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The Shadowrun book has a very nice feature to help players flesh out their characters, to give them life and complexity--the Twenty Questions that they recommend that everyone answer before beginning the game. But I don't think they go far enough. In this series of ramblings (which will get updated whenever I come up with at least twenty new ones), I'll put out some new questions that players can ask themselves about their characters.

Sure, maybe many of these won't apply to your character. Maybe you'll think a lot of them are silly. But I find that being able to answer silly questions about characters is what makes them "live" for me. So--here's my first group of questions.

  1. If someone was going to insult your character, what would they say about him/her?

  2. What was the most important thing the character learned from his/her parents/guardians?

  3. What part(s) of the character's childhood most influenced the person he/she is today?

  4. What kind of music does the character like?

  5. If the character could have anything in the world, what would it be?

  6. Name five things that the character likes to do that have absolutely nothing to do with his/her profession or shadowrunning.

  7. What kinds of movies/trideos does the character like and why?

  8. What would the character's ideal relationship partner look like?

  9. If the character could change one thing about him/herself, what would it be?

  10. If the character's teammates could change one thing about the character, what would it be?

  11. What is the character's favorite food?

  12. When the character was a child, what did he/she want to be when grown up?

  13. If the character was suddenly prevented from shadowrunning, what would he/she do instead?

  14. If the character had a choice between saving a teammate and an innocent child from a life-threatening situation and knew whichever one he/she didn't save would die, which one would he/she choose?

  15. What's the best way to persuade the character to do something?

  16. Choose five adjectives to describe the character.

  17. Is the character sentimental about anything? If so, what? If not, why not?

  18. Does the character have any catch phrases, nervous tics, or personal habits that would identify him/her?

  19. What is your character's highest value? Is it a person? A code of conduct? An abstract concept? Why does the character hold this value highest?

  20. What might the character's friends or teammates tease him or her about? Would this teasing bother the character, or would he/she laugh along?

  21. What insult would be most likely to make the character angry?

  22. If the character has a code that prevents him/her from killing, what, if anything, would make him/her kill?

Okay, that's it for this time. I hope these questions can provide some seeds to help you get a little closer to your character. If not-- keep coming back. I'm sure there'll be something that'll work eventually.