My last two games have been different. I chose to have the characters linked through a shared, flexible background. This was done since I had some very new players, and I wanted to make sure there was an existing group dynamic with some light shared story between the characters. For the first campaign, the players decided they all wanted to be cursed in different ways. They all talked about this as a group before we had our session 0, and they really wanted me to include that in the story. So, I decided I could roll with that. The result is the Cursed One background. This is the first of two homebrew backgrounds for Liafa.
Cursed One Background
You are the bearer of a terrible curse. You may have been bitten, touched a cursed object, been cursed in retribution, taken on the curse in the place of a loved one, or any other number of possibilities. Regardless of origin, finding a way to remove the curse is ever in the forefront of your mind. Due to your cursed nature, you have been forced to travel from town to town, never staying in one place for any length of time. You may fear retribution from others should they discover your cursed nature, or, worse, you may be fearful of what your curse may mean for them.
Skill Proficiencies: You may choose to gain proficiency in any two skills.
Tool Proficiencies: You gain proficiency with a tool of your choice.
Languages: You learn a language of your choice.
Equipment: A tool of choice, set of common clothes, bedroll, backpack, block and tackle and a pouch containing 25 gp.
Feature: Cursed Covenant
Though you may be cursed, you are not alone. During the course of your travels, you are likely to encounter others who bear curses upon them. Those who bear curses may expect help – albeit begrudgingly in some instances – from others who bear curses. You and your adventuring companions can expect to receive news and information from other bear curses with minimal push back, and can receive more assistance if circumstances become more dire – though it may be a one-time offer of assistance.
However, as a bearer of a curse, you are expected to extend the same hospitality to others who bear curses and beseech you for aid. If you refuse, you risk alienating the “cursed covenant,” and being left out in the cold with no support network.
Cursed Ones are shaped by their curse – often dividing their lives cleanly into “before” and “after” categories. They have learned to survive in the shadows and on the fringes, acquiring the skills and beliefs to best serve themselves and the hopeful resolution of their curse. Their flaws may be the overwhelming despair of their situation, a by-product of the curse itself, or the adherence to a belief that may help them survive, but not thrive.
|1||I bear my curse quietly and without complaint.|
|2||I actively seek out others who may share my plight.|
|3||I deserve my curse for what I have done in my life.|
|4||I rage against fate for the curse that is upon me.|
|5||Hope is for others, as I have long since abandoned it.|
|6||I constantly worry my curse will overcome me at a moment’s notice.|
|7||I have learned to extend trust in unlikely situations, even without the expectation of a positive outcome.|
|8||I find myself ill-at-ease and wary when I must rely upon any but my close companions for aid, though I acknowledge there are risks I must take.|
|1||Covenant. The cursed must help each other, as no one else will. If help is requested, it must be extended at least once (Lawful)|
|2||Duty. I will always assist others when called upon, as I would so desire. (Good)|
|3||Embrace. The curse has brought about changes, and I must embrace them in order to understand them. (Chaotic)|
|4||Freedom. I hope to one day free myself of this curse, no matter the cost. (Chaotic)|
|5||Fate. There is a plan for me, and I bear my curse for a reason. I must discern what those may be. (Lawful)|
|6||Mastery. I seek to prove myself the master of my curse, and seek to wield it as I would any other tool. Any)|
|1||I owe my life to another cursed one, and seek to repay that debt.|
|2||I will someday get revenge on the being that cursed me.|
|3||I willingly bear my curse in place of another.|
|4||I am in service of one who has promised me aid in removing my curse.|
|5||I seek to end all curses, not just my own or those like me.|
|6||I bear the curse of my bloodline.|
|1||My curse has made me standoffish, and unwilling to trust without proof.|
|2||I put too much faith into any possible cure for my curse, no matter how far-fetched.|
|3||My quest for a cure consumes me, if I am not careful.|
|4||I can grow morbid and fatalistic when I dwell too much on my situation.|
|5||I can start to view my friends and companions and means to an end in order to justify my actions in search of a cure.|
|6||I have grown to relish the discomfort of others when I confront them with my cursed nature.|
“The support of a cursed city” by Aphersis is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0