Duty is a complicated, tangled affair, be it filial, political, or civil. Sometimes, there’s wealth and intrigue involved, but more often than not, there’s also obligation and responsibility. You are a person with just such a responsibility. This could involve a noble title, an arranged marriage, a family business you’re expected to administer, or an inherited civil office. You promised to fulfill this responsibility, you are desperately trying to avoid this duty, or you might even be seeking the person intended to be at your side.

Regardless of the reason, you’re on the road, heading toward or away from your destiny.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Insight

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A dagger, quarterstaff, or spear, a set of traveler’s clothes, a memento of your destiny (a keepsake from your betrothed, the seal of your destined office, your family signet ring, or similar), a belt pouch containing 15 gp


You’re a person who’s running from something or hurtling headfirst towards something, but just what is it? The responsibility or event might be happily anticipated or simply dreaded; either way, you’re committed to the path. Choose a destiny or roll a d8 and consult the table below.

d8 Destiny
1 You are running away from a marriage.
2 You are seeking your runaway betrothed.
3 You don’t want to take over your famous family business.
4 You need to arrive at a religious site at a specific time to complete an event or prophecy.
5 Your noble relative died, and you’re required to take their vacant position.
6 You are the reincarnation of a famous figure, and you’re expected to live in an isolated temple.
7 You were supposed to serve an honorary but dangerous position in your people’s military.
8 Members of your family have occupied a civil office (court scribe, sheriff, census official, or similar) for generations.

Feature: Reputation of Opportunity

Your story precedes you, as does your quest to claim—or run away from—your destiny. Those in positions of power, such as nobles, bureaucrats, rich merchants, and even mercenaries and brigands, all look to either help or hinder you, based on what they think they may get out of it. They’re always willing to meet with you briefly to see just how worthwhile such aid or interference might be. This might mean a traveler pays for your passage on a ferry, a generous benefactor covers your group’s meals at a tavern, or a local governor invites your adventuring entourage to enjoy a night’s stay in their guest quarters. However, the aid often includes an implied threat or request.

Some might consider delaying you as long as politely possible, some might consider taking you prisoner for ransom or to do “what’s best” for you, and others might decide to help you on your quest in exchange for some future assistance. You’re never exactly sure of the associated “cost” of the person’s aid until the moment arrives. In the meantime, the open road awaits.

Suggested Characteristics

Destined characters might be running toward or away from destiny, but whatever the case, their destiny has shaped them. Think about the impact of your destiny on you and the kind of relationship you have with your destiny. Do you embrace it? Accept it as inevitable? Or do you fight it every step of the way?

d8 Personality Trait
1 I’m eager to find this destiny and move on with the next stage in my life.
2 I keep the fire of my hope burning bright. I’m sure this will work out for the best.
3 Fate has a way of finding you no matter what you do. I’m resigned to whatever they have planned for me, but I’ll enjoy my time on the way.
4 I owe it to myself or to those who helped establish this destiny. I’m determined to follow this through to the end.
5 I don’t know what this path means for me or my future. I’m more afraid of going back to that destiny than of seeing what’s out in the world.
6 I didn’t ask for this, and I don’t want it. I’m bitter that I must change my life for it.
7 Few have been chosen to complete this lifepath, and I’m proud to be one of them.
8 Who can say how this will work out? The world is an uncertain place, and I’ll find my destiny when it finds me.
d6 Ideal
1 Inevitability. What’s coming can’t be stopped, and I’m dedicated to making it happen. (Evil)
2 Tradition. I’m part of a cycle that has repeated for generations. I can’t deny that. (Any)
3 Defiance. No one can make me be something I don’t want to be. (Any)
4 Greater Good. Completing my duty ensures the betterment of my family, community, or region. (Good)
5 Power. If I can take this role and be successful, I’ll have opportunities to do whatever I want. (Chaotic)
6 Responsibility. It doesn’t matter if I want it or not; it’s what I’m supposed to do. (Lawful)
d6 Bond
1 The true gift of my destiny is the friendships I make along the way to it.
2 The benefits of completing this destiny will strengthen my family for years to come.
3 Trying to alter my decision regarding my destiny is an unthinkable affront to me.
4 How I reach my destiny is just as important as how I accomplish my destiny.
5 People expect me to complete this task. I don’t know how I feel about succeeding or failing, but I’m committed to it.
6 Without this role fulfilled, the people of my home region will suffer, and that’s not acceptable.
d6 Flaw
1 If you don’t have a destiny, are you really special?
2 But I am the “Chosen One.”
3 I fear commitment; that’s what this boils down to in the end.
4 What if I follow through with this and I fail?
5 It doesn’t matter what someone else sacrificed for this. I only care about my feelings.
6 Occasionally—ok, maybe “often”—I make poor decisions in life, like running from this destiny.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Heroes ©2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Celeste Conowitch, Jeff Lee, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind

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