Unplaytested #3 New Background: Born Under A Bad Sign

Before drawing your first breath in this life, you were marked by fate and forces far beyond your control. Maybe it was due to being born during an astronomical event, like an eclipse or the appearance of a strange celestial body burning its way across the sky. Perhaps your birth was the direct result of the machinations of some esoteric cult, striving toward an arcane goal known only to them. Or maybe your parents crossed an unseely fey that’s sworn vengeance on their entire bloodline. Whatever the reason may be, you have found that despite your best efforts, you’re just bad luck. And whether that luck affects you or those seeking to harm you seems to wax and wane along with some unseen tide. 

When you select this background, work with the GM to determine what “bad sign” you were born under that has affected your life up to this point. 

Skill Proficiencies: Choose two from among Arcana, History, Nature, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Alchemist Supplies, Calligrapher’s Supplies, or a gaming set of your choice

Languages: Abyssal, Celestial, or Sylvan

Equipment: A set of common clothes, a trinket that you’ve had for as long as you can remember, a small knife, a rabbit’s foot, a belt pouch, and 4 gp.

Feature: Stars Align

The circumstances of your birth have tied your fortune to whims outside of your understanding.

Every day at dawn, roll a d100. On a result of 1-50, if the D20 roll for an Attack that you make is a 20, treat it as a 1. On a result of 51-100, if the D20 roll for an Attack targeting you is a 20, treat it as a 1. This effect lasts until the next day at dawn when you roll for this feature again. 

d6 Personality Trait
1 I try to keep a low profile so people don’t blame me for things outside of my control. 
2 I get very nervous staying in one place for too long. 
3 It’s a relief to see someone else experience bad luck instead of me. 
4 I’m envious of people who seem to have everything always going their way. 
5 I celebrate every success to the fullest, because I never know when another will come. 
6 When things are going good, I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop. 


d6 Ideal
1 Destiny. Whether I like it or not, it’s obvious I’m meant for something more.
2 Revelation. I have to discover who or what has cursed me. 
3 Freedom. If I can’t change my luck no matter what I do, then I may as well do what I want.
4 Family. I’ve always been lonely and I would travel to the ends of the world to find people I can call my own. 
5 Catharsis. This lifestyle is the only way that I can find release. 
6 Purpose. I have to have to find out what it is I’m meant for. 


d6 Bond
1 I will find the source of my bad luck and find a way to destroy this curse. 
2 Every day when I wake up, I tell myself my luck will change and do my best to believe it. 
3 I’m dedicated to my friends and see them as the only good luck in my life.
4 I try to mitigate my bad fortune by strictly following superstitions. 
5 Life is too short, especially with luck like mine, so I live it to its fullest. 
6 It’s my solemn duty to protect others from the bad luck I bring with me. 


d6 Flaw
1 I use others as a scapegoat for things I think are my fault. 
2 I hate listening to the problems of others when I know my life is worse. 
3 I know I’m better than the people around me because the gods have chosen me to challenge. 
4 I’m terrified to try anything new or possibly dangerous. 
5 I take more than my share because I feel like I’m owed it. 
6 I resent my friends for not understanding my hardships. 

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Unplaytested is a free newsletter by Jess Pendley that features materials that aren’t canon to the current Underground Oracle Publishing materials or are still waiting their turn to become canon. Unplaytested also highlights other creators and projects in the ttrpg community as well as provides the latest news on the Underground Oracle Publishing events and releases.

All content created for this newsletter is the copyright of Jess Pendley under the Open Gaming License. The materials presented are available for personal use only.


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