Sunday, December 7, 2014

Everyone Else (Part 3)

Everyone Else: 5e Backgrounds for the "Mundanes" of the Fantasy World
(Part 3)


Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
Languages: Two of Choice

You have a background in negotiation and deal-brokering. You’re trained in the art of compromise and collaboration, in making interests align between those you represent. You know that if everybody goes home happy with what they’ve received, they’ll be more inclined to come back to the table again for more negotiations.
Feature: Hunch
In setting up a negotiation between parties, you know at least one desire (determined randomly) of each party that comes to the table, barring some sort of obfuscation.

Suggested Characteristics
A mediator has to be able to read between the lines, to read people’s emotions and sense their desires. But this is only half of the job; the other half is convincing parties that are likely at odds with each other that their interests aren’t mutually exclusive. A gift of gab is often necessary to get each party at the negotiation table to give up something minor they want in order to gain something greater.
Personality Characteristics (1d8)
1. The art of the deal is a fine game to me.
2. I have my preferred clientele, but I never let that show.
3. I carry around a good luck charm.
4. I speak grandly and eloquently but otherwise hold a humble demeanor.
5. I detest “shoot first, ask questions later” types.
6. Resolve what can and must be resolved now; save the rest for later negotiations.
7. Nobody is completely without blame or responsibility. As they say, it takes two to tango.
8. Speak softly, but carry a big stick.
Ideals (1d6)
1. Relativism (Neutral): No perspective is really greater than another. We live in a world of grays.
2. Greed (Evil): I will negotiate things for MY benefit over all others.
3. Protocol (Lawful): As with diplomacy, there is are rules of etiquette to everything that must be followed.
4. Sacrifice (Lawful): The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
5. Personal Glory (Chaotic): Finishing this task will earn me great status.
6. Common benefit (Good): My good need not come at the cost of another.
Bond (1d6)
1. I will see that my people are represented fairly and afforded the respect they deserve.
2. There is a feud I must prevent.
3. I must arrange the release of a hostage from the enemy.
4. I have sworn a sacred vow I must uphold.
5. I know there’s a secret conspiracy out there.
6. Some oath-breakers ran out on a deal I negotiated. I must find them and make sure they uphold their end of the bargain.
Flaw (1d6)
1. My employers hold me on a tight leash. I represent their interests before all others.
2. I hold out hopes for peace longer than I should.
3. I can’t stand anybody more eloquent than I am.
4. An occasional gift or bribe can win my favor.
5. I am honest to a fault.
6. I hate to get my hands dirty.

Skill Proficiencies: Stealth, Survival
Languages: One of choice
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit
Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, a set of common clothes, a bedroll, a backpack, a token of your old life at home (roll on the trinkets table), a small knife, and a pouch with 5 gp

For whatever reason, you have lived your life on the run. You have been driven from your homeland for reasons outside of your control. Because of your displacement, you are familiar with a life on the road.
Reason for Leaving your Homeland
The reasons for why refugees flee their homelands are diverse. Roll or pick from the chart below for your character.
1. Political dissident
2. Persecuted minority group or occupation
3. Escaped Slave
4. Natural disaster
5. Homeland overrun by hostile invaders
6. Homeland fell into violent anarchy
7. Formal noble or other deposed leader
8. A prophesized destiny hostile to the ruling powers
Feature: Refugee Network
You are not the only one to be displaced from your homeland. Many more have fled, and together you have bonded together to form a home away from home in the company of each other. In places with well-known networks of your kindred, you know where to find a safe place of refuge and to access basic supplies.

Suggested Characteristics
As they come from all walks of life, refugees can’t truly be said to have any commonly shared characteristics. They tend to be, but aren’t always, from demographic groups that are stigmatized or disadvantaged in their homeland. Traveling to find a new homeland can be quite perilous, so a hardy nature, an observant eye, and a keen mind are very useful things for a refugee to have. Many refugees will need to develop a skill for stealth and subtlety as they escape their past misfortunes.
Personality Traits (1d8)
1. I frequently look over my shoulder to make sure nobody is after me.
2. I am terse when around strangers, but I open up when around friends and loved ones.
3. I love sharing stories of far-off lands.
4. I long for home.
5. I will hold on to my culture’s ways even in this strange new land.
6. My old life is gone; best it stayed buried in the past.
7. I am confused by this land’s ways and constantly contrast it with those of my homeland.
8. I feel just like one of the locals here.
Ideal (1d6)
1. Anarchy (Chaotic) I seek to undo any form of restrictions on free will.
2. Compassion (Good) Nobody else should ever have to go through what I had to.
3. Order (Lawful) Strengthen the laws, and this madness will occur no more.
4. Restoration (Any) Someday I will return home and restore it back to its former state of glory.
5. Security (Any) I hope for a safe and secure place to start anew.
6. Vengeance (Evil) After I have built up my power elsewhere, I shall return to this land and wreak bloody vengeance.
Bond (1d6)
1. I left some people behind. Someday I’ll go back for them.
2. The road is my home now.
3. Every hero’s journey begins with adversity. I have a great destiny to fulfill.
4. I owe much to the people that took me in and treated me like one of their own.
5. I only seek a safe world for those I love.
6. I’ll make a new home for my people.

Flaw (1d6)
1. I am slow to trust and slower to let others know who I really am.
2. I live in fear of those who might come after me.
3. I constantly complain about this country’s ways and compare it to my homeland.
4. I’m losing my sense of identity.
5. The guilt for those who didn’t make it eats away at my soul.
6. The trauma of what happened haunts my dreams.

Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Insight
Tool Proficiencies: Alchemical supplies, Disguise Kit
Equipment: A magnifying glass, a set of common clothes, a clue from a previously unsolved mystery, and a pouch with 10 gp

You have an astute mind, one well-suited for solving mysteries. Whether a professional detective or simply highly skilled amateur, you are trained in the art of investigation. You’ve got a nose for sniffing out clues at the scene of the crime and an eye for spotting lies. Mysteries big and small give you sustenance for your ever hungry mind.
Feature: Licensed Professional
You are a recognized solver of mysteries. You have ready access to places where the general public cannot go, from crime scenes to holding cells. You can request visitation with criminal suspects and even access confidential documents. Furthermore, you can apply your knowledge as an expert in a court of law.

Suggested Characteristics
A sleuth must have an analytical mind, able to put together the puzzle from disparate and often seemingly unconnected pieces of information. Some sleuths may approach this task from a rational and logical perspective whereas others may let their intuition guard them. Whatever their method, they must be quick on their feet as answering questions people want unanswered frequently leads them into hostile territory.

Personality Trait (1d8)
1. I get antsy and irritated if bored for too long.
2. I make frequent use of a catch phrase.
3. Upon first meeting someone, I always try to size up their ambitions and capabilities.
4. I begin every conversation with a question.
5. I often drift off in thought.
6. I make great leaps of logic that make no sense to the uninformed.
7. I play a musical instrument when pondering a mystery.
8. I treat everyone I work with as my loyal sidekick.

Ideal (1d6)
1. Watchfulness (Any) You’re not paranoid if they really are out there to get you
2. Thrills (Chaotic) Life is but a great game.
3. Recognition (Neutral) I’ll earn myself a great name
4. Justice (Good) I shall make sure the innocent are spared and the guilty apprehended
5. Truth (Lawful) No untruth shall go unrevealed! (Lawful)
6. Sadism (Evil) This is a good gig. You can get away with a lot against evil people.
Bond (1d6)
1. I have an enemy from my past that I’ve never caught. Someday I will.
2. I just love doing the job of the local constabulary for them and then rubbing it in their faces.
3. A partner of mine died in the line of duty. I’ll live a life that honors their memory.
4. I champion those who fall through the cracks.
5. My loyalty is to whom has hired me.
6. My job gives me frequent excuses to go visit somebody I’m fond of.

Flaw (1d6)
1. I’m haunted by the ghosts of those I couldn’t save.
2. I use intoxicants a little bit more than I should.
3. My blunt statements of truth frequently offend the small-minded.
4. I can’t resist a personal challenge.
5. I’m a neat freak.
6. Once I have my suspect, I will never change my mind.

Skill Proficiencies: Handle Animal, Survival
Language: One of choice
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (Land)
Equipment: traveler’s outfit; a signal whistle; 50 ft. of hempen rope; a trained (but mundane) monkey, basset hound, or other similar small animal; and a pouch with 10 gp

You are skilled in the handling of animals, specifically horses and other beasts of burden used to transport goods and occasionally passengers to where they need to be. You typically were hired on as a caravan driver to help deliver goods to market. However, an adventuring party’s need for transporting large bulky treasure hauls is not alien to you. In fact, that’s likely where you picked up the tools of the adventuring trade.
Feature: Caravan Run
Teamsters know there is safety in numbers. Given a few days’ notice, you can organize a troupe of other like-minded teamsters to come with you through a dangerous route. Whereas they will keep an eye out for mutual threats and even join you in defending the caravan, their first loyalty will be to their own employers. Furthermore, you will be expected to return any favor they do for you.

Suggested Characteristics
Patience is a virtue for the teamster as travel in older times was often a lengthy and tedious (but also perilous) task. Skill in working with animals is essential, but so is skill in dealing with people- travel in numbers is safer than traveling alone.
Personality Traits (1d8)
1. I talk to my animals.
2. I’m constantly moving.
3. I leave the deciding where to go to others. I just get them there.
4. I pick up a few stories from every place I go.
5. I can’t understand how a person would live all of life in one place.
6. I speak plainly and directly.
7. I don’t pay heed to superstitions.
8. I have my favorite destinations and other places I don’t like so much.
Ideals (1d6)
1. Service I do what I need to get the job done. (Lawful)
2. Freedom I roam wherever my whims and the open road calls me. (Chaotic)
3. Insularity I don’t get too involved with people or causes. My job is my job. (Neutral)
4. Friendship The road can be a lonely place, so why not treat everybody you meet well? (Good)
5. Selfishness The only person I look out for is me. (Evil)
6. Wanderlust I can’t stay in one place for too long. (Any)
Bond (1d6)
1. I’m wedded to the open road.
2. My family waits faithfully back at home for me.
3. Every place I go, there’s somebody new to help out.
4. My animals are my pride and joy.
5. Rumor is a new trade route’s opened up. Let’s go check it out.
6. Bandits took everything I had. I’m going to make them regret that.
Flaw (1d6)
1. I value my animals more than most people.
2. I easily grow impatient with obstacles in my way.
3. I’m not entirely who I say I am. I move around a lot because I’m secretly on the lamb.
4. I finish everything with as much haste as I can.
5. I dislike authority and go around it whenever I can.
6. I go out of my way to make life more dangerous so that it can be a little bit more interesting.

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