Test Subject (5e Background)

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Test Subject[edit]

You were brought up in slavery or captivity where you were experimented upon. A large portion of your history consists of dark dungeons or tower cells, and excruciating tinkering upon your person, either through arcane or mundane means. You have endured extraordinary events of inhumane science. At some point you escaped captivity, through subterfuge, diplomacy, or violence.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Medicine, Nature, Insight, and Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: Thieves' Tools, Poisoner's Kit, and Alchemist's Supplies

Equipment: A set of common clothes, a token to remember your home/parents (or a trinket from the Trinkets table), a pair of manacles, and a pouch containing 10 gp

Captor[edit]

There are many who seek knowledge through the suffering of others. There are well meaning wizards and clerics, who seek only to gain knowledge for the sake of others, and usually take evil test subjects. There are demon worshippers, interested only in new ways of inflicting pain. There are necromancers, alchemists, and arcanists who value new knowledge beyond the comfort of others. Choose or roll for what manner of individual your captor was on the table below.

d8 Captor
1 Necromancer
2 Cultist
3 Fiend
4 Demon
5 Wizard
6 Mind Flayer
7 Healer
8 Alchemist

Feature: First Hand Experience[edit]

You have experienced countless days of mental, physical, and spiritual agony, and know intimately how you were kept alive through it. While interrogating a living humanoid, you can make sure that any pain you inflict will not kill the individual. Additionally, while perceiving such an individual, you may take at least 30 minutes to attempt (Insight/Arcana/Investigation) to learn any arcane or biological secrets about their body.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality Trait
1 My captors learned much from my suffering. I see nothing wrong with harsh means for great gains.
2 I deserved my treatment. I am worth less than other people.
3 I have seen much. It will take a lot to shock me.
4 My traumatic experience left me anxious of contact. I react badly to touching.
5 I believe I was experimented upon because I am special. Others should fear my power.
6 I will never allow myself to be held down again. I resist any attempt to restrain me.
7 Some good may come of my experience. I can use my knowledge to make sure none suffer the same fate.
8 I deal with my nightmares through humor. There is no joke too dark for me.
d6 Ideal
1 Freedom. No one should be held captive, through force or intimidation. Freedom is the ultimate good. (Chaotic)
2 Retribution. Vengeance should be claimed however it can be. Those who cause suffering should suffer, as should anyone around them. (Neutral)
3 Knowledge. The value of knowledge is without bounds. It must be preserved at any cost. (Lawful)
4 Experimentation. The thrill of exploring another’s body and soul is a pleasure I crave and deserve. (Evil)
5 Sacrifice. Through sacrifice of self, boundless good may be bestowed upon others. (Good)
6 Nihilism. There are no universal laws. One may do whatever one can. (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 I have no memory of the time before my captivity. I want to learn who I was.
2 I found a friend in a fellow captive. They are still there and I have to free them.
3 My master set me free with a purpose. I must fulfil it.
4 My captor is still looking for me, and will kill me to preserve their secrets. I must kill them before they kill me.
5 A secret power was extracted from me and used to wreak havoc on others. I must absolve myself by aiding them.
6 I was freed by the intervention of others. I owe them my freedom, and whatever remains of my sanity.
d6 Flaw
1 All I know is the life of a subject. I am sometimes clueless to the ways of the world.
2 I am addicted to, and seek pain; sometimes to the detriment of myself and my friends.
3 The experiments left my mind scattered. I often get distracted or derailed.
4 I am not used to kindness. Every little bit of affection or kindness means unreasonably much to me.
5 I expect to be recaptured at any time. Some people call me paranoid, I call it cautious.
6 Even when I mean well, I find it hard to keep my cruelty at bay.

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