Inspired by Montsegur, which does this very well, and the new Days of Wonder game Small World:
So your character consists of two cards. The first card has half your name, one of your two unique things, and a question about your past. The second card has the rest of your name, your other unique thing, and another question- this one forward-looking. When you address the question in game, you turn the card over, and get a little morsel of situation, an event, or something.
In the above set, with a different draw, you’d get Private Morris Lapstrake, Jonah and Criminal. Lots of potential variety.
I’m liking this. I shouldn’t be thinking about this but what can I do?