For my blog entry today, I'm going to post the background of my dwarven monk for my friend's upcoming D&D game.
I actually had a hard time coming up with this. I wanted to be a real moral, super-good guy. The problem with those kinds of characters, though, is that they tend to be boorish to role-play. Who wants to be the nanny in a group of bloodthirsty, greedy killers? So I had to think of a way to be a beacon of goodness, but also not have to role-play a boy scout. So here's what I came up with:
Modan, 44 years old, is a nomadic dwarf, and a monk of the Drink. Most people laugh when Modan, almost always present with a mug of ale in his hand, says that he follows "the Way of the Drink." To the few people who know about the Way of the Drink, however, they will immediately feel blessed, for they know they are in the presence of one of Da'Loiya's oldest...and most heroic...monastic orders.
The Drink is a sect of the clerical order of Violda, a small but fanatical following spread across the realm. They practice a martial art known as Zui' Chen, a form of drunken kung fu. Modan is, more or less, constantly drunk (and when he's not drunk, he's acting drunk), as are most other monks of the Drink.
Beneath all the drinking and carousing, however, Modan, like many monks of the Drink, is deeply spritual, moral, and giving. The drunkeness is a guise; the central belief of the Drink is that each monk is to be a serendipitous source of good across the land. Much like how Zui'Chen hides its deadly grace beneath drunken swaggering and stumbling, Modan and the monks of the Drink hide acts of generosity and kindness beneath a veneer of drunken revelry. Modan will "accidentially" give all of his money to an innkeeper who's fallen on hard times. He'll stumble into a group of muggers and dispatch them all with a wild swing of his bo staff, then stumble down the street before the would-be victim can even say "thank you." Monks of the Drink do not believe in personal glory, wealth, or even gratitude. They do good things for people simply because they believe it's the right thing to do.
As is typical for any who know the ways of Violda, monks of the Way of the Drink are willing to lie, cheat, collect secrets, and spill those secrets...accidentially, of course...to those who could use the information. Monks of the Drink have little respect for concepts like "truth" or "honesty." To a monk of the Drink, those concepts are mortal inventions, social currency, another way for one to exert their corrupt power on another. Modan wouldn't think twice about lying to someone, then clarifying that it was just "drunken babble" later on.
Little is known about Modan's family. The existence, occupation, homeland, and presence of siblings changes every time one asks Modan about his past. Even his age has been known to flucuate several years older or younger.
Modan typically wears loose-fitting brown robes, often stained and reeking of booze. The robes...and the stink...keep people from noticing his body, rippling with muscles and barely an ounce of fat, despite his horrifying dietary habits. Modan will often keep spare clothes in a bundle stored above his stomach, giving the appearance of having a beer belly. He's completely bald, but has a long, braided beard.