UPDATE: The partial background found in this article is a preview. It is fully available as a Pay What You Want product on the DMs Guild in a pretty PDF with art and 14 other ready to roll backgrounds.
It’s the Halloween season. There’s something about this holiday which delights the imagination of tabletop role players everywhere. It’s probably our active imaginations that make us think about the things that could go bump in the night and terrorize us. This season appeals to me for that reason. Ever since I was a kid I loved reading scary stories, even though they terrified the pants off of me. In honor of the season I’ve decided to write up a blog post about something scary.
On a related note people really seemed to enjoy the backgrounds I’ve been posting lately. The Parent and Retired Adventurer backgrounds are among some of my most popular posts ever. To that end I wanted to give you something you’d love that went with the frightful holiday season. So I got to thinking and decided I wanted a background for someone who’s lived for years under the direct control of a ghost, fiend, vampire, mind flayer, aboleth, or some other horrific creature. The thrall is now broken, but that PC’s adventuring career is forged by the trials and cruelties suffered as a slave. With that in mind I present to you, the possessed background.
You have spent a significant amount of time under the thrall of some malicious entity which controlled your every action. It could be that the mind controlling dominance of an aberration or vampire brought about your slavery or you may have been possessed by some undead spirit or fiend. Under the thrall of this being you might have been forced into heavy labor, gladiatorial combat, or some more unpleasant machinations that were part of the villain’s greater scheme. The being might have been practical and controlled you in a pragmatic way, or it could have been a right villain which delighted in cruelty and made you hurt the people who loved you. It is up to you whether you remember all the details and your actions during the possession or if you only have fragments of memory to piece together.
What was the end result of your possession? Did someone drive the evil presence out of you? Did the being leave of its own accord? Was it destroyed or it did it promise to return to take you again some day? How has the possession left you feeling? Sad and broken? Ready to take on the world again? Terrified it may happen again?
Skills: Deception, Perception
Tool Proficiencies: One type of artisan’s tools, gaming set, or musical instrument which reflects the hobbies and taste of the being who possessed you.
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A set of common clothes, a small knife, a wearable trinket like a ring or bracelet given to you by the being who possessed you which cannot be thrown away or destroyed, and belt pouch containing 15 gp
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