Doctor (5e Background)

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This background has been protected as an example for the 5e Background Design Guide. Please discuss any changes you would like to make on the discussion page.  --Kydo (talk) 13:10, 6 September 2016 (MDT)

Doctors

Whether you were a tribal witch-doctor, a medicine-man, a holy healer, a military field medic, or a genuine medical professional from some unusually enlightened society, you specialize in the treatment of suffering. You have seen injury, disease, poison, and death, and still you have defied it all, fighting to save that every last soul. As a medical professional, you have sworn a Hippocratic oath, (code of ethics). You have pledged your life to protect life, that all who suffer are your patient, to support other doctors as family, to train any who swear the oath, to practice to the best of your ability, to always improve upon the art, to practice only your specialization, to practice not for your own gain, to practice within the law, and to keep all of your patients' secrets. Why did you turn away from the medical profession? Or if you haven't, what was it that drew you into the life of the adventurer? And what do you think of the oath, or other doctors?

Specialist

Each doctor must choose a field of specialization to practice within the broader art of medicine.

d6 Specialization
1 Diagnostics
2 Apothecary
3 Surgery
4 Bone Setting
5 Therapy
6 Research

Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: Medicine Kit

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: Doctor's Tools, 2-man tent, bedroll, blanket, Book (About anatomy, disease, apothecary, or surgery), common clothes, five bars of soap, a belt pouch containing 5 gp.

Feature: Burden of Life

Due to your vow, you are expected to cure the ill, regardless of morals or prejudice, even if they are your enemy. It is considered a horrid evil to intentionally kill a doctor for no reason. As such, intelligent enemies are less likely to target you, (Provided they are not frighteningly evil in a manner that would be inappropriate for younger audiences) and even your enemy patients will at least not attack immediately while under your care. What happens after they leave your care...? Well you can't decide their fate. Restored individuals may be grateful, or feel some form of life-debt to you. Enemies may repay you by specifically choosing not to kill you, or they may give free information, or a scout you once saved may turn a blind eye to your presence.
Provided you stay true to your vow, (as best as you can) you can make use of any hospital or medical facility, (typically located in churches, noble estates, universities, and other places of higher learning) as temporary residence for yourself, your patient(s), and your companions if there is room for them. Doctors will put you up at a lifestyle one step below their own if you can maintain a good relationship with them.
However, if ever you are proven to have broken your vow, you will be fully and publicly discredited as a doctor, and other doctors who pay attention to medical society will recognize you as such. You and all who are with you will be turned away from mundane medicine and the places it is provided. Because you swore on your life, breaking your vow is technically a personal death sentence, though no doctor true to his vows is free to enact it upon you. Even so, more enlightened nations are likely to have laws regarding the treatment of doctors and their vows, and enlightened does not necessarily mean "kind" or "gentle".

Suggested Characteristics

Doctors may come from many walks of life, but all became enrolled in some place of higher learning, or tutored by a renowned doctor, and eventually swore an oath- and that oath is not a light load to bear. Doctors are often studious, intense, passionate, clinical, intellectual, or unusually calm under extreme stress. Many are troubled by harrowing events they bore witness to. Some are shockingly pragmatic, with an "it may not be pretty, but you'll live" approach to problems. Many are seemingly tireless, hard-working individuals. Some can be inspiring souls, with a deep appreciation, not only for life, but for the person who is alive as well. There is much debate among doctors as to just what the oath means, and what tenets have priority in any given situation.

d8 Personality Trait
1 All I think about is saving lives, or lives that have been lost.
2 I practice in the name of my religion, nation, or clan.
3 I am cold and calculating in my every word and action, even when furious or frightened.
4 When the bodies hit the floor, my hands go into automatic.
5 I consider magical healers and healing either to be cheating and unaccountable, or an integral future counterpart of a greater medical art.
6 I am waging a personal war on death itself.
7 I am entranced and inspired by the brilliance and glory of the living body.
8 I am actively involved in the medical society and engage in theoretical discourse and debate.
d6 Ideal
1 Life. I was put in this world to protect and save life. (Good)
2 I swore my oath, and now I must live by its tenets. (Lawful)
3 Vigilantism. No man can dictate who shall die, when, or how! (Chaotic)
4 Profit. Is it really my fault that all who come to me suffering also come bearing compensation? (Evil)
5 Survival. We are all in this together, for better or for worse. (Neutral)
6 Right. Everyone deserves to live. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 I owe everything to my home village/clan, for pooling their resources to have me educated.
2 I was pushed, or encouraged, into the field by my parents, one of whom may have been a doctor.
3 My professor is the most important person in the world to me.
4 My patients are my everything- losing one of them is like dying, but it never ends.
5 I took up the profession because someone close to me died of something treatable.
6 I started my training alone from texts I obtained by my own means.
d6 Flaw
1 I took the vow not realizing its full implications.
2 No one can know that I have broken my vow.
3 I feel contempt for many of my patients.
4 I think I am better than other doctors, and other people in general.
5 Sometimes I go too far in my search for knowledge.
6 I am frightened/sickened by human suffering.

Variant Doctor: Veterinarian

Your specialization still stands, but instead of treating people, your art is focused on our fuzzy friends. Exchange Investigation for Animal Handling or Nature. Animals who have been healed do not behave the same way people do. Some more intelligent creatures, such as wolves, may be capable of feeling gratitude, but have limited ability to express such. Monsters are, true to their name, usually incapable of such emotion and will likely just attack the moment they recover. Other doctors may not take you as seriously as you deserve, but anyone who has an important animal, such as a knight's steed or a caster's familiar, will have deep respect for you, for even acknowledging that their animal is worth saving.


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