Monster Hunter (5e Background)

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Monster Hunter[edit]

The quiet life of your community suited you just fine; a modicum of peace and prosperity was had in your home, and you realize now that it was all taken for granted. A day came when the regular routine - the smiling faces of passers-by, tradesmen and crafters at their work, farmers tilling the fields - came to a crashing end. A great beast attacked your land and your people, and the best and bravest among you were cut down with such unbridled ferocity that many fled, and those that remained believed your final doom had arrived in the form of an array of gnashing fangs and baleful eyes.

But all was not lost, though it was entirely by sheer luck and coincidence that the salvation of your people affected itself through the most unlikely of agents - you. No grand scheme, no great cunning, no bravery bore you the victory over the monster, but you have nonetheless been lauded as a hero; a mighty warrior. That reputation followed you no matter where you went, and tales of the fearless slayer of beasts precede your presence even when it seems most should be ignorant of the event. Though you could no longer bear the undue praise heaped upon you, and the avalanche of demands for your "services," the memory still gnaws at your mind and your name is unfortunately recognized far and wide, no matter how distant from your lands you travel.

As the bearer of this unfortunate reputation, what specific moment or event did you decide to finally leave the place of your birth and livelihood? How have you come to deal with the insistence of total strangers that you are a hero worthy of praise, even should you insist that you aren't? Do you desire to ultimately set the record straight? Do you wish to escape to a land where you can finally be free of this nuisance? Or, perhaps, have you come to enjoy and even revel in the misconception, embellishing the existing tales as it suits your own needs, actively exploiting the fable to further your own ends?

Alternatively, perhaps monster hunter is a title you take as a humble hunter of the plethora of things outside the normal range of beasts. The world has more than just bears and owls and basic creatures. There are horrid and fantastical things that require more training and expertise to trap and kill, and that is when those with your skills are called upon. You are not a hero of any special kind. You could just be some average joe doing their job like an exterminator. Sometimes the job may call for you to go elsewhere to pursue the quarry. Some monster hunters are grown from traditional practices, making them skilled in knowing how to use parts of monsters themselves to fashion things like weapons or even harvest their poisons for use.

Skill Proficiencies: Survival and Nature

Languages: You know one additional language of your choice, preferably one to speak with races that deal with monsters a lot or even monstrous races themselves like orc and goblin.

Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism Kit, Poisoner's kit

Equipment: A set of traveler's clothes, cloth sack, a herbalism kit, 5 days' of rations, 5 torches, poisoner's kit, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Poison Purveyor[edit]

Long have you immersed yourself in the meticulous study of the vile humors extracted from monsters of every stripe, and in so doing, have learned both how to carefully preserve and transport the quantities you obtain, and how to peddle your wares to the most interested and higher-paying clientele. You can readily recall the names and types of poisons and admixtures that can be created from the varieties of monster you hunt, and what quantities of given fluids and powders are needed to create such items.

Alternate Feature: Trophy Taker[edit]

You know how to get the most out of your prey and know what parts you can sell for money and how to collect them (meat, pelts, antlers, heads, claws, teeth, venom, special components, and so on), as well as who would most interested in buying them, allowing you to sell them for twice their normal value. You also know how to harvest and preserve any of these parts from a creatures corpse.

Alternate Feature: Hunter Senses[edit]

You are well adapted with your senses to pick up the traces of quarry, be it through their scat or tracks. You know the general signatures of monsters nearby, like the territorial claw marks of an owlbear, or the slime trails of oozes. You also have a knowledge of what traps go well with catching which kinds of monsters.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Spending as much time as they do among traders and eclectics, along with the isolation and duration of their forays into the deeper, darker parts of the wilds, many monster hunters bear a skewed outlook on life that is as much akin to the traits of wild animals as it is to the single-minded drive of profiteers. At the same time, many are attracted to the job, blending that rare mix of muscle and shrewd intellect that form the best (and wealthiest) of their profession.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I often find myself mimicking the sounds and speech of animals and monstrosities alike, consciously or not.
2 I have pursued and immersed myself in the habits of my quarry so often that I have adopted some of their behaviors.
3 I value the wildlife and natural world only insofar as it is valuable to me dealing with the merchant guilds.
4 I am as predatory in a market exchange hawking my wares as the beasts I stalk, seeking the best price and the meekest buyer.
5 It is less for the profit that I do this than it is for the thrill of the hunt and victory.
6 I have learned that the most successful hunt is the one that involves skilled allies.
7 It is not everyone that deserves to purchase what I procure, and I limit my offerings only to a select few.
8 If you cannot keep up with me on a hunt, then you are only as good as bait for my prey.
d6 Ideal
1 Ecology I take only what is needed to quell threats and subsist. Desiring more invites ruin. (Lawful)
2 Healer The salves, poultices, and medications that come from my trade are reason enough for the hunt. (Good)
3 Exploitation It is only to harness the power of my prey that I do as I do, and with it, destroy my foes. (Evil)
4 Trophy It's an achievement to bring down these beasts, and I deserve to display my triumphs. (Chaotic)
5 Profiteer The pay is often good and the work is steady - I could ask for no more. (Neutral)
6 Studious I must divine every aspect and secret locked away in the bodies of these creatures. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 It is to my mentor that I owe all that I am, and for them I continue in this work.
2 Had my home's alchemists known the panaceas one could create from these creatures, my family might not have died from disease.
3 My hunter allies are as friend and family to me as my own flesh and blood, and I will never abandon them.
4 The beasts I hunt maraud and terrorize my homelands, and I cannot rest until they've all been cut down.
5 Past debts have bound me to the hunt, obligated to fulfill the wishes of those who hold my contract.
6 It is not for myself that I pursue these creatures, it is for the future of my charge that I ply my trade.
d6 Flaw
1 My reputation is ill-deserved - having never slain a monster, I ply the refuse from desiccated corpses.
2 Often do I lie about my successes, withholding quantities meant for a client.
3 I cannot tolerate the presence of other hunters, spending more time trying to hinder them than hunting on my own.
4 Avarice gets the better of me from time to time, swelling my anger at the negotiating table.
5 The quirks inherited from my time in the wild have left me virtually unable to socialize with civilized peoples.
6 What I earn I tend to spend quickly, leaving me groping for the next job at the cusp of becoming a beggar.

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