3 New Backgrounds

3 new Backgrounds were created for the Acquisitions Incorporated for the live D&D game at at Pax Prime. 

You can find them here, along with their character sheets: Acquisitions Inc. custom backgrounds and character sheets. 

Entrepreneur 
 Diplomacy 
 Professional Lore 
 Bluff 
Trait: Bureaucromancy

Performer
 Professional Lore
 Insight
 Sleight of Hand
Trait: Showmanship

Bronzebottom
 Intimidate
 Jump
 Underdark Lore
Trait: Brand recognition
What I do like about what they did with their backgrounds is that their "Trait" is a very flexible story element that in some ways comes close to 13th Age's "One Unique Thing", but only in the fact that you can define just about any story element benefit within reason as your custom background's trait.

The thing I horribly dislike about Backgrounds in general is what others might consider as its strength: explicitly defined skills attached to specific ability scores with unmodifiable bonuses (without houseruling, or non-inherent modifiers such as feats and items).
* Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate will always be Charisma-based checks (barring houseruling), so not only do high CHA characters (and Rogues) benefit from them more, there's not much improvisation that can be done outside of "I talk/haggle/discuss/dissuade/convince" (Diplomacy), "I lie/cheat/discuss/dissuade/convince" (Bluff), and "I scare/dissuade/convince" (Intimidate)
* Lore will always be Intelligence-based checks, and given the number of different Lore skills available, it is eerily reminiscent of 3E skills
* Insight will always be WIS-based, and nothing much to do with it other than using it as a lie-detector
* Sleight of Hand will always be DEX-based.  Lots of things you can do related to subterfuge, at least.
* Jump.  Tell me: how can you improvise with Jump?  The only thing I can see is "I should have bonuses to other leg-based athletics abilities due to my training in Jump."

Which is why if I buy D&D Next, the first houserule I would implement is to completely scrap the D&D Next Backgrounds, and use the 13th Age Backgrounds instead, as it inherently has the Trait element and provides far more interesting benefits than training in 3 predefined skills.

Definitely diggin' the Dual Wand Wielder and Two WeaponDual Wand Defense though. 
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging

Trait: Bureaucromancy



i lol'd so hard

i like the backgrounds system, but am personally going to add to the skills all to the nine hells. 
You are Red/Blue!
You are Red/Blue!

Trait: Bureaucromancy



i lol'd so hard

i like the backgrounds system, but am personally going to add to the skills all to the nine hells. 



Same here!  It kinda reminds me of D20 Modern's occupation system.  I'm one step closer to converting D&D to modern for this edition!

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
Can't currently download this. Can someone detail out the background traits?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I find humourous that the Brand Recognition Trait let you get a table at a crowded restaurant even though you don't have a reservation Wink

Equipment Should List [sblock]




Tongue Out
What I do like about what they did with their backgrounds is that their "Trait" is a very flexible story element that in some ways comes close to 13th Age's "One Unique Thing", but only in the fact that you can define just about any story element benefit within reason as your custom background's trait.

The thing I horribly dislike about Backgrounds in general is what others might consider as its strength: explicitly defined skills attached to specific ability scores with unmodifiable bonuses (without houseruling, or non-inherent modifiers such as feats and items).
* Diplomacy, Bluff and Intimidate will always be Charisma-based checks (barring houseruling), so not only do high CHA characters (and Rogues) benefit from them more, there's not much improvisation that can be done outside of "I talk/haggle/discuss/dissuade/convince" (Diplomacy), "I lie/cheat/discuss/dissuade/convince" (Bluff), and "I scare/dissuade/convince" (Intimidate)
* Lore will always be Intelligence-based checks, and given the number of different Lore skills available, it is eerily reminiscent of 3E skills
* Insight will always be WIS-based, and nothing much to do with it other than using it as a lie-detector
* Sleight of Hand will always be DEX-based.  Lots of things you can do related to subterfuge, at least.
* Jump.  Tell me: how can you improvise with Jump?  The only thing I can see is "I should have bonuses to other leg-based athletics abilities due to my training in Jump."

Which is why if I buy D&D Next, the first houserule I would implement is to completely scrap the D&D Next Backgrounds, and use the 13th Age Backgrounds instead, as it inherently has the Trait element and provides far more interesting benefits than training in 3 predefined skills.

Definitely diggin' the Dual Wand Wielder and Two WeaponDual Wand Defense though. 


I don't think at all that changing the ability associated with a skill counts as houseruling: I'm quite positive that the rules explicitly say that you can do that. Of course though, it's a DM's final word. Coming up with creative uses for skills and creative uses for secondary ability modifiers is part of the fun IMO.

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

I don't think at all that changing the ability associated with a skill counts as houseruling: I'm quite positive that the rules explicitly say that you can do that.


I fear the current Playtest Packet 2.0 doesn't say that, but i encourage DM to  do so whenever it seems more appropriate :P
 
BTW, I love the Entrepreneur background, seems made for my character! :D But since my character's business is a fraud, I simply took the Charlatan background (which is named as the source of the Entrepreneur!) and changed the trait to "False Job", where I can have a job that seems legit but it's not. Can forge documents, but not create disguises. It's a bit different from Entrepreneur, because with the False Job you're not on the right side of the law, although the forged documents (should) protect you...

Join the Zendikar D&D Campaign Setting group: discover the fantastic world and contribute to make Zendikar a playable setting!
   - Warning! Spectacular visuals and lore ahead! ... Take a look...
Play-by-Post and my D&D blogging!

*All my latest rolls!*

Campaigns and Characters:
Zendikar: Covenant of The Forgotten Relics
- Cylonea: Merfolk (Elemental Priest) Shaman(World Speaker)/Artificer --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff
- Vurokk Dahvre: Shade (Escaped Slave) Blackguard of Fury --> Sheet, Obsidian Portal's, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)
Nature's Allies
- Carwyn Sihderfein: Half-Elf (Tuathan) Blackguard of Domination / Binder of Gloom --> Sheet, Fluff, Blogs (1, 2)

I don't think at all that changing the ability associated with a skill counts as houseruling: I'm quite positive that the rules explicitly say that you can do that. Of course though, it's a DM's final word. Coming up with creative uses for skills and creative uses for secondary ability modifiers is part of the fun IMO.


Actually, it -- "changing the ability associated with a skill" -- does count as houseruling:

1. "Each background grants training in three skills."
2. "Backgrounds also provide you with a trait."
3. "Each background also provides an equipment package. If you take the equipment package, you must also take the equipment package granted by your class. Or you can forgo taking the equipment packages and instead take 150 gp, with which you purchase your starting equipment."

In the "How Do I Use My Skills?" section, you see the following:

"Since skills point to specific tasks, you simply use your skill modifier in place of the ability modifier when making these checks to perform these tasks."

"If the DM calls for a check, you just use that skill, without needing to reference the ability as well. Or, if your DM calls for a check in a situation where you haven’t specified a skill, you can offer up the check total with the skill: “I rolled a 16, or a 19 if my Intimidate skill applies.”"

I'm not sure about non-weapon proficiencies from 2E, but 3.x and 4E skills (as far as I can recall) all had primary abilities associated with them... and as much as people would *try* to improvise with their skills, there's only so much you can do when trying to improvise Lore, Jump, Intimidate, Perception, etc., because all skills are attached to primary abilities, and backgrounds are basically generic skill/trait/equipment packages.


Now if, let's say, I take D&D Next's Soldier background, then I use the exact same description for my 13th Age background (let's assume that both backgrounds refer to being a Brelic Sergeant of the Last War).  D&D Next grants me
* Intimidate, Spot, Survival (+3 to the given skills)
* Military Rank (Trait), that -- assuming the DM is willing and encouraged to allow me to run with my background, like how a 13th Age DM is encouraged to do so -- grants me a rank in a given military organization, soldier loyalty and deferring to you wherever it applies, and the ability to influence other soldiers, as well as access to military supplies, friendly encampments, and fortresses, so long as they recognize your rank
* thematically appropriate equipment

Let's say that, to put things in greater favor towards D&D Next's backgrounds, this "ability to influence" would come in the form of
* +3 "trait bonus" that situationally applies
* Advantage when rolling to influence other soldiers
* Both of the above
* Auto-success in influencing

Now compare to 13th Age's method of +X Brelic Sergeant of the Last War, where X is a value between 1 and 5 (depending on the training and influence you believe your character had as a participating officer of the Last War; let's say +3).  Not only does the background give *everything* mentioned in D&D Next's Soldier background, due to the fact that not only is the player encouraged to improvise and play it up, but the DM is also encouraged to say "yes, and", we end up in not just +3 to Intimidation, Spot and Survival, but also +3 to any applicable ability check: you want to cross that river?  Why yes, your experiences during the crossing of one of the rivers of Cyric certainly allows you to use your background's bonus with your Strength check to swim!  You want to help convince a war veteran to get back into action in defense of Breland?  Well, instead of intimidating him into getting back, why not recount the glory days of the Last War, and how a new threat is on the rise that the war hounds must be warned of?  Charisma check with your background bonus (or even auto-success if the interaction is going well enough, since you've both gone through roughly the same hell).

And unlike the D&D Next background system, which has 13,800 skill combinations and nearly infinite traits, 13th Age simply provides nearly infinite backgrounds (both skills AND traits), but without the "must know which attribute applies to which skill" aspect of D&D Next's skills.

[ Let's not get started with the One Unique Thing ]

The only thing that D&D Next's background grants that 13th Age's background doesn't (I think) is the free equipment... but given how gold and equipment in 13th Age are heavily abstracted *anyway*, the PC in 13th Age could easily start with any and all appropriate items, well and beyond what is listed by D&D Next's background.

Then again I already use Matt Rundle's Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker for almost all my games, so I usually don't worry about what they actually carry.

Overall, THAT, I believe, is why -- *IF* I run D&D Next -- my first houserule (without even looking at the rules yet) is to use 13th Age's background system.  Simply because it's *that* good.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Which is why if I buy D&D Next, the first houserule I would implement is to completely scrap the D&D Next Backgrounds, and use the 13th Age Backgrounds instead, as it inherently has the Trait element and provides far more interesting benefits than training in 3 predefined skills. 



I love the backgrounds but dislike the skills as well. As such I've houseruled this:

---------DNDNext Specifiic Houserules------------

Skill-less Backgrounds


Let players take backgrounds as normal, just ignore the skills listed.  Whenever a player performs any action, if they can relate it to their background (requires consensus/DM approval) They have a minimum total (die+modifier) result of 8 on these rolls.  (thus they cannot critically fail any roll if they have experience from their background, and they cannot fail any standard DC roll if they have experience from their background)  They should gain a new trait every few levels.

--------------------------------------------------------
This is going off my assumed DC scale someone posted earlier of 8,12,16,20.
It also is in extreme hopes of seeing more traits to help define character backgrounds
I try to keep the modifiers to a minimum, so I would prefer to only add the ability modifiers to my d20s.  I think it's very doable. 

Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
Are we allowed to make our "own" custom Backrounds?
Are we allowed to make our "own" custom Backrounds?



Sure can and please by all means share them with the community ! Wink
Now, are there any rules or restrictions to stick by when doing so? And I guess I would be focusing on the Skills and a fitting Trait correct (Background is implied)? Is there anymore to it that I might be missing.
Can we also make our own Skills or will more be added?
 
You are the DM.

It is your game.

You are allowed to and encouraged to do anything and everything you want to in your game.

You do not need permission to create new backgrounds, new races, new specialties, new classes, new monsters, new rules, new anything for your game.

Period.

Carl
But if you were to follow the precedent set by existing Backgrounds, it would be "Training in 3 skills, plus a nifty trait that gives you unique bonuses in character-relevant situations".
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
But if you were to follow the precedent set by existing Backgrounds, it would be "Training in 3 skills, plus a nifty trait that gives you unique bonuses in character-relevant situations".


Plus equipment that is thematically appropriate for the given background; if cost is a relevant factor, assume a 150gp budget.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Sign In to post comments