Forest Dweller

You are a creature of the forest, born and reared under a canopy of green. You expected to live all your days in the forest, at one with the green things of the world, until an unforeseen occurrence, traumatic or transformative, drove you from your familiar home and into the larger world. Civilization is strange to you, the open sky unfamiliar, and the bizarre ways of the so-called civilized world run counter to the truths of the natural world.

Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival

Tool Proficiencies: Woodcarver’s tools, herbalism kit

Languages: Sylvan

Equipment: A set of common clothes, a hunting trap, a wood staff, a whetstone, an explorer’s pack, and a pouch containing 5 gp

Feature: Forester

Your experience living, hunting, and foraging in the woods gives you a wealth of experience to draw upon when you are traveling within a forest. If you spend 1 hour observing, examining, and exploring your surroundings while in a forest, you are able to identify a safe location to rest. The area is protected from all but the most extreme elements and from the nonmagical native beasts of the forest. In addition, you are able to find sufficient kindling for a small fire throughout the night.

Life-Changing Event

You have lived a simple life deep in the sheltering boughs of the forest, be it as a trapper, farmer, or villager eking out a simple existence in the forest.

But something happened that set you on a different path and marked you for greater things. Choose or randomly determine a defining event that caused you to leave your home for the wider world.

d8 Event
1 You were living within the forest when cesspools of magical refuse from a nearby city expanded and drove away the game that sustained you. You had to move to avoid the prospect of a long, slow demise via starvation.
2 Your village was razed by a contingent of undead. For reasons of its own, the forest and its denizens protected and hid you from their raid.
3 A roving band of skeletons and zombies attacked your family while you were hunting.
4 You are an ardent believer in the preservation of the forest and the natural world. When the people of your village abandoned those beliefs, you were cast out and expelled into the forest.
5 You wandered into the forest as a child and became lost. For inexplicable reasons, the forest took an interest in you. You have faint memories of a village and have had no contact with civilization in many years.
6 You were your village’s premier hunter. They relied on you for game and without your contributions their survival in the winter was questionable. Upon returning from your last hunt, you found your village in ruins, as if decades had passed overnight.
7 Your quiet, peaceful, and solitary existence has been interrupted with dreams of the forest’s destruction, and the urge to leave your home compels you to seek answers.
8 Once in a hidden glen, you danced with golden fey and forgotten gods. Nothing in your life since approaches that transcendent moment, cursing you with a wanderlust to seek something that could.

Suggested Characteristics

Forest dwellers tend toward solitude, introspection, and self-sufficiency. You keep your own council, and you are more likely to watch from a distance than get involved in the affairs of others. You are wary, slow to trust, and cautious of depending on outsiders.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I will never forget being hungry in the winter. I field dress beasts that fall to blade or arrow so that I am never hungry again.
2 I may be alone in the forest, but I am only ever lonely in cities.
3 Walking barefoot allows me to interact more intuitively with the natural world.
4 The road is just another kind of wall. I make my own paths and go where I will.
5 Others seek the gods in temples and shrines, but I know their will is only revealed in the natural world, not an edifice constructed by socalled worshippers. I pray in the woods, never indoors.
6 What you call personal hygiene, I call an artificially imposed distraction from natural living.
7 No forged weapon can replace the sheer joy of a kill accomplished only with hands and teeth.
8 Time lived alone has made me accustomed to talking loudly to myself, something I still do even when others are present.
d6 Ideal
1 Change. As the seasons shift, so too does the world around us. To resist is futile and anathema to the natural order. (Chaotic)
2 Conservation. All life should be preserved and, if needed, protected. (Good)
3 Acceptance. I am a part of my forest, no different from any other flora and fauna. To think otherwise is arrogance and folly. When I die, it will be as a leaf falling in the woods. (Neutral)
4 Cull. The weak must be removed for the strong to thrive. (Evil)
5 Candor. I am open, plain, and simple in life, word, and actions. (Any)
6 Balance. The forest does not lie. The beasts do not create war. Equity in all things is the way of nature. (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 When I lose a trusted friend or companion, I plant a tree upon their grave.
2 The voice of the forest guides me, comforts me, and protects me.
3 The hermit who raised me and taught me the ways of the forest is the most important person in my life.
4 I have a wooden doll, a tiny wickerman, that I made as a child and carry with me at all times.
5 I know the ways of civilizations rise and fall. The forest and the Old Ways are eternal.
6 I am driven to protect the natural order from those that would disrupt it.
d6 Flaw
1 I am accustomed to doing what I like when I like. I’m bad at compromising, and I must exert real effort to make even basic conversation with other people.
2 I won’t harm a beast without just cause or provocation.
3 Years of isolated living has left me blind to the nuances of social interaction. It is a struggle not to view every new encounter through the lens of fight or flight.
4 The decay after death is merely the loam from which new growth springs—and I enjoy nurturing new growth.
5 An accident that I caused incurred great damage upon my forest, and, as penance, I have placed myself in self-imposed exile.
6 I distrust the undead and the unliving, and I refuse to work with them.
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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