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Survivor (Background)

Against the odds, you survived what should have been an inescapable death. Whether you awoke on the battlefield surrounded by the corpses of your comrades, or you crawled your way clear of the ruins of a devastated village, you somehow survived when no one else did. A higher power spared your life for a reason, giving you a second chance to earn this blessing and prove yourself. Now, you wander the land in search of answers and to fulfill your true purpose.

Here are a few ideas and questions to consider when choosing this background:

  • What tragic event did you survive: a battle, a natural disaster, a sinking ship, a massacre?
  • How did you survive? What event or circumstance seemingly enabled you to live while everyone else perished?
  • Were you mistaken for dead or purposefully allowed to live?
  • In the midst of death and destruction, did you observe anything miraculous or impossible?
  • Perhaps you witnessed a valkyrie performing their duties for the fallen, or perhaps you saw an angel of death. How did this change you?
  • What do other people say about you and your miraculous escape? Are you blessed or cursed for surviving?
  • Are you a tragic hero or a shunned outcast?

Skill Proficiencies: History, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One type of musical instrument

Equipment: A memento or keepsake from the place of your miraculous survival, a set of traveling clothes, a journal of your travel notes and observations, a quill pen and vial of ink, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: The Seeker Stories and songs about your miraculous survival travel with you wherever you go, and people always wish to hear the account firsthand. Some people come to you in search of spiritual wisdom or insight, while others merely seek a harrowing story.

Regardless, when people realize who you are, they offer you food, drink, shelter, and their hospitality in exchange for a few words of your wisdom. In any given community, you can ask for a more valuable favor, such as the loan of a boat or horse, or a head start from the local constable, but you only receive one such favor from that community before you overstay your welcome.

Suggested Characteristics

Survivors often come across as melancholy—alone even when surrounded by laughter and company. They have seen things and survived experiences that forever change them, marking the soul. The true survivor carries a haunted look in their eyes, which at first invites questions and demands for stories. Before long, however, the survivor wears out their welcome as people become more uncomfortable in their presence.

d6 Personality Trait
1 Everything looks and sounds different now. Either I’ve changed or I now see the world as it truly is.
2 I’m not foolhardy, but death holds no terror for me.
3 I need to know why I survived, and I won’t rest until I learn the truth.
4 Signs and portents are everywhere if you know when and where to look.
5 My dark, somber moods make me a difficult traveling companion at times.
6 The horrors of that day continue to haunt me, and I can’t blot them from my mind.
d6 Ideal
1 Independence. I refuse to be a puppet or pawn of fate. My life is mine to live as I see fit. (Chaotic)
2 Redemption. I’ve been given a second chance to prove my worth and atone for my past misdeeds. (Good)
3 Power. I survived because I deserved to survive, and I will do everything in my power to get what’s owed to me. (Lawful)
4 Destiny. The powers that be chose me to survive for a reason. I won’t rest until I learn that reason. (Any)
5 Greed. Life is too short to let any opportunity for gain slip through my fingers. (Evil)
6 Faith. A deity chose me to as their instrument. I must now serve that higher calling. (Lawful)
d6 Bond
1 My last family died around me. I will not fail my new family, no matter what it costs.
2 Someone or something took everything from me. They will pay for all my suffering and loss.
3 I have to prove that I’m worthy of surviving when so many others didn’t make it.
4 The end times are upon us; I would give my last breath to hold back the coming darkness.
5 I protect and defend those too weak or poor to defend themselves.
6 I seek enlightenment and wisdom. I must uncover the hidden reasons as to why I still draw breath.
d6 Flaw
1 The guilt of being the only survivor weighs heavily on my soul.
2 Deep down, I wonder if my being spared was a mistake or even a punishment.
3 There are times when I take foolish risks because I have a destiny to fulfill; I’m too important to die.
4 I tend to see the dark and grim side of life, and I like to share those views.
5 I speak my mind in blunt, forthright language. I have no interest in coddling fools.
6 Since I’m probably going to hell when I die, I might as well live life to its fullest now.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Valkyrie Hybrid Class Copyright 2018 Total Party Kill Games, LLC Author: Aaron Hollingsworth