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>

Categories: Campaign Development, Game Design, House Rules | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “5E Background – Harlot (Campaign Specific)

  1. Laga

    thanks so much for putting this together!

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