Zealot (5e Background)

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Zealot[edit]

After years of purposeless wandering and fruitless searching, you have found your cause. Be it a god or religion, a political campaign, a philosophical movement, or simply promotion of Master Tuckin's fine ales and mead, you have seen the light and are wholeheartedly devoted to furthering your chosen cause. You are dogged and adamant in your promotion of this cause, preaching to anyone and everyone about your truth. You cannot stand to be contradicted and see it as blasphemy. And yes, you drive your party members up a wall on a regular basis. One of these days you may be murdered in your sleep. How did you find your cause? Were you led into it by a friend or family member? Why are you so unbending in your convictions? Can you work with those who do not fully subscribe to (or, at least, say that they subscribe to) your ideas? How far will you go to convince others of your truth?

Skill Proficiencies: Two of the following, appropriate for your backstory: Religion, Arcana, History, Investigation, Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion, Performance

Tool Proficiencies: Calligrapher's Supplies, tool set of your choice (appropriate for your backstory)

Languages: Common, one exotic language of choice (gained through your efforts at conversion)

Equipment: symbol of your cause (religious idol, insignia, amulet, etc.), A uniform, a signet ring, one evil/cursed item and a satchel containing 35 gp's

Type of Zealotry[edit]

You are devoted to one cause, and one cause only. All others pale in comparison to your cause's cosmic importance.

d6 Specialization
1 One True God
2 Our Future Ruler(s)
3 Anarchist
4 Let Go of Your Earthly Attachments
5 It's the End of the World as We Know It
6 The Best Mead (or Other Good) in the Whole Universe

Feature: Conversion[edit]

You try to draw others to your cause. Aggressively. Any time you are in a populated area, you are out on the street corners, ringing your bell, trying to draw in a crowd, soliciting donations, giving rousing speeches and, of course, passing out pamphlets that you create in your spare time. Sometimes you are able to successfully persuade members of the crowd to your cause, and as such find them to be willing acolytes, malleable to instruction. What you do with their malleability is, of course, entirely up to you. You are also able to collect modest donations while spending time in the street amongst the masses. However, not everyone appreciates your little rallies, and occasionally you are targeted for harassment (or worse). Your single-mindedness is also seen as off-putting, and with the mentally disciplined it is often difficult to make headway into friendships, or even working relationships.

Alternate Feature: Fire and Brimstone[edit]

Your convictions run deep, and nothing can set you off of your chosen path. Not even a hulking bugbear foaming at the mouth, ready to crush you to dust. Even in face of terrifying enemies, you remember your purpose, and before engaging in combat you will often deliver a blistering sermon to your would-be combatants that leaves your enemies quaking in their boots (or footwear of choice). They should, after all, know your divine truth before you cut them down and bury them. Sometimes your enemies find reason in your impressive orations; other times they are less than impressed. Sometimes you even manage to enrage them with your presumptions, and find yourself the immediate target of their ire.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality Trait
1 I have to speak with every potential convert, even if we're in a hurry.
2 I mutter to myself constantly about my cause and my conversion plans.
3 I have very specific daily rituals related to my cause, and I become very cranky if I am not able to complete them.
4 I am naturally charming and charismatic, and you don't even realize I've launched into a pitch about my cause until it's too late.
5 I feel the need to bellow everything dramatically, as it seems to add importance to whatever I am saying.
6 I'm confident in my convictions, but I am very timid in speaking about them, and I often stutter and stumble when trying to explain the grand concepts of my cause.
7 I am very judgmental and like to whisper sly, cutting comments to nearby party members about other party members.
8 There is something off about me. I smile far too much and speak far too cheerily all the time.
d6 Ideal
1 I will save them all. I have been granted a vision of truth, and I will use my knowledge to shepherd all I can into the safety of my flock. (Good)
2 Truth and order must prevail. The world is chaos, and I have found the way to return it to perfect order. (Lawful)
3 This is my Path. What is, is. I have been set on a path and I will walk it, for good or ill. (Neutral)
4 For the Glory. I serve my cause knowing that I will be greatly rewarded for it. (Evil)
5 A Sucker is Born Every Minute. People are so gullible. Dazzle them with a few promises and they're eating out of your hands like street pigeons. (Neutral Evil)
6 This is the Greatest. Really. I just think this is the greatest, and everyone should know. (Neutral, Good)
d6 Bond
1 You are itching to make a pilgrimage to the original source of your cause (shrine of a God, meeting with a political figure you are championing, tavern purveying the fine goods you are trumpeting to all who will hear).
2 There is a faction of zealots directly opposed to your goals, and you find yourself competing with them for converts, as well as seeking out fellow believers for support and aid.
3 Your parents just don't get you. You've tried to explain, but they still don't understand why you're throwing away your life with "this nonsense". You've decided to cut all ties and just hope that you never run into them.
4 You have a direct connection with the God/champion/philosopher/prophet you are representing, and commune/correspond with them often asking for advice.
5 You lived a seedy life before you saw the light and donned your robes. You have tried to leave your past in the past, but inevitably it will catch up to you.
6 Your zealotry includes pursuit of a powerful magical artifact (a Holy Grail), and you will stop at nothing to obtain it.
d6 Flaw
1 You really don't know when to shut up.
2 You are blinded by your devotion to your cause, and have difficulty thinking critically and problem-solving.
3 You are so obsessed with advancing your cause that you have become an insomniac, and often stay up until all hours of the night writing out pamphlets, making plans, and generally muttering to yourself.
4 Your collected "donations" are actually used to support your addiction, and your God help you if your devotees ever find out about this.
5 Beneath your front of devotion, you are actually a nihilist and a cynic, and lead an empty life marred by depression and a lack of a sense of purpose.
6 Your cause is actually terrible and you know it. The problem is, you are too prideful and have devoted too many years to it to actually admit it, so you keep on keeping on, pretending that everything is fine.

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