Survivor (5e Background)

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Survivor[edit]

Sometimes you just don't make it. Sometimes the light withers out. But even in the darkest of times, some poor, terrified mortal souls are seemingly destined to survive.

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan's tools you used to make a living off of.

Languages: One of your choice that was commonly spoken in your previous home.

Equipment: One set of artisan's tools , a dagger, a set of common clothes, a belt pouch containing 10gp, and a memento from your prior life that has no tangible use (A minor use, such as a journal or your existing Spellbook if you're a Wizard, is acceptable at the DM's discretion.).

Defining Event[edit]

You previously may've had a simple or modest lifestyle, but after tragedy strikes, there's often no going back. Choose or randomly determine a defining event that marked you as a survivor of tragedy from the following:

d12 Tragedy
1 A tyrant attacked my family and tried to kill me, I know not if any are still alive.
2 A natural disaster destroyed everything I ever knew.
3 I failed to stop a terrible creature from ravaging my home.
4 A corrupt merchant overthrew my lord in a bloody rise to power.
5 An invading army occupied my home.
6 I was blamed for stealing something I didn't, and exiled.
7 I fled an uprising instead of fighting with or against the crowd.
8 My family/town/lord became corrupted by an unknown evil influence and I fled in terror.
9 A deity took everything from me as a test of my resolve. I failed it.
10 I am responsible for the death of my lord.
11 I triggered a trap that killed my previous friends.
12 Someone very close to me died under mysterious circumstances.

Note: Alternatively, you can be a victim of the campaign's more current events. Maybe the party meets you while heading towards the disaster they might not even know just took place. Maybe the campaign is set around you trying to return and face the nightmare. The extent of this must be agreed upon by the DM.

Feature: Heartache[edit]

From such desperate beginnings, most folk are sympathetic toward you, with many being able to tell at a glance that you've had a rough time. People of a Neutral or Good alignment will be easier to get along with as long as you are following at least their standards of morality. They will protect you from danger if they can, and be willing to provide shelter and simple work to earn a small pay. This only occurs as long as you don't show yourself to be a danger to them, or break laws they follow. They will not risk their life for you on this feature alone.

Alternate Feature: Target[edit]

Demons, Angels, everyone wants a piece of your shattered soul. You are often haunted by dreams of both sides trying to convince you that you want to be their friend. Every time you sleep, roll a D20. On a 1, you have a dream about an Evil aligned entity of the DM's choice using whatever tactics the DM wants to affect your character. Maybe it offers power and/or vengeance for a taste of that sweet soul, maybe it wants to give you a nightmare just because it can. On a 20, you have a dream about a Good aligned entity of the DM's choice doing the same thing. If any such deity hasn't the time for you, you might instead be greeted by a powerful follower of them instead.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

A Survivor of tragedy tends to strive to prevent future unjust occurrences. Most Survivors look back on their past with great disdain, and see similar circumstances as a blight on life and a challenge to overcome that they are VERY passionate about.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Everyone's worth listening to.
2 If someone is in trouble, I'm always ready to help.
3 I'm terrified of failure, but hide it by looking very competitive.
4 I don't like conflict, and try to diffuse arguments as fast as possible.
5 I find it strangely difficult to back down from a fight.
6 I strive to act quicker than the day before.
7 I distract myself from the darker parts of reality by any means necessary.
8 Normal things like random sounds in a tavern can make my heart skip a beat.
d6 Ideal
1 Redemption. Everyone deserves a second chance. (Good)
2 Karma. Actions should always be judged fairly. (Lawful)
3 Freedom. No one should be allowed to oppress the people. (Chaotic)
4 Grudge. The lives of all who wrong me are forfeit. (Evil)
5 Happiness. Life is short, happiness is all we can strive for. (Neutral)
6 Courage. I survived for a reason, and I can't fail again. I won't. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 My family might still be out there somewhere, how I long to see them again.
2 Nature protected me from death, I return the favor any way I can.
3 I've seen the horrors of a broken home, and despise homelessness.
4 My memories guide my hand, and I keep my mementos safe, and close if possible.
5 I can't stand to see anyone afraid, and stand up for those who are.
6 I lost a love once, and am proud to see when it still blooms.
d6 Flaw
1 The remnants of my past hunt me down.
2 I find it difficult to accept my plans and actions as good, there's always something wrong with them, even if they work.
3 I'm convinced any family I have will never forgive my failure.
4 It's easy for me to lose myself in things that make me happy, even at the cost of others.
5 Secretly, I think at least one person killed by the Tragedy in my past deserved it.
6 I'm deathly terrified of everything because of my Tragedy.

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