You struggle to overthrow what you see as a corrupt order. Your cause might be a radical, reactionary, nationalist, anarchist, or religious revolution – whatever your aims, you prepare yourself every day to fight and possibly die for the sake of the revolution. This puts you in deadly opposition to the established order and “decent” society. For some revolutionaries, there is an endpoint at which they could set down their banner and live in peace. Many find no peace after their victory, as a result of the compromises that victory requires, and continue the cause of the revolution or come to a messy end at the hands of those they put into power. This is not the life for those who prefer to sleep in comfortable beds – revolutionaries spends many nights on the move or in hiding.

When you choose this background, work with your GM to establish your cause and any network of support you may have.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: One musical instrument

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: 3 vials of alchemist’s fire, a set of common clothes, a book or pamphlet explaining your revolutionary cause, a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Cause What cause have you chosen to spend your life fighting for?

Feature: Hardened Against Privation

Long hours and desperate circumstances have been your life and your training, and many nights you’ve had nothing to feed you but the fire in your belly. You can survive indefinitely on half rations, and can go an additional 3 days without food before suffering noticeable ill effects. When you undertake a forced march, you can march an additional 4 hours before you need to make saving throws to avoid exhaustion.

Suggested Characteristics

Few backgrounds are hero and villain at the same time as starkly as the revolutionary. Many live on the line between liberator and oppressor, especially when they avenge the wrongs that an enemy faction has worked against their supporters. Their zeal and willingness to put their own bodies in the path of harm can make them romantic figures – perhaps posthumously.

d6 Ideal
1 Hidebound. If you can’t adhere to our laws and traditions, you must suffer the consequences. (Lawful)
2 Efficient.” There’s a point, far out there when the structures fail you, and the rules aren’t weapons anymore, they’re shackles letting the bad guy get ahead. (Chaotic)
3 Mercy. Mercy and severity are a sacred balance. (Good)
4 Power. When all you have is the law, everyone looks like a criminal. Everyone is guilty of something. (Evil)
5 Justice. The rules apply equally to all, from the highest to the lowest. (Lawful)
6 Loyalty. With my help, the people I serve will rise above all other competitors. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I carry a tome of laws and precedents to remind me of my duty.
2 Need for an intellectual challenge draws me on.
3 A criminal escaped me once, and I have hunted them across the years.
4 The law – and I – exist to protect the weak from the strong.
5 I do terrible things so that others do not have to.
6 I accused a powerful person of a crime, and I’ve been dodging assassins ever since.
d6 Flaw
1 I obey any legitimate authority, even when they might be wrong.
2 When I don’t have a puzzle to occupy my thoughts, my boredom turns dangerous.
3 I took the expedient path, and now I’m constantly trying to cover it up… but the web of lies is fragile.
4 I’ve seen the worst that my city or my race has to offer – only the bottle keeps the demons at bay.
5 Damsels, gentlemen, or other romantic interests in distress cloud my judgment.
6 I will never forgive, nor forget.
d6 Cause
1 Political representation
2 Society-wide behavioral change (abolition, temperance, etc.)
3 Installing or replacing a ruler or governing body
4 Instituting or dissolving a state religion
5 Improving the standing of a racial, ethnic, or other societal group
6 Protection of nature
d8 Personality Trait
1 I idolize a martyr for the cause, and any mention of them can stir me to action.
2 No matter how hopeless the situation, I keep a cheerful and confident attitude.
3 I plan to live fast and die young, so why not have another bottle of wine, maybe two?
4 I present an embittered, sarcastic façade to the world, but my dedication never wavers.
5 Anyone could be a spy or counter-revolutionary, so I keep secrets from everyone.
6 A pretty face is all it takes to distract me from my revolutionary zeal.
7 I disregard dire risks – this is just the life I have chosen.
8 I always have an inspiring speech prepared for when my comrades falter.
d6 Flaw
1 I pounce on any sign of an ally’s weakening devotion to the cause.
2 I use accusations to draw attention away from my own faults.
3 I hold myself to unattainable moral standards.
4 I blindly trust those who say the right words in support of my revolutionary cause.
5 My hot temper is going to get me in real trouble someday.
6 When things turn bad, the first to flee has the best chance to survive, and I am a survivor.
d6 Bond
1 I must build a better world for my spouse and children to live in.
2 The revolution is my one chance to win fame, glory, and a better station in life.
3 I fight to take down the corrupt order that unjustly executed my parents.
4 I can never allow an innocent to suffer without doing all I can to aid them.
5 I want to complete the revolution so that I can return to the person I love.
6 A former friend betrayed the cause, and I must bring them to justice.
d6 Ideal
1 Greed: The revolution sounds great, but who says we can’t make some money on the side? (Evil)
2 Peace: No matter how the enemies of the revolution persecute us, we must not be the first to offer violence. (Good)
3 Independence: My own vision of the revolution is the only one I trust – I’ll rebel even against the leadership if they go astray. (Chaotic)
4 People: My true devotion is to my friends; the rest of the revolution is incidental. (Neutral)
5 Honor: No cause can end in honor if it begins in dishonor. (Lawful)
6 Glory: Dying for a noble cause is a kind of immortality. (Any)
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