Adventurer (5e Background)

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This content deviates from 5th Edition standards; Its use could dramatically alter campaigns, take extreme care. DesignDisclaimer.png
Caution - Here there be monsters!
This content intends to provide a different experience, or goes beyond the scope of the anticipated subjects and situations, than the 5th Edition rules were intended to handle. Some portions of the content below may not be what you expect from traditional game content. When implementing this content, DMs and Players should read over all the information carefully, and consider the following specific notes of interest:
This background bends the guidelines somewhat, in that it assumes you never changed professions, as opposed to your background necessarily being something you used to do. It also includes, in no uncertain terms, a weapon or piece of armor as part of its starting gear, which may be controversial for some players or DMs.


You never stopped following your profession- you have always been an adventurer for as long as you have had a profession. Now, "adventuring" in this sense is not the same as the dragon-slaying heroism typical of in-play adventuring. Really, a more accurate description would be along the lines of "helpful grave-robbing", and probably involved a lot more sneaking around, running in terror, setting traps, and possibly taking credit for the work of others, or complete strokes of luck.

  • Maybe your parents were adventurers,
  • Maybe you were rescued by a group of adventurers who then raised you,
  • Maybe being an adventurer is a respectable profession in your homeland,
  • Maybe you ran away at a young age to become an adventurer,
  • Maybe you grew up in an adventurers guild hall,
  • Maybe you're just starting out new and fresh to the profession

Whatever the case is, you are willing and able to do work that nobody in their right mind would even consider. As an adventurer, you have likely traveled extensively, encountered violence and death, are comfortable around magic, and have likely seen many a strange, terrible, and wonderful thing. Many professional adventurers use a sort of professional slang or jargon resembling game terms, such as referring to people by their perceived "level", or ranking enemies by supposed "challenge ratings". What took you down this path, and where has it taken you? Are you pushed by some driving goal, or flee from some terrible thing? Or do you just go wherever the money flows? Are you an experienced party member, or are you more of the loner riding in the back of the cart? Were you trained up to be a professional, or did you learn by experience? What kinds of adventures have you had? What amazing sights have you seen? How have these experiences changed you?

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics or Acrobatics, and Insight or Perception

Tool Proficiencies: Thieves' Tools.

Languages: You may speak two exotic languages, or you may be fully literate with one standard language.

Equipment: A small foldable and/or concealable knife, a set of traveler's clothes, a small pouch containing 15gp, a shovel, a crowbar, one trophy, (such as a trinket from PHB p.160) one cloak.

Party Role[edit]

No adventurer is as great as the party, for no adventurer is quite alike. They must depend on the unique talents and tactics of their party to succeed in their dangerous world.

d6 Party Role
1 The Brains
2 The Muscle
3 The Professional
4 The Coin
5 The Sneak
6 The Load

Feature: Beloved Outcast[edit]

You can always find a job, but somehow you can never find a place to sleep. People know you`re good for the work, but the fact that you are indicates that you`re probably not the sort of person they want to have around. People view adventurers in a mixed light with conflicting values. On the one hand, most adventurers are nothing more than murderous, grave-robbing vagrants. On the other hand, who else will rob that grave and murder those local bullies for you? Most common folk consider adventurers to be dangerous, unpredictable, and probably insane... But in a world filled with slavers, mad cults, dragons, walking dead, pit fiends, and extradimensional horrors, just about everyone could find a use for a psychotic sell-sword. Adventurers who survive and reach higher renown may find they have a small following of supporters or fans, but even they may cringe at the idea of that adventurer spending an evening in their home. Most adventurers by profession are members of an adventurers guild through which they can readily attain professional work and contacts in the field.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Adventurers are quite the varied lot, and ascribing any common traits to them beyond "they adventure" is difficult.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I speak with an accent nobody recognizes.
2 I look at the ceiling every time I enter a room, even if I was just there five seconds ago.
3 I assume every job is a trap.
4 I take notes about everyone and everything I encounter everywhere I go.
5 I leave marks for myself wherever I go, as messages to myself when I return. Their meaning is known only by me.
6 I tell stories about my adventures to anyone who will listen. Even tales of woe and disaster are retold with enthusiasm!
7 I am more accustomed to life on the road or underground than in a settlement or my actual "home".
8 I only respect other adventurers.
d6 Ideal
1 Virtue. I am the sword of virtue for those in need! (Good)
2 Curiosity. If the job is interesting, I'm in! (Neutral)
3 Control. I'll do the work, but some day I will return with a request... (Evil)
4 Justice. I fill the cracks crime slips through. (Lawful)
5 Wealth. I'm in it for the money! (Neutral)
6 Boredom. Get me away from this boring life! (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 The things I have with me are everything I have and everything I am.
2 The people who raised me made me into an adventurer.
3 I am on a quest to obtain some rare or important object.
4 I can never linger anywhere for too long, or my secret will catch up to me.
5 I cannot remember my past before I was an adventurer.
6 I need to be the most famous adventurer alive.
d6 Flaw
1 Adventuring has either made me jaded and pessimistic, or paranoid and jumpy.
2 I am almost dangerously greedy.
3 I cannot resist a drink, or the folk who serve it.
4 I egregiously underestimate or overestimate the risks a job represents.
5 I cannot maintain meaningful relationships.
6 I cannot manage money to save my life.

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