Every story has a beginning.
Your character’s background reveals where you came from, how you became an adventurer, and your place in the world.
Your fighter might have been a courageous knight or a grizzled soldier.
Your wizard could have been a sage or an artisan.
Your rogue might have gotten by as a guild thief or commanded audiences as a jester.
Choosing a background provides you with important story cues about your character’s identity.
The most important question to ask about your background is what changed?
Why did you stop doing whatever your background describes and start adventuring?
Where did you get the money to purchase your starting gear, or, if you come from a wealthy background, why don't you have more money?
How did you learn the skills of your class?
What sets you apart from ordinary people who share your background?
The sample backgrounds in this chapter provide both concrete benefits (features, proficiencies, and languages) and roleplaying suggestions.


Each background gives a character proficiency in two skills.
Skills are described in chapter 7.
In addition, most backgrounds give a character proficiency with one or more tools.
Tools and tool g are detailed in chapter 5.
If a character would gain the same proficiency from two different sources, he or she can choose a different proficiency of the same kind (skill or tool) instead.


Some backgrounds also allow characters to learn additional languages beyond those given by race.
See “Languages” earlier in this chapter.


Each background provides a package of starting equipment.
If you use the optional rule from chapter 5 to spend coin on gear, you do not receive the starting equipment from your background.

Suggested CharacteristicsEdit

A background contains suggested personal characteristics based on your background.
You can pick characteristics, roll dice to determine them randomly, or use the suggestions as inspiration for characteristics of your own creation.

Customizing a BackgroundEdit

You might want to tweak some of the features of a background so it better fits your character or the campaign setting. To customize a background, you can replace one feature with any other one, choose any two skills, and choose a total of two tool proficiencies or languages from the sample backgrounds. You can either use the equipment package from your background or spend coin on gear as described in chapter 5. (If you spend coin, you can't also take the equipment package suggested for your class.) FinalIy, choose  two personality traits, one ideal, one bond, and one flaw. If you can't find a feature that matches your desired background, work with your DM to create one  

List of BackgroundsEdit

Acolyte (Player's Handbook p127)
Charlatan (Player's Handbook p128)
Criminal (Player's Handbook p129)
Entertainer (Player's Handbook p130)
Folk Hero (Player's Handbook p131)
Guild Artisan (Player's Handbook p132)
Hermit (Player's Handbook p134)
Noble (Player's Handbook p135)
Outlander (Player's Handbook p136)
Sage (Player's Handbook p137)
Sailor (Player's Handbook p139)
Soldier (Player's Handbook p140)
Urchin (Player's Handbook p141)

Haunted One (Curse of Strahd p209)

City Watch (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p145)
Clan Crafter (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p145)
Cloistered Scholar (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p146)
Courtier (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p146)
Faction Agent (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p147)
Far Traveler (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p148)
Inheritor (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p150)
Knight of the Order (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p151)
Mercenary Veteran (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p152)
Urban Bounty Hunter (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p153)
Uthgardt Tribe Member (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p153)
Waterdhavian Noble (Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide p154)

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