This requires the player to present the finished character to the DM for approval. The DM checks over the character to make sure he can work him into the campaign, and also decides what aspects of the character he can use to create adventure hooks. These are extremely important! What would be the point of making such a richly detailed character if the background did not affect the course of the adventure?
For DMs that have not tried to do this before, here are a few quick tips as to how to incorporate a character's history into an adventure:
- Use one of the people in the player's background as the starting point or impetus of an adventure, such as a sibling or acquaintance.
- Begin adventures in the character's home town/area, and have cameo appearances by the character's acquaintances
- Create a nemesis for the character based on his background.
Finally, make the consequences of a character's action affect those he holds dear. This need not be a 'life or death' situation, but have the character's fame or infamy come home to roost.
At the beginning of the first adventure, the players should bring the following items to the game: their character sheets, histories and so on, and the page with their motivations, mannerisms and sayings. The DM is familiar with each of the player's character information prior to the adventure.
Something I would strongly suggest to DM's is that you plan the beginning of your adventure in three phases, to help get the most out of the characters.
Phase One- Individual Sessions: Have the character run a solo session before you get underway. This will give the DM a good idea as to how the player perceives the character, and how he will likely play him. This is much more important than words on paper about the character, as the background et al are tools to play, not playing itself. Set up a few planned encounters to test the way the player interprets his character's alignment, his relationship to the world around him, how he sees the character's personality and motivations affecting his actions, and so on. This is also a good way to gauge the skill and experience level of the player, and to help the DM plan future sessions.