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Information Dealer

You are an individual who collects, buys, sells, and trades information in order to make a living. Sifting through gossip for kernels of truth, mining tips from people in the know, and working your knuckles to the bone in the rumor mill to glean secrets are all the kinds of activities you might engage in to gather information. And once you have it, you trade that information to those who find it useful or valuable.

You may get other information in return for your trouble, though goods, services, favors, or even cold hard cash are just as often exchanged for the knowledge you deal in.

Regardless of how you get it or what you trade for it, dealing in information is your specialty, and there seems to always be a demand for such a service.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Insight

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A notebook, an ink pen, a dozen small tubes and slips of paper (for clandestine notes), a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 15 gp.

Feature: Informant Network

Given that your stock and trade is information, you have a respectable network of individuals spread across the territory you operate in. These informants don’t work for free, but they actively keep their eyes and ears open for information, rumors, and secrets at all times because they know that any intelligence they gather might potentially be valuable to you, and for many of them, this part of the business helps them line their pockets or accumulate favors.

When you are in search of information or rumors, you may reach out to your informant network. The GM will let you know what methods are permissible for this, and it is up to the GM’s discretion if and how your attempt succeeds, as well as what it might cost you. GMs are encouraged to use this feature to introduce plot hooks, hints, and worldbuilding details to the player character.

Additionally, if someone knows that you are an information dealer, they may be inclined to do business with you (buying, selling, or otherwise) in exchange for information when they otherwise may not even consider it. This is entirely up to the GM’s discretion in any given situation, but it is possible that people you run across may be willing to buy or sell information through you in various capacities.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: Do you enjoy your work? How do you feel about the people you get your information from? How do you feel about the people who buy information from you? Do you specialize in a certain type of information? Is there a kind of information you avoid dealing in?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did you become an adventurer as a result of your information dealing? Did one of the secrets you learned send you off on a quest? Or send you fleeing from someone dangerous who wants their information kept private? Or did your life of adventure cause you to end up on the path of an information broker simply by circumstance?

d8 Personality Trait
1 I spend my money freely.
2 I ensure everyone notices when I walk into a room.
3 I prefer to do more listening than speaking.
4 Violence is never my first choice.
5 I consider friendly insults to be a gesture of endearment.
6 I pride myself on being a good listener to others.
7 Compromises are for the weak and uncommitted.
8 I appreciate little more than a sense of humor.
d6 Ideal
1 Utility. Information is a currency all its own. (Any)
2 Tyranny. Control of information is only a small step away from control of thoughts. (Evil)
3 Amelioration. Knowledge should be shared and applied to improve people’s lives. (Good)
4 Accessibility. Information should be freely accessible to those who seek it. (Chaotic)
5 Preservation. Data should be collected, recorded, and cataloged so that it won’t be lost. (Lawful)
6 Power. Knowledge is power. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 I am fascinated by unsolved mysteries.
2 I am a major player in my home town’s rumor mill.
3 I am searching for the answer to a question I have never been able to find.
4 I consider my role as an information dealer a divine mandate.
5 I can’t remember what got me into this business, and I can’t see a way out.
6 My work helps me stay one step ahead of the people who know a dangerous secret about me.
d6 Flaw
1 If I don’t have interesting information available, I won’t hesitate to make something up.
2 I despise being around children.
3 I can almost never remember anyone’s name.
4 I get tongue-tied when I’m excited.
5 I am paranoid that other people are watching me, waiting for me to make a mistake, so that they can take advantage.
6 I avoid crowds like the plague.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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