In most heroic tales, characters engage in small talk that reveals something about their past or further develops their personality. Such “Interludes” are rare in roleplaying games where we focus primarily on action and the next encounter.

The system below formalizes these scenes and rewards players for roleplaying their character and revealing their backstory to the rest of the group.

Running an Interlude

The Dungeon Master should run an Interlude during natural down-time such as during a Short or Long rest, or during downtime between adventures.

To start, pick a player and have them roll a d100. The result of the die roll determines the general topic as shown on the Interlude Table below. Each entry requires the player to tell a story in the voice of his or her character. The tale should be substantial enough to take a few minutes and may draw in other characters as well.

After a player completes their tale, award them with 25 XP per level of the character.

Interlude Table

  • 1-25 – Tragedy: Describe a tale of tragedy or misfortune from your hero’s past, featuring one of their Personality Traits, if possible. If the teller has a dark secret of some kind, hint strongly at it, drop clues, or otherwise give the rest of the group a glimpse into the hero’s dark side.
  • 26-50 – Victory: Tell the group a story about a great victory or personal triumph in your adventurer’s past. How did it affect him afterward? Was there a reward?
  • 51-75 – Love: Speak fondly of the character’s greatest love – lost, found, or waiting back home. What is her name? Where does he live? Why is the traveler not there now?
  • 76-100 – Desire: Tell a story about something your hero wants (or already has). It might be a material possession, recognition, a political goal, or even a trip he wishes to take to some amazing destination.

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