Triolan Highwayman: A Background

Triolan Highwayman: A Background

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Triolan Highwayman

The Triolan corsairs are renowned throughout Midgard for their flamboyant ferocity and near monopoly on organized shipping and piracy throughout the (northern) Middle Sea. But the sea lanes and merchant armadas are not the only means to move goods and services to and from the rich trade centers of the great peninsula. Eager merchants still foolishly brave back roads and “shortcuts” to hurry their goods to Tolmezo, Melana, and Peltzheim. Likewise, the coastal roads to Raguza or west into Trombei are rich with petty nobles and their slackjawed coachmen, careless smugglers, and the occasional tax collector caught out after dark.

You, however, were no roadside robber or woodland brigand. You counted yourself among the storied (and the somewhat storied) Triolan highwaymen, many of whom are still recounted in tavern songs and bawdy, roadhouse limericks.

The “title” of highwayman is most often bestowed by the local populace or by regular association with a reputable highwayman. It denotes an individual (frequently a bastard of the gentry or a disgraced, rebellious, or disillusioned aristocrat) who has established a reputation (or a secret identity) for flair, finesse, and even fashion while exhibiting abhorrence for violence and bloodshed.

You are courteous, polite, and charming, and even in the face of death, your etiquette is impeccable. As a highwayman, you championed the liberties (resentments) of the peasantry, targeting only the rich and powerful: members of the merchant monopolies, corrupt officials, and decadent nobility, some of whom may have been peers or associates of yours at one time. Most highwaymen are rumored to support local causes and reforms or somehow give back to the region or the less privileged.

Triolan Highwayman (Variant Folk Hero)

Skill Proficiencies: Deception and choose 1 from Acrobatics, Athletics, Perception or Persuasion

Languages: Southern and Trade Tongues

Tool Proficiencies: A musical instrument of your choice, a gaming set of your choice, vehicle (land)

Equipment: A token or memento of a happier past, a set of traveler’s clothes, a (stolen?) riding horse (with saddle and tack), a leather belt-pouch containing 3 gp

Feature: Flattery, Footwork, and Flourish

With swirling cloak, flashing blade, and rapier wit, you taunt, tease, and vex your opponent. Whenever you take the attack action, wielding a one-handed, versatile weapon you are proficient with, all allies within 15 ft. who can see, hear, and understand your antics may add 1d4 to any attack rolls or saving throws that turn. This feature may be used once between long rests. Additionally, you are always considered proficient in Animal Handling when dealing with animals of an equine nature.

For the admiral’s tour of that scandalous and swashbuckling city-state Triolo (and their neighbors, peoples, powers, and politics), be sure to check out the Midgard Campaign Setting from Kobold Press. Or

6 thoughts on “Triolan Highwayman: A Background”

  1. Whoever wrote this background clearly don’t have a clear sense of what backgrounds are in 5th edition.

    Backgrounds always gives a combination of two languages and tools, while this backgroubd gives a total of 5.

    Also, background features are all always roleplay-wise and shall never give any combat benefits.

    Finally, where are the personality, ideal, bond and flaws charts that really make backgrounds alive?

    1. This is Midgard not 5th edition standard. There is no rule that says a back ground must contain “x” or “y” or can’t offer a small ability or saving throw. Further more personality Ideal and bond are more for folks who need help in figuring out how to role play their characters.

  2. Just bending some “rules” :-)
    Treating the original concept more like a set guidelines rather than a set of laws.

    “Campaign flavor” if you will; providing idea-seeds and a sense of Midgard’s wildly diverse, cultural landscape and creative potentialities .

    In regards to personality traits, ideals, etc.; this particular “background” is actually a “variant” of the ‘Outlander’ background (for which there is precedent,) therefore, the trait tables for the original ‘Outlander’ B.G. would be used.

  3. LoL; I am currently working on an ‘Outlander’ variant.
    Can you tell?

    Please feel free to insert “Folk Hero”, in lieu of “Outlander”, anywhere in the body of my comment above.

    …For shame!
    :-D

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