Character Backgrounds, or histories, are character traits that are chosen at character creation. These traits give bonuses to one aspect of the player's character while penalizing another. These are not the same as Background Traits, which are chosen as a possible feat at level one (in lieu of some other feat).

In the official campaign characters in the player's home village will react to the character backgrounds - sometimes favorably, sometimes not. In particular the Troublemaker feat causes the player to miss out on a number of low level free items near the beginning of the game.


  • None: "You do not have a significant background trait."
  • Appraiser: "Your sharp eye makes you the bane of snake-oil salesmen and second-rate merchants the Realms over: within seconds you can identify fakes, point out faults, and estimate dates of construction. All this attention to detail makes you a bit preoccupied, however, and at times puts you in danger of missing the bigger picture."
  • Bully: "Whether through size, confidence, or a sinister appearance, you've always been able to provoke people into doing what you want. When things went wrong, you were tough enough to give as good as you got. Your fearsome presence often lends an unpleasant edge to even friendly conversations."
  • Confidant: "You know precisely how to get people to trust you – unfortunately, that same veneer of trustworthiness makes it hard for people to believe any threats."
  • Devout: "You have always had strong faith and it's obvious to everyone around you. Your beliefs give you great mental strength, but you can be stubborn and hot-headed in conversations."
    • Prerequisite: Wisdom 10+
    • Effects: +1 Will Save, +1 Concentration, -1 Diplomacy, -1 Bluff
  • Farmer: "Growing up on a farm taught you the ways of the land and watching over fields gave you keen eyes. Long workdays didn't leave much time for fancy learning."
    • Prerequisite: None
    • Effects: +1 Survival, +1 Spot, -2 Lore.
  • Flirt / Ladies' Man: "More than just an attractive face, you knew how to listen and talk in a way that many found very appealing. Unfortunately, you're so soft around the edges that no one takes you seriously when you try to act tough."
    • Prerequisite: Charisma 12+
    • Effects: +1 Listen, +1 Diplomacy, -2 Intimidate
  • Foreigner: "You’re not from the Neverwinter area originally, but your knowledge of the outside world comes in handy."
    • Prerequisite: None
    • Effects: +1 Lore, -1 Diplomacy.
  • Militia: "Strict training in the militia gave you excellent discipline, but your spirit was broken as you were forced to rise, march, and fight at the command of superiors."
  • Natural Leader: "You were always watching out for others and trying to help them do their best. Your tendency to always keep an eye on everyone else causes you to neglect your own safety at times."
    • Prerequisite: Charisma 10+
    • Effects: +1 to companions' attack rolls, -1 to your saving throws
  • Savvy: ""You know how to make people say “yes” – but sometimes that makes you bad at saying “no.”"
    • Prerequisite: Charisma 10+, Wisdom 9 or less
    • Effects: +1 Diplomacy, -1 Will Saving Throws.
  • Survivor: "Though you lost many you loved in the chaos, you managed to survive the wasting influence of the King of Shadows and his minions. Your senses are keener as a result, but your body has suffered trauma that it hasn’t fully recovered from."
    • Prerequisite: Wisdom 10+, Constitution 9 or less
    • Effects: +1 Search, +1 Spot, +1 Survival, -2 Fortitude Saving Throws
  • Tale Teller: "From a young age, you learned that you could command attention and friendship with your tall tales. You become so wrapped up in your imagination that sometimes it's hard to focus on other matters."
    • Prerequisite: Charisma 10+
    • Effects: +1 Lore, +1 Bluff, -2 Concentration
  • Talent: "You’re a shameless show-boater, and you know it. If there’s a way to get attention, you can’t help yourself - you’re compelled to follow it. Unfortunately, this makes you more than a little susceptible to dirty tricks."
    • Prerequisite: Bard
    • Effects: +1 Perform, -1 Will Saving Throws.
  • Troublemaker: "Boredom or malice led you to play a variety of tricks on people and consequently get into trouble. Curiosity always got the best of you, and you had difficulty resisting temptation."
    • Prerequisite: Dexterity 10+
    • Effects: +1 Reflex Save, +1 Set trap, +1 Sleight of Hand, -2 Will Save
  • Veteran: "You fought against the armies of the King of Shadows. You’re tougher, but the experience has made you more jaded than usual."
    • Prerequisite: Constitution 10+
    • Effects: +1 Fortitude Save, -1 Diplomacy.
  • Wild Child: "In your youth, you were a free spirit, often left to wander and explore on your own. Your limited contact with others has left you unaware of the accepted value or significance of many things."
    • Prerequisite: Dexterity 10+
    • Effects: +1 Survival, +1 Tumble, +1 Hide, +1 Move Silently, -2 Lore, -2 Appraise
  • Wizard's Apprentice: "Long hours spent training with a wizard taught you many esoteric secrets, but your powers of observation and resistance to the everyday plagues of the world suffered."
    • Prerequisite: Sorcerer, Wizard, or Bard class
    • Effects: +1 Spellcraft, +1 Lore, +1 Craft Alchemy, -1 Fortitude Save, -1 Spot

Bonus Backgrounds[]

In the official campaign the player can also have bonus character background if the game was a preorder or limited edition version; these backgrounds are added automatically upon character creation.

  • Blessed of Waukeen (limited edition): "Blessed by Waukeen, the deity of coins and wealth, you have a soft golden halo above your head."
    • Effects: +1 bonus to all saving throws, special ability to invoke the "golden halo" (golden light, duration 5 minutes, unlimited uses/day), certain merchants will offer special items.
  • Merchant's Friend (preorder): "In his younger days, your foster father often served as an escort to merchants traveling the Sword Coast. Daeghun's reputation follows you and affords you special treatment from merchants."
    • Effects: 10% discount from merchants, as well as special access to rare and exotic items sold by one particular vendor.
  • Chauntea's Blessing, Mystra's Blessing, Mielikki's Blessing (MotB preorder): These bonus feats are granted if you pre-order Mask of the Betrayer from Gamestop. It allows you to enchant any weapon with a powerful divine effect.


NW Vault: MotB Pre-order Items
NW Vault: Merchant's Friend Feat For OC