Family Business (5e Background)

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Family Business[edit]

Family Businesses Along a Canal Credit: The City of Bruges/Visit Bruges

You come from a family of traders, shopkeepers, craftsmen, or merchants etc. You probably have contacts in other cities and a family and work to return to if times get tough. You know how to haggle, buy, sell, and work a stall in a marketplace.

Questions to ask abut yourself are: Why do you want to leave the relative security and safety of the family to travel? Have you decided to set out on your own to make an independent name for yourself? Is your family in dire straits and you are adventuring to try to make enough gold to get the family out of financial trouble? Has the family sent you with the party because the family's interests align with those of the party? Is the family cursed or dysfunctional and you want to try to find a cure? Did you just abscond with a lot of the family money? Were you disgraced and thrown out of the family or disowned? Do you hope to redeem yourself? Are you in good standing with your family?

Questions to ask abut your family are: What is your family's reputation? Is your family a large business or a small business? How prominent is your family business? Is it on the level of a small family shop or a huge trading empire or something in between? What kind of assets does your family have under their control? Where is your family headquartered? How well known is your family? What is your family crest? What is the business specialty of your family? Family Specialty will have a large effect on what tools and tool proficiencies you start with. The answers to questions about your family will work well if you work with your dungeon master to integrate them into the campaign.

Family Specialty[edit]

Your family specializes in one kind of business. This is your family's area of business expertise. Examples of kinds of items your family may know a lot about are one or two like the following:

Family Specialty Examples;

Skill Proficiencies: 2, based on Business Role Specialization below.

Tool Proficiencies: Two of the toolbased abilities listed above most closely related to your Family Specialty.

Languages: Common and one of: thieves' cant, dwarvish, elvish, gnomish, undercommon, kobold (draconic), or any other group strongly involved in commerce.

Equipment: common clothes, see Business Role Specialization below.

Business Role Specialization[edit]

Members of a family business often have a specialized role within the business.

d6 Role Specialization 2 Skill Proficiencies Equipment
1 Management - you can manage other workers, manage schedules, and keep the operation of the family business on track. Perception, Persuasion an Hourglass, clock, or timepiece
2 Sales - you can get the word out about what the family business can do for people. Your tools can make woodblocks for broadleafs. Insight, Persuasion Calligrapher's supplies and Woodcarver's tools
3 Support - you can help customers with problems, and help other family members be productive. Insight, Perception tools related to the Family Specialty
4 Production - you are good at performing the family's specialty or producing the family's product. Investigation, Perception tools related to the Family Specialty
5 Training - you can train others in the family to work better, faster, higher quality, and train apprentices and children. Investigation, Persuasion a Teacher's kit and tools related to the Family Specialty
6 Administration - you can keep the books, and review, store and sign documents. You have the keys to the family vault, and are entrusted with keeping it secure. Insight, Investigation Bookkeeper's kit and Access to a Lawyer

Roleplay Feature: Business Knowledge[edit]

You know how to buy and sell, you know what the general value of mundane items is. You may be able to manage employees, teach them, coach them, encourage them, and build up their expertise. You sometimes have contacts in business who will sell you large lots wholesale for as little as half the price listed in the PHB, for example you may be able to buy 10 short swords, or 50 lanterns, or 500 pitons, or 1000 torches at half price each. You know an awful lot about things related to your Family Specialty. You are especially good at doing these things in your Family Specialty. If someone tries to haggle with you regarding your Family Specialty, you show complete confidence in this area. You know so much about your Family Specialty that you are very good at boring people by talking about it. You do not necessarily know how to make the things related to your Family Specialty, (unless you pick the right tool proficiancies), you just know an awful lot about it.

Enhanced Roleplay Feature: Official Family Representative[edit]

This feature requires dungeon master approval and integration with the campaign. In addition to having Roleplay Feature: Business Knowledge, the family trusts you enough to sign contracts and make agreements for them. You can reliably buy and sell wholesale quantities, and request bids, and proposals, and respond to same. You can officially represent the business with other serious negotiators such as nobles, royals, merchants, traders, vendors, clients etc. You can either do accounting or you have access to someone who can do accounting for the family business. You have 4d4 business contacts in 2d4 places, with the greatest number being in the city where your family has its headquarters.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality
1 Confident 2 Curious 3 Creative 4 Obedient 5 Loving 6 Decisive 7 Steady 8 Outgoing
d6 Ideal
1 Profit. We can do better work than others plus get favors from the king to get a bigger share of the pie. (LN, NN, LE, or NE)
2 Service. I love our customers. I feel happy every time they feel happy with what we do for them. (LG or NG)
3 Entrepreneurship. I bet I can make the family business grow into other areas and other cities. (NN, NG, LN, or NE)
4 Family. We all love and support each other, and we are all there for each other. (LG, LN, NG, or NN)
5 Theft. As long as I don't skim too much off the top the family won't notice. (NE or CE)
6 Independence. I can't wait to get outa' this place. I love the family but I want to live my own life. (CN or CG)
d6 Bond
1 I hate the family business, it's boring and stupid. I can't wait to get out on my own and find a group that fits me better.
2 I love the family business, it's interesting and meaningful, and it gives me a great sense of stability and belonging.
3 I have made tight connections with many of the people the family business works with. I have a great set of contacts.
4 The honor of my family is more important than anything else. I will deal with anything that threatens that honor.
5 I will do anything for my family, good or ill. What the family wants is more important than anything else.
6 I want to know everything about the Family Specialty sector. I want to know more than anyone else.
d6 Flaw
1 Corrupt - If we can manipulate the king, perhaps we can drive our competition out of business.
2 Lazy - let other people do the work, no one is going to let the operation fail, even if I slack off.
3 Shoddy - I cut corners when I can, It gets things done quicker.
4 Power Hungry - Do it my way, and keep doing it until I'm satisfied. More money means more power for me.
5 Tangential - I don't really know what the key issues are, or really what's going on.
6 Nepotism - It doesn't matter if my cousin is incompetent. Family comes first right?

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