We're all playing pregenerated characters from the Arion Games website, but there's always customisation with a good pregen. I've gone with the barbarian and named her Lamara. I liked the Burning Wheel beliefs system when I was the GM for that game and have written up some beliefs for the character. Nathan Russell over at Here Be Gamers did the same for a D&D fighter and had a great result. It made his play experience more rounded and guided some decisions along the way. And unlike the cop-out of "but that's my alignment, of course I'm going to stab you in the back" the Burning Wheel beliefs are up for change regularly as a response to the events of the previous session.
It's been a while since I played a barbarian character and I don't want to fall back on the usual tropes of Conan. In some parts of the world a barbarian is simply someone who lives outside cities and/or civilisation. I heard a story somewhere that the name comes from the derogatory words used by ancient Greeks for the speech of non-Greeks: bar bar bar bar bar. Just noises, not "proper" language.
So, Lamara is going to be derived from images of the ancient world, as a mash-up of Amazonian, Trojan and possibly Hunnish influences, depending on the climate of the setting. Maybe she'll need to carry furs, or maybe it'll be too warm for that. Regardless, she's going to look fierce and practical. I imagine tattoos and paint on her skin, bare arms and legs for ease of movement, maybe some torso armour, a weapon and a shield, long hair tied in braids or perhaps very short hair except for a top knot.
Definitely not Red Sonja.
And since I went to the trouble of thinking what she looks like, here are the more important things: the beliefs.
- Rich city folk don't deserve their wealth. I'll gladly separate them from it, through hard work, and make sure it goes to someone deserving.
- Nature seeks harmony in body and spirit. I will strive to move with nature, not against it.
- I will defeat my enemies with same measure of honour they show in the fight.
As always, religion is everywhere in my games. She's an animist, but nothing yet to include as powerful as a belief. I could re-write the second one to explicitly include it. Let's see how the first session goes.