Character ‘Backgrounds’ for Shadow of the Mage War Campaign Saga

I still don’t like the use of the word templates to describe this. For the upcoming campaign, I’ve decided to give my player characters an added bonus or two that fits in with their characters background, story, and pretty much how much they’ve fleshed it out. My plan is that this will offer not only an added instinctive to build on characters, but to offer a slightly flavorful push on things as well. My players are starting at level 1 despite the fact that they’ve already been studying in their chosen paths for some time. For now, let’s say Backgrounds.

I will also say that you can keep anything you gain in these backgrounds until it seems unreasonable for the character to do so. For example, if you choose to change to a different profession where you’ll start learning a whole new set of skills. Another example may be that you are simply no longer capable of a certain ability. However, once you start in something new, the previous past is lost. Over time, skills and abilities you once learned may be forgotten.

Blue Guard Trainee
So, you’re training to be one of the Blue Guard, ‘eh? Learned a few tips & tricks but aren’t there quite yet. Likely, you’re still working under a superior officer or receiving newcomer training at the Academy of Molir on the northern coast of the island. You may even be a seasoned character looking to start in something new. If any of these are the case, you may pick 2 of the following bonuses at level 1 and an extra bonus at level 5.

  • +1 DEX/WILL per 5 levels on path (Choose 1, Round up)
  • +1 MANA per 2 levels on path (Round down)
  • -1 Hour Rest Required
  • +1 SPEED
  • +1 Added spell resist per 2 levels.

Mage
This is an available selection for any spell-caster training at the Academy and concentrating on magical studies. You may pick 2 of the following bonuses at level one and an extra bonus at level 5.

  • +1 INT/WIS/CHA per 5 levels on path (Choose 1)
  • +1 MANA per 2 levels on path
  • +1 Radius to area spells
  • + 1 DMG FROST/FIRE/NATURE/HOLY/ETC spells PER LEVEL (Choose one)
  • +1 LUCK
  • +1 per level when rolling to recognize a spell
  • 1 extra spell per day from your list
  • +5 RESIST in FROST/FIRE/NATURE/HOLY/ETc. (Choose one. Must work with your strongest area of spell-casting)
  • SPELL:  MINOR HEAL – Heal a minor wound (2d4 dmg) at the cost of one mana point for 1 hour. RANGE 2 SQ

Scholar
For those who seek knowledge above all. You may pick 2 of the following bonuses at level 1 and an extra bonus at level 5.

  • +2 History per level
  • +1 LUCK
  • +5 to finding information in library situations
  • +5 to one skill (May be taken again at level 5)
  • May reroll one knowledge check per day, taking the better result.
  • +1 Language
  • +3 to knowledge gathering

Explorer
It’s not knowledge you seek but experiences and adventure. You live for danger and excitement, finding thrill at every turn. You may pick two of the following bonuses at level one and an extra bonus at level 5.

  • +1 to disabling and recognizing traps per 2 levels.
  • +2 to JUMP
  • +2 CLIMB
  • May reroll once per day on a save or situation which may otherwise kill you. Use better roll.
  • +5 Perception
  • +1 DEX/CHA per 5 levels (choose one)
  • SPELL/ABILITY: SPEED – +2 to move for 5 rounds. Usable once per day.