Most communities understand that in order to defend themselves, they must be able and willing to fight off those who might wish the community harm. Cities, towns, villages, or whatever form the community might take, often employ a militia to provide such defense in an emergency.

A militia is drawn for the citizens and members of the community, so they are not typically professional soldiers or a standing army, but rather civilians who are given some training and organization so that they can be ready to repel threats on short notice. As a member of a militia yourself, you are one such civilian with some of this type of training.

While you may or may not be trained in the use of weapons and armor, you are regardless trained to use what skills you have to act quickly in an emergency and participate in defensive efforts at a moment’s notice.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception

Tool Proficiencies: Your choice of one type of gaming set, and your choice of one type of artisan’s tools or musical instrument

Equipment: A shovel, a document asserting your legitimacy as a member of the militia, a gaming set of your choice, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Respected Minuteman

As a member of the militia, you have learned not only how to mount a defense, but also how to quickly make the transition from being a relatively normal citizen to a combatant (and back). Your training has been such that you are able to don and doff armor (excluding shields) twice as quickly as normal so long as you are proficient with that armor’s category.

Additionally, those in your community who recognize you as a member of the militia will typically give you a larger degree of respect than you might otherwise be entitled to, as you are known to provide protection for everyone when not everyone does so in return. You will normally receive the benefit of the doubt from your neighbors and fellow citizens, your word will generally carry a bit more weight than it otherwise might, and you might even be able to talk the local garrison or armory into lending you basic equipment with greater ease than others might experience.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: What community’s militia do you serve in? Do you enjoy that duty? How did you come to join the militia? Do you intend to do that forever or do you see it as a temporary responsibility? How do you regard your fellow militia members? How do you regard your neighbors who aren’t part of the militia?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did your duties in the militia give you a taste for adventure that inspired you to expand it into a more adventurous direction? Or did your adventurer’s life land you in a situation where serving in the militia just seemed like a natural fit for you? Or maybe it was the only way you could think of to get out of some predicament.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Any good story needs some embellishment.
2 I am loud and boisterous.
3 A good meal is a sure way to convince me to do something.
4 I strive to be efficient at everything I do.
5 I give my trust easily to others.
6 I try to never be the first in line for any dangerous situation.
7 I try not to take life too seriously.
8 Patience is a virtue.
d6 Ideal
1 Duty. It is the duty of every citizen to defend their home. (Lawful)
2 Worthiness. Those who will not fight to defend their homes deserve to be conquered. (Evil)
3 Service. I will fight so that others don’t have to. (Good)
4 Freedom. Freedom is only deserved by those who will defend it. (Chaotic)
5 Survival. Self-preservation is a strong motivator to fight. (Neutral)
6 Realism. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. It’s just the way it is. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I’ve lived here all my life; of course I’ll defend it.
2 If I don’t protect this place, none of us are truly safe.
3 I volunteered to seem brave in front of someone I want to impress.
4 I’ve always enjoyed violence, and this is an outlet for it that won’t get me in trouble.
5 Those brave souls who stand with me are my family.
6 One of my parents died in an attack by monsters. I won’t let something like that happen again.
d6 Flaw
1 I get bored and wander off easily.
2 I think I’m much more important than I am.
3 I often think I’m qualified to do things that I have no business attempting.
4 Setbacks and obstacles always seem insurmountable to me.
5 I don’t see the point in bonding with others.
6 I have a terrible temper, so I often fly off the handle over minor issues.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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

scroll to top