New World Background Generator

Ruins in the Jungle # 002 by Julian Calle

Okay, so I have been working on my own background table for this New World setting. I know I very well could have used any Failed Career, Background or Race table that is out there, especially with Skerple’s GROG pretty much accomplishing some of the same things, BUT I felt the extreme need to do this and make it my own. So, what I have done here is combined a Race Table and a Background table for my purposes. You’ll note that 5 of the categories are Human, this is because the Old World is primarily human in make up with its more fantastical elements reduced to folkways and the occasional curio. The Other section is for weird creatures that have walked out of the jungles and swamps of the New World. Players might expand some of these as they unlock, discover, and inspire new elements.

This will probably look terrible on mobile, so you can check out the original spreadsheet here.

First, roll to find your Origin. 

1 Old World
2 Colonist
3 Colony-Born
4 Native
5 Pirate
6 Other

Next you roll your individual backgrounds.
Old Worlders tend to be various social elites from across the ocean who are now stranded in the New World. Expect them to be stuffy, aristocratic, and completely unfit for life in the Colonies.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Noxious Noble Avoid Social Consequences 1/Day “Do you know who I am?” Severely Inbred, Constant snuffling. -2 to DEX for Stealth STR Box of Snuff Fancy Cane (M)
2 Chastened Chef 2 Bonus to all Cooking Checks Will only eat cooked foods DEX Bag of Salt Butcher’s Knife (L)
3 Lacklustre Lieutenant Impressive Mustache (or False Mustache ), +2 on all Reaction Rolls Save vs. Loud Noises CON Laudanum Calvary Sword (M)
4 Sullied Scientist 1-in-6 Chance of knowing applicable detail in any topic Save vs. Bright Light INT Rejected Publication  Human Skull (useless, I)
5 Prying Presbyter 1-in-6 chance to have relevant gossip on a character. 10% of all loot must be paid as tithes WIS Vestments Battered Holy Book (Useless ,I)
6 Fallen Fop Can shout and sing incredibly well Always Suprised CHA Powdered Wig Broken Hand Mirror (L,I)

Colonists are first generation folks from the Old World who have come to the New. Some came to make a new life for themselves and some were forced here by Old World authorities.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Debased Debtor Cannot be slowed by any effect -2 Movement and Stealth STR Shackles (on ankles) Mining Pick (H)
2 Squalid Sailor Can forcast weather within 24 hours with 4-in-6 Accuracy Terrible Rep. Hirelings cost double DEX Fishing Net Harpoon (M)
3 Foundering Farmer Consumes Half Rations Cursed, -2 Saves CON 3 Rations, wilted vegetables Hoe (Medium, I)
4 Miserly Merchant Always knows the approximate value of mundane items Must Save or pick up shiny objects INT Scale Gaudy Dagger (L)
5 Ecclesiastical Exile Shielded by Faith, +1 Def Heretical ideas, -2 on reaction rolls in civilization WIS Rosary Crosier (H, I)
6 Crass Criminal Happen to have 1 item worth less than 1 sp once per session Cannot tell the straight truth CHA Loaded Dice Brass Knuckles (L)

Colony-Born folks are second generation and beyond Colonists who have a little touch of the New World in them. They, for the most part, have figured out how to live in this weird new land.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Contrite Coppicer Treat Forest as Road, as long as you have a cutting implement Enmity of forest animals STR Bundle of Wood Billhook (Light)
2 Eccentric Esquire Starts with a 10 Morale Manservant, can replace for half-cost Fatigues at Double Rate DEX Tricorne Hat Rapier (M)
3 Braggart Brewer Cannot be sickened/poisoned/diseased by things drunk Save vs. Dares CON Pewter stein Mash Paddle (M, I)
4 Appalling Apothecary Identify poisons and medicines by taste Pervasive, unique stink INT Mortar and pestle Oversized Pestle (H, I)
5 Churlish Cheval Speak with Mineral Soul of anything 1/Day -4 to save vs. possession/disease WIS Bottle of Rum Guitar (Useless, I)
6 Urbane Urchin Can crawl through narrow spaces Save vs. Authority CHA Oversized coat Rusty shank (L, I)

Natives are folks for whom the New World has long been their only world. They know that the colonists are soft and too caught up in their urban ideologies and laws to ever really adapt to this ever changing place.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Brooding Brave Fearless Save to Back Down (combat, puzzles, arguements) STR Warpaint, 1 use Handaxe (M)
2 Grimy Gatherer Half time taken to forage Eternally dirty, leaves an obvious trail of dirty DEX 3 Ration, Assorted bush tucker Crude Knife (L)
3 Boorish Boatmaker Extremely buyoant Vulnerable to fire CON 50′ Hemp Rope Adze (M)
4 Intrepid Interpreter 50% of speaking any encountered language 25% of Grossly Misinterpreting new languages INT 2d6 Copper Pieces Club (L)
5 Boisterous Bokor 4 bonus to save vs. possession/disease Enmity of Spirits WIS 3′ rope of Tobacco Ceremonial Rattle/Asson (Light, I)
6 Haughty Hunter Always receives an Omen for Mundane Wandering Monsters Never receives an Omen for Supernatural Wandering Monsters CHA Field Dressing Knife Bow w/ 10 Arrows

Pirates are a motley bunch of Old World and New World individuals who have decided to make the most of their situation by living through the Three P’s: pillaging, plundering, and pirating.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Buffoonish Buccaneer Cannot be Surprised When afraid, Save or attack enemy STR 3 Coconuts Linstock (H)-
2 Coarse Corsair Vicious Taunting skills, Enemies have -2 on Morale Checks Save Vs. Fear at Half HP DEX White Flag Cutlass (M)
3 Mutant Mutineer Roll 4 Times on Biological Mutant Table, Choose 2 -4 to resist being mutated or transformed CON Small barrel of black powder Boarding Axe (M)
4 Prim Privateer When Dueling, +1 Damage Cannot turn down a duel INT Letter of marque (expired) Smallsword (L)
5 Pitiless Pirate Knows the location of a Significant Treasure Has only 1 hand, 1 eye, 1 leg WIS Spyglass, Eye patch, Wooden Leg Hook hand (L)
6 Reprehensible Rapscallion Uncanny Luck, +2 to all Saves Permanently Drunk, -2 Initiative CHA Broken Compass Broken Rum Bottle (L, I)

Other covers….weirder things. People who walked out into the New World and came back changed. Things that stepped out of the jungle one day to barter for sea shells. Beings that are almost human, but not quite close enough.

Background Advantage Disadvantage Reroll Starting Item Starting Weapon
1 Long Folk Can Wield Heavy Weapons one handed Can only speak in their own tongue STR Tinderbox Longaxe (H)
2 Masked One Can change your face once per day Can only express one emotion a day DEX Flute Chisel (L,I)
3 Demi-Troll Can regrow a body part once Consume twice as many rations CON Necklace of ears Claw Hammer (L)
4 Loa-touched Roll 4 Times on Supernatural Mutant Table, Choose 2 Haunted, No Fast Inventory INT Black Rooster Machete (M)
5 Blemmyes Bite (as dagger) Can’t wear armor on chest WIS Loincloth Spear (M)
6 Therianthrope Roll on Skerples Race table Hideous Brand Sharp Bloody Rock (L)

The Shore by Sebastian Leon-Silva

Finally you would choose from the available classes. Again, as Michael Bacon has inspired me to do, I believe there will be a few base classes then anything else will be unlocked. Fighter, Thief, and Garden Wizard are the current contenders for the base 3 and maybe Royal Aspirant or Root Doctor for the 1 additional more flavorful class.

Edit: After some discussions, I am thinking that there will be a few base classes and 1 flavorful class available per background grouping starting off with more made available through unlocks.

Liked it? Take a second to support TheLawfulNeutral on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.