Backgrounds and Themes? Excited? Homebrewing?

I'm pretty excited about Backgrounds and Themes even though I know they are nothing more than collections of feats and skills.   I think it will be helpful for my PCs if I as DM come up with my own campaign specific versions as an aid to roleplaying.   Traits are cool too.

How many of you world builders out there are thinking already of potential backgrounds and/or themes that you might create that are specific to your world?

What are your ideas?  

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The most valuable component of backgrounds and themes is that they help answer why you're taking the feats and skills that you take.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
They are great for simplifying the build process, and that's about it.
Any table that makes them mandatory is a table I'm not sitting down at.
Yup, I am very excited about this as well.  As Mand12 says, they serve as a helpful tool for players, because it lets you think about who your character was and is. 

As for my own specific ideas for campaign related backgrounds and themes, unfortunately, I am currently suffering from a case of Campaignitis (an explosive inflamation of campaign ideas resulting in a proliferation of campaigns), and so I'm not really sure about specifics.
Backgrounds can be a great part of campaign settings.  And I think Themes can also, but not exclusively.  I hope Advanced Themes replace Paragon Path mechanics.

Personally, anything thrown on the campaign setting pile means homebrew to me!  So I am very psyched. 

I have also liked the reverse engineered approach, where a PC picks a PH Background they like and then we work it into the campaign setting.  A pirate background or theme could tie a character to a coastline on the map or put them at odds with a kingdom that trades on a river.

Really looking forward to characer creation rules which should shed more light on what Background and Themes will look like.
Background and Themes are a very clever way of introducing game elements without calling them Skills or Feats and thus marry well with the old school feel.

Apart from that, they are simply vehicle to deliver those Game elements nicely packaged with a lot of flavor, but its makes make them exciting for me as they are a lot more interesting than simply Theme A Theme B etc...instead they tell a story and reinforce your character identity.  

They are like ice cream cones really. A cone is just here to support ice cream for exemple, and you could pick the ice cream seperatly if you wanted but is much cooler and often handy: Wink



 

I think that they are great. Some backgrounds I'd like to see:
Farmer
Escaped Slave
Sailor
Beggar/Urchin
Noble Scion
Traveller (ie, someone from a distant land)
Performer
Huntsman
Nomad
Criminal
Captain (a leader of soldiers)
I'd also be inclined to break Commoner out into Aritisan, Merchant, and Laborer.

Themes are harder, there are so many.

As far as making B&Ts mandatory, as long as there are good guidelines for creating your own, why not? It just means you need to come up with a story to explain the skills and feats that you want, and I'm all for that.
How many of you world builders out there are thinking already of potential backgrounds and/or themes that you might create that are specific to your world?
What are your ideas?  

At this point I'm a lot more interested in backgrounds then themes: I think they have far more potential to link to a campaign. I love the concept/design of features both as something a character starts with as a hook, or as potentially campaign rewards later "The new high cleric names you defender of the faith for exposing the disguised demons that had usurped the position. From now on you are considered to have Temple Services: Write it on your sheet."

I've got a whole pile of campaign and general backgrounds, I'm tinkering with, some of which ended up the thread: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758....
Sounds cool.  Yeah I think if a person wants to do their own that is fine but give me your version of your characters background.   What I've seen is that pure powergamers often are the last ones to want to come up with a background.   As DM though I am willing to help them and even take their notes and write it if necessary.  I don't have a ton of powergamers in my games.

 

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I can take them or leave them. Back in 2e I allowed players to pick 2 or 3 mechanical perks based on a background, subject to my approval of course, and you needed a decent backstory that tied to the actual campaign setting, not some mysterious ill-fitting "out there" world (winces at memories of a player who snuck in a Robotech background before I got specific with the background qualifications). I'd like them to remain strictly optional, though.
I'm pretty excited about Backgrounds and Themes even though I know they are nothing more than collections of feats and skills.   I think it will be helpful for my PCs if I as DM come up with my own campaign specific versions as an aid to roleplaying.   Traits are cool too.

How many of you world builders out there are thinking already of potential backgrounds and/or themes that you might create that are specific to your world?

What are your ideas?  


I love the idea and have already tried to put together some of my previous characters background together in my head.

My favorite was based on a 2edition Paladin who had a Romanesque Noble background with skill in diplo, history, insight and a trait of Patronage -similar to the knights but not exact and going both ways-the character had Patrons he helped out in return for that person looking out for him.

 
I'm avoiding thinking too far into Backgrounds and Themes mechanically, because once I go down that route, it would be far too easy to just put a core set of them together for 3e/E6, and have one less thing about 5e to look forward to.
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I'm avoiding thinking too far into Backgrounds and Themes mechanically, because once I go down that route, it would be far too easy to just put a core set of them together for 3e/E6, and have one less thing about 5e to look forward to.

There's really nothing stopping anyone from adding Themes onto 3E/PF.

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