Scavenger (5e Background)

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Scavenger[edit]

Battlefields are everywhere, and countless items are left behind. Many people avoid them, for fear of the undead or evil curses, but some very brave, or incredibly foolish, individuals risk everything to gain riches beyond their wildest imaginings by plundering these sites. From grave robbers who dig up the mass burials, weapon burnings, and individual grave sites, to battlefield scroungers who loot the scattered dead, scavengers are some of the least-appreciated professionals in most cultures. Their work is dangerous- they risk accident, disease, and fell magics, and face the threat of being attacked by wild predators, undead, and survivor soldiers. Many gods condemn their actions as a disgrace to the dead.

Why did you engage in this risky line of work? Were you employed by the throne to deprive the enemy of their fallen comrades arms? Are you searching for a legendary item throughout the world? Or are you just seeking to get rich by amassing a mountain of salable clutter? Have you ever had to do something you felt was wrong to get out of danger on the job? How did you get into scavenging in the first place? Did you ever "hit it big", or have you been running a dry streak? What do you think of others in your profession? Do you have any rules about whose body you are willing or unwilling to disturb? Why did you leave a scavenging life to join a group? Are you still scavenging, or did you leave that life behind?

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: one tool set of your choice, vehicles (land) or vehicles (water)

Equipment: A trinket scavenged from a battlefield or wreckage (i.e, a sword hilt, a dented helmet, a scrap of cloth from a banner), a set of common clothes, a warm blanket, a leather sack, one set of ramshackle tools, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Keen Eye[edit]

Whenever you see something that could be of value, you have a vague estimate of its worth, as well as some interesting information about the item, if there is anything interesting to know. If you fail any checks to identify the value of an item, you learn of someone or someplace where you can have the item's value measured, unless the DM deems the item too rare or obscure.

Examples of usage
  • "You pick up the dead soldier's sword and notice that despite being a straight, double-edged sword, it has a curved grip. This style of sword was crafted by the former emperor's imperial smithy at the capitol before it was burned to the ground, and this example even bears the craftsman's mark of the master smith who formerly ran that shop. This soldier must have once been a member of the imperial army, or perhaps he was one of the old guard, still clinging to his fallen colors."
  • "As you walk into town, you notice people lying in the street, clothing ragged, faces worn. Buildings are in disrepair, and the air is nearly silent. This town is stagnant, starving." "Tim, your character suddenly realizes those boots he pilfered off that dead orc have suddenly gone up in value slightly.
  • "The book is nonsense to you. It's written in eldercommon, a mish-mash of elvish and dwarvish. As you contemplate tossing it aside, you remember a young scholar who beat you at a game of cards some years ago. He said he was a teacher at the Lighthouse University on the Northern coast. Who knows, maybe the book might just have some gold coins hidden in it after all..."

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality Trait
1 If anyone were to take something from my collection, I would hunt them down and take it back.
2 I polish every item in my collection until it sparkles.
3 I always check my collection to make sure everything's still there.
4 I see myself as a liberator of forgotten things.
5 I try to come up with an inventive way to use every item I find.
6 I speak in gruff tones, and I am usually rude to people that I've never met before.
7 Nobody can see my collection until it is complete.
8 If I had a coin, I'd put it in my mouth and pray for lockjaw.
d6 Ideal
1 Generosity - Collections are made so that others can benefit. (Good)
2 Preservation - I keep my collection so that it will last through the ages. (Lawful)
3 Creation - I want to build something. (Any)
4 Gold - My collection will make me very rich one day. (Any)
5 Collection - Only my collection matters. (Neutral)
6 Greed - Gold is worth more than lives. (Evil)
d6 Bond
1 Someone stole from my collection, and I will make the thief pay.
2 Everyone wants one of the most precious items in my collection, but I don't know why.
3 I once had a friend who was lost after a battle. I spend my hours sifting through battlefields looking for them.
4 I hunt for the perfect addition to my collection.
5 The vault that contains my collection is the place I feel most comfortable in.
6 I came from a poor village. The proceeds from my work go towards making life better there.
d6 Flaw
1 I can't keep my hands away from valuable objects.
2 Once, I stole from the wrong battlefield, and now, a group of mercenaries are hunting me down.
3 I treat items for sale with greater care than my companions.
4 If I had to choose between the most valuable item in my collection and one of my companions, I would choose the item.
5 I smell terribly, but I am the only one who does not notice this.
6 I secretly think that in the end, wealth is all that matters.

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