Backgrounds, Occupations, and Professions

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While you are an adventurer, there is much more to your life than just battling beasts, hoarding treasure, and going on quests. When you’re not actively adventuring, you enjoy indulging in your personal interests and hobbies. Maybe you’re an avid reader and love nothing more than curling up with a good book in the local library or university. Or perhaps you’re a skilled blacksmith and spend your downtime creating intricate pieces of armor or weapons. Maybe you have a talent for playing music, and can often be found entertaining your fellow adventurers with songs on your lute. Whatever it may be, you find that having a hobby or interest outside of adventuring helps you to relax, unwind, and forget about the dangers and hardships of the road. Downtime between adventures also provides you with an opportunity to cultivate your reputation and manage a business.

Backgrounds and Occupations

Every background allows you to gain a profession, except for the urchin background. Backgrounds also specify that if you pick a profession with a certain occupation tag, then you gain additional Skill Points.

Your background provides narrative and mechanical information about who you are, what walk of life you come from, and where you might be headed. When you create a character at level 1, you choose your background from the list below. Seven of the nine backgrounds grant you additional skills if you take a profession with the corresponding occupation tag. Note that your background also determines your starting wealth.

Starting Gear

All backgrounds also grant you the following starting gear: Your profession and background may specify that you gain additional equipment.

1. A) 2 one-handed melee weapons, or B) 1 two-handed or hand-and-a-half melee weapon, or C) 1 one-handed melee weapon and a shield (buckler)

2. A) 1 shortbow and 20 arrows, or B) 1 crossbow and 20 bolts, or C) 3 javelins

3. or you can forego equipment in both 1. and 2. for an amethyst wand

4. A) 1 quarterstaff, or B) 1 hatchet, or C) 2 daggers, or D) 2 knives, or E) 1 cestus, or F) 1 brass knuckles

5. 2 trinkets

Background Description and Occupation Tags

If you choose a Profession with the same tag as your Background, you gain additional skill as noted in the Background.

You can find full descriptions on the Backgrounds Page or click the individual background below.

Background Occupation Tag Description
Born Warrior Militant Blood, toil, and sweat have marked you a proven soldier.
Criminal Underworld You deal in activities not endorsed by the law.
Entrepreneur Mercantile You own, supply, or represent a successful business.
Knave None Having tried multiple professions, nothing is quite a fit.
Noble Title Aristocratic By birth or deed, you are a minor noble in a nation.
Outlander Wanderer You live on the fringes of society, perhaps in the wilds.
Student Academic You endlessly toil to deepen a field of academic study.
True Believer Religious You are a devotee of a specific religion or faith system.
Urchin None You've grown up on the streets, always fending for yourself.

Professions

When creating a character, in addition to your background, you gain one profession of your choice. There are two exceptions: If you are a knave, you gain two professions (you cannot pick the same profession twice). If you are an urchin, you do not gain any profession.

Each profession has one or more occupation tags, so be sure to check and see if this gives you any additional bonuses based on your background. When you gain a professional rank, you may choose to gain a rank in the same profession or get the 1st rank of a new profession.

This decision should reflect your character’s advancement in the campaign world. For example, if you began the game as a nomad, but became involved in a particular community and took care of a lot of problems for them, you might choose to gain a rank in knight or guard instead of ranking up in nomad when you gain a second professional rank.

Professional ranks range from 1 to 5, and it is unusual for a character to ever acquire more than 5 total professional ranks. The profession that you choose will grant you access to specific narrative benefits throughout the game. The higher your rank in a given profession, the more power and influence you have within that profession. For example, if you have 1 rank in soldier, you are able to secure lodging and free meals from other members of your military institution. If you have 5 ranks in soldier, then you can levy other soldiers into your service when they are in your vicinity.

Goodwill

In addition to fighting monsters and exploring wondrous locales, adventurers will need to maintain and cultivate their reputation in the various towns and cities that they frequent.

Goodwill is a mechanic that tracks a community’s sentiment towards an individual. Any action a party or player takes may generate positive or negative Goodwill. Professions have a particularly strong effect on Goodwill.

Goodwill is tracked across several spheres of the community, roughly correlated to occupations: Academic, Aristocratic, Layfolk, Mercantile, Militant, Religious, Underworld. Certain Professions are written with this in mind and specify which spheres of the community you gain Goodwill in.

If your MC wants to streamline this process, they can simply track Goodwill per town or city, instead of tracking Goodwill for individual community spheres in each urban area. If they do this, then any feature that gives you +1 Goodwill in a particular sphere gives you +1 Goodwill overall. Goodwill is tracked privately by your MC and can range anywhere on a scale from -20 to +20.

Goodwill Effect
-20 to -15 Villain. You ae hated and feared by your community. Community resources will be levied towards your arrest and destruction.
-14 to -10 Hated. The community is hostile to your presence and will refuse your trade and lodging. Angry mobs might attempt to exile you.
-9 to -4 Disliked. Goods and services often cost more for you and merchants are unlikely to haggle.
-3 to 3 Neutral. You are unknown to the community overall.
4 to 9 Liked. Citizens usually go out of their way to accommodate you and give you good deals.
10 to 14 Beloved. Citizens rejoice to see you and you can always find friends and allies in town.
15 to 20 Hero. You are idolized by your community and can get virtually any good or service for free. Local authorities will overlook minor crimes that you commit and will help you when they reasonably can.

Profession List

Profession Description Background Needed for Bonus Tags
Archivist You are passionate about preserving the past and uncovering the secrets of the ages. Through weeks upon weeks of research sifting through dusty tomes, you are always seeking to expand your understanding of the world and to bring new knowledge to light. Student Academic
Barrister Your studies of law and debate have made you an expert in mediation and you sell your services as a lawyer, judge, or orator. Whether it be in the courts of the grandest cities or in the humblest village square, you ensure just and proper resolution of any dispute through consideration of historical precedent and careful deliberation. Student or Noble Title Academic, Aristocratic
Charlatan You use your silver tongue and quick wit to deceive and manipulate others. You move from town to town, using your skills of deception to sell false remedies, perform illusions, or simply con unsuspecting marks out of their hard-earned coin. Whether you’re a traveling swindler or a confidence trickster, you always have a new scam up your sleeve, and you revel in the thrill of fooling others and getting away with it. Entrepreneur or Criminal Mercantile, Underworld
Clergy You are a member of the clergy in a religious order of your choosing. While you do not yet preach directly to congregants, you handle many other spiritual aspects of your religion along with the mundane tasks of day to day life. You might spend time transcribing or preserving the sacred texts of your faith, or handling the business of keeping a temple funded and maintained. As immersed in this environment as you are, you are deeply interested in gathering a deeper understanding of your faith practices. Student or True Believer Academic, Religious
Entertainer You are a master of creating beauty and inspiring emotion through your art. You bring your imagination to life through paintings, sculptures, music, or any other medium that suits your fancy, captivating your audience with your unique vision and style. Whether you are creating grand masterpieces for kings and queens, or intimate works that speak to the hearts of the common folk, you are driven by a passion for art and a desire to leave a lasting legacy of beauty and inspiration in the world. Noble Title or Entrepreneur Aristocratic, Mercantile
Guard You are the first line of defense against danger and threats to the people and places you are sworn to protect. You might be stationed at a castle gate, patrolling the streets of a city, or guarding a convoy on a dangerous road. You are always alert and ready, armed with your weapons and your training, to keep those in your charge safe from harm. With your unwavering vigilance and your keen eye, you are a reassuring presence, providing peace of mind and security to all who depend on you for protection. Entrepreneur or Born Warrior Mercantile, Militant
Honorable You are a member of the upper echelons of society, held in high esteem by those around you. Having been born into privilege, with access to the best education, training, and resources, and are expected to use your influence and power for the betterment of the realm. A leader among leaders, with the respect and admiration of your peers, you are looked upon as a symbol of the ideals and values of your noble heritage. Noble Title Aristocratic
Inquisitor Even the gods have enemies and they entrust their most devoted and zealous followers to protecting their interests in the mortal realm. Twisted fiends, undead abominations, and heretical cults are just a few of the enemies you root out and destroy, wherever they might hide. Your faith guides you in the endless battle against evil where you struggle to make the world just a little bit safer. True Believer or Born Warrior Religious, Militant
Knight You are a defender of the innocent and a champion of justice. Armed with your shining armor and deadly weapons, you roam the lands, righting wrongs and vanquishing evil wherever you find it. With each victory, you earn the loyalty and respect of the people, who look upon you as a shining symbol of hope and valor in a dark and uncertain world. Noble Title or Born Warrior Aristocratic, Militant
Nomad Traveling from place to place with your tribe, you follow seasonal patterns and seek fertile grounds for your livestock. You are self-sufficient and have a deep connection to the land and the creatures that roam it, honed from a life of constant movement and adaptation to changing environments. Highly skilled in tracking, survival, and animal husbandry, you are highly valued by other groups, and your knowledge of the wildlands is unmatched. Outlander Wanderer
Physician You are dedicated to healing the sick and alleviating the suffering of those around you. You have honed your skills through years of study and practice, mastering the use of medicine and scientific methods to diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments. Your compassion and your unwavering commitment to your patients have earned you a reputation as one of the best in the land, and you are often called upon to tend to the sick and injured. Student or True Believer Academic, Religious
Pioneer You are always pushing the boundaries and charting new territories. With a thirst for adventure and discovery, you are not afraid to venture into the unknown. A builder, farmer, and protector, you create new settlements and carve out a place for yourself and those who follow in your wake. Your determination, resilience, and resourcefulness are what sets you apart, and your name is known and respected by those who live in the frontier lands. Noble Title or Outlander Aristocratic, Wanderer
Sailor You have spent considerable time as an explorer, freebooter, pirate or mariner and define your life by the sea. From skiffs to frigates, you know your way around a ship and are as comfortable in a raging storm as you are in a pleasant breeze. You embrace the freedom, adventure, and danger of life as you traverse the trading lanes or explore parts unknown, never knowing what might be waiting over the next wave. Entrepreneur, Criminal, or Outlander Mercantile, Underworld, Wanderer
Soldier You are a proud and dedicated warrior, serving your country and your people with honor and distinction. From defending your homeland against invaders to marching on a foreign land for just war, you are always ready to put your life on the line in the name of duty and honor. With your training, your discipline, and your courage, you are a force to be reckoned with, feared by your enemies and respected by your allies, and you are proud to serve as a symbol of strength and protection for those you hold dear. Born Warrior Militant
Trader You are constantly on the move, traveling from town to town and village to village in search of new markets and opportunities. With a keen eye for profit and a talent for negotiation, you buy low and sell high, always seeking out the best deals and the most valuable merchandise to trade. Whether you are trading in exotic spices, rare herbs, precious gems, or any other commodity that you can get your hands on, you are always seeking to turn a profit and to grow your wealth and influence in the world. Entrepreneur Mercantile
Thief You use your agility and cunning to steal from the wealthy and powerful. You might be a pickpocket, an opportunist, or a brute that holds people up. Regardless, you always have an eye out for the next big score, and you’re not above using violence if it means getting what you want. You thrive in the shadows, slipping in and out of buildings and alleyways undetected, and relish the excitement of pitting your skills against those of your marks. Criminal Underworld
Thug You are no stranger to the brutal struggle of urban life, outside the eyes of the law where the strong take from the weak and the sharpness of a blade says more than a written decree. Perhaps your actions come from necessity or maybe they come from a desire for power, but either way you are not afraid to use your cunning, strength, and wits to take what you want when you want it. You claim your territory through brute force or intimidation and don’t let anything stand in your way. Criminal or Born Warrior Underworld, Militant