Skip to Content

The 5 Best Backgrounds for Elves in D&D 5e

The 5 Best Backgrounds for Elves in D&D 5e

Crafting a compelling backstory for your Elven character is not only essential for role-playing authenticity but also sets the stage for extraordinary adventures.

Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a newcomer to the elven realms, join us as we navigate through the enchanting possibilities to uncover the best background choices for your Elf character.

What Are Backgrounds in D&D 5e?

Backgrounds are more than simple stat boosts in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. They reveal where your character came from, why you became an adventurer, and your place in the world.

Before choosing your Background, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What was I before I became an adventurer?
  • Why did I stop doing what my Background explains and become an adventurer?
  • Where did I get the money to buy my starting equipment?
  • Where did I learn the skills used in my class?
  • What’s different about me compared to others with the same Background?

Best Backgrounds for Elves

5. Hermit

Skill Proficiencies – Religion, Medicine

Tool Proficiencies – Herbalism kit

Languages – Choose one

Equipment – A set of common clothes, a winter blanket, a scroll case stuffed full of notes from your studies or prayers, a Herbalism kit, and 5 GP.

Why the Hermit?

A Hermit lives a Life of Seclusion, but this seclusion resulted in a campaign-changing discovery.

Whether you picked up a cursed artifact, discovered a secret of the universe, or befriended a god, anything is possible when you’re a Hermit Elf.

4. Urchin

Skill Proficiencies – Stealth, Sleight of Hand

Tool Proficiencies – Thieves’ tools, Disguise kit

Languages – None

Equipment – A set of common clothes, a token to remember your parents by, a map of the city you grew up in, a small knife, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Urchin?

Urchins might not have had any formal education or training, but their clever thinking has given them many City Secrets.

This allows them to use passages otherwise out of sight and travel twice the speed between two locations in cities.

3. Spy

Skill Proficiencies – Stealth, Deception

Tool Proficiencies – Thieves’ tools, One type of gaming set

Languages – None

Equipment – A set of dark common clothes including a hood, a crowbar, and a pouch with 15GP.

Why the Spy?

A spy is essentially an espionage agent with a Criminal Speciality and Criminal Contacts that allow them to contact networks of other criminals.

This allows them to send messages over great distances, as you know of all the illegal dealings in an area.

2. Soldier

Skill Proficiencies – Intimidation, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – Vehicles (land), One type of gaming set

Languages – None

Equipment – A trophy you took from a fallen enemy (a piece of a banner, dagger, or broken blade), a set of common clothes, a deck of cards or a set of bone dice, an insignia of rank, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Soldier?

Elven encampments might not be as easy to come by as normal soldier encampments, but if your Elf was involved outside of Elvish affairs, your party is guaranteed to pass an encampment that knows the Elf’s rank.

There, with Military Rank, your party, accompanied by your Elf, will be able to rest in secure military encampments and fortresses.

1. Outlander

Skill Proficiencies – Survival, Athletics

Tool Proficiencies – One type of musical instrument

Languages – One you choose

Equipment – A trophy from an animal you killed, a set of traveler’s clothes, a hunting trap, a staff, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Outlander?

There is always perilous terrain and bustling settlements requiring an expert to navigate through them.

With Wanderer, your Elf, who already understands forests and certain Fey areas better than most, will always know exactly where you’re going and where to find fresh water and food.

Final Thoughts

The selection of a background for your Elven character in Dungeons & Dragons 5e is an opportunity to weave intricate stories and make the character your own.

Whether pursuing stealth as a Spy, embracing nature as an Outlander, or uncovering world-changing secrets as a Hermit, each background enhances the essence of your Elf.