If you’re a PC in Dungeon World—or just about any RPG—you’re not a normal person. Normal people don’t fight dragons. Normal people don’t sleep out in the middle of dangerous wilderness, miles away from the nearest town. Normal people don’t wade through dank, smelly caverns to face a horde of goblins while wearing wet underwear.
Who in their right mind puts up with all of that? What sane person risks losing a limb or having their guts ripped out by monsters, and makes a career out of it? Who could rationalize all of that so much that it becomes routine?
No one. No one sane.
We’re all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.
So, here’s the question I like to ask people as they take pencil to character sheet: What is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT to you that a normal life is simply not an option? Why are you diving headfirst into mortal danger instead of going home where it’s safe and warm?
Boom. Interesting character backstory and personality in one step. You can ask as many follow-up questions as you like, but this one defining trait—the madness that drives people to become Adventurers—will give you all the foundation you need. Don’t have a home to go back to? What happened to it? Why not make a new home somewhere else?
You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.