Janitor (5e Background)

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You've cleaned for a large portion of your life, since you were born or since you reached adulthood. Perhaps it was a habit which you grew into, rather than something that ill-circumstances forced you into. You may have tended to a structure or building in several ways: cleaning, repairs, occasionally guarding, and so forth. Maybe you were employed by evildoers to clean up their dirty work, or maybe you overheard conversations within the imperial halls where you've worked. This kind of special environment may have been a starting point for your sense of adventure; but at heart, you simply began by being the local handyman.

Types of janitor adventurers vary based on the kind of work they did and why. There are Cinderella figures, for example, who were doing chores their whole life until something prompted them to escape their life of drudgery to search for better horizons. Darker figures also exist, like the ones who run about looking for "cleaning" jobs, usually sought after by criminals to help them get rid of evidence, or even scour away their identities.

When you choose this background, work with your DM to determine the structure or building you worked at, the said structure or building's importance, what your job was like, and why you now moved to the adventuring life.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: Two sets of artisan's tools, or one set of artisan's tools and a gaming set

Equipment: A sponge, a mop, a jar of homemade cleaning fluid, a sketch of the site you worked at, two sets of artisan's tools or one set of artisan's tools and a set of bone dice or deck of cards, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Job Site

You worked at a structure or building before. Roll or choose from the table below to determine the type of site you worked in. Also talk with your DM about the site and why you're now adventuring. Was the site destroyed? Did something in the site force you on a quest? Were you simply fired? Or do you still work there, adventuring as a side job to earn extra coins?

d8 Job Sites
1 Shrine or Temple
2 Statue, Sculpture, or a Museum
3 Royal Castle
4 Dungeon
5 Military Fortress
6 Academy or Library
7 Amphitheater
8 Cemetery

Feature: Leave No Trace

With your experience as a janitor, you can make a messy room or area look absolutely clean, as if no one has been in that area before. You can spend an hour in a room or area cleaning blood and stains, removing bodies and other suspicious objects, closing and re-locking containers, basically doing anything to make the room look undisturbed. Your DM might rule that some things are impossible to clean or fix, or might increase the time you'll spend if the area is extremely messy.

Suggested Characteristics

Janitors are serious and hardworking people, but they relax and enjoy themselves earnestly when the work's done. They play just as or harder than they work. But, constantly working to make things clean and organized has made some janitors compulsive and germophobic.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I can think of fifty ways to use a hammer.
2 I am constantly organizing my inventory; every pouch has a specific purpose.
3 I like to listen to poems when I'm done. I know more about poetry than people think.
4 I try to bathe at least four times a day.
5 Hard work is earnest work, especially if it pays.
6 I have (or prefer) a small vocabulary.
7 I'm never distracted at work. Period.
8 I once climbed fifteen feet to scrub a stain with my bare palms because I lost the ladder and my sponge. I'll do it again if I have to.
d6 Ideal
1 Responsibility: I must keep my site clean and in repair. Everyone has to do their part in society. (Lawful)
2 Cleanliness: Cleanliness means good health and more visitors. That makes me happy. (Good)
3 Rebellion: I don't deserve to do this. The owners should take care of their own sites. (Evil)
4 Choice: Everyone should do what they love at some point in life. (Chaotic)
5 Site: I'm committed to my site, not ideas or people. (Neutral)
6 Aspiration: I want to prove myself worthy of a better job. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I care only about my place of work.
2 My tools are why I'm living comfortably. Without them I'm nothing.
3 My site was destroyed by someone. I'll find them and get my revenge someday.
4 I'm housing an urchin at my site. he's/she's the world to me.
5 I'll never be able to thank the owner of my site.
6 There's an artifact at my site that I must protect above anything else.
d6 Flaw
1 Adventuring introduced billions of germs to my body. Now I can never be clean!
2 Asymmetry and out-of-place objects will distract me from important work.
3 I learned to smell better than most people, I hate bad smells more than anything.
4 I would much rather die in a clean environment.
5 If I notice something's missing—even if it's replaceable or worthless—I'll drop what I'm doing to search for it.
6 Why do adventurers never bathe? It's annoying and disguising.

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