-1. What is the character’s gender? Standard male or female?
Transgender? Indeterminate? How do they present to the world?
A lot of the issues around gender have been dealt with by the
2070s, but individuals still have opinions and prejudices—and
their own ways of expressing themselves.
-2. What is the character’s physical size? Is he pretty standard for
his gender and metatype, or is he a tall, skinny dwarf or short for
-3. What is the color of the character’s hair, eyes, and skin? Is her
coloring particularly striking, or so average that she blends easily
into crowds? Remember, with cyberware, surgery, and cosmetics,
your character can have just about any coloring you want her to
have. Remember too that most racism in the Shadowrun world is
centered around metatype rather than ethnicity.
-4. What is the character’s general appearance? First impressions
matter. Is your character a slob or neatly dressed? Does she
slouch? Does she like to make a splash when she enters a room?
Is she drop-dead gorgeous, butt-ugly, or somewhere in between?
-5. Where was the character born? Was he raised a rich corp brat,
or did he grow up as an orphan on the streets fighting for every
meal? Was his childhood spent in a megasprawl or in a more
natural setting like the NAN lands or Tir Tairngire?
-6. What is the character’s age? A very young character will have a
different perspective on the world than an older one; likewise, an
ork with a short lifespan will see things differently than an elf with
a very long one. What important Sixth World events does your
character remember? Was she involved in any of them?
-7. What was the character’s family like? A character’s childhood
shapes who he is today. Did he have siblings? If so, does he keep
in touch with them? Did he know his parents? Did he grow up in a
large, close-knit group, or was he an orphan with no one he could
trust to look out for him? Does he have any dark family secrets?
-8. Has the character begun her own family? Is she married or
partnered? Separated? Widowed? Does she have children? If
your character is male, does he have children he doesn’t know
about? (Even if you don’t think so, your gamemaster might think
-9. Where or how was the character educated? Did she get her
education from the School of Hard Knocks? Does she have an
advanced degree from a respected university? Was she raised
in the corporate educational system, or did she learn her skills
from a mentor?
-10. Has the character done anything else for a living? What did he
do before he ran the shadows? Was he a professional, a student,
a ganger, a corporate cog, or something more exotic? Why did he
give it up to become a shadowrunner?
-11. What are the character’s political and religious beliefs? The two
big things you never want to discuss at a friendly gathering are
politics and religion. Does your character have strong political
beliefs, or any at all? Is she religious? Atheist? Anti-religion? How
important are these beliefs to defining the character?
-12. What is the character’s moral code? Does the character refuse
to kill? Does he have any kind of sexual ethics? Does his morality
have a large bearing on his actions, or is he an amoral hedonist
whose actions change depending on the situation? What (if
anything) might compel him to break one of his moral strictures?
-13. Does the character have any goals? Everybody wants something.
Does your character want money? Fame? That big score that
will allow her to retire to anonymity? Security for her friends and
family? Revenge? What kind of effort is she willing to make to
achieve these goals?
-14. Why does the character run the shadows? Is he doing it because
he wants to, or was he forced into it? Does he do it for the thrill,
the money, or because he hates the powers that be and wants to
do his small part to bring them down? What would make him stop
running the shadows?
-15. What is the character’s personality? Is she an introvert or an
extrovert? Is she funny, grumpy, flirtatious, or just plain weird?
Does she have social skills, or is she uncomfortable relating to
others? Is she opinionated, easygoing, or downright apathetic?
How do others tend to see her?
-16. What special qualities does the character possess? Not every
quality is directly related to shadowrunning. Can he draw well?
Does he have perfect pitch? Is he a really good organizer? Does
he have a knack with animals?
-17. Are there certain things the character just cannot do? What are
her limitations? Is she terrible with money? Is she incapable of
harming children? Does she have a crippling fear of heights, or
find it nearly impossible to form close relationships?
-18. What does the character hate? Elves? Religious people?
Corporations? Personality surveys? Himself?
-19. What does the character love? This could be a person (like a
lover or family member); an ideal (justice, freedom, metahuman
rights); an item (her favorite gun); a location; or even herself.
-20. What is the character’s name? Names have power in the Sixth
World. What was his birth name? Does he like/use it, or does
he prefer to go by a street name? If he has a nickname or street
name, did he pick it or was it bestowed on him by associates?