Backgrounds

Grandchild of the Town Elder

Your grandfather is the village elder. As such, you have a lot of responsibility and expectation on your shoulders. Your family is well respected in town, and almost everyone knows your name. You have experience dealing with local politics and know how to “speak the language”.

Task 1: Design the town elder character and give him a brief history. What is his past? How was he selected? Was he a wartime hero or did he come into power through his earnest dealings with the townsfolk? You also get to name the town.

Benefit: +2 to Diplomacy checks with any local citizen or any political figure.

Harrison’s character is the grandchild of the town elder.

Immigrant

You weren’t born in the town. You, or your family, moved in later because of some external forces that caused you to leave your place of birth. You feel welcomed in the town, but you can’t help but feel like you don’t entirely fit in.

Task 1: Design a place you came from. It can be as big as a nation (though this would be a lot of work) or as small as a village. Things to think about: leadership, layout, organizations in the location and a reason why your character left.

Benefit: +5 to History checks with regards to your place of birth.

Member of the town council

You are a political force in the town. As a member of the council you are deeply involved in what happens and feel some responsibility towards the townsfolk.

Task 1: Decide how the local government works. Does the council report to a higher authority (like a king or local lord)? Do peasantry get a vote? Is the town elder a respected figure of authority or a figurehead? Are there any unusual laws? Design an NPC council member with whom you often disagree.

Benefit: +2 to Diplomacy and Insight checks with political figures.

Aidan’s character is the a member of the town council.

Ties to a militant organization

It’s peaceful now, but it hasn’t always been. The world has known war recently enough that there are still militant organizations that retain some local power. Your character, or perhaps one of his relatives, was once a member of this organization and it’s not unusual for you to hear news of their peace-time endeavors.

Task 1: Name and design the organization. Are they currently large or small? Where are they based? Design the NPC in charge. What do they do in peace – do they protect the people or ride around extorting villagers and finding excuses to fight?

Benefit: +1 to Diplomacy checks with members of the organization, +3 to History checks with regards to the organization.

Town rapscallion

Whether you’re bored in the small-town atmosphere or just not that moral, your character has a reputation in the village for being less than respectable. This life does have it’s benefits, you know all the best ways to sneak anywhere in town, and can talk yourself out of any situation.

Task 1: Design an NPC and system of local law enforcement. This could be a sheriff, a captain of the local guard or just a councilman who takes it upon himself to punish errant townsfolk. Decide how the law enforcement system works and what sort of punishments are given out for crimes.

Benefit: +1 to Bluff OR +1 to Streetwise.

Travelling merchant

You were born into the poor life and didn’t want to stick with it. As soon as you got the chance, you set out to make your fortune trading local goods far and wide. You may not be at home in the country, but on good stone roads and city streets you’re as knowledgeable as they come.

Task 1: Design the local center of trade. It could be a port city that deals across the entire world or barely more than a farming-town that just happens to be located in the center of many others. Things to think about: local government, basic location, organizations that exist inside.

Benefit: +2 to Diplomacy checks with merchants and other proprieters in the trade center.

Local explorer

Town life can be so boring. You move around whenever you get the chance, venturing farther beyond local borders than anyone else. You know all the local terrain and have found places nobody else knew were there.

Task 1: Design, including grid, a small “dungeon” that exists nearby to the town. There should be at least three rooms, as well as a general description for the type of place it is and what it may have been used for in the past; maybe it was a temple for a defunct religion or an underground base for military during the war. The dungeon should not be inhabited.

Benefit: +2 to History checks regarding local information. You also know the dungeon and local geography like the back of your hand.

The most badass town explorer in the Bellshire region is Criegan Copperhopper.

Newsmonger

When people want to hear about the outside world, you’re the person to go to. You always have an ear open for the latest news brought in on a merchant’s wagon or the latest gossip about border disputes between city states. You not only know what’s going on in town, but have a working knowledge of the local world.

Task 1: Describe a significant event in the world somewhere beyond the borders of the local “country”. This could be a border dispute between two rising kingdoms or the uncovering of an ancient lost city. Use your imagination, anything goes.

Benefit: +2 to History checks regarding non-local information.

War child

After the time of war, a lot of townsfolk who had served as military returned with new spouses and children they had met in their adventures. Your mother returned not with a spouse, but with a growing belly. You were born with no father and raised on war stories that make this time of peace seem like a dream by comparison. You may know who your father was or you may not, but you have never met him in person nor are you certain if he is still alive.

Task 1: Describe a battle your mother fought in that took place during the last war. Think of both sides and what the conflict was over. For example, it could be a simple land dispute, or an idealogical conflict between enemy religious factions. Also describe the location of this battle, with as little detail as the geography or as much as a nation it took place in. Also design a “war hero” NPC that is famous for helping turn the tide of the battle.

Benefit: You gain a +5 to History checks regarding the last great war.

Town outcast

Maybe it’s because you trained in dark magic with a creepy old man living out in the woods, or maybe you hear voices that speak prophecy. One thing’s for certain: one way or another, you’ve got a foreboding sense that something terrible is coming and it makes it difficult for you to live the sedimentary lifestyle enjoyed by other townsfolk.

Task 1: This is a tough one. You need to think far ahead and be very creative. Come up with some specific event of large proportions that you believe will take place in the future. Perhaps a long-dormant lich is rising again to threaten the world, or that political churning will lead to another war between all peoples. This is an event that is far beyond the scope of your local life and your character will not fully understand it yet.

Benefit: +1 to Arcana OR +1 to Religion OR +1 to History OR +1 to Nature, you must pick the one most related to your event.

Backgrounds

From Bellshire Quixotist