I used to think those books were a cool idea for building up PCs -- but after using them just a bit, I realized that it always felt like the characters story was done before you actually played the character in a game... The system generated so many twists and turns in a character's backstory, it either became hard to reconcile them all together, or they developed obvious motivations that would conflict with playing adventures. A case of covering all the bases, instead of the bases that needed covering for the adventure/campaign you were actually playing.
You could strip the results down, but then you've spent a lot of time to just settle on a couple of ideas.
Using them for NPCs, on the other hand...
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.Playing RPGs since 1977
• Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.Link: Here Be DCC MonstersVOORAK, L, Hunter, S10, A12, Sm10, P6, I13, L13, AC 10, HP 3, Spear +0 1d8, Init 0; R 0, F 0, W -1, Holy water, Pelt, 3 iron spikes, 50' rope, 3d ration, 4-leaf clover (Find secret doors) (+1), Com +1
SARKLA, C, Gatherer, S9, A14, Sm14, P15, I14, L8, AC 11, HP 4, Knife +0 1d4, Init 1, R 1, F 1, W 1, Chest, Basket of veggies, 2d ration, lg sack, 1lb herbs, waterskin, torch, Seventh son (Spell checks), Com +1
TARR, C, Hunter, S14, A11, Sm15, P13, I7, L7, AC 10, HP 3, Spear +1 1d8+1, Init 0, R 0, F 1, W 1, Holy water, Pelt, 4 torch, flint/steel, 1d ration, sm sack, 10' chain, torch, Fox's cunning (traps), Com