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Backgrounds

When looking for a class, you are open to many class choices. Your character could be a young, bright-faced paladin ready to take on the world or a jaded wizard looking to leave it behind for a larger destiny in the planes of the Great Beyond—or anything in between.

Backgrounds allow you to customize your character based on her life before adventuring.

Your character’s background can help you learn or portray more about her personality while suggesting what sorts of things she’s likely to know. Each background grants two ability boosts, a bonus skill feat, and training in one Lore skill. A character can have only one background, chosen at 1st level, and it can’t be changed.

Acolyte

You spent your early days in a religious monastery or cloister.

You may have traveled out into the world to spread the message of your religion or because you cast away the teachings of your faith, but deep inside you’ll always carry the lessons you learned.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Student of the Canon skill feat, and you’re trained in the Lore skill corresponding to your deity.

Acrobat

In a circus or on the streets, you earned your pay by performing as an acrobat. You might have turned to adventuring when the money dried up, or when you learned to put skills to better use.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Dexterity, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Steady Balance skill feat, and you’re trained in the Circus Lore skill.

Animal Whisperer

You have always felt a connection to animals, and it was only a small leap to learn to train them. As you travel, you continuously encounter different creatures, befriending them along the way.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Wisdom or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Train Animal skill feat, and you’re trained in the Animal Lore skill.

Barkeep

You have five specialties: hefting barrels, polishing steins, drinking, drinking, and drinking. You ran or worked in a bar, where you learned how to hold your liquor and rowdily socialize.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Hobnobber skill feat, and you’re trained in the Alcohol Lore skill.

Blacksmith

You were a blacksmith or a blacksmith’s apprentice, and during countless hours toiling at the forge, you learned how to smith armor and weapons. Perhaps you worked hard each day and dreamed of adventure each night, or perhaps the adventuring life was thrust upon you by a pivotal event.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Specialty Crafting skill feat for blacksmithing, and you’re trained in the Smithing Lore skill.

Criminal

As an unscrupulous independent or as a member of an underworld organization, you lived a life of crime. You might have become an adventurer to seek redemption, to escape the law, or simply to get access to bigger and better loot.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Experienced Smuggler skill feat, and you’re trained in the Underworld Lore skill.

Entertainer

Through an education in the arts or sheer, dogged practice, you learned to entertain crowds. You might have been an actor, a dancer, a musician, a magician, or any other sort of performer.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Fascinating Performance skill feat, and you’re trained in the Entertainment Lore skill.

Farmhand

With a strong back and an understanding of seasonal cycles, you tilled the land and tended crops. Your farm could have been razed by invaders, you could have lost the family tying you to the land, or you might have simply tired of the drudgery, but at some point you became an adventurer.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Assurance skill feat with Athletics, and you’re trained in the Farming Lore skill.

Gladiator

The bloody games of the arena taught you the art of combat.

Before you attained true fame, you departed—or escaped—the arena to explore the world. Your skill at drawing both blood and a crowd’s attention pay off in a new adventuring life.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Fascinating Performance skill feat, and you’re trained in the Gladiatorial Lore skill.

Hunter

You stalk and take down animals and other creatures of the wild. Skinning animals, harvesting their flesh, and cooking them were also part of your training, all of which can give you useful resources while you adventure.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Survey Wildlife skill feat, and you’re trained in the Hunting Lore skill.

Laborer

You have spent years performing arduous physical labor, perhaps against your will. It was a difficult life, but you somehow survived. You may have embraced adventuring as an easier method to make your way in the world, or you might adventure under someone else’s command.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Constitution, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Robust Recovery skill feat, and you’re trained in the Labor Lore skill.

Merchant

In a dusty shop, market stall, or merchant caravan, you bartered wares for coin and trade goods. The skills you picked up still apply in the adventuring life, in which a deal on a suit of armor could save your life.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Bargain Hunter skill feat, and you’re trained in the Mercantile Lore skill.

Noble

To the common folk, the life of a noble seems one of idyllic luxury, but growing up as a noble or member of the aspiring gentry, you know the reality: a noble’s lot is obligation and intrigue. Whether you seek to escape your duties by adventuring or to thereby better your station, you have traded silks and pageantry for an adventurer’s life.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Courtly Graces skill feat, and you’re trained in the Nobility Lore skill.

Nomad

Traveling far and wide, you picked up basic tactics for surviving on the road and in unknown lands, getting by with few supplies and even fewer comforts. As an adventurer, you travel still, often into even more dangerous places.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Assurance skill feat with Survival, and you’re trained in a Lore skill related to one terrain you traveled in (such as Desert Lore or Swamp Lore).

Sailor

You heard the call of the sea from a young age. Perhaps you signed onto a merchant’s vessel, joined the navy, or even fell in with a crew of pirates and scallywags.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Dexterity, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Underwater Marauder skill feat, and you’re trained in the Sailing Lore skill.

Scholar

You have a knack for learning, and from a young age, you sequestered yourself from the outside world to learn all that you could. You’ve read about so many wondrous places and things in your books, and you’ve always dreamed about one day seeing the real things. Eventually, that curiosity led you to leave your studies and become an adventurer.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

Choose Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion; you gain the

Assurance skill feat in your chosen skill. You’re trained in the Academia Lore skill.

Scout

You called the wilderness home as you hunted game, found trails, and guided travelers. Your wanderlust could have called you to the adventuring life, or perhaps you were serving as a scout for soldiers and found you liked battle.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Forager skill feat, and you’re trained in the Scouting Lore skill.

Street Urchin

You eked out a living by picking pockets on the streets of a major city, never knowing where you’d find your next meal. While some folk adventure for the glory, you adventure as a means of survival.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Pickpocket skill feat, and you’re trained in the Underworld Lore skill.

Warrior

As a warrior in a tribe or a member of a militia or army, you waded into battle in your younger days. You might have wanted to break out from the regimented structure of these forces, or could have always been as independent a warrior as you are now.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Constitution, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Quick Repair skill feat, and you’re trained in the Warfare Lore skill.