going over their characters with them prior to it. They are so jazzed to demo their character that its great. What I do is fairly simple. I go every every one of their abilities and show the future paths they can take.
- Ok so you are a rogue. You can dual wield, single hand + shield, move to casting, sneak attack works at range so you can make a totally viable ranged rogue, how are you thinking you are going to want to engage the enemy
- Background - You said you wanted a gnome tinkerer who turned to stealing. There are a few fun places we could go from. There is a place called the High Hall of Wonders, which houses gnomish inventions. Lets say you stole something and had to flee, and you have no idea what you have yet, but you know people are looking for it.
- Where are you from. caves, forests..
You get the picture. By having something during character creation that shows races, primary concentrations, shows you cities with some backgrounds for the big towns and stuff, you pick your city, your background (which would pull from your location). So like you chose Arabel as your starting city, sailor background. You get a little blurb about the docks of the capital and the pirates that maraud in the sea of fallen stars.
If you actually BUILT a character instead of choosing a body and class, I think youd find a lot more buy in for "who" you are even without a "This is what you were doing 5 days before this happened" hard tie-in.
Edit: Play through the start of Tyranny for one version of this.
Last edited by Orbax; 31/10/20 10:51 PM.