One of my PCs created a character that is a farmer, has the soldier background, and is a fighter. His back story is that his parents died and his been looking for their killer every since. The soldier background was only used because he really wanted a intimidation boost. He also has stated that his character is a historian but didn't give me an explanation for how he became one. His character is in his 20's.

What do i do with someone who's this scattered? Filling in these blanks will be a pain to deal with because of how firm they are with what they chose. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated! ^^

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you explain how it messes up the experience? I don't seen any inherent problems with the combination mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jul 26, 2016 at 6:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik It messes up the other player's experience because his character refuses to listen and also makes the party come to a halt. He also tries to history check everything. Ex: Trap doors, walls , and everything that he finds. I told him history checking doesn't work that way but he refuses to listen to me. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like there is a lot more to the problem you're having than you've told us in the question. Can you edit to tell us exactly what the problem is? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure thing! My bad if I wasn't elaborate enough the first time! Writing on a phone is quite difficult. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ As phrased, there is no problem here. It's easy to come up with a story that fits what this player wants for his character. His parents were killed when he was a kid and he was raised by farmers. He joined the military, and he reads books on history. Or, he joined the militia in a farmers' uprising, in which his parents were killed. He studies history to find out more about the enemy. Reading between the lines, it sounds like you have an interpersonal conflict rather than a character creation problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Apocalisp
    Jul 26, 2016 at 12:50

3 Answers 3


It sounds like he's trying to be a bit of everything - farmer, soldier, charismatic historian... I'd suggest he simplify it to just one concept, aside from his class.

The idea of Backgrounds is that they reflect your backstory:


Every story has a beginning. Your character’s background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world. [...]

Choosing a background provides you with important story cues about your character’s identity.

If he wants to be a farmer (or ex-farmer, since he's presumably now an adventurer), then he should consider the Folk Hero Background:

You come from a humble social rank, but you are destined for so much more. [...]

You previously pursued a simple profession among the peasantry, perhaps as a farmer, [...]

Since you come from the ranks of the common folk, you fit in among them with ease. [...]

A folk hero is one of the common people, for better or for worse. Most folk heroes look on their humble origins as a virtue, not a shortcoming, and their home communities remain very important to them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll tell him this! Thank you so much friend! Folk hero is a much better fit! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:15

I would suggest a character arc where this character rises to general, and is then granted a fiefdom to run. He has the perfect mix of skills: military, intellectual, agricultural.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm. I'll definitely think about this. I just need to make sure the PC is fine with it. Oh! The PC also said his parents had died and he is seeking revenge. That may conflict with your suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:13

It seems to me that your player came with some, let's say non-standard character for you that may be certainly valid if you fill in some blanks. Let's break that PC down on elements and find out if his backstory fits.

Has the soldier background and is a fighter

Your PC was a soldier that quite reasonably knew how to wield a sword or other weapon at the time he was serving in army.

Character that is a farmer

He has later on retired to rustic livestyle. That still seems valid as a whole.

He also wants to be a charismatic historian Which doesn't make any sense considering he's a farmer.

Here is where you are disagreeing with your player, but as far as I look there is no contradiction in what he currently does as occupation and his hobbies present or past. If his character pumped up intelligence maybe he was not merely a frontline soldier, but had commanding position. It not only required wits, but also charisma to be trusted by his fellows and be promoted. He may have spent his time studying history in his free time as officer, damn even as a farmer he could find it interesting to read books of past times when not working on a field.

I think that you should try to broaden your horizons and just come with sensible story with your player. Do not dismiss his ideas, but ask questions. When did he read history books? What position he held at army? What does he mean be being charismatic, are you likeable person or the one other won't ignore (be it good perception or bad)?

  • \$\begingroup\$ True. I understand. I'll need to sit down with him and discuss this. The first we time sat down to make sense of things he was a bit touchy but hopefully it will all work out! Thank you friend! \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2016 at 6:31

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