100 Character Backgrounds (DnD Other)
From D&D Wiki
Character backgrounds can be difficult to create, especially for players new to creating their own characters. If you're new to the game, or have just been playing so long you think you've run out of ideas, then this is the place for you. [Still a lot to add, feel free to add your own]
- Lone Wolf: You have always been alone for as long as you can remember, whether you live in a forest or a village- people never really bothered you. Now you are forced to band with others because there becomes a point in survival where being alone is too much, and the best way to live safely is with others who care for you.
- Destiny: You are destined for greatness. You seem to fulfill some ancient local, or maybe even global, prophecy. You may not have been a noble, but either way you lived a cherished life. People brought gifts and offerings to you hoping to either be blessed with good fortune by the gods, or assist you in your quest somehow. You eventually left home to fulfill your supposed destiny.
- Zealot: You were raised in a clergy, and a strict one at that. At some point you began to believe that your religion is the true one, and everyone else is following the wrong path. So you've set out on a pilgrimage to convert others to your religion.
- The Royal: You're a noble, and you've left home having been struck by wanderlust. Stranded in a far away land, you quickly spent your savings and now must lower your standards to survive among the filthy common folk.
- Unwanted Royalty: Your family is rich, and you're considered a noble or maybe even a prince, but you don't want that. Maybe your large inheritance would tempt others, but you want adventure. So you've left home in seek of it.
- The Slave: You've always been dealt the short end of the straw. While others were born the child of a merchant or noble, you were born a slave. You know little of science and history, but you can fight well enough. So you've escaped your owner to taste freedom for once.
- Fiend Slave: The worst life imaginable. Your family were murdered by demons or devils, and you were taken as a slave. You've been forced to fend for your life in horrid and terrifying ways, but you survived. Maybe your evil temperament helped you surviv e such monstrosities, or perhaps the goodness in your soul was so pure that you found a way to manage yourself in the abyss. Either you've somehow escaped your captors and arrived on the Material Plane, or you've become stranded there for now, and intend to maintain contact with your fiendish master.
- Warrior of Good: You were raised in a clergy or joined a temple at a young age, and worked there for several years, but you've struggled with focusing on prayer. While others die on the fields of war against evil, you were stuck there. Eventually it became too much, and you left the clergy to eventually become a war priest.
- Elvish Raised: You've learned of other races from elvish teachings. Maybe you are an elf that was raised in a closed off village, or maybe you were a human or halfling taken in by an elvish family. Either way, you are familiar with elven customs and their ways. You speak their tongue, and you use mannerisms used by elves (Calling dwarves "cave dwellers", etc.)
- The Guardian: You didn't want adventure, but someone you care for does. So what could you do? You tag along with them, protecting them with your very life from harm.
- Kender Wanderlust: It's known that kenders suffer from an undeniable wanderlust when they come of age. Many leave home and never return, lost in bewilderment by the wanders of the world. Few know that even distant descendants carry on the wanderlust. So even ordinary humans with no known kender ancestors can suffer from this extreme wanderlust, and leave home.
- Simple Peasant: You were a peasant. Your parents either farmers, clothiers, clergymen, or anything else that generally paid fairly little. You became an adventurer when your parents died, and you've been traveling ever since.
- Unwanted Child/ Illegitimate birth: You might be a child of mixed heritage, such as: A well-known Noble family member and a poor servant, or a connection between races such as being a half-elf. But after being disowned by said noble family or sent away because you were not human or elf. So you decide to make your own life decisions, regardless of what will follow.
- Dark Past: Your character did something that has made a large group of people want to chase your character to the ends of the world just to put your character's head on a spike. Whatever faction or factions your character harmed will attack you on sight if they are aware of your identity and think they can win. If they think they can not win, they will wait to strike or get reinforcements. Also, the faction(s) may send or hire assassins, bounty hunters, rangers, mercenaries etc. to track and kill your character, if capable of doing so. Lastly, civilians may go out of their way to alert the appropriate authorities if they are present and the civilian knows about a bounty or is any lawful alignment or any good alignment (and the harmed faction is not evil), or were personally affected by the choice.
Maybe the character was a cook in the king's castle, falsely accused of poisoning the king, and escaped with his or her life. Maybe the character killed his or her master at the monastery because he was a miserable, old fool. Maybe the character eloped with the princess who was betrothed to a rival kingdom and war broke-out between the two states. Regardless, the character must be blamed, truly or falsely, for something that caused great harm to a large faction of people.
The character doesn't necessarily have to be evil to have this flaw. A battle could have gone wrong, civilians were slaughtered, and the blame was put solely on the commanding officer (the PC) causing him or her to be declared a war criminal. In fact, NPC's only need to believe that the character did whatever terrible act regardless of if he or she actually did it. Maybe he or she was falsely accused or framed, for example.
The PC may go to great lengths to conceal his or her true identity and/or story from the other PCs and NPCs. Eventually, the other PCs will find out the truth once the flawed PC's past finally catches up with him or her. This may cause a schism in the group, especially if one of the PCs is a member of the harmed faction. If the PC gains this flaw mid-campaign, he or she may have a lot of explaining to do to the other PCs and/or NPCs. Failure to persuade the other PCs may result in being shunned or exiled from the group at best, or attacked at worst.
- The Lawbringer: Your character was raised among a savage tribe of killers, who slayed innocent men, women and children for mere sport, but you were born with a strong moral compass: you broke free from the tribe, and wander the world alone. You did some unspeakable things in the past, for which you hate yourself deeply and furtively. Above all else, you are physically unable to kill an innocent person: only the guilty can fall before you, those who deserve to die. You are alone. You are angry. But know this: you are the law.
- Survivor: Your character has been through some of the toughest events in recent history. Whomever he knows may be dead, all of his /her followers could have been lost, maybe even his/her entire city was wiped out. Nowadays, you choose the lonely road for it's the only road you know; sometimes however, you stay with others whether they think your 'saving your own skin' or simply being of assistance. Either way, company makes for quite the change.
- Moneybags: You have heard of the riches of adventuring. For simply helping someone or slaying something, you can make a small profit. You have decided to leave your old life behind and begin anew, hoping for riches in the end.
- Unknown: You don't exactly remember what has happened. You remember bits and flashes, but nothing whole, not enough to be able to recall anything. Almost as if you have amnesia.
- Executioner: Your years of decapitating people have made you weary. All you do is kill unarmed men and women for crimes. You're ready for someone, or something, to fight back. You're ready for a challenge.
- Dimension Hopper: You grew up on a separate plane, one possibly already forgotten. You discovered magic to move between random dimensions at will, but have yet to find a way to go back. The last world was strange. Maybe this one will be better.
- Bureaucrat: You have spent your life performing clerical work for a nobleman or filing taxes for an adventurer. Having done little with your own life but hearing of others' adventures emboldens you to seek out glory.
- Hated Ancestry: You are born of two races, or have ancestry in another race. Your home was destroyed by members of one of your races, and you seek to suppress that aspect of your heritage and condemn your own ancestry.
- Gourmet Chef: You have been raised in a kitchen or sought training at a renowned culinary school. You now seek to prepare a unique dish, perhaps perfectly cooked dragon steaks or a stew that can only ve made with a rare herb from a faraway land. You seek the ingredients that will make your dish perfect.
- Demonic Spawn: You were conceived through an unholy union involving a fiend or other evil creature. Loathed by those around you and exiled from your homeland, you either seek to purge your evil nature or embrace it.
- Delusions of Grandeur: You are wholly convinced that you are someone of great importance or power: a noble taking back his or her throne, an almighty lich wielding supreme power, a god in human form sent to save humanity. You cannot be convince that this identity is untrue.
- Alcoholic/Addict: You have long been addicted to some vice, to the point where you have cast aside all friends and family, and are now broke. You desperately need money to acquire your fix, and will risk your life for even a small payoff.
- Scholar: You are a student at a renowned university, or wish desperately to be. You are writing a thesis on some subject that can only be truly understood in the field: vampirism effects and transmission, goblinoid evolution, dungeon architecture, or kobold mating habits. While you may hate fieldwork, you are engrossed in your subject and seek knowledge.
- Death Seeker: You have always found your own existence to be hellish torment, perhaps due to a debilitating disease or the evil voices in your thoughts. You are unable to bring yourself to die outright, so you seek death in the dangerous world of adventuring.
- Raised Undead: You were raised from the dead by a mage practicing necromancy, who restored your mind to some degree. Far in the future from when you were alive, you struggle to fit into the new world you find yourself once again inhabiting.
- Dreamer: You are quite sure that this world is a fantastical dream from which you will eventually awaken. With no regards for consequences and a desire to enjoy the dream, you adventure for fun while knowing that death cannot harm you.
- Switched Soul: A mistake in a resurrection, teleportation, or telepathic spell left your mind in the body of another. You are recognized by their friends, family, and enemies, and either avoid them while seeking your old body or attempt to replace the original.
- Revenge-driven: Someone may have killed your parents, stolen something of importance to you, or otherwise harmed you or your family. Either way, you have left home to seek revenge against this person or group of people.
- Bad past: You were raised by abusive parents, or maybe orphaned at a young age. You had to do some unpleasant things to stay alive. But now you're off to make a better life for yourself by gathering up wealth and glory.
- Abused: You were abused at a young age. This may have led to you running away, or even abandoning your siblings (if you have any) to save yourself.
- widow: Your spouse, whoom you loved more than anything, has been killed,petrified or Maybe even kidnaped. Thus, you have taken the life of adventuring in order to seek retribution for your lost husband or wife and perhaps even to find a way to bring them back.