Hawkstone Vale Character Backgrounds
The following character backgrounds are used to help flesh out a character’s backstory. It is a way to make the character feel more like a part of the Hawkstone Vale setting. They offer a small benefit, so these should be viewed more as a story and role-playing aid. Also, they may provide certain in-game benefits beyond the purely mechanical ones. Don’t worry about trying to maximize the benefits these backgrounds provide. Instead, try to find one that matches the idea and vision you have for your character. Some backgrounds seem to match perfectly with certain races or classes, but do not be afraid to try an unusual background for your character. It may serve to make him all the more memorable. If you have an idea for a background that isn’t presented here, contact your DM and see if a new one can be created. Backgrounds, once selected, cannot be unlearned or retrained. In addition to the ones offered below, the sample ones offered in the Characters of War article or the Player’s Handbook 2 are available for use as well, with adjusting flavor as necessary for the campaign.
“The monsters were out in force that year. But the people were counting on us, and we had a job to do. Our company killed hundreds of monsters that season, and we made safe the city.”
You’ve spent a few years training and living as a soldier in the Stone Hawks, a member of the city of Hawkstone‘s guard. You’re no longer an active member, but you’ll never forget your training. What was your military career like? What memorable battles did you fight in? Why did you leave the guard? Is it a permanent leave, or just temporary?
Benefit: You gain proficiency in the simple or military weapon of your choice and you gain a +1 bonus to Endurance checks.
“Sure, I want to do my civic duty. But I’ve spent years honing my skills, and I want to run with the best.”
You like military life, but you’ve always dreamed of being the elite. Let the others spend their time in the Stone Hawks or the village militia. You just want a chance to join the Greenfeather Company, to be the best. You’ve trained for it as best you can and long for a chance to prove yourself. Are you currently in another military unit (like the Stone Hawks or a militia)? Are you forced to do something else? Are other obligations keeping you from applying? Or are you just emulating them, with no serious intentions of joining?
Benefit: You add Stealth and Endurance to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Stealth and Endurance checks.
“Don’t mistake me fer stupid. I know every road, trail, and footpath in a day’s travel of here. Out in these wilds, there’s none better than me.”
You’re not one for big crowds, fancy talk, or pretty dress. You’ve lived a simple life and that’s just the way you like it. You’ve lived and worked in this village for most, if not all of your life, and you know the land as well as anyone. What was important enough for you to leave your village? Fighting a threat? Recovering a person or item? What lengths will you go to in order to protect your village and loved ones? Benefit: You add Insight and Nature to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Insight and Nature checks.
“My people have followed and hunted the deer and other beasts across the plains for years beyond measure. Sometimes we hunt creatures on two legs too.”
You were raised in one of the numerous barbarian tribes that live nearby. Maybe you are still a member of the tribe? Maybe you were cast out for some reason? What made you leave your tribe? Why have you decided to travel and interact with civilization? How comfortable are you with cities? With magic? Benefit: You add Endurance and Nature to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Endurance and Nature checks.
“Once, my people were a mighty force in the world. And if I have anything to say about it, they will be again.”
You are one of the last, if not the last, surviving member of a once proud society or settlement. Whether through war or other misfortune, your people have fallen and their numbers dwindled. You are the last, best hope to restore the honor and glory to your clan’s name. What will it take to restore its reputation? Money? A magical artifact? Followers? Founding a new kingdom of your own? Benefit: You add History to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to History checks. Once per encounter, you may reroll a failed death save attempt. You must keep the result of the second roll, even if it is lower.
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