I have finally come up with the way I want to create the characters for Dark Trenches... Another little gem...
First off, each character is given a basic concept with a character sheet (clergyman, dilettante, drifter, journalist, professor, and policeman). To that base, I will add to each character a "military training" package taken from "No Man's Land". At this point we have a basic character.
Since I plan on running the adventure is a public setting, I want to make the characters unique, and give each of them some special, bonuses to skills, to give the PCs a chance. As such I have created four groups of backgrounds to complement each other.
The first group is a characters' youth. These skills provide some insight into what the character did when he was young.
The second group is a characters' hobby or generic background, which should flesh out the character even more. Maybe the character worked as a lumberjack or played sports.
The third group is a characters' ethnicity, representing the melting pot that was (and still is) Canada. How you view yourself in the war is given here. Yes, those views are stereotypical and hopefully, represent the feelings of the times.
The final group - and no doubt the most entertaining - is the "secrets" section. Of course everyone has a dirty secret. Each section before gives the PC bonuses to skill, and so does this one. The major difference is that this one may completely change some of the information your received above. It is up to the player to present this as a package.
Therefore, although the plot will not change, the characters themselves will. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but I think the players (and I) will enjoy this random "creation".
That's it for now! I don't want to spoil it, but it is going to be... Sanity draining...