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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1answer
107 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 ...
10
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2answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
115 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 ...
9
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4answers
3k 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 ...
14
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3answers
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, ...
15
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7answers
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 ...
5
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2answers
384 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. ...
8
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4answers
2k 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. ...
6
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1answer
702 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 ...
10
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1answer
834 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 ...
9
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1answer
2k 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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2answers
2k 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 ...
5
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1answer
427 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 ...
34
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6answers
9k 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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1answer
899 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.
7
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3answers
841 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 ...
4
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2answers
713 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 ...
7
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1answer
807 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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0answers
1k 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, ...
4
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1answer
889 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
10
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3answers
1k 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 ...
2
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0answers
153 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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0answers
141 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 ...
9
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4answers
2k 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 ...
18
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2answers
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 ...
5
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1answer
3k 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 ...
3
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0answers
161 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 ...
1
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1answer
117 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 ...
8
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2answers
904 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 ...
2
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0answers
354 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 ...
5
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2answers
166 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 ...
-4
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1answer
496 views

Can my backstory give me animal companions?

If I make a good backstory for my character is it possible to get an animal companion or two due to my backstory if the game master accepts it? The animals I want are an owlbear and a chimaera. I want ...
19
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2answers
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 ...
9
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1answer
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
2k 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.
7
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1answer
167 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 ...
2
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0answers
141 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 ...
2
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3answers
534 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 ...
3
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2answers
592 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 ...
5
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4answers
5k views

Exotic language on new character? [closed]

I've already read this post but just wanted to get clarification; I am new to D&D and have created a Half-Orc War Cleric who was once a soldier... His back story involves demons and I decided to ...
2
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0answers
298 views

Marrying two of your own characters [closed]

I am a normal RPer and writer who’s in their first D&D campaign. I want to make it so that my next two characters are a married couple who are roaming the lands and picking up jobs as they search ...
44
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5answers
5k views

How can I develop my character's background when I know nothing of the game's lore and want to avoid spoilers?

This is a tricky one, and I may be painting myself into a corner in which case please feel free to tell me so in an answer but please also provide advice on how to get out whilst disturbing as little ...
6
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3answers
677 views

What issues will arise from a player's weird request for a backstory?

So we are starting a new campaign and one of my players has a unique backstory. His character had a twin sister who died at the age of 10. Before her death, a wizard found them both and bound the ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Is a staff from background starting equipment counted as a quarterstaff or an improvised weapon?

When selecting the background for my Sorcerer, I chose Outlander (PHB, p. 136-137). This background gives a "staff" for starting equipment (among other things). Does the staff act like a quarterstaff ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Can a DM deny your background if it's from a book? [closed]

My Dungeon Master and I have been at arms for a week now since she allowed another player to kill me while I was away from the game, sick. Now that I've built my new character, she tells me that I ...
42
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12answers
18k views

Players Develop Backstories Too Much

I keep running into an issue as a dungeon master where my players develop their characters a bit too much. By this, I mean that they'll write up things in their backstories or develop NPCs that aren't ...
7
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2answers
3k views

Do languages from backgrounds stack with base racial languages, or override them?

Hermit, Outlander, Sage, etc. all get a language trait from choosing that background. However, it's not made clear whether these languages stack with the languages that races provide, or replace them. ...
6
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0answers
2k views

D&D 5e, Looking for thoughts and suggestions on a character build and backstory I'm looking to make [closed]

Concept - I was looking for inspiration on a character I'd like to play and while watching The Grudge with my girlfriend the other night, I thought of a character concept based around Kayako's skill ...
10
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5answers
1k views

The PCs are boring; how do I involve them in the story?

I just started running my first D&D campaign, and I've run into this problem. I want the story to go to places that involve the PCs personally, and help the players feel more invested. One player'...