Fallen Noble (5e Background)

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Fallen Noble[edit]

You were once the member of a powerful noble family. Perhaps you were from a well-known merchant family, or you came from a line of wealthy aristocrats. However, due to events beyond your control―or perhaps they were―, you or your family have fallen from grace. Maybe your family was outcast from the kingdom with their property stripped away after one of the family members committed an unforgivable crime, or they were attacked and killed by angry mobs, with you being the sole survivor. Perhaps you were disowned for not following family tradition, or left of your own accord, not wanting to be bound by the fate your parents had set for you. Work with your DM to find out your family's role and how their role and downfall affected the world in your campaign.

Whatever the reasoning, you were of noble birth, yet your family is no longer considered noble. You have been forced to make a new life for yourself and adjust to life without servants at your command and money at your disposal. Will you attempt to reclaim your title or move away from it? Will you shout your true identity from the rooftops hoping someone will believe you, or keep it a secret from everyone but your closest allies for fear of being accused as a liar? It's all up to you.

Skill Proficiencies: History and Persuasion or Deception

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set or musical instrument

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of common clothes, a trinket from your family (statuette, music box, etc.), a warm blanket, and a pouch containing 15 gp


Downfall of the Powerful[edit]

Your family was once wealthy and powerful, but something caused you to lose everything. What happened? Was it something out of your control, or did you have a part in it? Was your own family to blame? Or perhaps another noble family wanting to take you down? Discuss with your DM what caused your downfall or roll a d8 and choose from the table below.

d6 Downfall of the Powerful
1 Someone in my family committed a heinous crime, resulting in our power being stripped away.
2 My family was killed by an angry mob. I was the only survivor.
3 I refused to follow family tradition or what my parents wanted for me and was disowned for it.
4 I was accused of a crime. Whether or not I was guilty, rumors began to spread, eventually causing my fall from grace.
5 Another noble family tore mine apart through lies, deceit, and sabotage.
6 A high-ranking member of my family was killed and everything slowly fell apart.


Feature: Insider Knowledge[edit]

You know exactly who to talk to in order to find out gossip, hidden secrets, or any other information about various noble families. This information could come from members of the family in question, servants who work for them, other people who either know them personally, or those who may have eavesdropped on their conversations. Not everyone is willing to reveal such private information, though― if the person believes they may be put in a dangerous situation by revealing the information you request, they will not tell you or may even lie to protect themselves.


Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a fallen noble character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I still demand others to treat me as they would any other noble.
2 I don’t like getting my hands dirty, and often make others do the dirty work.
3 I'll tell anybody I'm from a noble family, even random strangers. They have to know!
4 I can't let anybody but those I trust the most know of my noble birth.
5 Despite my noble birth, I do not consider myself superior to others. We are all the same in the end.
6 I strive to make up for my family's horrible behavior in whatever way I can.
7 I'll be fine even in the simplest conditions. Anything is better than nothing.
8 Despite my noble birth, I act more like a commoner.
d6 Ideal
1 Sympathy. I know what it's like to have nothing, and I wish to help those who are less fortunate. (Good)
2 Power.I want to reclaim my noble status by any means necessary. (Chaotic)
3 Revenge. I'll make those who caused my fall from grace pay for what they did. (Evil)
4 Moving forward. I want to leave my old life behind and start anew. (Lawful)
5 My allies. The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. (Any)
6 Redemption. I want to make up for what my family did, and protect others from those who abuse their power. (Good)
d6 Bond
1 A lower-class family helped me when I was at my lowest. I want to repay them in whatever way I can.
2 I strive to leave my old alliances behind and forge new friendships.
3 When I left my old life behind, I also left an old friend behind. I wish to see them again.
4 I still hold some loyalty to my former family.
5 I wish to make up for my family's misdeeds.
6 I want to regain my status and restore my family's honor.
d6 Flaw
1 I'm often paranoid that my allies will discover my noble birth and call me a traitor.
2 I'll do anything to regain the power I lost, even if it means throwing my allies under the cart.
3 I feel responsible for what my family did, even though I had no part in it.
4 I'll do anything to hide my past identity. Nobody can know who I used to be.
5 Even though I no longer hold the title, I still act like I'm a noble.
6 Despite my fall from grace, I still see myself as superior to others. This often gets me in trouble.

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