Patchwork World: The Playbooks

I’ve been slowly putting together a collage/remix game powered by the apocalypse. It’s meant to be an entire collage of a game: characters mutate and gain pieces from other playbooks, the rules are put together from other PbtA games, and the setting itself is a collection of chunks torn from other worlds.

A big(ish) part of the game is randomly rolling your character’s looks, starting moves, and advancement. This is a major part of many games, especially OSR-style games. It hasn’t made it into many “story” games, though, and I understand why; complete stories or powerful moods rely on controlled input, and randomness can be a threat to that.

However, I wanted to create a place where randomness is an expected and vital part of the game. Part of that is because I’m thrown off by unexpected things in real life; I hate it when plans change, and I have trouble adapting to unexpected things. I thought (probably a little romantically) that this game could serve as a place where I could “immunize” myself against the unexpected.

Here are the (1d)6 playbook descriptions and their accompanying collages (plus a bonus playbook requested by a friend.)

Fighting Folk
You might believe that violence is inevitable, or you might practice the infliction of violence as a form of self-discipline, or you might just think it’s fun.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: well-muscled, scarred, attractive
2. Elfin: lithe, compound eyes, bald
3. Dwarfish: hairy, pale, tattooed
4. Gith: sharp-toothed, lanky, limping
5. Monstrous: furry, scowling, one-eyed
6. Discarded: scratched steel, immobile face, bulky

fightingfolk

Diplomat
Whether you work for the Heartless Princess or a someone else, you’re searching the Patchwork World for political alliances, potential enemies, and useful information.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: well-dressed, alert, antsy
2. Elfin: sumptuously dressed, made-up, antennae
3. Dwarfish: flawless posture, gold-dusted eyes, dirty fingernails
4. Gith: long-limbed, sharp-toothed, crowned
5. Monstrous: scaled, lilting voice, luscious hair
6. Discarded: decorated porcelain, wrapped in scarves, posing

diplomat2

Doomster
You’ve made a pact with a powerful extradimensional being: god, demon, fae, spirit, or directed energy. It’s bound by the old ways; it might be trapped by the Heartless Princess. You are its servant out in the Patchwork World. It might ask you to perform a specific duty or merely spread its word. In return, you have worlds of your own. It’s all based on promises.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: concealing robe, strict hair, mirror-like eyes
2. Elfin: dusty exhalations, tiny mandibles, imposing hat
3. Dwarfish: protective beard-plate, tattoos, hint of smile
4. Gith: wrapped ankles and wrists, minimal clothing, vestigial tail
5. Monstrous: ritual scarring, horns + halo, six small wings
6. Discarded: rough wooden form, studded with nails, crown of iron

Die Serben an der Adria. Ihre Typen und Trachten. [By Louis Salv

Goodwalker
Four nights a year, the demons come. Like hateful locusts, they attack the fields and livelihoods of mortals. The goodwalkers ride out on stalks of fennel to stop them. Born of caul and witchcraft, they fight against the Pall in defense of the common folk.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: peasant-ish clothes, blocky face, strange amulet
2. Elfin: leather straps, crusty body paint, pincer hand
3. Dwarfish: large feet, angular face, loincloth
4. Gith: immaculate & complicated hair, broom-sized paintbrush, stone-faced jewelry
5. Monstrous: hump or lump or cyst, oversized broom, ragged clothes
6. Discarded: spiky straw hair, dessicated leather form, cat eyes

goodwalker

Chimera
While many rightfully fear the Pall and its Hex, some choose to embrace it and even manipulate it. You collect the strange curses and mutations of the Patchwork World, incorporating them into yourself.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: pointed ears, vitiligo, piercings
2. Elfin: chitinous forearms & shins, green or blue skin, petrichor scent
3. Dwarfish: gem-spiked joints, granite-colored skin, secret gender
4. Gith: smoky exhalations, leathery skin, extra fingers
5. Monstrous: tail, spots or stripes, animal head
6. Discarded: mismatched limbs, hollow torso, eyes that cry milk, wine, or honey

chimera2

Pythian
The Pall can be entered, it can be explored, and it can be bound. Pythians (named after an ancient summoner) use the Pall to see past human barriers and bring strange things to them.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: strained skin, frumpy toga, white eyes
2. Elfin: spider silk clothes, sooty flesh, long fingers
3. Dwarfish: chemical humours, facial piercings, wooden jewelry
4. Gith: widow’s peak, claw-like fingernails, purple clothing
5. Monstrous: striped fur, long pipe, reverse hands
6. Discarded: twisted sticks, burning head, iron teeth

pythian

Dracula Cowboy
Drive the herds at night to better protect them from their predators. Sleep in covered wagons during the day. Drink the blood of strong oxen and bulls.

Look
Roll 1d6.
1. Humanish: pale skin, leather boots, sharp canines
2. Elfin: unfurling straw tongue, all-red eyes, silk handkerchief
3. Dwarfish: ten-gallon hat, topless head full of sloshing blood, cold and shining skin
4. Gith: dry gray skin, intricate headdress, hemp piping
5. Monstrous: lamprey face, rubbery skin, minimal clothing
6. Discarded: needle fingers, permanent spurs, straw-stuffed body

vampirecowboy

At this point, the first drafts of the playbooks are entirely done, and so are the mechanics and most of the text. I still have layout to do, and I want to add vehicles (?!). I’d love to get it done by the summer.

Advertisements

Halloween Hallucinati adventure outline

Every two months, my two D&D groups meet for an all-day, all-group session. This brings its own set of challenges—with 10-12 players, combat turns take forever; deciding what to do can take equally long; and quiet players get even more drowned out since there are more voices to contend with. For our Halloween all-day session, I wanted to make plans to minimize these problems. The following “adventure” was built around those three pillars, then

1. Combat can be present, but it must be optional.
2. The session should have a clear goal.
3. There will be times where each player is asked to contribute.

With those in mind, here’s a session’s worth of notes that could probably be repurposed for anyone’s campaign.

One of the PCs’ mentors has been incommunicado for a bit. Whether by investigating or being flat-out told, the PCs discover that the mentor has infiltrated a group of decadent nobles who, seeking to escape the drudgery of their everyday existence, take solace in a mix of illusion magic and hallucinogenic drugs they use to create their own worlds around them. Calling themselves the Hallucinati, they hold an annual masquerade tour of their individual fantasy worlds. The masquerade is coming up, and the mentor will probably be there if he’s trying to pass himself off as one of the group.

Preparation for the masquerade should obviously involve a shopping trip for costumes. Ask the players what their characters dress as.

Here are the 10 Hallucinati present at this year’s masquerade:

1. Yzonde Carn (f): plague mask; has precognitive dreams; child of a frost giant queen; jewel-covered, vain; seeks aid of…

2. Baroness Dominique Bilious (f): feathered mask; has a peculiar fondness for injured women; translates foreign documents; high strung, middle aged, pale; is suspicious of…

3. Osrick of Hogg (m): domino mask; was once a spy for the goblins of Gaxen Kane; importer of fabrics; open, honest, friendly; worried about…

4. Enn Grath Orq (m): featureless wood; surprisingly normal; owns the land beneath the brewery; intense, passionate, green eyed; exercises undue influence over…

5. Genevieve the Cleaver (f): riveted metal; 8,000 years old but looks 14; spy for the Baron; suspicious, excitable, hot-tempered; adopted daughter of…

6. Ludwig the Shrike (m): knight helm; has a paralyzing fear of churches; important tastemaker; energetic, full of black humor; frequently employs…

7. Unwerth gon Grolsch (f): executioner’s hood; collects fingernails and engraves herself on them; commands an army of mutators; mincing, meek, clever; daughter of…

8. Sasha of the Glove (f): fox mask; worships Groan, god of despair; import administrator; white hair, speaks in whispers; is friends with but wants to destroy…

9. Vorgus Orq (m): leather mask; paints women while they sleep; minister of ratcatchers; crude, jocular, skin missing near jaw; friend of…

10. Lord Ascarious the Jeweled (m): leafy mask, actually the PCs’ mentor in disguise

(These nobles were generated using Vornheim by Zak S, which you can buy here. Feel free to generate your own to replace these.)

The masquerade kicks off at a defaced church of the forgotten moon goddess. (This makes Ludwig nervous.) It’s up to the PCs how they discover the location and how they infiltrate it—it’s a well-known event, and the Hallucinati are too confident to be too suspicious of strangers, so it wasn’t too hard in my session. Make sure to at least describe the nobles’ masks.

In each of the following exhibitions, give PCs the chance to interview the nobles and try to figure out which one is their mentor. Depending on how well they know the mentor and what they know of them, this could be easy, hard, or anything in between.

First Exhibition
In the church, Enn Grath Org is hosting the first of three hallucinatory exhibitions of the masquerade. He serves mushrooms around a table, and once they’re eaten, the church morphs into a dark, torchlit inn with walls of living wood. Food is served out of these walls by tangled tendrils. As the torches burn down, the floor gets soggy. When the food is done, the roof of the church opens up, and the stars dance milkily for the diners.

Ask the players what their character’s favorite food is. This food is served to them along with anything else they want. It tastes perfect.

The Hallucinati are dining on a variety of things: fish eggs, living cuttlefish, human hands, and so on. They’re all willing to talk about themselves. “Lord Ascarious,” if asked, gives a made-up history of his life as a noble of a nearby city.

When everyone is done eating, the hallucination ends. The feeling of having eaten is gone—the food provides no actual sustenance.

Second Exhibition
Unwerth gon Grolsch takes everyone to the reeking pile of garbage that lays against the city wall. He pulls a cloth from a rectangular pillar to reveal a glass case containing a number of living variegated frogs. Everyone gets to pick and lick one. The garbage pile becomes a stone labyrinth of pain and pleasure devices. Everyone’s costumes morph and change as well. Below is a list of the nobles, the masks they originally wore, and what they become. PCs can easily keep an eye on a single noble to note what they become. Watching more would probably require a check of some kind.

Noble Original Mask New Form
Yzonde Carn plague mask skeletal horseman
Baroness Dominique Bilious feathered mask preening bird
Osrick of Hogg fabric mask mummy
Enn Grath Orq featureless wood wooden column
Genevieve the Cleaver riveted metal steaming automaton
Ludwig the Shrike knight helm knight dripping blood
Unwerth gon Grolsch executioner’s hood beefy woman
Sasha of the Glove fox mask slavering tongue
Vorgus Orq leather mask leather daddy
Ascarious the Jeweled leaves blooming dryad

Knowing they’re entering into a pain/pleasure dungeon, what forms do the PCs assume? (New forms give no mechanical changes.)

Everyone tours the devices. PCs are welcome to try them. As each one is used, it falls into its component parts—it’s only usable once. Roll a d10; if you get a duplicate result, move to the next one.

Device Effect
1. blade-filled iron maiden 1d4 damage + cool scar
2. bundle of needles attached to slot machine painful tattoo, +1 on death saves
3. tubes run through stone idol blood cleaned, +1 max HP
4. cot surrounded by electric globes hair falls out; resist lightning damage
5. shrinking chamber lose 1” of height, -1 max HP
6. rainbow pool skin changes color
7. exploding library 1d6 damage, learn new language
8. metal manicure (metalcure?) station 1d6 damage, metal fingernails, 1d6 unarmed
9. headquake machine small mountains rise from head
10. breathable water tank serenity, Wis save advantage in illusions

At some point during this expedition, Vorgus Orq is killed by Sasha of the Glove. The murder is discovered when the exhibition ends—Vorgus is not there, and Enn Grath Orq finds him strapped to one of the machines. Investigation shows him to have been strangled, which is not something the machine could do. It only held him down while he was killed.

Third Exhibition
Baroness Dominique Bilious gives false communion in a fallow field at the edge of town. The wafers are obviously drugged. Behind her, the field, initially studded with rotting animal carcasses, becomes a pastoral paradise. Everyone becomes an human-sized or anthropomorphic animal. The nobles’ new forms:

Yzonde Carn plague mask tapir
Baroness Dominique Bilious feathered mask ostrich
Osrick of Hogg fabric mask sheep
Enn Grath Orq featureless wood giraffe
Genevieve the Cleaver riveted metal cow
Ludwig the Shrike knight helm horse
Unwerth gon Grolsch executioner’s hood vulture
Sasha of the Glove fox mask fox
Ascarious the Jeweled (Jon) leaves lizard

Everyone begins frolicking and making out. The Baroness, always suspicious of Osrick of Hogg, tells the PCs that he killed Vorgus Orq. She asks them to kill him, offering 1,000 gold. Her exhibition even includes a built-in distraction: a horde of goblins runs over the horizon and begins attacking the party. PCs are welcome to join the fight. The goblins aren’t much of a challenge, but the damage they deal is real enough.

If the PCs don’t join the fight (if they’re busy assassinating Osrick, for instance), the battle with the goblins becomes a passionate lovefest. As the passion climaxes, the illusion dissolves, and everyone goes to the last exhibition.

Final Exhibition
Osrick of Hogg created this exhibition, but depending on how the third exhibition goes, he might not make it. If that happens, it becomes an exhibition/memorial service led by Enn Grath Orq, still torn up about his cousin Vorgus’s death.

Regardless of who leads the exhibition, everyone is led to Osrick’s home. They go through his library and down to a cellar. There are iron tanks filled with salt water. Entering and sealing them triggers the illusion. Everyone’s spirits leave their body and head to the moon, where the spirits of the dead reside. The nobles assume their ghostly spirit forms:

Yzonde Carn plague mask frost giant
Baroness Dominique Bilious feathered mask wire bundle
>Osrick of Hogg fabric mask goblin
Enn Grath Orq featureless wood green-eyed, plain
Genevieve the Cleaver riveted metal ancient
Ludwig the Shrike knight helm wavery edges
Unwerth gon Grolsch executioner’s hood all fingernails
Sasha of the Glove fox mask long white hair
Ascarious the Jeweled (Jon) leaves mentor form (see below)

What does each PC look like as a ghost?

On the moon, ghosts arise. Each PC is confronted by a projection of a meaningful person they’ve lost. Who is it? What do they say? Is closure achieved?

In spirit form, perhaps the PCs’ mentor is revealed, or at least one more clue is given.

Once everyone’s done with their personal seances, the final exhibition is ended. The Hallucinati all go home. Did the PCs find their mentor? Did they solve their murder? Why was the mentor looking into the Hallucinati anyway?

Two-Year Dungeonversary

Mid-November 2016 marks the start of my third year running a weekly D&D game. It’s our second dungeonversary. Below are some statistics and thoughts.

Overview
90 sessions, or about 270 hours of play

This encompasses two discrete campaigns. The first was 60 sessions. It included one session of a home-brewed Fiasco setting I sneaked in as a supposed side session but actually established the setting of the final act. It also included 3 one-shots that highlighted side characters and other locales.

The new campaign (in the same old world) has run 30 sessions so far, split between two groups with the occasional both-groups-combined session.

Holidays approximately celebrated in game: Christmas, 4/20, Halloween.

The paper (Google Docs) trail encompasses over 86 pages of notes and 43,000 words of post-session adventure logs.

Players & Characters
Since the first campaign was largely drop-in and the current one has two groups, I’ve had 20 players come through. One of them only came for 1 session. One has been to 62 sessions.

Between them, they’ve played 41 characters, but this includes all sorts of side characters for one-shots, guest spots, etc. Excluding those one-shot characters, we’ve had…

art by Trungles

1 dragonborn
4 elves
1 genasi
4 gnomes
2 half-elves
2 half-orcs
4 halflings
6 humans
2 tieflings

1 barbarian
1 bard
2 clerics
3 druids
3 fighters
1 monk
3 paladins
3 rangers
4 rogues
1 sorcerer
3 warlocks
1 wizard

Final lessons?
It’s a testament to my players that they’ve stayed engaged this long. I can take a little credit as the organizing force, but I screw up a lot too—there are always things I forget, things that don’t go over as well as I’d hoped, players that don’t get along. But we keep going. If I had to pinpoint one thing responsible for all this sustainability, it’s a willingness to talk. If I’m gonna run a weird session (“Hey, let’s do a no-combat, hallucinogenic masquerade session”), I let them know ahead of time and ask how it went. And when I’m not doing my job (when players are bored in Hell), they let me know. In a nice way. Just like everyone says, the secret is being able talk and being open to change.

So thanks to all these weirdos:
Roscoe the half-orc fighter, Pepper McTavish the elf ranger, Stickly Figgins the gnome rogue, Sunniva the halfling druid, the tiefling ranger with no name, Sylvester the halfling rogue, Simon the human warlock, Luckyuk the gnome paladin, Althea the halfling fighter, Klef Solo the human bard, Heritage Denim the human cleric, Pride the elf paladin, Gobthe master of illusion, Dildo the mad alchemist, Mangrove Joe the beastmaster, Peter the china abomination, Pussywillow the warlord, Banks the water genasi monk, Trek the elf warlock, Dunbar the gnome barbarian, Thad the giant-kin cleric, Blurg Wife-Gone the orc ranger, Stone Krumbul the dwarf druid, Smolder the dwarf rogue, Shorn Ornery the dwarf monk, Chris the dwarf wizard, Aeryk Darksbane the human paladin, Dragula the dragonborn warlock, Blaze the half-elf druid, Brother Gilgalog the half-orc war cleric, Trimble Timbertrench the gnome wizard, Null the tiefling ranger, Griswold Dazzler the halfling druid, Garack the human rogue, Figwort the gnome fighter, Amaretta Wolfram the elf warlock, Pilar Ambergeist the half-elf sorcerer, Chip Holloway the human barbarian, Carlton Beerjug the elf rogue, Beefy McTavish the human captain, Buddha Sandwichesthe human harpoonist

Chained Worlds: Deep Carbon Observatory

In almost two years DMing for the same group, I’ve used two pre-written modules. The first time, it was a short-notice replacement session, so I ran an “official” module, Death House, because it was free and on hand. This time, I ran Patrick Stuart & Scrap Princess’s Deep Carbon Observatory. I ran it because it’s weird and scary and flexible. Here are some changes I made, some things that happened, and some thoughts I had.

SOME CONTEXT
– I run two groups that are all members of the same organization. They each meet every other week, but every two months, everyone’s invited to an all-team session.

– It’s very much a “drop-in” environment. Each group has five or six people, and as long as at least three of them show up for any given session, we play. Most sessions last about three hours, and I try to get a lot wrapped up by the end so that people who missed the session don’t have to start in the middle of things the next time they show up.

– Half of my players have never played D&D before we started this campaign in May 2016. The other half played in a 1.5-year campaign I ran. Only one has played D&D as, like, a lifestyle.

– Both of my groups are from Carrowmere, the city in Deep Carbon Observatory (which is actually called Carrowmore in the book, but I misread it). One group has already visited the top of the dam that plays a key role in DCO; there, they met a potential ally who’s opposed to the organization they work for.

– They’ve done some work for the observatory church of the Optic God and its Eyeball Pope, so they’ve heard rumors of another, more ancient telescope…that looked down instead of up.

– The players often talk their way through encounters. Failing that, they fight. They haven’t had much experience with a classical dungeon environment where things are arbitrarily deadly.

This last point had some very real consequences.

So I wanted to run Deep Carbon Observatory as one of the all-day, all-team sessions. I knew I’d have to make some changes—there’s enough content in DCO for months of weekly play. So if you’re familiar with DCO, know that I’ve eliminated…

– most of the flowchart of Carrowmere encounters
– a few sites on the way to the pit
– a handful of chambers in the dungeon
– and most sadly, the Crows

The first three items were removed to save time. The last one was removed because I wasn’t confident that I could DM them properly—I wasn’t sure that I could keep track of their strategies and do credit to their personalities.

HOW IT WENT DOWN
Even with a third to half of the content removed, DCO still took three sessions to get through. And, as we’ll see, the players didn’t even make it through the full dungeon. Here’s a breakdown of the highs and lows:

Player Successes
The ranger used her magic (and roleplaying) to make a deal with a trapped giant eel. I was constantly ready to have the eel turn on them, but they were consistently careful and gracious, so they had an eel buddy for a day.

The warlock saved a bunch of orphans…and promptly took them to live and work in his creepy temple.

Due to some excellent tactics and the paladin’s sacrifice (see below), they found the treasure room without much conflict.

The warlock chopped the cursed thorium tongue in half, avoiding its danger! Until he didn’t. But when his tongue was replaced, he changed his character voice and soldiered on.

After leaving the dungeon, the players had a lengthy in-character conversation about their biggest fears and failures.

DM Successes
The floating brains in the canopic jars were suitably weird and cool. The players loved the regret-or-paralysis mechanic.

The giant was scary and gross. It reached through tiny tunnels to slam people against walls and then ran off when it took damage. There ended up being three discrete battles. In the second one, the giant braced himself between the dungeon’s stalactites, reaching into the salt dryad chambers (previously befriended by the players), and tossed the chemical women at the players besieged on the bridge below. In the last encounter, it almost threw the warlock out into the abyss. In its death, it blocked their way home, so they had to chop it up to proceed.

The thorium tongue! I kept it creepy, so the players chopped it in half. Trap avoided? Nope, the dragonborn warlock decided to eat it once it seemed “dead.” I asked if his tongue was forked. He said yes, so the cloven thorium tongue had to replace it (of course). He rolled a 1 on his save and ripped out his god-given tongue. Now I get to interrupt his spells and attempts at diplomacy with Exorcist-style swearing and cursing.

Player Failures (or rather, things that went bad for them)
The paladin died, eaten by a snake door. See below for how I wish I’d have handled it.

The dragonborn warlock ate a cursed tongue.

DM Failures
I didn’t play the witch as well as I could have. She did manage to charm the paladin and KO the wizard, but she was promptly killed by a powerful 5E magic missile. I should have upped her HP.

The paladin died. He put his hand in a snake door, which hurt but didn’t kill him. He told everyone to let him be eaten by the door, and the party obeyed his wishes. Could I have made this more ominous? Should I have allowed him a save despite his desire to be eaten?

The players decided to leave the dungeon without finding the actual observatory. I think they were bored or tired of the environment. I could have used their time on the bridge to better entice them toward the bottom of the main stalactite where the telescope is kept.

Luckily, they relayed their findings to their ally on the dam, so he can go down there and tempt them back with descriptions of his discoveries and his new views on drow psychology…

Scrap Princess artwork from Deep Carbon Observatory

DCO is an excellent module, so thank you to the authors. Even if someone didn’t want to run it, its perfectly lootable for encounters, items, history, and more. Buy it here.

The players in my group might never use the Observatory to look down through the chain of worlds, but they’ll forever be from Carrowmere, and the Optic God is still watching them.

Chained Worlds: Character Portraits

I’m slow to blog lately since I’ve started running the new two-group campaign. One of the players in one of the groups, though, is a professional illustrator/cartoonist, and he’s been kind enough to draw portraits of his group. See more of his art at his portfolio site.


Amaretta Wolfram, high elf entertainer/warlock


Griswold Dazzler, halfling sailor/druid


Null, tiefling hermit/ranger


Pilar Ambergeist, half-elf urchin/wild magic sorcerer

Missing from picture: Carlton Beerjug, high elf charlatan/rogue

Chained World: Mapmaking & Character Creation

Like I detailed in my background post, I wanted to loot the best bits of Beyond the Wall’s character creation for my new 5E campaign. With two character creation sessions done, I think it was a success. Here’s the map we made—ink basis by me, pencil additions by two groups of five players each:

(“Carrowmere,” as a name, stolen from Patrick Stuart’s Deep Carbon Observatory.)

I originally intended on turning the classes document into a post, but I deleted my original documents, and converting a PDF into a blog post is horrible so instead, here are the PDFs to download:

(And as noted, I accidentally deleted my original files, so please excuse any typos.)

Each document has charts that link starting stats and proficiencies to map locations, trinkets, or NPCs that the players get to create. In my opinion, it really increases how invested they are in the setting. As an example, here’s the Sorcerer class:

Sorcerer

1d6
What is the origin of the magical blood in your veins?
Gain
1
A reptilian god blessed your ancestors at the beginning of time.
+2 Cha, +1 Con, Draconic Bloodline
2
You have an internal organ that acts as a hole into an unknown universe.
+2 Con, +1 Wis, Wild Magic
3
You are the spawn of a dragon and a mortal.
+2 Str, +1 Cha, Draconic Bloodline
4
A fae princeling cursed you with uncontrollable power.
+2 Int, +1 Con, Wild Magic
5
You were something greater until forced into a lesser form.
+2 Str, +1 Dex, Draconic Bloodline
6
You are wild magic disguised in a fleshy body, but you’ve forgotten how to change back.
+2 Dex, +1 Cha, Wild Magic


1d6
How did your magic first manifest?
Gain
1
It drove out from inside you, coating you in scales.
+2 Con, Skill: Athletics
2
You woke up in the night to find yourself floating 20 feet in the air.
+2 Dex, Skill: Acrobatics
3
Your tongue grew and forked for a day, and you spoke in an unknown language.
+2 Int Skill: Arcana
4
Cats and crows called you names in the streets.
+2 Wis, Skill: Animal Handling
5
For a single drunken night, people did anything you asked.
+2 Cha, Skill: Performance
6
You were lost in the wilderness for weeks, but you never got thirsty.
+2 Con, Skill: Survival

 

1d6
Once you understood your magic, how did you use it to get by? The player to your right helped.
Gain
1
You reinforce your body so that you can work harder for others. Your friend was relieved by your work and gains +1 Con.
+2 Con
2
You amaze and astound with public performances. Your friend has helped you collect money from the audience and gains +1 Cha.
+2 Cha
3
You are a font of endless energy that was harvested for a strange device. Your friend helped connect you to the device and gains +1 Int.
+2 Int
4
You distract marks for a thieves’ guild. Your friend was a fence or contact for the guild and gains +1 Dex.
+2 Dex
5

You were a living, glowing standard for the army or

guards to rally to. Your friend was in the same battalion and gains +1 Cha.
+2 Cha
6
You snuck into a wizard conference to steal their secrets. Your friend helped you disseminate the forbidden knowledge and gains +1 Int.
+2 Int

 

1d6
Magic speaks to the world, and the world speaks back. How has it spoken to you?
Gain
1
Coins rained and thundered from a small cloud above your bed while you dreamed of wealth.
+2 Wis, 6d6 gold
2
A dragon came to you in the guise of a human and gifted you one of their scales.
+2 Cha,
a dragon scale token
3
A seed you planted grew into a staff topped by a crystal roiling with a tiny storm.
+2 Wis,
a crazy staff
4
Your stomach is a colony of tiny fungi that whisper to you and keep you healthy.
+2 Con,
a belly full of secrets
5
A mugger stopped you, but their weapon was made edible and you chewed it to pieces.
+2 Str,
an edible knife hilt
6
You have one item of clothing that changes fashion and color each morning.
+2 Cha,
said clothing item

Proficiencies (+2 to rolls involving these)

  • Choose one from Arcana and Religion
  • Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
  • Constitution & Charisma saves

Chained Worlds: Beyond the Backgrounds

I’m starting a new campaign in May. It’s an intimidating thing: two groups on alternating works operating in the same universe. For all I know, they’ll never interact, but I still want to build that into my possibilities.

I also wanted to do some heavier house-ruling this time around. Our last campaign was almost pure 5E, and it went great, but it wasn’t a perfect fit with my brain.

One thing I want to address is background. I’m a big proponent of minimal backstory; I want players to look forward to what they can make together instead of what they’ve done alone in the past.

But I don’t want to throw backgrounds out the window. I decided to import some tables and mechanics from Beyond the Wall in order to add a bit of detail to characters’ histories (and eventually link them together, but that’s saved for the Classes section, coming soon).

I’m also thinking about removing Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation, Insight, and maybe Perception from the game. I’d instead rely on roleplaying, players’ stated intention, and so on.

So here we go:

Backgrounds
Choose a background. Each one grants starting attributes. For the tables that follow, roll on two of them and choose from one of them. These will grant you additional attributes along with details from your youth.

Alternately, you can choose from two of them and roll on one. However, this will incur a curse. Your character is aware that the fates are against him (as are seers, witches, and similar), but the details are initially unknown to all but the DM.

After getting the results from the first table, add a related location to the map of the town. After getting results from the third table, add a related NPC to the map of the town

Acolyte
Something miraculous happened when you came of age. After a dramatic event, you felt the call of the gods and now worship them as your ancestors did. One of these ancient deities shows you particular favor, and you now do its work amongst your people.

You are wise beyond your years. Your Wisdom begins at 12, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your lone parent was an outcast, rightfully or not. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
3 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +2 Str, +1 Wis
4 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex,

+1 Wis, +1 Str

5 You worked the loom, cutting and twisting as the Fates. +2 Dex, +2 Int, +1 Cha
6 A parent kept the old stories. Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +2 Cha, +1 Wis
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Your empathy made you a sought after confidant. +2 Wis, +1 Con
2 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
3 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con,

+1 Cha

4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 You would sneak out at night and wander the woods with a peasant child. +2 Con, +1 Int
2 The village elders taught you the ancient game of chess. +2 Int, +1 Dex
3 You had a tryst with someone outside the chapel. +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 An old widow needed help around the house. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha

 

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, History

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A holy symbol (a gift to you when you entered the priesthood), a prayer book or prayer wheel, 5 sticks o f incense, vestments, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp

Charlatan

You’re not the eldest in your family. You’re not the greatest warrior or a diligent student. Rather, you have a broad range of abilities, a sharp mind, and a winning smile. You’ve also dabbled in some things you probably shouldn’t have. You know a bit of everything, and what you don’t know, you can convince people that you do.

You are intelligent and charming. Your Intelligence and Charisma begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 Your father was an outcast, rightfully or not. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
2 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
3 Your father was a local merchant. You learned to name your price and charm your customers. +2 Cha, +2 Int, +1 Dex
4 Base betrayal. Your family is respected but not trusted. +2 Wis, +2 Int, 1 Cha
5 Knowledge. Your family deals in secrets and lore. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Cha
6 Beauty. Your ladies are the fairest and your lords the most handsome. +2 Cha, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Str
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
4 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
2 You were arranged to marry into the Miller’s family. +2 Wis, +1 Str
3 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours. +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 The grizzled mercenary who settled in town taught you a thing or two. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Skill Proficiencies: Sleight of Hand, Medicine

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, forgery kit

Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a disguise kit, tools of the con of your choice (ten stoppered bottles filled with colored liquid, a set of weighted dice, a deck of marked cards, or a signet ring of an imaginary duke), and a belt pouch containing 15 gp


Criminal

The world is full of things to see and enjoy, and your fingers are more than quick enough to let you have what you like.

You are deft and quick. Your Dexterity begins at 12, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your father was a watchman, stern but fair with child and stranger alike. +2 Str, +2 Cha, +1 Con
3 Your father was a local merchant. You learned to name your price and charm your customers. +2 Cha, +2 Int, +1 Dex
4 Base betrayal. Your family is respected but not trusted. +2 Wis, +2 Int, 1 Cha
5 Wealth. Your family’s coffers are the fullest in all the land. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Cha, +1 Wis
6 Having one of the oldest names in the land and staying out of affairs that don’t concern them. +1 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis, +1 Cha
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
2 Your family’s seneschal taught you games of strategy and skill. +2 Int, +1 Dex
3 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours.

You had a tryst with someone beneath your station.

+2 Cha, +1 Con
4 The grizzled captain of the guard took a liking to you. +1 Dex, +1 Con,

+1 Wis

Skill Proficiencies: Stealth, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, thieves’ tools

Equipment: A crowbar, a set of dark common clothes including a hood, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp

 

Entertainer

You grew up obsessed with ancient stories and songs, the oral history of your people. The stories told around the hearth and by traveling minstrels seemed more real to you than your own daily struggles. Now that you’ve come of age, you keep the stories.

You have great presence and charm. Your Charisma begins at 12, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
2 You worked the loom, cutting and twisting as the Fates. +2 Dex, +2 Int, +1 Cha
3 Your father or mother kept the old stories. Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +2 Cha, +1 Wis
4 Your father was a local merchant. You learned to name your price and charm your customers. +2 Cha, +2 Int, +1 Dex
5 Knowledge. Your family deals in secrets and lore. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Cha
6 Beauty. Your ladies are the fairest and your lords the most handsome. +2 Cha, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Str
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
2 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
3 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
3 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours. +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 The old widow needed help around the house. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha

Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Performance

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, one type of musical instrument

Equipment: A musical instrument (one of your choice), the favor of an admirer (love letter, lock of hair, or trinket), a costume, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp


Folk Hero

While you are still young, you have made quite the name for yourself in the village. The common folk look to you to solve their problems and protect them from dangers.

You are sturdy and well-built. Your Strength and Constitution begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 Your family worked a small farm outside the village. +2 Con, +2 Wis, +1 Cha
3 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Cha
4 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
5 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
6 Your father or mother kept the old stories. Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +2 Cha, +1 Wis
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
3 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
4 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
3 You went camping with the hunters. +2 Con, +1 Int
4 Despite being of noble blood, you actually did chores with the servants. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha

Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools, vehicles (land)

Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a shovel, an iron pot, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp


Guild Artisan

At a young age, you were apprenticed to a craftsperson at a guild. You worked hard, and it was often thankless, but you learned how to build, buy, and sell. Your apprenticeship guaranteed you a place in life, and it gave you a taste of what life could be.

You have a knack with animals. Your Intelligence and Charisma begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your family worked a small farm outside the village. +2 Con, +2 Wis, +1 Cha
3 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Cha
4 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
5 You worked the loom, cutting and twisting as the Fates. +2 Dex, +2 Int, +1 Cha
6 Your father was a watchman, stern but fair with child and stranger alike. +2 Str, +2 Cha, +1 Con
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
2 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
3 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 You are about to marry into the Miller’s family. +2 Wis, +1 Str
3 The old widow needed help around the house. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha
4 The grizzled captain of the guard took a liking to you. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Tool Proficiencies: Two types of artisan’s tools

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools (your choice), a letter of introduction from your guild, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp


Hermit

The old witch in the village took a liking to you when you were still young, and people didn’t like that. You dreamt of a more exciting life, and you pursued that away from the prying eyes of the town.

You have a knack with animals. Your Constitution and Wisdom begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 Your father was an outcast, rightfully or not. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
2 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +2 Str, +1 Wis
3 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
4 You went on journeys into the woods to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Dex
5 Wealth. Your family’s coffers are the fullest in all the land. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Cha, +1 Wis
6 Standing against a wicked would-be usurper. +2 Con, +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
2 Chafing under your family’s rules, you would sneak out at night and wander the woods. +2 Con, +1 Int
3 You had a tryst with someone beneath your station. +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 The grizzled mercenary who settled in town taught you a thing or two. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism kit

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A scroll case stuffed full of notes from your studies or prayers, a winter blanket, a set of common clothes, an herbalism kit, and 5 gp

Noble

You’ve inherited many things: wealth, pedigree, and a formal way of acting. For whatever reason, you’ve taken those things out to the world at large. It’s your responsibility to bring even more fame to your name.

You are healthy and adventurous. Your Strength and Charisma begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 Base betrayal. Your family is respected but not trusted. +2 Wis, +2 Int, 1 Cha
2 Strength of arms. No standard flies victoriously over more battlefields than yours. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Wis
3 Wealth. Your family’s coffers are the fullest in all the land. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Cha, +1 Wis
4 Beauty. Your ladies are the fairest and your lords the most handsome. +2 Cha, +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Str
5 Honor and duty. All trust your family’s name. +2 Wis, +1 Con, +1 Str, +1 Cha
6 Producing the finest knights. +2 Dex, +1 Str, +2 Cha
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You never met someone who didn’t like you. +2 Cha, +1 Str
4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Chafing under your family’s rules, you would sneak out at night and wander the woods with a peasant child. +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your family’s seneschal taught you games of strategy and skill. +2 Int, +1 Dex
3 You learned the ways of the castle at the side of the cook. +2 Wis, +1 Str
4 You had a tryst with someone beneath your station. +2 Cha, +1 Con

Skill Proficiencies: History, Performance

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a signet ring, a scroll of pedigree, and a purse containing 25 gp

Outlander

Hunter, gatherer, or guardian, it takes a brave soul to wander the woods. You go where few would dare, and you feel at home in those places. For good or for ill, you left your original home behind in order to find a new one.

You are agile and insightful. Your Dexterity and Wisdom begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your lone parent was an outcast, rightfully or not. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
3 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
4 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
5 You went on journeys into the woods to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Dex
6 Base betrayal. Your family is respected but not trusted. +2 Wis, +2 Int, 1 Cha
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
3 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
4 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
2 You went camping with the hunters. +2 Con, +1 Int
3 You broke someone’s heart, or maybe they broke yours. +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 The old widow needed help around the house. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One type of musical instrument

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A staff, a hunting trap, a trophy from an animal you killed, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp


Sage

Your desire was not to learn the ways of war or rulership as other children did, but instead to study the cerebral arts. You took to the difficult studies well, and now you will decide what to do with them.

You are very smart and quick-witted. Your Intelligence begins at 12, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You led the sheep out onto the mountain like your father before you. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
2 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
3 Your father or mother kept the old stories. Your head is filled with them. +2 Int, +2 Cha, +1 Wis
4 You went on journeys into the woods to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Dex
5 Knowledge. Your family deals in secrets and lore. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Cha
6 Tending the finest gardens and brewing the most helpful concoctions. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
2 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
3 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
2 Chafing under your family’s rules, you would sneak to the library at night and sleep among the books. +2 Int, +1 Wis
3 The village elders taught you the ancient game of chess. +2 Int, +1 Dex
4 You learned the ways of the castle at the side of the cook. +2 Wis, +1 Str

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, a set of common

clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Sailor

You grew up sitting wide-eyed on the shore, listening to stories of pirates and captains who slew sea beasts and discovered new lands. The other children liked those stories as well, but you lived for them.

You are strong and brave. Your Strength begins at 12, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your parents were fishermen and you grew up by the river. +2 Dex, +2 Str, +1 Wis
3 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Cha
4 Your parents ran the local inn. You grew up meeting many travellers and hearing their tales. +2 Cha, +1 Int, +1 Dex, +1 Wis
5 Wealth. Your family’s coffers are the fullest in all the land. +2 Int, +1 Con, +1 Cha, +1 Wis
6 Defending the land from invaders. +2 Str, +2 Con, +1 Wis
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
3 You are about to marry into the Miller’s family. +2 Wis, +1 Str
4 You had a tryst with someone you were forbidden to marry. +2 Cha, +1 Con

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics

Languages: One of your choice

Tool Proficiencies: Navigator’s tools, vehicles (water)

Equipment: A belaying pin (club), 50 feet o f silk rope, a lucky charm such as a rabbit foot or a small stone with a hole in the center, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Soldier

For whatever reason, it has fallen to you to fight and to lead men in battle, and to inspire your people. While you have only been tested once, you proved yourself well, and are now ready to earn the fame in battle.

You are strong and commanding. Your Strength and Charisma begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your father was the local smith and taught you both hammer and bellows. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Cha
3 Your father was a watchman, stern but fair with child and stranger alike. +2 Str, +2 Cha, +1 Con
4 Strength of arms. No standard flies victoriously over more battlefields than yours. +2 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Wis
5 Honor and duty. All trust your family’s name. +2 Wis, +1 Con, +1 Str, +1 Cha
6 Producing the finest knights. +2 Dex, +1 Str, +2 Cha
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
3 You solved everyone else’s problems, and never mentioned your own. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
4 Everyone has something to teach, and you learned a little from them all. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 You went camping with the hunters. +2 Con, +1 Int
3 You are about to marry into the Miller’s family. +2 Wis, +1 Str
4 The grizzled mercenary who settled in town taught you a thing or two. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics

Languages: One of your choice

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, vehicles (land)

Equipment: An insignia o f rank, a trophy taken from a fallen enemy (a dagger, broken blade, or piece of a banner), a set of bone dice or deck of cards, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Urchin

Whether by choice or by fate, you grew up on the street. Better yet, you made a way to survive there.

Your Dexterity and Charisma begin at 10, and all of your other ability scores begin at 8.

1d6 What were your parents known for? What did you learn? Gain
1 You are an orphan. Things were hard for you. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Int
2 Your lone parent was an outcast, rightfully or not. +2 Int, +2 Wis, +1 Con
3 You led the sheep out onto the mountain. +2 Con, +1 Dex, +1 Wis, +1 Str
4 You worked the loom, cutting and twisting as the Fates. +2 Dex, +2 Int, +1 Cha
5 You went on journeys into the woods to gather herbs and berries. +2 Wis, +2 Con, +1 Dex
6 Base betrayal. Your family is respected but not trusted. +2 Wis, +2 Int, 1 Cha
1d4 How did you distinguish yourself as a child? Gain
1 Children often fight, but you never lost. +2 Str, +1 Wis
2 There wasn’t a game you couldn’t win. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3 You were the toughest kid around. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4 No secret escaped you. +2 Int, +1 Dex
1d4 Who befriended you? Gain
1 Laboring with the blacksmith took your mind off your troubles. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2 The fishermen took a liking to you and you swapped stories with them. +2 Dex, +1 Wis.
3 The old widow needed help around the house. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha
4 The grizzled captain of the guard took a liking to you. +1 Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

Skill Proficiencies: Sleight of Hand, Stealth

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, thieves’ tools

Equipment: A small knife, a map of the city you grew up in, a pet mouse, a token to remember your parents by, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp