D&D - Background & Roleplaying

Last 3 Edits

30th July, 2020

  • Added Athlete from Mythic Odysseys of Theros.

11th April, 2020

  • Added BGs from Explorer's guide to Wildemount & Adventures in Middle Earth: Player's guide.

13th Jan, 2020.

  • Added BGs from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica.
  • Added BG from Eberron 5e.
  • Added BGs from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.


Below lists the currently available Backgrounds as they appear in the core books and other sources, such as En5ider. Of course a player is not restricted to these and could easily develop their own. A background provides the character with starting proficiencies (and sometimes languages), equipment and funds. The accompanying personality and bonds tables are optional, but a good source for fleshing out your character.

List of Backgrounds

  1. Acolyte (PHB p127).
  2. Alchemist's Apprentice (EN5sider Scientific Sorcery by Matt Roth).
  3. Anthropologist (Tomb of Annihilation p191).
  4. Archaeologist (Tomb of Annihilation p192).
  5. Athlete (Mythic Odysseys of Theros p31).
  6. Azorius Functionary (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p33). For any legal or lawfully minded background such as lawyer, police or mind mage.
  7. Black Shield - variant Fallen Scion (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p129). One who wishes to remain hidden.
  8. Boros Legionnaire (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p40). For any lawful military background.
  9. Call of the Sea variant World Weary (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p143). For those that have a mystical force calling them.
  10. Charlatan (PHB p128).
  11. City Watch (Sword Coast Player's Guide p145).
  12. Clan Crafter (Sword Coast Player's Guide p145).
  13. Cloistered Scholar (Sword Coast Player's Guide p146).
  14. Courtier (Sword Coast Player's Guide p146).
  15. Criminal (PHB p129).
  16. Devoted Friend - variant Oathsworn (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p138).
  17. Dimir Operative (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p46). For spies, assassins and information brokers.
  18. Doomed to Die (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p122).
  19. Driven from Home (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p124).
  20. Emissary of Your People (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p126).
  21. Entertainer (PHB p130).
  22. Envoy (En5ider The Art of Peace).
  23. Faction Agent (Sword Coast Player's Guide p147).
  24. Fallen Scion (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p127).
  25. Fisher (Ghosts of Saltmarsh p29).
  26. Folk Healer - variant Magician (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p136).
  27. Folk Hero (PHB p131).
  28. Gladiator - variant Entertainer (PHB p131).
  29. Golgari Agent (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p53). For someone with a connection to the darker side of nature.
  30. Grinner (Explorer's Guide to Wildemount p200). For anyone that spreads the word of freedom in lands of tyranny. Often traveling minstrels.
  31. Gruul Anarch (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p60). For anyone connected to a clan, tribe or group bent on chaos and barbarism.
  32. Guild Artisan (PHB p132).
  33. Guild Merchant (PHB p133).
  34. Harrowed (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p129).
  35. Hermit (PHB p134).
  36. House Agent (Eberron Rising from the Last War p53). For anyone with strong connections to a house/organisation.
  37. Hunter (by the Shadow) (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p131). For anyone belonging to a family or organisation that has upset a greater evil.
  38. Inheritor (Sword Coast Player's Guide p150).
  39. Inquisitor (Innistrad MTG supplement).
  40. Investigator - variant City Watch. (Sword Coast Player's Guide p145).
  41. Izzet Engineer (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p66). If a member of a race or organization that tinkers and partakes in magical and mechanical experimentation.
  42. Knight - variant Noble (PHB p136).
  43. Knight of the Order (Sword Coast Player's Guide p151).
  44. Loyal Servant (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p121).
  45. Lure of the Road (Rover) (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p133).
  46. Magician (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p135).
  47. Marine (Ghosts of Saltmarsh p31).
  48. Mercenary Veteran (Sword Coast Player's Guide p152).
  49. Noble (PHB p135).
  50. Oathsworn (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p136).
  51. Orzhov Representative (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p72). If grown up around a group seeking wealth, such as a lucrative religion, merchant house or a bank.
  52. Outlander (PHB p136).
  53. Pirate (PHB p139).
  54. Rakdos Cultist (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p79). For anyone that spent time in a performance troop with a sinister side.
  55. Reluctant Adventurer (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p138).
  56. Sage (PHB p137).
  57. Sailor (PHB p139).
  58. Seeker of the Lost (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p140).
  59. Selesnya Initiate (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p86). If you have grown up in a peaceful, nature-loving society/group.
  60. Shipwright (Ghosts of Saltmarsh p33).
  61. Simic Scientist (Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica p93). If you have spent time in a magical society that seeks to improve and modify living beings.
  62. Slave (DM Guild product).
  63. Smuggler (Ghosts of Saltmarsh p34).
  64. Soldier (PHB p140).
  65. Spy - variant Criminal. (PHB p130).
  66. Storyteller - variant Harrowed (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p131).
  67. Survivor (En5ider It's Never Over, Dion Fernandez).
  68. Urban Bounty Hunter (Sword Coast Player's Guide p153).
  69. Urchin (PHB p141).
  70. Uthgardt Tribe Member (Sword Coast Player's Guide p153).
  71. Vizier - variant Envoy. (En5ider The Art of Peace).
  72. Volstrucker Agent (Explorer's Guide to Wildemount p202). An arcane secret service of operatives.
  73. Waterdhavian Noble (Sword Coast Player's Guide p154).
  74. World Weary (Adventures in Middle Earth Player's Guide p141).
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