Mortician (5e Background)

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Mortician[edit]

Morticians are common friends of death. They work closely with the dead and see its effects on an everyday basis. Worst of all, it is the source of their profit. This means scorn sometimes, as people call them vultures or carrion feeders. Morticians sometimes are numb to death and its effects, showing the taint in their soul from this profession. They are sometimes enamored with their work, being meticulous and seeing great meaning in preparing others for the life beyond this one. Others are more sloppy, seeing it solely as a means to survive, not caring about any spiritual implications of what they do.

When making a character of this background be aware that morticians are largely about the profession. However, dealing with so much death inevitably changes someone. Perhaps your character likes to tell very dark humor to relieve work stress, or they constantly contemplate their own mortality as they stare at the faces of the dead. Morticians include hearses and undertakers, working in the same vein of delivering funerals. They also work closely with priests who may give the rites to a body. To give the best form of closure to the family of the deceased, you may be extremely empathetic to the family's wants, and learn to read people amid their grief. Others may be unwilling to get too involved, and so shut out the tears and emotions.

Consider the following questions: Is your character heavily influenced by their profession? Do they dwell on death and mortality a lot? How do they treat the dead, with respect or indifference? Do they have a dour mood due to their constant contact with the dead? As they travel, do they still commit to this work or do they instead distance themselves from it as far as possible? Do they mind if their companions are aware of their gloomy occupation?

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two: Investigation, Medicine, Persuasion, or Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, sewing kit

Equipment: A license/certificate in mortuary science, black travelers clothes, a costume meant to dress a corpse resembling fine clothes, a disguise kit or sewing kit, and a belt pouch with 5 gp

Service Specialization[edit]

Depending on what part of the job you specialize in as a mortician, you may have a more particular set of skills. For example, if you are in marketing and merchandise, you might be proficient in Persuasion over Medicine, which is more suited for an embalmer.

d6 Specialization
1 Funeral Directing
2 Funeral Service Counseling
3 Cemetery and Crematory Operations
4 Embalming/Preserving
5 Restorative Art
6 Marketing and Merchandising

Feature: Funeral Network[edit]

As a mortician, you know well about other people and professions which intertwine with yours, like carriage or chapel services for funerals and marches. You might be aware or well connected with operations of these services. You also know generally how to perhaps strike deals for better carriage deals, church services, and such.

Alternate Feature: Dealing With Dead[edit]

Morticians of the olden days sometimes had to conduct themselves like doctors. You can accurately estimate with a small margin of error the time of death of bodies.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Morticians don't always have to be dour sourpusses of people. Some can be cheery despite being surrounded by scenes of death. Others are normal about it.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I smile a lot even when I don't mean it.
2 I often am quiet and deep in thought.
3 Dark humor is my forte.
4 Blood doesn't stun me, nor do corpses.
5 I sometimes talk to inanimate objects like they can talk back.
6 I hate waste.
7 I find myself thinking a lot about money.
8 I like to observe people from afar before talking to them.
d6 Ideal
1 Job-Oriented. I do whatever pays. (Neutral)
2 Empathetic. I want to relieve the suffering of those related to the deceased. (Good)
3 Primer. It is my duty to ensure the dead are prepared for whatever comes after. (Lawful)
4 Respect. I want people to be educated about the process so they fear death less. (Neutral)
5 Freedom. I'm doing this so that one day I won't have to anymore. (Neutral)
4 Psycho. It's so great to be allowed to play with dead bodies! I want more! (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 I feel more attached to objects than people.
2 I think I'm beginning to feel what the dead feel so I can empathize with them.
3 I connect well with the grieving.
4 This job has numbed me to sadness and death.
5 There is a person who keeps me anchored despite this job.
6 I feel like I am almost friends with death.
d6 Flaw
1 I have a deathly fear of dying.
2 I often ignore the needs of my body to focus on work.
3 People say I'm an airhead.
4 People don't like to talk to me because I stare creepily.
5 I contemplate suicide a lot.
6 I tend to shirk responsibility because nothing matters.

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