Hired Guard (5e Background)

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Hired Guard[edit]

A hired guard is just that; hired muscle to protect assets, whether through combat or through intimidation. While most of these mercenaries have no qualms with killing, some may follow a code in order to be more at peace with the world around them. Are you the kind of guard to take measures in order to de-escalate conflict? Or do you relish in the combat?

Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation and Perception

Tool Proficiencies: You gain proficiency in armor one level higher than you already have. If you have no proficiency in armor, gain proficiency in Light Armor.

Languages: You gain proficiency is Common if you do not already have proficiency in it. In addition, you gain proficiency in 2 languages of your choice.

- A longsword or a weapon you are proficient with.
- A dagger or another simple weapon.
- A small pouch with 40 GP.


Hired Guards are mercenaries; most mercenaries need to make a name for themselves in one way or another. The story is a big part of a Hired Guards' appeal; it's the reason they're hired in the first place, because someone heard this story from someone else. Roll a d6 or choose from one of the selections below in order to choose a Rumor. If none of these appeal to you, feel free to talk to your DM about a possible Rumor.

d6 Rumor
1 Sole Survivor - You've survived the razing of a village you were working in, before turning around and slaughtering those that destroyed it. Your brutality in combat is what attracts potential employers. Gain proficiency in Athletics or Acrobatics.
2 Cool Negotiator - Your negotiation skills are well known; you stopped an invading army from attacking your caravan with well placed words and a silver tongue. Your guile and charisma is what attracts potential employers. Gain proficiency in Persuasion or Deception.
3 Cruel Efficiency - Your ability to kill is revered and sought for. Rumors of your cruelty while defending those you're sworn to protect sows the seed of fear in those that hire you. The fear that you instill in others is what attracts potential employers. Gain proficiency with a Martial Weapon of your choice.
4 Off the Beaten Path - Your knack for finding ways around potentially dangerous paths attracts those who value discretion. Your survival skills direct you on whether the main roads are safe or if you should take a more rugged path. Your innate ability to dodge danger is what attracts potential employers. Gain proficiency in Survival or Insight.
5 Impenetrable Wall - Your work in enhancing the defense of towns has reached ears far and wide. People boast on how effective your defensive techniques are, and how these techniques can be put into practice both individually and on a larger scale. Your ability to craft defensive strategies is what attracts potential employers. Gain a +1 enchantment bonus on the base armor you get from your class.
6 Hometown Hero - You came at just the right time. The rumors of how you swooped in to a small town and saved it from the menace of a wandering band of marauders, without the promise of pay initially, are told as legends across the land. Your generous and moral nature is what attracts potential employers. Gain proficiency in Insight or Investigation.

Feature: Obscure Connections[edit]

As hired muscle, you've been around. You can generally find someone you've worked with in every town you visit, whether someone who was hired to work with you or someone you hired for a job. You are usually in good standing with them, meaning they will sometimes be willing to do favors for you, but this isn't the case for every connection you've made.

Alternate Feature: Keen Eye[edit]

With the amount of experience you've had, you know how to spot dangerous situations in the making when you see it. You have an uncanny knack to read the room or the general vicinity, getting a general gist of the disposition of those around you. You can tell if someone's intention is moving towards violence.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Your personality has been molded by your abilities as a guard, though your experiences may have altered your views compared to that of a bodyguard or a town guard.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I try to take the safest routes through cities, roads, or passes: I am not a fan of dark alley shortcuts.
2 I may be a stick in the mud while I am sober, but I am wilder than an owlbear when I am intoxicated.
3 I take into account my past experiences to help prepare for the future.
4 I'm usually a very honest individual; if we make an agreement, I will stick to it.
5 I have no qualms with ditching a job if the possibility of me losing my life is too high; I can't do my job if I'm dead.
6 I value the lives of those I'm protecting over my own.
7 I'm cynical of the laws of wherever I'm working in; if the law could protect the people, my job wouldn't be needed.
8 I'm indifferent to those around me; if body's start dropping, it's not going to affect me anymore than I already have been.
d6 Ideal
1 Guardian - I dedicate my life to defending those who cannot defend themselves (Good)
2 Determined - I will protect those who I must... by any means necessary. (Chaotic)
3 Manipulative - If I think I can get more money out of my job due to unforeseen complications, I will find a way to take advantage of the situation. (Evil)
4 Resolute - I will follow the laws of the land. Period. (Lawful)
5 Purpose - I am here to protect; it was what I was born to do. (Neutral)
6 Open - I am willing to work outside of the agreement if it means we will get there in one piece.
d6 Bond
1 I have a home I love somewhere, though I may not often see it.
2 I became as I am to escape a darker time in my life. That time is behind me now, but the faces from the past still linger.
3 I have other friends in this business who don't perform their duties exactly how I do.
4 I don't form connections with the people I work for and work with; it's all part of the job.
5 I tend to keep to myself if I'm not currently working on a job.
6 My past is my own, and I'm loathe to reveal it unless I feel close to the individual in question.
d6 Flaw
1 Trust is the most important thing to me; it is hard to gain, but so easy to lose. I'm generally very distrustful of people I've only just met.
2 I've seen and done a lot of things in my life; I've fallen into a habit of draining my worries in a bottle.
3 It's generally very easy to make me lose my temper.
4 I can become attached to the people I work for; I tend to do favors for people I'm close to without compensation, which can only hurt me and my allies in the long run.
5 I can be very cold to those around me; their problems seem paltry and are unimportant. Only their safety and their coin matters.
6 My mind is numb to the death and suffering I may or may not have caused around me.

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