Tables of Doom: Reasons For Leaving Home

By: Flash Fire
Date Created: June 20, 1999

Amnesia. The character wakes up and has no idea who they are or where they come from. Finding the answers to these questions will probably be the most important thing to the character. The character's actual background and personality could be completely different from the post-amnesia ones.
Terminal Disease/Physical Ailment. The character has contracted a fatal disease. The possibility of a cure is out there, but the character does not know where it is and must find it. Life expecantacy has been reduced to 4D6 months. Alternately, the character could have lost a body part and must get the resources for a cybernetic/bio-system replacement.
Manipulated/Sent by a Higher Power. A person or thing greater than the character has sent or convinced the character to become an adventurer for reason or reasons unknown. The method could be one or more of the following:
Threat of Physical Force
Seeks Adventure. The character has left his home in search of a rush that he can't find in his own backyard.
Seeks Wealth/Fame/Power/"Wine, Women & Song". Our Hero has left home to find a better station in life.
Seeks "Enlightenment"/Religeous Awakening. The soul has called to Our Hero and he has set out to find the Truth.
Seeks to prove himself. Heroic action and adventure has become the only way the character will prove his worth to his father/brother/mother/guardian/childhood friends/whatever.
Seeks an unknown goal/True Wanderer. The character has left home to seek something non-specific. It could be Fate or the character's subconscious calling to him, or possibly a full blown case of wanderlust.
Specific Quest. The character has a very specific goal in mind, be it revenge, helping the needy, curing a dying family member, or recovering the Lost Triange of Zinthar.
Fugitive. Our Hero is on the run. Whether he did it or not, someone is after him and won't stop until he's caught. Or, its possible that he's an outcast, banished from his home town for something he may or may not have done.
Town/family destroyed. Everything the character knew and loved is gone. There is nothing left for him but the open road.
Work/Avoiding work. The character is out in the world with a job to do. Alternately, the character is out in the world because blowing stuff up is more fun than digging ditches.
Kidnapped. The character is being dragged along with the group against their will. Alternately, the character was kidnapped at a young age and either was never returned or escaped.
Happenstance. Wether by luck or by being in the right place at the wrong time, the character has been thrust into the life of an adventurer.
Insanity. The character is out of his mind and has left town because of it. Possibilities:
Roll on Random Insanity table and gets kicked out of town.
"Sir, I Want to Kill" syndrome. Joins the army to kill stuff.
Sociopathic/Hates people.
Pretty voices say go to the next town.
Character is not insane, but everyone else in town is. The character is on the run from the sick weirdos he grew up with
Had Nothing Better to Do. Slacker trash decides to get out of town because there's nothing good on TV.
Married. Either the character got married and is travelling with his wife or the character got married and is running away from his wife and her daddy's shotgun.
Wants to be like Daddy/Big Brother. Poppa left home and now little Billy wants to too.
Young and stupid. All teenagers are immortal.
Absolutely no sense of direction. The character was going from point A to point B and has ended up somewhere between points Q and W.
Hasn't left town yet. This will restrict the game somewhat. Make sure the campaign can start there, else roll again.
Truly Bizarre.
Space Cadet. The character is from a space-faring society, either from Mutants in Orbit, Alien, or extra-dimensional. Use this to full effect...
Tourist. The character is on a tourist trip from their home in a far away land. They will not speak the local langauge, have no idea about the proper customs or standard of behavior, misjudge the economic exchange rate, talk loudly, and try to buy everything in sight. Note that there should be some contrived reason to keep the character with the group and some equally contrived reason for the party to keep him alive.
Geek. Our Hero was the town nerd or village idiot. He/she felt the need to run away to keep the local toughs from picking him/her up and ramming him/her at full speed into a flag pole. Character has Phobia: Wedgies and Obsession: Hates Home Town. Character has a 45% chance at developing Psychosis: Mindless Agression (semi-functional) at some point in their lives (specifically at Experience Level 1D8).
True Hero. Don't bother with the background for this character. Just come up with some no-name town for him to come from and that's it. This character is just a natural at being the stereotypical hero. The character would leap into a demon-filled abyss to save a kitten, risk their lives, and the lives of the entire party, at the drop of a hat. Imagine an AD&D Paladin and you'll get the idea.

Tables-of-Doom-Reasons-For-Leaving-Home.php -- Revised: January 27, 2021.