For sure, although if the backstory is good, and opens up potential problems for the hero beyond what is in the 100 words (say, it includes a paragraph or two describing the three years spent running with criminal gangs in Snozograd, and how the hero left after having a change of heart and selling out the gang to the law), then the narrator might be lenient in allowing snap skill purchases, and maybe even "used in play costs." Something like "OK, so your patron has a mission for you in Snozograd. Hamil, you used to live there, but its been a while. How well you remember the area? If you want to buy area knowledge you can do it now at "used in play" pricing. If not then you really don't remember it well enough for the memories to be much help."
I'm not advocating that anyone should write a huge backstory stuffed full of possibly useful background in hopes that they can buy it on the run cheaply, but hey, if someone has written a backstory, the narrator might as well take advantage of it, but play fair and compensate the player in a minor way.
> Basicaly if some aspect of the back story could be expressed
> as an ability in HW, then it should be in the 100 words. If
> it's just colour and an aid to playing the character, then
> you can write as much of it as you like.
Basically agreed, but there are bound to be some things that are on the line. There are a LOT of things that could be relationships, area knowledges, and the like, and it is pretty hard to put all of those into 100 words, so you choose the most important few. If you lived in Boldhome until you were thirteen years old, then had to flee after the fall of the Dundeleos since you were of that tribe, maybe that shows up in your 100 words as "dreams of restoring the Dundeleos" and "familiar with urban ways" along with "doesn't like wilderness." There are probably some other Boldhome skills that you could have, but they aren't important enough to make it into the narrative.
*shrug* Clealy anything central to the character has to be in the 100 words. Anything that isn't in the 100 words shouldn't be relied on by the player. However, depending on narrator, player, and group, how to treat what is in the back story might vary. Which takes this out of the realms of rules and into how to play the game, so I'll shut up now.
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