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

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

Crafting a captivating story for your Kenku adventurer begins with choosing the perfect background, and in this guide, we present a curated list seamlessly tailored to their cunning and mimicry nature.

Join us as we navigate the realms of D&D, discovering backgrounds that will shape your Kenku into a versatile force, both in the shadows of stealth and their ever-expanding personal life.

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 Kenku

5. 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 have the City Secrets feature, giving them knoweldge of the secret passages that flow through the city and miss the urban sprawl.

While not in combat, Urchins and their companions traveling between two locations within a city will travel at twice the normal speed.

Most Kenku are considered thieves, and people seldom give them chances at work, so many Kenku resort to becoming Urchins.

4. Criminal

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 Criminal?

Criminals have the Criminal Contact feature, where you have a contact who acts as your liaison to a vast network of criminals.

You can easily get messages to and from your contacts at great distances, and you also know the local messenger, seedy sailors, and corrupt caravan masters who can deliver messages for you.

Kenku are naturally stealthy, making it easy for them to become adept criminals, getting dug deeper the longer they stay in the villainous trade.

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?

Spies aren’t much different from normal Criminals or Smugglers, but they have practiced in vastly different ways.

In fact, most spies are trained espionage agents. Many work as sanctioned agents of the crown or sell uncovered secrets to the highest bidder.

Tying into the presumption that most Kenku are thieves is that they are also spies since they are experts at disguise, allowing them to make swift assassinations and blend into the shadows with their raven feathers.

2. Entertainer

Skill Proficiencies – Performance, Acrobatics

Tool Proficiencies – One type of musical instrument and a 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?

Entertainers have the By Popular Demand feature, allowing them to perform in places like taverns or courts for free lodging and food.

This stay can be lengthened by performing for the owners every night, and with each performance, your fame with the locals will increase.

Kenku can be very charismatic, especially as a Face, and as an added benefit, they can use their mimicking as a trick in their performance.

1. Faceless

Skill Proficiencies – Intimidation, Deception

Tool Proficiencies – Disguise kit

Languages – Choose one

Equipment – A costume, a disguise kit, and a pouch with 10GP.

Why the Faceless?

Faceless characters have the Dual Personalities feature, where you have a persona that most of the world knows you by, even your fellow adventurers.

Everything about you is different than your true self, and once you wear your disguise, all similarities of your true self are hidden. Removing your disguise makes you unidentifiable as your disguise.

This means you can change your appearance between your personalities as you wish, one serving as your camouflage and the other to hide.

Note: If someone realizes the connection between your true self and your persona, your deception could lose its effectiveness.

Kenku are known for being masters of disguise, and their mimicking is the perfect ability to pair with this background.

Final Thoughts

Whether immersing your character in the intrigue of the Spy, roaming the streets alone as an Urchin, or becoming one with nothingness as Faceless, your selected background acts as the canvas upon which your character’s tale is painted.

Choose thoughtfully, delve into the nuances of your chosen background, and let it breathe life into your Kenku’s journey through the expansive realms of D&D.