Former Adventurer

As you belted on your weapons and hoisted the pack onto your back, you never thought you’d become an adventurer again. But the heroic call couldn’t be ignored. You’ve tried this once before—perhaps it showered you in wealth and glory or perhaps it ended with sorrow and regret. No one ever said adventuring came with a guarantee of success.

Now, the time has come to set off toward danger once again. The reasons for picking up adventuring again vary. Could it be a calamitous threat to the town?

The region? The world? Was the settled life not what you expected? Or did your past finally catch up to you?

In the end, all that matters is diving back into danger.

And it’s time to show these new folks how it’s done.

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Survival

Languages: One of your choice

Equipment: A dagger, quarterstaff, or shortsword (if proficient), an old souvenir from your previous adventuring days, a set of traveler’s clothes, 50 feet of hempen rope, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp

Reason for Retirement

Giving up your first adventuring career was a turning point in your life. Triumph or tragedy, the reason why you gave it up might still haunt you and may shape your actions as you reenter the adventuring life.

Choose the event that led you to stop adventuring or roll a d12 and consult the table below.

d12 Event
1 Your love perished on one of your adventures, and you quit in despair.
2 You were the only survivor after an ambush by a hideous beast.
3 Legal entanglements forced you to quit, and they may cause you trouble again.
4 A death in the family required you to return home.
5 Your old group disowned you for some reason.
6 A fabulous treasure allowed you to have a life of luxury, until the money ran out.
7 An injury forced you to give up adventuring.
8 You suffered a curse which doomed your former group, but the curse has finally faded away.
9 You rescued a young child or creature and promised to care for them. They have since grown up and left.
10 You couldn’t master your fear and fled from a dangerous encounter, never to return.
11 As a reward for helping an area, you were offered a position with the local authorities, and you accepted.
12 You killed or defeated your nemesis. Now they are back, and you must finish the job.

Feature: Old Friends and Enemies

Your previous career as an adventurer might have been brief or long. Either way, you certainly journeyed far and met people along the way. Some of these acquaintances might remember you fondly for aiding them in their time of need. On the other hand, others may be suspicious, or even hostile, because of your past actions. When you least expect it, or maybe just when you need it, you might encounter someone who knows you from your previous adventuring career. These people work in places high and low, their fortunes varying widely. The individual responds appropriately based on your mutual history, helping or hindering you at the GM’s discretion.

Suggested Characteristics

Former adventurers bring a level of practical experience that fledgling heroes can’t match. However, the decisions, outcomes, successes, and failures of your previous career often weigh heavily on your mind. The past seldom remains in the past. How you rise to these new (or old) challenges determines the outcome of your new career.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I have a thousand stories about every aspect of the adventuring life.
2 My past is my own, and to the pit with anyone who pushes me about it.
3 I can endure any hardship without complaint.
4 I have a list of rules for surviving adventures, and I refer to them often.
5 It’s a dangerous job, and I take my pleasures when I can.
6 I can’t help mentioning all the famous friends I’ve met before.
7 Anyone who doesn’t recognize me is clearly not someone worth knowing.
8 I’ve seen it all. If you don’t listen to me, you’re going to get us all killed.
d6 Ideal
1 Strength. Experience tells me there are no rules to war. Only victory matters. (Evil)
2 Growth. I strive to improve myself and prove my worth to my companions—and to myself. (Any)
3 Thrill. I am only happy when I am facing danger with my life on the line. (Any)
4 Generous. If I can help someone in danger, I will. (Good)
5 Ambition. I may have lost my renown, but nothing will stop me from reclaiming it. (Chaotic)
6 Responsibility. Any cost to myself is far less than the price of doing nothing. (Lawful)
d6 Bond
1 I will end the monsters who killed my family and pulled me back into the adventuring life.
2 A disaster made me retire once. Now I will stop it from happening to anyone else.
3 My old weapon has been my trusted companion for years. It’s my lucky charm.
4 My family doesn’t understand why I became an adventurer again, which is why I send them souvenirs, letters, or sketches of exciting encounters in my travels.
5 I was a famous adventurer once. This time, I will be even more famous, or die trying.
6 Someone is impersonating me. I will hunt them down and restore my reputation.
d6 Flaw
1 It’s all about me! Haven’t you learned that by now?
2 I can identify every weapon and item with a look.
3 You think this is bad? Let me tell you about something really frightening.
4 Sure, I have old foes around every corner, but who doesn’t?
5 I’m getting too old for this.
6 Seeing the bad side in everything just protects you from inevitable disappointment.
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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