Dark Lord (5e Background)

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Dark Lord[edit]

You have delved into the other side of mankind, bathing yourself through all kinds of horrors. Soon, you had arisen from the depths of darkness, being reborn as a creature of evil. But just being evil isn't enough, as you grew in power as a ruthless "Dark Lord" overtime. The path of being a lord of darkness is not an easy one, as you will be both feared and hated by most people, common or noble. As to how you became a Dark Lord is another question; did you either inherit the title from a family legacy? Work hard to obtain the statues of evil from nothing? Or did you throw aside your good nature and heroic self in order to become the ruler of darkness? Over the years, you have come to understand wealth, power, and the terror you possess as a Dark Lord. The title of "Dark Lord" carries a powerful hold to the small land that you own, while also wielding significant influence within the criminal underworld. You seek to expand your land and power, gathering the forces of darkness to your side, while having some contacts within the criminal underworlds. You’re far closer to evil than most people are comfortable with. Seeing the world as more than just "black and white" you wish to rule it with an iron grip.

Work with your DM to come up with some ideas as to determine how much authority and influence the title of "Dark Lord" carries in the campaign's world. You also need to discuss how your origin will have an effect on both the people and land within the game. These details help establish your family and your title as features of the campaign's world. If you didn't own land from family inheritance, then you must explain how you acquired your own land and fortress, whether you did it all by yourself, made a deal with a demon/ dark god, or if you had help from your own assembled army of darkness.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from the following: Persuasion, Deception, Intimidation, History or Insight.

Tool Proficiencies: Either Forgery Kit or Thieves' Tools.

Languages: Choose any one language.

Equipment: A set of dark-colored plate armor or fine clothes, one simple weapon, a signet ring, one evil/cursed item and a satchel containing 1d10x10 gps.

Origin of Evil[edit]

Why did you become the Dark Lord? What tragedies or choices made you take this path? Were you always evil, or were you once a good person? You can work with your DM to determine the story behind your ascension to being a lord of darkness, or you can choose to roll on the table below to determine how you become the Dark Lord.

Origin of Evil
1 My family had raised me from birth in order to become the heir of a dark legacy and rule over the forces of evil.
2 I was corrupted by an evil sorcerer which caused me to become the way I am now.
3 I discovered that I am the lost child of an evil tyrant, I now claim my heritage as a new Dark Lord.
4 I was betrayed and left for dead by someone close to me, I was able to survive and became the master of a tribe of evil creatures. I now seek vengeance.
5 I was an adventurer with good intentions until I found a corrupted artifact, the item now compels me to dominate the land.
6 The old regime is weak, it's current ruler is old, corrupt and complacent. I will rise up and overthrow their rule to replace it with my strength and guidance.
7 I was banished from the kingdom and lost my right as its ruler, to which I plan to soon reclaim my throne and become the world's Dark Lord.
8 My home was destroyed by war and I was the only survivor, I am now filled with hatred and desire power to crush those responsible for destroying my old life.
9 I have been asleep for hundreds of years by powerful magic. I have awaken and now seek to start my conquest upon the land once more.
10 I had made a deal with a powerful, dark entity (archdemon, demon lord, outsider, etc.) to become a Dark Lord.

Feature: Influence over the Darkness[edit]

Thanks to your notoriety as the Dark Lord, the common folk are frightened of you and your name. They will hesitate to act, trying to tolerate you with an inclination to listen to you (as long as you aren't terrorizing them) in order to avoid your wrath, though they express a deep disdain for your presence. Few among them would outright flee from you, call on the guards, deny you entrance to a building or attempt to attack you. You are also feared by the political nobles and other high-ranking elite. You must practice caution around organized forces and militias to try and not too much trouble, else they will arrest or hunt you down with little to no hesitation. There are great risks of bearing the Dark Lord title, yet you hold the most power within the world of evil where all incarnations of intelligent evil reside.

Every form of criminal organization and evil entity will know much about you, your exploits, and your title as the Dark Lord. Many aspiring characters of evil may come to you to worship and offer their services to you, often initially for free or at great discount. Roguish spies in the underworld might be your eyes and ears, relaying all kinds of information to you, or assassins might be the agents of your will, removing some "obstructions" as you command. You are even able to have an audience with some of the local evil characters, yet these negotiations can sometimes break down into confrontation. There are some limits of being a Dark Lord; as you hold no sway over mindless monsters and beasts.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

A Dark Lord does not always see themselves as evil, just practical. They are decidedly morally gray, but that doesn't mean they can't have some redeeming qualities. The rule of law is absolute, but cruelty is sometimes optional. A Dark Lord will always try to weigh all the options to get the desired result in the most direct and long lasting method possible.

d8 Personality Trait
1 My goal is the only one that matters, I must lead and I refuse to follow another.
2 I am someone of action rather than words.
3 I am very proud, believing that all should bow before me.
4 I take great joy in torture, and often keep reminders of those I have killed.
5 I shall bring this land and the people within it into a new age of peace! Even if I have to become the villain to do so.
6 I trust very few people and keep to myself most of the time.
7 I cannot afford to show any weaknesses to anyone as a Dark Lord.
8 I show little care for those who I deem weak.
d6 Ideal
1 Responsibility. As a lord, I have a responsibility above others to uphold the law - my law. (Lawful)
2 Respect. Dark Lord is a title I was given, but I only wish to rule the land fairly and mercifully. (Good)
3 Destruction. I have only the desire to burn the land and wreak havoc upon the people. (Chaotic)
4 Power. I desire to obtain more power through any means necessary to rule all. (Evil)
5 People. I’m loyal only to my people, not any ideals or laws that try to force itself upon me. (Neutral)
6 Redemption. There’s a chance that even a Dark Lord could become good, I hope to gain that chance. (Good)
d6 Bond
1 Although I tend to be cruel, I still care for others in my own way.
2 My alliance toward the forces of evil must be sustained at all costs.
3 I hold the relationships of even the lowest of my people with high regard.
4 I have fallen in love with someone and would sacrifice everything I have for this person.
5 Someone had saved me from death earlier in my reign, I owe my life to them.
6 Even if the common folk only see me as a villain, I will protect them.
d6 Flaw
1 I have issues in trusting people, always thinking that everyone is after my life.
2 I tend to keep secrets from those closest to me, often making deals behind their backs.
3 I tend to be very commanding or manipulative to others, even if I don't notice.
4 I find causing pain to others a little too enjoyable for most people's tastes.
5 I hold everyone that I see with contempt.
6 I hate admitting that I could ever be wrong.

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