A character’s background represents the skills that character has acquired in the course of his life so far. Backgrounds can represent past jobs, childhood dreams, hobbies or programming.

At character creation, a player can choose up to three backgrounds, or no background, to apply to his or her character. Players can design new backgrounds for their heroes based on the ones here. The important part is that backgrounds only affect skills and are only ever a zero-sum, with all bonuses equalized by penalties.

When picking backgrounds, bear in mind that nothing can ever raise one’s skill level beyond 100 or below 0. If a background would cause you to exceed those limits, any bonus or penalty in excess is ignored.

You were born in space or have lived in space for a long time. +10 Pilot, -10 Operate Ground Craft.

You are great at pounding the pavement, but flying scares you. +10 Operate Ground Craft, -10 Pilot.

You have trained in the art of crafting things. +10 to any one Craft skill, -10 Reaction.

You are skilled in using electronics to create solutions to practical problems, but your blunt no-nonsense attitude makes you a bad actor. +10 Use Electronics, -10 Bluff.

You are trained in performance and are thus skilled in disguises and deception. +10 Bluffing, -10 Awareness.

You have been through boot camp meant for infantry and have been psychologically and physically toughened, and taught discipline. They didn’t teach you anything about vehicles, though. +10 Resilience, +10 Athletics, -10 Pilot, -10 Use Ground Craft.

You are an expert in computers, electronic warfare, and more mundane computer programming tasks. +10 to Knowledge (Electronics) and Use Electronics, -10 to Networking and Awareness.

You make a living by making deals with a variety of clients in a non-violent way. +10 to Persuasion and Networking, -10 to Aiming and Striking.

You have been trained in sharpshooting at the expense of close-quarters techniques. +10 Aiming, -10 Striking.

You are a solitary sort who is used to relying on no one. +10 Survival, +10 Resilience, -10 Networking, -10 to all Knowledges.

You have training in living with minimal technological assistance in wild, untamed realms. +10 Survival, -10 Use Electronics.

You are a specialist in field medicine, but your training skipped advanced surgery. +10 Medicine, -10 Surgery.

You are skilled in the complex job of using high-tech medical equipment, but you are not a first-responder. +10 Surgery, -10 Medicine.

You have spent a long time in academia. +10 to any one Knowledge, -10 to Athletics.

You have spent years doing things others would find crazy and dangerous. +10 Resilience, +10 Reaction, -10 Stealth, -10 to all Craft skills.

You prefer to fight up close than at range. +10 Striking, -10 Aiming.

You were brought up to mingle and charm. +10 Networking, +10 Persuasion, -10 Resilience, -10 Survival.

You are well-trained in operating all sorts of vehicles. +10 Pilot, +10 Operate Ground Craft, -10 all Knowledges, -10 to Surgery.

You speak loudly and carry a big stick. +10 to Striking, -10 to Stealth.

You’ve been trained to physically protect people and keep your mouth shut. +10 Reaction, -10 Persuasion.

Your talent lies in finding things out, from people and from the environment. +10 Networking, +10 Awareness, -10 Survival, -10 Medicine.

For some reason, you keep ending up in lines of work involving firearms. +10 to Aiming and Craft (Guns), -10 to Bluffing and Survival.

In school, you were at sports practice when other kids were studying. +10 Athletics, -10 to all Knowledges.

Martial Artist
You have been trained in close-quarters combat over other forms of engagement. +10 Striking, +10 Dodging, -10 Aiming, -10 Operate Ground Craft.

You are skilled at sneaking and are superbly fit, but you rely on those skills more than technology. +10 Stealth, +10 Athletics, -10 Use Electronics, -10 Surgery.

You are fast and lethal in ranged duels, but you’ve got a glass jaw and you’d better hope your target doesn’t shoot back. +10 Reaction, +10 Aiming, -10 Resilience, -10 Dodge.

You are great at talking your way out of and into trouble, but you talk the talk and can’t walk the walk. +10 Persuasion, +10 Bluffing, -10 Aiming, -10 Striking.

You rely on your naturally sharp reflexes over anything crafted. +10 Reaction, +10 Awareness, -10 to all Craft and Knowledges.

You are awkward but brilliant at helping the injured. +10 Medicine, +10 Surgery, -10 Networking, -10 Dodging.

You’re good at predicting and avoiding danger, and bad at causing anyone else harm. +10 Reaction, +10 Dodge, -10 Striking, -10 Aiming.

You are good at stalking things and surviving in the wild. +10 Survival, +10 Stealth, -10 Pilot, -10 Operate Ground Craft.


Fifth Sun DeadeyeDave