Everyone has a vice right? Well, I’ve got them all.
Crime pays. Weekly, in fact, if I turn a blind eye.
I always say what I think I’m expected to say.
When it comes right down to it, I’m apathetic about most parts of my life.
The better part of valor is making a deal with the enemy, offering up my friends if need be.
Beneath all the speeches and rhetoric, I’m pretty unintelligent.
VARIANT OUTLANDER: EXPLORER
Some wander the wilds in order to civilize them. They make and maps trails, develop relations with native cultures, and bring evidence of these achievements back to their homeland. Many of the same skills are shared between explorers and other outlanders, but their goals tend to be quite different. You might have set out to prove a geographical hypothesis, been hired to create a trail between two distant cities, or perhaps you’re looking for a mythical site rumored to be hidden in the wilderness.
Instead of a musical instrument, you’re proficient with vehicles (land), vehicles (water), or navigator’s tools. You can replace one skill proficiency with either the History or Nature skill. If you wish, you can use the Local Guide feature instead of Wanderer.
Your connections with the local inhabitants of a wild region provide you with a guide who knows the roads you mean to take. He or she warns you of the dangerous aspects of the journey, advises you on the best ways to forage for food and water, and can bring you to key landmarks in the area. If you pay a modest fee, the local guide might even agree to carry your equipment and hunt for you.
VARIANT OUTLANDER: HUNTER
Not every wilderness-dweller is concerned with the lay of the land. Hunters focus on the creatures that live in the outlands, using the senses and skills of a predator to track their game. While their motives vary, the best hunters share a deep respect for the majesty and power of nature and its beasts. You might be the last true hunter of your tribe, a lone archer living off the land, or a hired gun who keeps the bears and wolves from hampering an expensive expedition.
If you wish to be a hunter, you may replace your musical instrument proficiency for proficiency with the poisoner’s kit. You gain the Tracker feature instead of the Wanderer feature.
You know what beasts are native to an area, and you can identify their movements well enough to find one of a given type by tracking for 3 hours of downtime. You can’t use this feature to find a particular creature, but you can discover likely dens and hunting patterns of local beasts within half a day’s journey of your camp.
VARIANT SAGE: PROFESSOR
You have chosen to dedicate yourself to formal research and instruction in a chosen field. As part of an institution for higher learning, you’ve read most of what there is worth reading in your area of specialty. Prospective students who have heard your name come to you with questions and favors. When you choose this background, choose a field to determine which skill proficiencies will replace the sage’s, or roll a d20 and consult the following table.
d20 Academic Field Skill Proficiency
Anthropology History, Religion
Arcane Studies Arcana, History
Archaeology History, Investigation
Architecture History, Investigation
Art History History, Religion
Astronomy Arcana, Religion
Biology Nature, Survival
Chemistry Medicine, Nature
Economics History, Investigation
Engineering Investigation, Perception
Government History, Insight
History History, Insight
Literature History, Insight
Languages History, plus two additional languages of your choice
Mathematics Investigation, Perception
Medicine Medicine, Survival
Mythology History, Performance
Philosophy Insight, Persuasion
Psychology Insight, Persuasion
Theology History, Religion