Slayer (5e Background)

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A slayer is a warrior dedicated to the destruction of a particular threat from the world. They are superhero-scale exterminators. There are literally thousands of different specialist slayers. Dragon slayers work in teams to trap dragons so they may be brought to justice or slain. Vampire slayers delve disturbed crypts to end a vampire's curse. Witch hunters travel between communities, dispensing harsh justice upon evil magi. Werewolf hunters seek out victims of lycanthropy and either end their torment or end their lives. Demon slayers seek out demon cults and free-standing demons, unleashing righteous judgement upon them, and banishing them back to the abyss. Ghost hunters and exorcists are kinder than most slayers, trying to bring the restless dead to their final rest, rather than destroying their soul completely. God slayers roam the world seeking out cults of personality and false deities, and bringing them to bear with reality. Giant killers are usually leftovers from wars against giant civilizations; as such, most are dwarven soldiers. Whatever you fought, the beings you slew are called your "mark". Different specialists think about their mark, and handle their work, in very different ways, but almost all have an obsessive drive to eliminate it in some way. Some are driven by hate, others by love, and many by profit.

What were you dedicated to slaying, and what made you choose that path? Why did you change to the life of an adventurer? What do you think of other slayers? Did you work within the law, or even for it? Or were you a vigilante, waging an illegal war on the enemy? What kinds of techniques and methods did you use?

Skill Proficiencies: Investigation and Survival.

Languages: Two exotic languages.

Equipment: A set of traveler's clothes, a book containing information about your former marks, and a belt pouch containing 8gp.


A slayer's career revolves around killing just one type of creature for money, kind of like a specialist assassin. The type of creature you hunt can have a big impact on your world view and tactics. Your choice of mark type will add two additional items to your starting equipment. Most slayers are not as broad-ranging as this. Work with your DM to determine what, exactly, within your type, you chose as your mark.

d8 Mark
1 Undead. A shovel, and a lamp.
2 Dragons. Block and tackle, and a signal whistle.
3 Fiends. Holy water, and a candle.
4 Aberrations. A chain, and a grappling hook.
5 Monstrosities. A hunter's trap, and a bell.
6 Magic Users. Chalk, and a flask of oil.
7 Fey. Steel mirror, and a vial of perfume.
8 Oozes. Torch, and a vial of acid.

Feature: Professional With Evil[edit]

As a slayer, you have a decent working knowledge of your mark, from experience and research, you know their natural strengths, weaknesses, and habits. Sure, the occasional unique, random, or oddball may throw you for a loop, but a standard mark will rarely take you by surprise, and the indications of their presence stand out to you like a sore thumb. You likely have a reputation from your past career, and whether it is good or bad, people know you are a slayer, and that you have survived at least this long. People are likely to come to you with jobs to deal with a threat they believe is in your area of expertise. Now, most people are pretty ignorant about the supernatural dangers of the world, so they are often wrong, but even so much as telling them it's something else may be enough to calm their fears. (Unless it's something worse. Nobody wants to know the ghost in the basement is actually seven liches summoning a demonic prince.)

Furthermore, because you are an expert on the subject, people are more likely to believe you when you make assertions about it. (When a vampire slayer shouts, "Get outside NOW! You'll be safer in the sunlight!" you tend to listen to him.) Being an expert, people who fear your mark are likely to feel reassured and secure in your presence, making it easier to find shelter and allies in places facing a threat from your mark.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

d8 Personality Trait
1 I take charge of a situation. I am rough around the edges, and forceful in conversations.
2 I am constantly seeking any sliver of knowledge or secret item which can give me a new edge over my enemy.
3 My body is covered in scars, or other markings- my trophies earned from each mark I have claimed.
4 My time hunting my mark has caused me to think so much like them, I sometimes frighten or confuse those around me.
5 I am extremely protective of my employers, as though they were my own family.
6 I distract myself from my memories of work by escaping in indulgences and good company.
7 I trivialize the true depth or magnitude of a situation.
8 I am very proud of myself and my history, and consider my past career to be glorious and honorable.
d6 Ideal
1 Purity. I fight to destroy the the evil which corrupts our world. (Good)
2 Balance. My marks defy the natural order and destabilize nature. (Neutral)
3 Prejudice. My marks must all be destroyed without question or hesitation. (Evil)
4 Police. My profession is a necessary extension of law enforcement. (Lawful)
5 Righteousness. I will defeat them at all costs- with or without your help. (any)
6 Thrill. Wherever they rear their ugly heads, I'll be there. (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 I have been hunting for the greatest, rarest mark.
2 My loved one(s) were taken from me by a mark.
3 My master, (possibly a parent) made me who I am today.
4 I am fighting to protect something or someone important to me.
5 A mark once spared my life. I have always wondered why.
6 I want to reform my marks into forces of justice/good.
d6 Flaw
1 A specific, extremely powerful mark, has a vendetta against me, and will stop at nothing to kill me.
2 I am obsessed with killing every last mark, and will brave insane dangers in my quest.
3 Decades of death and combat have made me cruel, reclusive, dangerous, or addicted.
4 I am secretly deeply terrified of my marks.
5 I am a phony, all of my marks were illusions, actors, or lies.
6 My actions have incidentally put me at odds with a specific nation, religion, faction, or other organization.

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