Most of the adventurers out there already have some kind of experience (their background) when they go on their first quest.

However, I think that a character can not always be prepared for adventures. A farmer whose village was just burnt to ashes by savage orcs might want to get revenge. I intend to create an ordinary character as the DM — from a DM's perspective, which background should such an ordinary person get ?


closed as primarily opinion-based by KorvinStarmast, SPavel, Kyle Willey, Yotus, nitsua60 Aug 16 '16 at 13:07

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking this question as a player or as a DM? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 16 '16 at 11:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a DM who would like to create his own character, as a matter of fact :) why is that relevant ? \$\endgroup\$ – Yotus Aug 16 '16 at 12:00
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The perspective will inform the answer. DM's have a lot of latitude that players don't until they have brought such an issue up to the DM. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Aug 16 '16 at 12:16

If I remember correctly, the backgrounds don't all involve previous experience. However, there's nothing stopping you from reflavouring backgrounds dependant on your character.

In the case of the farmer, you could use the Guild Artisan background and reflavour it so s/he's a member of the Farming Guild, their artisan's tools are their farming tools, the guild membership could be the farmers' market, etc.

A town guard could use the Soldier background, perhaps he's served watching the walls his entire life but he still had to go through the basic training that provided him with all those different proficiencies.

And of course, there's nothing to stop you homebrewing a character background either!

Related Reading

  • Dungeon Masters Guide (page 285 "Creating New Character Options" & page 289, specific to new backgrounds)
  • State of Hilsfar Document (Rage of Demons storyline, 7 backgrounds)
  • Curse of Strahd Character Options (1 background)
  • Hoard of the Dragon Queen Supplment
  • Sword Coast Adventurers Guide (12 backgrounds)

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