You used to do something before adventure, something that gave you unique skills. The following are a list of backgrounds that represent your life before adventure.

Aberrant Scholar

The aberrant, something that has always piqued your curiosity. Ever since the 16th Age, the Age of Crusades, almost all who come back from the Twisted Lands come back mad, but not mad in the usual way. Those who come back are Twisted, they murmur compulsively, drawing or scrawling on walls or paper or whatever they can find in an attempt to get whatever is haunting their mind, out of it. The Aberrant Scholars studied these drawings, trying to understand them, providing extensive information on the Twisted, however, they were often shunned from society because many lost loved ones to the aberrant forces at work in Drakomere, and preferred to not think about it when possible.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Investigation
Languages: Aeberez
Tool Proficiencies: Calligrapher's Supplies
Equipment: Scroll case, calligrapher's supplies, common clothes, a sack containing 10gp, a depiction of an Aberrant Lord, and one trinket.
Aberrant Society. You have spent much time studying the aberrant, and creatures from the Far Realm, thus, you have both kindred spirits, and loss of society. If someone learns of your occupation as an aberrant scholar, most will treat you with resentment or forbidden curiosity, but another aberrant scholar will most likely instantly see you as a companion and do what they can for you. You also have advantage on checks to recall information about aberrations.


You have spent your life in the service of a temple and act as an intermediary between the realm of the holy and the mortal world, performing sacred rites and offering sacrifices in order to conduct worshipers into the presence of the divine. You are not necessarily a cleric—performing sacred rites is not the same thing as channeling divine power. Were you a lesser functionary in a temple, raised from childhood to assist the priests in the sacred rites? Or were you a high priest who suddenly experienced a call to serve your god in a different way? Perhaps you were the leader of a small cult outside of any established temple structure, or even an occult group that served an aberrant master that you now deny.

Skill Proficiencies. Insight, Religion
Languages. High-Speech, Proto-High-Speech and one other language of your choice
Equipment. A Holy Symbol, 5 Sticks of Incense, Vestments, Common Clothes, and 15GP
Shelter of the Faithful. As an acolyte, you command the respect of those who share your faith, and you can perform the religious ceremonies of your faith. You and your adventuring companions can expect to receive free healing and care at a temple, shrine, or other established presence of your faith, though you must provide any material components needed for spells. Those who share your religion will support you (but only you) with a modest lifestyle.
You might also have ties to a specific temple dedicated to your chosen deity or pantheon, and you have a residence there. This could be the temple where you used to serve, if you remain on good terms with it, or a temple where you have found a new home. While near your temple, you can call upon the priests for assistance, provided the assistance you ask for is not hazardous and you remain in good standing with your temple.
You also have lesser magical power, you know the Thaumaturgy cantrip and use Wisdom as your spellcasting modifier.


You have always been fascinated by other cultures, from the most ancient and primeval lost lands to the most modern civilizations. By studying other cultures’ customs, philosophies, laws, rituals, religious beliefs, languages, and art, you have learned how tribes, empires, and all forms of society in between craft their own destinies and doom. This knowledge came to you not only through books and scrolls, but also through first-hand observation—by visiting far-flung settlements and exploring local histories and customs.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Religion
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A leather-bound diary, a bottle of ink, an ink pen, a set of traveler’s clothes, one trinket of special significance, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Linguist. You can communicate with humanoids who don’t speak any language you know. You must observe the humanoids interacting with one another for at least 1 day, after which you learn a handful of important words, expressions, and gestures—enough to communicate on a rudimentary level.
Additionally, it takes you only 100 days of work, costing 1GP a day to learn a language, as opposed to 250 days of work, costing 1GP a day.


An archaeologist learns about the long-lost and fallen cultures of the past by studying their remains — their bones, their ruins, their surviving masterworks, and their tombs. Those who practice archaeology travel to the far corners of the world to root through crumbled cities and lost dungeons, digging in search of artifacts that might tell the stories of monarchs and high priests, wars and cataclysms.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Cartographer’s Tools or Navigator’s Tools
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A wooden case containing a map to a ruin or dungeon, a bullseye lantern, a miner’s pick, a set of traveler’s clothes, a shovel, a two-person tent, a trinket recovered from a dig site, and a pouch containing 25 gp
Historical Knowledge. When you enter a ruin or dungeon, you can correctly ascertain its original purpose and determine its builders, whether those were dwarves, elves, humans, ìqáalìe, or some other known race. In addition, you can determine the monetary value of art objects more than an Age old.
You also have advantage on Intelligence (History) in relation to history that is more than an Age old.


You strive to perfect yourself physically and in execution of everything you do. The thrill of competition lights fire in your blood, and the roar of the crowd drives you forward. Tales of your exploits precede you and might open doors or loosen tongues. Physical contests and those who pursue them command respect bordering on reverence. Athletes arise from all walks of life and all cultures and quite often cross paths with one another.

Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (Land)
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A bronze discus or leather ball, a lucky charm or past trophy, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Echoes of Victory. You have attracted admiration among spectators, fellow athletes, and trainers in the region that hosted your past athletic victories. When visiting any settlement within 100 miles of where you grew up, there is a 50 percent chance you can find someone there who admires you and is willing to provide information or temporary shelter. Additionally, you have advantage on saving throws against Exhaustion and can treat your exhaustion level as one level lower then what it is.


You have always had a way with people. You know what makes them tick, you can tease out their hearts’ desires after a few minutes of conversation, and with a few leading questions you can read them like they were children’s books. It’s a useful talent, and one that you’re perfectly willing to use for your advantage. You know what people want and you deliver, or rather, you promise to deliver. Common sense should steer people away from things that sound too good to be true, but common sense seems to be in short supply when you’re around. The bottle of pink-colored liquid will surely cure that unseemly rash, this ointment — nothing more than a bit of fat with a sprinkle of silver dust — can restore youth and vigor, and there’s a bridge in the city that just happens to be for sale. These marvels sound implausible, but you make them sound like the real deal.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Sleight of Hand
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), your signature trinket, and a pouch containing 15 gp
False Identity. You have created a second identity that includes documentation, established acquaintances, and disguises that allow you to assume that persona. Additionally, you can forge documents including official papers and personal letters, as long as you have seen an example of the kind of document or the handwriting you are trying to copy. You also either choose or roll for a trinket, this is your signature trinket. You can spend 1 minute if you have access to random odds and ends to craft your signature trinket

Cloistered Scholar

As a child, you were inquisitive when your playmates were possessive or raucous. In your formative years, you found your way to one of Drakomere’s great institutes of learning, where you were apprenticed and taught that knowledge is a more valuable treasure than gold or gems. Now you are ready to leave your home—not to abandon it, but to quest for new lore to add to its storehouse of knowledge.

Skill Proficiencies: History, plus your choice of one from among Arcana, Nature, and Religion
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: The scholar’s robes of your cloister, a writing kit (small pouch with a quill, ink, folded parchment, and a small penknife), a borrowed book on the subject of your current study, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Library Access. Though others must often endure extensive interviews and significant fees to gain access to even the most common archives in your library, you have free and easy access to the majority of the library, though it might also have repositories of lore that are too valuable, magical, or secret to permit anyone immediate access.
You have a working knowledge of your cloister’s personnel and bureaucracy, and you know how to navigate those connections with some ease.
Additionally, you are likely to gain preferential treatment at other libraries in Drakomere, as professional courtesy shown to a fellow scholar.
Also, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, and choose one skill, you may use the chosen ability score for that check instead, if the chosen skill uses the chosen ability score already, you may replace an ability check roll of 9 or lower with a 10 with that skill a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, regaining expended uses at the end of a long rest.


In your earlier days, you were a personage of some significance in a noble court or a bureaucratic organization. You might or might not come from an upper-class family; your talents, rather than the circumstances of your birth, could have secured you this position. Even if you are no longer a full-fledged member of the group that gave you your start in life, your relationships with your former fellows can be an advantage for you and your adventuring comrades. You might undertake missions with your new companions that further the interest of the organization that gave you your start in life. In any event, the abilities that you honed while serving as a courtier will stand you in good stead as an adventurer.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A set of fine clothes and a pouch containing 5 gp
Court Functionary. Your knowledge of how bureaucracies function lets you gain access to the records and inner workings of any noble court or government you encounter. You know who the movers and shakers are, whom to go to for the favors you seek, and what the current intrigues of interest in the group are.
In addition, you know how to discreetly support your allies efforts while not drawing any notice to yourself. When you take the Help action targeting all creatures of your choice within 5 feet of you.
No creature can determine you are providing this aid unless it takes an action to successfully make a Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) or Charisma (Performance) check.”


You are an experienced criminal with a history of breaking the law. You have spent a lot of time among other criminals and still have contacts within the criminal underworld. You’re far closer than most people to the world of murder, theft, and violence that pervades the underbelly of civilization, and you have survived up to this point by flouting the rules and regulations of society.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Stealth
Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, thieves’ tools
Equipment: A crowbar, a set of dark common clothes including a hood, and a pouch containing 15 gp
Criminal Contact. You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as your liaison to a network of other criminals. You know how to get messages to and from your contact, even over great distances; specifically, you know the local messengers, corrupt caravan masters, and seedy sailors who can deliver messages for you. Also when you roll Deception or Stealth and roll a 9 or lower on the die, you can treat the number on the die as a 10. You can do this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, regaining expended uses at the end of a long rest.


You thrive in front of an audience. You know how to entrance them, entertain them, and even inspire them. Your poetics can stir the hearts of those who hear you, awakening grief or joy, laughter or anger. Your music raises their spirits or captures their sorrow. Your dance steps captivate, your humor cuts to the quick. Whatever techniques you use, your art is your life.

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 pouch containing 15 gp
By Popular Demand. You can always find a place to perform, usually in an inn or tavern but possibly with a circus, at a theater, or even in a noble’s court. At such a place, you receive free lodging and food of a modest or comfortable standard (depending on the quality of the establishment), as long as you perform each night. In addition, your performance makes you something of a local figure. When strangers recognize you in a town where you have performed, they typically take a liking to you. You can also enthrall a crowd, after performing for 10 minutes, all creatures of your choice become enthralled by you for 1 hour or until you stop performing, if they choose to, they can make a wisdom saving throw with a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma Modifier, becoming enthralled on a failure. Enthralled creatures have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and all creatures within 100ft of you have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.


You are haunted by something so terrible that you dare not speak of it. You’ve tried to bury it and run away from it, to no avail. Whatever this thing is that haunts you can’t be slain with a sword or banished with a spell. It might come to you as a shadow on the wall, a bloodcurdling nightmare, a memory that refuses to die, or a demonic whisper in the dark. The burden has taken its toll, isolating you from most people and making you question your sanity. You must find a way to overcome it before it destroys you. You were twisted by one of the seven Aberrant Lords in the Twisted Lands, you've since been cured, but those buried memories can never be brought up without risk of you going mad.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from among Arcana, Investigation, Religion, or Survival
Languages: Aeberez, Proto-Aeberez, and one other language of your choice.
Equipment: A monster hunter’s pack, one trinket, a set of common clothes, and 1 sp.
Heart of Darkness. Those who look into your eyes can see that you have faced unimaginable horror and that you are no stranger to darkness. Though they might fear you, commoners will extend you every courtesy and do their utmost to help you. Unless you have shown yourself to be a danger to them, they will even take up arms to fight alongside you, should you find yourself facing an enemy alone. You also have advantage on saving throws against being frightened and cannot be Twisted.


You have spent your life aboard fishing vessels or combing the shallows for the bounty of the ocean. Perhaps you were born into a family of fisher folk, working with your kin to feed your village. Maybe the job was a means to an end — a way out of an undesirable circumstance that forced you to take up life aboard a ship. Regardless of how you began, you soon fell in love with the sea, the art of fishing, and the promise of the eternal horizon.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Survival
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: Fishing tackle, a net, a favorite fishing lure or oiled leather wading boots, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Harvest the Water. You gain advantage on ability checks made using fishing tackle. If you have access to a body of water that sustains marine life, you can maintain a moderate lifestyle while working as a fisher, and you can catch enough food to feed yourself and up to ten other people each day. Additionally you have advantage on animal handling checks made against bests with swimming speeds.

Folk Hero

You come from a humble social rank, but you are destined for so much more. Already the people of your home village regard you as their champion, and your destiny calls you to stand against the tyrants and monsters that threaten the common folk everywhere.

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 pouch containing 10 gp
Rustic Hospitality. Since you come from the ranks of the common folk, you fit in among them with ease. You can find a place to hide, rest, or recuperate among other commoners, unless you have shown yourself to be a danger to them. They will shield you from the law or anyone else searching for you, though they will not risk their lives for you. You can also tell tales of your greatness to either inspire allies. As a Reaction to succeeding a Saving Throw, you can give up to five allies within 15ft of you a number of Temporary Hit Points equal to your level. You can use this feature once per long rest.


All you need to make a lot of gold is a little gold. Except at those times when all you need to have no gold at all is a little gold. Whether you’re a good gambler or a bad one rarely matters, because no one can divine the whims of Lady Luck. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. But the thing about gambling is that someone is always willing to take a bet.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Insight
Tool Proficiencies: One gaming set
Languages: Any one of your choice
Equipment: One gaming set, a lucky charm, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp
Never Tell Me the Odds. Odds and probability are your bread and butter. During downtime activities that involve games of chance or figuring odds on the best plan, you can get a solid sense of which choice is likely the best one and which opportunities seem too good to be true, at the DM’s determination. You can also reroll an ability check, saving throw, or attack roll you make as a reaction, regaining the use of this ability after you finish a long rest.

Guild Artisan

You are a member of an artisan’s guild, skilled in a particular field and closely associated with other artisans. You are a well-established part of the mercantile world, freed by talent and wealth from the constraints of a feudal social order. You learned your skills as an apprentice to a master artisan, under the sponsorship of your guild, until you became a master in your own right.

Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Persuasion
Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools (one of your choice), a letter of introduction from your guild, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 15 gp
Guild Membership. As an established and respected member of a guild, you can rely on certain benefits that membership provides. Your fellow guild members will provide you with lodging and food if necessary, and pay for your funeral if needed. In some cities and towns, a guildhall offers a central place to meet other members of your profession, which can be a good place to meet potential patrons, allies, or hirelings.
Guilds often wield tremendous political power. If you are accused of a crime, your guild will support you if a good case can be made for your innocence or the crime is justifiable. You can also gain access to powerful political figures through the guild, if you are a member in good standing. Such connections might require the donation of money or magic items to the guild’s coffers.
You must pay dues of 5 gp per month to the guild. If you miss payments, you must make up back dues to remain in the guild’s good graces.
Also being established in a guild, you can sell products of the type your guild makes for full price, instead of half the price as is usual for adventurers.


You lived in seclusion — either in a sheltered community such as a monastery, or entirely alone — for a formative part of your life. In your time apart from the clamor of society, you found quiet, solitude, and perhaps some of the answers you were looking for.

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
Discovery The quiet seclusion of your extended hermitage gave you access to a unique and powerful discovery. The exact nature of this revelation depends on the nature of your seclusion. It might be a great truth about the cosmos, the deities, the powerful beings of the outer planes, or the forces of nature. It could be a site that no one else has ever seen. You might have uncovered a fact that has long been forgotten, or unearthed some relic of the past that could rewrite history. It might be information that would be damaging to the people who consigned you to exile, and hence the reason for your return to society. Work with your DM to determine the details of your discovery and its impact on the campaign. Additionally, you can give yourself advantage on one Intelligence or Wisdom based skill check you or a creature within 15ft of you makes, regaining use of this ability at the end of a long rest.


You have served the community where you grew up, standing as its first line of defense against crime. You aren’t a soldier, directing your gaze outward at possible enemies. Instead, your service to your hometown was to help police its populace, protecting the citizenry from lawbreakers and malefactors of every stripe. Even if you’re not city-born or city-bred, this background can describe your early years as a member of law enforcement. Most settlements of any size have their own constables and police forces, and even smaller communities have sheriffs and bailiffs who stand ready to protect their community.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A uniform in the style of your unit and indicative of your rank, a horn with which to summon help, a set of manacles, and a pouch containing 10 gp
Watcher’s Eye. Your experience in enforcing the law, and dealing with lawbreakers, gives you a feel for local laws and criminals. You can easily find the local outpost of the watch or a similar organization, and just as easily pick out the dens of criminal activity in a community, although you’re more likely to be welcome in the former locations rather than the latter. Additionally, you have advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks.


You were trained for battle on sandy beaches and rocky shores. You have launched midnight raids from swift ships whose names evoke terror in the hearts of your adversaries. The water is your second home, the rain your shelter, and the crashing waves your battle cry.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (water, land)
Equipment: A dagger that belonged to a fallen comrade, a folded flag emblazoned with the symbol of your ship or company, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp
Steady. You can move twice the normal amount of time (up to 16 hours) each day before being subject to the effect of a forced march. Additionally, you can automatically find a safe route to land a boat on shore, provided such a route exists. Additionally, you have advantage on checks made to resist exhaustion.

Mercenary Veteran

As a sell-sword who fought battles for coin, you’re well acquainted with risking life and limb for a chance at a share of treasure. Now, you look forward to fighting foes and reaping even greater rewards as an adventurer. Your experience makes you familiar with the ins and outs of mercenary life, and you likely have harrowing stories of events on the battlefield. Now you’re looking for something else, perhaps greater reward for the risks you take, or the freedom to choose your own activities. For whatever reason, you’re leaving behind the life of a soldier for hire, but your skills are undeniably suited for battle, so now you fight on in a different way.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Persuasion
Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, vehicles (land)
Equipment: A uniform of your company (traveler’s clothes in quality), an insignia of your rank, a gaming set of your choice, and a pouch containing the remainder of your last wages (10 gp)
Mercenary Life. You know the mercenary life as only someone who has experienced it can. You are able to identify mercenary companies by their emblems, and you know a little about any such company, including the names and reputations of its commanders and leaders, and who has hired them recently. You can find the taverns and festhalls where mercenaries abide in any area, as long as you speak the language. You can find mercenary work between adventures sufficient to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
Additionally, if you don't have proficiency with any armor, you gain proficiency with light armor. If you didn't have proficiency with light armor, you gain proficiency with medium armor. If you didn't have proficiency with medium armor, you gain proficiency with heavy armor. If you had proficiency with heavy armor, you take 1 less damage from non-magical slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage.


You understand wealth, power, and privilege. You carry a noble title, and your family owns land, collects taxes, and wields significant political influence. You might be a pampered aristocrat unfamiliar with work or discomfort, a former merchant just elevated to the nobility, or a disinherited scoundrel with a disproportionate sense of entitlement. Or you could be an honest, hard-working landowner who cares deeply about the people who live and work on your land, keenly aware of your responsibility to them.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Persuasion
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
Position of Privilege. Thanks to your noble birth, people are inclined to think the best of you. You are welcome in high society, and people assume you have the right to be wherever you are. The common folk make every effort to accommodate you and avoid your displeasure, and other people of high birth treat you as a member of the same social sphere. You can secure an audience with a local noble if you need to.
You also have the service of three retainers loyal to your family. These retainers can be attendants or messengers, and one might be a majordomo. Your retainers are commoners who can perform mundane tasks for you, but they do not fight for you, will not follow you into obviously dangerous areas (such as dungeons), and will leave if they are frequently endangered or abused.


You grew up in the wilds, far from civilization and the comforts of town and technology. You’ve witnessed the migration of herds larger than forests, survived weather more extreme than any city-dweller could comprehend, and enjoyed the solitude of being the only thinking creature for miles in any direction. The wilds are in your blood, whether you were a nomad, an explorer, a recluse, a hunter-gatherer, or even a marauder. Even in places where you don’t know the specific features of the terrain, you know the ways of the wild.

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 pouch containing 10 gp
Wanderer. You have an excellent memory for maps and geography, and you have advantage on recalling the general layout of terrain, settlements, the general population of animals living there, and other features around you. In addition, you can find food and fresh water for yourself and up to five other people each day, provided that the land offers berries, small game, water, and so forth.


You spent years learning the lore of the multiverse. You scoured manuscripts, studied scrolls, and listened to the greatest experts on the subjects that interest you. Your efforts have made you a master in your fields of study.

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 pouch containing 10 gp
Researcher. When you attempt to learn or recall a piece of lore, if you do not know that information, you often know where and from whom you can obtain it. Usually, this information comes from a library, scriptorium, university, or a sage or other learned person or creature. Your DM might rule that the knowledge you seek is secreted away in an almost inaccessible place, or that it simply cannot be found. Unearthing the deepest secrets of the multiverse can require an adventure or even a whole campaign.
Additionally, you are likely to gain preferential treatment at other libraries in Drakomere, as professional courtesy shown to a fellow scholar.
Also, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma, and choose one skill, you may use the chosen ability score for that check instead, if the chosen skill uses the chosen ability score already, you may replace an ability check roll of 9 or lower with a 10 with that skill a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, regaining expended uses at the end of a long rest.


You sailed on a seagoing vessel for years. In that time, you faced down mighty storms, monsters of the deep, and those who wanted to sink your craft to the bottomless depths. Your first love is the distant line of the horizon, but the time has come to try your hand at something new.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: Navigator’s tools, vehicles (water)
Equipment: A belaying pin (club), 50 feet of 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 pouch containing 10 gp
Ship's Passage. When you need to, you can secure free passage on a sailing ship for yourself and your adventuring companions. You might sail on the ship you served on, or another ship you have good relations with (perhaps one captained by a former crewmate). Because you’re calling in a favor, you can’t be certain of a schedule or route that will meet your every need. Your Dungeon Master will determine how long it takes to get where you need to go. In return for your free passage, you and your companions are expected to assist the crew during the voyage. Also, no matter where you go, people are afraid of you due to your reputation. When you are in a civilized settlement, you can get away with minor criminal offenses, such as refusing to pay for food at a tavern or breaking down doors at a local shop, since most people will not report your activity to the authorities.


You have sailed into war on the decks of great ships, patching their hulls with soup bowls and prayers. You once helped build a fishing vessel that single-handedly saved a town from starvation. You have seen a majestic prow in your dreams that you have not been able to replicate in wood. Since childhood, you have loved the water and have been captivated by the many vessels that travel on it.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: Carpenter’s tools, vehicles (water)
Equipment: A set of well-loved carpenter’s tools, a blank book, 1 ounce of ink, an ink pen, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a leather pouch with 10 gp
Shipcunning. You have expertise in checks to learn about the nature of ships, what materials they are made out of, who made them, their purpose, etc. Additionally, provided you have carpenter’s tools and wood, you can perform repairs on a water vehicle. When you use this ability, you restore a number of hit points to the hull of a water vehicle equal to 5 × your proficiency modifier. A vehicle cannot be patched by you in this way again until after it has been pulled ashore and fully repaired.


On a rickety barge, you carried a hundred longswords in fish barrels right past the dock master’s oblivious lackeys. You have paddled a riverboat filled with stolen elven wine under the gaze of the moon and sold it for twice its value in the morning. In your more charitable times, you have transported innocents out of war zones or helped guide herd animals to safety on the banks of a burning river.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Deception
Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (water)
Equipment: A fancy leather vest or a pair of leather boots, a set of common clothes, and a leather pouch with 15 gp
Down Low. You are acquainted with a network of smugglers who are willing to help you out of tight situations. While in a particular town, city, or other similarly sized community (DM’s discretion), you and your companions can stay for free in safe houses. Safe houses provide a poor lifestyle. While staying at a safe house, you can choose to keep your presence (and that of your companions) a secret. Also, when trying to conceal an object on your person or disguise it as something else, you treat a roll of 4 or lower as a 5.


War has been your life for as long as you care to remember. You trained as a youth, studied the use of weapons and armor, learned basic survival techniques, including how to stay alive on the battlefield. You might have been part of a standing national army or a mercenary company, or perhaps a member of a local militia who rose to prominence during a recent war.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation
Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, vehicles (land)
Equipment: An insignia of 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 pouch containing 10 gp
Military Rank. You have a military rank from your career as a soldier. Soldiers loyal to your former military organization still recognize your authority and influence, and they defer to you if they are of a lower rank. You can invoke your rank to exert influence over other soldiers and requisition simple equipment or horses for temporary use. You can also usually gain access to friendly military encampments and fortresses where your rank is recognized. Additionally, if you don't have proficiency with any armor, you gain proficiency with light armor. If you didn't have proficiency with light armor, you gain proficiency with medium armor. If you didn't have proficiency with medium armor, you gain proficiency with heavy armor. If you had proficiency with heavy armor, you take 1 less damage from non-magical slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage.

Urban Bounty Hunter

Before you became an adventurer, your life was already full of conflict and excitement, because you made a living tracking down people for pay. Unlike some people who collect bounties, though, you aren’t a savage who follows quarry into or through the wilderness. You’re involved in a lucrative trade, in the place where you live, that routinely tests your skills and survival instincts. What’s more, you aren’t alone, as a bounty hunter in the wild would be: you routinely interact with both the criminal subculture and other bounty hunters, maintaining contacts in both areas to help you succeed.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from among Deception, Insight, Persuasion, and Stealth
Tool Proficiencies: Choose two from among one type of gaming set, one musical instrument, and thieves’ tools
Equipment: A set of clothes appropriate to your duties and a pouch containing 20 gp
Ear to the Ground. You are in frequent contact with people in the segment of society that your chosen quarries move through. These people might be associated with the criminal underworld, the rough-and-tumble folk of the streets, or members of high society. This connection comes in the form of a contact in any city you visit, a person who provides information about the people and places of the local area. Additionally, after observing a creature for 1 minute, you can mark it as your quarry. For the next ten days, you have advantage on checks to track your quarry and determine if your quarry is attempting to disguise themself or deceive you. If you deal damage to your quarry then they are marked for ten days again, refreshing the duration.


You grew up on the streets alone, orphaned, and poor. You had no one to watch over you or to provide for you, so you learned to provide for yourself. You fought fiercely over food and kept a constant watch out for other desperate souls who might steal from you. You slept on rooftops and in alleyways, exposed to the elements, and endured sickness without the advantage of medicine or a place to recuperate. You’ve survived despite all odds, and did so through cunning, strength, speed, or some combination of each.

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 pouch containing 10 gp
City Secrets. You know the secret patterns and flow to cities and can find passages through the urban sprawl that others would miss. When you are not in combat, you (and companions you lead) can travel between any two locations in the city twice as fast as your speed would normally allow. Additionally, your speed increases by 5ft.