Sword Coast - Backgrounds

Sword Coast Adventures – Backgrounds

  • CITY WATCH
    You have served the community where you grew up,
    s tanding as its fi rst line of defense against crime. You
    a ren’t a soldier, directing your gaze outward at possible
    enemies. Ins tead, your service to your hometown was
    to help police its populace, protecting the citizenry from
    lawbreakers and malefactors of every stripe.
    You might have been part of the City Watch of Waterdeep,
    the baton-wielding police force of the City of Splendors,
    protecting the common folk from thieves and rowdy
    nobility alike. Or you might have been one of the valiant
    defenders of Silverymoon, a member of the Silverwatch or
    even one of the magic-wielding Spellguard.
    Perhaps you hail from Neverwinter and have served
    as one of its Winters hield watchmen, the newly founded
    branch of gua rds who vow to keep safe the City of
    S killed Hands.
    Even if you’re not city-born or city-bred, this background
    can describe your early years as a member of
    law enforcement. Most settlements of any size have
    their own constables and police fo rces, and even smaller
    communities have sheriffs and bai liffs who s tand ready
    to protect their community.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight
    • Languages: Two of your choice
    • Equipment: A uniform in the s tyle of your unit and
      indicative of your rank, a horn with which to summon
      help, a set of manacles, and a pouch containing 10 gp
    • FEATURE: WATCHER’S EYE
      Your experience in enforcing the law, and dealing with
      lawbreakers, gives you a feel for local laws and crimina
      ls. You can easily find the local outpost of the watch
      or a similar organization, and just as easily pick out
      the dens of criminal activity in a community, although
      you’re more likely to be welcome in the former locations
      rather than the latter.
    • VARIANT: INVESTIGATOR
      Ra rer than watch or patrol members are a community’s
      investigators, who are responsible for solving crimes
      after the fact. Though such folk a re seldom found in
      rural areas, nearly every settlement of decent size has
      at least one or two watch members who have the skill to
      investigate crime scenes and track down criminals. If
      your prior experience is as an investigator, you have proficiency
      in Investigation rather than Athletics.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the soldier background in the Player ’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your
      identity as a member of the city watch.
      Your bond is likely associated with your fellow watch
      members or the watch organization itself and almost
      certa inly concerns your community. Your ideal probably
      involves the fos tering of peace and safety. An investigator
      is likely to have an ideal connected to achieving
      jus tice by successfully solving crimes.
  • CLAN CRAFTER
    The Stout Folk a re well known for their artisanship
    and the worth of their ha ndiworks, and you have been
    trained in that ancient tradition. For years you labored
    under a dwarf master of the craft, enduring long hours.
    and dismissive, sour-tempered treatment in order to
    gain the fin e s kills you possess today.
    You are most likely a dwarf, but not necessarily- particularly
    in the North, the shield dwarf clans learned
    long ago that only proud fools who are more concerned
    for their egos than their craft turn away promising
    apprentices, even those of other races. If you aren’t a
    dwarf, however, you have taken a solemn oath never
    to take on an apprentice in the craft: it is not for nondwarves
    to pass on the s kills of Moradin’s favored
    children. You would have no difficulty, however, finding
    a dwarf master who was willing to receive potential apprentices
    who came with your recommendation.
    • Skill Proficiencies: History, Insight
      Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools
    • Languages: Dwarvish or one other of your choice if you
      a lready speak Dwarvish
    • Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools with which you are
      proficient, a maker’s mark chisel used to mark your
      handiwork with the symbol of the clan of crafters you
      learned your skill from, a set of traveler’s clothes, and
      a pouch containing 5 gp and a gem worth 10 gp
    • FEATURE: RESPECT OF THE STOUT FOLK
      As well respected as clan crafte rs are among outsiders,
      no one esteems them quite so highly as dwarves do. You
      a lways have free room and board in any place where
      s hield dwarves or gold dwarves dwell, and the individuals
      in such a settlement might vie among themselves to
      determine who can offer you (and possibly your compatriots)
      the finest accommodations and assistance.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the guild artisan background in the
      Player ’s Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit
      your identity as a clan crafter. (For instance, consider
      the words “guild” and “clan” to be interchangeable.)
      Your bond is almost certainly related to the master
      or the clan that taught you, or else to the work that you
      produce. Your ideal might have to do with maintaining
      the high quality of your work or preserving the dwarven
      traditions of craftsmanship.
  • CLOISTERED SCHOLAR
    As a child, you were inquisitive when your playmates
    were possessive or raucous. In your formative years,
    you found your way to one of FaerCm’s great institutes
    of learning , where you were apprenticed and taught
    that knowledge is a more valuable treasure than gold
    or gems. Now you are ready to leave your home- not to
    abandon it, but to quest for new lore to add to its storehouse
    of knowledge.
    The most well known of Faerfin’s fonts of knowledge
    is Candlekeep. The great library is always in need of
    workers and attendants, some of whom rise through
    the ranks to assume roles of greater responsibility and
    prominence. You might be one of Candlekeep’s own,
    dedicated to the curatorship of what is likely the most
    complete body of lore and history in all the world.
    Perhaps instead you were taken in by the scholars
    of the Vault of the Sages or the Map House in Silverymoon,
    and now you have struck out to increase your
    CHAPTER 5 I BACKGROUNDS
    knowledge and to make yourself available to help those
    in other places who seek your expertise. You might be
    one of the few who aid Herald’s Holdfast, helping to
    catalogue and maintain records of the information that
    arrives daily from across Faerfin.
    • Skill Proficiencies: History, plus your choice of one
      from among Arcana, Nature, and Religion
    • Languages: Two of your choice
    • Equipment: The scholar’s robes of your cloister, a
      writing kit (small pouch with a quill, ink, folded
      parchment, and a small penknife), a borrowed book
      on the subject of your current study, and a pouch
      containing 10 gp
    • FEATURE: LIBRARY ACCESS
      Though others must often endure extensive interviews
      and significant fees to gain access to even the most
      common archives in your library, you have free and easy
      access to the majority of the library, though it might also
      have repositories of lore that are too valuable, magical,
      or secret to permit anyone immediate access.
      You have a working knowledge of your cloister’s personnel
      and bureaucracy, and you know how to navigate
      those connections with some ease.
      Additionally, you are likely to gain preferential treatment
      at other libraries across the Realms, as professional
      courtesy shown to a fellow scholar.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the sage background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your
      identity as a cloistered scholar.
      Your bond is almost certainly associated either with
      the place where you grew up or with the knowledge you
      hope to acquire through adventuring. Your ideal is no
      doubt related to how you view the quest for knowledge
      and truth- perhaps as a worthy goal in itself, or maybe
      as a means to a desirable end.
  • COURTIER
    In your earlier days, you were a personage of some
    significance in a noble court or a bureaucratic organization.
    You might or might not come from an upper-class
    family; your talents, rather than the circumstances of
    your birth, could have secured you this position.
    You might have been one of the many functionaries,
    attendants, and other hangers-on in the Court of Silverymoon,
    or perhaps you traveled in Waterdeep’s baroque
    and sometimes cutthroat conglomeration of guilds, nobles,
    adventurers, and secret societies. You might have
    been one of the behind-the-scenes law-keepers or functionaries
    in Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter, or you might
    have grown up in and around the castle of Daggerford.
    Even if you are no longer a full-ft edged member of the
    group that gave you your start in life, your relationships
    with your former fellows can be an advantage for you
    and your adventuring comrades. You might undertake
    missions with your new companions that further the
    interest of the organization that gave you your start
    in life. In any event, the abilities that you honed while
    serving as a courtier will stand you in good stead as an
    adventurer.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Ins ight, Persuasion
    • Languages: Two of your choice
    • Equipment: A set of fine clothes and a pouch
      containing 5 gp
    • FEATURE: COURT FUNCTIONARY
      Your knowledge of how bureaucracies function lets you
      gain access to the records and inner workings of any noble
      court or government you encounter. You know who
      the movers and shakers are, whom to go to for the favors
      you seek, and what the current intrigues of interest in
      the group are.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the guild artisan background in the
      Player ’s Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit
      your identity as a courtier.
      The noble court or bureaucratic organization where
      you got your start is directly or indirectly associated
      with your bond (which could pertain to certain individuals
      in the group, such as your sponsor or mentor). Your
      ideal might be concerned with the prevailing philosophy
      of your court or organization.
  • FACTION AGENT
    Many organizations active in the North and across the
    face of Faerun aren’t bound by strictures of geography.
    These factions pursue their agendas without regard
    for political boundaries, and their members operate
    anywhere the organization deems necessary. These
    groups employ listeners, rumormongers, smugglers,
    sellswords, cache-holders (people who guard caches of
    wealth or magic for use by the faction’s operatives), haven
    keepers, and message drop minders, to name a few.
    At the core of every faction are those who don’t merely
    fulfill a sma ll function for that organization, but who
    serve as its hands, head, and heart.
    As a prelude to your adventuring career (and in preparation
    for it), you served as an agent of a particular
    faction in Faerun. You might have operated openly or
    secretly, depending on the faction and its goals, as well
    as how those goals mesh with your own. Becoming an
    adventurer doesn’t necessarily require you to relinquish
    membership in your faction (though you can choose to
    do so), and it might enhance your status in the faction.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Insight and one Intelligence,
      Wisdom, or Charisma s kill of your choice, as
      appropriate to your faction
    • Languages: Two of your choice
    • Equipment: Badge or emblem of your faction, a copy
      of a seminal faction text (or a code-book for a covert
      faction), a set of common clothes, and a pouch
      containing 15 gp
    • FEATURE: SAFE HAVEN
      As a faction agent, you have access to a secret network
      of supporters and operatives who can provide assistance
      on your adventures. You know a set of secret signs
      and passwords you can use to identify such operatives,
      who can provide you with access to a hidden safe house,
      free room and board, or assistance in finding information.
      These agents never risk their lives for you or risk
      revealing their true identities.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the acolyte background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your
      identity as a faction agent. (For instance, consider the
      words “faith” and “faction” to be interchangeable.)
      Your bond might be associated with other members of
      your faction, or a location or an object that is important
      to your faction. The ideal you strive for is probably in
      keeping with the tenets and principles of your faction,
      but might be more personal in nature.
  • FAR TRAVELER
    Almost all of the common people and other folk that one
    might encounter along the Sword Coast or in the North
    have one thing in common: they live out their lives without
    ever traveling more than a few miles from where
    they were born.
    You aren’t one of those folk.
    You are from a distant place, one so remote that few
    of the common folk in the North realize that it exists,
    and chances are good that even if some people you meet
    have heard of your homeland, they know merely the
    CHAPTER 5 I BACKGROUNDS
    name and perhaps a few outrageous stories. You have
    come to this part of Faerun for your own reasons, which
    you might or might not choose to share.
    Although you will undoubtedly find some of this land’s
    ways to be strange and discomfiting, you can also be
    sure that some things its people take for granted will be
    to you new wonders that you’ve never laid eyes on before.
    By the same token, you’re a person of interest, for
    good or ill, to those around you almost anywhere you go.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Perception
      Tool Proficiencies: Any one musical instrument or
      gaming set of your choice, likely something native to
      your homeland
    • Languages: Any one of your choice
    • Equipment: One set of traveler’s clothes, any one
      musical instrument or gaming set you are proficient
      with, poorly wrought maps from your homeland that
      depict where you are in Faerun, a small piece of
      jewelry worth 10 gp in the style of your homeland’s
      craftsmanship, and a pouch containing 5 gp
    • WHY ARE You HERE?
      A far traveler might have set out on a journey for one
      of a number of reasons, and the departure from his or
      her homeland could have been voluntary or involuntary.
      To determine why you are so far from home, roll on the
      table below or choose from the options provided. The
      following section, discussing possible homelands, includes
      some suggested reasons that are appropriate for
      each location.
    • WHY ARE You HERE?
      d6 Reason
      1 Emissary 4 Pilgrim
      2 Exile 5 Sightseer
      3 Fugitive 6 Wanderer
    • WHERE ARE You FROM?
      The most important decision in creating a far traveler
      background is determining your homeland.
    • FEATURE: ALL EYES ON You
      Your accent, mannerisms, figures of speech, and perhaps
      even your appearance all mark you as foreign.
      Curious glances are directed your way wherever you go,
      which can be a nuisance, but you also gain the friendly
      interest of scholars and others intrigued by far-off lands,
      to say nothing of everyday folk who are eager to hear
      stories of your homeland.
      You can parley this attention into access to people
      and places you might not otherwise have, for you and
      your traveling companions. Noble lords, scholars, and
      merchant princes, to name a few, might be interested in
      hearing about your distant homeland and people.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      PERSONALITY TRAIT
      d6 Personality Trait
      1 I have different assumptions from those around
      me concerning personal space, blithe ly invading
      others’ space in innocence, or reacting to ignorant
      invasion of my own.
      2 I have my own ideas about what is and is not food,
      and I find the eating habits of those around me
      fascinating, confusing, or revolting.
      3 I have a strong code of honor or sense of propriety
      that others don’t comprehend.
      4 I express affection or contempt in ways that are
      unfamiliar to others.
      5 I honor my deities through practices that are
      foreign to this land .
      6 I begin or end my day with small traditional ritua ls
      that are unfamiliar to those around me.
      IDEALS
      d6 Ideal
      1 Open. I have much to learn from the kind ly folk I
      meet along my way. (Good)
      2 Reserved. As someone new to these strange lands, I
      am cautious and respectful in my dealings. (Lawful)
      3 Adventure. I’m far from home, and eve rything is
      strange and wonderful! (Chaotic)
      4 Cunning. Th ough I may not know their ways,
      neither do they know mine, which can be to my
      advantage. (Evil)
      5 Inquisitive. Everything is new, but I have a thirst to
      learn. (Neutral)
      6 Suspicious. I must be carefu l, for I have no way of
      telling fr iend from foe here. (Any)
      BONDS
      d6 Bond
      1 So long as I have this token from my homeland, I
      can face any adversity in th is strange land.
      2 The gods of my people are a comfort to me so far
      from home.
      3 I hold no greater cause than my service to my
      people.
      4 My freedom is my most precious possession. I’ ll
      never let anyone take it from me again.
      5 I’m fascinated by the beauty and wonder of this
      new land.
      6 Though I had no choice, I lame nt having to leave
      my loved one(s) behind. I ho pe to see them again
      one day.
      FLAWS
      d6 Flaw
      1 I am secretly (or not so secretly) convinced of the
      superiority of my own cu lture over that of this
      foreign land.
      2 I pretend not to understand the local language in
      order to avoid interactions I would rather not have.
      3 I have a weakness for the new intoxica nts and other
      pl easures of this land.
      4 I don’t take kindly to some of the actions and
      motivations of the people of this land, because
      these folk are diffe rent from me.
      5 I consider the adherents of other gods to be deluded
      innocents at best, or ignorant foo ls at worst.
      6 I have a weakness for the exotic beauty of the
      people of these lands.
  • INHERITOR
    You are the heir to something of great value- not mere
    coin or wealth, but an object that has been entrusted to
    you and you alone. Your inheritance might have come
    directly to you from a member of your family, by right
    of birth, or it could have been left to you by a friend, a
    mentor, a teacher, or someone else important in your
    life. The revelation of your inheritance changed your
    life, and might have set you on the path to adventure, but
    it could also come with many dangers, including those
    who covet your gift and want to take it from you- by
    force, if need be.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Survival, plus one from among
      Arcana, History, and Religion
      Tool Proficiencies: Your choice of a gaming set or a
      musical instrument
    • Languages: Any one of your choice
    • Equipment: Your inheritance, a set of traveler’s clothes,
      any items with which you are proficient, and a pouch
      containing 15 gp
    • FEATURE: INHERITANCE
      Choose or randomly determine your inheritance from
      among the possibilities in the table below. Work with
      your Dungeon Master to come up with details: Why is
      your inheritance so important, and what is its fu ll story?
      You might prefer for the DM to invent these details as
      part of the game, allowing you to learn more about your
      inheritance as your character does.
      The Dungeon Master is free to use your inheritance
      as a story hook, sending you on quests to learn more
      about its history or true nature, or confronting you with
      foes who want to claim it for themselves or prevent you
      from learning what you seek. The DM also determines
      the properties of your inheritance and how they figure
      into the item’s history and importance. For instance, the
      object might be a minor magic item, or one that begins
      with a modest ability and increases in potency with the
      passage of time. Or, the true nature of your inheritance
      might not be apparent at first and is revealed only when
      certain conditions are met.
      When you begin your adventuring career, you can
      decide whether to tell your companions about your inheritance
      right away. Rather than attracting attention
      to yourself, you might want to keep your inheritance a
      secret until you learn more about what it means to you
      and what it can do for you.
      INHERITANCE
      d8 Object or Item
      1 A document such as a map, a letter, or a journal
      2-3 A trinket (see “Trinkets” in chapter 5 of the Player’s
      Handbook)
      4 An article of clothing
      5 A piece of jewe lry
      6 An arcane book or formulary
      7 A written story, song, poem, or secret
      8 A tattoo or other body marking
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the folk hero background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit
      your identity as an inheritor.
      Your bond might be directly related to your inheritance,
      or to the person from whom you received it. Your
      ideal might be influenced by what you know about your
      inheritance, or by what you intend to do with your gift
      once you realize what it is capable of.
  • KNIGHT OF THE ORDER
    You belong to an order of knights who have sworn
    oaths to achieve a certain goal. The nature of this goal
    depends on the order you serve, but in your eyes it is
    without question a vital and honorable endeavor. FaerO.n
    has a wide variety of knightly orders, all of which have
    a similar outlook concerning their actions and responsibilities.
    Though the term “knight” conjures ideas of mounted,
    heavily armored warriors of noble blood, most knightly
    orders in FaerO.n don’t restrict their membership to such
    individuals. The goals and philosophies of the order are
    more important than the gear and fighting style of its
    members, and so most of these orders aren’t limited to
    fighting types, but are open to a ll sorts of folk who are
    willing to battle and die for the order’s cause.
    The “Knightly Orders of FaerO.n” sidebar details
    several of the orders that are active at present and is designed
    to help inform your decision about which group
    you owe allegiance to.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, plus one from among
      Arcana, History, Nature, and Religion, as appropriate
      for your order
      Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set or musical
      instrument
    • Languages: One of your choice
    • Equipment: One set of traveler’s clothes, a signet,
      banner or seal representing your place or rank in the
      order, and a pouch containing 10 gp
    • FEATURE: KNIGHTLY REGARD
      You receive shelter and succor from members of your
      knightly order and those who are sympathetic to its aid a sorely pressed knight in a fight, or those who support
      the order helping to smuggle a knight out of town
      when he or she is being hunted unjustly.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the soldier background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your
      identity as a knight of your order.
      Your bond almost always involves the order to which
      you belong (or at least key members of it), and it is highly
      unusual for a knight’s ideal not to reflect the agenda,
      sentiment, or philosophy of one’s order.
  • MERCENARY VETERAN
    As a sell-sword who fought battles for coin, you’re well
    acquainted with risking life and limb for a chance at a
    share of treasure. Now, you look forward to fighting foes
    and reaping even greater rewards as an adventurer. Your
    experience makes you familiar with the ins and outs of
    mercenary life, and you likely have harrowing stories of
    events on the battlefield. You might have served with a
    large outfit such as the Zhentarim or the soldiers of Mintarn,
    or a smaller band of sell-swords, maybe even more
    than one. (See the “Mercenaries of the North” sidebar for
    a collection of possibilities.)
    Now you’re looking for something else, perhaps
    greater reward for the risks you take, or the freedom to
    choose your own activities. For whatever reason, you’re
    leaving behind the life of a soldier for hire, but your
    skills are undeniably s uited for battle, so now you fight
    on in a different way.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Persuasion
      Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set,
      vehicles (land)
    • Equipment: A uniform of your company (traveler’s
      clothes in quality), an insignia of your rank, a gaming
      set of your choice, and a pouch containing the
      remainder of your last wages (10 gp)
    • FEATURE: MERCENARY LIFE
      You know the mercenary life as only someone who has
      experienced it can. You are able to identify mercenary
      companies by their emblems, and you know a little about
      any such company, including the names and reputations
      of its commanders and leaders, and who has hired them
      recently. You can find the taverns and festhalls where
      mercenaries abide in any area, as long as you speak the
      language. You can find mercenary work between adventures
      sufficient to maintain a comfortable lifestyle (see
      “Practicing a Profession” under “Downtime Activities” in
      chapter 8 of the Player’s Handbook).
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the soldier background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to s uit your
      identity as a mercenary.
      Your bond could be associated with the company you
      traveled with previously, or with some of the comrades
      you served with. The ideal you embrace largely depends
      on your worldview and your motivation for fighting.
  • URBAN BOUNTY HUNTER
    Before you became an adventurer, your life was already
    full of conflict and excitement, because you made a living
    tracking down people for pay. Unlike some people
    who collect bounties, though, you aren’t a savage who
    follows quarry into or through the wilderness. You’re
    involved in a lucrative trade, in the place where you live,
    that routinely tests your skills and survival instincts.
    What’s more, you aren’t alone, as a bounty hunter in the
    wild would be: you routinely interact with both the criminal
    subculture and other bounty hunters, maintaining
    contacts in both areas to help you succeed.
    You might be a cunning thief-catcher, prowling the
    rooftops to catch one of the myriad burglars of the
    city. Perhaps you are someone who has your ear to the
    street, aware of the doings of thieves’ gui lds and street
    gangs. You might be a “velvet mask” bounty hunter, one
    who blends in with high society and noble circles in order
    to catch the criminals that prey on the rich, whether
    pickpockets or con artists. The community where you
    plied your trade might have been one of Faen1n’s great
    metropolises, such as Waterdeep or Baldur’s Gate, or a
    less populous location, perhaps Luskan or Yartar-any
    place that’s large enough to have a steady supply of potential
    quarries.
    As a member of an adventuring party, you might find
    it more difficult to pursue a personal agenda that doesn’t
    fit with the group’s objectives- but on the other hand,
    you can take down much more formidable targets with
    the help of your companions.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from among
      Deception, Insight, Persuasion, and Stealth
      Tool Proficiencies: Choose two from among one type of
      gaming set, one musical instrument, and thieves’ tools
    • Equipment: A set of clothes appropriate to your duties
      and a pouch containing 20 gp
    • FEATURE: EAR TO THE GROUND
      You are in frequent contact with people in the segment
      of society that your chosen quarries move through.
      These people might be associated with the criminal
      underworld, the rough-and-tumble folk of the streets,
      or members of high society. This connection comes in
      the form of a contact in any city you visit, a person who
      provides information about the people and places of the
      local area.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the criminal background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your bounty hunter’s
      traits and motivations, modifying the entries when appropriate
      to suit your identity as a bounty hunter.
      For instance, your bond might involve other bounty
      hunters or the organizations or individuals that employ
      you. Your ideal could be associated with your determination
      always to catch your quarry or your desire to maintain
      your reputation for being dependable.
  • UTHGARDT TRIBE MEMBER
    Though you might have only recently arrived in civilized
    lands, you are no stranger to the values of cooperation
    and group effort when striving for supremacy. You
    learned these principles, and much more, as a member
    of an Uthgardt tribe.
    Your people have always tried to hold to the old ways.
    Tradition and taboo have kept the Uthgardt strong
    while the kingdoms of others have collapsed into chaos
    and ruin. But for the last few generations, some bands
    among the tribes were tempted to settle, make peace,
    trade, and even to build towns. Perhaps this is why Uthgar
    chose to raise up the totems among the people as
    living embodiments of his power. Perhaps they needed a
    reminder of who they were and from whence they came.
    The Chosen of Uthgar led bands back to the old ways,
    and most of your people abandoned the soft ways of
    civilization.
    You might have grown up in one of the tribes that had
    decided to settle down, and now that they have abandoned
    that path, you find yourself adrift. Or you might
    come from a segment of the Uthgardt that adheres to
    tradition, but you seek to bring glory to your tribe by
    achieving great things as a formidable adventurer.
    See the “Uthgardt Lands” section of chapter 2 for details
    on each tribe’s territory and its activities that will
    help you choose your affiliation.
    • Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival
      Tool Proficiencies: One type of musical instrument or
      artisan’s tools
    • Languages: One of your choice
    • Equipment: A hunting trap, a totemic token or set
      of tattoos marking your loyalty to Uthgar and your
      tribal totem, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch
      containing 10 gp
    • FEATURE: UTHGARDT HERITAGE
      You have an excellent knowledge of not only your tribe’s
      territory, but a lso the terrain and natural resources of
      the rest of the North. You are familiar enough with any
      wilderness area that you find twice as much food and
      water as you normally would when you forage there.
      Additionally, you can call upon the hospitality of
      your people, and those folk allied with your tribe, often
      including members of druid circles, tribes of nomadic
      elves, the Harpers, and the priesthoods devoted to the
      gods of the First Circle.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the outlander background in the
      Player’s Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit
      your identity as a member of an Uthgardt tribe.
      Even if you have left your tribe behind (at least for
      now), you hold to the traditions of your people. You will
      never cut down a still-living tree, and you may not countenance
      such an act being done in your presence. The
      Uthgardt ancestral mounds- great hills where the totem
      spirits were defeated by Uthgar and where the heroes of
      the tribes are interred- are sacred to you.
      Your bond is undoubtedly associated with your tribe
      or some aspect of Uthgardt philosophy or culture (perhaps
      even Uthgar himself). Your ideal is a personal
      choice that probably hews closely to the ethos of your
      people and certainly doesn’t contradict or compromise
      what being an Uthgardt stands for.
  • WATERDHAVIAN NOBLE
    You are a scion of one of the great noble families of Waterdeep.
    Human families who jealously guard their privilege
    and place in the City of Splendors, Waterdhavian
    nobles have a reputation across FaerO.n for being eccentric,
    spoiled, venal, and, above all else, rich.
    Whether you are a shining example of the reason
    for this reputation or one who proves the rule by being
    an exception, people expect things of you when they
    know your surname and what it means. Your reasons
    for taking up adventuring likely involve your family in
    some way: Are you the family rebel, who prefers delving
    in filthy dungeons to sipping zzar at a ball? Or have
    you taken up sword or spell on your family’s behalf,
    ensuring that they have someone of renown to see to
    their legacy?
    Work with your DM to come up with the family you
    are part of – there are around seventy-five lineages in
    Waterdeep, each with its own financial interests, specialties,
    and schemes. You might be part of the main line
    of your family, possibly in line to become its leader one
    day. Or you might be one of any number of cousins, with
    less prestige but also less responsibility.
    • Skill Proficiencies: History, Persuasion
      Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set or one
      musical instrument
    • Languages: One of your choice
    • Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a signet ring or
      brooch, a scroll of pedigree, a skin of fine zzar or
      wine, and a purse containing 20 gp
    • FEATURE: KEPT IN STYLE
      While you are in Waterdeep or elsewhere in the North
      your house sees to your everyday needs. Your name a~d
      signet are sufficient to cover most of your expenses; the
      inns, taverns, and festhalls you frequent are glad to record
      your debt and send an accounting to your family’s
      estate in Waterdeep to settle what you owe.
      This advantage enables you to live a comfortable lifestyle
      without having to pay 2 gp a day for it, or reduces
      the cost of a wealthy or aristocratic lifestyle by that
      amount. You may not maintain a less affluent lifestyle
      and use the difference as income-the benefit is a line of
      credit, not an actual monetary reward.
    • SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
      Use the tables for the noble background in the Player’s
      Handbook as the basis for your traits and motivations,
      modifying the entries when appropriate to suit your
      identity as a member of a Waterdhavian family.
      Like other nobles, you were born and raised in a different
      world from the one that most folk know- one that
      grants you privilege but also calls you to fulfill a duty befitting
      your station. Your bond might be associated with
      your family a lone, or it could be concerned with another
      noble house that sides with or opposes your own. Your
      ideal depends to some extent on how you view your role
      in the family, and how you intend to conduct yourself in
      the world at large as a representative of your house.

Sword Coast - Backgrounds

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