When considering what your character’s Background, think about the most major non-unique thing that defines them. This could be their culture, a former home, or their past career or station in life. In any case, every Background grants a Background Skill and a Background Ability.
Background Skill #
Like One Unique Thing and Class, your Background provides a Skill. It can be used in the same ways, including Pushing your Limits and Embracing your Weakness. Consider a few uses for your Background Skill.
- If your Background is based on your culture, think of at least three commonalities between those of that culture that might come up.
- If your Background is based on a former or current location, think of at least three specific characteristics of that location or kind of location that might apply.
- If your Background is based on a former profession, think of at least three ways that that profession could apply to adventuring.
Background Ability #
Your Background provides one per-encounter Background Ability. You may choose to make your Background Ability a Spell when you choose your Background.
List of Background Abilities #
You may use this after a Natural Even Hit with an attack that deals damage. The target takes ongoing damage of the same type equal to 1d10 x Level.
- Champion Perk: You may use this after a Natural Even Miss or a Natural Odd Hit as well.
- Epic Perk: The ongoing damage has a 13+ save.
You may use this after a Natural 13+ Hit. The target is Dazed (11+ save ends).
- Champion Perk: The target is Weakened instead of Dazed.
- Epic Perk: You may now use this after a Natural 11+ Hit.
You may move somewhere nearby in sight without having to Disengage. You have to be physically able to have moved there.
- Champion Perk: If used as a move action, deal damage equal to twice your level to one enemy engaged with you before or after you use this.
- Epic Perk: This can now be used as a quick action.
You may use this when you would be hit with an attack. The enemy rerolls the attack and gains 1 Disadvantage on the reroll.
- Champion Perk: The enemy gains 2 Disadvantage on the reroll.
- Epic Perk: After you use this, the next attack made against you before the end of your next turn gains 1 Disadvantage.
Attacks against you gain 1 Disadvantage for the rest of the encounter or until you’re hit by an attack.
- Champion Perk: Anytime you heal using a recovery, if Graceful had already been used this encounter and is no longer active, you activate a version of this that lasts until the end of your next turn.
- Epic Perk: The attack that ends Graceful (when used as an Encounter power and not after a recovery) deals half damage.
You may use this at the top of the initiative count. You count as Very Fast Initiative this round. If no enemies would have acted before you, you instead gain 1 Advantage on your first attack on your turn.
- Champion Perk: When you use this ability, you gain 1 Advantage on all Disengage checks that round.
- Epic Perk: When you use this ability, you may pop off of one enemy as a free action.
You may use this before you roll a death save. You gain 3 Advantage on it.
- Champion Perk: When you use this ability, a success on the death save counts as a critical success.
- Epic Perk: When you use this ability and succeed on the death save, you may heal using a free recovery instead of a normal recovery.
You may use this when you miss with an attack against an engaged enemy. Reroll the attack.
- Champion Perk: If the reroll is a Natural 13+, this ability is replenished at the end of your turn (but can’t be used more than twice per encounter).
- Epic Perk: If the reroll misses, this ability is replenished at the end of your turn (but can’t be used more than twice per encounter).
You may use this when an enemy rolls a Natural 9- Hit or Miss against you. The attack is treated as if the target had rolled all 1’s and something bad happens to the target.
- Champion Perk: If it’s a Natural 6- Hit or Miss, you don’t expend your use of this ability.
- Epic Perk: You may now use this on a Natural 10- Hit or Miss and you don’t expend your use of this ability on a Natural 7- Hit or Miss.
You may use this when you get hit by an attack. You heal using a recovery, but the amount healed is halved unless the escalation die is 2+.
- Champion Perk: If the escalation die is 2+, the recovery is free.
- Epic Perk: If this is used in response to a Crit, double the healed amount.
After any roll you make, you may increase or decrease the natural value of the roll by 1 (minimum 3, maximum 18).
- Champion Perk: You gain a second use of this which can only be used on an ally’s roll.
- Epic Perk: You gain a third use of this which can only be used on an enemy’s roll against you.
Make an attack vs PD on one nearby enemy.
Hit: 1d6 x Level damage of a type you pick when you take this power.
- Champion Perk: Target 1d3 nearby enemies instead.
- Epic Perk: Add your Volition (multiplied by Tier as normal) to the damage.
Sample Backgrounds #
These are some ideas for backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to change anything about these if you plan to use them!
Used for navigating underground or in caves, crafts and craft knowledge, and stubbornness.
Background Ability: Resilient
Descendant of Fey
Used for performing, looking and acting otherworldly, and uncanny connections to nature.
Background Ability: Confounding (Spell)
Bastard of Nobility
Used for evading notice, quick thinking, and flattering the right people.
Background Ability: Evasive
Escaped Artificial Creation
Used for stealth, dealing with wizards, and slipperiness.
Background Ability: Elusive (Spell)
Used for tactics, coordination, and focus.
Background Ability: Volatile (Spell)
Used for survival, setting up ambushes, and showing ruthlessness.
Background Ability: Cruel
Big City Local
Used for fast talking, information gathering, and urban navigation.
Background Ability: Hasty
Used for withstanding pain, scrounging supplies, and showing empathy.
Background Ability: Indomitable
Used for disguises, herbal knowledge, and situational awareness.
Background Ability: Surprising
Used for impulsive action, quick escapes, and acrobatics.
Background Ability: Opportunist
Used for heraldry, courtly manners, and administrative skills.
Background Ability: Graceful
Used for equipment maintenance, keeping watch, and endurance.
Background Ability: Lethal