Alternate D&D Background: Teacher

You’ve grown up in a family that valued knowledge and its practical use. Fortunately, you also found a community that holds the same values, as they hired you (either through public funds or a wealthy patron) to educate the local children.

Your academic prowess is not as vast or as deep as the ocean, but you know more than the average adolescent and you’ve never stopped learning, so you get by.

Skill Proficiencies: History or Insight, and Persuasion or Performance
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A book of local history, a small slate, 5 pieces of chalk, a set of traveling clothes, a set of formal clothes, a ruler or yardstick, a pouch containing 10gp

 

Urban Dragons

D&D has Chromatic and Metallic dragons, and they work quite well. What if, however, there was a third category? One that came about since the dawn of civilization, and included dragons that took on some of those aspects for themselves? Here are three examples.

Paper Dragon

  • Color: White, turning yellowish as it ages
  • Breath Weapon: Cone of small, fibrous slivers that do double damage to unarmored areas
  • Alignment: Any Lawful
  • Quirk: Likes to build its lair in monasteries, universities, etc. – often ¬†forming a partnership with the administration of those buildings. After all, a dragon knows the location of every item in its treasure hoard, and card catalogs can get unwieldy as a collection grows…
  • Preferred Treasure: Knowledge – books, scrolls, etc.

Coal Dragon

  • Color: Matte black
  • Breath Weapon: Cloud of black dust that can asphyxiate victims, but is also extremely flammable to the point where any spark or ember will ignite it into a fireball
  • Alignment: Any Chaotic
  • Quirk: Preferred lairs are mines, ideally ones that have abundant coal seams. Enjoys everything about metalworking, to the point where some Coal Dragons have been known to kidnap blacksmiths and force them to work in their lairs, the large beasts slowly falling asleep to the sound of hammer on anvil.
  • Preferred Treasure: Any metalwork that shows great skill or effort, especially larger mechanical contraptions

Sewer Dragon (Come on, you knew this would end up here.)

  • Color: Various shades of browns, with specks of green appearing as it ages.
  • Breath Weapon: Stinking Cloud, as per the spell
  • Alignment: Any Good
  • Quirk: One would think sewer life would lead to a sour disposition, but a Sewer Dragon’s sinuous body and immunity to disease and odors makes it ideal for this environment. Some Sewer Dragons have been known to train rats to seek out discarded items.
  • Preferred Treasure: Jewelry of any kind, though gold rings are ideal

Malfunctioning Magical Items

Just in case your D&D/Pathfinder game needs a little levity:

  • Helm of Teleportation
    Acts like a normal Helm of Teleportation, but ONLY the helm teleports. The player stays behind. When attuning to the helm, language used should avoid pointing this out without actually lying about the helm’s ability to teleport.
  • Deck of Just One Thing
    Appears to be a Deck of Many Things, but every card drawn awards the player with an additional Deck of Just One Thing. They cannot draw cards from the new decks as they are identical in every way to the deck from which they drew.
  • Sleeping Bag of Holding
    At a random time during use, and until dawn, this sleeping bag constricts in such a way as to make the player feel like someone is in the bag with them and hugging them as they fall asleep. This can actually be quite comforting, unless you weren’t expecting it.
  • Carpet of Flights of Fancy
    Anyone using this carpet will feel and act like it is in fact a flying carpet. The best, flying carpet, in fact. Never has the player flown so fast, with such great maneuverability. Why, they can even do a barrel roll. In reality, they will be sitting on the carpet wherever they placed it while onlookers wonder if a high level cleric should be brought in.
  • Goggles of Night
    Traditional Goggles of Night give darkvision up to 60 feet. THESE goggles make it look like it’s midnight, though characters who have darkvision may use that ability when wearing these goggles in well lit areas.

Lesser Villain Weaknesses

In case the chart on page 96 of the DMG is too serious…
1. Seasonal allergies
2. Gives up evil ways if hugged
3. Immune to magical weapons, mundane ones do 2x damage
4. Dangling participles deal 2d8 damage
5. Can be defeated by democratic vote
6. Unable to resist or win dance competitions
7. Homeopathy (Take a sword, put it in water…)
8. Pictures of cats

Official D&D Character Sheets? Yes, please!

(I usually assume that if you’re into Dungeons & Dragons you already know about the cool things on their official website, but last I checked this was a little buried so I figured it was worth pointing out.)
In recent years, the good folk behind D&D have made a LOT of their material freely available. Turns out, this also includes 5th edition character sheets.

The neat thing about this article on their website is that it doesn’t JUST have blank, printable generic sheets. It also has a PDF with editable forms, which is great for people like me who have less than stellar handwriting, AS WELL AS pre-generated characters. Each character on the site also includes multiple levels, so if you need to quickly add an orc paladin to the party it doesn’t matter if it needs to be level 1 or level 10 – there’s a sheet ready for you.

Download them all here.