5E Background – Outcast

Background: Outcast

Before you took to adventuring, you were banished from your homeland for unforgivable crimes (rightly or wrongly). Since then you have survived by hiding the nature of your crimes from others, and making a new life for yourself – most likely under a new name. You are quick to notice people’s interest in you, and a practiced in convincing people that you are no-one of interest.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Deception and Insight
  • Tool Proficiencies: One Tool Kit
  • Language Proficiency: One Additional Language
  • Equipment: A set of Traveler’s Clothes, a Memento of your lost life, a tool kit to match your proficiency, a beltpouch with 10sp.


There are many different reasons why someone might be outcast, any of which could be true or not, any of which could be reasonable or not. The following table can be rolled upon to determine why the character was cast out from their county or culture.

d8 Specialty

  1. Forbidden Love
  2. Insanity
  3. Heretical in Religion or Knowledge
  4. Spiritually Blasphemous
  5. Physically or Spiritually Unclean
  6. Sexual Deviant
  7. Outlaw
  8. Oathbreaker

Feature: Secret

No matter what the circumstances of your banishment, one thing that allowed your survival was a secret that you are in possession of. This might the reason for your banishment, or it may be unrelated, but is a matter of great import to a great many. It may be the location of something, it may be the reality of a king’s heritage, or it might be about the circumstances about the founding of some important organization or institution. In any case, work with the DM to detail the nature and impact of this secret that you hold.

Suggested Characteristics

Once you had a life, but that was taken away from you by the decree of the authorities for crimes against the state, the gods, or nature itself. As a result you are always aware of how ephemeral your place in society can be, and how valuable true friendship and loyalty are. You also hold your secrets close to your vest, only revealing them to the closest of friends or under the most dire of circumstances, afraid that they will result in your banishment once more.

d8  Personality Trait

  1. I remain haunted by memories of my homeland. I yearn constantly to return there.
  2. I’m bitter from painful experiences, and everything I say sounds sarcastic or cynical.
  3. I like to talk at length about my homeland.
  4. I sleep with my back to a solid surface and
  5. Regardless of my current situation, I take pride in my people and culture.
  6. I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong.
  7. I’m a little suspicious, worried about being betrayed and caution of being assaulted.
  8. I’m loud and boisterous, trying to cover up my inner pain with outward cheer.

d6  Ideal

  1. Redemption - There is a spark of good in everyone (Good)
  2. Independence – I am a free spirit, nobody tells me what to do (Chaotic)
  3. Responsibility - I must take responsibility for my actions in the face of a higher authority (Lawful)
  4. Power - If I can attain more power, nobody can tell me what to do (Evil)
  5. Live and Let Live – Meddling in the affairs of others only leads to trouble (Neutral)
  6. Destiny - Nothing and no one can call me away from my higher calling (Any)

d6  Bond

  1. My family, clan, or nation is the most important thing to me, even though they are far away.
  2. I will face any challenge to prove my worthiness
  3. I was banished to hide me from the ones who might still be hunting me. Someday I must confront them.
  4. I wish that my loved ones had come with me when I was outcast.
  5. I come from a noble family and one day I’ll reclaim my lands and title from those who stole it from me.
  6. Someone I loved because of a mistake that I once made. That will never happen again.

d6  Flaw

  1. I am suspicious of strangers and expect the worst of them.
  2. I have trouble keeping my true feelings inside. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
  3. I cannot let go of the past and react poorly to reminders of my old life.
  4. I am fighting addiction to an illicit substance with varying success.
  5. Those who banished me will stop at nothing to see me killed.
  6. I hide a scandalous secret that would ruin my family and those around them.
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5E Background – Harlot (Campaign Specific)

Much like the Winter Soldier Background, this was also adapted – both from Hack & Slash as well as from 5 Minute Workday – links to both are at the bottom of the page. Again used without permission but without challenge to copyright.


Background: Harlot

Before you took to adventuring, you were once a member of the oldest profession, exchanging money for the pleasure of your company. The life of a harlot is a dangerous one – only slightly less dangerous than being an adventurer – and you have survived based on your quick wits and natural charm. You may have started in the trade young, forced into the life after a childhood of poverty. Alternatively, you have only recently taken up the profession to pay for adventuring school.


  • Skill Proficiencies: Insight and either Deception or Persuasion
  • Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set and one musical instrument (Actors may choose Disguise Kit)
  • Equipment: A long crimson cloak, a set of common clothes, a set of revealing clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 sp in assorted coinage.


There are many different types of harlot based on social standing and clientele. Much also depends on if you worked alone, for a pimp, or were employed in a brothel. Choose your specialty, or roll on the table below.

d8 Specialty

  1. Slovenly camp follower
  2. Brazen actress and strumpet
  3. Cheap streetwalking trollop
  4. Friendly Temple prostitute
  5. Saucy festhall tart
  6. Wanton tavern wench
  7. Expensive specialist
  8. Haughty courtesan

Feature: Welcome Company

People pay well for fine company, so you seldom have trouble finding a roof to sleep under. Even if your hosts do not fully avail themselves of your services, you know how to engage the imagination and entertain the spirit. While relaxed, people often let information slip that they shouldn’t. You can use your wiles to learn local rumors and secrets. This information tends to be unfocused and learning specific details is more challenging. You are also able to identify local harlots, who are typically willing to support fellow members of their profession. They are also able to share information they have pried from their clients and loan you mundane goods and other simple equipment.

Suggested Characteristics

No matter how well you were treated, the life of a harlot is not easy and leaves its marks, although these are not always visible to the eye. Skilled harlots are able to mask their own personalities, to better become who or what their client wishes them to be; despite this façade, your inner nature reveals itself in subtle ways, creeping to the surface no matter how often it is veiled.

d8  Personality Trait

  1. I remain cheerful and optimistic despite my lifestyle, as if heart were made of gold.
  2. I’m bitter from painful experiences, and everything I say sounds sarcastic or cynical.
  3. I’m a mimic, adept at shifting my persona to what the situation requires. I adore trying new things and being new people.
  4. I like to take what I want, when I want. I loathe being told “no”.
  5. Regardless of my situation, I maintain an air of class and distinction, and always remember my manners.
  6. I’m a shameless flirt, and love being the center if attention.
  7. I’m a little suspicious, worried about being betrayed and caution of being assaulted.
  8. I’m quiet, always listening and paying attention to my surroundings.

d6  Ideal

  1. Independence No one will have power over me again. (Chaos)
  2. Lust: I fill my urges when and where I wish. (Evil)
  3. Honesty One must abide by their deals and fulfill what they paid to do. (Lawful)
  4. Money There are things I won’t do for gold… but not much. (Neutral)
  5. Secrets Knowing someone’s secrets gives you power. (Neutral)
  6. Loving: Everyone needs attention, joy, and love. (Good)

d6  Bond

  1. All sex workers are my brothers and sisters, and I must defend them.
  2. If I can only collect enough gold, I’ll be able to pay off my debts and be a free man (woman)
  3. I protect the identity and secrets of my clientele.
  4. I have family that I’m working to support.
  5. My reputation determines my value and must be maintained.
  6. I seek a relationship with the most powerful people in the land, desiring to be the power behind the throne.

d6  Flaw

  1. I no longer believe in love.
  2. I judge people for what they can do for me.
  3. Once I was a slave, and I still possess the mark and the brand. If found out my freedom is forfeit.
  4. I am fighting addiction to an illicit substance with varying success.
  5. I can’t stand anyone who tries to be nice to me. They only want me to sleep with them.
  6. I will do anything to raise my station in life.


Ganked and adapted from Five Minute Workday at <http://www.5mwd.com/archives/1836> & Hack & Slash at <http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-5e-backgrounds-prostitute.html>

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5E – Vehicle Skills

In the new 5E rules there is a somewhat confusing (at least to me) discussion of vehicles and vehicle skills, and how these work. It is most especially confusing when it comes to the skill “Animal Handling” (which theoretically covers riding all mounts) and then listing saddles and such in with the vehicles. While I actually like the notion of equating transportation skills with tool kits (meaning that everyone can learn them given time, practice, and money) it is a really poorly written and explained section.

For one it applies that literally every different ship class would be a different skill (as would every sort of wagon “thing”) and I’m not sure that makes any sense (rather like I’m not that impressed with the whole Dexterity and Armour limitations).

In an effort to simplify this I’ve come up with nine separate skills that cover the whole range of vehicles and mounts in my campaign setting. Each one of these can be learned with the right training, but the costs can vary widely depending upon the skill and the circumstances.

Sailor - Ships and Galleys (Blue Water)
Mariner - Boats and Yachts (Brown Water)
Aviator - Airships of all sorts (These are rigged with sails)
Equestrian - Horsemanship, but also covering Riding Drakes, Warcats, etc.
Teamster - Wagons, Carts, Coaches, etc.
Charioteer - Chariots
Equestrian (Marine) - As Horsemanship but Aquatic/Swimming Mounts like Dolphins, Sharks, Hippocampi, etc.
Equestrian (Avian) - As Horsemanship but Flying Mounts like Pegasai, Rocs, Wyverns, etc.
Dragoon - Sky Chariots (single or multiple person, powered via magic)

“Animal Handling” is now primarily used for non-equestrian uses, though a character could still use it to calm or coax a mount in the absence of the proper skill. It is also the primary skill used by herders, drovers, falconers, huntsmen and guards with their dogs, etc.

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5E Background – The Winter Soldier (Campaign Specific Variant)

Shamelessly ganked but credited to the fantastic blog Hack and Slash at http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.ca/ I have adapted slightly to make it more applicable to my own campaign world. Used without permission but not in challenge to copyright.

Background: Winter Soldier
You once lived a life that is now gone. Through sorcery, magic, or chance everyone you once knew is dead and you lived in a long distant time. You have dim memories of the passage of history, flashes of insight and knowledge into what has passed during your long sleep, that while profound are also somewhat random and unpredictable. There is also a strong possibility you are not the only one to be out of time. Perhaps a companion or an old enemy who knows secrets long forgotten by those people in the modern age.

  • Skill Proficiency: History with Expertise (Double Proficiency Bonus), but always with Disadvantage.
  • Tool Proficiency: Select any one gaming set
  • Languages: Select any one old or ancient language
  • Equipment: Costume Clothes (any archaic people/uniform), a trinket of historical significance unknown to you, your gaming set, beltpouch of 10sp

Specialty: There are lots of reasons you could be pulled out of time. Roll randomly, or choose one from the following list.

  1. You were turned into stone, and recently revivified with a stone to flesh spell.
  2. You were imprisoned by a powerful wizard and the enchantment was recently broken.
  3. You were adrift, unconscious, in the astral plane for many years and were rescued by a hunting band of the Old Race who were going to eat you, luckily you escaped alive.
  4. Sleeping curse. Wouldn’t you know it?
  5. Frozen in the ice.
  6. Entered a portal and it transported you through time.
  7. Sent through time by the Delian. It was for a reason, though when you arrived you had no recollection of what that was.
  8. You weren’t magically transported. You spent the whole time in prison.

Feature: Living Legend
People see you as larger than life due to your survival. Some fear you, some seek you out, some fete you, and some will try to capture you to torture or vivisect the source of your miraculous survival out of you. In any case your presence tends to polarize people when they recognize you, and if you are willing to capitalize on this you can live a Wealthy Lifestyle at no cost.

Suggested Characteristics
You don’t understand a lot of unfamiliar things. Perhaps races, language, and customs are all strange. But you are no stranger to human nature. People are always the same. Being from the past doesn’t make you stupid. You also carry the burden of everyone you ever knew being gone or drastically changed from when you knew them. It is very likely you may have amnesia of one kind or another.

d8 Personality

  1. I am this way because I volunteered. The reasons I did so are just as true today as they were then!
  2. I hate everything the way it is now. By leaving I’ve disgraced or lost everything that was important to me.
  3. Everything is so different here, you have no frame of reference for anything. Your home culture was radically different from what you experience.
  4. Everything in your day was golden and you love to tell people about it!
  5. I’m young enough that I’m loving being in the future.
  6. I’m just a normal guy thrust into an extraordinary experience.
  7. Why is this happening to me!
  8. I have no idea what the future or my life holds, but I will meet it with a level head.

d6 Ideal

  1. Duty: My goal has not changed. (Lawful)
  2. Honor: I struggle to do what is right, no matter the time. (Good)
  3. Loss: Everything is different, so it doesn’t matter what I do! I’m truly free. (Chaos)
  4. Revenge: All that matters is making whoever did this to me pay. (Evil)
  5. Discovery: I will figure out how the three seashells work! (Unaligned)
  6. Escape: I just want to extract myself from whatever I’ve gotten into and live the rest of my life in peace. (Unaligned)

d6 Bond

  1. You just really want to get your old stuff back.
  2. You hung out with some marginalized group because you blended in. It wouldn’t be right if anything happened to them.
  3. You have an enemy that you still seek to destroy.
  4. You were experimented on by aliens. Either they, or a robot servant of theirs is your friend.
  5. Something that existed in the past exists now, and it is your focus. Either you must protect it or serve it. Perhaps it is a creature, a god, or just the symbol or earthly representation of such a thing.
  6. You founded an order and discover the current incarnation of such an order to have drifted so far from it’s original purpose, that it nearly serves what it was founded to combat.

d6 Flaw

  1. What no one knows is that I traveled through time intentionally, because I was a screw-up where I was from.
  2. The future is so radically different that you are suffering from one or several mental illnesses (Anxiety, Depression, etc.)
  3. You frequently misunderstand what people say.
  4. Whatever happened to send you through time was a punishment. If anyone knew what you did, they would say you got off easy.
  5. You are overcome by apathy and don’t have anything to care for in this new and strange world.
  6. A different government is in power then when you left. You were a hero for the vanquished rulers.

Again, adapted from <http://hackslashmaster.blogspot.com/2014/08/on-5e-backgrounds-winter-soldier.html&gt;

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5E – Warlock Patron – The Celestial

The Celestial
You have made your pack with a Celestial, one the great powers of Good who are committed to combatting and thwarting evil in all it’s forms. This being is most likely one of the members of the Angelic Host of Heaven, there are a variety of other powerful beings with similar motives who are dwell in the higher realms but who are not angelic in nature. Beings of this sort include the Nin Lammasu and Bel Shedu; the Lord Kulkukan; Marduk, the Binder of Winds; various of the Great Elder Dragons, and a handful of the most powerful of Council of The Elect.

Expanded Spell List
The Celestial allows you to choose from an expanded spell list when you learn Warlock spells. The following spells are added to the Warlock spell list for you.

1st Level: Divine Favor, Thunderwave
2nd Level: Calm Emotions, Lesser Restoration
3rd Level: Beacon of Hope, Spirit Guardians
4th Level: Death Ward, Guardian of Faith
5th Level: Dispel Good and Evil, Hallow

Healing Touch
As 1st level your patron grants you the ability of a soothing, healing touch by virtue of your presence and attention. This ability acts without limit, healing those you wish once, for an amount equal to one of their own Hit Dice (though this does not act against their own use of Hit Dice). A character cannot benefit from this again until they have undergone a short or long rest.

Armor of Faith
Starting at 6th level the character may add their Wisdom modifier to their AC as a Response to an attack by an evil creature. They may also use the same bonus to any single saving throw against an spell or spell-like attack from an evil creature as well. Use of either ability means that neither can be used until after a short or a long rest.

Mantle of Heaven
At 10th Level the character has Resistance to Necrotic damage and has Advantage to all saving throws against Fear or Possession.

Celestial Harrowing
Upon reaching 14th Level the character can touch a target and immobilize a target until the end of the characters next turn as it is racked by a weighing and judgment of all it’s evil, selfish, and impure thoughts. If the target is not a Celestial it takes 5d10 radiant damage and 5d10 psychic damage. This feature cannot be used again until the character finishes a long rest.

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5E – Bardic College of Tantra

College of Tantra
Bards of the College of Tantra are more than mere musicians, in fact their skills as a musician pale in comparison to their social graces at formal balls and social companions. Renowed for their skills in the bedchamber, these bards (more commonly known as “Tantrics”) are also skilled as performers of all sorts (dancing, poetry, etc.) and for their ability to provide other sorts of amusing companionship (gaming, etc.) in the service to their lovers, patrons, and friends. Far more than prostitutes, the greatest of courtesans and hetaera are counted among their number. What is far well less known is that Tantrics also provide some of the greatest spying services in the Mortal Realms, using pillow-talk and overheard conversation alike to have a deep understanding of the structures and pathways of power in whatever realm they live in. Most Tantrics find themselves a patron of some sort, and are known as “Chained Tantrics” for this reason (often exchanging a chain with the patron as a lover’s token) while “Free Tantrics” wear their chain proudly, choosing lovers as they wish. Gathering at balls, salons, and wherever the rich and powerful gather, Tantrics are a powerful but quiet network that moves behind the scenes working towards various ends. Lastly, a secret group of Tantrics known as the “Dakini” operate as a hidden force that protects members of the College from unwilling servitude or hostile action. Tantrics may use their Tantric’s Chain or Performance skill in lieu of a musical instrument as an Arcane Focus.

Bonus Proficiencies
Tantrics gain proficiency in a gaming set, their cosmetics (disguise) kit, and the exotics weapons of Razornails, Warfan, Fighting Chain, and Playing Cards

Lover’s Favor
The Tantric may bestow their Bardic Inspiration dice upon their intimates without a musical performance within the last 10 minutes, but must be able to indicate that the target has their favor. Furthermore, the intimates of the Tantric may add the Tantric’s Charisma bonus to Bardic Inspiration dice rolls if accompanied with a kiss, other intimate gesture, or token of favor.

Alluring Form
Upon reaching 6th level, the characters entrancing form and persuasive words can magically enthrall another creature. As an action, choose one other creature that you can see within 30 feet. If the target can see you it must make a saving throw (Wisdom) or be charmed by the Tantric until the end of the Tantric’s next turn. The Charmed creature’s speed drops to 0, and the creature is incapacitated and obviously infatuated. On subsequent turns the Tantric can use their action to maintain this effect, extending the duration till the end of their next turn. However the spell ends if the Tantric is ever further than 30 feet away from the creature or if the creature loses sight of the Tantric. If the creature takes damage they may make a saving throw (Wisdom) to end the effect. Once the effect ends, or if the creature succeeds on it’s initial saving throw, it cannot be used again on that same creature until the Tantric takes a long rest.

Withering Glare
At 14th Level the Tantric may stagger or freeze people in their tracks with a withering glare as an Action or a Response. The creature must be within thirty feet, and upon being targeted suffer Disadvantage on their next action. They must also make a saving throw (Wisdom) or they are staggered and stand transfixed, Incapacitated until their next action. Upon a successful save the Tantric may not try this again on the same target until after a long rest. Creature immune to Charm are immune to this ability.

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Couples of Thoughts Regarding 5E

So, like I said, I’m in the process of switching the game over to 5E. In some ways this isn’t so hard given the sheer amount that I’ve stolen from later editions (or similar ideas that I’ve developed in parallel or taken from other games), in other ways it does still require a pretty hardcore re-write of the PC races, and I had to come up with rules for Firearms and Darters (I can post those later I like what I’ve done), and with the idea of “bounded accuracy”  it’s let me go back to my home-brew for magical metals (an idea I essentially stole form Iron Crown Enterprises) that have some significant effects (Advantage, Disadvantage, etc) either as weapons or as armor but which don’t provide bonuses to hit. I’ll enjoy posting those at some point here soon as well.

Here is the stuff I’m struggling with, though I’m keeping it in for the moment…

  • Decreasing effectiveness of Dexterity for AC with heavier armour. This is stupid. It has no basis in reality (have you seen that video of the guy doing somersaults in plate/) and all it means is that at some point the Thief is going to have the same AC as your fighter in full plate. That. Is. Ridiculous. Probably the first thing I’m going to drop.
  • The way Divine Domains plays with bonus proficiencies and Religion. I like the Domains a fair amount, but much of this doesn’t work with the way my religions work at all. I’m not sure how I’m going to fix this, but I am definitely going to have to mess with it somehow.
  • Dwarves can be wizards. This is so wrong to my fading 1E eyes I’m not even sure what to do with it. I could just handwave it out of existence but I hate doing that as well. I think what is going to happen is that Dwarven wizards are treated similar to the way Dwarven Psychics are – but more so. You don’t have a choice if you are born a Psychic (or even a Sorcerer), but you have to actively seek to become a Wizard. So you just get cast out  immediately and join the ranks of the derrokin – the clanless and the crazed. The cultural prohibitions are just too high. When there is some version of Runemaster School or an Alchemist class, that’s where we’ll see our culturally embedded Dwarven Wizards.
  • I really don’t understand the CR system. They seem somewhat random and I kind of wish that they had just went with straight up XP points. Maybe the Monster Manual or the Dungeon Master’s Guide will explain this a bit better, but at the moment it just seems as a kludgy holdover from another edition.
  • Why the hell can’t they just write up “monsters” that are PC races as leveled characters? This is the one thing I actually actively despise for some reason. It seems needlessly complicated to me. Plus, combined with the kludgy CR system, it means that I really have no good sense of the power of a PC compared to an “X” (and no, that chart in the free MM doesn’t help at all).

Anyways, those are the highlights of my “problems” with 5E, all easily surmountable.



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5E Background: Skald

Background: Skald
As a skald you occupy a unique position in their societies, existing somewhere between an Acolyte and an Entertainer and having the characteristics of both in many ways. You travel from place to place bring news, sharing gossip, and acting as the travelling repository of history and lore. You provide both entertainment for all stations in life and also act as informal (and sometimes formal) judges of what is traditional and proper. What is less known is that skalds often act as spies for various power groups, and are often involved in a variety of intrigues given their ability to move across land and social boundaries. They are also commonly used as diplomats across clan, kingdom, and racial lines and many cultures have laws in place to protect skalds from attack or retribution.

Skill Proficiencies: History and Performance
Languages: One Language of cultural, religious, or historical significance.
Tool Proficiencies: One musical instruments
Equipment: A musical instrument, a set of travelers clothes, a favor from an admirer (trinket, lock of hair, letter, etc), and a beltpounch of 15sp.

Feature: Always Welcome
As a skald, you are welcome in the houses and institutions of your people. You brings news, can recite history, and explain laws, and are otherwise part of the glue that holds society together. As such you are always receive free food and lodging from your people at a standard equivalent to the people in that place themselves , and can also depend up their help and assistance with various matters as long as you remain in good standing and have not offended the local authorities.

Suggested Characteristics:
Skalds are known for their ability to both be as polite and respectful under the most trying of circumstances as they are for their cutting wits and wagging tongues. Their role is deeply interwoven into their culture as any priest or noble and their arrival is looked on with anticipation a fact that they often depend upon. They are often the center of attention as performers and news-bearers and some grow to love this more than is seemly. Oftentimes skalds can get into a great deal of trouble for “speaking truth to power” or getting themselves involved in some intrigue that goes wrong and must flee quickly or face dire consequences.

Personality Traits:
1- I know a story relevant to almost very situation
2- Whenever I come to a new place, I collect local rumors and spread gossip.
3- I see omens in every event and action. The gods try to speak to us, we just need to listen to them
4- I can find common ground between the fiercest of enemies, empathizing with them and always working towards peace.
5- I’ve enjoyed fine food, drink, and high society as a skald and rough living grates on me.
6- Sarcasm and insults are my weapon of choice.
7- Nobody stays angry at me or around me for long, since I can defuse any amount of tension.
8- I am tolerant (or intolerant) of other cultures and respect (or condemn) their customs and beliefs.

1- Tradition: The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten, for they teach us who we are (Lawful)
2- Hospitality: People need to be treat each other with dignity and compassion. (Good)
3- Independence: I am free spirit – nobody tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
4- Aspiration: I work to be the best that I can be at my craft (Any)
5- Honor: If I dishonor myself, I dishonor my whole culture. (Lawful)
6- Respect: Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve my respect in turn (Good).

1- My family, clan, or tribe is the most important thing to me in my life, even when they are far from me.
2- My instrument is my most treasured possession and it reminds of someone or something that I love.
3- I am the last of my tribe or clan and it is up to me to insure that their names enter into legend.
4- I suffer awful visions of a coming disaster and will do anything to prevent it.
5- I know an ancient lay that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
6- I seek to preserve an ancient lay that my enemies wish forgotten and seek to erase from memory

1- I judge others harshly, and myself even more severely.
2- A scandal prevents me from ever going home again, that sort of trouble seems to follow me around.
3- I once satirized a noble who still wants my head. It was a mistake I will likely repeat.
4- I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
5- I’ll do anything to win fame and renown.
6- I remember every insult I’ve received and nurse a silent resentment toward anyone who’s ever wronged me.

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Social Class (Revised) – 5E

Social Class adds one step to the character creation process. The player chooses a social class as well as a Background. Part of this system is the understanding that this is merely the social class that the character has the most experience with. So you could take the Lower Class Noble for a disgraced and disposed Noble, or Upper Class Criminal for a Noble with a criminal background or enterprise. As a further example, someone from the Upper Class could be a noble, or they could be a well-regarded servant, or they could be the agent of some noble family. It is also important to realize that these social classes leave their stamp upon the character in the same way that the characters Background does. It will take a Performance roll for a character to obscure or otherwise imitate another social class, the difficulty depending upon the difference in classes. E.g. it is easier for a member of the Upper Class to impersonate a member of the Ruling Class than it is for them to impersonate a member of the Lower Class.

Starting Gold: 1d4x10 SP
Starting Clothing: Beggars Quality
Feature: “Squalor” – The character is used to surviving on the barest of essentials and under the most extreme depths of poverty and hardship. Alternately, the character was once a slave and is used to living under the threat of death or the lash, or worse. Best of all they are practiced at being faceless, nameless, and beneath the notice of everyone save other members of the Underclass.

Lower Class:
Starting Gold: 3d4x10 SP
Starting Clothing: Commoners Quality
Feature: “Streetwise” – The character is experienced with the streets and the underworld. As a result they know who to speak to, where to go, and how much things are valued in such settings. They are adept at ferreting out such things in places familiar and unfamiliar.

Middle Class:
Starting Gold: 5d4x10 SP
Starting Clothing: Merchants Quality
Feature: “Thrifty” – The character is well-skilled in trade and negotiation, as well as knowing the value of goods and services that are available on the market. As a result they have a good sense for the prices for trade goods and regular services that are legal and/or non-magical in nature.

Upper Class:
Starting Gold: 7d4x10 SP
Starting Clothing: Gentleman’s Quality
Feature: “Intrigue” – The character has lived a life surrounded and immersed in intrigue. They are knowledgeable of the factions and power structures and adepts and detecting the machinations thereof, often being able to discern the “hidden hand” that moves groups and society.

Ruling Class:
Starting Gold: 9d4x10 SP
Starting Clothing: Nobles Quality
Feature: “Aristocratic” – The character is well used to a life surrounded by pomp and circumstance. They are used to giving orders and having them obeyed. This air of command and general self-assurance can come across well in a high Charisma character and extremely poorly in a low Charisma one – in most cases everyone either looks to the character to be in charge or assumes that they are.

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Long time no post…

Yeah, it’s been busy here on the home front. Though some of that has been tweaking and revising older content for D&D 5E. I’m going to leave the old content up for people who still play AD&D (and who knows, I may play it again at some point) but I’m pretty firmly on the 5E bandwagon at this point.

Never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually excited about the new edition. Some of it is going to require some major revision to work in my world (Goblins for example) and some it just requires some extras (like the player races). I like what I see so far in the Player’s Handbook and the pre-info for the Monster Manual, I’m cautiously optimistic about the Dungeon Master’s Guide mostly because I want to see what the customization rules are as well as more complete rules for magical items. I already have my own thoughts on some of that, and I’m kind of iffy on how it looks like the attunement rules are going to play out, but I’ve never had a problem with a “high magic world”.

Hell, given that the new standard is Forgotten Realms I’m going to be real interested in how they resolve that little conundrum…

I had kind of tried to hold out until the DMG came out to start my customizing because I really didn’t want to duplicating work, but I plan to be starting a campaign again before it comes out and my setting is anything but a standard D&D setting. LOL!

So, a handful of new backgrounds (a couple adapted from elsewhere), a new Warlock Pact, a new Bardic College, a new School of Magic, some new Feats, Social Class, Magical Metals for Weapons and Armor, a far clearer way to talk about vehicle proficiencies than the kludgy way they did it in the PH, and updated races. That’s what I have so far, and there is more coming up as I get it finished – more races, a tweaked way to handle religion and Divine Domains, fix Familiars a bit, a new Sorcerer Bloodline, and a couple of more Warlock Patrons are what immediately comes to mind.

Good luck,


Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | 6 Comments

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