On 5e Backgrounds: Musician

If you're enjoying these free backgrounds, they will be collected in the first Hack & Slash collection, available in pay what you want .pdf/low-priced print at the end of August. If you are a Patreon of my blog when that happens you'll get at least 2 bonus backgrounds in a special version of the release at free .pdf/ at-cost print. The collection and blog posts this year exist because of my Patreon campaign.

You like to play music! Not necessarily sing-a and a dance-a. But you know how to play. You're good, really good. But you're much more than just highly skilled with a musical instrument.

Perhaps you are already quite famous. Or maybe your rise to stardom is just beginning.

Skill Proficiency: Wisdom (Insight); Charisma (Performance)
Tool Proficiency: Proficiency with any two instruments
Languages: Pick 1 bonus language
Equipment: Three instruments, One masterwork instrument. Traveler's clothes, Costume clothes. Backpack, Bedroll, 3 carafes of wine, 10 sheets Paper, inkpot and pen, Collapsible music stand.

Specialty: What type of instrument do you play? Pick or Roll
  1. Guitar
  2. Harpsicord
  3. Singer
  4. One man band (Harmonica, base drum on back, symbols, horn, etc.)
  5. Celestial Harp
  6. Didgeridoo
  7. Glass Armonica
  8. Dulcimer
  9. Gong
  10. Theremin
  11. Pyrophone Organ (fire organ)
  12. Lute

You are highly skilled at playing your instrument, doubling your proficiency bonus when you make a performance check where you play your musical instrument.

In addition, anyone who sees you play knows they are in the presence of someone special. You have fans who have heard your work, and you may be quite popular. You have at least one contact who coordinates your fan club, and another contact who acts as your agent. In addition, you can find a small handful of fans in any village or city who have heard of you and are excited to meet you.

Suggested Characteristics

You spend a lot of time practicing your musical instrument and this means you spend a lot of time thinking. You may be slow or very smart, but you understand people and their motivations regardless. You secretly relish an opportunity to play your instrument around people who haven't heard you, because you like the attention. Now that you've accomplished your goal of mastering an instrument, you aren't quite sure what your plans are, which has a large part to do with why you suddenly find yourself on an adventure.

d8 Personality

  1. I am a rock god!!!! WHOOO!!!
  2. I like to call my instrument. . . the panty/bloomer/boxer-brief dropper.
  3. I don't like to talk much, I let my music do my talking for me.
  4. I may be what you call good at my instrument, but I'm a long way from true mastery.
  5. I am very, very. . . high right now. 
  6. I'm good at playing, but I need more life experience before I can write songs that really touch people.
  7. It's probably a good idea for us to leave now before they find our trashed room and the mayor figures out where his daughters/sons spent the night.
  8. No, no, I'll teach you. We need someone to play drums. 

d6 Ideal

  1. Humor: You know what a bassist uses for birth control? His personality! (Unaligned)
  2. Mastery: I want to be the best. (Lawful)
  3. Rebellion: Music is the way to change hearts and minds. (Chaotic)
  4. Love: It speaks to the soul. (Good)
  5. Manipulation: Music and it's ability to affect people is power. (Evil)
  6. Greed: I will be the most famous musician ever! (Unaligned/Evil)

d6 Bond

  1. My instrument is very special
  2. I'm actually married and I'm just 'on tour'. 
  3. I have a small unusual pet that is into my jam.
  4. I travel with two or three of my bandmates.
  5. I just want to perform at the {name of large theater} and then I know I will have made it!
  6. I just want to get back to my roots and away from all the fame and attention.

d6 Flaw

  1. Drugs, man, drugs.
  2. The old lady man, she won't get off my back.
  3. My band members are thieves and won't stop taking stuff. 
  4. I'm a star, man. If you don't understand that, you don't understand anything. I can do whatever I want and no one can stop me.
  5. WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY GAVE ME RED CHERRIES!!! I WANTED 1 BLACK CHERRY FOR EVERY 2 RED ONES! They are all FIRED! I'll never play this stinking backwater again! *Smashes guitar* *Storms out*
  6. I'm mute except when I sing.

"Musician's either die young or grow old slowly."

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 Dexterity or Charisma

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

Hack & Slash Compendium I at RPGnow at Pay What You Want (Including 0$)!
Hack & Slash Compendium I at Lulu in affordable print! (4.99$)

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