Culture and background

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There are elaborate culture and background options to customize your origin which channel through your adventure, customizing elements of your journey tailored specifically for you.[1] First you select a culture where you came from and then you select a background. Backgrounds you can select are dependable on your choosen culture and it is detailed after the character creation process per se, on your first mission you will be accompanied by Calisca. She will ask you about your past, about what you did before you fell in with the group. Your answers are taken and inscribed into your character's biography for the rest of the game.[2] You can also choose to not to tell more about your background.[3][4][5]

Culture[edit | edit source]

The culture is where the character is from, it gives you an attribute bonus and decides together with your class the starting equipment. Starting Equipment and attribute bonus for the different cultures:[6]

Class/Culture Aedyr-icon.png
Deadfire Archipelago
Ixamitl Plains
Old Vailia
The Living Lands
The White that Wends
Attribute Bonus
Bonus for all Classes Resolve +1 Dexterity + 1 Resolve +1 Intellect + 1 Constitution + 1 Might/Strength + 1 Perception + 1
Starting Equipment
Pillars of Eternity Barbarian Hide armor, Sword, Battle axe Hide armor, Great Sword Leather armor, Spear, Medium shield Mail armor, Morning star Mail armor, Spear, Dagger[7] Scale armor, Great Sword Hide armor, Pike
Chanter Leather armor, Pollaxe Padded armor, Great Sword Mail armor, Sabre, Small shield Breastplate, Sword, Medium shield Mail armor, battle axe, Medium shield Padded armor, Spear, Medium shield Padded armor, Mace, Medium shield
Cipher Cloth armor, Great Sword Hide armor, War hammer, Medium shield Padded armor, Pike Mail armor, Rapier, Stiletto Mail armor, Battle axe, Dagger Padded armor, Hunting bow Padded armor, Dagger, Hatchet
Druid Leather armor, Sabre, Small shield Padded armor, Quarterstaff Scale armor, Club, Small shield Padded armor, Pollaxe Padded armor, Spear, Small shield Padded armor, Sword, Large shield Hide armor, Pike
Fighter Mail armor, Sword, Medium shield Scale armor, Sabre, Medium shield Leather armor, Mace, Large shield Brigandine, Estoc Mail armor, Pollaxe Padded armor, Spear, Large shield Scale armor, Spear, Spear
Monk Aedyre Clothing Leather armor Ixamitl Clothing Cloth armor Cloth armor Padded armor Padded armor
Paladin Plate armor, Sword, Medium shield Scale armor, Pike Leather armor, Battle axe, Medium shield breastplate, Rapier, Small shield Mail armor, War hammer, Large shield Brigandine, Mace,Small shield Padded armor, Great Sword
Priest Padded armor, Mace, Medium shield Brigandine, Sword, Medium shield Scale armor, War hammer, Medium shield Mail armor, Morning star Breastplate, Pollaxe Padded armor, Great Sword Padded armor, Spear, Medium shield
Ranger Leather armor, Hunting bow Padded armor, War bow Scale armor, War bow Mail armor, Crossbow Scale armor, Arbalest Brigandine, Hunting bow Hide armor, Hunting bow
Rogue Leather armor, Dagger, Dagger Scale armor, Dagger, Sabre Padded armor, Club, Club Mail armor, Rapier, Dagger Brigandine, Great Sword Scale armor, Spear, Medium shield Hide armor, Pike
Wizard Aedyre Clothing, Scepter Padded armor, Wand Ixamitl Clothing, Rod Breastplate, Scepter Mail armor, Rod Brigandine, Rod Hide armor, Wand

Background[edit | edit source]

After selecting a culture, players may select a background for their character. Backgrounds give a skill bonus, and they do have some roleplaying impact. Some of the backgrounds are only available to specific cultures. You can further specialize your background in a dialog with Calisca after you have found the springberry. First she will ask you about your specific background and then if you didn't say that it isn't her business she will ask why you left. Calisca will also ask you why you travel with the caravan and what you want to do.

Background Availability Skill Description Specific Background
Aristocrat All except The Living Lands Lore + 2 Your family belongs to the upper crust of society, and your upbringing provided you with many advantages over the lower born. You have had access to a first-rate education, and are no stranger to extravagant parties, dances, hunting for sport, and the political concerns of the landed nobility.

You've lived your life amongst the nobility. Your days have been marked by lavish meals and extravagant parties, your conversations peppered with talk of pedigree and bloodlines.

  • That's right. Royal blood runs through my veins.
  • Only to some. Our titles were purchased, not inherited.
  • My family has some clout among the elite, it's true.
Artist Old Vailia Lore + 2 You were born with a natural grasp of aesthetics, and you have since cultivated it by endeavoring with your work to capture life in all its facets.

You've always felt driven to express yourself creatively. The structure and rigid control of other pursuits has never satisfied in the same way.

  • More of a performer, really.
  • I made my living as an artisan.
  • Yes, in the traditional sense. I try to capture life as I see it, create something new.
Clergy or Clergyman Aedyr Lore + 2 You answered a higher calling, giving up the freedom of secular life for the spiritual rewards of devotion to the divine - a life of vestments and the study of holy texts and the spreading of the truths they hold.

Piety and prayer are the cornerstones of your public life, and you encourage the same in others.

  • I was. I left all that behind.
  • I led a congregation at one time.
  • I was a missionary.
  • Not really. That's just a lie I tell people so I can manipulate them.
Colonist Aedyr
Old Vailia
The Living Lands
Survival + 2 You left your homeland some time ago, surrendering the familiarity of home for the great unknowns of the unconquered frontier.

You were part of a group that founded a fledgling colony in a distant land.

  • There was a fortune to be made where I was.
  • It wasn't by choice. I was fleeing persecution.
  • I was there to pacify the land. And the people who were native to it.
Dissident Aedyr
Ixamitl Plains
Old Vailia
Lore + 1
Stealth + 1
You've never taken well to people telling you what to do. What began as a rebellious streak has developed into full-blown indignation for authority figures and power structures, and you've taken every opportunity along the way to express your dissenting opinions.

You've made a name for yourself as a troublemaker. Disrespect for authority and a lack of care regarding the rules are recurring themes in your life.

  • For some I was. I fought for a rebellion.
  • You might say that. I was a spy for a time.
  • That's why they put me in jail.
Drifter Any Mechanics + 1
Stealth + 1
It's a rare thing for you to stay anywhere for any length of time. You've passed from town to town, moving on when it suits you, the open road the closest thing you've had to a home.

You never quite fit in no matter where you go. Each new town is just a place to rest briefly before moving on to the next. You are more comfortable on the road, traveling the world.

  • That sort of thing tends to happen with orphans.
  • Sure. I wander in the lives of fools, talk them out of their money and wander back out.
  • You have to be when people are looking for you.
Explorer Deadfire Archipelago
The Living Lands
The White that Wends
Lore + 1
Survival + 1
Your whole life you've lived for the thrill of discovery and exploration, finding irresistible the siren call of the far reaches and unknown places of the world. Many live their lives perfectly content within the confines of one small town, but to you such a fate would've been a death sentence.

You find the siren call of the horizon irresistible. You cannot help but wonder what lies beyond the next hill or wave, and you've built your life around finding out.

  • In the watery parts of the world. I was a mariner.
  • I lived out on a frontier for a time.
  • Interesting might not be the word. I sailed with cold-blooded conquerors.
Hunter All Survival + 1
Stealth + 1
You've made your living in the wilds, dedicating your hours to perfecting the cadence of the hunt - the long intervals of stillness and waiting, the frantic exertions of the chase, the sudden punctuation of the kill.

You live for the thrill of the chase. Whether for glory or for sustenance, you have made your living taking the lives of wild creatures.

  • I spent a lot of time living on my own in the wilderness.
  • I used to hunt monsters for a living.
  • I was responsible for hunting and gathering for my village.
  • I was a fisherman, actually.
Laborer All Mechanics + 1
Athletics + 1
Like many commoners of able body and apt mind before you, you learned a complex skill and then struck out on your own to ply your trade.

Your life has been spent in the study of your craft. You trained and prepared, hoping to hone your skills and ply your trade.

  • Blacksmith.
  • Builder.
  • Cook.
Mercenary All except The White that Wends Lore + 1
Athletics + 1
Combat ability of any kind is a skill in high demand in a world where much of the wilderness is untamed and many borders are contested. Battle is your trade, and you have thus far been fortunate enough to survive its perils.

Blade and battle is your way of life. You solve your problems by pulling out your weapon and applying force.

  • I'm a war veteran.
  • I was a blade for hire.
  • I used to go on adventures and expeditions, whatever paid.
  • I was a constable.
Merchant All Lore + 1
Mechanics + 1
Whether it was a silver tongue, a head for numbers, an ability to appraise others, or simply happenstance, until recently you made your living as a merchant, parting person from coin in trade for your wares.

You've traded goods from all over the world, pairing items with buyers of all kinds.

  • I used to transport things people wanted kept secret. Goods, people.
  • I piloted cargo ships.
  • I ran a shop.
Mystic The White that Wends Lore + 2 There are those who find inspiration in books and houses of worship, and there are those for whom it is more personal - perhaps not even a choice at all. The spark of divine inspiration revealed a path to you, and since then you've traveled it in search of fulfillment.

You've never been able to explain how the universe guides your path. Behind every task you undertake is a feeling of cosmic direction.

  • I spend my days studying theology.
  • I get visions from time to time that guide my way.
  • Spirituality was my life. I was an ascetic.
Philosopher Ixamitl Plains Lore + 2 Abstract thinking, the clash of ideals, notions of good and evil, right and wrong, and the pursuit of ultimate truth - these are the things that have always made your blood flow and your mind race, so much so that you've arranged your life such that you can while away your hours contemplating elusive answers and challenging accepted beliefs.

You are most at home inside your own head, analyzing the nature of the world and its inhabitants.

  • I used to spend a lot of time reasoning about good and evil, right and wrong.
  • It's part of my nature. I was a teacher before I came here.
  • I don't believe in anything, and I've spent a lot of time challenging other people's beliefs.
Raider Deadfire Archipelago Athletics + 1
Stealth + 1
You've always taken what you wanted - didn't matter what it was or who it belonged to. By most laws this is theft, but you've never had much use for any laws besides your own.

You've spent your life on the wrong side of the law. What you want, you take, and what was theirs has a tendency to become yours.

  • I've been known to liberate certain underappreciated valuables from their owners' homes.
  • You wouldn't have wanted to run into me at sea. We boarded and plundered ships.
  • I was a highwayman in my old life.
Scholar Ixamitl Plains
Lore + 2 You have always been dazzled by letters and numbers, facts and figures, problems and stratagems. In academics you found a way to surround yourself with what interested you, and since then you've largely spent your time trying to better yourself through the acquisition of knowledge.

For you, knowledge is a relentless pursuit. You hoard each kernel of information as though it were precious metal, and time you don't spend learning is time wasted.

  • I was a historian.
  • I took an interest in all matters arcane.
  • I studied war and combat.
Scientist The Living Lands Lore + 1
Mechanics + 1
The laws of the natural world are pieces of a puzzle to you, and you dedicated yourself to putting it together - unraveling its mysteries, revealing small truths to bring larger ones into focus.

The rules that govern the world are a set of alchemical formulae to you, waiting to be discovered and manipulated.

  • I learned to harness it to solve crimes.
  • There's a lot of demand for substances that alter the mind. A little science goes a long way in meeting that demand.
  • I spent a long time pursuing the knowledge promised by alchemy.
Slave Aedyr
Deadfire Archipelago
Old Vailia
Athletics + 1
Survival + 1
Few people truly understand what it feels like to be forced into the service of another, stripped of freedom and dignity alike, but until recently, this had been your lot in life - hard labor, chains, and the ceaseless gaze of a master.

You have never known freedom. Shackles and chains have bound your existence, and someone has told you what to do your entire life.

  • Slave on a galley at sea.
  • Slave on a large farming estate.
  • Indentured servant.

Companion backgrounds[edit | edit source]

A few Companions have backgrounds exclusively available to them, although they provide the same amount of bonuses as existing player character options.

Background Companion Skill
Farmer Edér Athletics + 1
Survival + 1
Gentry Aloth Lore + 2
Midwife Grieving Mother Lore + 1
Survival + 1
Soldier Pallegina Athletics + 1
Lore + 1
Trapper Devil of Caroc Stealth + 1
Mechanics + 1

References[edit source]