Talk:Unknown (5e Background)

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Have you ever seen the movie "Total Recall"? (Either version, really.) There is a scene where the protagonist is faced with a dillemma. He is told that his implanted memory "vacation" has gone wrong, and that he is having a nightmare. He is forced to decide whether to trust that man and "return to his real life" or trust in himself and believe that this is his real life. Later, he discovers that he actually had his mind wiped and replaced by false memories to get him to do a job- and he hates the person he was. These kinds of personal identity dilemmas are central to stories about amnesia and memory loss in general. The question of "who was I" vs. "Who am I now" is an externalization of man vs. Self into man vs. Nature or man vs. Man as a form of conflict. The very idea of including it in a game can completely reframe the meaning of the characters' axventures! It would be cool if this background could also generate unpredictable results to face the character with challenges of personal identity. For exanple, say a character has been developing a new romance, only to discover they're already married- or what if a character finds out they have a son somewhere?--Kydo (talk) 13:34, 6 February 2015 (MST)

I might add a big table at the bottom for new information discovered through the Gradual Recall feature. They can be graded from "weak" to "strong" per character level: 1-4 might be "I lived here with my family"; 5-8 "I have a son"; 9-12 "My son is the villain." Marasmusine (talk) 02:31, 11 February 2015 (MST)

Hey i Like how this is coming along! Zackokross (talk) 04:57, 11 February 2015 (PST)

Maybe the clues should be made more open to interpretation. Instead of a locket, how about a random trinket? Instead of locked in a trunk on a beach, how about "someplace very unusual"? This would allow greater variety in potential backstories. Kydo (talk) 14:22, 18 February 2015 (MST)

I wanted to avoid trinkets, since players have the option of starting with one anyway. What I will do is expand the table, so there's a vague clue and then a specific example. Marasmusine (talk) 02:15, 26 February 2015 (MST)
This is the single coolest background I've ever seen. It screams "let's tell a story". It exposes the equal duty in story telling shared by the PCs and DM, despite their different roles. It encourages the DM to get involved in the character as much as it encourages the player to get involved in the setting. As I stated before, such a character can completely reframe the meaning of a whole campaign. (For example, PC discovers that he himself WAS the dark lord, and his servants have been covering up his disappearance. Meanwhile, the shadow order which now runs the operation in his absence have no interest in his return. Suddenly the game becomes a story about redemption and righting the wrongs of ones past, or facing forgotten demons, or even man vs. self in the most literal possible way) Simply awesome. I'm going to go play one of these now. If someone adds a picture, this should be nominated for a featured article. Kydo (talk) 07:57, 26 February 2015 (MST)
I have a couple of ideas for the picture, just need a bit of time to find the original to link to. Marasmusine (talk) 08:04, 26 February 2015 (MST)

Epik background, I plan on using this, maybe more than once, LOL. --Khimaera (talk) 18:49, 8 April 2015 (MDT)

This is really good! A picture wouldn't hurt though. Whenever I read this, I can't help but think about Ringabel from Bravely Default. SirSprinkles (talk) 02:25, 29 June 2016 (MDT)

This has been added as a design guide example. Not sure why I didn't think of it earlier. --Kydo (talk) 22:39, 15 December 2016 (MST)

I like this! Pretty epic background. The pic is pretty good too, rather feywild. Totally fits me. That, and Umbramancer. A new character! Cedric (talk) 00:02, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

Featured Article Nomination[edit]

Yes check.svg.png — This article became a featured article! --Green Dragon (talk) 14:05, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm happy with the positive feedback above, so would like to nominate this for a featured article. Marasmusine (talk) 04:48, 24 November 2016 (MST)

Conditional Support
Everything I said above, but someone needs to add a picture. I could draw a free request tomorrow if you'd like. --Kydo (talk) 22:33, 15 December 2016 (MST)
Maybe something like someone being washed up on a beach, like (I find it hard to find the original image with pinterest.. :/) Marasmusine (talk) 03:21, 16 December 2016 (MST)
What about something like [1] or [2]? --Green Dragon (talk) 19:11, 22 March 2017 (UTC)
Finally, an image that makes some sense for this page. Everything looks great! --Green Dragon (talk) 14:05, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

"Revenge" Ideal[edit]

This is more of a personal, philosophical quandary of mine, but I don't think "Revenge" is the best name for the ideal being represented on line 2 of the Ideals table. While 'revenge' certainly is a concept that isn't always approved of in some modern day societies for moral reasons, it typically is considered a form of retributive justice, with the typical distinction being that an act of revenge has value to the individual, personally, and less associated with 'Evil'. In fact, it usually holds such a status because it is usually extrajudicial, and therefore unlawful - rarely does a true avenger believe they're morally wrong, after all.

I think this would be better represented by something that is driven by more malicious ideals, than a desire for justice; Perhaps something like 'Spite?' --Jwguy (talk) 20:36, 1 June 2017 (UTC)


A round of applause for the creator of this background everyone --Carric (talk) 06:28, 6 December 2018 (MST)

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