Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Everyone Else: The Barkeep Background

Everyone Else: The Barkeep Background for 5th Edition

Skill Proficiencies: History, Insight
Tool Proficiencies: Brewer’s Tools, either Chef’s Utensils or a gaming set
Equipment: Set of commoner’s clothing, an apron, a tankard of booze, brewer’s tools, and a pouch with 10 gp

You have worked in a bar, tavern, pub, or other place where alcoholic beverages are served. You know the art of mixing and serving drinks and dealing with customers. You’ve learned to keep a wary eye on disruptive patrons and cut them off when they’ve had one too many drinks.

Suggested Characteristics
Barkeeps are typically tough and resolute, much less likely to be phased by some horrible abomination an adventurer drags in than most other villagers. (This doesn’t prevent your average barkeep from keeping a crossbow beneath counter, however.)  Barkeeps often pick up a lot of local lore simply from word of mouth; in many places the pub is a town center for gatherings and conversation. (It is almost always the place to go to find adventurers and mysterious quest-giving figures dressed in foreboding robes.) Note that for the purposes of this background, “barkeep” includes barmaids, waiters, or anybody who worked at a tavern. 

Feature: Heard it through the Grapevine
Knowledge is power, even for the barkeep. You’ve learned how to keep your ears open for quality rumors as you do your work.  After a few hours serving a shift at a tavern or other similar establishment, you can pick up all the current and widely known rumors about town. You won’t automatically know which ones are true, and finding lesser known rumors (or deliberate secrets) will require more work than merely working at just any tavern.

Personality Characteristics (1d8)
1.       I’m always cleaning something if I’m not busy with something else.
2.       People say I speak with a funny accent, but I don’t apologize for it, no way, no how!
3.       I don’t trust newcomers easy.
4.       I’ve seen everything- nothing phases me.
5.       I give a hearty laugh every time I speak.
6.       Don’t care for those high fallootin’ explosive magic. Ruins too many a good bar.
7.       I hate to see good things go to waste.
8.       I hate to see violence. If I have to break a few knees to keep things civilized, so be it.

Ideals (1d6)
1.       Gossip (Chaotic)                     Who can resist a good yarn?
2.       Comfort (Neutral)                  In the end, the most important things are safe beds, good food, and good drink.
3.       By the Book (Lawful)            The rules are the rules. When you’ve had enough you’ve had enough.
4.       Responsibility (Good)           I always go the extra mile to see that everybody gets home okay.
5.       Exploitation (Evil)                “Blackmail” is such a harsh word; I prefer “paid-for anonymity.”
6.       Hard Living (Any)                  You don’t get anywhere by takin’ it easy.

Bond (1d6)
1.       I’ve heard of a far-off land that has the perfect brew.
2.       Some jerk burnt down my bar.  I’ve gotta find ‘em and get my revenge.
3.       Someday I’ll have enough to open my own tavern.
4.       A bard’s tale of a strange place has inspired me to visit it.
5.       My friend (or colleague or loved one) was once a big-time adventurer, but he (or she) went missing. Now I gotta find where he (or she) went.
6.       I search for a way to drive out the ghosts that haunt my business.

Flaws (1d6)
1.       I sample a little too much of my product.
2.       Disrespectful remarks send me into a battle-frenzy.
3.       My tongue wagging has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in the past.
4.       I can’t stand people with weak stomachs.
5.       I assume everybody has some kind of skeletons in their closets.
6.       Okay, so I’m gruff and grumpy all the time. What’s it to YOU?

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