Songs by the Hearth
New Background Options
Whether or not you were formally trained, mechanical things come second nature to you. When the moving, physical bits and inner workings of devices break down or malfunction, you’re called to do the repairs.
You’re familiar with the makes and the models of perhaps dozens of different devices, and carry with you tools to do most types of mundane repairs. Your skills do not go as far as smithing new parts, nor are you trained in enchanting or imbuing mundane things with magic, but you are excellent at keeping things running.
Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Persuation
Tool Proficiencies: Tinker’s Tools, one type of artisan’s tools
Equipment: Tinker’s tools, a supply of mundane parts (kept with your tools), a bill of sale for a number of tools, welding goggles, and a belt pouch containing 10 silver.
Feature: Trade Ring
Among the streets of the bustling marketplace, you have a small network of vendors from whom you can purchase almost any mechanical component, even illegal ones, and often at a marginal discount. This networks consists of a tight-knit group of experts and hobbyists, allied in both common interest and trade. Your merchants would never sell you out; so neither should you.
Mechanics spend so much time working on machines, their minds often work quite mechanically. Dedicated mechanics find a great deal of enjoyment in experimenting with and constructing small projects as fits their fancy.
|1||I compulsively use long words and jargon, even when inappropriate.|
|2||I am constantly covered in oily splotches and grease. I do not know the definition of formal-wear.|
|3||I never leave home without at least one complete toolkit.|
|4||When I start working on a machine, I whistle the same (incredibly annoying) tune.|
|5||When I buy something, I take it apart to understand how it works and try to put it back together.|
|6||I love a good riddle, but I’m rubbish at understanding jokes.|
|7||I’m fascinated by ancient machines and traps. I copy these designs into my notebook.|
|8||I always have a good anecdote abou tmy dwarven uncle (even if I’m not a dwarf).|
|1||Innovation. Elegant solutions are a thing of beauty (Lawful)|
|2||Workmanship. A man’s worth can be judged by his skill (Neutral)|
|3||Experimentation. I believe in discovery for discovery’s sake. (Neutral)|
|4||Progress. The way forward lies through advancing technology. (Good)|
|5||Greed. I’m only in it for the money. (Evil)|
|6||Aspiration. I work hard to be the best there is at my craft. (Any)|
|1||I am constantly working on a project for someone. It’s ambitious, and maybe a little crazy, but I’m constantly shopping around for the parts to make it work.|
|2||Working on an airship is a life goal.|
|3||I possess the diagram of an ancient device, devised by a civilization long past, and I seek to discover its purpose.|
|4||I want to accrue enough wealth that I can open my own machine shop.|
|5||I owe a great debt to a wealthy noble family due to an accident involving a construct I repaired.|
|6||I seek immortality by menas of a new construct body.|
|1||Frustration over a broken machine or a tough to solve problem tends to provoke my explosive temper.|
|2||I have trouble breaking information down to make it understandable for other people.|
|3||When I design a new nonlethal trap, I tend to try it out on my companions.|
|4||A bad experience has left me with a crippling fear of very small constructs.|
|5||I am paranoid of constructs rising up and taking over the world.|
|6||I horde broken and/or damaged tech components in the hopes that they’ll one day be useful.|
You have spent a number of years teaching in the highest level of academia. Whether you were teaching the science of engineering lightning rails, the art of crafting spells, or just teaching gym class, you lived a comfortable, and likely intellectual, life.
You can speak at length on your chosen subject, but you may lack common sense in other areas.
Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, History
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A bottle of black ink, a quill, a small knife, a letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 sp.
|d6||Why I left the University|
|1||I haven’t; I’m on sabbatical, researching in the field.|
|2||I haven’t; classes have been suspended following a disaster at the University that left part of the campus in ruin.|
|3||I resigned following a deep personal tragedy.|
|4||I resigned in disgrace over a scandal with a student.|
|5||I was fired when a rival stole my research and claimed it for himself.|
|6||I was forced into retirement due to old age.|
Feature: Collegiate Connection
You have at least one professional connection within the University. Whether this individual was formerly your student, a fellow professor, or the headmaster himself, he or she can provide insight and information into the University, along with a safe place to retire for up to a month, provided that you concede to handling much of their menial paper.
Professors are defined by their scholar pursuits and their connection with the University. This position is lofty, granting resources to aid in research, but is also isolating. Processors are likely to be erudite, with a number of strange quirks.
|1||I know the name of every famous wizard, king, and engineer of the last hundred years.|
|2||I am aloof, and spend much of my time with my face buried in a good book.|
|3||I constantly misplace my small personal possessions. My friends never dare lend me things.|
|4||I can’t see my hand in front of me without my spectacles.|
|5||Don’t even ask about borrowing my books or scrolls. They’re mine.|
|6||No matter where I end up, the first place I locate is the library.|
|7||I am horribly, horribly awkward in social situations.|
|8||Forbidden knowlege mesmerizes me.|
|1||Knowledge. The path to a better world comes through learning the truth in all things. (Neutral)|
|2||Excellence. I seek perfection in all things. (Lawful)|
|3||Education. No one should be barred from pursuits of the mind. (Good)|
|4||Power. The University’s influence is power. (Evil)|
|5||Rediscovery. Recovering forgotten knowledge is a noble pursuit. (Neutral)|
|6||Success. Sometimes getting to the top requires stepping on a few people. (Evil)|
|1||I seek an ancient scroll that might illuminate a secret that has perplexed me for decades.|
|2||I seek to make discoveries so profound, I am rocketed to the position of headmaster at the University.|
|3||One of my siblings has left a blight on my otherwise unblemished family name. I seek to sort ut of the truth in this matter.|
|4||Someone had been publishing books and papers under myh name, directly undermining my research. I must find this person and restore the integrity of my research.|
|5||I’ve compiled a list of places and things, which I’ve only read about, to see in the real world.|
|6||I have a pet theory that I intend to try out in the real world.|
|1||I am often so engrosed in thought that I don’t hear what others are saying around me.|
|2||I am often condescending to less-educated people, which includes practically everyone.|
|3||I’m convinced of the superiority of my chosen subject, compared to other subjects within the same field.|
|4||I am quite careless with money, and am often in debt.|
|5||I have a number of nervous compulsions and tics, which come out in times of stress.|
|6||I have a habit, I’m insistent it’s not an addiction) to a smoking herb.|