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What makes your character who they are? What have they experienced? When building your character, their upbringing—and by extension the culture they were raised in—can have as much of an impact as their heritage. By splitting your adventurer’s origin into four parts— Heritage , Culture , Background , and Destiny —there is ample opportunity to create wildly diverse characters with skill sets that reflect their lives in the most accurate way possible.

Building Your Origin Story

The prevalence of each heritage and culture can vary between various settings and different campaigns. Only you know what story you are trying to tell with your character, and only you know the best way to build that character’s origin. Anything is possible in a magical world and all of the heritages , cultures , and backgrounds presented in this chapter—as well as those you might build yourself—are viable options for an adventurer of any class . However, to ensure your character fits your specific game and setting, you should always have a discussion with your Narrator about the character options available to you prior to character creation. 

Your heritage solely influences your character’s physical appearance and traits, while your culture influences those traits that would be learned or developed over time. Your background reflects the path you have chosen to take, or a path you have been pulled into, independent of your heritage or culture . This grants you things like proficiencies with skills , languages, and tools, and bonuses to certain ability scores to represent the areas of your life that have seen intentional improvement. Finally, your destiny describes your character’s goals and motivations. The following sections are designed to walk you through the four-part origin story, and to help you build your ideal adventurer.