Research and Lore
The first step in making your future (or existing) character “fit” in a game world is to know some of the lore (world details and background). This is done through researching the information that you can find on the genre and game world. It’s timeline, history – prominent characters and even details like customs, language and such.
No… you don’t have to know -everything- about the game world, but every bit helps – for both IC and OOC knowledge. Just keeping some notes to the side or in game can help. Also, doing quests can fill in “blanks” as the lore changes in the game world.
Find sources of information on both the genre and game lore. Keep your eyes open for retcons – they do happen, but hopefully the impact will not be severe in your character’s backstory.
Some of you may ask though, “What’s lore have to do with it?”
Knowing the backstory (history/details) of the game world and genre helps with your character’s history and backstory later on. Where your character is in the game’s world and history. Otherwise, you are a fish out of water, not really understanding what is going on.
It’s much like catching a movie half way through or starting a book in the middle. You really do not get as much out of the experience and it’s not as fun. While you can play catch up, it can make things more difficult.
So, take time to do some research. It can only help.