You find your calling in single combat, face to face and one on one against an enemy, not always to the death, but possibly. Your background is one steeped in challenges and violence. Do you duel for personal honor and glory? Do you duel on behalf of someone else or perhaps even a nation?

Whatever your reasons, you find your place within the dueling ring more than anywhere else.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A journal documenting your duels, a writing implement, a set of traveler’s clothes, a small trinket or accessory with your personal insignia on it, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Second

You have the service of a commoner to serve as your second.

This person is loyal and dedicated to you and serves you in multiple capacities. Your second can be expected to run errands for you, maintain your weapons, deliver challenges and messages on your behalf, prepare dueling grounds, and support you logistically before, during, and after a duel so that you can concentrate on the duels themselves. This person will not typically fight for you, but is generally loyal.

Poor treatment or placing them in danger frivolously or frequently may cause them to leave your service, however.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: Who and what do you fight for? Yourself? Are you a designated proxy for someone else? Do you fight on behalf of an organization or government? Is this your idea or have you been pressed into this role? Do you enjoy being a professional duelist? How long have you been doing this? Do you want to continue?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did your role as a duelist lead you into a life of adventure? Or did your adventuring career lead you onto the path of the duelist somewhere along the way?

What is your ultimate goal as a duelist? Adventure and excitement? Or something else?

d8 Personality Trait
1 If I’m not the best yet, I will be soon.
2 I am a gracious winner.
3 Me? Loud? NEVER!
4 I don’t typically speak until spoken to.
5 I will tell everyone who I am and what I do if given the opportunity.
6 I’ve never met a stranger.
7 I take my job extremely seriously.
8 This job gets a lot of attention from potential mates.
d6 Ideal
1 Heroism. I fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. (Good)
2 Dominance. I take joy in crushing those inferior to me. (Evil)
3 Conflict. The only way to know your worth is to test it. (Chaotic)
4 Honor. I fight for and with honor. (Lawful)
5 Survival. Any fight you walk away from is a good one. (Neutral)
6 Thrill. The thrill of single combat makes me feel alive. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 My duels are merely practice for the day when I find my father’s killer.
2 My mentor was a legendary duelist.
3 A soothsayer foretold the time and place of my death.
4 Dueling is a tradition in my family.
5 I do this to win the heart of the one I love.
6 I consider each duel sacred.
d6 Flaw
1 My life is on the line so often, I rely on strong drink to relax.
2 I’m not happy if I’m not risking my life.
3 I have a hard time remembering that other people value their own lives more than mine.
4 I quickly lose hope when things start looking grim.
5 I suspect everyone is secretly trying to undermine me.
6 I have a secret shame I conceal at all costs.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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

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