Dungeons & Dragons 5e Backgrounds

Dungeons and Dragons is the fantasy role-playing game that is known to many. DnD has a very reputable position in the gaming community and this game has an exponential number of growing audiences that is mesmerized by the concept of Logic, fantasy, imagination, tactics, and improvisation which are the elements that give life to the game. The thing that makes DnD unique and interesting to play is that in this game a player is not bound to traditional military formations rather this game allows players to create their own character by using their imagination and this is what makes this game worth playing. And the character that is created by a player is posed with scenarios and problems in which the created character will face challenges, monsters and not only this but created characters will also be able to interact with other characters that are created by others players and the one who will give you scenarios and challenges in it is better known as Dungeon Master or DM in short.

Dungeons & Dragons 5e backgrounds
Dungeons & Dragons 5e backgrounds

So now the question is that what is the new thing that it is offering in its 5th edition? Unlike its previous editions, the 5th edition of DnD offers the backgrounds for the characters. By saying this we mean that DnD is not just forming a character but it is about that whatever your character is right now it must be the result of previous happenings that make him what he is today. We will discuss this in a few points.

So what actually the DnD 5e backgrounds mean?

DnD 5e background actually it is nothing that players should be astonished on and for me, it is one of the best features that is offered in the 5th edition of the DnD. I will make it easy for you by giving you an example: imagine and Character who is a Human who is a battlefield veteran and knows magic, he is good with different weapon and knows how to survive in difficult scenarios, and these skills of knowing how to use a variety of weapons and how to survive different scenarios is not something that he got easily for that he was forged for what he is now from the very beginning his life; his father was a warrior and he used to learn how to use a sword from his father. His father always tells him about the different ventures and he always took interest in it as time passes, he becomes master with the sword and he starts participating in battles for his homeland.

By participating in different battles, he gains the experience necessary to survive in any difficult time, and in addition to it, he masters the art of using different types of weapons.  He lives his life with serenity in his homeland with his family but one day the village was attacked by the force of wizards that descends from the sky this was the enemy that the people of the village never faced before. They fought with bravery against this unknown enemy of theirs but they cannot withstand in this battle against this enemy. As he was young so he was given the responsibility to take the women and children out of the village and lead them to a safe place.

DnD 5e Backgrounds
DnD 5e Backgrounds

So, he does that with the help of the other companion of his age and leads a number of women, children, and old people of the tribe to the same spot. But those who fought against wizard died the death of glory. As the battles overs nothing was the same he lost his father and his people in the battle and this ignites a fire of hatred In him against those intruders so he after settling his people left for an adventure where he desperately seeks the help of someone who can help his learn magic to fight against those enemies. At last, he manages to approach an old man who teaches him magic and the price of this was that his soul live serves him for eternity after his death. So, he agrees with his trade and learns the magic. So, this how HE manages to get the powers and become what he is now.

This is just an example of what actually backgrounds mean in the 5th edition of Dungeon and Dragons and the question here is what actually it does to the character and what does it mean by itself and do 5e backgrounds make any sense at all?

Some points regarding 5e backgrounds

  • Characterization

What DnD backgrounds do to our character is that it adds more description to what actually our character is and how he or she become what they are now metaphorically speaking it adds colors to our character that we have drawn in our canvas of mind and by doing it so it brings life into it and makes it interesting and real.

  • Place in the Game

What we were doing before we had D&D backgrounds in this edition of the game that we were just creating the character and start playing with it by posing different situation in front of the players and our created characters were just a character that has no place in the game but by adding a background in it we just not only making our character more alive and real but it defines its place in the game as well that are mention in the player’s handbook.

  • Engagement in the game 

Player’s engagement also increases when providing their character with the background because it makes more sense to a player to have a character with a known background and in the result of its players tend to engage more in the game.

  • Influence on the game

with the addition of the backgrounds in the created character in the 5th edition, actually does not influence what is happening on the table.

Background also provides social radical features of what our character was and how surrounding then actually helps him what he is today. If he was surrounded by Warriors probabilities are high that he will be the same one day but it depends upon a player what story he comes up with. Another possibility is that he was Warrior but certain circumstances made him a Rebel like Injustice or delayed justice, hunger, poverty, war, etc. but in the end, it is just a story and doesn’t influence what is happening on the table.

  • Social Strata 

It also indicates social stratification like not all characters are Warriors, magician, acolytes and many other and this element seems to provide that different character belongs to a different class of the society and every one has its own beginning and I think this brings more life not into the character itself but also to the world; it makes a complete society where there were different people with different occupation and they were influencing themselves and others by the choice they were making.

  • Perks of having backgrounds

According to the player’s hand guide, Each background will give a character proficiency in two skills and with tools also, players can have an additional language beyond the given race, a package for starting, and equipment.

Please review the book regarding the perks of having a background for more details.

It is good to have these DnD 5e backgrounds because there will be a lot of stories adhered to characters and make characters more realistic by defining its position telling more about it and these stories will enhance our ability to imagine and plot different scenarios also.

Dnd 5e Backgrounds List Below

In the below provided d&d 5e backgrounds list which is officially mentioned in player’s handbook. There are thirteen backgrounds.

BackgroundLanguageBook PageToolsSkills
AcolyteAny two119NoneInsight, Religion
CriminalNone121Gaming set, ThievesDeception, Stealth
CharlatanNone120Disguise kit, Forgery kitDeception, Sleight of Hand
EntertainerNone122Musical instrument, Disguise kitAcrobatics, Performance
Folk HeroNone123Artisan's tool, vehicles (land)Animal handling survival
Guild ArtisanAny One124Artisan's toolInsight, persuasion
HermitAny One126Herbalism KitReligion, Medicine
NobleAny One127Gaming setHistory, Persuasion
OutlanderAny One128Musical InstrumentAthletics, Survival
SageAny Two129Navigator's tools, vehiclesArcana, History
SailorNone131Navigator's tools, vehicles (water)Athletics, Perception
SoldierNone132 Gaming set, vehicles (land)Athletics, Intimidation
UrchinNone133Disguise kit, Thieves’ toolsSleight of Hand, Stealth
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