December 16, 2014

5E Group Background - Family

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: Family
Your party is made up of characters who are all part of the same family. Not everyone needs to be blood-related. Some might be related through marriage or adopted. Others might be servants or friends so close they might as well be family. Whatever the relation, you have spent a significant portion of your lives together and that time has created a familial bond.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, choose one of the following (Insight, Perception, Sense Motive)  
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a token from your favorite sibling (a ring, toy, or scarf), a belt pouch continuing 15gp

Feature: Favor Exchange
If someone outside the family owes a family member a favor they can repay the debt to any member of the family. Any NPCs consider your family one close unit and as such will grant favors and friendship to all members of the party equally.

Suggested Characteristics:
Family has its own quirks and foibles. You may hate each other, but in the end you are all family. Blood runs thick. The truly odd part is that it is possible to be an individual while still being part of a large group all with a similar background.

Personality Trait:
1. I have an annoying habit of always saying what’s on my mind – no filter.
2. I tend to interrupt people in conversations. We just got used to talking over each other growing up.
3. I love to cook but I always over-estimate how much to make.
5. Growing up I had to wear hand-me-down clothes. Now that I’m an adult I make sure to always wear new and fine clothes.
6. I eat my food quickly.
7. I tend to be the quiet one in the back. I’m used to not being noticed; being noticed makes me uncomfortable.
8. I try to have good manners all the time. I don’t swear or yell. I open doors for others. I say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. I am respectful to others.

1. Clannish. My family is the most important thing to me. Everyone else takes second place to them. (Neutral)
2. Closeness. A family is the fundamental core of any society. It all starts with the family and a strong family can make the world a better place. (Good)
3. Pandemonium. In a large family there are always multiple things going on. I embrace that diversity of action as it keeps life interesting. (Chaotic)
4. Respect. The elders of the family are the ones with the learned wisdom to best make the decisions for the family. I treat them with the respect they deserve. (Lawful)
5. Exploitive. I’m just using my family to get ahead. (Evil)
6. Enduring. Every family has its ups and downs, but in the end we’re still family. (Any)

1. The founder of our family was a famous adventurer who changed the world. I seek to emulate him and make my name just as celebrated.
2. The family has fallen on hard times and I seek to bring it back to the heights of society.
3. Some of the ancestors of our family live on as ghosts. Maybe it’s just my overactive imagination but I believe I can see them…and that they talk to me.
4. A few generations ago we lost our ancestral sword in battle against orcs. My driving goal is to recover it for our family.
5. One of my sisters married into a powerful family. Unfortunately I believe she is in an abusive relationship. I will find a way to free her from her predicament.
6. I have a favorite sibling; I would do anything to keep them safe.

1. Every family has its black sheep. I guess it’s my turn for this generation.
2. One of our ancestors was a traitor to the kingdom.
3. My family is used to sharing, clothes and other possessions, all the time. Sometimes I forget other people aren’t like this and they get upset when I take their items.
4. I suspect someone in the family is cheating on their spouse. It’s only a suspicion so I am not sure what to do about it.
5. I am deeply in love with someone, but one of my siblings is also in love with them.
6. You are an illegitimate child. While not of direct blood, they still accept you as a member of the family…for the most part.

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