These traits, stronger than their normal counterparts carry obvious stat perks but will also bring a great deal out of combat for the character. You may only have one upbringing.
- Acrobat/Athlete ~ An acrobat may be a sort of performer, or perhaps, a professional athlete. These characters would come from relatively wealthy families that could afford to grant professional training. Most athletes are humans, though the occasional Deredar is a sight to behold. While adventuring, an athlete may not want to forget to compete for glory and honor in the yearly Games that are held throughout the Republic. Characters taking this background halve the penalty of jumping without a running start and climb twice as fast.
- Artisan ~ An artisan may refer to any sort of a craftsman such as a blacksmith, carpenter, glassblower, or a painter. More often than not, one is born into this lifestyle rather than choosing it. Artisan’s tend to come from poor families, though in rural areas, the artisan’s role is respected by locals. In urban areas, halflings make for the bulk of artisans, while humans dominate in rural areas. While adventuring, an opportunity might arise that warrants the skills of a true craftsman. Characters taking this background receive two free skill ranks per level to invest in craft or profession skills.
- Courier ~ A courier is a messenger for hire. Couriers are primarily used to deliver messages within cities. These characters could from any sort of family, trustworthiness being more important than financial status. Any race works well for the life of a courier, just as long as there are street smarts. While adventuring, a player’s reputation as a courier may grow, leading to the delivery of even more important messages, even those crucial to the state. Characters taking this background receive a mount that advances as if it were the character’s cohort.
- Courtesan ~ This woman is not to be confused with a common prostitute. She has a protector who pays her for her services, as well as giving her extras in the form of lavish gifts. Unlike a prostitute, a courtesan only takes one lover for a contracted period of time. Courtesans usually come from families that lack noble status, yet are wealthy enough to send their daughter to academy for Courtesan’s Training. Humans and Gnomes make up most courtesans, though Grey Elves are treasured as rare and exotic treats. While adventuring, a courtesan may climb the ladder of success and broaden her range of protectors . Characters taking this background receive 900 additional starting gold, a +2 to Sense Motive, and starting protector (please inform your DM).
- Engineer/Architect ~ The Republic is built on the back of these diligent road, bridge, and war machine builders. These characters will come from middle class families that are wealthy enough to afford schooling. Gnomes, Dwarves, and Humans make the best engineers. An engineer’s job leaves for a surprising amount of free time. While adventuring, players that are engineers may be called upon to solve problems with the construction of a particular aqueduct or bridge. With reputation, an engineer may also be asked to lead more ambitious projects, like running a siege on an enemy city. Characters taking this background receive one skill rank per level in ‘Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering)’ and a +4 to attack rolls when operating any sort of siege weaponry.
- Farmhand ~ Farmhands are impoverished individuals that either toiled on a small farm or a latifundia. Hardier, poorer races, work as farmhands. The pay is next to slave-labor, the title is a near disgrace, but people like you form the backbone the Republic; humble beginnings also remind you how far you’ve come in the end, and working on a farm has made your shoulders strong, able to carry heavier loads than others. Characters taking this background treat their Strength score as two points higher for determining carrying capacity and receive a +1 to their Fortitude save.
- Guttersnipe ~ A Guttersnipe is slang for a scoundrel, a criminal. This definition can vary from a burglar, a hustler, or even a prostitute. No matter the occupation, Guttersnipes are a looked down upon universally. Characters from this background come from impoverished families; some don’t even have families and have lived off the street their entire lives. It’s a hard life, but it makes for resourcefulness. Typically, halflings and humans are Guttersnipes. While adventuring, Guttersnipes might find opportunities to make what they had to do during their childhood a more professional affair (such as a con artist, bank robber, or other high-risk high-pay profession). Characters taking this background receive a one skill rank per level in ‘Knowledge (Local)’ and a +1 to Reflex Saves.
- Gladiator ~ In Archaîon, the gladiator is a man of desperation – sold to a school through the bonds of slavery, with a faintest chance of earning one’s freedom through the blood of others. Any of the ‘Barbaric’ races make typical gladiators. Though in the civilized world, financial bonds can be just as strangling as iron. While adventuring, victories within the arena could increase your reputation as a gladiator, winning a celebrity status. This sort glory could even carry itself as influence within the aristocracy. Characters taking this background receive a single exotic weapon proficiency.
- Inventor ~ Someone who invents or finds out something new – a contriver; especially, one who invents mechanical devices. Such people are extremely rare, as engineering is seen as far more practical. Inventing in general is seen a subset of philosophy. Inventors come from families that were wealthy enough to pay for their schooling, but also, accepting enough to allow them to pursue their eccentric course. Gnomes are the premier inventors and perhaps only the dwarves can hope match their ingenuity. While adventuring, an inventor might encounter something in his travels that inspires a breakthrough or meet a colleague that has done similar. Characters taking this background receive a +2 to their Craft check and +2 to Disable Device checks.
- Laborer ~ A laborer works in any type of environment, doing the hard work of others. For all practical purposes, the laborer is the urban equivalent of the farmhand. Thus, characters that take this background get the same bonuses as the Farmhand.
- Lost Child ~ The lost child is someone as impoverished as a Guttersnipe, but shunned even by the criminals of society. With no one to turn to but themselves, the lost child turns out tougher and grittier than all the others. The poorer races such as Deredar, Halflings, or Humans tend to be forced into this lifestyle. Characters that take this background receive a +2 to Intimidate and gain an additional 3 hp.
- Mariner ~ Mariners are men of the sea. Their job can be dangerous as the ocean is home to pirates, storms, and the worst that lurks under the surface. A mariner is a poor man’s job, taking an able-bodied souls it can find, no matter the race. While adventuring, a mariner may acquire enough money to buy a ship of his own, and with his connections, it wouldn’t be hard to find an able crew. Characters that take this background receive one skill rank per level in ‘Swim’ and a +2 to Climb checks.
- Merchant ~ From the simple shopkeeper to the head of a cartel, merchants make their living by moving in-demand goods. Characters that are merchants can come from any sort of family. The gnomes of the Glittergold Cartel are practically nation of shopkeepers, though any other race has equal opportunity. While adventuring, it may be necessary to transport goods to a town in need. With these opportunities, a charter could quickly become rich with property. Characters that take this background receive a +2 to Appraise and a +2 to Sense Motive checks.
- Philosopher ~ Professional philosophers are few and far between, though any civilized race may be inclined to pursue such a path. Depending on their teaching and life-style, they can enjoy different degrees of respectability – from admiration on the part of high society to the contempt accorded to street preachers. The Archaîans are, by and large, suspicious of philosophy, considering it an Elven forgery. Only a small minority of dissidents or eccentrics make any serious study of philosophy. On the other hand, philosophers are frequently hired as private tutors for young patrician boys. In this exchange, the family invites the philosopher within their home. For living with the family, the philosopher is then expected to teach their child on the his specialty. After the contract has expired, the philosopher will then show the parents how well learned the boy has become and receive pay accordingly. Characters that take this background receive two free skill ranks per level to spend in knowledge skills.
- Priesthood ~ As a child, your parents saw signs that you have been touched by a god. Quick to avoid angering the deity, they give you up for adoption at a temple. Thus, a character from this background does not have any family, other than the priesthood that is. Any kind of race can be found serving the priesthood. While adventuring, a character may be called upon by a fellow priest to perform a favor. Characters that take this background receive a +2 to Knowledge (Religion) and +1 to Will saves.
- Scribe ~ A scribe handles finances, mathematics, book keeping, and general accounting that is necessary for organizations of any size. These characters would come poorer families, fortunate to have someone within a skilled profession. Gnomes and Halflings, with their nimble digits, make good scribes, though any literate race could do as well. While adventuring, the charter may be glad to designate you as their accountant. If you do good work, the state might even call upon you to handle certain finances, opening the door to a diverse range of opportunities. Characters taking this background receive a +2 to Linguistics and may activate scrolls or similar ‘written’ magic items with a Linguistics check.
- Worker ~ A worker in some ways is type of artisan, though he is less a craftsman and more an individual that worked in a certain semi-skilled profession. Players from this background were likely bakers, barbers, fullers, street vendors, or something else. Workers tend to come from a diverse range of urban families. Characters taking this background receive one skill rank per level in a profession of their choice and a +2 synergy skill bonus on one related skill of their choice.
Only characters from the ‘civilized’ regions of the word may take these traits; this almost entirely excludes the Deredar race – though there could be other cases, like the human that lived with wolves, where a civilized race could have a wild background. For those eccentrics there is a single option:
- Survival of the Fittest – Either a Deredar or another race in exceptional circumstances, your upbringing would nonetheless kill many others where you have survived. And for this, you are a superior product of natural selection. Characters taking this background receive *one skill rank per level in ‘Survival’ and a +1 bonus on either Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saves.