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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Background ideas

    This is an attempt to give more Social Background options.


    Reference


    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon
    Aquillion: I agree that I see a lot of people ignore the Benefit granted to most Backgrounds out of combat.
    ----
    I'll politely ignore Waterdhavian Noble, since that is mostly an “Ignore basic 'comfortable’ Daily Expenses in the Sword Coast area” thing.

    But, except for those Players that want to boss non-noble NPCs around with the Knight option - or be their own (solo) Social party, the “Can get a meeting with another noble, or the local Ruler” is ignored.

    But then not many players in my games take Noble.
    -----
    I'm wondering if making some more Social Backgrounds with appropriate skills would help?
    (Entertainer is a nice start, but really - other than Bard players, I don't see anyone taking it.)

    How many different types of Social Background can be made? What to name them?

    Which 2 skills would you choose?

    What Tool would be useful?

    Personally, I see little use for a gaming set.
    Other than just another language, what could be useful here?

    The real focus would be a Benefit that gave something usable outside of combat to the Character.
    Maybe I'm too Limiting to Imagination, because I dislike using a blank Background and picking whatever I want from 2 skills, and a tool; and tend to start with an existing Background to figure out what a PC has access to, modified if needed.
    Like say, the Player wants someone that deals with people while traveling. After some reading, they choose Sailor/Pirate but because they want to to be less easy to fool/trick they trade Athletics for Insight.

    Socialite
    Skills: Insight and Persuasion.
    Tool: Disguise Kit.
    Gain one extra language.

    Description: This person is welcome in nearly every level of society; from working class to nobles.

    Benefit: The Character has one contact in each rank of society. While the contact can provide access to a Social Event, they can't get you into an Invitation Only Event.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-05-06 at 11:08 AM.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed
    No offense is intended by anything I post.
    *Limited Playtest Group - I'm mostly Stuck in the White Room.
    *I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Female2Male

    Default Re: Background ideas

    I guide all my player's through making a custom background benefit, almost always focused on out of combat or "non-optimal" line of play. As aid to other DMs and Players, I'm willing to make it into a thread. Problem is I have never used 5e backgrounds, so I have little context to how the tools and skills interact with the benefit, so someone is going to have to fill in the blanks for me, as well as a more official looking version of the benefit. Just send me a message and I'll edit my post. ^^

    How about

    Skills: __________ and __________
    Tool: ____________
    __________

    Description: You are an active part in the magical society, knowing teachers and mentors from all corners of the world.

    Benefit: You can have Great Dragon write up a very mechanically solid text regarding being able to always find a person to scribe for you a 1st level spell scroll from any spell list, at the cost of 50gp.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Background ideas

    Bjarkmundur said:

    I guide all my player's through making a custom background benefit, almost always focused on out of combat or "non-optimal" line of play. As aid to other DMs and Players, I'm willing to make it into a thread. Problem is I have never used 5e backgrounds, so I have little context to how the tools and skills interact with the benefit, so someone is going to have to fill in the blanks for me, as well as a more official looking version of the benefit. Just send me a message and I'll edit my post. ^^

    Most (but not all) are Professions and give 2 skills that make sense to the Background.

    Like “Sailor” gives Athletics and Perception.

    Because they are always climbing around in the ship's rigging and looking out for Hostile ships/monsters.

    Might give “Navigation” or “Cartography” Tools: And Vehicles (water).

    Benefit: Can get "Free Passage" on (almost) any Ship.
    Pirate: changes that to “Bad Rep” where the PC can commit minor crimes and not be reported.
    ----
    “Urchin” is a lifestyle.
    Gives Slight of Hand and Stealth.
    Thieves Tools.
    Trinket.

    Benefit: Can reduce traveling time (outside of combat) in their Home Town/City by half.

    *****
    (edited)
    How about

    Mystic Fixer
    Skills: Persuasion and Deception
    Tool: Forgery Kit

    Description: You are an active part in the magical society, knowing teachers and mentors from all corners of the world.

    Benefit: You can (LoL!! “have Great Dragon write up a very mechanically solid text regarding being able to”) always find a spellcaster to scribe for you a spell scroll from any spell list, at the cost of spell level times caster level times 50 gp - plus any needed spell material components.

    Note to DM: you can use either the "Job" or "Commit A Crime" Downtime charts for Complications.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-05-07 at 12:14 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zhorn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Space Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Background ideas

    As a way to encourage my players to try and use the background feature abilities, I've had them all pick a secondary background during character creation, the first one the get the skills and gear too, but the second is only the feature ability.
    Got them thinking less about "what background has the skills I'm wanting for my build" and more "what feature is something my character can make use of", as they knew by me calling attention to it I was going to prep for them being used.
    Last couple of towns visited got some decent feature usage

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Background ideas

    @Zhorn

    I have had this come up in a couple of games I'm in.

    To keep things simple, I normally have the Players choose one Background at Creation.
    Then, as the game progresses, I'll offer the benefits of a second Background.

    Like say the Player wanted both Criminal "contacts" and Pirate's "Bad Rep".
    I'd say: "pick one at 1st level, and earn the other in game." (Usually by 5th level)

    The real question here is:
    Does it change (or add to) the PC's Traits/Ideals/Bonds/Flaws?
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-05-11 at 11:20 AM.

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