On 5e Backgrounds: Dock Worker

A background, per a Patreon request!

Dock Worker
You load an unload ship's cargo. Anyone asks you about anything else, you don't know nothing. Though you've seen a sight or two in your time.
Skill Proficiency: Gain proficiency in Strength (Athletics) and Intelligence (History)
Languages: Gain two additional languages.
Equipment: Crowbar, Overalls, Hat, Knife, Beer Bottle, Longshoreman's hook. Swole Muscles.

You prefer to be called:
  1. A Stevedore
  2. Longshoreman
  3. Docker
  4. Dock Laborer
  5. Wharfie
  6. Wharf Rat

People think loading and unloading ships is easy? It aint! You got to know how to operate loading equipment, techniques for how to lift and stow the goods, working with dangerous arcane mechanisms, and have to be strong and able to follow orders to boot!

You are able to supervise any team of laborers to reduce the amount of time a task of physical labor (digging ditches, setting up camp) by 10%, or can load a vehicle in such a way that it can hold 10% more cargo/weight safely.

You are also proficient in rope use and knotwork.

Suggested Characteristics

Dockworkers make the world go round.
What are you like?

d6 Personality
  1. You like to be busy, keep your hands busy, have something to do. Don't like waiting much.
  2. You need the money, but the best days were when you showed up standing on the shores waiting for work, and you didn't find none. Adventuring and the pursuit of avoiding labor suits you just fine.
  3. You're strong. Not much call for that. 'Cept in loading ships and bashing heads.
  4. It's like a puzzle, loading a ship. Adventuring is full of puzzles like that, only more exciting.
  5. Just a simple country boy, who one day got on a ship and when from longshoreman to adventurer
  6. You're not much of a leader, you like working as part of a well-oiled team

d4 Ideal
  1. Hard Working: Doing more than your fair share is fair. (Lawful)
  2. Greed: Working at the docs grants the opportunity for personal advancement. (Chaotic)
  3. Adventure: You loved hearing the stories of the sailors, now you live them. (Neutral)
  4. Self-Reliance: The team depends on you, you don't make the team support you. (Lawful)
d6 Bond
  1. You have a wife and six daughters at home. Longshoremen have good hours.
  2. Your best friend was a longshoreman and you worked with him for years.
  3. You might have made allies with more than one dog/rat/weasel that works down at the docks.
  4. You've got a secret or two about ship captains that nobody knows you know, you think.
  5. You've been sending letters back and forth over the ocean for years now, you think it's probably time to finish.
  6. You've taken the occasional job aboard a ship, and you have a girl in not quite every port.
d6 Flaw
  1. Your vocabulary is somewhat limited.
  2. Trick knee.
  3. Being in love with your muscles isn't a crime.
  4. You refer to yourself in the third person. (Trust me, it's a flaw).
  5. Look, it's only a problem if you're addicted, besides you can stop at any time. It's not like it's hard to get. (looks at ships on dock).
  6. Unfortunately the loan didn't quite work out. Now you owe the thieves guild some money. Well. A lot of money
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.

  • Stevedore: +2 Strength, -1 Charisma, Gain 2 extra languages

  • Hack & Slash 
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    1 comment:

    1. Now that is what a background ought to be. I love seeing mundane backgrounds like this especially for Fighter and Rogue types. Honestly with a few tweaks a "very low" magic 5e game maybe with level caps for hit points would be great and your backgrounds would fit perfectly.


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