Friday, April 8, 2022

Motivations for the Mistreated: The Vengeful

Many of our adventurers come from heroic origins. They were the light of their town, a great intellect who sought out forbidden knowledge, or a hard-fought mercenary that earned their keep through skill and quick reaction times. But that isn't the case for many adventurers. Many of those you play and sink into the role of will have been brought to this cruel world through hardship, necessity, and pain. 

The backgrounds provided here are meant to aid in roleplay and character creation for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition. These are the underdogs, the wronged, and those forgotten in the churning wheel of society. In its ever-march forward, those that aren't crushed arise with a purpose, oftentimes unyielding in their ultimate pursuits. 

1. The Vengeful: 

You have been wronged, slighted, betrayed, or some horrid combination of the three. This path can lead to Paladin, but it doesn't need to. For, the Vengeful can accomplish their task through any means necessary. Your path is a difficult one, and the group or individual who wronged you is fixed in your goals. You will exact your vengeance, no matter how long it takes. 

Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Investigation
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit
Equipment: Evidence of your perpetrator's wrongdoing, a set of common clothes, and a pouch containing 10 gp. 


Many manners of wrongdoings may have befallen your character. A loved one may have fallen under a bandit's blade. Your business could have been set aflame by a competitor. Or maybe something more ephemeral was at work. The works of a dark mage destroyed your homeland, or a tribe of monsters stole away something precious to you. Feel free to create your own event or roll on the table below for inspiration. 

D8 - Defining Events
  1. A loved one was murdered
  2. Your family's most treasured heirloom was stolen 
  3. A fire destroyed your business, and you know who did it
  4. An encroaching army forced you into subjugation 
  5. Your child was stolen by a dark cult, claiming them a chosen one
  6. An opposing noble household has dragged your name through the dirt
  7. You were wrongly convicted by a corrupt official 
  8. Your life's work was plagiarised and used for great success 
Feature: Recollection 

You ensure that you never forget a face, voice, or a person's appearance. Anyone could be a lead, and you will remember if someone wrongs you again, for you will track them down. You keep a detailed logbook of every notable encounter, person, and conversation you have. If you have met someone, you can immediately recall who they were, what they were wearing, when you met them, and the general details of what was said during your interaction with them. 

Suggested Characteristics

One may be openly vengeful and hostile, or this vengeance could be a deeply-held secret that the character keeps close to their chest. Some will walk over others to accomplish their goal while others may take more subtle approaches to avoid inflicting wrongs on others. The following Personality traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws can be picked, rolled, or ignored to suit your character's story. 

D6 - Personality Traits 
  1. I distance myself from others to avoid being betrayed again.
  2. I am empathetic and often stop what I am doing to hear people out.
  3. I am nervous, always looking over my shoulder in case they show up.
  4. I distrust authority, often going against an authority figure's judgment or rules.
  5. There is no such thing as being too careful or planning too much for a situation.
  6. Once I make a friend, I am unshakingly loyal to them.
D6 - Ideals
  1. Dissent: I will ensure that any structure or institution that upholds or enables subjugation is burnt to the ground. (Chaotic)
  2. Aide: If someone, anyone, is in need then I will be the one to help. (Good)
  3. Cynicism: You are your actions in the present. No promises can be made, and you are not redeemable. (Evil)
  4. Driven: I will accomplish my vengeance, but I will not let others be pained by my path. (Lawful)
  5. Choice: Each and every one of us has chosen a path, and my choice is my own to make. (Neutral)
  6. Unerring: I don't care who or what stands in my way, those who wronged me will be brought to justice. (Chaotic)
D6 - Bonds
  1. My family faced wrongdoings because of my actions, and I will make sure to repay them. 
  2. My spouse is waiting for me back home. I must not disappoint them.
  3. I am going to change the world so that this never happens to anyone else ever again. 
  4. My god/patron says I alone can bring this wrongdoer to justice.
  5. If word got out about what happened to me, my family's reputation would be ruined. 
  6. My child will not be raised in a world plagued by their corruption. 
D6 - Flaws
  1. I think most people are lying to me. 
  2. I value my self-preservation above all else, including those I consider friends. 
  3. Money corrupts. I will never trust those with wealth.
  4. I'm afraid of the dark...bad things happen in the dark. 
  5. I will never forgive you if you wrong me. 
  6. You are guilty until I prove you innocent.