Archaeologist, Variant (5e Background)

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Archaeologist (5e Background)[edit]

Following many years of education and workplace experience, digging up and researching ancient cultures and societies, you've made connections with various organizations; selling artifacts and historical research to nobles, governments, and collectors hoping to honor the past, as well as to mage houses and criminals hoping to harness ancient powers. Your own moral compass dictates whom you're willing to do business with, but there always seems to be interested buyers and benefactors when you're around people with money. Years in the field have taught you how to identify how old and how valuable (or worthless) these finds might be. And while this might make you some money, and gain you some notoriety, it's also likely to put you on a dangerous path from time to time. Many of your finds are in long-forgotten, trap-filled areas, and sometimes, legends - true or not - will put others on the same path as you.

Skill Proficiencies: History, Investigation

Tool Proficiencies: Thieves’ Tools

Languages: While you can't speak either, you can understand and read both Celestial and Infernal

Equipment: Notepad w/ Charcoal Pencil, Map/Scroll Case, Climber's Kit, Lamp & flask of oil, Thieves' Tools, Empty Lockbox, 2 Empty Vials, and a keepsake from an early dig-site (ex: small animal skeleton, ancient arrowhead, centuries-old silverware, etc)

Historical Focus[edit]

Roll a d4 to determine which area of the field you specialize in...

d4 Specialization
1 Gravesites
2 Ancient Text
3 Magical Artifacts
4 Religious Origins

Feature: Sixth Sense[edit]

You seem able to sense if you're close to discovering something special on an expedition, which gives you some insight or whether a dig is worth your time within the first hours, rather than wasting days, if not years on fruitless digs as some other do.

Alternate Feature: Fence Connections[edit]

While you might not be the greatest salesmen, over the years you've made connections with intermediaries in your field that can usually find a buyer for whatever it is you're trying to unload. You'll have to pay a percentage, but it usually works out in your favor overall.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality Trait
1 I live for the thrill of the find
2 I love selling stuff I simply pulled out of the ground
3 The knowledge gained is my reward
4 I've been secretly looking for something specific this whole time
5 I only started all this to impress someone
6 I hate my life, but feel trapped in my station
7 I'll never stop looking for the next treasure
8 I long to find a score big enough to retire on
d6 Ideal
1 Respect The treasures of yesteryear should be honored and respected. (Lawful)
2 Reverence The dead deserve to be remembered in a world full of so much loss. (Good)
3 Pragmatism I could use this stuff more than the dead who possess it. (Neutral)
4 Ambitious There is power to be derived from the secret of the past, and it should be mine. (Evil)
5 Excitement Life is short, have fun while you can and enjoy your finds (Chaotic)
6 Greed In this world gold means survival, and I'll survive by any means. (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 I will never forget the lessons learned from my teacher, he was a good man whom I will honor through my deeds.
2 I will never part with _______, a relic from my first expedition that keeps me grounded.
3 No matter how far I travel or how long I'm gone, I know that I have someone back home who awaits my return, and I take comfort in that.
4 So long as there is coin in my pocket, my mind is generally at ease, as I draw a line from gold to peace.
5 I loved someone long ago, and the memory of them (be it a delusional misremembrance or not) keeps me moving
6 I've got my trusty shovel, and that's all I need. With it, the next find is always just a matter of when and where.
d6 Flaw
1 My arrogance often betrays me in social situations.
2 I am better at dealing with skeletons than living people.
3 My short fuse can be an issue in negotiations
4 A lack of confidence causes me to bite my tongue when I should speak up.
5 I sometimes voice my unpopular opinion too loudly and at the wrong times.
6 I am a fraud, but I'm pretty good at faking it so long as no one is around that knows more than me.

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