Many people dread writing a background for their character. This guide aims to explicitly lay out what the admins look for in approval and take the mystery out of the background writing process. Questions below will help you create a well-developed character. You do not have to answer all of them, but it's helpful to keep them in mind.
- Rule Zero: Take your time. It isn't a race. We'd rather see you at your best than in a hurry to make it to some imaginary finish line.
- We do not require you write a novel for a background. Try to tell a good story without focusing too much on facts that had little impact upon your character. We need to know his Order initiation, how he handles Awakened life and his mundane identity, and especially what drew him to Edinburgh. It isn't needful to his know favourite book or what he ate for breakfast last Tuesday.
- Do tell us why you are in Edinburgh, here and now, and what your goals are in the setting.
- Do check out the CharGen guide or FAQ. Ask questions if you need help or clarifications. We're always here for you.
- Do read and then reread the relevant sections of the theme before writing your character application. Backgrounds that are grossly out of theme without sufficient justification will be denied.
- Do remember that certain things you might be used to in other Mage games may not exist in Revelations. There are no Sleepwalkers. The Invisible College does not get along that well with the other Orders. Awakened families are unheard of; no genetic heritage allows a chance of Awakening, and mage relatives will not be approved. These are just a few important points to keep in mind.
- Please strongly consider coming from an allied Consilium. Talk to the admins if you simply must be from elsewhere.
- Grammar and spelling matter. Format into paragraphs with %R, or use additional History slots to help us.
- Upbringing: Who were you before the Truth changed your life? What was your family life or job like?
- Connections: What are your relationships with friends and family like? Do you keep in touch or are you estranged? Do you have a spouse and kids in the dark about your real life? Don't underestimate the significance of Sleeper connections in shaping who you are and what you fight for.
- Shadow Life: Awakening irrevocably changes mundane lives. The Wise struggle to balance a mundane shadow life with Awakened concerns. How do you handle this? Are you still struggling to hold down a job or have you given over completely to cabal, Path, and Order? Give this thought as your choice will have a major impact.
- Business ownership, pursuing a degree, and intense full-time jobs all take away from time to participate in the Royal Society or to study and practice magic.
- Certain Orders frown on excessive shadow lives; they perceive it as a lack of commitment.
- The Lumen Society and Silver Ladder have strong footholds in mortal society.
- The Invisible College is least connected to mundane concerns.
- Awakened Events: What has your Awakened life been like? Have any tragedies or triumphs defined you as a mage, or formed you as you were?
- Stats: How did you learn the skills or merits that you are coming out of CharGen with? If you have high/low stats or abnormal characteristics, how have they affected your life up to this point?
- Describe your Awakening. Was it terrifying, exhilarating, traumatizing?
- Did you have an Astral Journey or a Mystery Play?
- What was its impact on you?
- How does your Path affect you?
- What Consilium were you trained in?
- How has the Consilium's training or environment influenced you? Are you struggling to social climb or leaving a nurturing place?
- Do you agree with your Consilium's position towards Edinburgh's upheavals? If not, why, and what role do you foresee yourself playing?
- Who is your mentor? What are they like?
- What is your relationship like?
- What was your training like?
- Were there any other apprentices?
- Why did s/he send you to Edinburgh?
- Are you training with them in a Legacy?
- How did your character join an Order? Were you invited or approach them? Why did you accept?
- What was your initiation like and how long did it last? Joining an Order is a formative experience. The Guardians of the Veil involve lengthy initiations that should be covered.
- How devoted are you to your Order?
- Do you hold a unique role in the Order?
- Do you agree with your Order's stance on events in Edinburgh? If not, why, and what is your aim?
- Do you have a cabal? If so, who is in it?
- What is your cabal's focus?
- What caused your cabal to form? How did you come together?
- What is the cabal's position on matters in Edinburgh?