Fortune Teller (5e Background)

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Fortune Teller[edit]

You are a kind of diviner who makes a name for themselves doing things like tarot, palm-reading, and the like. Sometimes it is for profit, and other times you are a sibyl of the city perhaps, in a royal court. Your tongue can commune supposedly with forces beyond mortal understanding, reaching into the fate that entwines all planes of existence. You may be self-employed, traveling the lands and reading fortunes, setting up shop here and there. Perhaps you cater to a selectly powerful circle of those who use you to plan their next steps in the world. Armies are known to consult auguries to ensure their odds in battle. They come to people like you. Are your abilities real, though? Or are you merely a swindler?

The first question to ask yourself when making a fortune teller is: are you really a fortune teller? Do you actually have expertise in divination magic, or do you just know how to read a person and tell them what they want? You should have good eyes either way, and be able to glean a lot from just a glance of a person, so you may be able to manipulate their deepest desires and point out their lies. Did you take up this profession due to its lucrative potential? Could you perhaps have inherited an actual power of foresight that makes you a valuable commodity? How else may you use this power? Perhaps you are employed in a guild of thieves, lending your aid to those who wish to see what risks the nightly heist poses. Do you travel to perhaps develop this power or trickery, making some coin on the side? If your power is true, did other soothsayers help you develop your sight's clarity?

Skill Proficiencies: Perception and either Insight or Persuasion

Tool Proficiencies: Playing card set

Languages: Two Primordial languages of your choice from: Aquan, Terran, Auran, Ignan

Equipment: A medium through which you read fortunes (tarot deck, small bag of bones, crystal orb, collapsible divining board, etc.), a set of traveler's clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp


Your specialization as a fortune teller decides mainly the method which you read fortunes through. This can help when deciding what equipment you start with.

d10 Specialization
1 Crystal Ball Seer
2 Tea Leaf Reader
3 Palm Reader
4 Exorcist
5 Bone Reader
6 Table Knocker
7 Astrologian
8 Smoke Reader

Feature: Sign Reader[edit]

The future is not always clear, even to you. Unlike a mystic, you don't even get visions so clearly, Instead, you see them in the natural world and the surroundings about you. At the DM's discretion, you may notice small subtle hints of odd patterns or portents that you can interpret to decipher an event. You may not always know when it will happen or where, and the magnitude or significance may not be clear. An example of this would be walking down a road and noticing an interesting tangle of branches, which seems bizarrely arranged. By reading the branches, you can perhaps hazard that the client which you work for will be found hung tomorrow at dawn. Or maybe it just tells that one of the trees nearby has a dryad in distress. There can be multiple interpretations, allowing for a DM to add plot hooks as they please, if applicable.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Fortune tellers can sometimes feel cursed with their powers to divine the futures. Other just revel in the power.

d6 Personality Trait
1 I travel far and wide to uncover the secrets of the world.
2 My powers are my profession.
3 I've seen empires fall before it even happened.
4 I've read enough books and tomes it would make a wizard blush.
5 I feel more comfortable outdoors than inside claustrophobic spaces.
6 I always have a plan for when things go wrong.
d6 Ideal
1 Freedom. I'm a free spirit unbound by the laws of man. (Chaotic)
2 Greed. I'll tell any lie to make it rich. (Evil)
3 Tradition. The stories, legends, and songs must never be forgotten, for they make us who we are. (Lawful)
4 Profit. I tell a story, they like it. I get paid. Everyone's happy. (Neutral)
5 Generosity. My talents were given to me so that I could use them to benefit the world. (Good)
6 Self-Knowledge. If you know yourself, there's nothing left to know, nothing to tell. (Neutral)
d4 Bond
1 I had to leave the people I care about for I put them in constant danger.
2 Should my discoveries come to light, they could bring ruin to the world.
3 I sponsor an orphanage to keep others from enduring what I to.
4 I pursue wealth to secure someone's love.
d6 Flaw
1 I never want to use my gifts to help people.
2 I am often drowning in self pity because of the cursed nature of my power.
3 I suffer horrible nightmares from my abilities.
4 I can't help but pocket trinkets and loose coins that I did not rightfully earn.
5 I'm a fraud who keeps on lying.
6 I'll say anything to avoid extra work.

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