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Hunted

Someone or something is chasing you, hunting you down.

Perhaps you are on the run from the law, or you might be marked a heretic by religious zealots, or you might possess some dangerous secret that someone else can’t risk you revealing. You might even have a unique power or destiny that supernatural forces seek for some nefarious purpose. Or perhaps you are the nefarious one, and the forces of good are pursuing you to end your reign of terror. In any case, you are hunted, and have been for some time, so you have learned to run and hide as a matter of survival.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Stealth

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of traveler’s clothes, 50 feet of hemp rope, a disguise kit, a small knife, and a pouch containing 5 gp.

Feature: Escape Routes

Living on the run has taught you that you must always have an escape plan ready wherever you are because you might need to move on in a hurry. As such, it is difficult to corner you when the pressure is on, such as when your pursuers draw near. Whenever you are in an area or room, if you spend a short amount of time looking around (one action for a room or relatively small area, one minute for a large area or several rooms / one floor of a building), you notice details about the layout which inform you about the various ways to get out of that area or room. This feature does not necessarily help you circumvent situations which keep you from leaving, such as being tied up or a door being locked, but it informs you of all apparent visible routes of egress from the area.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: Why are you being hunted? Is it a justified reason? How long have they been after you? Who is after you (generally and specifically)?

Have you ever met your hunters? Do you want to? If your hunters catch you, what will you do? Will you run? Hide?

Fight? Cut a deal? What will the hunters do with you if they catch you? What are you willing to do to escape capture?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Are you adventuring because you are being hunted? Are you hunted because of the reason you chose to be an adventurer?

d8 Personality Trait
1 I don’t talk much in order to keep a low profile.
2 I actually like the attention that comes with being hunted.
3 I tend to hide myself as much as possible in public.
4 I am always on the lookout.
5 Just because I’m hunted is no excuse to miss out on life’s pleasures.
6 I’m getting really sick of this life on the run.
7 If I seem as average as possible, maybe they’ll overlook me.
8 I look forward to the day I’m free of this burden.
d6 Ideal
1 Self-Preservation. I will throw anyone into the path of my pursuers to slow them down. (Evil)
2 Justice. I deserve to be hunted because of what I did/am. (Lawful)
3 Compassion. If they are hunting me, they might leave others alone. (Good)
4 Survival. One day at a time, always one step ahead. (Neutral)
5 Defiance. I will never let them put me in chains. (Chaotic)
6 Revenge. Someday the hunter will become the prey. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 The person looking for me is also my jilted lover.
2 Someone important to me should be their target, but my hunters believe I am the true quarry.
3 No matter how long they hunt me, I will never abandon my home.
4 I will not let my hunters dissuade me from fulfilling the promise I made.
5 If I can find a certain item, it will make them stop hunting me. I hope.
6 I don’t even know why they are hunting me, but I intend to find out.
d6 Flaw
1 I have been on the run so long, I can’t ever settle down.
2 Trust no one – anyone might turn me in if they have the chance.
3 I lie compulsively.
4 I feel compelled to take anything useful I find; I might need it.
5 I am afraid to let anyone get close to me.
6 I seldom speak above a whisper in public.

Variant Hunted: Prey

Your experience being hunted primarily took place in the wilderness, as though you were prey for some sort of predator, and as such, you had to develop skills to survive in relatively inhospitable natural environments even as you evaded capture or worse. If you choose the Prey variant of the Hunted background, you may choose to forego proficiency in either Stealth or Athletics and instead gain proficiency in Survival.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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