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Author Topic: [5e/D&D] Backgrounds - the BIG list of backgrounds!  (Read 390382 times)


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[5e/D&D] Backgrounds - the BIG list of backgrounds!
« Reply #75 on: May 05, 2015, 03:16:40 PM »
Quote from: Nawak;829765

First message - I just finished a layout for a PDF document (2.5 Mo - international A4 - 21 x 29.7 mm) containing backgrounds found online (therpgsite, enworld, dndwiki, etc.). I did not translate it in my native language, use it as you wish.

Looks awesome! What program did you use to create this? And if I wanted to add more of my own, how would I edit the document to add more pages?



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« Reply #76 on: May 06, 2015, 02:17:01 AM »
Looks awesome! What program did you use to create this? And if I wanted to add more of my own, how would I edit the document to add more pages?

Thank you.
I used Adobe Indesign. And I am sorry, but without the master file, you can't add more pages.


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« Reply #77 on: May 06, 2015, 08:12:16 AM »
Ah, bummer. I don't suppose that you would want to share? No worries if you don't.



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« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2015, 07:42:15 PM »
Here's a new one.


You've seen the worst the world has to offer and survived. You lost your home, you lost almost all your possessions, and you probably lost somebody, or a lot of somebodies, along the way, too. What stayed behind? Who will you never see again? Something took your old life away from you, and that something has made you brave, crazy, or desperate enough to turn adventurer.

Skill proficiencies: Survival, Insight

Tool proficiencies: One vehicle or artisan's tool of your choice

Language proficiencies: One of your choice

Equipment: A moth-eaten blanket given in charity, a precious reminder of the home you've lost, a small knife, five GP you've suffered to scrimp together, and the clothes on your back

Ordeal: Something happened that caused a lot of people, including you, to be displaced. Choose a disaster or tragedy, or roll on the table below to define the trouble that plagued your homeland.

1: Plague or epidemic
2: Famine/drought
3: War, invasion, or civil war
4: Natural disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami, etc.)
5: Supernatural disaster (Demons or undead overran the land, magical cataclysm destroyed/sank your homeland, the tarrasque awoke and devastated the kingdom, etc.)
6: Political crisis or genocide

Feature: Object of pity
You've long since learned to give up pride if it means having food and a warm place to sleep. Provided you don't make yourself a threat or a nuisance, you can always find enough people moved by the story of your suffering to allow you to maintain lodgings and food of a meager or poor standard for you and your companions-- and maybe even a modest or comfortable standard for a night or two-- in exchange for minor tasks (for instance, help around the home for a generous peasant family, or attending religious services for a temple or mission.) In addition, as word gets out of your terrible ordeal, strangers in a place you've been living a while may show you a certain level of sympathy.

1) I never, ever let anything go to waste.
2) I've seen and done terrible things to stay alive. I don't want to talk about them.
3) My trust comes justifiably slowly but it is built to last.
4) Experiencing lean times has made me relish the good life all the more when I can get it.
5) I have no interest in thinking too much about my former life, it's all dead and in the past now.
6) Losing everything has strengthened my religious convictions.
7) I don't want to lose anyone else, I lost too many people already.
8) I still haven't cried, but I'm not ready to smile yet either.

1) Nihilism: Chance will have its way with all of us, better to accept it and try to adapt than try to impose order where none exists. (Chaotic)
2) Faith: Even if I can't see it, there is some greater cosmic plan and what I've been through was a necessary step (Lawful)
3) Resentment: The world has been unfair to me, why should I be fair to anyone else? (Evil)
4) Drive: I've always had to struggle and fight, and it's made me strong. (Neutral)
5) Strength: I know what it's like to have no one else to depend on, therefore I will make sure I am someone on whom others can depend. (Good)
6) Hope: I saw the worst the world could show me and I survived. It can only get better for me from here. (Any)

1) I know that the one I love is still alive out there.
2) My mother was taken from me on that day, but I hope we will see each other again.
3) When I crossed the border and I was hungry, the farmer I met slaughtered his only pig to ensure that I would get the best meal he could provide me.
4) We never met before it all happened, but escaping together made me and another survivor as close as family.
5) Exhausted and on the edge of death, I met an itinerant priest who rescued me and helped me make it across the border. One day I'll repay him for saving my life.
6) So far as I know, only one other member of my family made it out. We're all each other has now.

1) I hold the world responsible for not doing more to save us.
2) What happened was a terrible tragedy... and I'm pretty sure we all know who were really responsible for it.
3) If you'd seen what I've seen, you'd never trust anybody either.
4) I used to be rich and powerful, maybe even a noble. I'm disgusted by myself and what I've been reduced to.
5) I may accept your charity, but I'll resent both you and myself for needing to.
6) I've turned to terrible vices to cover up my grief.
Rachel Bonuses: Now with pretty

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An encounter with a weird and potentially life threatening monster is not game wrecking. It is the game.

Currently panhandling for my transition/medical bills.


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« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2015, 10:25:08 PM »
Here are two that I have created in draft, primarily to stimulate discussion on samurai or a Japanese feudal fantasy campaign ripped straight form Legend of the Five Rings and Rokugan . . .  The Rokugani Samurai is powerful, but it is meant to reflect the deadly action in the 3rd and 4th Editions of that game while playing in the setting it D&D 5e.  


Variant Noble: Ronin (Samurai)

As a ronin you are a wandering warrior without a master.  Either you broke an oath to your master, broke the law, or your master has perished because of your failure to protect him or her.  You wander the land, continuing to uphold your ideals and bonds, but your flaw (chosen or rolled) has become the master of your destiny.  The ronin is primarily presented as a background for the fighter, ranger, or rogue classes, but can be applied to any other class for an interesting clash of ideals in game play.  

When you choose to select this variant noble, you gain a daisho in lieu of the other equipment you gain as part of the initial starting equipment package for your class.  Your daisho is comprised of the following:

(a) katana and wakizashi or (b) tetsubo and wakizashi
yumi and 20 arrows
lamellar armor
(a) musical instrument or (b) gaming set
(a) dungeoneer's pack or (b) explorer's pack

The katana and tetsubo are family heirloom weapons, either constructed by an honorable ancestor or by you alongside a master weaponsmith.  The wakizashi is an heirloom weapon, as well, and is identifiable by other ronin as a status symbol.  (An Intelligence (History) check (DC10) will reveal much information about the ronin carrying the blade, even if the blade is stolen.)  The yumi is an exceptionally well-crafted longbow that comes with a quiver of 20 arrows.  Lamellar armor is light armor that is a signature of the samurai fighting style personal defense.  The musical instrument and the gaming set were either made for you or by you, and are considered as part of your daisho.  

You lose your Position of Privilege Feature, and cannot take on Retainers.  Instead, you gain one inspiration that can only be used when you are at half you hit point maximum (regained after a short or long rest).  Additionally, if you lose or break any item in your daisho you are considered disgraced and suffer disadvantage on all Wisdom and Charisma based checks.   If you managed to recover or repair the lost or broken weapon, this effect is removed.

Your weapons and armor are made especially for you, with your body and movement in mind.  Anyone else trying to use your weapons suffers disadvantage on all attacks with them.  Additionally, anyone wearing your lamellar armor provides advantages to all attacks against them.  

Background - Rokugani Samurai

As part of this background, you belong to either the Imperial Family or a Clan.  (Or, you are ronin, a warrior without a clan.)  


Ability Score Bonus and Bonus Proficiency:  During your early and developmental years, someone in your clan sponsored your training and education.  From that training or education you can choose either of the ability bonuses listed for the clan to which you belong.  The exceptions to this are the Unicorn Clan or Ronin. Additionally, during your training, you gained proficiency in one of the skills listed.  Your choices are below:

   Imperial Family: +1 Wisdom or Charisma; Persuasion or Deception
   Crab: +1 Strength or Constitution; Intimidation or Investigation
   Crane: +1 Dexterity or Charisma; Acrobatics or Persuasion
   Dragon: +1 Dexterity or Wisdom; Arcana or Religion
   Lion: +1 Strength or Wisdom; Athletics or Persuasion
   Mantis: +1 Dexterity or Intelligence; Nature or Survival
   Phoenix: +1 Intelligence or Wisdom; Arcana or Nature
   Scorpion: +1 Dexterity or Charisma; Deception or Insight
   Unicorn: +1 Any; Animal Handling or History
   Ronin: +1 Any; Any skill

Feature: Along with your ability score bonus and bonus skill proficiency, you can gain the following background Feature:

Deference by the masses: As a samurai (even Ronin) the lower classes defer to your station in society.  While within the borders and boundaries of any populated area (a city or town, the walls of a fortress) of which your status is recognized, you always have a place to sleep, always have a meal and drink, and can requisition all mundane supplies, including mounts and vehicles.  Typically you do not have to pay for any of these services, but it is poor form to just take without regard for the well-being of those from whom you are taking.

Path:  In addition to all of the above, the Rokugani samurai typically choose from one of three paths, as shown below.  Your path may seem incongruous with your class, but they are synergistic.  Choose from one path described below and gain all of the benefits of the chosen path:

Bushi:  As a bushi you have chosen a martial path in your early training.  Your focus has been on honing your body as a weapon.  You gain proficiency in one weapon of your choice that is not part of your daisho (described below).  Additionally, you can choose one fighting style from the list of Fighting Styles in the Fighter Class description (page 72 of the Player's Handbook).  This fighting style is an addition to any other fighting styles you may already have from the Fighter Class.

Courtier:  As a courtier you have chosen a diplomatic path in your early training.  Your focus is on social interaction and making your words (or lack thereof) your weapons.  You gain proficiency in one Charisma-based skill of your choice.  If you choose a skill for which you already have proficiency, you gain an additional +2 path bonus to that skill.  Additionally, you gain the Hypnotic Gaze class feature from the School of Enchantment in the Wizard Class description (page 177 of the Player's Handbook).  Your equivalent wizard spell save DC is equal to your Charisma modifier plus one-half your level plus your proficiency bonus.

Shugenja:  As a shugenja you have chosen either a divine or arcane path in your early training.  Your focus in on the more eldritch arts, including the healing.  You gain a +2 path bonus to either Arcana, Healing, or Religion.  You also gain the ability to cast one cantrip from the Wizard's Spell list (page 210 of the Player's Handbook).  Your attack and DCs are based on the ability score of your choice.  Additionally, you can choose two of the spells listed below, each of which you can cast once per day.  The level of the spell is equal to your class level divided by 3, rounded down.  Your spell save DC is equal to your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier (your choice) plus one-half your level plus your proficiency bonus.

   Burning Hands
   Comprehend Languages
   Cure Wounds
   Detect Evil and Good
   Detect Magic
   Protection from Evil and Good
   Unseen Servant
   Witch Bolt
Equipment: When you choose this background you gain a daisho in lieu of the other equipment you gain as part of the initial starting equipment package for your class.  Your daisho is comprised of the following:

(a) katana and wakizashi or (b) tetsubo and wakizashi
(a) yumi and 20 arrows or (b) quarterstaff and daggers
lamellar armor
(a) musical instrument or (b) gaming set
(a) dungeoneer's pack or (b) explorer's pack

The katana and tetsubo are family heirloom weapons, either constructed by an honorable ancestor or by you alongside a master weaponsmith.  The wakizashi is an heirloom weapon, as well, and is identifiable by other ronin as a status symbol.  (An Intelligence (History) check (DC10) will reveal much information about the ronin carrying the blade, even if the blade is stolen.)  The yumi is an exceptionally well-crafted longbow that comes with a quiver of 20 arrows.  Lamellar armor is light armor that is a signature of the samurai fighting style personal defense.  The musical instrument and the gaming set were either made for you or by you, and are considered as part of your daisho.  

And some equipment to go along with them:

Armor, Light (Special)
Lamellar- No cost / 12 + Dex mod (no max) / 30 lb. / Stealth (disadvantage)

Martial Melee Weapons (Special)
Katana- No cost / 2d4 slashing / 2 lb.   Finesse, Versatile (2d6)
Tetsubo- No cost /    1d12 bludgeoning / 8 lb. / Heavy, two-handed
Wakizashi- No cost / 1d6 piercing / 1 lb. / Light, Finesse

Martial Ranged Weapons (Special)
Yumi- No cost / 1d10 piercing / 2 lb. /    Ammo (range 100/400), two-handed


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« Reply #80 on: July 31, 2015, 10:30:15 PM »
And in the spirit of Eberron, the Master Inquisitive.  I am developing a "Sharn Noir" campaign for my group wherein we are using film noir elements - totally non-traditional use of the game, setting it totally in a city (Sharn) for them to be rival private detectives and investigators.

Background: Master Inquisitive
The master inquisitive takes the art of investigation and deduction to the ultimate level, rising to the top of the field. A master inquisitive could be an elite freelance investigator, or a master detective working for a recognized law enforcement organization somewhere in Khorvaire.  He might be an investigative chronicler digging up details on corruption and conspiracies. Whatever his occupation, the master inquisitive specializes in solving mysteries and shedding light on the darkest secrets. (From the ECS prestige class description.)

Skill Proficiencies:  Investigate, either Insight or Perception (if you have any of these skills as part of your class selection you can choose one or two (depending) from the following list: Arcana, History, Intimidate, Nature, or Persuasion.)
Tool Proficiencies:  Detective’s kit
Language:  Thieves’ Cant (if you already speak Thieves’ Cant, select one other language)
Equipment: Detective’s kit, traveler’s clothes, book and charcoal, chalk, crowbar, and a leather pouch with 10gp.

Investigative Specialty (d10)
You gain a +1 bonus to Investigate within your specialty.

   1 – Arson      6 – Kidnapping
   2 – Forgery   7 – Murder
   3 – Graft      8 – Organized Crime
   4 – Industrial    9 – Slave Trade
   5 – Infidelity   10 – Theft

Feature: Gaining a Clue
You have a keen sense of what it is you are investigating.
Starting at 1st level you gain the spell-like ability to cast Detect Magic once per day.
Starting at 3rd level you gain the spell-like ability to cast Locate Object once per day.
Starting at 5th level you gain the spell-like ability to cast Locate Creature once per day.
This ability is not a magical effect when conducted this way, and cannot be hampered by counterspells or spells that suppress magical effects.  It is an innate ability, honed by the experience you have gained as an inquisitive, and is what truly makes you a master inquisitive.

Feature: Cultivate Contacts
You are the optimal “people person,” able to strike up conversation with nearly any one of any race or gender about any topic.  And typically, if given time, you glean information from the conversation, and eventually “recruit” with whom you are conversing into an informal (and unknown) cadre of informants, assistants, and couriers.  At each level, beginning at 1st level, you gain a friendly contact.  You can either create your own contact, or have the DM create your contact for you.  Either way, use the NPC creation guidelines in the DMG to flesh out your contacts.  Contacts can be of any gender, race, or ethnicity.  (If necessary, the DM can choose the appropriate NPC stat block from the MM.  Each contact should be assigned an NPC stat block at creation.)

Contacts will not accompany you on dangerous missions, nor will they engage in combat if it happens upon you while they are with you.  Making contact with your contacts takes time (up to the DM’s discretion), but typically if you are in the same city as the contact, not more than an hour and a single silver piece, will find the two of you (or more of you) together to conduct your business.

Contacts can be valuable in doing research, conducting surveillance, finding information on people, events, and objects, procuring information by less than legal means, or just providing some insight on what is happening to assist you in your investigations.

Personality, Ideal, Bond, and Flaw
Choose two Personality traits and once Ideal, Bond, and Flaw from the options in the PhB, or make up your own to fit the flavor of your character.

Detective’s kit
25 gp / 2 lbs / 25 “charges” (recharging the kit cost 10gp for 25 charges)
The kit allows you to apply your proficiency bonus to all Investigation checks as part of your profession.  The kit comes in a bag or roll and contains a magnifying glass, vials, parchments, and other equipment to collect and analyze clues used in the pursuit of your investigation.


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« Reply #81 on: August 08, 2015, 11:13:41 PM »
A vaquero, also known as a cowboy, is an animal herder who tends livestock on ranches, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. Cowboys have become a figure of special significance and legend. A subtype, called a wrangler, specifically tends the horses used to work cattle. In addition to ranch work, some cowboys work for, or participate in, rodeos. Others have chosen to be outlaws and gunslingers, choosing to make their money rustling livestock and robbing banks and caravans. Due to these criminals, many vaqueros find themselves pulling security duty, patrolling the land and defending the herd from theft, or chasing down rustlers or bandits who have stolen from them.

Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling and Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles(land) and Harmonica (or other musical instrument)

Equipment: Wrangler's Pack, a set of traveler's clothes, a good luck trinket (choose one or use the d100 chart in the PHB), harmonica (or other musical instrument), small satchel containing 15gp.

Every cowboy has a reason and a purpose. You don't live out here for nothing.
d12    Tradition
1    Rodeo Cowboy
2    Livestock Rustler
3    Sheriff
4    Rancher
5    Missionary
6    Vigilante
7    Outlaw
8    Revolutionary
9    Prospector
10    Visionary
11    Wrangler
12    Foreman

Ranch Hand
When you need to, you can secure free room and board at a ranch, plantation or farm for yourself and your adventuring companions. It could be a ranch you have worked at before or another that you have good relations with. In return for free room and board, you and your companions are expected to assist the workers with an honest days work.

Suggested Characteristics
d8    Personality Trait
1    I have become accustomed to living life on the range.
2    Despite my gruff exterior, I'm actually very polite and respectful.
3    I am confident and tender, but not afraid to defend the defenseless.
4    I have an uncanny love for animals.
5    I am considered strange by my brethren.
6    I have fought in many battles, but my days of war are behind me now.
7    With my past anchored firmly behind me, I wander the desert aimlessly in search of a higher calling.
8    Lesser creatures owe me for protection.

d6    Ideal
1    Soldier of Fortune. I have no code and work for the highest payer. (Neutral)
2    Blood. I killed someone during a bank robbery and liked it. (Evil)
3    Lone Ranger. I'm attempting to bring law, order and peace to this land. (Lawful Good)
4    Solitude. After many years of sailing the seas I decided to seek a quieter life on my own.(Neutral)
5    Money. The money ran out at home, so I set out to make my own fortune. (Neutral Good)
6    Retribution. Criminals and outlaws must pay for their crimes, even if the payment is in blood. (Lawful Evil)

d6    Bond
1    I would sacrifice myself for my family.
2    I will conquer the world.
3    I will do anything to protect innocent animals from being harmed.
4    I swear to free every last one of my people that has been enslaved.
5    Cleansing the world would be easier in a bath of blood.
6    I seek to find true love and will travel the world doing so.

d8    Flaw
1    I crave fighting.
2    I am obsessed with gold and jewels.
3    I blindly follow my faith.
4    I don't care for other, lesser, races.
5    I drink and gamble until I'm broke and penniless.
6    I tend to think before I act.
7    I am extremely superstitious.
8    I love women (or men).
« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 08:42:43 AM by drwatson88 »


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« Reply #82 on: August 10, 2015, 04:24:25 PM »
Buckaroo is cool but your tool proficiencies can't be weapons.

Maybe instead a gaming set as I imagine life is pretty boring otherwise out on the plains.


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« Reply #83 on: March 12, 2016, 01:13:49 AM »
I call it "Legacy"

My First time creating a background.  Thoughts?

Background: Legacy
You descend from Well Renowned Heroes, or Villains.  They could be your parents, uncle, aunt, grandparents, or many generations removed.  You grew up in their shadow, and people always expected great, or terrible, things from you.  Regardless of their attitudes you feel the pull of destiny, and the call of adventure.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies: One set Artisan’s tools, Vehicles (land)

Equipment: One Set Artisan’s tools (your choice), One Family Relic, A set of Traveler’s Clothes, A belt pouch containing 15 GP.

The Weight of Family:

Every Legacy bears the weight of their family name.  Be it the weight of great Heroes who pressure you to champion the light, or vile cretins you seek to separate yourself from.  In some circles your family name may open doors, or it might get them slammed in your face.  Work with your DM to determine the fame or infamy of your ancestors.  When in your hometown, everyone knows you, and their treatment of you will be colored by your family.  Will you prove them right, or show them who you really are?  You can work with your DM to inspire your family history, or you can roll from the table below:

D8   Weight of Family

1   My family is vile, and cruel.  I will not be like them, will I?
2   My Ancestor saved the town, and we are now celebrated.  A charmed life indeed.
3   My family is famous, but I just want to be me.  I had to get away.
4   How can I prove everyone is wrong about me?
5   I’m the black sheep, and I’ll show them!
6   I am going to live up to my family name!  You’ll see!
7   My Ancestor attacked the town, no one trusts me there.
8   My Family is perfect, and I don’t know if I can measure up, or if I want to.

Suggested Characteristics:
Some Legacies try to use their family name to open doors, or curate favor.  Others deny their ties.  As a result, some are brash and proud, well trained and eager to take up the cause.  Others are driven, and silent.  Some are full of shame and self-loathing, and strive to be better than those who came before.

D8    Personality trait
1   I proudly tell the tale of my family.
2   I live off my family’s name, but secretly fear to be myself.
3   I am confident that I will prove myself worthy.
4   I worry if I am up for the task.
5   My family has always overshadowed me, when can I shine?
6   My family is famous, but I want a simpler life.
7   I am tired of always doing what’s expected of me.
8   I keep my family name a secret.  I will make it on my own, by my own hand.

D6   Ideal
1   Respect: Respect is due me because of my family name, and I will earn that respect through brave and selfless acts. (Good)
2   Independence: I will make my own name for myself, my way. (Chaotic)
3   Family: My family is my life, and I will Celebrate it. (Any)
4   Glory: I will make my family great again! (Any)
5   Shame: I am the black sheep. (Good)
6   Rebellion: My Family are fools!  I will show them true power! (Evil)

D6   Bond
1   I will protect my Family’s honor.
2   I will spread my family’s influence throughout the land.
3   Family comes first.
4   I will choose my family, and protect it at all costs.
5   My name is all I have.
6   I have lost my family, I will find them again.

D6   Flaw
1   I am arrogant because of the fame of my Family.
2   I am so sure of my Destiny, it blinds me to consequences.
3   I am jealous of those who grew up in anonymity.
4   I hate my family, and myself because I am part of it.
5   I tell tales so others will think better of me.
6   I point out the flaws of others to make myself seem better.



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« Reply #84 on: October 24, 2016, 12:53:03 AM »
Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Cartographer’s Tools, Herbalism Kit
Equipment: A compass, a hunting knife, a set of traveling clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10g.

Your mother used to always tell you that you were born with a gypsy’s soul.  Most other people called it Wanderer’s Lust.  Whatever it is, you have always NEEDED to see what lay around the next bend or over the next rise.  As a child, you would slip away from your family to explore your village or city or the surrounding woods.  Perhaps you had a mentor (Father, brother, another family member or friend) who was a woodsman or huntsman and they showed you how to survive in the great outdoors.  You have a natural instinct for direction and remembering the lay of the land.  
Suggested Characteristics:
Perhaps you came from some privilege and your family was able to secure an apprenticeship with a cartographer.  Perhaps you have some natural artistic ability and put that to use by making maps on your own, only later to be recognized and further trained in cartography.  However it happened, so far you have made a living making maps and/or being a guide, whether it was through wild and dangerous terrain or just hunting and fishing trips for wealthy clients who wanted to “go on an adventure”.  

Feature: Wanderer
You have an excellent memory for maps and geography, and you can always recall the general layout of terrain, settlements, and other features around you. In addition, you can find food and fresh water for yourself and up to five other people, each day provided that the land offers berries, small game, water, and so forth.

Personality Trait:
1. I've been isolated for so long that I rarely speak, preferring gestures and the occasional grunt.
2. I am utterly serene, even in the face of disaster.
3. I'm driven by a wanderlust that led me away from home.
4. I have a lesson for every situation, drawn from observing nature.
5. I place no stock in wealthy or well-mannered folk. Money and manners won't save you from a hungry owlbear.
6. I'm always picking things up, absently fiddling with them, and sometimes accidentally breaking them.
7. I feel far more comfortable around animals than people.
8. I was, in fact, raised by wolves.

1. Change. Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it. (Chaotic)
2. Might. The strongest are meant to rule. (Evil)
3. Live and Let Live. Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. (Neutral)
4. Independence. I am a free spirit - no one tells me what to do. (Neutral)
5. Logic. Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking. (Lawful)
6. Friendship. Material goods come and go. Bonds of friendship last forever. (Good)

1. Somewhere out there, I have a child who doesn't know me. I'm trying to make the world a better place for him or her.
2. An injury to the unspoiled wilderness of my home is an injury to me.
3. Someone I loved died because of I mistake I made. That will never happen again.
4. I idolize an explorer of the old tales and measure my deeds against that person's.
5. I have a family but have no idea where they are. One day, I hope to see them again.
6. I will bring terrible wrath down on the evildoers who destroyed my homeland.

1. Don't expect me to save those who can't save themselves. It is nature's way that the strong thrive and the weak perish.
2. I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
3. I can’t resist a pretty face.
4. A scandal prevents me from ever going home again. That kind of trouble seems to follow me around.
5. Once someone questions my courage, I never back down no matter how dangerous the situation.
6. I can’t be indoors or even in one place for too long.  I start to get anxious and claustrophobic, especially indoors.  The longer I am inside a structure or stuck in one place, the closer I am to a panic attack.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 12:57:43 AM by Xyden »

Eric Diaz

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[5e/D&D] Backgrounds - the BIG list of backgrounds!
« Reply #85 on: December 07, 2016, 11:30:30 AM »
My contribution: the Dungeonborn

Click here to get more images, inspirations and 5e-looking PDF.



You were born and raised into the depths of a huge castle, dungeon or tunnel complex. You have lacked nothing - you slept in fine linen, studied in huge libraries, and there was always a friendly hand to feed you. Whose hand is that, you don’t quite know – maybe a servant of your ancient family, or some forgotten creature or undead. You have never seen much of the world outside the walls (or maybe not even the light of the sun), or talked to common people, although you know they do exist somewhere. When you finally got out, you felt alienated from everybody, but also curious and eager to explore.

Inside & out
Why were you kept inside? Who raised you? You can create your own story with your GM or roll in the table below. You might also choose to not know all details beforehand, and find them out during play. Likewise, think of how you got out (did you escaped, reach maturity and was left to fend for yourself, walked away when all servants disappeared, was expelled, rescued by other PC’s), unless the adventure starts while you’re still inside.

1. I was a bastard unwanted by my highborn parents, kept secret to avoid shame.
2. I was abandoned and raised by benevolent spirits.
3. My caretakers were overprotective to the point of insanity, although I didn’t realize that.
4. I was kidnapped by a maniac and protected by another prisoner.
5. I was part of a doomsday cult that tough the world had ended.
6. The usurpers took my titles, but wouldn’t dare to kill me.
7. My parents were imprisoned and killed by underground creatures that took pity on me.
8. I am a child of the undead or inhuman – I should never be living in the first place!

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History.
Languages: Two of your choice.
Equipment: fancy and peculiar clothes, a lantern, a necklace with two old portraits (your parents?), 25 gp.

Feature: Born in the Darkness
You are used to move in the darkness, and you can see in dim light within 30 feet of you as if were bright light. You also have an instinctive sense that tells you of the existence of any secret doors or passageways within most buildings, as well as the purpose of most rooms.

Variant feature: Forgotten lore
You have acquired a huge volume of curious forgotten lore. Even when you do not know a particular piece of information, you often know some ancient and relevant trivia related to it. You might not know a particular noble, for examples, but would have heard about his ancestors or past landowners.

Suggested Characteristics
Darkness and isolation leave permanent marks on the dungeonborn. Whether curious about their own origins or eager to get away from them, they are still quite alien and ignorant of common people’s customs and manners. They can be shy, strange and socially inept, or adorable in their exotic naiveté.

Personality trait
1. I lack social skills and often commit innocent but embarrassing faux pas.
2. I am shy and get embarrassed when dealing with extroverted people.
3. I am eager to make new friends and treat everyone I find as a potential ally.
4. I am extremely curious about the outside world and marvel at the simplest things.
5. I am dismissive of people with little or no book learning.
6. I constantly quote from forgotten books that no one else has read, expecting to be immediately understood.
7. I do not know how to deal with money.
8. I am incredibly patient and think long–term in most of my actions.

1. Freedom. No one should be forced to live in a prison of any kind (Chaotic).
2. Knowledge. I must learn as much as I can from this huge, strange world (Neutral).
3. People. Most people are inherently good and should be treated as such (Good).
4. Traditions. I must keep the traditions of my family, no matter how the world sees them (Lawful).
5. Power. I will show this degenerate, ignorant people that they should do as I say (Evil).
6. Self-knowledge. I must find where I came from and what I can become (any).

1. I am the last heir to my family and I must protect their good name.
2. These people are my first friends and I must treasure them forever.
3. I is my duty to maintain my lands and castle.
4. This picture is the only remainder of my ancestors, I shall never lose it.
5. I will take revenge against the ones who imprisoned me.
6. I will return to the castle one day, and make it a better place.

1. I look down on the ignorant masses.
2. I cannot trust anyone.
3. I was imprisoned by my own fault and want to keep it a secret.
4. I am vengeful and cannot forgive an insult.
5. I am oblivious to other peoples’ feelings.
6. I believe everyone should pay attention to my needs.
You might also like:
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 11:36:14 AM by Eric Diaz »
Chaos Factory Books  - Dark fantasy RPGs and more!

Methods & Madness - my  D&D 5e / Old School / Game design blog.


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« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 03:59:02 PM by ceae.firebird »


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« Reply #87 on: April 05, 2017, 12:49:24 PM »
I really like the Slaver, which could be used as "House Servant" as well, though maybe  change skill Suvival to Stealth, as a House Servant doesn't have to worry too much about survival, things are provided (as meager as they may be).

House Servant
Either by birth, indentured servitude you work in the house of another, having picked up the ability to be at the ready hand to serve a refresh of a drink or pick up after the masters. But you have also learned not to be seen at the same, blending in with the background noise.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Stealth
Tool Proficiencies: Cook’s utensils (or similar tool used at the household)
Languages: Two of your choice (regional)

Feature: Passive Presence
As long as you appear appropriately in a position of a servant, you gain Advantage to any Charisma checks involving Deception, Persuasion, or Blending into a Crowd.


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« Reply #88 on: April 14, 2017, 09:14:35 AM »
Vagabond (Alternative)

You have spent your life wandering from place to place without a home or job.

Skill Proficiencies: Survival, History
Tool Proficiencies: Hobo Bundle (see below)
Languages: select one from your travels

Equipment: The Hobo Bundle is a bundle of what would appear to many to be junk. It consists of bits of string, sticks, old nails, perhaps the off horseshoe, or scrap of material. Basically anything that the Vagabond can scrounge, scavenge or find along their trip. If at any point the Vagabond needs a piece of equipment for a particular job or task that would require a small tool or item they can make a Wisdom check against their bundle. A success means that they find a suitable scavenged tool for the job. The tool gets a -2 penalty for any checks but is otherwise a suitable replacement. Aside from this the Vagabond starts with no equipment and no funds.
Advanced option – if you wish you can track the number of uses of the Bundle as “charges”. The base bundle has 20 “charges” and you can regain 1d6 “charges” for each hour spent foraging.

Feature: The Vagabond knows "the rules of the road".
Use 1(History): Oh I’ve Heard of this place - This means that they can make a Wisdom check when they come to any that other vagabonds are like to frequent (so yes to a ruin in a forest but no to an underground dungeon) location to learn a useful “fact’ about it. The facts might not always be true, they might just be rumours but they might include the entry tot eh city through the underground sewers, the fact that a troll lives under this bridge etc.
Use 2(Survival): Waymarks – vagabonds can leave marks made from sticks, mud or chalk that act as a secret language others with the background , or some training, can follow. The range of marks is too large to list but can basically make any 2 word phrase. The marks are usually transitory and last for a couple of days but they could be carved on a rock face or made permanent. It takes 1 action to make a waymark and the action can be concealed with a successful Dex Check.

Original Created By: Jiobbajibba
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 09:16:59 AM by Syrkres »


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« Reply #89 on: May 01, 2017, 06:58:51 PM »