Background suggestions


Ancestries & Backgrounds


Hey folks,

The latest Ancestries & Backgrounds survey asked if there were any background that seemed to be missing or that we would like to see printed in the core rulebook for release.

Did you suggest any backgrounds? If so, what were they?

I propose that everyone feels free to post their background suggestions here, for others to see.

It could give Paizo staff some ideas for future backgrounds (or maybe new core backgrounds!) that players would enjoy. It could also let them know if some specific background ideas are really popular.

As for me, I suggested the following:

Healer

For years, you have trained in the art of bandaging, stitching and soothing wounds. You may have learned your craft from enlisting as a field medic, working in a hospice, training with an apothecary or even being raised in a temple devoted to a divinity of life, healing or death. Today, you lend your skills to your fellow adventurers as needed.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.
You gain the Battle Medic skill feat, and you’re trained in the Medical Lore skill.

Recluse

You have chosen to seclude yourself from the world and from society at large. You are most comfortable on your own and you call the wilderness home. You may be seeking peace for the purpose of meditation and the search of enlightenment. The decision to remove yourself from society could also have been the result of a traumatic experience during your youth. You might also be a hermit, obsessed with self-reliance. You may simply enjoy living on your own. You have answered the call of adventuring out of necessity or because the life of a recluse no longer suits you.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.
You gain the Assurance skill feat with Nature, and you’re trained in the Wildlife Lore skill.

These two may not appeal to most players but I found them missing because I enjoy roleplaying characters that come from such backgrounds and had to go with Acolyte and Nomad instead.


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I think an obvious one would be artisan which is basically just blacksmith but for every different version of the Specialty Crafting feat.


Charlatan - Dex or Cha, You gain Charming Liar, and some sort of Lore
Guard - Str or Con, Some sort of feat, and Guard(?) Lore
Knight - Str or Con, Ride, Chivalry Lore
Spy - Dex or Cha, Dubious Knowledge, Subterfuge Lore
Cat Burglar - Str or Dex, Cat Fall or Defensive Climber, Underworld Lore


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Maybe Bouncer. Str or Cha, Lore Alcohol, Intimidating Glare feat


I suggested more crafting oriented backgrounds like potter, fletcher, jeweler, tailor, tanner, etc.

In retrospect I should have suggested herbalist as well.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I suggested that they provide at least two backgrounds that might expect lain how you got a skill feat. It seemed odd that each skill feat could only come from one background. When it comes to my character’s back story, I don’t think you can have too many options.

I also suggested that if that was too much, then provide a choice of two or more skill feats per background.


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There is definitely a wealth of potential Backgrounds out there and I like a lot of he suggestions.

One thing I am doing at my table is allowing every character to pick two backgrounds, though each one only grants one ability boost in the named abilities, they no longer give a free boost. You get the skill feat and lore from each.

Using that houserule we now have the potential for Noble Warriors, or Noble Scholars or Merchant Sailors, or Criminal Sailors, or Criminal Laborers, etc etc. IMO it gives them more background flavor and diversity.


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I suggested Prostitute...hoping they keep to the more mature themes we have seen in 1st ed.

Besides how else will we get Brothels of Golarion.


Selene Spires wrote:

I suggested Prostitute...hoping they keep to the more mature themes we have seen in 1st ed.

Besides how else will we get Brothels of Golarion.

if we ever get that background i want pimp as background to with free leadership feat at 1st level so we have the stable.


Selene Spires wrote:

I suggested Prostitute...hoping they keep to the more mature themes we have seen in 1st ed.

Besides how else will we get Brothels of Golarion.

This one might actually be required; or at the very least Courtesan.

The only approaching background we currently have is Noble and it's not really a good fit for the theme.


Zman0 wrote:
Using that houserule we now have the potential for Noble Warriors, or Noble Scholars or Merchant Sailors, or Criminal Sailors, or Criminal Laborers, etc etc. IMO it gives them more background flavor and diversity.

Noble Criminals and Criminal Nobles, too


The only one I suggested was Amnesiac.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
The only one I suggested was Amnesiac.

That is good one.


I did not think of that one!
Though I did love the Awakened from Stasis trait in 1st edition and could totally play with that again.


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I suggested that they drop the current background system: right now, it seems people pick a background that has a feat that is the least objectionable and matches the stat. As such, more backgrounds are just adding to the pool of suboptimal feats you can pick from. While I love the idea of a rat catcher, canine postal rider or crazy cat lady backgrounds, I don't know that anyone would really care about the actual background fluff if it grants the wrong stat or has a bad feat.


I feel the opposite: most backgrounds will accomodate the stats you need and the Lore and skill feat are just bonus you don't really need.

Thus, you're free to select whichever background you like without hurting your character. :)


dnoisette wrote:

I feel the opposite: most backgrounds will accomodate the stats you need and the Lore and skill feat are just bonus you don't really need.

Thus, you're free to select whichever background you like without hurting your character. :)

Yeah I agree...I really don't feel the need mechanically to take any background...

I think it does need one refinements...but I have bigger issues with other parts of the system.


Have yet to submit the survey, but I'll be suggesting having Hereditary Backgrounds (along with a few I like from this thread).

Backgrounds seem to be a more appropriate place than heritage feats to gain features such as being a Half-Race, and would help alleviate the concern of half-races being considered a feat tax. This would be part of allowing 2 Backgrounds for greater combinations.

Overall, I do have to say that I enjoy the background fluff, since at very least it helps encourage players to think about their character's background and personality during character creation, instead of being focused only on the mechanical build.


Charon Onozuka wrote:
Overall, I do have to say that I enjoy the background fluff, since at very least it helps encourage players to think about their character's background and personality during character creation, instead of being focused only on the mechanical build.

I'm the type of person that comes up with a character and THEN looks for mechanics to fit the character. So in some ways, the current background system works backwards from how I do it as I'm not looking to the background for inspiration but for mechanics.

dnoisette wrote:

I feel the opposite: most backgrounds will accomodate the stats you need and the Lore and skill feat are just bonus you don't really need.

Thus, you're free to select whichever background you like without hurting your character. :)

If the mechanics are seen as meaningless then I question the worth of the entire step. If you don't care about the lore and feat and any stat is possible, you don't need the step. I can add my own fluff without needing it prescribed by character creation: that way I can be a Recluse Brawler Healer that used to be a Farmer before they were a Survivor of a bandit raid and became an Orphan.

I should leave it at that though as this isn't a thread to debate how useful backgrounds are. I'd only intended to put my reply to the survey.


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I did a long list, and I doubt I can recall them all easily. A few were Squire, Wizard's Apprentice, and Feralite (child raised by animals). Given that I'd like to see more depth added to backgrounds, I didn't suggest mechanics to go with.


graystone wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:
Overall, I do have to say that I enjoy the background fluff, since at very least it helps encourage players to think about their character's background and personality during character creation, instead of being focused only on the mechanical build.

I'm the type of person that comes up with a character and THEN looks for mechanics to fit the character. So in some ways, the current background system works backwards from how I do it as I'm not looking to the background for inspiration but for mechanics.

dnoisette wrote:

I feel the opposite: most backgrounds will accomodate the stats you need and the Lore and skill feat are just bonus you don't really need.

Thus, you're free to select whichever background you like without hurting your character. :)

If the mechanics are seen as meaningless then I question the worth of the entire step. If you don't care about the lore and feat and any stat is possible, you don't need the step. I can add my own fluff without needing it prescribed by character creation: that way I can be a Recluse Brawler Healer that used to be a Farmer before they were a Survivor of a bandit raid and became an Orphan.

I should leave it at that though as this isn't a thread to debate how useful backgrounds are. I'd only intended to put my reply to the survey.

Not everyone is you....some people create characters in the opposite way...new players tend to focus on raw combat ability this step will introduce them to other aspects of the game.

Also the other the other aspect of background which is very handy is ones created for a specific AP will tie your character into the AP...which is very useful.

While I am like you often coming up with a concept and than finding the mechanical benefits to best express it I find the backgrounds can fit into what I want..,and often creative enough to make the best use of said mechanics that might not seem useful.

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