Background Design Checklist (5e Guideline)
From D&D Wiki
This is a TLDR version of Background Design (5e Guideline).
- 1. Does my background concept root the character into the setting?
- The concept should associate the PC with a faction, organization, trade, person, event or location.
- 2. Does my background have the correct number of proficiencies?
- The background should have two specific skill proficiencies; and two tool proficiencies or languages in any combination.
- 3. Is the starting equipment modest and flavourful?
Starting equipment should include:
- A small amount of money so the player can customize their starting adventuring gear
- Items that the character would have acquired prior to becoming an adventurer
- One or two unique items related to the background
- 4. Does the background feature open up new options for roleplaying, exploring or interacting with the world?
- Background features should not have strict game benefits.
- But if it does, is the benefit flavourful; and should a proficiency be removed to balance it?
- The feature should not give the player an ability or interaction that the PC could reasonably do anyway, even without your background.
- Don't be afraid to simply copy and tweak the background features from the Player's Handbook.
- 5. Personality Traits
- Traits should not be so obnoxious that they disrupt the game.
- 6. Ideals
- Does the ideal give the PC a motivation or overarching goal?
- 7. Bonds
- Does the bond link the PC to the game setting?
- 8. Flaws
- Does the flaw provide roleplaying opportunities?