Inked Fate (5e Background)

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Inked Fate[edit]

A collection of Fated tattoos. These images/drawings are from the Ryu Ga Gotoku (Yakuza) series featuring most of the tattoos that the characters have.

You lived an average life, with an average family or just living by yourself, with nobody or a lover. But all things must come to an end, your life came to crash but what could have caused it? It might have been a known criminal who was sent to assassinate your family when you were younger. Maybe when you were younger, you were hidden inside a box container as an infant. But you could have instead been born into a criminal organization where you were the son of the leader, or instead was in the care of them having been taught how to fight and protect yourself. You could have also just joined a criminal organization at a young age just for the desire of power of you being left alone in the dark, and it leads you to have the urge to hurt people who walked over you. It could have been possible for you to be separated from your normal life, into a life of misery and suffering, losing those you used to call friends or family. And sadly, you turned to a life of crime, to gain power or to feed on those who are defenseless, to insight honor to those you grew to love and admire, to gain wealth and to complete your desires, to immediate those with high power, to gain respect among your clan. And with you following this path fate has left for you, makes your destiny sealed behind your back with tales to unfold but yet are still untold, earning you an Inked Fate.

Skill Proficiencies: Choose 2 from Persuasion, Deception, Insight, Investigation, Survival and Intimidation.

Tool Proficiencies: One tool of your choosing.

Languages: Thieves' Cant.

Languages: Inkless Variant: One language of your choosing.

Equipment: Fancy clothing with a crest of the criminal organization's name, a small pouch containing 10 gp, a dagger hidden inside of your Fancy clothing, a drawing of something you hold dear.

Equipment: Inkless Variant: Fanisonable clothing, a small pouch containing 25 gp, a trinket of importance to you, one gaming set of your choice.


Being in this life has earned you a title to be addressed by fellow members of the organization or just a title that you are known by in your criminal family, whether you are just an underling, the captain of the family, or the patriarch of the family.

d6 Specialization
1 Chairman
2 Patriarch
3 Captain
4 Lieutenant
5 Member
6 Ex-member

An Inked Back[edit]

During the life that you used to play, it gained you a fate to follow and unfold that is hidden behind. You gain a tattoo related to you and you only, this tattoo holds many mysteries about your destiny that fate has left for you to walk down its path, many of these tattoos have meanings hidden in their image and color, these markings are more than what they seem, they tell a story of yourself, depicting your past and future and who you are as a person. Roll a d10.

d10 Tattoo Meaning
1 The Dragon The Dragon represents justice, power, balance, wisdom, and protection. Purity of heart and character, destroying evil and standing up for the weak, living by your firm ideals
2 The Koi The Koi can become a mighty dragon if it completes the impossible task of swimming the length of a river upstream, this one represents that constant uphill battle.
3 The Hannya The Hannya is a wild and dangerous female demon, but is also sorrowful and melancholy, combining the Hannya with white snakes (symbols of immortality) and blossoms (symbols of impermanence) shows a person who lives in the moment so powerfully that their legacy will last forever.
4 The Tiger The Tiger is the opposite of The Dragon, feared instead of worshipped, earthly instead of heavenly, and strongly represents strength compared to The Dragon.
5 The Crane The Crane represents that strength and patience can weather any storm. With their white feathers, they also embody beauty, youth, and good fortune.
6 The Bai Ze The Bai Ze represents a wise creature that predicts calamity and eats nightmares.
7 The Kirin The Kirin represents good fortune and is a quiet and almost invisible force, able to walk on grass without bending a blade
8 The Dragon Koi The dragon represents strength, power, and ferocity while the koi embodies perseverance and strength of will. Together, they allude to the legend of the koi fish, representing transformation and re-birth.
9 Fudo Myo-oh Also known as Acala, this is the "Immovable Protector" who wields a sword representing knowledge, wisdom, and power, guided by The Dragon, wreathed in cleansing flames with a rope to bind evil.
10 Okame Okame the goddess of mirth, with Tennyo (nymphs), cementing a person who is always about having a good time, regardless of others.

Some of these tattoos have a completely different meaning if they are colored in a specific way or just are an outlined unfinished tattoo, you can work with your DM for the different meanings of your said tattoo to fit it into your background. Additionally, if you didn't like any of the presented tattoos and meanings you may make your own to fit you much better than the given options, you can also work with your DM about the custom tattoo you have in mind with its meaning.

Variant: An Inkless Back[edit]

You may have instead not joined the life of crime, as you might have thought it would have been a disappointing act to your actual family, and instead decided to live out your life to the full, getting the dream job that you wanted, and the lifestyle you desired, but fate has to get involved in your life to test if you are worthy or not. It might have led you to lose that job to a filthy money laundering scheme carried out by someone who is brainwashed with wanting power placing the money into your holdings. Perhaps, you joined the law enforcement in the town you reside to investigate the murder of your parent that was investigating a well-known criminal organization, picking up after them to finish their case and to take revenge. Or instead, your life as a professional athlete came to a crash after you got accused of cheating in a competitive tournament, which turns out to be a gambling scheme. Yet the bad things that Fate left for you, you still push forward and follow your own destiny from start to finish. You gain access to all the variant features

Feature: Criminal Infamy[edit]

Your title has earned you quite a place in your organization, foretelling a story in the place where you reside. It's easy for you to shake down civilians for their values surprisingly enough, law enforcers don't really pay much attention to your minor crimes like if you don't pay the bill of a restaurant, but crimes that are much worse like murder could get you into much more trouble with the law. It's also much easier for you to intimidate those who lack combat experience, gaining information on things that you may not already know. Other criminals that might have heard your name or know about you admire your result in the experience that you hold, they may feel graduate towards you and may help complete small tasks like finding someone in a town that they know of, they could also give you tips in where the best places might be to look for the stuff you are looking for or depending on how important the information is, they may sell to you for something they deem to be equal of such and depending on your title ranking, the price may vary.

Alternate Feature: Town's Legend and Protector[edit]

You are a town legend, mostly known for your honorable deeds and heroic acts to protect those in need. Your good reputation to the townsfolk of a town you helped and aided by either stopping an invasion or just helping those in trouble from evildoers has earned you the Legend status in those towns. Civilians respect you and made not be afraid to come up to you for help, and in return, they may or may not repay you with goods like some valuables or offer you service to stay in a nice inn or dine at a fine restaurant, even sometimes offer a discount when buying stuff. Law enforcers will abide by your commands for assisting you in related matters in the said town, however, asking for unreasonable commands might instead result in them not listening and then start walking off to somewhere different. Bad rumors might spread about you If you do something that is or might be deemed unheroic or dishonorable, making you lose that reputation that you worked hard to get. Criminals hate your guts and will take every chance they get to try and take you down.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

The time you spent or are spending in the organization has taught you more about yourself and your personality. You may choose/roll the following or make your own that'll fit your liking.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I tend to be the listening ear to the world, giving advice in response to my environment rather than seeking out conversations.
2 I'm a huge fan of games, I usually start playing them in my free time.
3 I have very open contempt for people who resort to underhanded, manipulative tactics to seize power.
4 I act irrationally and sometimes inhuman just so I could prove that I'm better than everyone.
5 Sometimes I do over-the-top acts that might lead me to cause trouble but I don't care enough.
6 My personality tends to shape around those I work with, and I may copy them.
7 The town we reside in hates our guts and they want us gone.
8 Surprisingly enough, I turned out to be a pretty good member of the clan.
d6 Ideal
1 Unfailing Kindness. Even If I hold a criminal reputation, that doesn't mean I won't help those in need. (Good)
2 Stoic honor-bound Dreamer. I promised to beat the sense into those in the foundation who are violent and corrupted by power and revenge. (Lawful)
3 Goal-driven ambition. I don't care much about those around me but myself, and If I get the opportunity of succeeding, I will take it. (Neutral)
4 Cold and Vengeful. I have been mistreated by those in the organization, I'll kill them and earn my place in the clan even If I have to betray my friends. (Evil)
5 Mad Dog. The people who I met in the clan have shaped me into being the crazy person that I'm today, and I want to keep it like that, maybe. (Chaotic)
6 Ranking Up. I'll do my best to rise up to the top of the organization, and one day become the acting chairman. (Any)
d6 Bond
1 I go to an orphanage where the kids there look up to me as a parent more than a caretaker.
2 I hold dear to the place I grew up in, and it saddens me to see it destroyed.
3 Apparently, I have a sibling that is blood-related to me, and my parents aren't my real ones?!
4 I have a sworn brother in crime, and I want to show them that I'm better than them, even If I go to the point of killing them.
5 My sworn brother thinks I betrayed them during that one hit that was called off, It led me to losing an eye after I lost my mind towards fellow members.
6 My clan is what I call to be my family and I want to prove my loyalty.
d6 Flaw
1 I sometimes tend to upset people even If I meant well to them.
2 I'm blinded by my ideals of the better being of mankind, but I know that's something that won't happen.
3 I can sometimes be really ruthless, killing someone that didn't really deserve it just to prove a point.
4 I misinterpret the words of those around me, thinking that they're just here to torment me.
5 My true feelings are hidden behind a persona that I don't know If I enjoy or not, I'm not who I used to be.
6 I always think to myself if what would happen If I was the one leading, it sometimes gets me in trouble.

Suggested Characteristics: Inkless Variant[edit]

Your life experience has shaped you to be the person you are nowadays, but Fate still has some challenges for you to accomplish. You may choose/roll the following or make your own that'll fit your liking.

d4 Personality Trait
1 I'm a lackadaisical person, I just want to be with my inner peace and quiet thoughts.
2 I'm a huge fan of sports, I tend to geek out when someone mentions one.
3 I care for those around me and I'll take any opportunity to help people who need it.
4 I tend to stay level-headed and figure out what I need to do next.
d4 Ideal
1 Show of Graduate. If I had the extra coins on me, I wouldn't want to miss an opportunity to help the homeless.
2 Resolve from Failure. Even If my ban from the sport wasn't my fault, I would still like to clean up my act, starting by being tidier.
3 Determined Justice. I'll try to solve the mystery of my parent's assassin, even if it puts me in danger.
4 Loving Emotion. I'll help those who are emotionally broken, letting them lean on me for support.
d4 Bond
1 I owe my life to the homeless who helped me in dark times, and I'll never forgive those who mistreat them.
2 I love my friends a lot, putting a lot of faith into them.
3 My parent's murder is what pushes me to investigate their death.
4 The orphanage that I grew up in is where I call home, and I'll take any option to help it.
d4 Flaw
1 I get reminded of my Ex when I see a person that resembles them, leading me to go after them to try and score something with them.
2 I can't handle any betrayal, it makes me sad and it leaves pain in my heart.
3 I can sometimes be a bit greedy or too lenient when it comes to other citizens, and if a culprit would bribe me, I may indulge.
4 I wouldn't know what I would do If something bad happened to the orphanage.
(0 votes)

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