Talk:Hopeless Romantic (5e Background)

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Featured article candidate .png This article is a current quality article nominee as of 14:22, 25 July 2022 (MDT). Quality articles exemplify D&D Wiki's very best work, and therefore must meet the quality article criteria. Please discuss the page's merits below.

As the creator of this background, I am both aware of my bias in nominating it as a quality article and would love the opportunity to make my case. I consider it relatively well balanced and applicable in most campaign settings, and wrote it with constant comparison to this wiki's guidelines and other featured backgrounds. The most major point of contention with this background is that it is not an occupation so much as it is a character trait, and that it would serve better as an addition to a character's backstory or background. There is, however, no precedent for a 'sub-background' in 5e, and I do believe that being a 'Hopeless Romantic' can serve a similar purpose to a character's previous occupation. The PHB says a background 'reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world' (pg 125). While traditionally backgrounds establish these traits via a connection to certain skills, the Hopeless Romantic does so through a connection to a person. Both traditional backgrounds such as Charlatans, Acolytes, and Hermits and the Hopeless Romantic serve to define the course of action a character had taken in their life and the resulting role they played. Backgrounds serve to give a character some connection to the world a campaign takes place in, and while usually they do so by establishing a profession and presuming interaction with other characters (as shown in the Criminal Contact feature, most of the Folk Hero's defining events, or Sages knowing of other learned people) the Hopeless Romantic establishes a relationship with a person and presumes that a character could live their life around this relationship being a major part of their perspective. After all, 'your background is not the same thing as, or a replacement for, a backstory'. Critique is more than welcome, of course, but I am hopeful that the Hopeless Romantic won't be dismissed out of hand-- this is, ultimately, the homebrew wiki, and while there is no precedent for a non-professional background in official literature, the fact that this background can effectively fulfill the same purpose both mechanically and rp-wise should be taken into consideration.

Oppose. This definitely reads as a "personality" more than a background, which gives a bit more "place in the world" than "I fall in love and know love easily", unless you hail from wherever the gods of the love domain are. This has an interpersonal connection because this is, essentially, something that makes up a "bond" in the personality box. This essentially can describe other backgrounds based on how super broad it is. Sailor? You are some lovestruck fool sailing the world looking for love. Knight? You're looking for your princess you lost to some dragon. Urchin? You lost your love and your bleeding heart drives you to loneliness, boo-hoo. Because of how broad this is, it is thematically too "wide" to be a background compared to official content (which is still a standard on this homebrew wiki), I would say. I do like the features a bit.
Additionally, when comparing this to charlatan, acolytes, or hermits, the acolyte is more grounded with the flavor of cults and ties to a world's religious entities. Hermits and charlatans are less hinged, though hermits are implied to have underwent mental seclusion in some way (or had some epiphany tied to the world) to attain their "discovery." Charlatans are the most similar case one could make for this being a background, since they are just trickster people, which is the same as saying "hey, I just play jokes on people and stuff, haha."
As for a "sub-background," ... I'm assuming you mean a niche within a background. Backgrounds are already customizable because they are usually closer to professions or origins. You could have a hermit who decides to come out and meet the world or a knight who throws away his code of honor and just elopes with their squire. So that confuses me. Additionally, when you say that this background establishes a connection through a given relationship that is a major part of their perspective, isn't that kind of just like marriage or a character who was of a different background that got hung up on a one-time thing possibly? So that loops back into the broadness a bit. What I can differentiate is that this character is incredibly hung up on someone they cannot achieve (???)... --Yanied (talk) 19:11, 25 July 2022 (MDT)

I understand where you're coming from with the broadness. I was trying to make it work both ways-- in the way that a Sailor, Knight, or Urchin could have an attachment like this written into their backstory, someone with an attachment like this could have any sort of career in their backstory (with the relationship being major enough that its what the character learned skills to pursue). Instead of a career being the focus of a character's goals and relationships being built around it, the character's main goal is a relationship and they live their life around this consistent pursual.
I'm struggling a bit with what you're trying to say in the third paragraph-- do you think that the background is too broad, or that the narrative options are too limited? Because if its the latter, I heavily disagree (I can give examples lol). Do you think there's anything I could do to make this background more 'within the bounds' as it were?

Hmm, yeah, it was hard to substantiate my third paragraph because the idea of a sub-background, as you used it, is strange. A subclass is a niche within a class, like how a subrace is a niche within a race. However, this background is more free and less form than other, more traditional backgrounds, so it is actually not really a sub. It is more like an overarching personality archetype. A background can certainly be an archetype, and it should be broadly applicable. But I think that there is somewhat a constraint (and thus a clearer form) to backgrounds tied with something more worldly than a person, save for the example of charlatan, as I mentioned. --Yanied (talk) 18:29, 28 July 2022 (MDT)
I said 'sub-background' because I had heard the idea of this background being 'an addition to a different background'. It was a poor choice of words, and for that I apologize. I think that you bringing up the Charlatan could actually work as a point in my favor, seeing as it is a direct comparison to an original background. At this point, however, I have made just about all of the defenses of this background's concept that I could, and will accept whatever decision is made. I appreciate the consideration you have given this, and thank you for your time and effort in doing so. My apologies for any poor form I have demonstrated throughout this attempt. Stardyo (talk 23:45, 29 July 2022 (MDT)
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