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Gnomes2169
2014-08-23, 02:29 AM
Child of War
You were born in a war-torn country, and your history reflects this. Whether you were the only survivor of the ransacking of your birth city or you come from a long line of weary soldiers and broken families, you have had to live on your own for years, and have become quite self-sufficient and hearty because of it. You may not be who people look at and think of as a hero, and you are definitely not a leader, but you have lived outside of society for long enough that neither of these things bother or influence you. Instead, you adventure for your own purposes, though what those might be are for you alone to know...

Skill proficiencies: Stealth, Survival
Tool proficiency: Vehicles (Land)
Languages: One language of your choice
Equipment: A locket or other keepsake that belonged to someone important to you, tinder and flint, a first aid kit, 50í of rope, a dagger, a horse or other mount.
Defining event: Something traumatic happened to end your mostly peaceful life, leaving you stranded and alone in a world that gave you no second chances. Instead of falling like so many in your situation would, you instead thrived, and you set off to find your own fortune. Decide or randomly determine what this event was and how you reacted to it by referencing the tables below.
d8Personality trait
1My hometown was destroyed by a particularly vicious attack
2My family was part of a guild war and were among the casualties
3I was part of my countryís army, and was the only survivor of my company after a one-sided defeat.
4My family was part of a criminal organization that was eliminated by its competition.
5I am part of a church who lost to a rival godís disciples in a particularly bloody confrontation.
6I was kidnapped and held hostage by a rival noble house, I barely escaped with my life from my captors and ignited a war in the progress.
7I was part of a pioneer caravan that was raided by a bandit army, leaving me stranded in the wilderness.
8I was the heir of a merchant empire before it fell into ruin and my brothers and sisters killed each other in the ensuing blood feud.
9Two groups of outsiders dragged their eternal war onto the mortal plane, leaving me an orphan in the care of a traveling hero who tried and failed to save my home town.
10My town was controlled by a tyrannical regime that a group of adventurers removed. The power vacuum that was left behind caused multiple factions to rise up, and I was driven out of the town.

Feature: Safe House
After having been forced into hiding and attacked so many times, you know how to make a secure and secret hideaway that you can retreat to. By working for a week you may set up a safe house in a particular city, section of the wilderness or other location. This hideaway is large enough for yourself and up to four other people to live comfortably, and requires a DC 15 investigation check to discover. If you are able to reasonably find or purchase supplies, then you may increase the DC of this check by 5 by either spending 50 gold or one month of work improving the concealment of your safe house. You may have any number of safe houses at any time and you may start the game with a fully developed one in any one city or landmark.

Suggested characteristics:
A child of war tends to be cautious, if not outright paranoid. They are loners who take pride in their self-sufficiency, and while they are often seen as arrogant because of it it is often well earned. As well, they are often self-taught in their chosen profession, and look down on the more traditionally schooled members of their craft.

RollTrait
1I distrust strangers and people who earn my loyalty must work to keep it.
2I believe that someone is still hunting me, and do not like leaving my safe house because of it.
3I am proud of the things that I accomplish despite all of the odds being stacked against me.
4I weigh the risks and rewards of a situation before acting on it.
5I miss my home and my family, and tend to gravitate to the people and places that remind me of them.
6I dislike the company of others, and refuse to socialize unless absolutely necessary.
7I firmly believe in my own freedom and safety, and protect them above all else.
8I think that the few friends that I have are precious companions that must be protected at all costs.

RollIdeal
1Safety: Regardless of where I go, I should have a safe place to fall back on if necessary (Neutral)
2Justice: Those that commit atrocities should be punished, in or out of the court system. (Good)
3Spite: Those that slight me will pay for it dearly, regardless of how severe or real the insult may be. (Evil)
4Caution: One should know exactly what they are getting into and only act when they have all of the facts (Lawful)
5Phobia: I am afraid of the things that destroyed my life in the past, and will do my best to avoid them if I can. (Chaotic)
6Survivor: No matter what, I will have the tools and skills I need to survive in any situation. (Neutral)

RollBond
1I am looking for the creatures that destroyed my life to enact my vengeance.
2I am looking for a new home to call my own.
3I am looking for any family or friends that might have survived the horrific events of my life.
4I am looking for an item that might be able to restore my homeland to its former glory.
5I want to move on from my loss, but am afraid to trust others completely with my life or feelings.
6I refuse to move on from my past, and take solace in the heirloom that I was able to hold on to.

RollFlaw
1I am being hunted by the captors I escaped.
2I owe an organization my life, and am at its beck and call until I repay them.
3I have fallen back on drugs and alcohol to try and numb the pain of my loss.
4I cannot function if I lose my keepsake, and must keep it with me at all times.
5I am unable to function in crowds, and will attempt to escape any public places I enter.
6It hurts too much to talk about my past, and I cannot do it even if it is vital to the situation.

Varient Feature: Vengeful Agent
While you might be hunted and demonized by those who destroyed your home, you still have some friends out there who are more than willing to help you repay the... "kindness" you have been shown. When you go to a village, town or city that reasonablely could hold some of your former allies, they may be willing to provide you with food and shelter, as well as information on the activities of your mutual enemies, including potential weak points and targets. If you are deep in enemy territory and are a known threat to your enemies, however, only the most staunch of your former allies will be willing to risk their security for you.

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So then, after putting in way too much time and work into this, any comments, questions, etc? All feedback is, as usual, appreciated.

Lord Raziere
2014-08-23, 02:51 AM
Hm, it looks good to me, I can see this being used in Eberron a lot. but I can also see it being used as say, a scavenger-lower class character on Athas who became this way because of being ransacked by desert raiders and such- it doesn't matter what the scale of the war is after all.

I wish could say more, I'm pretty sure there is more this can apply to and be used for, but I can't think of any right now.

DiBastet
2014-08-23, 08:05 AM
Just logged to say I like it. Lots of uses in Eberron and a custom setting of mine. Gonna use it, would use again, good work.

Gnomes2169
2014-08-23, 08:53 AM
Just logged to say I like it. Lots of uses in Eberron and a custom setting of mine. Gonna use it, would use again, good work.

Thank you sir! :smallbiggrin:


Hm, it looks good to me, I can see this being used in Eberron a lot. but I can also see it being used as say, a scavenger-lower class character on Athas who became this way because of being ransacked by desert raiders and such- it doesn't matter what the scale of the war is after all.

I wish could say more, I'm pretty sure there is more this can apply to and be used for, but I can't think of any right now.

It would work for any Faerun setting ever, since outsiders, aberrations, drow, orcs, etc are a constant threat in those worlds, and some gods always fight some other gods. As well, it would work in a Dark Sun setting, but that's just because it has some of the grimdark that is present throughout all of Dark Sun... :smalltongue: But thank you for the complement!

Gnomes2169
2014-09-15, 01:33 PM
Aaaand I decided to make a variant feature. Just thought I would put that out there.

Steel Mirror
2014-09-15, 02:39 PM
I like it! The characteristics in particular look good, which is great because that's my favorite part of the backgrounds in 5E. The skills makes sense, the only thing I think is a little confusing is the part of the equipment entry that reads "the tool you have proficiency with". You have proficiency with mounts, right? So couldn't you just say "one horse or similar mount", or something like that?

Looks good though, one of the best homebrew backgrounds I've seen for 5E.

rlc
2014-09-15, 02:46 PM
looks good. it's flavorful and matches the official backgrounds' format (skills, feature, something for a possible plot hook). well done.

Gnomes2169
2014-09-15, 08:48 PM
I like it! The characteristics in particular look good, which is great because that's my favorite part of the backgrounds in 5E. The skills makes sense, the only thing I think is a little confusing is the part of the equipment entry that reads "the tool you have proficiency with". You have proficiency with mounts, right? So couldn't you just say "one horse or similar mount", or something like that?

Looks good though, one of the best homebrew backgrounds I've seen for 5E.

Wow, I didn't even notice that. I thought it was fixed after I changed the proficiency of mounts. Changed now!


looks good. it's flavorful and matches the official backgrounds' format (skills, feature, something for a possible plot hook). well done.

Thank you m'good sir!

LordZian
2014-09-27, 12:31 PM
I have to say I love this. I Definitely have a character in mind that this would be perfect for. Thank you for the work.

Gnomes2169
2014-09-27, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the compliment! Hopefully your DM likes it as well! :smallbiggrin:

BRKNdevil
2014-09-28, 07:11 PM
Any chance you could make backgrounds out of the 3.5 books like Forge of War? It had a background section that seemed like it wouldn't be to bad to convert into something.

stitchlipped
2014-09-29, 07:33 AM
I like it a lot. Just a couple of things I want to clarify!



Equipment: A locket or other keepsake that belonged to someone important


Should this be "someone important to you"? There's a pretty huge distinction between having a locket of hair/possession belonging to a loved one and having a locket of hair/possession belonging to a significant NPC in the setting. Especially if you devote resources to creating a ritual magic that would kill or control said NPC using that hair/possession as a material component!



Feature: Safe House
After having been forced into hiding and attacked so many times, you know how to make a secure and secret hideaway that you can retreat to. By working for a week you may set up a safe house in a particular city, section of the wilderness or other location. This hideaway is large enough for yourself and up to four other people to live comfortably, and requires a DC 15 investigation check to discover. If you are able to reasonably find or purchase supplies, then you may increase the DC of this check by 5 by either spending 50 gold or one month of work improving the concealment of your safe house. You may have any number of safe houses at any time and you may start the game with a fully developed one in any one city or landmark.

What does fully developed mean? That the money is assumed to be spent/the work assumed to be done that would bump the DC to 20?

Gnomes2169
2014-09-29, 11:36 AM
Any chance you could make backgrounds out of the 3.5 books like Forge of War? It had a background section that seemed like it wouldn't be to bad to convert into something.

3.5 had equivalent to 5e backgrounds? Wat? O-o This is something I did not know... Could you give me a link to one as an example, please? (No promises on making one, I just want to see what they look like atm)


I like it a lot. Just a couple of things I want to clarify!

Should this be "someone important to you"? There's a pretty huge distinction between having a locket of hair/possession belonging to a loved one and having a locket of hair/possession belonging to a significant NPC in the setting. Especially if you devote resources to creating a ritual magic that would kill or control said NPC using that hair/possession as a material component!

Yes. Yes it should be. I'll just fix that bit of wording there...

[/quote]What does fully developed mean? That the money is assumed to be spent/the work assumed to be done that would bump the DC to 20?[/QUOTE]

The first thing one learns when designing homebrew for 5e is that ambiguity is your friend... So actually, this means what you and your DM decide it will mean. You automatically get a safe house, but the meaning of fully developed is up in the air. Most people will take it as a DC 20 check safe house, since that's the best you can get, but there is also an argument to be made that just having a safe house makes it "fully developed" (for instance, the area you are making it in does not have enough resources to develop it farther, you just have not had the time/ money to develop it any farther, etc).

BRKNdevil
2014-09-29, 11:43 AM
3.5 had equivalent to 5e backgrounds? Wat? O-o This is something I did not know... Could you give me a link to one as an example, please? (No promises on making one, I just want to see what they look like atm)

Home? Whatís that? You spent your entire life on the road,
moving from town to town. You get by taking odd jobs, some
less savory than others, or performing for a nightís bed and
food. People are your stock in trade; your keen understanding
of their attitudes, behaviors, and desires keeps you employed
and alive. When things go bad, itís time for you and yours to
move on to the next town. Survival has always been your fi rst
priority, and you have become quite good at it.
Youth: As a child, you spent the majority of your days either
on the road or performing odd jobs and running errands for your
elders. You put any talents you had to work for you just to get by
and perhaps earn a little food or a few spare coins. You might have
turned to crime when things became desperate, or you might
have resisted all temptation no matter how bad things got.
You could have ended up on the road due to a number of
reasons. You might have been separated from your family at a
young age due to war or some other disaster. A plague could have
left you a sole survivor and driven you from your hometown.
Perhaps you grew up in an orphanage and ran away as soon as you
were able. Your parents could have been wanderers themselves,
so that you never knew any other life, at fi rst being carried on
your motherís back and then later walking beside her.
Transition: Moving from the life of a scrounging drifter
to that of an adventurer was easy for you. The skills you
learned on the roads or in the alleys and taprooms of the
world prove useful to any adventurer. Perhaps you managed
a heist that scored you enough money to buy you thievesí
tools, a weapon, and some armor. That single windfall was
enough to transform you from just another wanderer to a
skilled, armed adventurer.
You might have stumbled into the adventurerís life by
accident. Seeking shelter from a storm, you entered a cave
that turned out to be a monsterís lair. You managed to slay
the beast and afterward helped yourself to its treasure. Your
fi rst taste of adventure was frightening and exhilarating (and
profi table), and you developed a liking for the activity.
Adventure fi nds you as often as you fi nd it. Perhaps monsters
threaten the area you are traveling through, leaving you
with a simple choice: fi ght, fl ee, or die. Maybe youíve always
tried to help others as you were passing through an area. Now
that youíre older, stronger, and more skilled, you can take a
more active role in protecting the common folk and helping
out where you can.
At the Table: Youíve done it all before, and your experience
makes you calm in a crisis. When a sudden thunderstorm
rolls in, you know how to fi nd shelter. When it comes to
surviving in the wilds or making your way through a city, you
are a treasure trove of folktales, travelerís lore, and common
sense. Worldly for your age, you arenít afraid to show off that
knowledge in front of others. Sheltered people, those who
grew up in far easier circumstances than you, earn your
disdain if they canít keep up with you. You didnít grow up
with much, but you learned to take care of yourself.

From PHB II
Quite a few splat books started putting in ideas for character backgrounds but because they had no mechanical use they were generally ignored. However, now that backgrounds actually mean something, having a bit of flavor from almost completely generated ideas means some background homebrew won't be to hard. I have a bunch of books from 3.5 but i generally don't know which ones have fluff like this. The ones i know for sure is Forge of War and PHB II, both from 3.5.

stitchlipped
2014-09-29, 12:26 PM
The first thing one learns when designing homebrew for 5e is that ambiguity is your friend... So actually, this means what you and your DM decide it will mean. You automatically get a safe house, but the meaning of fully developed is up in the air. Most people will take it as a DC 20 check safe house, since that's the best you can get, but there is also an argument to be made that just having a safe house makes it "fully developed" (for instance, the area you are making it in does not have enough resources to develop it farther, you just have not had the time/ money to develop it any farther, etc).

Thanks for your responses.



Quite a few splat books started putting in ideas for character backgrounds but because they had no mechanical use they were generally ignored. However, now that backgrounds actually mean something, having a bit of flavor from almost completely generated ideas means some background homebrew won't be to hard. I have a bunch of books from 3.5 but i generally don't know which ones have fluff like this. The ones i know for sure is Forge of War and PHB II, both from 3.5.

Pretty certain the 3.0 Hero Builder's Guidebook had a whole section on generating backgrounds.

Gnomes2169
2014-09-30, 09:17 AM
Home? Whatís that? You spent your entire life on the road,
moving from town to town. You get by taking odd jobs, some
less savory than others, or performing for a nightís bed and
food. People are your stock in trade; your keen understanding
of their attitudes, behaviors, and desires keeps you employed
and alive. When things go bad, itís time for you and yours to
move on to the next town. Survival has always been your fi rst
priority, and you have become quite good at it.
Youth: As a child, you spent the majority of your days either
on the road or performing odd jobs and running errands for your
elders. You put any talents you had to work for you just to get by
and perhaps earn a little food or a few spare coins. You might have
turned to crime when things became desperate, or you might
have resisted all temptation no matter how bad things got.
You could have ended up on the road due to a number of
reasons. You might have been separated from your family at a
young age due to war or some other disaster. A plague could have
left you a sole survivor and driven you from your hometown.
Perhaps you grew up in an orphanage and ran away as soon as you
were able. Your parents could have been wanderers themselves,
so that you never knew any other life, at fi rst being carried on
your motherís back and then later walking beside her.
Transition: Moving from the life of a scrounging drifter
to that of an adventurer was easy for you. The skills you
learned on the roads or in the alleys and taprooms of the
world prove useful to any adventurer. Perhaps you managed
a heist that scored you enough money to buy you thievesí
tools, a weapon, and some armor. That single windfall was
enough to transform you from just another wanderer to a
skilled, armed adventurer.
You might have stumbled into the adventurerís life by
accident. Seeking shelter from a storm, you entered a cave
that turned out to be a monsterís lair. You managed to slay
the beast and afterward helped yourself to its treasure. Your
fi rst taste of adventure was frightening and exhilarating (and
profi table), and you developed a liking for the activity.
Adventure fi nds you as often as you fi nd it. Perhaps monsters
threaten the area you are traveling through, leaving you
with a simple choice: fi ght, fl ee, or die. Maybe youíve always
tried to help others as you were passing through an area. Now
that youíre older, stronger, and more skilled, you can take a
more active role in protecting the common folk and helping
out where you can.
At the Table: Youíve done it all before, and your experience
makes you calm in a crisis. When a sudden thunderstorm
rolls in, you know how to fi nd shelter. When it comes to
surviving in the wilds or making your way through a city, you
are a treasure trove of folktales, travelerís lore, and common
sense. Worldly for your age, you arenít afraid to show off that
knowledge in front of others. Sheltered people, those who
grew up in far easier circumstances than you, earn your
disdain if they canít keep up with you. You didnít grow up
with much, but you learned to take care of yourself.

From PHB II
Quite a few splat books started putting in ideas for character backgrounds but because they had no mechanical use they were generally ignored. However, now that backgrounds actually mean something, having a bit of flavor from almost completely generated ideas means some background homebrew won't be to hard. I have a bunch of books from 3.5 but i generally don't know which ones have fluff like this. The ones i know for sure is Forge of War and PHB II, both from 3.5.

Hmmmm, while interesting, a conversion project doesn't sound like something I would enjoy all too much. If you wanted to do it yourself then nothing is stopping you, but I think I'll pass on this one for now (until I finish my original works at least).

stitchlipped
2014-09-30, 10:36 AM
People are your stock in trade; your keen understanding of their attitudes, behaviors, and desires keeps you employed and alive.

For what it's worth, this jumped out as a core concept for the Drifter background. I would give them proficiency in Insight and Persuasion, proficiency with either one set of artisan's tools or one instrument to represent a trade skill picked up at some point in their past, and the following feature:

Self Sufficiency: you are used to eking out a living and seldom having a roof over your head. You can always scavenge enough food and water from the area you're in to sustain yourself, provided it is there to be found.
Furthermore, between adventures you can practice a profession while still also recuperating. However, the process of recuperating takes twice as long if you work at the same time.

BRKNdevil
2014-09-30, 10:56 PM
Hmmmm, while interesting, a conversion project doesn't sound like something I would enjoy all too much. If you wanted to do it yourself then nothing is stopping you, but I think I'll pass on this one for now (until I finish my original works at least).

Meh, understandable, I just posted in case you wanted more things to inspire you.

Gnomes2169
2015-05-22, 05:01 PM
It has recently come to my attention that there is no actual "Mounts" proficiency. Instead, the fall under the proficiency of Vehicles (Land), so the appropriate change has been made!

Michael7123
2015-08-10, 11:43 PM
I want to thank you for making this background. It fits one of my characters perfectly, and I'm going to ask my DM to let me use it when we switch over to 5e.

Gnomes2169
2015-08-11, 02:02 AM
Glad I could help~ Seeing how many people like/ use this background makes me rather happy to have made it! :smallbiggrin: