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Daredevil

Something within you just isn’t happy unless you’re risking your life. The thrill of adrenaline pumping through your veins is the best feeling you can imagine, and you are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to push your limits. Whatever it takes to get that that sweet rush of adrenaline, you’re at least going to consider it, if not leap at it headlong. You may be bound to this life by some sort of promise, or you might pursue it simply by your whim. In either case, you live to risk your life.

Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, a map calling out points of interest to a daredevil, 50 feet of hemp rope, a gaming set, and a pouch containing 5 gp.

Feature: Swagger

Through your words, mannerisms, and actions, you demonstrate a certain subtle (or not) confidence in your own ability to attempt and survive death-defying feats. Those who observe and interact with you typically cannot deny that your confidence seems legitimate. When interacting with a creature you can meaningfully communicate with, they are very likely to believe that you will attempt (and likely succeed at) any dangerous task you express interest and intent in performing.

For example, when a daredevil character tells the king that they will scale the wall and save the prince, the king is likely to believe that the character can and will do just that. Likewise, while saving the prince, if the character warns off the kidnapper by saying, “Don’t come any closer or we’ll jump off this bridge!” the kidnapper is likely to take the statement seriously and react accordingly, whether that means stopping, attacking, or any other action that makes sense for that NPC believing that threat.

On the other hand, if the character were to threaten, “I’ll slay you and all your guards if you don’t let us go!” the kidnapper is likely to believe that the character will attempt it, though given the situation and the number of guards, the kidnapper might make his own determination about the probable outcome.

It is always up to the GM to decide how this feature affects an NPC’s behavior and reactions, but the GM is encouraged to at least factor it into NPC interactions with the character where applicable so that the NPCs give the daredevil the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their ability and willingness to risk their own life.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: What led you to the path of an adrenaline junkie? Do you enjoy the lifestyle, or is it something you feel compelled to do for some other reason? Knowing that people are often captivated by your death-defying acts, how does that shape your behavior, if it does at all? Is there anything that could convince you to give up this life? Do you seek to convince others that your way is a favorable one? Or do you live this way as a warning to others? Ultimately, what do you hope to gain from this way of life?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Is your adventuring career just an extension of your thrill seeking? Is adventuring an unfortunate distraction from your true passion? Or perhaps it is a necessary burden, in that you must quest to find greater danger with which to sate your desire for risk.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Life is too short not to push your limits.
2 I only feel alive when I’m risking my life.
3 My own mortality isn’t something I care much for.
4 Battle is the ultimate thrill.
5 Boredom is worth than death.
6 People who aren’t willing to take risks don’t truly appreciate their lives.
7 I’m indestructible.
8 Reckless people are attractive. I’m as reckless as they come.
d6 Ideal
1 Fame. Everyone will know my name. (Any)
2 Freedom. True freedom comes only in a rush of adrenaline. (Chaotic)
3 Education. I hope my example serves as a lesson to others. (Good)
4 Followers. People will follow someone brave right off a cliff, and I won’t be shy about taking them there. (Evil)
5 Clarity. I find clarity in cheating death for no reason other than my own desire to do so. (Neutral)
6 Vow. I promised someone I would face these trials, and I am true to my word. (Lawful)
d6 Bond
1 I’m only doing this to impress someone.
2 I’ve been marked for death by an organization. What have I got to lose?
3 I owe it to myself not to be boring.
4 I have a lot to lose, and that makes it so much more exciting.
5 The best way to get noticed by important people is to do something bold.
6 If I ever stopped doing this, I’d have to actually face my shameful past.
d6 Flaw
1 I tend to put those around me at risk.
2 My thrill seeking is just another facet of my gambling addiction.
3 Once I have a dangerous idea in my head, I can’t stop talking about it until I try it.
4 Impulse control? What’s that?
5 I don’t know I’ve gone too far until someone gets hurt, usually myself.
6 Other substances pale in comparison to adrenaline, but they’re better than nothing at all.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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