On 5e Backgrounds: Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
You once lived a life that is now gone. Through sorcery, magic, or chance everyone you once knew is dead and you live in a long distant time.

Skill Proficiency: Dexterity (Acrobatics); Intelligence (History);
Tool Proficiency: Select any two tools
Languages: Select any one old or ancient language
Equipment: Costume Clothes (any archaic people/uniform), Any weapon, Any light armor, Hunting trap. Torches, Steel mirror.

Specialty: There are lots of reasons you could be pulled out of time. Roll randomly, or choose one from the following list.

  1. You were turned into stone, and recently revivified with a stone to flesh spell.
  2. You were imprisoned by a powerful wizard and the enchantment was recently broken.
  3. You were adrift, unconscious, in the astral plane for many years and were rescued by a band of githyanki pirates who were going to sell you until they crashed in a battle with a blue dragon. You escaped alive.
  4. Sleeping curse. Wouldn't you know it?
  5. Frozen in the ice.
  6. Entered a portal and it transported you through time. 
  7. You're actually a dimensional traveler and are trapped here. This dimension is like yours but different.
  8. Sent through time by a chronomancer. It was for a reason, though when you arrived you had no recollection of what that was. 
  9. You weren't magically transported. You spent the whole time in prison.
  10. You were abducted by aliens.


A group or person found you, and you recognize the spirit of your time in them. They are your friend and have provided you with support. You may travel with them or work for them. There is one person in particular who you trust, even if the people around them are suspect.

There is also a strong possibility you are not the only one to be out of time. Perhaps a companion or an old enemy who knows secrets long forgotten by those people in the modern age.

Suggested Characteristics

You don't understand a lot of unfamiliar things. Perhaps races, language, and customs are all strange. But you are no stranger to human nature. People are always the same. Being from the past doesn't make you stupid. You also carry the burden of everyone you ever knew being gone or drastically changed from when you knew them. It is very likely you may have amnesia of one kind or another.

d8 Personality

  1. I am this way because I volunteered. The reasons I did so are just as true today as they were then!
  2. I hate everything the way it is now. By leaving I've disgraced or lost everything that was important to me. 
  3. Everything is so different here, you have no frame of reference for anything. Your home culture was radically different from what you experience.
  4. Everything in your day was golden and you love to tell people about it!
  5. I'm young enough that I'm loving being in the future.
  6. I'm just a normal guy thrust into an extraordinary experience.
  7. Why is this happening to me!
  8. I have no idea what the future or my life holds, but I will meet it with a level head.

d6 Ideal

  1. Duty: My goal has not changed. (Lawful)
  2. Honor: I struggle to do what is right, no matter the time. (Good)
  3. Loss: Everything is different, so it doesn't matter what I do! I'm truly free. (Chaos)
  4. Revenge: All that matters is making whoever did this to me pay. (Evil)
  5. Discovery: I will figure out how the three seashells work! (Unaligned)
  6. Escape: I just want to extract myself from whatever I've gotten into and live the rest of my life in peace. (Unaligned)
d6 Bond

  1. You just really want to get your old stuff back.
  2. You hung out with some marginalized group because you blended in. It wouldn't be right if anything happened to them.
  3. You have an enemy that you still seek to destroy. (Meet Jack Deth . He's a Cop From The Future Trapped in the Present, and he's chasing a 23rd century menace in 1985.)
  4. You were experimented on by aliens. Either they, or a robot servant of theirs is your friend.
  5. Something that existed in the past exists now, and it is your focus. Either you must protect it or serve it. Perhaps it is a creature, a god, or just the symbol or earthly representation of such a thing.
  6. You founded an order and discover the current incarnation of such an order to have drifted so far from it's original purpose, that it nearly serves what it was founded to combat.

d6 Flaw

  1. What no one knows is that I traveled through time intentionally, because I was a screw-up where I was from.
  2. The future is so radically different that you are suffering from one or several mental illnesses (Anxiety, Depression, etc.)
  3. You frequently misunderstand what people say.
  4. Whatever happened to send you through time was a punishment. If anyone knew what you did, they would say you got off easy.
  5. You are overcome by apathy and don't have anything to care for in this new and strange world. (Note: This requires the DM to have some activity or force that drives you towards other characters that you go along with in spite of your apathy.)
  6. A different government is in power then when you left. You were a hero for the vanquished rulers.

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

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

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  1. this is awsome, rly nice job! dont stop making more of these! ps: do u think u could create a servant/valet? :-)

  2. I really like this one. The only thing I don't like is the feature. It feels really bland for a really cool concept. Would be interesting if the feature was something you managed to remember or recover from your past life, like your old home that's now a secret grotto or an emblem that proves your ancient heritage, affecting how people react to you.

  3. I enjoyed this so much that I've tweaked it for my own campaign - original credited of course!


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