It can be very hard to remember and catalogue information that's useful to
persona development. This is a list of questions that, when answered, serve
to build up a picture of a persona life. Whenever I find a factoid that helps
answer a question, I note it down in my own copy of this document, which
thus builds a picture of my persona.
This is by no means a complete list of useful questions. But it's a start.
Feel free to download it and use it. If you come up with useful questions,
I'd really appreciate an email!
If you want to have a look at my answers, they're
What age are you? When were you born? What year is it? When does the day
start? When is the new year? How do you describe what year it is? What date
Where do you live? What does it look like? Describe your locality (village,
shire, barony, etc). Describe your home.
Describe your family. How closely connected are you? Have you got family
Were you parents married when you were born? If so, by what rite? If not,
what consequences does this have for you? Are your parents still living?
Other family members? What contact do you have with them?
Are you married? When were you married? Why? Have you got children? How many?
What clothes do you own? How many? Who made them? What material are they?
Where did you get the fashion from? What do the peasants wear? The lords?
Who is your lord/overlord/baron/etc? Which country do you live in? Is it
stable? What alliances does your country have? Enemies? Who is king? What
is your relationship with him? What language(s) do you speak? Your neighbours?
Do you have military obligations, directly or indirectly? To whom? What kind?
Can you read/write? Who taught you? Why? What do you read?
What were you trained for? How good are you at the things you can do? Did
you end up doing whatever it was you were expected to do? Have you travelled?
Where? Why? When? With whom?
What is your religion? That of your neighbours? Is this the mainstream religion?
What happens to people who don't share yours/the mainstream religion? How
do you worship? Who/where is your ecclesiastical focal point?
How do you sustain yourself? What do you eat? What do you/your neighbours
grow? What is the main economy of your area? How do you get money?
Do you own land? How much? How do you count land?
What is your status? Is it related to land? Can it change, through marriage,
purchase, service? In what way?
What coinage do you use? How do you count the currency?
What do you do during the day? What is your favourite pastime? Entertainment?
Who wrote your law? How is it enforced? Who do you talk to if you have a
complaint against your neighbour? Who has ultimate jurisdiction? Is your
family involved? What happens to an outlaw? What kind of punishment would
a thief get? A murderer? A rapist? An adulterer?
If you were to fall ill, who would you call to see to you? What sort of treatment
might you receive? Who would look after you? What might be wrong with you?
If you died, who would get your posessions? If your parents die, who would
get their posessions?
What threats do you face? What do you fear?
What are your prospects, hopes, plans? What can you hope for? What can you