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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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3 votes
2 answers
334 views

Reasons for being sent to retrieve an all-powerful artefact? [closed]

I'm considering (first time) DM'ing "The Silvyr Tower" for a group. However I am not sure how to sell the starting situation to my players. Summarizing the starting situation: the group is ...
bobismijnnaam's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
319 views

Possibility to gain magic items as feats, class features, or background

Besides the three "default" ways of getting a magic item by finding, buying, or crafting, are there other ways for a player to gain them? I found the second level artificer feature "...
00koeffers's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the suggested characteristics of an Astral Drifter from the Astral Adventurer's Guide?

What are the suggested characteristics (Person, Ideals, Bonds, Flaws) of an Astral Drifter from the Astral Adventurer's Guide (in Spelljammer: Adventures in Space)? Are there any, or a suggested set ...
Jhyarelle Silver's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there something in the lore that prevents my tiefling from having this skin color?

I'm planning on painting a portrait of my tiefling, so I want to confirm the color I imagine for his skin is possible in the reality dnd 4 is in. The "base" of his skin would be a pale ...
Bear's user avatar
  • 381
9 votes
2 answers
452 views

How to present background information and NPC backstories?

The books for a published adventure I've GM'd recently (PF1's Wrath of the Righteous) contain a lot of background information about NPCs, events and locations, which is very fun to read for me as a GM ...
Petr Hudeček's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

How to incorporate characters’ backstories into campaign’s storyline in a way that’s meaningful but without making them dominate the plot?

My players have recently expressed a desire to have more of their backstories incorporated into the plot but also they have brought up in their request a different game by another DM that we were all ...
AnnaAG's user avatar
  • 9,871
0 votes
3 answers
414 views

Why do characters level up? [closed]

Is there any reason given to why characters in D&D get experience points and level up? Is there a background reason given in any of the campaign worlds or rules anywhere? Is there any description ...
Bucket's user avatar
  • 2,616
7 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is the scope of the Charlatan background?

I am currently in talks with a player, who wants his character to have the Charlatan Background, while I as the DM am not sure that's what the character actually is. The player describes his character ...
TreeSpawned's user avatar
  • 2,553
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

How far is it acceptable for the GM to interfere with a PC's background?

Me and some friends are organizing a DW game right now with most of us being completely new to tabletop RPG (including me, the GM) and I think I made a mistake while we were establishing their bonds. ...
Ohto Ai's user avatar
  • 113
-1 votes
1 answer
442 views

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 ...
Victor B's user avatar
  • 7,388
7 votes
1 answer
275 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 ...
Jackson Hughes's user avatar
19 votes
6 answers
4k 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,...
comedroidrive's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
146 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 ...
DunBaloo's user avatar
  • 141
19 votes
4 answers
8k 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 ...
Brent Hackers's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
934 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 ...
Martin G's user avatar
  • 451
10 votes
1 answer
261 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 ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 19.1k
11 votes
4 answers
329 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 ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 44.3k
4 votes
1 answer
910 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)?
Toma's user avatar
  • 1,147
6 votes
1 answer
406 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 ...
gto's user avatar
  • 5,276
1 vote
1 answer
353 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 ...
gareth the elf's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Cyanite17's user avatar
  • 219
0 votes
1 answer
507 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 ...
Empiromancer's user avatar
  • 1,675
11 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 ...
Maiko Chikyu's user avatar
  • 21.3k
14 votes
3 answers
4k 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, ...
Briann's user avatar
  • 149
18 votes
7 answers
4k 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 ...
bitfed's user avatar
  • 477
5 votes
2 answers
2k 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. ...
Victor B's user avatar
  • 7,388
9 votes
4 answers
4k 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. ...
Melferas's user avatar
  • 629
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
jonnybolton16's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
dog_mu's user avatar
  • 353
11 votes
1 answer
6k 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, ...
BlueMoon93's user avatar
  • 46.6k
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 ...
Rorp's user avatar
  • 5,698
5 votes
1 answer
750 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 ...
Jordi's user avatar
  • 1,051
34 votes
6 answers
12k 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 ...
Jordi's user avatar
  • 1,051
-13 votes
1 answer
8k 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.
Amethyst Wizard's user avatar
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 ...
Forrest's user avatar
  • 73
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Amethyst Wizard's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Francisco De La Paz's user avatar
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, ...
Dragonking754's user avatar
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 ...
VarisBersk's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
DianaM's user avatar
  • 137
10 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Eternallord66's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
168 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 ...
DiploKovacs's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
158 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 ...
Réda SGHYAR's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
juliolopez78's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Matthew Henning's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
SeriousBri's user avatar
  • 29.9k
3 votes
0 answers
171 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 ...
Zachiel's user avatar
  • 35.3k
1 vote
1 answer
143 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 ...
Thomas E.'s user avatar
  • 8,169
8 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Mage in the Barrel's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
471 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 ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 111