I link to Goblin Punch a lot. Almost exclusively. You'd think it was all I read.
Anyway, this is an alternative to character generation, where you create your character's history while generating stats. It's not totally elegant, but it works and it's fun. A few random numbers turn into a realized bit of fiction right in front of you.
There's a lot of room for expansion, too. Here's my offering:
|Joseph Noel Paton, Rime of the Ancient Mariner|
Maritime Useful: DEX, CON, CHA
1. Helped quell a mutiny. Test STR to influence CHA.
2. Helped start a mutiny. Test CHA to influence STR.
3. Survived a shipwreck. Test DEX to influence CON.
4. Swam with mermaids, once. Test DEX to Influence CHA.
5. The bosun was a cruel taskmaster. Test CON to influence DEX.
6. Would stay up all night, telling tall tales. Test CON to influence CHA.
7. Old Salt showed you how to run the rigging. Test CHA to influence DEX.
8. Always up for a dare. Test CHA to influence CON.
9. Stay awake on lookout duty. Test CON to influence INT.
10. Marooned. Test WIS to influence CON.
11. Saw a devil at high tide. Test WIS to influence DEX.
12. Picked up some entertaining tattoos. Test STR to influence CHA.
13. You can smell a squall. Learn Weather.
14. Lived for Shore Leave. Learn Carousing.
15. You know your jib from your mainsail. Learn Sailing.
16. You hate to spend too long on land. Learn Oceans.
17. All you need is a line and a hook. Learn Fishing.
18. The stars will guide you. Learn Navigation.
19. There’s a reason you left home. Learn Random.
20. There are some strange ports in the world. Learn Random.
21. You learned it from a bunkmate. Learn Random.
22. The captain was an enthusiast. Learn Random.
23. You had a lover in a faraway port. Learn Random.
24. You needed to do something to pass the night watch. Learn Random.