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Improved Backgrounds

Suggested Price $1.00

112 new backgrounds

I think backgrounds are a great character creation concept that encourages roleplay and imagination. I felt the backgrounds from all sources (PH RAW, official supplimets, and homebrew) could use expanding (more options) and refining (changes in format). I have tried to maintain consistency with regard to RAI for backgrounds (many other hombrew backgrounds struggle with this, especially with features) and have made some changes to the format of proficiency selection.

My backgrounds have only one pre-determined skill choice and offer a short list of skills for the player to chose their remaining skill; very similar to the way skills are awarded for your characters class. I know this is different than RAW, but (obviously) I prefer this method. I also let players choose from a (often short) list of options for language and tool proficiencies as well instead of determining one choice for them or allowing them to choose whatever they want (as per RAW).

I also give a small schpeil at the end of the PDF regarding how Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws can be used in game to encourage roleplay and drive plot hooks.

My primary motivation for doing this is the way skills are assigned for each character class. Every class get to choose a small number of skills from a list that makes sense for that class. For backgrounds I thought the 2 skills chosen in the rules were arbitrary and didn't really fit the theme of the background well. The RAW state that you can just swap out for whatever you want, but I don't like that system. If a player wants a wizard with skill in survival, then the background they choose to get that skill should be a background where the survival skill is reasonable to learn. This in and of itself develops a more interesting back-story for a character than just picking whatever skill you want for an unrelated background.

I hope you like what I've done, and I hope it enriches your game! 


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Reviews (3)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Dave L September 14, 2018 1:12 pm UTC
What a colossal effort - well done! Can't wait to introduce this as an option when I start up a new campaign. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Damion M September 14, 2018 2:53 pm UTC
Thanks Dave!
Yeah, it took me a while. Am considering an update at some point.

Really glad to hear you like it!
Customer avatar
K. David L June 08, 2018 5:17 pm UTC
I have an idea for a product that is right up your alley. Any idea how we could get together and talk it over?
Customer avatar
Damion M June 10, 2018 4:53 pm UTC
I haven't posted anything in a while, but have a ton of projects in my head. I've finally started writing one up this week. I'll certainly consider new item ideas though.

My email is Damion101 at

Feel free to send me your thoughts, and thanks!
Customer avatar
K. David L June 06, 2018 7:09 pm UTC
I love this product! As a person new to publishing on DMGuild, I was recently informed that you are not supposed to have any logos other than the DMGuild logo on the cover. Inside the book is fine, but the cover is a no-no. I would correct this were I you.
Customer avatar
Damion M June 07, 2018 5:50 am UTC
Hey thanks! Glad you like it.

Thanks for letting me know about the logo as well...had never heard that before.
Customer avatar
Thomas T December 18, 2017 4:45 am UTC
Hello! Ive taken a liking to what you've made here. One question: What is "S/R/W one language" supposed to mean?
Customer avatar
Damion M March 10, 2018 5:59 pm UTC
Hey, it indicates literacy; compared to S/R which indicates understanding of spoken word and common symbols, but an otherwise illiterate character.

This is an optional distinction that only a few DMs use at their table...feel free to ignore if it doesn't apply at yours!

And THANKS!!! I'm glad you like was my first publication, and it has been really handy for me as well!
Customer avatar
brian K June 08, 2017 10:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER there is a type, thought i would point it out
Customer avatar
Damion M June 12, 2017 4:07 pm UTC
Hey Brian, a typo? your link doesn't work in this thread apparently...thanks for pointing it out
Customer avatar
jaimie D April 02, 2017 3:14 pm UTC
This product is great ! It enhances character generation greatly and is a must have for ant 5th edition game. Offers so many new and old offerings all compiled together . Would love to see background options with benefits like in the Primeval Thule setting . Greta job
Customer avatar
Damion M April 02, 2017 5:11 pm UTC
Hey thanks!
I'll look at more backgrounds for future updates!
Customer avatar
Damion M April 02, 2017 9:51 pm UTC
CREATOR at first I thought you were suggesting a specific new background you were looking for. I had never heard of the Primevil Thule setting before. Don't know what they do with their backgrounds...will have to look into it!

Feel free to give me a run-down if you want to...
Customer avatar
Jeff C April 08, 2017 3:56 am UTC
I think they are called "narratives" instead of backgrounds, and the gist is that you get additional benefits from it at higher levels like classes and archetypes. So, for example, at level 5 you might get to double your proficiency in a skill that the background provided proficiency in at level 1. Or something like that. I've not played it but was looking into it at one point, so I may not be 100% accurate on this.
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File Last Updated:
May 20, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on April 01, 2017.