DnD Backgrounds

DnD Backgrounds | 5E – Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) 2021

The 5e backgrounds of DnD would bring in a back-story of your character and hone their identity. Also, it'd answer all the questions of where they came from and what is their purpose.

BGs add a flavorful touch to the story of your characters, giving them more depth. Moreover, their race determines what they are, their class explains what they do, and their back-story tells how they lived. So, instead of just being a fighter, you’d have a fascinating history.

Furthermore, the rule of thumb asserts that the attributes should connect the character to the world and the people in it in some way. However, the class capacities of the individual to provide bonuses on checks, saves etc. wouldn’t change due to the traits.

So, this is how you can create a back-story for the individual,

  • Measure time – Firstly, if you’re up for a small adventure, wasting time on developing history isn’t required as it wouldn’t come up in the game. Therefore, just give a gist of where he came from and his purpose.
  • Include 2-3 core events – Our behaviours and values are shaped by the few core memories that are essential to us. So, if your character is a fighter, focus on the answers as to why he is a fighter, who inspired him and so on. But don’t mention unnecessary details.
  • Interconnect them together – Also, work with your Dungeon Master to tie together all this into an interesting back-story. Any loose strings can be interconnected now, more like connecting the dots at the end. At the end, all the events and people would progress at their own pace after this.

Name

Languages

Tools

Source

FEATURE

Any X2

None

PHB

Shelter of the Faithful

Any x2

None

ToA

Adept Linguist

Any X1

cartographer's tools, navigator's tools

ToA

Historical Knowledge

Adopted

Anyx2

None

-

-

Black Fist Double Agent

None

Disguise kit, and choose 1: artisan's tools x1 , gaming set x1

CoS (AL)

-

Caravan Specialist

Any x1

Vehicles (land)

EE (AL)

-

None

Disguise kit, forgery kit

PHB

False Identity

Any x2

None

SCAG

Watcher’s Eye

Clan Crafter

Any x1

Artisan's tools x1

SCAG

Respect of the Stout Folk

Any x2

None

SCAG

Library Access

Cormanthor Refugee

Elvish

Artisan's tools x1

RoD (AL)

-

Any x2

None

SCAG

Court Functionary

None

Gaming set x1, thieves' tools

PHB

-

Dissenter

Special (See page)

Special (See page)

PS:A

-

Dragon Casualty

Draconic

Special (See page)

CoS (AL)

-

Earthspur Miner

Dwarvish, Undercommon

None

EE (AL)

-

None

Disguise kit, musical instrument x1

PHB

By Popular Demand

Any x2

None

SCAG

Safe Haven

Any x1

Choose 1: musical instrument x1, gaming set x1

SCAG

All Eyes on You

None

Artisan's tools x1, vehicles (land)

PHB

Rustic Hospitality

Gate Urchin

None

Musical instrument x1, thieves' tools

RoD (AL)

-

None

Disguise kit, unusual weapon x1

PHB

By Popular Demand

Any x1

Artisan's tools x1

PHB

Guild Membership

Guild Merchant

Any x1

Navigator's tools

PHB

Guild Membership

Harborfolk

None

Gaming set x1, vehicles (water)

EE (AL)

-

Exotic x1

None

CoS

Heart of Darkness

Any x1

Herbalism kit

PHB

Discovery

Hillsfar Merchant

None

Vehicles (land), vehicles (water)

RoD (AL)

-

Hillsfar Smuggler

Any x1

Forgery kit

RoD (AL)

-

House Agent

None

Special (See page)

WGE

-

None

Gaming set x1, musical instrument x1

SCAG

Inheritance

Initiate

None

Gaming set x1, vehicles (land)

PS:A

-

Inquisitor

None

Artisan's tools x1, thieves' tools

PS:In

-

Investigator

Any x2

None

SCAG

-

Iron Route Bandit

None

Gaming set x1, vehicles (land)

CoS (AL)

-

Any x1

Gaming set x1

PHB

Retainers

Knight of the Order

Any x1

Choose 1: gaming set x1, musical instrument x1

SCAG

Knightly Regard

None

Gaming set x1, vehicles (land)

SCAG

Mercenary Life

Mulmaster Aristocrat

None

Artisan's tools x1, musical instrument x1

EE (AL)

-

Any x1

Gaming set x1

PHB

Position of Privilege

Any x1

Navigator's tools, vehicles (water)

PHB

Wanderer

Phlan Insurgent

None

Artisan's tools x1, vehicles (land)

CoS (AL)

-

Phlan Refugee

Any x1

Artisan's tools x1

EE (AL)

-

None

Navigator's tools, vehicles (water)

PHB

Bad Reputation

Any x2

None

PHB

Researcher

None

Navigator's tools, vehicles (water)

PHB

Ship's Passage

Secret Identity

None

Disguise kit, forgery kit

RoD (AL)

-

Shade Fanatic

Netherese

Forgery kit

RoD (AL)

-

None

Gaming set x1, vehicles (land)

PHB

Military Rank

Spy

None

Gaming set x1, thieves' tools

PHB

-

Student Of Magic

-

-

-

-

Stojanow Prisoner

None

Gaming set x1, thieves' tools

CoS (AL)

-

Ticklebelly Nomad

Giant

Herbalism kit

CoS (AL

-

Trade Sheriff

Elvish

Thieves' tools

RoD (AL)

-

Urban Bounty Hunter

None

Choose 2: gaming set x1,musical instrument x1 , thieves' tools

SCAG

Ear to the Ground

None

Disguise kit, thieves' tools

PHB

City Secrets

Uthgardt Tribe Member

Any x1

Choose 1: artisan's tools x1, musical instrument x1

SCAG

Uthgardt Heritage

Vizier

None

Artisan's tools x1, musical instrument x1

PS:A

-

Waterdhavian Noble

Any x1

Choose 1: gaming set x1, musical instrument x1

SCAG

Kept in Style

D&D Gladiator Arena

-

-

-

-

How to customize a background:

Moreover, players have the option of modifying the existing back-stories by keeping in mind the following rules –

  • You can change one feature with the other, choose two skills and two tool proficiencies or languages from the sample D&D backgrounds while customizing.
  • The coins you might have can be spent on gear or the equipment package provided in the BG.
  • You must choose two personality traits, one bond, one ideal and also one flawed characteristic. (The equipment package meant for your class also needs to be bought with coins.)
  • If you can’t locate a feature matching your desired history, work with the Dungeon Master (DM) to create one.

DnD 5e backgrounds functions:

However, A few mechanical benefits you’d come across with this addition are –

  • 1-2 skill proficiencies.
  • 1-2 languages.
  • A mixture of starting gear.
  • A unique ability, usually a situational social ability.

However, BGs don’t do much except make the journey of your character more exciting. Their personality traits, relations, ideals, flaws are all included in it.

Backgrounds 5e necessary details:

Some of the particulars you should additionally remember are –

Languages – Almost all the characters would be allowed to learn some other language apart from the ones they know by default depending on their milieu.

Proficiency – MeanwhileCharacter proficiency in any two skills would be granted to every D and D backgrounds.

  • Chapter 7 of the Player’s Hand Book (PHB) explains all the expertise.
  • If the character has one or more tools, an added proficiency would be offered to him.
  • Tools are given in chapter 5 of the PHB.
  • Moreover, a character could choose the same proficiency from different sources (i.e. skills or tools) and attain equal mastery in both.

Characteristics –

  • Every BG consists of suggested personnel attributes hinged on your history.
  • Also, you can choose characteristics by randomly rolling dice or by using the suggestions provided as an inspiration and creating one on your own.

Tools –

  • All the BGs provide a starter pack of equipment.
  • If you spend coins to buy gear, the tools you acquire from the starter pack wouldn’t be given to you.

Things to remember:

Since selecting a backdrop is a tricky thing, it needs to be done cautiously. Therefore, here are a few things you should take into consideration while developing a history of your player.

Theme – 

  • Specific environments are equally important for particular backdrops. For instance, the Urchin and Criminal BG are meant for natural settings.
  • The Outlander backdrop is for a wilderness surrounding.
  • Those like Acolytes, Sages and Guild artisans belong in the temples, libraries and workshops.

Here are a few themes suitable for these specific back-stories –

  • Academic: Acolyte, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Sage
  • Shady Past: Criminal, Charlatan, Pirate, Spy
  • Martial/Military: Soldier, City Watch, Knight
  • Situational: Noble, Outlander, Urchin, Far Traveler, Uthgardt Tribe Member
  • Vocational: Guild Artisan, Entertainer, Sailor

Mechanics –

  • The set of tools, skills and languages you acquire is based on the class or race you choose.
  • You might gain some benefits or limited selections depending on your choice of race.
  • It’s an unknown fact that the class can provide you with distinct ways to choose & receive skills and proficiency tools.
  • All the options of expertise and equipment open up during the time of duplicate background proficiencies accordingly. 

Backdrop features –

  • Every Dungeons and Dragons background has its own unique quality.
  • An advantage is offered to us due to our BG’s features.
  • The player needs to connect with NPC’s.
  • More scope is added in the game for adventure and role-playing.

D&D 5e Backgrounds Chart

dnd backgrounds 5e

Conclusion

Finally, a story doesn’t feel authentic if there isn’t a strong backdrop supporting it. Furthermore, all the eyes are on the protagonist of a tale; therefore, 5e backgrounds could either make your character’s story exciting or dull; it’s up to you.

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