DnD Backgrounds

Criminal Background 5e | DnD – 5th Edition D&d (2024)

Criminal Background-5e
Criminal Background-5e

The criminal background 5e involves you being a criminal who has always been a troublemaker. You were a part of a criminal group at a point in time, which led to you having a criminal record.

Your contact with the underworld is still intact, as defying the law is something you enjoy. In simple terms, you are a risk taker like DnD Mercenary. Criminal 5e also includes a spy variant.

  • Skills – Deception, stealth
  • Tool proficiencies – One type of gaming set, thieves’ tools.
  • Equipment: A crowbar, a pair of ordinary dark clothes including a hood, and a belt pouch containing 15 GP.

Criminal background 5e features

Criminal specialty – There are various ways of being a lawbreaker. Even in a group of robbers, every member would have a different task they specialize in. Those who work on their own also prefer specific felonies, so here is a list of them.

D8Criminal Specialty
5.Highway robber
6.Hired killer

Underworld connections – You still have connections to the mobsters, and these contacts help you in times of need, whether you need a safe house or to escape for a while. You can rely on these people for almost all the tasks, and they come to your aid in some or the other way.

Spy – Your abilities are similar to that of a burglar or smuggler, but you utilize them differently, as an agent, which makes all the difference. You might be working for the king or as a private agent after selling the secrets, you unearthed.

Criminal 5e Suggested characteristics

D8Personality traits
1.I always have a backup plan for when things go south.
2.I don’t let my emotions get the best of me and remain calm.
3.I tend to notice valuable locations of every new place.
4.I prefer to make a new friend than a new enemy.
5.I don’t trust easily. Those who look credible have the most to hide.
6.I never take into consideration the risks of a situation.
7.If you want me to do something, challenge me that I can’t do it.
8.I start seeing red if people insult me.

Ideals Criminal

1.Honor: I don’t rob from others in the business. (Lawful)
2.Freedom: Chains must be broken and those who force them. (Chaotic)
3.Charity: I rob the wealthy to help the poor. (Good)
4.Greed: I’ll do anything to become wealthy. (Evil)
5.People: I’m loyal to my friends and don’t care about anyone else. (Neutral)
6.Redemption: There’s goodness in everyone. (Good)

Bonds Criminal

1.I’m working towards paying an old debt.
2.My illegal gains go to support my family.
3.I aim is to steal back what was taken from me.
4.I’ll become the greatest thief in history.
5.I’m ashamed of a crime and wish to redeem myself.
6.A mistake of mine cost the life of someone I loved.

Flaws Criminal

1.If my eye catches something of interest, I must have it.
2.Between money and friends, I’d choose cash.
3.I either forget a plan or choose to ignore it.
4.I have a telltale sign that reveals when I’m lying.
5.I run as soon as things go south.
6.An innocent person is in prison for something I did, and it doesn’t bother me.

5e Criminal Background

You have plenty of D&D 5e criminal backstories to choose from and make a wise decision.

Barbarian Criminal

A barbarian can have trouble adjusting to the civilized life and might feel the same as outlander 5e because they are seen as suspicious. Therefore, they need some skills to lead an everyday life. A barbarian with a criminal background can be quite handy since they can sneak past the authorities or have the upper hand on their enemies.

Your criminal contact could be someone you met while traveling or in some other way. In the spy variant, decide the cultural group you come from. You can use a wood elf spy to investigate after 500 years of isolation. Barbarian’s style of expressing their anger is brutal, but they aren’t uncivilized.

d6Personality traits
1.I love the thrill of a risky job.
2.My pride is everything, and I don’t let an insult go unpunished.
3.Everything that shines is gold, right?
4.I’m like a panther, silent but ferocious.
5.I remember those who helped me.
6.I’m determined to take revenge on those who cheat on me.

Bard Criminal

Bards make for excellent spies and felons as they are performers and know the art of being someone else. Their roguish personality enables them to have various options. Their special powers are a bonus. Let your imagination run wild when it comes to choosing their goal.

d6Personality Trait
1.I’m fully dedicated to the job at hand, as I love role-playing.
2.I have a signature item I leave behind at every scene of crime.
3.I keep a record of all my expenses and income to collect my debt.
4.I help the poor by stealing from the rich.
5.I make elaborate plans for the heists and stick to it.
6.None of my enemies have been able to come near me yet.

Cleric Criminal

A cleric isn’t always a devotee of the mainstream idea of God. They could be a worshipper of gods of shadow, thieves, etc., and might feel a sense of superiority because of their link to divinity.

Your main question is how they decided to join this path. In the spy variation, the cleric could be an investigator who’s goal is to eliminate the dissenters.

d6Personality Trait
1.My god is pleased by a well-planned crime.
2.The knowledge of self and others is the only way to gain real power.
3.My life of crime doesn’t let me go out of its clutches.
4.I turn to gods for redemption as my crimes haunt me.
5.I’ll do everything to acquire power and wealth.
6.Everyone has a chance to be redeemed.

Druid Criminal

Druids have an advantage over all other options as their animal shapes act as camouflage to help them hide in plain sight. It’s also possible that you escaped civilization because of your crimes and are working towards redemption by healing the land.

The spy feature lets you be an excellent eavesdropper, or a gnome druid could be a trader of secrets. Be specific about your relations with others to make it look real.

d6Personality Trait
1.I believe in survival of the fittest.
2.I dress ordinarily, but the secrets I know are the opposite of that.
3.I seek power, and only the ones who are influential matter.
4.I’m loyal to those who prove themselves by shedding their blood.
5.I’m defensive about my people.
6.The old teachings didn’t provide me solace from the crimes I committed.

Fighter Criminal

The know-how of weapons or fighting techniques makes sense when you’re a part of a criminal organization. This could also be applied as a reason why you chose this path.

Being a spy, you could either be accepted as a warrior by an unknown organization or joined the intelligence services out of patriotism. Keep developing relations and also focus on how you feel doing this job.

d6Personality Trait
1.I always take note of the pros and cons of a situation.
2.People have to prove themselves before I can trust them.
3.I’ve encountered law many times, but I know how to escape.
4.I follow “talk quietly, carry a big sword.”
5.I remember those who cheat on me.
6.People would never suspect me as a criminal.

Monk Criminal

If you think about it, monks and felons are poles apart, so it’s up to you as to how you incorporate it. Were your crimes gnawing at you, and you seek absolution? Even as a spy, you might be a teacher who creates spies and assassins. Being a monk sounds like a bonus instead of strange if you factor in their plus points.

d6Personality Trait
1.Perfection is a job done successfully.
2.I have a plan ready for every circumstance.
3.I don’t follow the rules and prefer improvising.
4.If my order knew this other business of mine, they’d have expelled me.
5.Socialization isn’t one of my strong suits.
6.I fear being attached to someone as death is quite common.

Paladin Criminal

You can play the roles of a retired war champion aiming for vindication, a proclaimer of integrity who is as dirty as it gets, a warrior for justice who holds the rich as accountable.

You must consider how they learned the skills of a paladin and a criminal. Your story would have twists depending on your connections. The spy backdrop keeps you hidden as no one would suspect a paladin of being a lawbreaker, so it makes you perfect to go on a mission as an agent.

d6Personality Trait
1.My wrongdoings haunt me, and I fear the consequences if the truth is revealed.
2.I framed someone else for a crime, and I regret that till today.
3.I came from a background of lawbreakers, but I’ll rise above it.
4.I have accepted my past, but some things still affect me.
5.If I found vindication, others can too.
6.I will change my life to righteousness at any cost.

Ranger Criminal

Rangers are suitable for being sinners and bounty or monster hunters as it fits their proficiencies. But be ready to answer how you know both these skills.If you choose the spy variant, you could be an investigator in the army or work for the king to catch false agents. You are a natural at tracking down people.

d6Personality Trait
1.I’m a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing, and I take full advantage of it.
2.I go with my gut whenever there is a plan.
3.The reward isn’t as satisfying as the hunt.
4.I need to get what I’m owed.
5.I’ll do any job as long as the pay is worth it.
6.Secrets are powerful than weapons.

Rogue Criminal

A rogue involves the abilities of all the other options combined so you can expand their skill set. Your task becomes easier being a rogue. If you’re a spy, you’d be an ex-criminal who was chosen for state work. Why you chose this depends on your imagination.

d6Personality Trait
1.Robbery is also a work of art, and I’m an artist.
2.I enjoy pestering people to hear their secrets.
3.I can’t let go of my past.
4.If no one claims it, it’s mine.
5.I keep track of all the things we acquired.
6.Every plan is incomplete without drama.

Sorcerer Criminal

Being a magical being and a criminal would only spice up things. It’d be exciting to see how this new power unravels as the story progresses. Your strengths might also get out of control and force you to be on the run. Figure out you underworld connections, and you’re good to go.

d6Personality Trait
1.I’m afraid of my powers if they aren’t controlled.
2.I use every advantage to be in the lead.
3.I have a feeling that my closest friends are afraid of me.
4.If people consider me a freak, I will be one.
5.My kind of high is to execute a heist.
6.The jingling sound of the coins is pleasing.

Warlock Criminal

Think of the pact you have with your powers in exchange for your freedom. Since warlocks grab opportunities when they see one, they make perfect criminals. Focus on how your life changed after choosing this line of work and how you came across these skills.

d6Personality Trait
1.I’m certain that I can deceive my patron if they come.
2.My patron informs me of those who are wealthy and need to be relieved.
3.Being influential is my top priority.
4.I trust only some people with my undisclosed power.
5.My patron helps me in my transformation after a crime.
6.People are just a means to my end.

Wizard Criminal

The magic of the wizard, when combined with the mind of a criminal, creates a mad genius who can use people’s weaknesses for their benefit. Your discovery for knowledge might have led you on the path of sins or vice versa. Your desire should be linked with your D&D 5e criminal backdrop as it lays the foundation for the entire storyline.

d6Personality Trait
1.I have a backup plan and a backup plan for that too.
2.The order should be imposed on the weak.
3.I calculate the value of each person to determine what I owe.
4.I fear getting close to people.
5.I’ve sought shelter in magic to undo my crimes.
6.I will bend life to my will by any means.


It’s exciting, isn’t it? Several options in criminal background 5e for you to choose from, and each one hugely different from the other in so many ways. It makes the decision-making process complicated, but only the best for our gamers, right? So check out criminal 5e to make an informed decision.

If being an evil character is not your scene, then we have another option for you. Try out Anthropologist features for a more righteous role.


About the author

Shubhi singh

Shubhi Singh a bibliophile with a love for words and has completed her graduation in English Honours from a distinguished university. She has a passion for writing and her love for creativity reflects in her writing style. She also tries her hand at story writing in her free time and is quite dedicated when it comes to her work.

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