Firefighter (5e Background)

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A single-acting fire pump used to fight fires, c1600.

You were a member of a city fire brigade, always on call, ready to rush out to burning buildings with buckets and pumps. You may have been part of a large, well-equipped team in a large city, or possibly the sole warden of a smaller town. Some fire brigades operated for profit – selling insurance marks – whilst others were funded by the city council or philanthropic groups. You have had experiences facing uncontrolled fires, and dealing with the aftermath of destruction and lost lives.

Consider how this past experience impacts your life as an adventurer. Are you maybe forever antsy that a fire will break out in the town you travel to? The desire of firemen to protect life can also be the seed to motivate greater pursuits. Did you perhaps start adventuring because you wanted to save more lives in other ways? There are also of course ways of evil. It is not unheard of for someone like a firefighter to misuse their authority. Perhaps you have such a lust to save people that you are willing to perpetrate fires yourself!

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception

Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (land)

Languages: One standard language of your choice

Equipment: A firefighter's badge denoting which city you serviced, a small burnt object you kept as a souvenir, a bucket, a crowbar, a set of common clothes, a signal whistle, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: City Warden

When you enter a new town or city, you quickly notice the locations of likeliest places for fires to start (thatched roofs or timber chimneys, brewhouses, bakeries, magical laboratories) and how they might spread. You also know how to quickly find sources of water or sand, and in the event of a conflagration you can organize bucket brigades, operate pump wagons and use fire hooks.

Suggested Characteristics

d8 Personality Trait
1 I'm the first to advance into a dangerous room.
2 I take great care over my presentation: metal apparel polished until it gleams, cloth washed and pressed daily, body well-groomed.
3 I believe I am trustworthy, loyal and accountable.
4 I make sure that the safety of others comes first.
5 I am always alert, often noticing the small details of an environment.
6 I am cautious, always investigating an area before entering it.
7 There's nothing that can't be solved with a crowbar or pickaxe.
8 I can empathize easily with people in difficult situations.
d6 Ideal
1 Bravery. I could not have performed my duties without overcoming my natural fear of fire. (Any)
2 Profit. I was more interested in selling insurance marks that putting out fire. I always put earning money over helping others. (Evil)
3 Safety First. If only everyone would heed simple (or not so simple) precautions, there would be less injuries and longer lifespans. (Lawful)
4 Greater Good. The welfare of others is my responsibility. (Good)
5 Glory. I got into this business for the flashy uniform and the adoration of those I rescued. (Any)
6 Destruction. I think I must have started half of the fires that the brigade put out. (Chaos)
d6 Bond
1 My own home and family were destroyed in a fire.
2 I consider the rest of my brigade as my brothers and sisters.
3 I saved the life of a important, but loathed, noble.
4 I have a dalmatian who follows me everywhere.
5 Many of my relatives were wanted criminals. I feel a duty to end this pattern.
6 In a drunken stupor, I committed an act of arson. I was not caught, but feel the need to atone for this.
d6 Flaw
1 I'm actually terrified of fire.
2 I hide, with shame, the extensive burn scars on my arms.
3 I often make others uncomfortable with my gallows humor.
4 I easily lose patience when allies are incompetent.
5 I can be clumsy, sometimes fumbling with complicated equipment.
6 I drink heavily to blot out the memories of charred corpses pulled out of rubble.

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