Exiled Ruler (5e Background)
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"You used to rule the world; seas would rise when you gave the word" (Viva La Vida, by Coldplay). You at least were in a prominent position in a royal family or government when it flipped over on you. Whatever happened on that fateful day, it’s one you’ll not forget. Who was it that dethroned you? Was it popular, a revolution of all your subjects because of your insufficient rule? Or did one of your enemies crush you in one fell sweep? Did a family member mean to have you assassinated to take the throne themselves? Were you deemed unfit to rule for heresy or blasphemy? Any way it happened, you were betrayed and exiled. But you have grown accustomed to living as a sort of outlaw, perhaps with a small group of followers. Where have you fled to, specifically? Maybe a monastery of loyal monks, a forest where you hide out, a cave in the mountains, amongst the commoners, or even the castle of another ruler.
Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, and Perception or Survival
Tool Proficiencies: any one type of gaming set or instrument
Languages: any one of your choice
Equipment: a book of philosophy, a royal signet ring (now most likely outlawed), a trinket you took with you when you fled, a set of traveller’s clothes, and a purse containing 10 gp.
Feature: Those Who Remember
Not all were supportive of your dethronement. Somewhere there will be groups of those who recognize you and remember you fondly, whether they are peasants, a survived group of soldiers, or the ruler of a neighbouring land. Any who remain loyal to you will secretly support you and your companions at a modest lifestyle. Your name might also be the key to opening doors. Furthermore, you can try to attract a group of followers who will keep you secret and defend you with their lives, but not go into situations for you that would risk their own lives. They might, however, with a successful Persuade test, be willing to help reclaim your throne.
Alternate Feature: Loyal Follower
When you escaped, somebody came with you. Somebody full of courage. Somebody who probably reminds you of Sam Gamgee. This character acts as a retainer, and you can choose what kind of NPC it is from anything 1/4 your total level (Minimum CR 1) or under from Appendix B of the MM or Appendix B of Volo’s guide to Monsters: examples include a thug (your guard captain), an acolyte (your trusted advisor), a spy (perhaps a bastard nephew in the underground court life), or a noble (a family member or loyal friend). You have a very good relationship with this follower, who will sacrifice much for you: they will go into dangerous situations with you. You also cannot be selfish with this character: you can’t take without giving any. The character deserves respect and thanks. Otherwise, they might leave you. This character is controlled by the DM, who may choose to have this character gain levels in a class, or keep the same stat block.
Because you used to be a ruler, you will most likely have a good knowledge of how to deal with people and give them respect, and you have impressively kept this quality throughout your exile. You also, however, have learned wariness. Perhaps you are still deathly bitter about your loss.
|1||I give everybody the respect they deserve, even if they threaten my life.|
|2||I often lament about the loss of my great dominion.|
|3||I instinctively give orders instead of requests.|
|4||I have put myself on the level of those around me: I’m not royalty anymore.|
|5||I am constantly plotting revenge, coming up with and discarding ridiculous plots.|
|6||I weigh my options very carefully before doing anything.|
|7||To be honest, I am relieved not to have the responsibility of the crown anymore.|
|8||My heart bleeds for the common people whom I now see face to face.|
|1||Equality. I bleed red, too. I'm not more noble than anybody else. (Neutral)|
|2||Respect. Everybody deserves to be considered, even the lowliest. (Good)|
|3||Justice. I will see justice done; if not for me, then for the common folk. (Lawful)|
|4||Domination. I may not rule from a throne, but I can still rule any I see. (Evil)|
|5||Revenge. I will make amends for what has been done to me, however I can. (Chaotic)|
|6||Aspiration. I will take my kingdom back. (Any)|
|1||I will retake my dominion if it is my dying action.|
|2||I owe my life to those who took me in when I escaped.|
|3||I must prevent the uprising of tyranny.|
|4||I will protect my people, if from the shadows.|
|5||My family is still alive somewhere. I must ensure their safety.|
|6||I must have a successor to continue my royal line.|
|1||I still suffer nightmares and visions of the moment my life crubled to pieces.|
|2||In retrospect, I was a terrible ruler, not fit for the throne. I can't forgive myself.|
|3||I am paranoid about my enemies coming to finish me. I can't trust anyone.|
|4||I haven't learned anything from my downfall: I'm just as brash and arrogant as before.|
|5||I judge myself too harshly and fall into states of despair.|
|6||If I see any who betrayed me, their blood will spill on my hands. Nothing will stop me.|
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