Creating an engaging backstory for your Half-Elf character is key to unlocking the richness of their dual heritage and ensuring a captivating role-playing experience.
In this guide, we uncover the top 5 backgrounds tailored to complement the intricate tapestry of a Half-Elf’s life, offering versatility and depth to your 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 Half-Elves
Skill Proficiencies – Survival, plus one among Religion, History, and Arcana
Tool Proficiencies – Your choice of a musical instrument or gaming set
Languages – Choose one
Equipment – A set of traveler’s clothes, your inheritance, the tool you choose from the tool proficiency, and a pouch with 15GP.
Why the Inheritor?
Although Inheritance might only leave you with a tiny piece of your past, it can significantly change the way you play the game, perceive others, act in situations, and it can even be a hidden magical item.
Skill Proficiencies – Sleight of Hand, Deception
Tool Proficiencies – Forgery kit, Disguise kit
Languages – None
Equipment – Tools of the con of your choice (a signet ring, a deck of marked cards, a set of weighted dice, or ten stoppered bottles filled with colored liquid), a set of fine clothes, a disguise kit, and a pouch with 15GP.
Why the Charlatan?
As a Charlatan, you can use False Identity to disguise yourself, allowing you to perform certain acts without being noticed.
It even allows you to forge official documents and handwriting you’re trying to copy, which can change many outcomes in a more political campaign.
3. Folk Hero
Skill Proficiencies – Animal Handling, Survival
Tool Proficiencies – Vehicles (land), One type of Artisan’s tools
Languages – None
Equipment – One set of Artisan’s tools (you may choose), an iron pot, a set of common clothes, a shovel, and a pouch with 10GP.
Why the Folk Hero?
Rustic Hospitality will be your main ability as a Folk Hero, playing the role of people’s hero and an event that defines you as such.
With Rustic Hospitality, you gain the favor of common folk around you, shielding you from danger, though their lives will not be risked for your cause.
Skill Proficiencies – Performance, Acrobatics
Tool Proficiencies – One type of musical instrument, Disguise kit
Languages – None
Equipment – One musical instrument you choose, a costume, the favor of an admirer (trinket, love letter, or lock of hair), and a pouch with 15GP.
Why the Entertainer?
Using By Popular Demand allows Half-Elf Entertainers to perform in certain places like inns, theaters, or even courts.
Doing this will usually land him and his party with accommodation, as well as make him a public figure who can tend to draw attention in certain areas.
1. Faction Agent
Skill Proficiencies – Insight and one Charisma, Wisdom, or Intelligence skill you choose that’s appropriate to your faction
Tool Proficiencies – None
Languages – Two you choose
Equipment – A copy of a seminal faction text (or a code book for a covert faction), the badge or emblem of your faction, a set of common clothes, and a pouch with 15GP.
Why the Faction Agent?
There are a ton of factions to choose from as a Faction Agent. All of this is their own way of doing things that will either suit or be disinteresting to your character.
Safe Haven gives Half-Elf Faction Agents various secret networks of operatives and supporters that will assist with adventures.
These operatives can provide housing, assist the party, or find information, but they will not risk their lives for you.
Crafting a backstory for your Half-Elf character in Dungeons & Dragons 5e is a captivating venture, and the choice of background can be pivotal.
Whether embracing your inheritance as an Inheritor, appeasing commoners as a Folk Hero, or entertaining people as an Entertainer, each background offers a unique narrative thread.