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All right dice fondlers, for Thanksgiving we fleshed out the first three of our six characters. The dice introduced us to Merric Gallowstree (our Halfling Warlock), Warbler (our Warforged Ranger), and Charity (our Tiefling Druid). This week we’re tackling the other half of our party. We’ll again be just focusing on the randomized backstory for each of our intrepid heroes.
As a reminder, each of the character backgrounds in the Player’s Handbook have multiple charts for a minimum of four components to each. Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws. Some Backgrounds also have an extra table concerning the Backgrounds criminal or trade speciality. With that out of the way, we have a Fighter, Paladin, and Monk that we need histories for.
Get your dice warmed up. Time to roll.
Our first subject is our Human Fighter. We know this one has a Background as a Sailor. Let’s keep alternating genders for our team and we’ll have this character be male. In fact, let’s bring that Sailor aspect into his name and call him Orrin Salt.
- Now, as a Sailor, he’s going to have Proficiency in the Athletics and Perception skills. He’ll also have Proficiency with both Navigator’s Tools and all waterbound vehicles.
- Orrin carries a belaying pin, 50 feet of silken rope, a lucky charm (a roll on the charm table tells us he has a mummified goblin hand), a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch with ten gold pieces in it.
- Now, as a Sailor, Orrin has the Ship’s Passage feature. This let’s them secure free passage on a sailing vessel for himself and the party by calling in a favor.
- As a Human, Orrin knows both Common speech and one extra language. Let’s give him Goblin, seeing as he has that goblin hand as a lucky charm.
- Orrin’s Personality Trait is that he likes a job well done, particularly if he can convince someone else to do it. His Ideal is that he is committed to his crewmates, not to ideals.
- Interestingly, when we get to rolling for Orrin’s Bond, we find out that he’s seeking vengeance against pirates that murdered his previous crew, destroyed his ship, and left him to die.
- Last but not least, Orrin’s Flaw is that he’ll do whatever he can do avoid having to do extra work. That’s a nice bit of symmetry with his Personality Trait.
Next up, we have a Half-Orc Paladin with a Soldier Background. We’ll keep things balanced and have this character be female. Pulling random names from the internet tells us “Nasha Redmist” is a great female Half-Orc name. Redmist in particular is fun for a class that wades into combat.
- With that handled, we’ll dig a little deeper into this character. Being a former Soldier, Nasha has Proficiency in Athletics, Intimidation, her choice of gaming set (rolling a four-sided die tells me she’s a dice player), and land-based vehicles.
- Being a Soldier also gets her an insignia of rank from her service, a trophy from a defeated enemy, a gaming set (we’ll pick bone dice to match her Proficiency), a set of common clothes, and a pouch with ten gold pieces in it.
- As a Half-Orc, Nasha knows both Common and Orcish. It’s important to note that Orcish shares an alphabet with Dwarvish instead of having its own script.
- Now to determine what her role in the military was. We roll on the optional table to see what her specialty was and find out she was a medic. We also find out that Nasha has the Military Rank feature. This refers to the rank she had when she was still part of his military force. She can invoke her old rank in order to requisition supplies and equipment or to request access to military bases that recognize her rank.
- We roll for Nasha’s Personality Trait and find out she is full of inspiring and cautionary tales from her military experience relevant to almost every combat situation.
- When we roll for her Ideal, we find out that Nasha is willing to lay down her life in the defense of others. This will tie in very well to her Class being Paladin.
- Nasha’s Bond continues to build on this theme. Someone saved her life on battlefield, so now she has both a debt to repay and an oath to never abandon a friend. Oaths play a large part of the Paladin lore, so this is great for her story.
- Finally, when we go to determine her Flaw, we find that the monstrous enemy she once faced in battle still leaves her quivering with fear. We can’t really have asked for much more detail there, as we now can assume that the figure she was saved from was said monstrous enemy.
Our last party member is a Dwarven Monk with Acolyte Background. We’ll flip a coin on this character’s gender and we get… a female Dwarf. Monks in DnD are known for being dangerous unarmed combatants, so let’s name her Tora Hammerhand.
- Tora, as an Acolyte, has Proficiency in both Insight and Religion, as well as two extra languages of our choice. We’ll pick those out once we get to Tora’s racial language.
- Being an Acolyte and having trained in the service of a deity, Tora has a holy symbol that was gifted to her upon entering the priesthood, a prayer book, five sticks of incense, vestments, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch with fifteen gold pieces.
- Dwarves like Tora start off knowing Common and Dwarvish. We know that her status as an Acolyte means that Tora knows two more languages of her choice. Let’s choose these two to keep our theme going. As a Dwarf that typically lives underground, let’s give her Gnomish and Undercommon and establish her as something of an underground scholar.
- Tora’s position as an Acolyte gains us the feature Shelter of the Faithful. Due to her service, Tora and her party can find shelter and free healing at temples associated with Tora’s deity. In fact, such a temple will even employ Tora in her off time between adventures, keeping her paid in order to sustain a modest lifestyle. Particularly well-received members may be able to request aid from the local priests as long as they aren’t traveling too far from their temple.
- When we roll to for Tora’s Personality Trait we find that she has little experience dealing with the outside world because of her years in training.
- Building on her identity, we learn that her Ideal is that she believes in ensuring that traditions of worship and sacrifice be upheld. As Dwarves are often viewed as rigid and not prone to change, this makes sense.
For Tora’s Bond, we find out that she has an unwavering loyalty to the temple she served in. She’ll do anything to protect it!
- Finally, for her Flaw, we find out that Tora is most inflexible in her thinking. A stubborn Dwarf who serves that temple loyally by beating its enemies into a pulp? Sounds about right to me.
That covers our the rest of adventuring party. We have a former sailor who is lazy on the surface, but secretly seeking to hunt down the enemies who murdered his crew. Then the soldier who took up a Paladin’s oath after an experience that left them owing a life debt and that shook them to their core. Finally, we have a Dwarvish Monk who was trained as part of the clergy and whose social skills seem to be one of the only things she didn’t learn in her temple.
Next week, we’ll start digging deeper with each hero and establish exactly what they are good at. Make sure to check back next Thursday for our first detailed look, and remember, until then…