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You are an advisor to an important person. Perhaps you are the personal advisor to a local lord, or maybe you are a warlord’s military strategist. In any case, you are frequently looked to for advice by someone with power. Your role is not necessarily one of fame and prestige, though it could be. It is also possible that you help rule from the shadows, whispering your advice to your liege in secret to ensure that he makes the right decisions. You may even occasionally pen documents on your superior’s behalf – with or without their knowledge.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Persuasion

Tool Proficiencies: Forgery Kit

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A bottle of ink, a quill, 3 pieces of parchment, a set of fine clothes, and a pouch containing 15 gp.

Feature: Position of Power

Because of your position, you command a certain respect.

People who both know who you are and also have a vested interested in pleasing your liege tend to give you the benefit of the doubt and will go out of their way not to draw your ire, lest they potentially incur the wrath of your superior. Others within the organization you are a part of are also likely to curry favor from you however they can. Beware, however, as there could also be some close to you who are jealous of your position and may wish for your downfall.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: Who is your liege? How did you come by your position? Do you advise your superior to be wise and just to protect his subjects? Do you care only for the law and the structure it imposes on society? Do you use your influence in an attempt to bend the land’s ruler to your will for your own gain? Perhaps you encourage violence to sate your own blood thirst. Your motives, morality, and ethics should play a very strong role in how you approach your role as advisor, and they should also help shape the relationship you have with your superior. You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did your liege send you on a quest of great importance, or is it a decision you reached on your own? Or did you find your role as an advisor after adventuring for awhile?

d8 Personality Trait
1 I am convinced that my beliefs are the correct ones. Anyone who believes differently is at best mistaken.
2 I enjoy when people recognize my importance.
3 I am annoyed by people who ask me for help and advice. Just because I am an advisor does not mean I am their advisor.
4 I consider those of lesser station than me to be inferior and less worthy of respect.
5 I never forget a debt owed to me, nor one I owe to someone else.
6 It is my responsibility to make sure my friends are taken care of however I can.
7 I consider it my duty to educate those who are ignorant of something I am knowledgeable about.
8 I always conduct myself formally and with dignity.
d6 Ideal
1 Tradition. The best advice I can provide is to keep to the laws and traditions of the past. (Lawful)
2 Justice. No matter the situation or circumstances, any slight must be met with swift justice. (Lawful)
3 Power. My proximity to power ensures my authority and dominion over those beneath me. (Evil)
4 Responsibility. My position and its power come with a responsibility to do right by those whom my advice may impact. (Good)
5 Change. It is my duty to steer my superior’s decisions toward growth and change so that things do not stagnate. (Chaotic)
6 Practicality. Always take the most effective route toward accomplishing ones goals. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 The organization I am a part of is all that matters to me. My role is to serve it as best I can.
2 I admire and respect my superior, and I will gladly serve him or her for as long as they will have me.
3 I was put in this position by other influential forces to keep an eye on my superior. My true loyalty lies to these other powers.
4 People will know my name before I’m through with this world.
5 I was put in this position by my mentor: my superior’s predecessor. I miss my mentor dearly.
6 This position is a means to an end. Someday, it will be my turn to rule.
d6 Flaw
1 I advise rather than lead because I’m unwilling to make hard decisions myself.
2 I once provided terrible advice which had catastrophic consequences for my superior, but he does not realize I was the one responsible for steering him down the wrong path in the first place. I will do anything to make sure he does not come to that conclusion.
3 I have a hard time saying no to people who flatter me, regardless of their motivations.
4 I can’t help myself when I learn something secret. I simply must tell someone.
5 I am not afraid to use my position of power if it means I can get the things I want.
6 I secretly believe that I should be the one in power, not my superior.

Variant Advisor: Arcane Advisor

You are, specifically, your liege’s advisor on arcane matters.

Perhaps you are the court wizard in a small court, or maybe you are the chieftain’s personal medicine man. If you choose the Arcane Advisor variant of the Advisor background, this background gives you proficiency in the Arcana skill instead of History.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Big Book of Backgrounds Copyright 2019, P.B. Publishing, Phil Beckwith, and Cody Faulk.