All in a Day's Work



In today's society, it is not uncommon for children to have chores they are assigned. Some of these may include feeding the family pet, taking out the trash, or washing the dishes or laundry.


In many RPGs, particularly those taking place in a fantasy or historical setting, chores were just a fact of life. Especially for children who grew up outside of the nobility and aristocracy.


For your character, if they had them, what were some of their favorite or least favorite chores they were assigned while they were growing up? Maybe it was feeding the cows and chickens everyday. Maybe it was cleaning up your mentor's chambers at wizard school. Maybe it was fletching thousands of arrows for a master Ranger. Or maybe it was washing the dirt and grime off of unwilling virgin tributes who were about to be horrifically sacrificed to a cult's demon patron.


Whatever the chores were, there are a few things to consider when piecing together this part of your character's backstory. First and foremost, what were your character's thoughts and feelings about the chores? Next, what purpose did the chores serve (e.g., milking the cows provided milk for the family, fletching arrows allowed the Ranger to hunt wild game to feed the village, etc.)? Why was this particular chore assigned to your character, as opposed to a sibling or other child in the residence? And finally, why was this chore a favorite or least favorite chore for your character?


Your character's childhood chores may give your DM/GM a fun little storyline arc for your character. Picture, if you will, the tasks of Heracles/Hercules (ancient Greek mythology), wherein he had to complete a number of very specific chores in order to find redemption for a particular act that he had been party to. You never know, your DM/GM might even decide to turn your character's childhood chores into a series of tests or tasks to be accomplished in order to find a special weapon to use against the BBEG or other villainous opponents.

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