Questions tagged [background]

For questions about a character's background (also called backstory or character history), the origin of a character before they are created and appear in play. Backgrounds are usually most relevant to player characters.

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What would be the 5e version of Willow Ufgood's background? [closed]

I have a character concept I'd like to develop which has similar ties for the background to the "main" character of the 1988 film Willow, in that they are both destined not to be a chosen ...
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7 votes
1 answer
135 views

How do I roleplay this Tribal / Segregated Community Character?

I'm currently playing an Aarakocra Barbarian (Ancestral Spirit Guardian) that is the prophesied leader who will unite the scattered people. Standard Chosen One stuff. The Aarakocra tribes are not ...
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17 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to help a player create a character with more long term motivations?

I am currently DMing a campaign for a player that I will call Will and 2 others. To start off, Will is not really a problem player despite this question being tagged as such. He is engaged in the game,...
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2 votes
0 answers
104 views

Environmental storytelling : a centuries-old isolated child [closed]

This question might be better suited for World Building SE, but because of how specific it is, and how it is meant to be shown through gameplay, I thought that it would be more on topic here. An ...
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19 votes
4 answers
7k views

How can a DM handle players coming up with PCs that they don't feel are a good fit for a world or campaign

My situation: I've been worldbuilding for a while and more so since it looked likely I'd get to DM for the first time. I provided a pre-session zero PDF to my players, containing 6 truths as well as ...
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2 votes
1 answer
212 views

Novice to Worlds Without Number: Advice on character creation and motivation [closed]

I got invited to join a role-playing group, who would like to start Worlds Without Number (WWN). The group is familiar with role-playing but for me, this is the very first time ever. Therefore, I came ...
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  • 411
10 votes
1 answer
177 views

Are backgrounds important after character creation?

I'm currently running a W:TA game using the 1st edition rulebook. Several of my characters have backgrounds. As we play, do those backgrounds increase, or do they only determine what the character has ...
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11 votes
4 answers
307 views

Writing around an un-defined character

I am planning to attend a LARP set in Rokugan - when (and if) that happens. It's a rather story- and character-play-heavy setup with little to no combat planned. Now, I have already a character with ...
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4 votes
1 answer
541 views

In what rule book is the awakened familiar background introduced?

I saw this as an option in a dnd beyond campaign that I'm apart of, in what book does it appear (and page if possible)?
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  • 1,091
6 votes
1 answer
185 views

Are there ways a character created for Adventurers League play should be qualitatively different from others?

I've never played an Adventurers League (AL) game, but I've begun researching it because it recently came up as a possibility. My understanding is that Adventurers League play is designed for portable ...
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1 vote
1 answer
210 views

Do I, as a druid, add the spells from the Gruul Anarch background to my list of spells that I can prepare anytime?

I am currently playing a druid and took the Gruul Anarch background (Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica). The background comes with additional guild spells. would those spells be available to be prepared ...
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can you have a companion from your backstory?

My character's backstory is that he had to flee his city because he used a spell to save his best friend in the city watch. He is from a made-up city where spells and powerful magic were privileges ...
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0 votes
1 answer
203 views

Best background for 5e character who is secretly a dragon? [closed]

I'm making a character for an upcoming D&D 5e campaign who is secretly a dragon who permanently polymorphed itself (so, no mechanical advantages, just story background). Wondering what background ...
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10 votes
4 answers
4k views

I am a new player in a group. Another player's character has spent their childhood in a brothel and it is bothering me. What can I do?

I am a new player in a group. Another player's character supposedly spent their childhood in a brothel before being sold to pirates; they served on the ship's crew before eventually deciding to retire ...
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14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Overlapping Proficiencies From Leveling?

In my game I'm a Rogue with the Entertainer background. Leveled up enough to pick a subclass and decided on Mastermind for the teamwork possibilities. The subclass gives Disguise Kit proficiency, ...
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  • 149
18 votes
7 answers
3k views

Food Scraps, what are they and do they go bad?

My Ranger character has the Urchin personality trait of "I hide scraps of food and trinkets away in my pockets", which I have been RPing, without thought for much benefit. I have been just ...
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  • 467
5 votes
2 answers
895 views

Does a PC with the Noble background need to supply equipment for their retainers?

Looking at the Noble Variant feature "Retainer": You have the service of three retainers loyal to your family. These retainers can be attendants or messengers, and one might be a majordomo. ...
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Acceptable background by level

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with backgrounds from D&D 5e. It happens a lot that the story you create for your character sometimes is not well aligned with what happens afterwards in-game. ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Where and how often do the exotic languages appear?

I've chosen the Haunted One background for my new half-orc blood hunter. I get to pick an exotic language (Abyssal, Celestial, Deep Speech, Draconic, Infernal, Primordial, Sylvan, or Undercommon), but ...
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10 votes
1 answer
963 views

If you use "Monstrous Adventurers" from "Volo's Guide to Monsters" for a PC, do you use a background?

I was looking at Volo's Guide to Monsters, the section on "Monstrous Adventurers", and wondered whether you include a background when you use that to create a character of one of the species listed ...
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  • 353
11 votes
1 answer
4k views

What are the available Adventurer's League eligible D&D 5e backgrounds, and where can I find them?

Similar to the possible races, official classes, and 4e backgrounds questions, what are official WotC-published backgrounds available for players, and which books/resources contain them? By official, ...
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3 votes
2 answers
3k views

How many loresheets can a character have?

As a super fan of Vampire: the Masquerade V5, I preordered the book Cults of the Blood Gods. In the previews that I received, I read that vampires can only have 1 loresheet (or 2 if they have a ...
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  • 5,015
5 votes
1 answer
540 views

What is a good spoiler-free lore resource that I can give to my party for the Storm King's Thunder adventure?

I'm currently running a Storm's King Thunder campaign and got a question from a couple players in my party who wanted to create a backstory for their characters. They wanted to know more about the ...
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  • 1,051
34 votes
6 answers
10k views

Is giving my character amnesia about its backstory a bad idea?

During my first campaign as a player, I had a issue with my DM regarding the background I gave to my character. It was my first time creating a background for my character, and I loved doing it so ...
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-12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are all the background features in the Player's Handbook?

Looking to find a comprehensive list of the background features in the PHB so that it’s easier to reference and customize a player background.
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

I want to have a bond with a baby dragon. Can I?

I just started playing D&D 5e. I am playing an Ethereal Dwarf, Paladin level 2, and my background is Haunted One. With my background, I received a broken silver dragon pendant. My harrowing event ...
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  • 73
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do the Zhentarim communicate with their agents and what support can they provide?

Let's say you are a Zhentarim faction agent. What methods do the Zhentarim use to communicate with agents, what kind of information and support can they offer? I’m wondering how to have this come up ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Charlatan Schemes, are they just flavor or for mechanics?

Favorite Schemes Every charlatan has an angle he or she uses in preference to other schemes I shave coins or forge documents. Is there a formula or mechanic for shaving coins, or is it more of a ...
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2 votes
0 answers
2k views

How does the Simic Scientist background work? [closed]

My DM asked me a question about the Simic Scientist background: How are you able to give people different animal and such parts, and how can I create monsters? I am wondering about the Simic Hybrid, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it balanced to replace a musical instrument proficiency from my character's background with an artisan's tool proficiency instead?

I'm designing a Wood Elf Outlander Warlock (in D&D 5E) who only has one hand. This makes my arm near to useless. As an Outlander, I am proficient with a musical instrument, and have skill ...
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to deal with a DM changing my backstory and dismissing my ideas?

The buildup I am playing a campaign with a few friends and we are all kinda new including the DM, though he does have a little more experience than the players. The other day the DM asked everyone for ...
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  • 137
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do the benefits to foraging from the ranger's Natural Explorer feature and the Outlander background's Wanderer feature stack?

I am planning on building my first ranger ever, and I was wondering about the Natural Explorer feature. One of its benefits when in your favored terrain is: When you forage, you find twice as much ...
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2 votes
0 answers
160 views

How to make my bard not too obnoxious [closed]

I am kinda new to tabletop RPGs. I am am playing with the idea of making a Bard who wanted to be some kind of hero and only became a Bard to be able to create his own tales about himself and become ...
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1 vote
0 answers
151 views

How can a human blacksmith expert and a merchant goblin open a forge? [closed]

I'm actually thinking about a backstory that links both characters for Symbaroum. In this universe, where elves, trolls, dwarves and goblins exist, it is common for humans to be racist towards other ...
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can a character take on additional backgrounds, or at least their benefits?

Can a character take on additional backgrounds, or at least their benefits? For example, there is a sorcerer character that has the Charlatan background. This sorcerer happens to be Drow and in an ...
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18 votes
2 answers
3k views

Creating a character, is Noble a class or a background?

I am getting back into D&D after about 15 years. Reading through the Players Handbook it refers to Noble as a class but it is found in the Background section. Super novice question and I ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

What is special about having a majordomo?

The Knight variant of the Noble background (PHB page 136) gives the following feature: RETAINERS You have the service of three retainers loyal to your family ... one might be a majordomo ... I can't ...
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3 votes
0 answers
164 views

How do I best decide who knows what at the beginning of a game? [closed]

Adventure Paths (APs) come with a freely downloadable player's guide that details a lot of things about the setting of the AP, including mechanical suggestions such as which prestige classes or class ...
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1 vote
1 answer
137 views

Can druids (fluffwise) become cavaliers?

I know that mechanically it could work, but not sure if for Golarion it makes much sense fluffwise. Thus would it make sense if a druid would become a cavalier? (as example Green knight order) or is ...
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  • 7,183
8 votes
2 answers
991 views

Would a character with eternal youth be AL-compliant?

I want to have my character be cursed with eternal youth from a backstory perspective. She'll still be "killable"; she just can't age. Would that break AL rules? I know you can add to or change ...
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2 votes
0 answers
374 views

Custom homebrew Backgrounds? What are some good references? [closed]

I was wondering. Where I would find some good places to find some custom backgrounds in D&D 5e for reference when making my own custom campaign and maybe even contribute to the list with my own ...
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  • 111
5 votes
2 answers
175 views

How do I develop my character's story without spoiling myself on what's about to happen? [closed]

Today, at the table, we reached a point where we have no more goals in sight, and need to think of how we continue the game from this point onward. We are all level 6. The problem I'm facing here is ...
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-5 votes
1 answer
691 views

Can my backstory give me animal companions?

If I make a backstory for my character in which it would make sense for them to have an animal companion or two (instead of them having a specific class or a feature that says they can or do), is it ...
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19 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I politely tell my players to shut up about their backstory? [closed]

Disclaimer: I know backstories are good and necessary but here's the issue - Two players have a joint backstory, and one of them is REALLY into it, and it's starting to disrupt game time because he ...
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  • 207
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does using your Criminal Contact background feature require a roll?

Someone with the Criminal background has the "Criminal Contact" feature, which is described as such: You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as your liaison to a network of other ...
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  • 191
7 votes
2 answers
4k views

What type of artisan's tools would a tailor use?

I'm creating a character with a Guild Artisan background as a tailor, but I'm not sure what tool would be good to get proficiency in.
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  • 5,379
7 votes
1 answer
186 views

Finding a College of Lore "local group" as an outsider in the city

I am playing a newly Level3-Bard with the College of Lore. In her backstory she encountered the criminal group The Nine Swords in Westgate, who are protected from high up and her goal is to bring them ...
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2 votes
0 answers
151 views

Can I use a rust dragon as a mount? [closed]

I'm relatively new to D&D, and after playing a bit with some friends, picked up a few books to learn more. In one book, "A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DRAGON RIDING", I was introduced to the idea of ...
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2 votes
3 answers
550 views

Can a character have two pasts? [closed]

I have a character in mind that has two pasts. Basically I want to create a character that has the memories of two other people in her head. Somewhat like split personality but more like a fusion of ...
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3 votes
2 answers
710 views

How can I justify a gnome samurai in Faerûn? [closed]

A new player wants to join a game I'm running. The campaign is set in Thesk in Faerûn, and the player wants to play a gnome samurai. I'd like to find a way to make this work, but I keep running into ...
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