Shimmering Kingdoms FATE
Backgrounds were designed to help players and Game Masters flesh out the backgrounds of beginning fantasy characters, providing them with a skill set that will follow them throughout their entire adventuring career. Backgrounds are not strictly required, but may act as a starting point, combined with your character’s Social Station, to help determine not only appropriate Aspects, but options for your character’s starting skill. The below lists of skills are merely examples of those learned in typical occupational backgrounds. These lists give no bonuses, but merely suggestive ideas.
Backgrounds use occupations to reflect a player character’s former livelihood, taking “occupation” in its loosest sense: how did a player character occupy his time prior to adventuring? Each occupation entry offers a brief description and some skill suggestions. Each player character should choose only one occupation, and this occupation is chosen as part of the character creation, and fleshed out during the Backstory Phases.
An occupation reflects the player character’s prior life, which normally occurs during adolescence. As such, the fantasy occupations presented here were constructed as adolescent occupations. A beginning warrior character might have been a squire, but he probably would not have been a knight. A beginning initiate might have spent time in temple learning the basics and performing duties, but was probably not ordained, given the rite of initiation, as a priest or cleric before play begins.
Once play begins, a player character may or may not continue in his previous occupation. The skills reflect his proficiency in what he learned, regardless of whether he still follows his old calling. Should the character choose a new occupation, he will choose skills (and stunts) that he acquires normally as he progresses in his career.
Some occupations are more broadly defined than others, due to the same skill set being more broadly applicable. A player character that takes the fisherman occupation was probably a fisherman, getting into a boat and casting nets on a daily basis. A player character with the apprentice occupation, by contrast, could be a butcher or a blacksmith. As a result, player characters that choose a broadly defined occupation should keep their narrow focus in mind when selecting class skills.
Human characters have the following backgrounds to choose from. If you wish to play a non-human character, you must consult with the DM prior to play to discuss your character background and class options.
|“Tribal” is a bit of a misnomer; charcters from this background belong to uncivilized hunter-gatherer societies. They need not be aggressive, although all human barbarians and brute-kin hail from this background.|
|A character with a marine background has spent most of his time in the water, on rivers, lakes or in the open sea.|
|Some occupations require a lot of movement. Entertainers may have to go from castle to castle or village to village, while nomads are constantly moving from place to place. This background is also appropriate for unsavory occupations like bandits or thieves.|
|A character with a rural background comes from the countryside. This includes the forest as well as the territory of a feudal noble.|
|Villagers are an intermediary step between rural backgrounds and urban backgrounds. They are a small community that can afford specialists, though not to the degree of a big city.|
|Urban occupations are those frequently encountered in a large town or city. Specialists thrive in this environment.|
|Castle backgrounds are occupations, both common and aristocratic, commonly found within the walls of a castle or palace.|
|The outlaw background is an example of a “utility” background. Some players know they want a criminal occupation, but would like some ideas regarding the specific occupation.|