Fallen Hero (5e Background)
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| by [Florian Devos aka Grosnez]|
After years of heroic deeds, risking life and limb for all that is good in the world... something has changed you. Be it a tragic event, great betrayal, corruption by the darker powers, or abandonment in a time of great need. You now have seen the light in the darkness and even if you still hold your old virtues they are now warped and perverted from their once pure intentions; that is if you haven't abandoned them altogether. You are zealous and unmoving in the path you now walk, be it for the sake of vengeance, duty, or appeasing a new master; so if you hesitated to strike down that which is good in the world before, you do so no longer. Maybe you pity those who cannot comprehend your change of heart; after all, the truth is always hard to accept. So what caused this change of heart? Who led you astray? Why are you so driven in your newfound conviction? Can you serve those who do not share your vision or are they just a means to an end?
Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Survival
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit
Languages: Any one of your choice that is related to your revelation
Equipment: A set of traveler's clothes including a hood, a trinket from your Tragic Fate, and a pouch containing 25 gp.
What happened to you? What tragedies or choices have paved this path for you? Was it inevitable?
|(Optional: Talk with your DM to determine the story behind your tragedy, or you can choose to roll on the table below to determine how you had become a Fallen Hero.)
Feature: A Tragic Fate
Your story is known by many, commoners and nobles alike; whether spread by a bards solemn song, a storytellers grim tale, or as a result of your actions. Upon discovering these tales are true many may fear you, but also sympathize with your plight. Even if you are heartless, they might not be. They may even feel inclined to look past even the worst crimes and depravities, knowing they may not be of your own choosing. At the very least they may be willing to hear you out when questionable situations do arise.
Alternate Feature: Reborn in Darkness
When darkness fell upon you, rather than finding death or torment you found salvation. Despite any hesitation to accept this Dark Gift you eventually came to devote yourself to the darkness that spawned it. You are not it's master, merely a vassal, a whisper in the dark. Work with your Dungeon Master to come up with how this takes form: How did it change you? Why is it important to you or anyone else? What's its story? It is advised that you work with the DM to determine if this takes the form of a forbidden item, knowledge, marking, mutation, or mutilation. Though you may want the DM to invent these details as part of the campaign, learning about it naturally and allowing for character development and growth.
The Dungeon Master is free to use your Dark Gift in a variety of ways. Whether sending the player on quests to learn more of its history or completing various tasks in order to sustain, evolve, or empower the Dark Gift. In addition, the DM determines the extent of your Dark Gift, it's history, importance, and rivals who may seek it for themselves. For instance, if it's an object it might be a cursed magic item, a deformity that evolves over time, or an ability that is only revealed once the proper conditions or tasks have been completed.
The DM cannot disclose any details of your Dark Gift to any of the other players, it's up to you to decide whether to tell their companions about the Dark Gift or attempt to keep it hidden. Depending on the present company you might want to keep your Dark Gift and it's nature a secret as all power comes at a price, if not paid by you it's paid by others. You may use the table below to determine the nature of the Dark Gift. (Inspired by Inheritor background)
Your past does not define who you are but rather guide what you will become. Though not to a Fallen Hero, they typically think of their past as defining who they are. Latching onto an idea, value, or concept to give them a sense of self. So they commonly fall into the grey as a virtuous villain or a dark hero; with both benevolent and damning qualities they tread the line between what it means to be good or evil.