Immortal (5e Background)

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This content deviates from 5th edition standards. Its use could dramatically alter campaigns, take extreme care. DesignDisclaimer.png
Caution - Here there be monsters!
This content intends to provide a different experience, or goes beyond the scope of the anticipated subjects and situations, than the 5th edition rules were intended to handle. Some portions of the content below may not be what you expect from traditional game content. When implementing this content, DMs and Players should read over all the information carefully, and consider the following specific notes of interest:
If you follow the optional rule that comes with this background, it would quite blatantly be more powerful than other backgrounds... but it won't be game-breaking or spotlight-stealing in most campaign settings. Still, you should ask your GM before using this background. Furthermore, a good GM can and should take advantage of this background to kill the Immortal PC whenever possible.


Design Note: Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated. This background was designed with immortal player characters in mind. Whether they begin play with some king of boon of immortality or as an undead like a zombie or a vampire. Even exceedingly long-lived races like elves and gnomes are reasonable candidates for this background.

Whatever your reasons, your character cannot stay dead. Whether through a blessing or a curse, some kind of interaction with an artifact, or just a big cosmic joke, your character cannot and will not die.

Skill Proficiencies: Two of the following: History, Persuasion, Arcana, or Religion.

Languages: Two of your choice.

Equipment: A waterskin, a trinket related to your immortality, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature: Renown

Your character has lived for generations. You've walked the worlds and have a small casting role in many family stories. Perhaps you carved a stool that's been in a bar for generations, or maybe a story includes a person who looks remarkably like you. If a person can pick up on these ties, they are more likely to trust you, even if they don't know that person is you specifically. Furthermore, your learnedness means you know bits of trivia about old locations that may even have been lost to time.

Variant: Freshly Born

Your character only became immortal in recent years; they are still processing what's happened to them. The most common response, by far, is a newfound sense of recklessness that extends even to situations that aren't life or death.

You emit an aura of magnetic arrogance that others can pick up on. Even without sharing your deeds or displaying competence, others are more likely to believe you are willing to risk great danger, whether for them or for yourself. No one will ever doubt you can remain cool-headed when staring into the abyss.

Suggested Characteristics

Being immortal affects people in different ways. Some people love it and others hate it.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I am blunt, and speak my mind with no regards to the feelings of others.
2 I am desensitized to life, and lack visible emotions.
3 I really loathe the idea of becoming close to anyone, only to watch them die.
4 With nothing to lose, I will live a life of excitement.
5 Nothing really scares of phases me.
6 I cannot lose my life but I'm terrified of losing anything else.
7 I am keeping a list of things I have left to do, it's not very long.
8 What does this button do?
d6 Ideal
1 Inquisitive I do whatever takes my fancy at that moment, without much thought. (Neutral)
2 Protector. I have been upholding the law whenever possible, and I shall never stop. (Lawful)
3 Excitement. There's no reason to live forever if you aren't constantly doing new things! (Chaotic)
4 Selflessness. I am immortal for a reason. I will sacrifice my life time and time again for the greater good (Good)
5 Control. Clearly my immortality makes me better than everyone else. I deserve the world. (Evil)
6 Reclusiveness. Stay away from me, I don't want to get attached, just to watch you die! (Neutral)
d6 Bond
1 A Higher Power granted me my immortality, and I must follow their will.
2 Something granted me my immortality, but I cannot let its plan succeed!
3 You have a bond with someone who died long ago and you still protect their descendants
4 I keep a record of all things that have happened over my life, a collection that could otherwise be lost to time.
5 I just want to die. My life's gone on for a very long time and I think my time's finally come... but perhaps a reason to live can change this.
6 I just don't want to die. The world is always changing and I never want to miss what happens next.
d6 Flaw
1 "I have grown apathetic to conflict after seeing so much of it."
2 "I don't form lasting attachments, because I know they will fail."
3 "I am aimless, and don't devote myself to anything."
4 "I am detached from the concept of death, even in regards to others"
5 "My empathy has waned over the centuries"
6 "I care more about pleasing myself than anything else"

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