Actual Criminal (5e Background)

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April Fools!
This content is not designed for use in regular games, and may affect overall balance and gameplay. Take caution when using this material.

Actual Criminal

You are either a hypocrite or a psychopath. You believe that it's totally fine to blackmail people, kill them anyways, and rob their corpses, so long as you never get caught. You are only playing D&D for the power fantasy.

What is wrong with you? Do you find pleasure in pissing people off? Are you completely unable to sympathize with anyone but yourself? Do you delude yourself into thinking you're a good guy in a transparent attempt to justify your actions? Are you just an idiot? How to do get out of bed in the morning, knowing you're a complete blight on civilization, that everyone with more than two brain cells wants you dead, and that the people you call "friends" only care about you so long as it directly benefits themselves?

Skill Proficiencies: Lying, Avoiding Consequences

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set that you'll never use because who cares, Cowards' Tools

Equipment: A key to the city, a set of extremely conspicuous midnight-black robes with scary cowl, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp, all stolen from someone you barely know yet somehow "deserved it". Yeah, right.

Criminal Specialty

There are many types of horrible people, but you're a specific type of horrible person. Choose a Specialty from the table below:

d8 Specialty
1 Blackmailer, but they deserved it!
2 Burglar, but they deserved it!
3 Enforcer (kind way of saying murderer), but they deserved it!
4 Fence (Different way of saying "Sells stolen goods"), You'd better hold on to your stuff!
5 Highway robber, but they deserved it!
6 Hired killer (another kind way of saying murderer), but they deserved it!
7 Pickpocket, but they deserved it!
8 (In the real world you would be a) Smuggler (but since this is D&D there's other illegal things people smuggle. Like weap...oh, wait, those are not illegal. Stolen goo...oh wait, there's no good registries to identify stolen goods, making smugglers kinda pointless. Yeah, you smuggle drugs.)

Feature: Criminal Contact

You are part of a network of the worst people alive. In case the consequences of your actions actually catch up to you, you have bosses the whine to. And because D&D has been designed to feed into your power fantasy, it'll work every time. I hope I never have to meet you in real life.

Variant: Spy

You're still a criminal, but you pretend not to be. You delude yourself into believing you working for a greater cause, when all you're really doing is stripping people of their privacy. You know everything about everyone, then only release the information that benefits you. You're a lot like a tabloid reporter, but with even less personal responsibility.

Suggested Characteristics

d8 Personality Trait
1 I always have a plan for what to do when things go wrong: blame the DM.
2 I am always calm, no matter what the situation. I never raise my voice or display any emotion whatsoever. I think that if I act professional, I always have the moral high ground.
3 The first thing I do in a new place is note the locations of everything valuable, before I even know who owns them. I don't care if it's someone's treasured family heirloom, I want money and I don't care how I get it.
4 I manipulate people into liking me, even though I'm a complete sociopath.
5 I don't believe anything anyone else says, because I am always right.
6 The only philosophy I care to learn comes from Star Wars.
7 I am overcompensating for something.
8 I'm also overcompensating for something.
d6 Ideal
1 Honor, Whatever That Means. I willingly support other criminals in a bid to make the world a worse place for everyone but me. (Lawful)
2 Ego. Don't tell me what to do, or I'll make you suffer. (Chaotic)
3 Hypocrisy. I try and justify my crimes to myself by giving back to the community, even though I stole everything from that same community. (Good?)
4 Social Darwinism. I'm not even trying to justify my actions. (Evil)
5 Vanity. I don't care about anyone except those that directly help me. (Neutral)
6 Writer's Cop Out. My ideals are too vague to mean anything, but hey, the book says my alignment's Good! (Good)
d6 Bond
1 I have a bond I ignore.
2 I have a bond I ignore.
3 I have a bond I ignore.
4 I have a bond I ignore.
5 I have a bond I ignore.
6 I have a bond I ignore.
d6 Flaw
1 Excuse to be a horrible person.
2 Also an excuse to be a horrible person.
3 Really, I have no idea how these don't impact alignment.
4 Not an excuse to be a horrible person, but I don't care.
5 Excuse to be a horrible person. (Surprise!)
6 Legitimately disturbing excuse to be a horrible person. Seriously: "An innocent person is in prison for a crime that I committed. I'm okay with that." Who writes this!?

Disclaimer: This is a parody of bad roleplaying. It is not representative of the D&D community as a whole, or of any specific person. However, the author stands by this article as an unfortunate, yet accurate portrayal of certain D&D players. Whether they're horrible people or just ignorant, we all know who they are, and we all know what they deserve.

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