Conscript (5e Background)

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Photo of young men registering for conscription, June 5, 1917

You never asked to be a fighter, a soldier in a war. You had nothing to do with the cause, and it was not yours personally. But it is the cause of the blanketing system in which you are a civilian and member of. As such, you have a duty to serve, and they can call on you when they want to. They can tell you to lay down your life for them, to pick up the blade and put down whatever life you've made for yourself, and be thrown into the maws of the beast that is battle. Conscription, or drafting, is a method from antiquity to rally troops when needed by calling upon compulsory service of the people. Able bodies are pulled from the population to pay their public dues in blood.

Consider some of the following questions when making a conscript: Are you happy with having been displaced from your normal life and thrown into a chaotic new environment? Were other members in your family previously conscripted? How do you view this system of drafting, and do you resent the powers behind it? Some are drafted, but have the means to have others go in their place, while others may be forcibly drafted despite their medical conditions due to the lack of manpower. What did you leave behind as a result of the draft? Is the battle over for you yet? If so, how did things change when you returned from battle?

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception

Tool Proficiencies: Gaming Set

Equipment: Writ of release from conscription (served or dismissed), worn emblem of a conscript, a set of common clothing, and 5 gp

Feature: Lasting Recognition[edit]

Serving in a war or battle at all earns you some presence. While you are not highly ranked or decorated, you made some connections in the military. Soldiers loyal to your former military organization still recognize your service and show you preference over those who did not serve. Other conscripts that served like you are also friendly to you and your allies, perhaps willing to provide you with some emergency supplies and aid, so long as it does not put them in immediate danger.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

This was never my fight...

d8 Personality Trait
1 ...but I am in it to win it! - Determined
2 ...yet why do I crave battle? - Tainted
3 ...I just want to go home! - Trepidatious
4 ...but I'll make the best of a bad situation. - Opportunistic
5 ...but I face it with honor. - Upstanding
6 ...and when it's over I'll bring it to those who placed me in bondage! - Vengeful
7 ...yet my comrades are worth fighting for! - Good-Natured
8 ...perhaps, I too will die this day.. - Self-Destructive
d6 Ideal
1 Reservation. I fight for my own reasons. (Lawful Neutral)
2 Continued Spillage. War has left me changed. I have an unquenchable blood lust. (Chaotic Evil)
3 Repatriation. One day, I'll return to home and hearth. Until then, I live honorably. (True Good)
4 Wealth. War is profitable. I have learned to capitalize on the death of others. (True Neutral)
5 Virtue. My time as a conscript has taught me the value of the aid of others. I will fight for their sake! (Lawful Good)
6 Perpetuity. If you can't beat 'em, conscript 'em. (Chaotic Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 I hold those who were conscripted along side me dear.
2 I will return to my family.
3 I remember, and Honor those that fell beside me.
4 I have a special kind of hatred for soldiers.
5 I know that I am strong, I will teach others that they are strong too!
6 I vividly remember the faces of the enemies I have slain.
d6 Flaw
1 At times, I feel such anger towards military personnel, I wish to kill them.
2 Memories, plagued with memories...
3 My hands often shake, causing me to drop things I am holding.
4 I haven't been able to stop killing. I cannot hold myself back in a fight.
5 I despise those who are cowards in battle.
6 I drink to cope. Like a lot.

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