Experimenter (5e Background)

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Experimenter[edit]

You have been crafting, inventing, and tinkering for as long as you can remember. Unrestricted by the many guilds of the land, your limit is your imagination, which has been proven boundless. Many experimenters are skilled craftsmen, yet do not opt for the collective security of guilds. Have you gone down this path, and for what reasons? Has the freedom affected the way you work? Have you found out techniques which perhaps people would call unorthodox, and if so, where have they come from? What is your favorite field to experiment in?

Is experimenting a hobby which has taken over, or has it been taught as a discipline by a employer? Were you an apprentice to an employer? What was your relationship with them? Have you always been interested in experimenting? What exactly do you like to experiment in? Have you done any research in your subject, or are you learning on the job? Are you experimenting to find an answer to a problem, to pass the time, or to find some sort of truth to the world no one else has found? What were you, or are you, expecting to find?

Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Sleight of Hand

Tool Proficiencies: Two types of artisan's tools

Equipment: A set of artisan's tools (on of your choice), a magnifying glass, merchant's scales, several letters from past customers/colleagues, a notebook.

Type of Discovery[edit]

All experimenters have in their time furthered science with a remarkable discovery (more explained in background features.) Whether this discovery be made in a ramshackle laboratory, in the middle of a normal toymaker's day, or out in the wilds seeing what traps creatures best, it has caught your attention and you have made notes about the nature of the discovery.

You can work with your DM to decide what is an appropriate discovery, or you can choose or roll on the table below to choose a discovery or to get inspiration.


d8 Type of Discovery
1 I have found certain chemicals make a colorful light show.
2 I have made something that can fit into any keyhole and unlock the door.
3 I can transform one specific item into another specific one of a lesser cost.
4 I have found a new superior method of making swords.
5 I know that wild ponies are attracted to red light.
6 I have discovered these herbs make a medicinal potion.
7 I know that these herbs can make a horrible smell.
8 I have created a tiny little transcription device.

Feature: Remarkable Discovery[edit]

During your time experimenting, you have made a most remarkable discovery. You can recreate what you have discovered to others, but selling your discovery will likely lead to it becoming commonplace.However small your discovery may be, it certainly doesn't stop individuals using nefarious purposes from finding out your secret.

Work with your DM to determine the details of your discovery. What specific materials do you need? What does it create?

As a pointer, remember this preferably should be small. Your discovery shouldn't be easy to make, and the larger it is the more work should be done to create it. Any clockwork devices or similar should be comparable to the Rock Gnome's, any chemical reaction should not yield any net gain in wealth, any environmental discovery should be minor, and any special technique or method should not affect the stats of anything you are making. Making a larger effect should preferably be discussed with your DM.

Alternate Feature: Guest Speaker[edit]

Your invention has actually had a huge effect on your world, making you a celebrity among science. Schools, universities and institutions all may want you as a guest speaker at their organisation. While you prepare for you speech, they can house you with modest to comfortable lodgings (depending on the institution.)

Using their lodgings and delivering brilliant speeches may heighten your repute, while abusing their hospitality may bring you disrepute, with institutions less willing to take you on. Work with your DM to determine what your discovery may be.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Experimenters are inquisitive and curious, loving to learn and discover new things about their craft. Experimenters can be absent minded and lost in their little worlds of clockwork and alchemy, or independent craftsmen who do not like the restricting guild system. They're inclined towards being practical and and usually put practice over theory, but their unique mindset does not mean they are always grounded. Their solutions tend to the unorthodox, and therefore tinkerers could be misunderstood as mad.

d8 Personality Trait
1 If anyone gives me anything, I'm obliged to see how it works.
2 I will always point out a plans and designs flaws.
3 There must be a creative way out of any situation.
4 If an object catches my interest, I'll be absorbed in it for hours.
5 There is nothing more exciting than a discovery, whatever it is.
6 I live in a little world of my own.
7 I love my subject, and will talk endlessly about it.
8 I get frustrated when people don't see my point of view.
d6 Ideal
1 Goodwill. Perhaps one of my creations may improve humanity sometime. (Good)
2 Knowledge. I am seeing the worth of the scientific method. (Lawful)
3 Independence. I have proven I can work for myself-and I will carry on enjoying the privilege. (Chaotic)
4 Power. I can use my discovery to better my position in whatever way I want. (Evil)
5 Discovery. I just like creating for the sake of creating. (Neutral)
6 Aspiration. I hope I can be well known for what I have made. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I am indebted to my master, who taught me the use of experimentation.
2 I am always thankful to my friend. His jokes accidentally lead to a brilliant discovery.
3 An exiled alchemist gave me his supplies in a rush from the guards. I hope I can show him what I have learnt.
4 I was given a little clockwork toy when I was very small, but a cog has been missing from it for a long time. I have not yet found the toymaker who made it.
5 My mother, father and brother are all infected with a slow acting disease. I have dedicated my life in finding the cure.
6 My discovery could be extremely dangerous if in the wrong hands. The only person who knows it is me and my assistant. Surely he wont tell...
d6 Flaw
1 I am a sucker for conmen.
2 I have huge ideas, yet I manage to procrastinate on all of them.
3 Failure isn't an option for me. I will always get angry at it.
4 My life has absolutely no structure, and my organisation is horrendous.
5 I only care about my work. Anything else is secondary.
6 I am free, but alone in my work. I doubt there is a greater meaning to my life.

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