Legends - Backgrounds
The following Background are common for Legends of the Realm:
Lifetime Training, Prestigious Family Name, Fabulous Wealth, Wondrous Artifact,
• An Untrained background is the default – no special social advantages.
• A Trained trait put into backgrounds gives you a Minor Advantage background.
• An Expert trait put into backgrounds gives you a Moderate Advantage background.
• An Elite trait put into backgrounds gives you a Major Advantage background.
• A Legendary trait put into backgrounds gives you a Legendary Advantage background.
Not all backgrounds are available at all four levels.
Advantage Level: Major or Legendary.
The Lifetime Training represents a broad base of skills learnt under the auspices of a single career before you became a Legendary individual. For example, if you grew up in a plateau monastery learning martial arts, you might have the background Lifetime Training - Martial Artist. You can only take a maximum of one Lifetime Training background, for obvious reasons. Don’t feel that you have to take a Lifetime Training background to fit the described background. These are fairly generic packages, and you may prefer to your character to be more specialised, taking skills individually instead.
The below packages are some examples, players may want to design their own.
- Lifetime Training - Weaponmaster: A Weaponmaster prefers versatility to specialisation, and has spent his life training a little in every weapon he can get his hands on. From longswords and longbows to boomerangs and bolas, if you can fight with it the Weaponmaster has trained a little with it. If you have this Advantage you count as being Expert (4+) at any and all weapons. Even if you have never encountered a weapon before, your grasp of basic principles means that within an hour or so of practice you’ll be able to use them as if Trained.
If taken as a Legendary Advantage then these skills count as Elite (3+) instead.
- Lifetime Training – Martial Artist: A Martial Artist has studied mental, physical and spiritual discipline since birth. If you have this Advantage you count as being Expert (4+) in three fighting abilities (e.g. swordsman, pole fighter, etc.) one of which must be unarmed combat. You also count as being Expert (4+) in Meditation, Acrobatics and Athletics. If taken as a Legendary Advantage then these skills count as being Elite instead.
- Lifetime Training – Sage: A Sage values knowledge above all else, and has picked up vast amounts of knowledge outside of his own speciality through general study and good education. If you have this Advantage you count as being Expert (4+) in any knowledge check that could conceivably have been improved through broad study in the Realm(academics, history, occult, etc.). This does not allow you access to knowledge that is non-existent in the realm (e.g. genetics, nuclear physics), nor does it give you access to practical skills (e.g. carpentry, woodworking) or magic. A Sage character will also generally spend some of his other traits on his areas of specialist expertise.If taken as a Legendary Advantage then these skills count as Expert (3+) instead.
- Lifetime Training - Outdoorsman: An Outdoorsman has spent time in the wild since childhood, and gained a breadth of skills that come with experience. If you have this Advantage you count as being Expert (4+) at any skills relating to surviving Outdoors – e.g. Survival, Orienteering, Construction, Food Preparation, Fletching. These skills tend to be quite practical, though some are knowledge based, e.g. Herbalism, Zoology, Navigation. Combat skills are not included, and the bonus does not apply to combat related or non-survival related activity. If taken as a Legendary Advantage then these skills count as Elite (3+) instead.
PRESTIGIOUS FAMILY NAME
Advantage Level: Minor, Moderate or Major.
As described in the earlier character generation section on names, most people do not have family names.
No Advantage: If you don’t take this Advantage you can still give your character a family name if you like, but you’ll be “faking it”. Members of actual Realm families may take offence at this, and anyone who knows that you are doing this will look upon you as untrustworthy and a poseur.
Minor Advantage: You are a member of a valid and respected but lesser known family. Likely only locals to your Domain and those who study heraldry and noble bloodlines will know of your family. Nonetheless your family name is written into the Records in the Imperial Palace, and you have certain statuses and rights not afforded to lesser named individuals.
Moderate Advantage: You are a member of old and powerful family – one of the so called Houses Major. Almost everybody will have heard of your family.
Major Advantage: Your family name is Eserian, and you are a relative by blood (or marriage-to-blood) to the Emperor himself.
Advantage Level: Minor, Moderate or Major.
The Legends game is a game of epic heroism, so keeping track of every copper piece is not necessary. This background represents wealth well beyond the norm. This needs to be justified – is the wealth a dragonhoard that you won in your first legendary deed, or is it the product of a carefully built merchant empire?
No Advantage: If you don’t take this Advantage you can be anything from a penniless beggar to a fairly wealthy merchant.
Minor Advantage: You are considered fabulously rich by the vast majority, and are one of the major financial movers and shakers in your realm of origin. You likely own a sizeable portion of land, and maybe a castle and town as well.
Moderate Advantage: Your wealth is on a par with kings rather than nobles. While they might consider buying a stable of horses, you consider financing a battalion or two of heavy cavalry. Of course, there’s more to this than just having money, but at least you have the funds to consider it.
Major Advantage: Though there are some things that money can’t buy, everything else is available to you…You could finance the construction of merchant fleets, buy the slave labour to build pyramids and still have enough left over to fill them with riches and treasures.
Advantage Level: Minor, Moderate, Major or Legendary.
Magic items are rare in the Realm. Most hero-swordsmen have no enchantment on their blade, and even the pettiest magic item has a name and a history. Only Legends forge magic items, and for the most part only Legends wield them.
Minor Advantage: The Artifact has a single functional magic power that is minor in effect. For example a longbow may be enchanted so that it can fire twice as far, or a sword may be made so that it shines as brightly as a lantern when a command word is given.
Moderate Advantage: The Artifact has a single significantly useful power, that gives concrete advantage. For example, a scythe could be enchanted so that it deals 2 wounds per success instead of 1, or a cloak could be enchanted so that it renders the user immune to flames.
Major Advantage: The Artifact has a single strong power with a powerful magic bound into it. For example, a ring of power could render the user invisible, while a blessed mithril shirt might be as tough as full plate armour but as light and unencumbering as cotton.
Legendary Advantage: The Artifact has a truly legendary power. For example, an executioners axe could have death-magics upon it so powerful that it kills any living being with the merest scratch. A worn amulet could render the wearer immune to all metal weapons.
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