Talk:Background Design (5e Guideline)

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Emphasize that one should read the DMG section on creating backgrounds. Marasmusine (talk) 01:10, 4 September 2016 (MDT)

Once I have some time, I'm adding a section that gives page reference to sections which explain how to make each type of content at the start of each of these guides. --Kydo (talk) 10:20, 4 September 2016 (MDT)
OK. I think that's a good baseline for how to make a really good background, that we can use to judge what we already have, and will be receiving in the future. I'm trying to include external links to material which will broaden younger/new users' horizons as much as possible. Any opinions? Suggestions? Complaints? --Kydo (talk) 12:52, 6 September 2016 (MDT)
Oh, also, I protected the example backgrounds to autoconfirmed status, in order to protect them from sudden editing by randos who don't care to participate in the community. At least we can talk to a named user about inappropriate edits. I didn't want to protect them to admin status, because I think that would be kind of antithetical to the collaborative community spirit here. If a participating user really does have an idea on how to fix/clean up an example page, or in some way make it a better background or example, why get in their way? --Kydo (talk) 13:17, 6 September 2016 (MDT)
As a consequence of my work here, and reading the PHB and DMG sections on backgrounds letter-for-letter, I have updated the preload to more closely represent the precedent and developer expectations. --Kydo (talk) 13:37, 6 September 2016 (MDT)

Ideal Titles[edit]

Examples of official background ideals which are titled as phrases, rather than single words:

  • No Limits, Self Improvement, p.138
  • Greater Good, p.137 and p.134
  • Noble Obligation, p.136
  • Free Thinking, Live and Let Live, Self Knowledge, p.134

So, there's some precedent for it. That said, these are the vast minority, most of them come from just one background, and one of them is a duplicate. So, obviously, we should encourage brevity in the extreme for ideal titles, with a maximum limit of, eh, 5 words, let's say? Excepted, of course, if the ideal is actually better with more than 5 words. --Kydo (talk) 12:19, 21 September 2016 (MDT)

Background Features with Mechanical Benefits[edit]

Hello, just thought I'd let everyone know that the most recent adventure book, Ghosts of the Saltmarsh includes background features that as the title says have mechanical benefits. These seem to in exchange for a removed proficiency from what I can tell and the benefits themselves are highly specific. I'd recommend we give the backgrounds a look over and then tweak the Background Design Guide to include such guidance. Thoughts? —ConcealedLightChatmod.png (talk) 08:33, 14 June 2019 (MDT)

I wasn't planning to buy GoS, so I don't know the exact mechanics of the background you're referencing. Regardless, I don't understand why a homebrew background should always need to follow the exact proficiency layout (2 skills, 2 tools/languages, and one feature that usually amounts to having social connections). It would sometimes be more logical and more enjoyable to change the formula without significantly affecting balance.
I could see a stage magician background even having something like [Performance proficiency, prestidigitation, and social connections with entertaining spellcasters] which still seems balanced enough to me for any campaign.
If this guide was at least a little more open-minded towards different ideas, I think it would be an improvement. - Guy 07:37, 15 June 2019 (MDT)
I'd recommend giving a few of the mechanics it introduces a look as they are cool additions, namely naval combat and what amounts to building a naval stronghold (a ship). Anyways, I think you make a good point about being a more logical/enjoyable background with a neat example, my hope is that we can use this as an opportunity to as you say, make background design a little more open-minded.
To give an example from the book, the Fisher background grants you the following: 2 skills, a language, equipment. As well as a background feature that grants advantage on ability checks made using a fishing tackle, specifying that if you have access to a body of water that sustains marine life, you can maintain a moderate lifestyle while working as a fisher, and you can catch enough food to feed yourself and up to ten other people each day. It also has another bit called a Fishing Tale, that lets you tell a story once per day to become friendly with NPCs. The last one, of course, being something anyone could do with a good Performance check.
There are a few other backgrounds(fisher, marine, shipwright, smuggler) that grant similar features. —ConcealedLightChatmod.png (talk) 08:45, 15 June 2019 (MDT)
In this case it only makes sense to change the guide to allow for this type of flexibility. --Green Dragon (talk) 09:30, 17 June 2019 (MDT)
Yay for balanced flexibility! Send it ~ BigShotFancyMan 06:24, 18 June 2019 (MDT)
As long as the background feature's benefit continues to tie the character into the game world and provide roleplaying opportunities (which is the case with the fisher example above). I do not want to see any background benefits that simply do something like "you do +2 damage" or "you get this spell." Marasmusine (talk) 10:36, 18 June 2019 (MDT)
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