Ancient One (5e Background)

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Ancient One[edit]

Ancient Warrior, Christian Steve Scampini,

Long, long ago, you ventured into the world to play your part in history. However, for whatever reason, history has moved on, and you continue to exist. You do not age naturally, or contract common diseases, and have lived several lifetimes beyond your race's eldest. Were you blessed by a deity, to gather knowledge far beyond your years? Cursed by fate to watch everyone around you wither away from age and disease? Or mayhap a victim of your own magical experimentation? Regardless of the cause, your soul refuses to give up its claim to life, and gives you an ancient perspective on life.

Where some immortals are relatively young and rash, though, you are far older than your appearance may imply, and you've lived a far sight longer than much anyone alive. You've seen kingdoms rise and fall, history be made, and both good and evil waste away to the passage of time.

The details of your immortality are best left to you and your DM, but it's recommended to use the vanilla Boon of Immortality that prevents aging. Alternative methods could be a dark magic using phylacteries, or some sort of rebirth as a child elsewhere on death.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Insight

Languages: Two languages of your choice

Equipment: A set of traveller's clothes, a heavy cloak or robe, a small trinket from a past life that you always seem to find, and a pouch containing 15 gp


What gives you your undying soul? Why do you live on beyond your years?

d6 Specialization
1 I was blessed and given a purpose by a benevolent being.
2 I was cursed by a cruel being to watch the end of the world.
3 I obtained a Wish spell and gained immortality, for better or worse.
4 I won a bet against a god of death itself in a time long past, and obtained reincarnation.
5 I meticulously set up a cycle of clones and phylacteries to obtain my own immortality.
6 I don't know why I'm immortal... only that I'm older than I've any right to be.

Feature: Lifetimes of Experience[edit]

Ancient perspectives give one a broad range of knowledge and history to draw from, though they often cloud new ideas from being formed. You can often recall information about places that many characters have never ventured, or extrapolate based off similar events. Similarly, historical facts come naturally to you, and many a scholar or ruler values your counsel if you make it available.

Alternate Feature: A World of Connections[edit]

As time passed, you cultivated your connections. In any major town, you know ways to gain an audience with important people. Names to drop, people to refer to, symbols to pull up, and various catchphrases to get you into high (and sometimes low) places. These people may not always know why you know these things, though, so getting the audience itself may be all you can manage.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

While most Ancient Ones simply do not age or contract disease, some simply found a way to reincarnate, albeit generally slowly and with some form of penalty. Others have obtained some kind of far more effective means, though the player should consult with their DM for anything stronger than agelessness or rebirth. Most adventuring Ancient Ones, though, have some quirk pushing them out of their timeless vigils, or a cause pushing them on. Below are some ideas to get you started.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I obsess about my appearance. If I'm this old, I refuse to look it!
2 My worldview is old and obtuse to many, but I won't change it for children.
3 Having seen most everything, I spent time away from the world, to let it catch up. What new things can I explore?
4 I cannot, for the lives of me, replicate the cause of my immortality. I'm so close, though!
5 The world is doomed to repeat itself, and my melancholy attitude makes few friends.
6 My odd mannerisms tend to make people uneasy, though my knowledge tends to eventually make allies.
7 I have a tendency to get bored with what many consider new, and seem disrespectful because of this.
8 Others are unimportant compared to the grand designs of the universe, and I plan to be more than a cog.
d6 Ideal
1 Knowledge. My knowledge is meant to be gathered and shared freely, with all who wish to know. (Good)
2 Prophecy. There are things far beyond the ken of mortals, and I will carry out what must be done. (Lawful)
3 Entropy. Infinite time means infinite plans to serve my ends... and mine shall come to fruition soon. (Chaos)
4 Calamity. The only way to end my cycle is to end the world, and I shall be the one to usher in the end of eras. (Evil)
5 Rest. I only wish to find a way to end this cycle, and finally make peace. (Neutral)
6 Beyond. I have obtained immortality... but what could be even further beyond? (Any)
d6 Bond
1 Bonds are hard to form, as other mortals have such short lives.
2 My immortality is the closest of my secrets, and the knowledge slipping away could do irreversible harm.
3 I do not form alliances easily, and trust slowly.
4 I revere the one that gave me immortality, and seek to understand them.
5 I resent the one that thrust immortality upon me, and seek to undermine them.
6 I wish to find those from my past - or their kin - and rekindle the bonds, but worry they won't realize who I am.
d6 Flaw
1 I tire of the world, and find no joy in things.
2 Anything new sends me into an overexcited frenzy.
3 I obsess over knowledge of all kinds, and must seek out anything new.
4 My immortality and drive leave me somewhat callous, and underlings tend to get churned up in my wake.
5 Time wears on the mind, looping over and over and over, until the madness sets in. Oh, the glorious madness!
6 I know all. I am not wrong, and any who disagree with me are foolish whelps.

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