On 5e Backgrounds: Smuggler

Sometimes people need things that aren't easy to get. You're the guy to make that happen, and if you make a little money on the side, who's the wiser?

Skill Proficiency: Dexterity (Slight of Hand); Charisma (Deception)
Tool Proficiency: Any land vehicle
Languages: Pick any three
Equipment: Traveler's Clothes, Weapon, light armor, Spyglass, Steel Mirror, Hand Crossbow, any one vehicle.

Specialty:  You may choose to specialize in smuggling a certain type of good. Roll or select from the following list.

  1. Religious materials.
  2. Drugs.
  3. Medicine (legal drugs).
  4. Endangered or Rare Animal Materials.
  5. Artifacts.
  6. Stolen Goods or Art
  7. Live Animals
  8. People


You know at least one contact in every city who you can contact when 3 days away by horse. You also choose to have one personal intimate relationship with someone in each city, though you must roll for their reaction on the following list when you contact them if you choose to do so. 1-4 hostile, 5 unhappy with you, 6 glad to see you.

Suggested Characteristics

There are lots of reasons why goods need smuggling and some of them are very good ones. Perhaps the governement is corrupt and destroying indigenous populations. Perhaps the laws are draconian and you believe in freedom.

Maybe it's just that the money is so good.

d8 Personality

  1. I always shoot first.
  2. Trusting people may not be much of a way to live, but it's a good way to not die.
  3. I get off on sneaking things right under peoples noses.
  4. I deserve more than I'm getting, so I make a little money on the side. It doesn't hurt anyone.
  5. I'm a totally normal, low key dude. I just also happen to move hundreds of thousands of gold pieces worth of goods through here every month. It's a living.
  6. Everything else in life is boring. The only excitement I get is from this type of work.
  7. If I'm going to do something, why not do something that impresses the ladies/boys?
  8. I'm driven to do this for the cause!

d6 Ideal

  1. Freedom: I like giving the law the middle finger. (Chaos)
  2. Cultural Relativism: This belongs in a MUSEUM! (Law)
  3. Humanitarian: I smuggle in food and medicine to reduce the suffering of these people. (Good)
  4. Greed: All I care about is a profit. I don't want any part in your rebellion. (Evil/Unaligned)
  5. Selflessness: I don't care if I get caught. Getting these goods through is what's important. (Good)
  6. Moral Relativism: All I did your honor, was take a plant from one place, to a different place, over an invisible line. (Unaligned)

d6 Bond

  1. My vehicle is very special. I won it in a card game.
  2. I am certainly not developing feelings for the person who hired me.
  3. The origin of my name is a secret, and I don't want to tell anyone that I was named after the dog. 
  4. Someone taught me everything I know and he isn't quite as spry as he used to be.
  5. I have a friend who's a bit of a buffoon, but he's always there for me.
  6. I'm partners with some unusual muscle.

d6 Flaw

  1. You have warrants out for your arrest in every major area.
  2. You don't own your land vehicle, it belongs to someone else.
  3. You owe a lot of money to a prominent crime family.
  4. There's more than one person that wants revenge against you for killing someone they care about.
  5. People constantly make inappropriate advances against you. It's not your fault and you have nothing to do with it.
  6. You have an odious personal habit. (smoking, dipping, picking nose, etc.)

OSR Package
Running a B/X game? Give these advantages instead of proficiency and features. You can alos give these bonuses if running a 5e game using 3d6 for character generation.
  • +1 Dex, +1 Cha

Like these backgrounds I wrote? I collected them in a Pay What You Want .pdf, and affordable hard copy!

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  1. Those suggested characteristics seem a little familiar...

  2. I made one too!



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