Lizard Kingdom Backgrounds
First introduced for 4e in PHB II, character backgrounds are a short and simple way to help add definition to your newly created character. Rather than write out a short paragraph of no more than five sentences defining a couple of NPCs connected to your character (a rival and an ally) and a problem that your character would like to resolve. I’m allowing any of the general backgrounds as well as a few setting specific ones detailed below.
Regardless of how many background elements you use, when you create a character you can select only one of the following background benefits:
✦ Gain a +2 bonus to checks with a skill associated with your background. ✦ Add a skill associated with your background to your class’s skills list before you choose your trained skills. ✦ Choose one language connected to your background. You can speak, read, and write that language fluently. ✦ A(n) occupational, racial or regional benefit.
Gloaming Vassal: You have sworn a pact of allegiance to one of the Archfey of the Gloaming Court. Which of the Archfey do you serve? The Prince of Hearts? The Moonmaiden? Or the Witch of Fate? Now that you have come to the world of Wyrms, do you miss the seasons and long for the long nights of your home plane?
Associated Skills: Arcana, Stealth Regional Benefit: Your origin changes to fey if it isn’t already, so you are considered a fey creature for all effects related to creature origin. You also gain darkvision out to 5 squares.
Underdark (Shallows): You were raised below the surface in a hidden sanctuary. Are you a native of the hidden sanctuary of Twin Trees or were you from a lost sanctuary of another dragon savior that fell in the times since the Great Cataclysm? How have you contributed to the survival of your brethren in the tunnels of the sanctuary? Are you afraid to return to the surface as Razecorex commands?
Associated Skills: Endurance, Dungeoneering
Military (delver): You served as a delver, one of the soldiers that defends Twin Trees from the innumerable dangers that inhabit the shallows and the deeps of the Underdark. Were you conscripted, or did you volunteer? What was your rank? How did you leave the service? If you haven’t left, describe the circumstances under which you still serve while also adventuring.
Associated Skills: Athletics, Endurance Occupational Benefit: You mastered the Trackers Eye martial practice, and can substitute Dungeoneering for Nature or Perception checks to use the practice while underground. Special: Characters with this background also gain a suit of delver's armor +1, and a delver's kit.
Trapsmith: You were apprenticed to a master kobold trapsmith smith from the minute you left the clutch. Master Meklat instructed you on the ins and outs of trap making, and you have served the hidden sanctuary of Twin Trees with distinction inventing even more deceptive obstacles in the defense of the underground city. Did you serve in the Darkling Wars beneath the sanctuary? Or have you never left the dark tunnels?
Associated Skills: Insight, Thievery Occupational Benefit: You have mastered the Snare ritual and can perform it in one minute, instead of 10 minutes, substituting Thievery for Nature. You have also memorized the Blastpatch alchemical formula and can create blast crystal powder of your level + 2.
Rebel: Unlike your brethren dwellers, you have no desire to blindly follow that uncrowned witch queen Razecorex. Sure she helped escort the ancestors to the caverns you now call the hidden sanctuary but so did dozens of dragonborn alcolytes, kobold miners, lizardfolk warriors, and yuan-ti spies. Certainly, they should have had a say in how the sanctuary was run? Why then are we supposed to bow and scrap, fight and die for that big green wyrm and her little know it all hatchlings? Where did those things come from anyway? Its not like there are any other dragons around. Didn't they all die in the Cataclysm?
Associated Skills: Bluff, History
Half Dragon: You were born from a dalliance between Mistress Razecorex while she had adopted a humanoid form and one of the many dwellers of the hidden sanctuary. What is the relationship between your father and the green dragon? Did you grow up in privilege as a recognized heir or were you a regretted bastard? How do you relate to pure blooded members of your kind? Do they fear your monstrous nature?
Associated Skills: Endurance, Intimidate Racial Benefit: You have inherited a poisonous draconic breath weapon as racial daily power. Standard action: Close blast 3; Level + 2 vs. Reflex; 1d10 + Constitution modifier poison damage. You also are treated as a dragonborn for the purpose of taking breath weapon feats. Note: If you are a dragonborn, simply chose poison for your breath weapon's damage type and you once per day you can unleash a slightly more potent spray of poison in addition to your racial encounter power. The power's damage scales as normal: 2d10 at 11th level and 3d10 at 21st.
Rare Egg: The egg that you hatched from was unusual in a way that your people consider auspicious. It might have had the appearance of burnished gold, carried a pattern that resembled a significant symbol, or broken cleanly into two pieces when you emerged. How much weight do you attach to this phenomenon? What do you think it means, and what did your parents think?
Associated Skills: Arcana, Religion Racial Benefit: You have the innate ability to perform exploration rituals at your level + 4 as if you possessed the ritual caster feat.
Blasphemous Bargain of Zargon: Prerequisite: Star Pact Warlock In exchange for your blood stained oaths to the mad entity named the Returner, in the oozing black tablets that of forbidden lore that you uncovered, one you lost was returned to you from the void. In time, you realized that something was different about her. Your powers revealed her terrible secret face, but you were unable to bring yourself to destroy her. You cannot dwell among your fellow dwellers any longer, should Razecorex or one of her secret police discover what you have done before you can fix things... Dangerous Lore: You seek knowldge of how to sever the bargain that you have made before you die and your mind joins Zargon permanently. Visions of the Void: You suffer from contact with Zargons terrible intelligence, whenever you are bloodied you, are subjected to horrific visions of the Far Realm and suffer a -5 penalty to Perception and Insight checks (save ends). Sometimes these visions offer insights into the future. Associated Skills: Arcana, Dungeoneering Associated Item: Pseudonatural Graft Special: Once per encounter, when not using an implement, you may draw on your connection to your patron star and for a number of rounds equal to your constitution modifier gain a +5 power bonus to attack rolls with dire radiance and your warlock daily powers.
Buried Alive: You were trapped in a cave—the victim of an unfortunate accident or malice. Pinned beneath rubble, you wasted away in the darkness for what seemed like days. A mysterious entity offered you salvation for a price. What promises did you make to the obscene forms in the shadows to secure your freedom? Associated Skills: Dungeoneering, Endurance Misc. Benefit: You are treated as having the shadow origin and gain resist necrotic 5. This resistance increases to 10 at 11th level, and 15 at 21st level.
Heartsworn Pact: Prerequisite: Fey Pact Warlock Encourage Love: The Prince of Hearts revels in mortal love. The character must freely express her love, and encourage it in others. There is a special joy in tricking hated rivals into expressing feelings for one another. Follow Instructions: The PC might be called upon to perform specific tasks. Here, these tasks are likely to do with protecting lovers or strengthening their bond. The character might have some wiggle room with distasteful requests. Directly refusing a request and consistent failure can result in a loss of power (such as -1 penalty to attacks with Fey Pact powers per extended rest that they refuse to perform their duty). Mercy to the Fallen: The PC must not kill helpless enemies, this means that the warlock cannot perform coup de grace attacks and must take the non-lethal option when reducing a foe to 0 hp or less and otherwise make at least an effort to leave her enemies alive.
Associated Skills: Arcana, Insight Associated Item: Wand of Witchfire +1