Some people spend a great deal of their time below ground, hammering and picking and digging, all in an effort to extract the valuable resources hidden within the ground beneath the feet of others. Miners come in all shapes and sizes and can run the gamut in terms of motivation, work ethics, and personalities. In general, miners are usually a tough lot made up of those with experience identifying, locating, and extracting ores, minerals, precious stones, and other treasures from the depths of the world.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception

Tool Proficiencies: Vehicles (Land)

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A miner’s pick, a shovel, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Miner’s Trade

As an experienced miner, you are able to reliably identify various types of common stone, gemstones, subterranean minerals, and raw ore (this typically does not extend to refined metals). Beyond simply identifying these substances, you are also familiar with where to look for them, what they are typically worth, and how best to extract them from the natural rock in which they occur. Additionally, you are familiar with the typical layout and principles involved in the construction of a mine, and while within one, you can always find your way to (or away from) the surface. At the GM’s discretion, this may extend to other subterranean environments, though it is most effective in actual mines.

Likewise, if you are vigilant, you are able to identify potentially unsafe sections of mines, such as those that are not well maintained and/or in danger of collapse.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: Is there a particular place you usually mine? Do you mine for specific things? Or do you just take what you can get? Are you independent, or do you work for a mining company of some sort? How do you feel about your life as a miner? Do you aspire to greater things? Is this a dream job for you? What do you like most about mining? What do you like least about it? Do you typically work alone? If not, how do you feel about your partners?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did your exploits as a miner lead you into a life of adventure? Perhaps because of something you found in the mines? Or did you learn to be a miner once you were already an adventurer? Did you add mining to your career path to supplement your income? To look for treasure? Or is it just a way of life for your people?

d8 Personality Trait
1 I feel safer below ground than above.
2 I don’t have time for idle chit chat. There’s work to be done!
3 Violence isn’t the only answer, but it’s usually at the top of my list.
4 I love telling stories, regardless of the audience.
5 I know money is important, but I try not to stress out about it.
6 I’m happy as long as I have a full belly.
7 I let no slight against me go unanswered.
8 I don’t have time to explain myself to everyone who disagrees with me.
d6 Ideal
1 Order. Everyone has their place in society, and this one is mine. (Lawful)
2 Choice. One must choose their place in life; no one should force another into toil. (Chaotic)
3 Intimidation. Accidents happen all the time down in a mine… especially to those who cross me. (Evil)
4 Camaraderie. Down in the mines, we have to look out for each other. (Good)
5 Wealth. A miner can make a good living in the right places. (Any)
6 Work. Hard work can be its own reward. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 The people sharing in the work with me down in the mines are like my family.
2 I became a miner to work off a debt that I owe.
3 One of my parents was a miner, so it was only natural that I followed in their footsteps.
4 I started from the bottom as a miner, but I hope to be the one running the show someday.
5 Where I come from, you’re either a miner or you’re a beggar. I’d rather be the one that gets to eat every day.
6 I only became a miner so I wouldn’t get drafted into the army.
d6 Flaw
1 I see no reason to clean up after a day in the mines; I’m just going to get dirty again the next day.
2 I can’t even remember how many times I’ve been called forgetful.
3 I’ve been a packrat all my life.
4 I have a hard time keeping my hands to myself.
5 Work hard, play way too hard to the point you get into frequent trouble. That’s what I do, at least.
6 I’m careless with tools and equipment, especially if I’ve borrowed them.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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

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