Tuesday, September 9, 2014

D&D 5e Background: Teller

Teller (Entertainer Variant)


You wander the countryside keeping an ear to the ground for news of current events or even bits of gossip. For a hearty meal and a mug of ale, you will share your news and tales of heroics with the common folk of events from remote (or even not-so-remote) lands. Unlike a common minstrel, the stories you tell are intended to inform as well as entertain. You try to ferret out truth from rumor, but are not necessarily averse using either for your own ends. You get to know the movers and shakers in regional politics and learn where the centers of power reside. Depending on your outlook, you may be giving power to the people or working for The Man.


Skill Proficiencies: Pick two from History, Performance or Persuasion.
Tool proficiency: Select from Musical Instrument, Calligrapher's Tools, or Cartographer's Tools
Equipment: A musical instrument or profession tool kit, writing tools (ink, quill, booklet or parchment), a set of traveler's clothes, a map (with case) of the region with towns and local trade routes denoted, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

Feature - Warm Welcome


Because you are known to be a source of news and information, innkeepers and minor nobles (like a mayor or local governor) will often offer hospitality in order to be first on the list with any news you bring with you into town (or a performance you may have for patrons). You may receive one night of food and lodging (modest, but comfortable) when arriving in town for you and your companions, but receiving this benefit means your arrival may not remain clandestine if discretion is required.

Suggested Characteristics


A Teller is akin to a modern day journalist or correspondent. They seek out news and information because they are genuinely interested in current events and how it impacts the people, politics and power struggles in a region.  They tell tales not just to help inform those who do not leave the relative comfort of their villages, but also to earn a little bit of coin in order to move on to the next destination. While they are not minstrels in the strictest sense, they know the value of a good song or epic poem in order to illustrate historic events or bring context to current ones. They understand the power of myth and legend. Unlike a Sage, they don't seek knowledge from books, but prefer to learn from a life of wondrous experiences and shared stories.


d8
Personality Traits
1
The excitement of the road calls to me. Tales and news are just a way to pay for my travels.
2
I try to befriend a minor lord or noble wherever I go. I do not underestimate the value of well-connected friends, especially the up and coming ones.
3
I always find the table at the inn which is close to as many groups of locals as possible. It's not eavesdropping if people are speaking with one another in a public place.
4
The events of the past teach us how to handle the events in the present. I use tales with allegory and metaphor to teach people what is going on all around them.
5
I am interested not just in news of the wealthy and powerful, but genuinely concerned with the common folk, their lives and struggles.
6
The unwashed masses are ignorant and ill-informed. I use those traits to my advantage.
7
I entertain rubes with my knowledge of distant lands (even if I've never been there) for a bit of coin.
8
I sometimes seek danger to overcome my own cautious nature.


d6
Ideals
1
Knowledge. Information is power, but news belongs to the people. (Good)
2
Greed. I hear a lot of interesting things and I know what my information is worth. For the right price, I may be persuaded to tell all, or forever hold my peace. (Evil)
3
Propaganda. News can be used both to inform or manipulate. The right words in the right ears can create calm or ensure panic. (Chaotic)
4
Ambition. I will use what I know to make allies, or gain leverage over enemies. (Neutral)
5
Duty. Those in power need to know what ails their vassals at the edges of the kingdom. (Lawful)
6
Friendship. The news of the world helps me make valuable friends and contacts where ever I should journey. (Any)

d6
Bonds
1
Oghma guides my way and compels me to spread knowledge and wisdom.
2
The news I share empowers the people against tyranny.
3
I seek to preserve the stories of the past so that we may learn from history.
4
I serve my country and king, bringing news from afar to keep my liege informed.
5
I seek to be worthy of my mentor Edvard "Bard" Murrow.
6
I hope to prove myself worthy of a noble lady's affection.

d6
Flaws
1
I am drawn to regions of war and strife which is not generally conducive for personal safety.
2
I have been known to "witness" events to which I was not technically present.
3
Hyperbole is not lying. Embellishment can help with a tale's impact.
4
I spend so much time on the road, I have difficulty forming real, lasting bonds with others.
5
I occasionally reveal truths in the wrong company creating enemies I should not.
6
I have disdain for those who unconcerned with local or regional matters.

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