5e SRD >Backgrounds >

Raider

Nobody knows who your parents were; not your real ones, anyway. Your story is the same as everyone else’s here—your parents were travelling the roads with you when they came under attack. They were killed, and you were adopted by the group’s leader and his female companions. You lived in caves, or in the forest, or anywhere you could when the local lords sent additional troops to patrol the roads. The other abductees became your brothers and sisters, and in time, after you watched and learned, you would assist in the raids, either by waiting until people were away from their mounts and wagons, or by confronting them directly. Killing did not come easy to you at first, but in time it became a way of life.

Ultimately, there are only three ways that one ceases to be a raider—either you met your match on the road and you managed to escape with your life, you had a confrontation with the leader or one of his chosen and were cast out, or your conscience finally demanded that you stop attacking innocent people. Whatever the case, you found yourself having to crawl back to society and find a way to integrate into it. The fact that you were a predator only mattered to those who found out. The rest found you handy with your weapon, and you soon found more profitable means of survival, such as throwing in with mercenaries, or taking on quests for the local nobles and lords.

Your background as a raider is useful to you as a fighter, but it came with a cost, and that cost is a piece of your soul.

You may try and put it behind you, or find some way to atone for it, but you know that you are a criminal and a murderer in your heart, and that will not so easily go away.

Proficiencies

Skills Intimidation, Nature
Tools: Disguise kit, forgery kit
Equipment: Longsword, chainmail, heavy crossbow

Feature: Underworld Connections

You may be a fighter, but the people your group associated with before were thieves, murderers, and social outcasts. You may have walked away from it all, but there are still numerous people spread throughout the various cities who remember you. Because of this, you can go to nearly any city within a hundred miles of the area your group operated and find people you recognize. While they may not welcome you with open arms when you come across them, you can often utilize them for favors from the local underworld. If you need to meet a local crime lord, obtain a rare and jealously guarded treasure, find some thugs for a job, or do something else that requires an underworld connection, you can usually find a way to make it happen.

Suggested Characteristics

You find it difficult to trust people you know, and even when you do you prefer to keep your past to yourself. They tend to think of you as a private person, or closed off, but to you it’s just self-preservation. You don’t know if you had murdered someone this person loved in your previous life. You don’t know if they will turn you in to the local militia for your crimes. Many kingdoms would have you hang, even if you had no choice in your involvement with the group. Your caution has served you well thus far, but you worry that the day will come when the wrong person recognizes you, or you accidentally reveal too much of yourself to the wrong person.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I don’t put up with people’s disrespect. I’ll beat them bloody!
2 It will be a long time before I can deal with my past.
3 I don’t need to atone. I was just trying to survive, like anyone else.
4 Fear of being discovered guides so many of my actions.
5 Say what you want of my past, I know how to fight, and I can use that.
6 I’ll take whatever job you have for me, no questions asked. Just do the same for me.
7 I may not prey on travelers anymore, but if I see something of yours that I want, I’m going to get it.
8 If I go far enough away, I can outrun my past.
d6 Ideal
1

Authenticity: I would like to be authentic, but people wouldn’t accept me.

2 Boldness: Be bold in everything you do.
3 Community: I can fit in and help the community, but I can never truly be a part of it.
4 Determination: I can’t change my past, but I’m determined to do better in the future.
5 Justice: Before I pass judgment on others, I’ll apply the same standards to myself.
6 Self-Respect: Once I have atoned, I will have the self-respect I desire.
d6 Bond
1 Our raider leader is evil in the purest sense of the word. I’ll deal with him in time.
2 Not long ago, I brought in a bandit for the city in which I now reside. I’m pretty sure he’ll want revenge sooner or later.
3 I ran afoul of a noblewoman and made off with some of her jewelry. I need to fence this stuff before someone recognizes the stolen pieces and reports me to her.
4 I confided the details of my past to the person I love. Now I can no longer find her/him.
5 Some of my brothers and sisters are still out there, but they are good at heart and should be saved.
6 There was a farmer who helped me get into the city. I will forever be in debt to his kindness.
d6 Flaw
1 I will forever hide my past.
2 I am no more trustworthy than I can trust others.
3 I don’t regret my past.
4 Given the right circumstances, I’d go back to banditry.
5 I sometimes have nightmares over what I’ve done. I don’t know if I can escape my guilt.
6 I have a nervous tick that’s easy to tell once you look for it. I hope I don’t give myself away.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlemasters & Berserkers © 2021, Legendary Games; Author Darrin Drader.

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