I have a character in mind that has two pasts. Basically I want to create a character that has the memories of two other people in her head. Somewhat like split personality but more like a fusion of the two characters, she has her own thoughts and personality only retains the skills and memories of the other two.

How do I make this work? Are there any rules against this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. Has this idea been discussed with the DM? Is this to leverage the multiple sets of memories into a mechanical advantage (i.e. having two or three different sets of skills to draw from)? I'm pretty sure the rules don't cover this, but maybe someone has experience playing a similar character. No matter what, thank you for participating and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 12 '19 at 6:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 12 '19 at 7:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ So she has three pasts in total? Her current self and the memories and skills of two others? \$\endgroup\$ – lightcat Feb 12 '19 at 8:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András That comment was inappropriate. See our Code of Conduct, specifically items 2, 3, and 4 in “Our Expectations”. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 12 '19 at 20:39

If you want separate skill sets, create a multiclass character.

Multiclassing is the perfect mechanic for creating a character with multiple skill sets from different classes. If you haven't done this before, or if you are new to D&D, check in with your GM for guidance. The applicable info is in the Player's Handbook starting on page 163. There are advantages and disadvantages to a multiclassed character.

Talk to your GM, but not just for guidance

This is a really cool backstory element and could provide material for your GM to bake into the campaign. Have an open conversation with your GM about the source of these memories and skills, they can guide you and give you ideas that will work in their campaign and also use your situation as story building material. Listen to your GM's criticism if they have any and remember you're going to be playing in their world so it's best to take their advice.

Strike a balance

There are rules in D&D for a reason. They keep the game fair and consistent. Fortunately D&D is also designed to provide plenty of room for your imagination and creativity. Whatever you decide to do with this character, remember that you are playing with other people and they have expectations of fairness and consistency, and rightly so. If you multiclass, you're on solid footing - the rules keep things fair. If you homebrew some ideas with your GM be willing to create challenges as well as bonuses to your character. Not only does this keep your character fair, but it makes your character more alive and real, which in turn makes them more fun to role play. It's the challenges your character faces and how you respond to those challenges that really defines their personality. So strike a balance with how cool you want this trait to be and how fair it needs to be.


Rules don't govern character personality

Mechanically, issues relating to characters' personality and past are almost non-existent in DnD 5e: only race, class and to a lesser extent background are important. As long as you're ok implementing this concept without any extra skills or other mechanical perks, whatever your character is like has no mechanical ramifications, assuming you don't try to squeeze out special rulings from your GM based on your character's special nature.

However, even if there is no mechanical obstacle, you should always consider the social side when thinking about character concepts. Playing an RPG is largely about sharing a story with the other players, including the GM. The backstory and character trait of having two personalities may seem cool, but it could also turn out to conflict with what everyone else is expecting of the game.

I recommend (in general --- not just in this case) that you create characters together, sharing feedback and suggestions, because that helps you choose interesting dynamics to focus on and prune out those that don't work. Your split personality/past needs commitment from other players in order to be more than just a gimmick, and if it feels like you can't secure that commitment, it's better to leave that concept for another game.


The Kalashtar race from the Eberron setting may be something to look at, as it is somewhat similar to the concept you require.

In the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron (p. 62), the kalashtar race has this piece of descriptive text about it:

The kalashtar can’t directly communicate with their quori spirits. A kalashtar might experience this relationship as a sense of instinct and inspiration, drawing on the memories of the spirit when they dream.

It's not quite the same as your character concept, but it could fit.


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