You have spent all or a majority of your life serving another. You might know a number of skills or have been trained in a specialised area of service and you certainly have inside knowledge about the current social system, and its movers and shakers.
There are some very important questions you need to consider when you select this background. The first question is, ‘How did you end up in this position?’ Maybe you were born into slavery or were you captured/press-ganged and sold against your will or perhaps you indentured yourself to another due to poverty or for more duplicitous reasons (like Ser Jorah Mormont in HBO’s A Game of Thrones).
The next important decision you need to make is your relationship with your superior. Did they treat you as a respected member of their household or organisation, were you merely property, or were you exploited at every turn? Your relationship with your superiors could well shape your future adventures and motivations.
Finally, and most importantly, are you still in the service of another or have you gained your freedom? How and when did you do it? Did you escape, purchase your freedom, or fulfill a contract and earn it? Perhaps someone rescued you or there may have been a revolution and you were turned free. There may have been a change of leadership and the new master/mistress simply set you free. If you are not free, then the person or group you serve may act as a patron, providing you with the means to adventure. Obviously, this would mean having a trusting superior, and more than likely, a good relationship with them. That or you simply wish to attain your freedom justly, or perhaps you secretly work against your superiors but fake servitude. In any case, you need to consider a reason why you have the equipment granted to you by your class and the freedom to adventure.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Performance.
Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools, one gaming set or one musical instrument.
Language: One of your choice.
Equipment: A set of artisan’s tools, gaming set or musical instrument (the same as your tool proficiency above), a set of common clothes and a belt pouch containing 10 cp.
RoleYou should also consider what your duty as a slave was. You would not have lasted this long without being able to provide your superiors with something, from menial labour to experienced tutorship. Some slaves were highly valued and trained, such as looking after a master’s children or financial accounts, or even the master, as a guard, major domo or personal servant. Perhaps you were forced to fight for your life as a gladiator. You may have risen to become a stalwart companion of your master, or perhaps you were simply kept as a show of extravagance, to be put on display. To determine your role as a slave, roll a d10 or choose from the options on the table below.
|3||Labourer / Maid||8||Pretty piece of flesh|
|4||Major domo||9||Scribe / Accountant|
(NB: Currently we have two features for this background, so you need to choose 1 of the following).
Feature: Societal Secrets
You have a very clear understanding of the social system where you are from and it does not take you long to find out about others you come into contact with. You not only know an individual’s position in the social structure, you know secrets and interesting facts about individuals of note that might not be common knowledge. Your master has likely expressed their thoughts regarding other high-ranking NPCs in your presence. When a well know NPC is mentioned in the game you know at least one piece of information about them that is not common knowledge.
You have been a slave long enough to know that those in power often completely overlook the indentured. By assuming the required gait and mannerisms, you are able to pass virtually unseen by those at the highest level, even to the point of gaining access to places that normal members of society cannot walk.
Other slaves will no doubt recognize you for what you are, but rather than pointing out that you do not belong, they will often help you remain undetected.
Slaves often have a way of connecting with others, especially those that have also come from the lower stratus of society. Whilst their outlook on life can vary as much as the roles they performed as a slave, without a fault, those that aspire to be heroes are extremely driven.
|1||I have a way of getting the best out of people. I inspire them to rise above their current woes.|
|2||I am a master of flattery and use it to placate individuals of note.|
|3||I have learnt long ago to suppress my own feelings. I remain calm in any situation.|
|4||I live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.|
|5||I am extremely driven and will give anything a go.|
|6||I value close friendships and stand up for those I trust.|
|7||Whenever I enter a new community, I make it my business to learn the local rumours and other people’s business.|
|8||I am cautious and take careful note of both sides of a situation before I act.|
|1||Aspiration. I have risen from the bottom of society and I aim to make it all the way to the top. (Any)|
|2||Charity. I have lived most of my life with next to nothing and I can continue to do so. (Good)|
|3||Duty. This is the hand I was dealt and it is my duty to serve. I will attain my freedom in a just manner. (Lawful)|
|4||Freedom. I will see the tyranny of slavery crushed at any cost. (Any)|
|5||Greed. I have lived long enough with nothing and now I want everything. (Evil)|
|6||Persistence. I will endure as I have always done. Good things come to those that wait. (Good)|
|1||I value the relationship I have with my master (or former master). I intend to increase their interests even in freedom.|
|2||My master(s) are out to get me. I escaped or betrayed them.|
|3||I owe my freedom to others still in slavery. I will live to see the day they are free too.|
|4||I still have loved ones that are enslaved and seek to gain their freedom.|
|5||I intend to get retribution on those that sold me into slavery.|
|6||Another slave gained their freedom at my expense. It is time to even the ledger.|
|1||I have lived so far by choosing my confrontations carefully. If I see the tide turning against me, I have no qualms in fleeing a bad situation.|
|2||Having lived a long time with very little, I can’t help but take items others may see as unimportant. Well, of course they are unimportant, or they wouldn’t be placed where they are so easily taken.|
|3||I dwell too much on the past and my spirit is broken. I only see the worst in any situation.|
|4||My master’s subdual is complete. I am meek and never voice my opinion.|
|5||I find it very hard to trust others. I was betrayed in the past.|
|6||I cannot hide my scorn and hatred of the rich and elite.|