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June 1, 2021: North versus South, the war for Western Arcovia.
Changes: Sim Layout, City-States, RPCSS Factions, and Storyline. Read More

Character Backstory

From The Citadel

Having trouble coming up with a backstory that moves your character from his or her home cit-state into Arcovia, and gets them involved in the sim storyline? We have a few suggestions for you to consider ...

Personal Backstories

Political Affiliation

Dozens of political affiliations exist within any city-state, and more so than noble houses, merchant houses, and craft guilds, it is one's political relationships that are called upon to establish alliances and sway intra-faction conflict. You are a member of such a political faction and have been sent to Arcovia to promote the politics of your affiliation.

Secret Identity

Mild-mannered pharmacist by day, double agent by night? There are dozens of viable stories for the average secret agent. The sim will have a good selection of stores one might operate as a cover for their more official duties to king and country.

Young Nobleman

You are a young nobleman who does not inherit your fortune or authority until you are older; perhaps 25 or 30. You parents have pulled some strings to get you into the diplomatic core so that you might gain some real life experience. This lands you in Arcovia far from family and their protection. You'll need all your wits to survive and prove to your parents that you are ready and able to handle responsibility back home.

Middle Class Up and Coming

You are born into a middle-class family; a family of doctors, scholars, merchants, or military men. You demonstrate an unusual level of skill or intellect and someone, who knows someone, who knows someone, connects you with the diplomatic corp in your capital. You are offered an opportunity to rise farther above your station than even your parents hoped for you -- to study in Arcovia. You jump at the chance and are soon embroiled in the local spycraft. Will you hold to your first goal or choose a different life path.

Refuse a Marriage Proposal

Your parents have set up an excellent arrangement for you, but you are not interested in having your spouse choosen for you, and you refuse. Your rather annoyed father bundles you off to Arcovia with a chaperone hoping that you'll find someone to your liking among the young noble men and diplomats stationed there.

An excellent career

You've had an excellent career in the military and are getting ready to retire your service. Instead, you are offered a cushy position within the general's entorage in Arcovia. You sign on as protection and to keep your eyes and ears open for anything the general might need to know. You always wanted to meet people from other parts of the continent.


Pair up with a younger character who is in need of a chaperone or mentor. Travel with them to Arcovia to continue their education, keep them company, or just try and keep them out of trouble. As they get embroiled in politics, so too would you, maybe even more so.

General Guidelines

We are fine with you crafting backstories for your family, noble house, merchant guild etc. However, you can not write into canon facts that affect other's houses or the city-state canon itself, including its NPCs. This is an important issue, as it is unrealistic to expect every new player to read everyone else's back story to make sure they have not created a conflict. Nor is it realistic to expect the admins to memorize everyone's back story so as to identify contradictions. It is better for everyone to stay in their own lane and keep their backstory relevant to their family and do not make claims or assertions that others have to abide by. I recommend wording things as opinions, rumors or heresay rather than facts.

Here are some examples
  • Do not claim to be THE most powerful, instead say, "One of the most powerful ....", or "believes themselves to be the most powerful".
  • Do not added city-state events into your back story, keep them local to your family and immediate vicinity.
  • Its fine to be a relation to one of the NPCs, but your relationship to that NPC does not give you control over others claiming relations, so do not claim to be an NPC's only daughter for example.
  • Its fine to be of a noble rank, but you can not claim to be one of only X of those ranks, for that would be writing facts not in evidence for the city-state.
Real Power comes with RPCSS
Real power is weilded by the small councils of the city-states and their direct agents. If you claim your family/house/merchant/guild has political power but you are not actually one of the players in RPCSS with the ability to direct armies, move vast sums of gold, and field spies on behalf of the city-state -- then, you do not in fact, have any real power. Its a lovely backstory, but you will not be able to put your money where your mouth is should someone challenge you to deliver. The story here is between city-states, not between noble house. The only thing a powerful back story gives you is plausible reason as to why your character is trusted as an agent.
Wealth is tracked via RPCSS. No family may write into their back story enough wealth to impact a city-state's treasury, nor be fictionally be as wealthy as a city state. Keep it reasonable.
You can not write into your backstory canon that effects an entire city state
This means that you can not make claim for events happening between city states in your back story. Only items on the Timeline and History Page are actual events between city states. All other backstory entries must be regional and not impactful of the larger already documented plot lines. It also means, that your own backstory or the back story of your family can not be the solo proprietor of any trade, item, resources or other that supports an entire city state.
While we all have been given a great deal of latitude for creativity, your back story can not negatively impact another character's own back story. As with all other things, "Stay in your own lane and write fiction forward, not backwards."
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