Shadows of Vathak: Survivor Background (5e)
This supplement consists of 2 pages, 1 page content and 1 page of editorial/SRD, so let’s take a look!
So, the survivor background gets proficiencies in Perception and Survival, as well as with one type of artisan’s tools. The background also nets a language and a suitable equipment loadout.
The background’s feature is “Not on my watch!”, which is really nice: Attempts to sneak up on you have disadvantage. Even if the enemy succeeds, you can act during the surprise round, but with disadvantage to attack rolls. You also are considered to be awake for half the 8 hours of rest, and you can rest while standing. This sounds too potent? Well, here is the kicker: It doesn’t work if you’re inebriated, and it also doesn’t work while another person is sleeping next to you. This ties in with the grizzled survivor themes, where they finally find someone to trust in, only to have their talents fail them. There is serious narrative potential here. Awesome.
The background also provides the usual tables for personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws, which as a whole, are intriguing. Minor nitpick in the formatting department: The names for the individual entries in the Ideals table should have been bolded.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard; the pdf has no bookmarks but needs none at this length.
Ismael Alvarez delivers a great background here. Flavorful, interesting, built-in narrative potential, where rules supplement roleplay; no serious complaints. 5 stars.
You can get this background here on OBS!
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