Temple Guardian (5e Background)

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Temple Guardian[edit]

A Temple Guardian

You have spent your life in the service of a temple to a specific god or pantheon of gods - not as an anointed acolyte or cleric, but as one of its watchful protectors. Choose a god, a pantheon of gods, or some other quasi-divine being from among those listed in appendix B (PHB), 5e SRD Pantheons or those specified by your DM. Work with your DM to detail the nature of your religious service.

Were you a silent sentinel who spent hours in unmoving vigilance? Or maybe the ‘Holder-of-the-keys’ for a sacred library, vault or reliquary? Or perhaps you moved secretly amongst the worshippers ever watchful for thieves and other threats.

Friend or Pariah? What caused you to leave the Temple? Did you suffer a fall from grace? Or perhaps you were struck by a change of heart? How do the followers of the temple perceive you?

Skill Proficiencies: Religion and either Intimidation or Insight.

Languages: You may choose one of Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal, Primordial if appropriate to the temple deity served (DM's discretion.).

Equipment: Uniform in the style of the guard; or a signet ring or amulet representing your affiliation. Boot polish and sewing kit and a belt pouch with 10gp.


There are many kinds of Guardians, all based on the area guarded by you and its significance to your deity's/deities' worship. Where were you posted during your time as a Temple Guardian?

d8 Station
1 Sentry of the Door
2 Color Guard
3 Church Warden
4 Altar Sentinel
5 Unseen Watcher
6 Shield of the Inner Sanctum
7 Protector of the Treasury
8 Custodian of the Library

Feature: Friend of the Order[edit]

Your order maintains a network of spies, agents and supporters. Though you are no longer working within the temple, through a set of secret signs you can locate safe havens in otherwise dangerous places. You may call on friends for shelter, food, sanctuary, and basic healing.

Variant Feature: Pariah of the order You may pass as a friend of the Order as above, but if your fallen status is revealed you will be shunned or persecuted.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Temple guardians are the anonymous protectors of their charge. Tradition and formality have been drilled into them for many years. They tend to be stiff and stoic, and do not like to be seen as an individual. Duty, faith and honor have great meaning for a temple guardian.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Every situation is evaluated for potential threats. Vigilance never sleeps.
2 The security and peace of mind of those of my religion are my primary concern. I don’t care about much else.
3 Attack, steal, or desecrate a temple and I will burn you on a stake in front of the gate.
4 I maintain an calm and composed manner even in the most desperate of situations.
5 Social situations are awkward to me and so I prefer to stand aside and observe.
6 I want to be loved for my benevolent sacrifice.
7 I think of commoners as sheep. My word was law in the temple and I continue to expect the same treatment.
8 I am a guardian. This is my charge and my sacrifice. Honor is my life.
d8 Ideal
1 People. I am committed to the common worshippers of my order. Buildings fall and leaders are corrupted. (Chaotic)
2 Honor. I will maintain (or restore) my honor. (Lawful)
3 Advocate. I left my order to extend my order's ideals to everyone I meet. (Any)
4 Corrupt. For the right price, I have secrets to sell. (Evil)
5 Zealot. I am committed to my order first, everyone else comes second. (Neutral)
6 Penance. I seek redemption for past failings. (Good)
7 Freedom. I have seen the light and escaped the oppressive shackles of my previous life. (Chaotic)
8 Piety. Abstinence, self-sacrifice and deep-reflection are superior to any hall of worship. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I have seen the sacking of my Temple. I will have vengeance.
2 I owe my temple a debt of gratitude for forging me into the person I am today.
3 I have seen the corruption of the powerful. I will expose them all.
4 The freedom of others is the only thing worth fighting for.
5 I will see my temple’s glory raised to new heights.
6 I will recover a relic to the sanctity of my temple.
d6 Flaw
1 My appearance is very important to me I must be clean and well-presented at all times.
2 I have been cosseted by my upbringing. The hardships of commoners are a curiosity to me.
3 I am stiff and haughty in my interactions with strangers.
4 The fire in the priest's room wasn’t my fault! I shift the blame for my failings.
5 I find beggars and the lower classes repellent.
6 It irritates me that the world isn’t more ordered.

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