AcolyteAcolytes are commonly connected to the Philosophical Orders--while often clerics, paladins, or eldritch knights; they could also be laypersons who studies the orders ways early in life. Rakasta shamans often have proteges; while dwarves of any caste are welcome to study with the Keeperate before choosing a profession.
James, a human cleric of St. Ignatius, replaced the incognito noble (see below) "Cain" after his death. He was a devout servant of the Trickster's burning flame, having always lived a religious life.
CharlatanThe roads of the Divine Senarian Empire are filled with criminals and ne'er-do-wells looking for quick coin at the expense of others. Others seek out this secretive life to hide their true selves.
Variant Charlatan: Noble Incognito
Instead of tools for a con, your equipment package includes a signet ring proving your actual identity.
The human rogue called himself "Cain." To his companions he was "Smelly"--a vagabond and a scalawag. In truth, he was the last surviving heir of a displaced noble family that found itself on the wrong side of a civil war. He would take this seret to his grave.
Criminal & SpyThe League of Ninety-Nine is one of many organized criminal organizations; though a criminal does not need to be a member of one of these groups. Crime, unfortunately, is universal; as is espionage. The national rivalries in the Honderreich, or even the Empire, are a ripe breeding ground for spies.
Entertainer & Gladiator
Variant Entertainer: Courtesan
Variant Feature: Loosened Tongues
November, a human fighter, was the daughter of a prostitute. Raised in a whore-house, she was trained in her mother's profession. While she regarded this skill set with disdain, that did not keep her from making use of it when it was necessary.
Folk HeroTaint outbreaks give any farm- or stable-hand the opportunity to become a hero. All manner of monsters and feral beasts continue to ravage small towns or elven conclaves; while mudslides and flooding are common disasters in the riverlands.
Guild Artisan & Guild MerchantGuilds are an integral part of dwarven government, being the means by which the expert caste is regulated. Similar models can be found in use by artisans, merchants, and other professionals throughout Monvesia.
HermitThere are many reasons to seek out a solitary life. For mages in the Empire, solitude means safety; for vitalists, it means a chance to avoid the formal structures of interaction that society engenders.
Variant Hermit: Hedge Witch/Wizard
A late addition to the party was a "witch" whose name I cannot recall. Her village was subject to a terrible disease, and she hoped to find a cure for it. What she had stumbled upon in hear early research, however, was the fundamental nature of the Taint.
Noble & KnightAs with most traditional fantasy worlds, much of Monvesia is feudal. Nobility and knighthood are essential parts of the world and its government. High born paladins and eldritch knights are more likely to take advantage of this background than Adept.
Fangor, an elf ranger, was always on the move. He found himself in the Honderreich after his player's first character was accidentally (and epicly) crushed underfoot during combat with a dragon. Fangor was supposed to be a guide ... but he was new to the area.
Variant Outlander: Fugitive
Tink, a halfling rogue, was on the run--but he didn't tell his companions from what until it was too late: Just as they were entering the city where he was wanted for exaggerated crimes ...
SageThe pursuit and sharing of knowledge is a religious ideal of the Idealist orders; while the uncovering of forbidden secrets is a goal of many Nihilists.
Variant Sage: Tower StudentThere are wizard towers throughout non-Imperial Cuorria and Honderreich--including the prestigious Vastfurt Tower in Kleimland--where not only wizards, but bards, sages, and even some hermits have studied. The Towers are centers of knowledge, and a fraternal community has grown from each. Tower Students should take the Alumni variant feature.
Variant Feature: AlumniAttending a Tower forms long-lasting bonds that spring a common experience; this bond is shared classmates and faculty from different generations. In any large population center, you will be able to find a fellow alumnus of your Tower who will be likely to grant you an audience, and are more susceptible to offering you aid (granting you advantage on Persuasion checks). If the fellow alumnus is wealthy, they may even be happy to host you and your party for a few days--so long as you are willing to swap tales and gossip about the old Alma Matter.
You may occasionally be approached by fellow alumni who wish to ask you for favors. The more you help out your fellows, they more likely they will be to help you out.
This feature is adapted ("stolen") from Andor's Academy Gruaduate. I felt this ability worked better as an alternate for the sage background in Monvesia instead of the basis for a new background. Campaign worlds with a more prominent academic culture may benefit from Andor's full background, however.
"Mr. Green" was an enigmatic, human wizard beloning to an infrequent player. It was easy to explain his absence by siting a need to visit his teacher's at a nearby wizards' tower. As the campaign advanced, a side story involving the destrution and rebuilding of his tower kept the character's experiened enough to travel with the main party. He was a tower student out of necessity.
Sailor & PirateSailors are most common in Notopoli, Voztok, and Inheritance, where it is actually possible to sail to open seas--and where there is sea trade, there is piracy. There are large lakes in Galtain, connecting Galtain and the Honderreich, and connecting the Pridelands and Veldistan; while the vessels that sail these lakes are smaller, they still necessitate the presence of professional sailors.
SoldierFeudal societies are incomplete without standing armies and sworn officers. Nearly any class can be military in nature: fighter infanty, paladin cavalry, rogue intelligence, wizard special forces, etc.
Variant Soldier: SellswordSellswords include mercenaries, bounty hunters, and any other professional soldier who operates outside of a formal military. These soldiers may select the Contact feature (see "Criminal" background). Your contact represents a network of agents with information on contracts and bounties. If you take this feature, instead of having an insigia of rank, yo have a scroll case containing details about a few contracts and/or bounties.
One of the last additions to the party--whose name, race, and even exact class I cannot currently remember--was something of a big-game hunter. He took contracts from nobles and wealthy merchants to procure exotic trophies.
Cora, a rakasta ranger, was the one character to survive the entire campaign and whose player was present at nearly every gaming session. From the beginning, she was an orphaned street rat.Edited August 1, 2015.