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Wilderness Guide

The wilderness can be a dangerous place, especially to those who aren’t familiar with the obstacles and perils one may face in such environments. That said, when such inexperienced people have need to travel long distances through the wilderness, the wiser travelers look for the aid of a wilderness guide to see them through the awaiting dangers.

As a wilderness guide, you are skilled and experienced at navigating the wilds and avoiding the pitfalls which lie in wait to prey upon the hapless and unsuspecting who are not well versed enough in the wilderness’s nuances to safely traverse it. They look to you to see them safely through the wilderness, and that spells opportunity for you.

Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Your choice of Herbalism Kit or Navigator’s Tools

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A set of maps for the area you are most familiar with traversing, a walking stick, a small knife, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Surviving the Wild

Work with the GM to determine which type(s) of wilderness biomes you are experienced with. While in these biomes, you are able to find enough food and water (presuming it exists) to feed yourself and up to six other people each day.

Additionally, you are almost always able to find the least dangerous location in your immediate area to take a rest or make camp when in a wilderness biome you are familiar with.

This does not guarantee safety for you or those following you, but it will typically provide some degree of security and safety that others less skilled at traversing the wilderness may not find.

Also, you can spend at least an hour to build or supervise the construction of shelter in a wilderness biome that you are familiar with. Such shelter will provide at least some protection from the elements and the dangers of the wilderness. The longer spent on making such shelter, the more effective it should prove to be (GM’s discretion). The GM should consider such shelter and safe locations when determining what, if any, dangers might befall a party in the wilderness, as well as how those potential dangers are presented.

Fleshing Things Out

Some questions to consider when determining how this background applies to your character: How did you learn to guide others through the wilderness? Is it something you learned on your own, or did you have a teacher? Are there particular areas you tend to stick to, or do you travel far and wide? Do you enjoy your work? You understand nature and the wilderness, but how do you feel about it?

You should also consider what caused you to take up the role of an adventurer. Did you start off onto a life of adventure early and happen upon the life of a wilderness guide along the way? Or did you begin as a wilderness guide and find the call for adventure as part of one of your jobs?

Or maybe you sought adventure between jobs to occupy your down time. What circumstances led you into the wilderness and beyond?

d8 Personality Trait
1 Animals aren’t shy about their sexuality, so why should I be?
2 I prefer the solitude of a quiet glade to the clamor of a city street.
3 If you’re providing food, I’ll at least listen to what you have to say.
4 Possessions and money are somewhat necessary, but they are all fleeting things.
5 If you’re going to do something, do it as well as you possibly can.
6 A little hard work and sweat never killed anyone.
7 I like to stay quiet so as not to draw attention to myself.
8 I prefer to do things for myself whenever possible.
d6 Ideal
1 Implication. It would be a shame if you didn’t cooperate with me while we’re out so far from civilization. Something bad could happen, and no one would ever know. (Evil)
2 Protection. Those who can should protect those who can’t. (Good)
3 Access. The freedom to travel without restriction is fundamental to happiness. (Chaotic)
4 Obligation. If someone hires me to take them through the wilderness, I’ll let nothing stop me from making that happen: the agreement must be honored. (Lawful)
5 Merit. If I can defeat or avoid the dangers of the wilderness, then I deserve to do so; I earned my mastery. (Any)
6 Balance. Nature is a powerful, balanced force, and the best we can hope to achieve is to pass through it unnoticed without disturbing the balance it embodies. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 I never knew my mother, and I fled from my father’s home over a disagreement.
2 My mentor disappeared while investigating ancient ruins, and I have vowed to find her.
3 Every trek through the wilderness is a test of my worthiness to exist.
4 I lost a sibling to the wilderness when I was a child. Never again will I lose someone to the wiles of nature.
5 I hope to understand myself better by understanding the way nature works.
6 I have a friendly rivalry with a few other wilderness guides.
d6 Flaw
1 I will never ask for directions, no matter how lost I am.
2 I have no concept of proper manners beyond those you find in the wilderness.
3 I have a violent temper that causes its fair share of problems.
4 I am terribly impatient.
5 I take foolish risks just to see what will happen.
6 I swear and curse like an expert.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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