In my last session recap I mentioned using a special table to establish characters pasts. The idea was partially inspired by Warhammer's professions table and partly by reading a similar thing here. However, unlike Akrasia, I decided not to add any specific descriptions and make the whole thing as open to interpretation as possible. The reason for this is very simple, I decided to use character past as a guideline for ruling what skills the PCs posses.
Instead of including another elaborate system of rolling for stuff, I decided that it's way better to just roll once and gain some character depth along with the information about the skills they acquired before becoming adventurers.
For example, in my game there is a cleric of Skaghe who used to be a jester on a court of some northern lord. Not only is this funny, but also grants her some knowledge and abilities other characters don't have.
Perhaps she's able to juggle extremely well, or perhaps when the need comes, she might remember something about the heraldry of northern noble families?
In other words, anytime the player of the jester cleric feels her background can aid her, she can try and play that to her advantage. I might ask for some kind of a story from the characters past (that the player will have to improvise) to justify such use of this rule, or I might just say no.
Finally, here's the aforementioned table:
Character Background Table:
3-4 Tax collector
15-16 Circus artist
27-28 Candle maker
39-40 Card Shark
43-44 Bounty hunter
47-48 Wagon Driver
51-52 Rat catcher
81-82 Grave robber
83-84 Ferry man
97-98 Wizards apprentice
99-00 Roll twice