A friend of mine has started a series of articles on random character generation with running commentary so I felt I'd follow suit. I'm therefore inspired to dig out my old Fantasy Character Generator PDF, which has just arrived in my Wayback Machine from 2004.
The rules are simple:
Let the dice fall where they may.
Where there is the option to roll on a chart, do it.
Where there is a choice to make, make it for purely mechanical reasons.
Shall we begin?
We start strong. A roll of 100 means I'm playing a Half-Folk. Great, nice Spirit bonus, the Benny comes in handy. Low Toughness, no biggie. The Half-Folk Fortune table tells me I'm unusually light on my feet for some extra Stealth dice - nice - and a couple rolls later, we learn I'm playing a woman with black hair and deep blue eyes. Great! I'm an Unusually Quiet Roman Half-Folk lady.
Next up, I can roll up to twice on the Features table. For the lulz, I do...okay, two Minor Flaws, no biggie...I'm missing my middle finger on the left hand and I have a stick out belly button. Interesting, and she'll never be a top archer with that defect. One more more roll lets me know that Llana (as I'm calling her) is extremely obese. Okay. At least it offsets that Toughness penalty. Now that we've completed the circumstances of her birth, we can determine how the rest of her life went.
Llana is a young adult, which makes her something like 15 in Half-Folk years. I make note of this for later.
Looks like Llana was born in wedlock to farrier parents. Did you know "farriers" make horseshoes? I didn't. I'm just going to call that Knowledge (blacksmithing), plus 2 steps. I'll let my GM know that I should get a bonus to farrier...ing. The horseshoe trade must be important in the area, because Llana's related to the founders of the community. Unfortunately, while her father is alive and well, Mom has taken ill recently. Worse still, her mother is fond of her, while her father treats her an embarrassment to all the family stands for - Dad evidently wanted a son to take over the farriering business, because Llana's an only child.
Mom and Pop live in a smallish town near some farmland, so Llana's not the most streetsmart of children, nor is she totally ignorant. We've picked up a d4 in Streetwise, which is sure to wow the menfolk.
Now we get to some childhood events. Here's where we'll pick up those skills. Llana apparently liked to pick things apart and put them together as a child (d4 Repair), and sometime in her childhood, a mysterious old man promised her that she would have a glorious future...perhaps driving her to success, and perhaps a blessing. Llana's parents were friendly with a Dwarven clan in the area, and a few more rolls tell me they still remember Llana, they treat her as family, and they have more or less friendly relatives (GM, take note, I sense adventure hooks).
Llana did well in school growing up (+1 Smarts), but had bad luck for one of the Half-Folk and wasn't terribly motivated (maybe due to her father's constant criticism, and almost definitely the reason for her weight issues).
Finally, Llana set off on her own (but likely not too far from home - unmotivated, remember) and took up a series of odd medium-term jobs. Her starting package gives her +1 of each Attribute except Smarts and a smattering of skills (which include a craft skill - I'll say Blacksmithing, mechanically). For a time, she worked as a woodcutter (+1 Strength), where he strength and spirit attracted the attention of a passing mercenary unit, whose captain convinced her to sign on for a while (+1 Fighting and Guts). Unfortunately, when she left, she was forced to work as a laborer, where she formed a frienship with another former mercenary, a half-orc named Grum; the two supported each other and shared everything. The foreman for their job never paid either of them (leaving here with a Major Vengeful Hindrance - Llana's tired of being screwed over by now); they decided to escape and eventually parted ways amicably, but occasionally call upon each other for aid. Llana returned to her roots and honed her skills at smithing (+2 die types in a craft skill...).
If you're keeping track, Llana has a d12 in blacksmithing by this point. She is actually one of the greatest smiths in the world, but doesn't know it. I am guessing Llana wound up adventuring as a way to make ends meet, and probably feeling directionless after her friendship (romance?) with Grum broke up.
Knowledge (blacksmithing) d12
Well, we've got a fat 15 year old halfling with a bad attitude and a good right hook. Girl can also swing a hammer. Let's get her some armor and a maul to round her out, and there we have it.