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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