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Monday, September 1, 2014

D&D 5th edition Background (The Archaeologist)


Here is a quick background for the  d&D 5th edition game called the archaeologist.
An explorer of ancient ruins and a keeper of ancient lore, as you might expect this is more  Indiana Jones than Zahi Hawass.

This inspiration for this  was two fold one , my Dungeon world game is going into the  hulking ruins of a city  and a character like this might be handy  in such a situation.
Second and more directly the archaeologist Kit provided on page 20 of  Dragon magazine #241 (Written by Steve Berman,) is one of my favorite kits from that time period. 

The article provides a great outline about how to get a relic obsessed scholar into your group.  some interesting  spells and  proficiencies to go along with the package, all in all a great piece. The story hook factory known as  "The Archivist Guild" from this piece is conceptual lifted directly from Mr. Berman's original piece. (including the idea to use a broken hourglass as the image above.)

If you like this background I highly suggest you take a look at Steve Berman's Kit from Dragon 241, its more complete. While I find 5th editions backgrounds fun, this is a great example where I feel  2nd ed's kits did a more complete job without going too far.

So here you go enjoy.


ARCHAEOLOGIST
You spend your days digging up your cultural identity. Looking for things that are lost or forgotten. When not in the filed you spend a good deal of time pouring over what ever books you can find that may yield information on the next great sight. Others may see your obsession as a waste of time, but you know that the past holds the key to the future.
Choose a civilization from your DM's setting, not necessarily your own peoples. You are obsessed with learning and whats more touching the history of that civilization. Are you an assistant to a scholar? Perhaps you are an adventurer who is obsessed with obtaining relics from lost civilizations, relics that might provide wealth, power, or both? Or a seeker of knowledge that will bolster your magical studies?
Skill Proficiencies: History (choose civilization) Cartography
Languages: Two of your choice one ancient
Equipment: A pick and Spade, A 50 page journal, a quill and ink well, Common clothing, Sturdy back pack, a belt pouch containing 10 gold in ivory trinkets, and an ancient, half destroyed map of a fallen city.
A set of fine digging tools, small chisels, spades, and, brushes.

FEATURE
Access to the Archivist Guild.
The Archivist guild is a secretive group that deals in the collecting , cataloging, study and sometimes resale of ancient relics.
The guild collects a great deal of news and rumors about possible locations ripe for excavation. When a site interests the guild greatly they will sometimes pool their resources to fun a full fledged expedition. Often there's not enough interest in each location to fund expeditions, you can benefit fro this by taking on those open assignments.
You can go to the guild seeing minor magical items that may help with excavations, such as comprehend languages scrolls, or specialized tools.
Expedition items purchased through the guild are 10 + your level % cheaper for you than they would be for other non guild members, with the agreement that you sell you finds exclusively through the guild. Violation of this agreement can mean expulsion.

SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS
Archeologists are driven by their desire to learn about the distant past and are not satisfied to simply read it in a book. This makes them very knowledgeable companions in the right circumstance and gives them a surprisingly adventurous and curious outlook for an academic type. Their flaws might be an underlying greed that drives them , or an unfettered competitiveness to be the first to claim a find that might lead them into unknown dangers.


d8 Personality trait
1 I am so obsessed with a particular ancient culture I have started dressing and acting as if I were am member of it.
2 Nothing can shake my attitude that the next great discovery is just ahead.
3 I have spent so much time in the field that academics that just sit with their books in their stuffy libraries disgust me.
4 I know a thousand facts about ancient history, a great deal of them I make up as I go.
5 I am a very careful planner, every detail must be accounted for.
6 I will freely except help, but I keep my information close to my vest.
7 I make it a point to explain how ancient cultures were superior to the ones I live in.
8 I am paranoid that some one is going to swoop in and claim any discovery I make.


d6 Ideal
1 Aspiration. I see to prove my self though my discoveries and the knowledge they provide (Any)
2 Greed. I might not be open about this but I know some of the things I'm digging up will fetch a fine price. (Evil)
3 Understanding. My finds will bring us knowledge about the past I need to learn these things no matter who might resent the truth. (Neutral)
4 Curiosity. I don't care what it takes I just need to see it for myself! (Chaotic)
5 Understanding. My finds have a value and a place, they must be cataloged, recorded, and returned. (Lawful)
6 Exaltation. The trappings of the past hold great beauty, only though appreciating them , can we plot a path forward. (Good)


d6 Bond
1 I have a map that I believe leads to a place of great and terrible power, I most protect it.
2 I am working to protect a very important find.
3 I was once cheated out of a valuable find now I'm seeking it, and revenge.
4 For years I have searched for a specific location.
5 I have alienated many academics with my opinions and thoughts on history.
6 A good friend of mine of was killed in a collapse during one of my digs, it haunts me.


d6 Flaw
1 When I hear a rumor about a a possible ruin to explore I obsess over it to the deficit of all other things.
2 My relationships are always second to my work
3 My views about history and how it affects the world today are inflexible.
4 I think every rumor or possible dig is going to be a great find, I am blind to the risks.
5 I secretly hate the civilization I am studying , I am seeking only the flaws that brought them to ruin.
6 I have little respect for any one out side the world of academia.


Thank you for reading hope you enjoyed 
Please leave any  questions or comments in the  2200 year old amphora  below.