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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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-2 votes
1 answer
97 views

How can the curse of witch's blood be removed mechanically? And is it even possible? [closed]

Roughly speaking, a character with a witch's blood curse [Hexblood] was created, cursed from birth. Is it possible to remove this curse with the help of game mechanics or spells so that it can be ...
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,...
3 votes
2 answers
341 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
14 votes
2 answers
36k views

Tiefling - Explanation on the "Virtue" name "Carrion" as suggested in the 5e PHB

As you may (or may not) know, a Tiefling has often a "Virtue" name that embodies the Tiefling willingness to find a place in the world. Among those "Virtue" names the following are suggested in the ...
6 votes
2 answers
334 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 "...
24 votes
10 answers
4k views

How do I rein in a character's backstory without discouraging the player?

I'm planning to start a game of Rogue Trader with a number of new players that are new to RPGs. I've helped the players generate their characters and have given them a very very basic backstory to ...
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 ...
9 votes
2 answers
459 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 ...
12 votes
2 answers
19k views

How is the "By Popular Demand" feature supposed to work?

The Entertainer background (from the PHB, p. 130) has the following feature, and I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly. Feature: By Popular Demand You can always find a place to perform, ...
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 ...
0 votes
3 answers
418 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 ...
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 ...
24 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to handle diverging expectations on "background density"?

After many years (try 15) of not GM'ing a group of my own, I recently made an attempt to return to the head of the table and shake off the rust. I have a gaming world of my own making prepared, which ...
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. ...
-1 votes
1 answer
446 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
283 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
148 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 ...
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, ...
20 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 ...
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 ...
-5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
970 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
265 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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
332 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
928 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)?
6 votes
1 answer
420 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
357 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 ...
39 votes
8 answers
7k views

How do I get other players to ask about my backstory?

So here's the thing: I'm the only player in our group who writes long, detailed backgrounds, and it's pretty easy for me since I write stories quite often anyway. I've had 3 characters with our ...
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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
536 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
16 votes
1 answer
9k views

Does/Should the Gladiator background grant proficiency in the weapon it gives?

The Gladiator background (an Entertainer variant, from PHB p. 130-131) gives a strange weapon (like a trident or net) as starting equipment, but doesn't explicitly specify that it gives proficiency ...
6 votes
3 answers
7k views

Is there an engineering background?

The PHB refers to engineers in the Gnome race description, however, I find no other reference to engineers as a background. It seems like it would fall into the Guild Artisan category, but none of the ...
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, ...
11 votes
3 answers
22k views

Do characters start with the tools their background says they are proficient in?

I find it odd that some backgrounds give the character proficiency with tools but then do not list those tools under equipment. For example, the Urchin: Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, thieves' ...
9 votes
1 answer
18k views

If you choose to roll for starting gold for your class, do you get starting equipment from your background as well?

Say you choose to roll for starting gold for your class (and then buy equipment). Do you still get the starting equipment from your background (but not from your class)? Or do you not get any starting ...
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are class skills picked before or after your character's Background is selected?

In the Backgrounds section: Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills. Skills are described in chapter 7. In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one ...
16 votes
5 answers
700 views

As a GM, how do I encourage PCs to share and play out their backstories?

My players have trouble creating deep backstories for the characters. I have decided to go with that but provide opportunities in-game for filling out the gaps. I'm considering introducing some ...
52 votes
3 answers
96k views

What happens if I get the same skill from both my background and my class?

I made a trickster cleric with spy background. This caused an overlap of stealth and disguise. (Further compounded by me wanting to take hide in shadow ... which again granted me stealth.) What ...
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. ...
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. ...
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are there any templates available for creating new backgrounds in DnD 5E?

I understand that the background section says that you can tweak the existing ones to fit a campaign (PHB, p.125-126), but are there any available for making ones completely from scratch? Perhaps, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
760 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 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 ...