Envoy (5e Background)

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When you spoke, you found that people really listened. You honed this skill, and soon you carried the voice of your people to distant lands. As a diplomat, you aligned yourself with the goals of your community or cause, and represented their interests abroad.
Some envoys maintain regular contact with their homeland, while others set out with long-term goals. Either way, you deliver your peoples’ message to the world at large, and negotiate agreements in their name. With dutiful persistence and tact, you may find yourself presented with unique opportunities not afforded to those less trustworthy.
Choose a community or cause, and work with your DM to determine the nature of your advocacy. Are you a foreign dignitary, appointed by a lord to foster friendship abroad? Or are you the representative of a beleaguered village, sent forth to acquire resources and foreign aid? Perhaps you have taken up the mantle of a social movement, developing contacts to spread a new philosophy or humanitarian effort.

Skill Proficiencies: Persuasion, History

Languages: Two of your choice

Equipment: A journal of your notes regarding meetings and contacts, a letter of introduction from your affiliate institution, a bottle of black ink, a quill, a set of common clothes, a set of fine clothes, and a belt pouch containing 15 gp

Institutional Affiliation[edit]

No matter the nature of an envoy’s work, he or she will not get an ear without references to vouch for his or her reputation. Thankfully, you already have several key contacts within an important institution, and your ties with them color your advocacy. You can work with the DM to determine a specific organization with which to affiliate, or you can choose or roll on the table below to determine an institution with which you affiliate in general.

d6 Institutional Affiliation
1 Aristocracy
2 Clergy
3 Military
4 Academia
5 Commerce
6 Organized crime

Feature: Liaison[edit]

You are familiar with the inner workings and protocols of your affiliated institution. Whenever that institution or organization is present in a community, you can call on them for small favors in good faith. Such favors may include providing you food and lodging, as well as directing you to other reputable (or at least non-hostile) contacts and resources. If your affiliates can provide additional services if they are in in a position to do so, but may request favors or fair payment in return.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Envoys, from simple messengers to high ambassadors, must learn to deal with a variety of people and to find victory in consensus. As likable as some envoys try to make themselves, few benefit from universal appeal. How an envoy relates to others, and why, often determines the character of his or her success.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I love meeting new people! I jabber with both nobles and farmers like I’m one of their own.
2 I don’t speak fancy, and I think big ideas are better than big words.
3 I am confident and articulate in public... and it’s exhausting.
4 I love to hear myself speak! I can wax philosophic on the complexities of almost any situation. That’s presuming I know what I’m talking about. Which I like to think I do, of course. But then again, there is always a modicum of doubt in mortal knowledge. On that subject...
5 I always carry pen and stationary. I scribble notes or draft letters at any free moment.
6 Diplomacy is the game is polite confidence. The loser, darling, lacks either wit or self-control.
7 I never leave home without my checklist. Hair styled? Check. Fancy belt? Check. Pocket square? Check!
8 The more I travel, the more incorrigible of a flirt I become. Kiss me, I’m foreign!
d6 Ideal
1 Freedom. Personal liberty empowers people to make the best decisions. (Chaotic)
2 Order. My work helps ensure social stability. (Lawful)
3 Profit. I am more concerned with my influence than the nature of my work. (Neutral)
4 Prosperity. Raising up the least of us helps everyone. (Good)
5 Sabotage. Compromise weakens my enemy’s position, and puts me at advantage. (Evil)
6 Progress. It is best to be on the right side of change. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I’ve seen corruption at work, so I am suspicious of those with authority.
2 I keep a letter from a friend that’s passed, but I can’t bring myself to read it.
3 Happy people fill me with total joy. It is they I truly serve.
4 I occasionally receive generous donations from an unknown patron.
5 I like morning walks in villages and towns, so I can listen to the people start their day.
6 My affiliated organization does not know who I really work for...
d6 Flaw
1 Years of difficult service have left me cynical and short-tempered.
2 I’d rather lie than admit I’m wrong.
3 I cannot resist an invitation to drink, party, or partake in sensual pleasures.
4 People say I have no personality. I’m just a talking head. Isn’t that funny? Ha. Ha. Ha.
5 I feel like I carry the weight of the world. How much more anxiety before I’m crushed?
6 People who disagree with my prerogatives are obviously selfish and ignorant.

Variant Envoy: Vizier[edit]

Unlike the wide-casting envoy, you work to advise and guide the judgments of a choice few. Powerful people have heeded your words, and perhaps you can even hear your own voice echoed in the new social landscape. Even so, politics are a fickle game. If you are not with your sworn liege, perhaps your services may have been granted as a gift to one of your companions, or perhaps your waning influence has forced you abroad.

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