November 25, 2014

5E Group Background - Military Unit

The World Builder Blog did a nice article on Group Backgrounds for 5E. Basically these are backgrounds with the assumption that the player characters are all from the same background instead of the usual individual ones. This allows for player character group to have some initial ties, giving a more coherent reason of why they are together.
The initial article gave some basics for the Group Backgrounds, but I thought it would be neat to expand them into regular backgrounds. These could also work as regular Backgrounds for individuals.


Group Background: Military Unit

You are all part of the same military or mercenary unit. You have trained together, lived together and fought together. You know how each of you will act within a combat situation. There is a camaraderie that only a soldier can know. Upon leaving the military you carried that comradeship with you into the civilian world.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, choose one of the following (Animal Handling, Intimidation, Survival)  
Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set
Equipment: A unit insignia, a set of common clothes, a set of bone dice, a belt pouch continuing 10gp

Feature: Secret Code
You and your party know a secret, coded language which is only shared with others of your former unit. This language is both spoken and written. Parts of the language can be used to communicate through hand gestures.


Suggested Characteristics:
The camaraderie of a tight military unit where life and death are on the line forms a bond that can be carried over in a civilian life. However, it can also be too easy to carry over part of the military life, making a non-military life difficult.

Personality Trait:
1. When it comes to personal grooming, I have a morning ritual I adhere to every day.
2. When times get hard, I have to crack a joke to lighten things up.
3. I naturally follow orders.
4. I like to travel light. If it doesn’t fit in one rucksack I won’t bring it.
5. I keep all my weapons and armor as polished as possible.
6. I dislike politicians as they meddle in affairs they know nothing about.
7. Shoes are the most important thing to me. Keeping my feet dry can be a lifesaver.
8. In combat situations, I expect people to follow my orders and grow annoyed if they do not.

Ideal:
1. Duty. I was just following orders. (Neutral)
2. Involved. The ultimate goal of war is to bring peace. (Good)
3. Pre-Emptive. War is the extreme response to eliminate those who would harm us. Hit them before they hit us. (Chaotic)
4. Organization. One thing I learned while in the military - following the structure of command will keep you alive. (Lawful)
5. War. I enjoy killing people. War was legalized murder for me. (Evil)
6. Necessity. War is something that is inevitable. It is best to be prepared for it so it can be concluded as efficiently and quickly as possible. (Any)

Bond:
1. This shield saved my life countless times. I won’t go anywhere without it.
2. I received a medal for bravery in battle. I wear it proudly.
3. There was a commander on the other side that I still want to see dead.
4. During one battle I was able to save a family caught in the wrong place. I still look out for them.
5. We had a mangy dog as a unit mascot. I took him with us when we left.
6. Not everyone in my unit mustered out when I did, but they are still family to me. I would do anything for them.

Flaw:
1. I’ve seen enough death to last a lifetime. I try to avoid combat as much as possible now.
2. The unit fell into disrepute due to something I failed to do. I carry this shame with me.
3. My hesitation caused the death of one of my comrades. I still blame myself and so do his family.
4. I rarely get a full night’s rest as I suffer nightmares from the horrors I’ve seen in battle.
5. I am always on high alert, never able to appear calm or in control. This makes it hard in personal interactions.
6. Sometimes I have flashbacks and think I’m back in a past battle.
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