In The Law, I've got a quirky little table used to describe the reason an Agent joined the academy. It has two parts to the table...one derived from a character's highest attribute, and one from their lowest attribute. Each attribute is cross referenced to a random result to create the start or end of a sentence, these are combined to give a deep character motivation.
I think a part of the inspiration for this was stuff I was reading at the time about the starting equipment packages in Into the Odd, with my own spin applied. The whole idea was to get a wide variety of motivations, where different motivations basically made sense in the context of the character's stats.
This comes back to mind, because someone I follow on Instagram shared the following image...
...I'm reading it as an interesting cross-referencing of two elements that might define a character, and then an idea for the most appropriate character class to fulfil these elements. That's basically circled me back around to the idea of tables that draw on two different elements of a character, or a single element and a randomiser. I like this idea over the standard tables you find in most games where a single randomiser unrelated to anything else suddenly applies something to a character. Don't get me wrong, sometimes a random element provides a juxtaposition that can be explored through play, but sometimes it's just annoying.
I'm thinking of furthering this whole idea as a series of questions that a player needs to answer for their character through the course of play. In The Law, there are rank dice which are more powerful that others and could be vaguely equated to a character's "level", so a character might generate 6 questions based on cross-referenced character elements, or character elements and randomisers. A player increses their character's rank die a maximum of 4 times (d4 to d6, d6 to d8, d8 to d10, d10 to d12... but they might die before they reach the top), so they'd have to choose one of these questions to reveal a definitive answer to each time.
Some questions might revolve around the agent's family, their contacts across the city, or other elements that tell us specific things that add depth to the character? These aren't elements automatically applied, but instead act as prompts that players might not have considered for their characters.
This idea will probably change half a dozen times before I finally apply it to something.