The revamp to Backgrounds is now live! We are also starting our new changelog to collect all updates from this point forward. You can access the changelog dndbeyond.com/changelog. We are excited to move forward with the next round of changes with starting equipment and some items updates before getting into character sharing/ copying/ transferring.
More details about what we're working on and what's next will be shared in our development update livestream that will be announced soon - keep an eye out for that!
The Backgrounds update is detailed in the changelog - pasted below for convenience:
September 14, 2017
- Published backgrounds now grant the skills associated with that background instead of allowing choices.
- A Custom Background option has been added that allows players to choose any combination of two skills, two tool proficiencies/ languages.
- Suggested Characteristics can now be added by clicking the 'Add' button on the characteristic.
We have just deployed an update for Backgrounds that brings them closer to their intended use in the game.
We previously provided a workaround to use for all backgrounds to allow for customization that worked but was a bit confusing. This was never intended to be a permanent solution, and this update is a full pass that covers the functionality.
If you select a published background from any source - such as Acolyte - you will now receive the granted proficiencies per the background and be able to make choices only if the background gives a choice. For example, choosing Acolyte will grant you proficiency in Insight and Religion, and allow you to choose two languages of your choice.
If you have a granted proficiency from another source (like your race or class), then the appropriate background proficiency will open up to a choice of any skill, as stated in the Player's Handbook. For example, if I already chose Religion from your cleric class, then you will be granted Insight from your background, but now have a choice of another skill to replace your duplicated Religion proficiency.
The key change is that the actual skills from your background are now locked in - you no longer have a choice of any skill you want since that was the workaround.
If you want to customize your proficiencies for a background, you will instead use the new Custom Background option (described below).
A new option is now available that allows you to fully customize your background as mentioned in the Player's Handbook.
You choose 'Custom Background' from the options list, and then provide a name and description of your background, the configuration of proficiencies and language choices (2 tools, 2 languages, or 1 tool and 1 language), and the background feature and suggested characteristics you would like to use from another background (as mentioned in the PHB rules).
Save your inputs, and you now have a customized background!
Please keep in mind that we are adding the ability to create an entire homebrew background that can be shared with the community in the near future as well. If you want to create your own Background Feature or Suggested Characteristics, you will be able to do that then. For now, those are limited to published sources.
You can now add Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws to your character from the Suggested Characteristics section in your background. Simply click the 'Add' button and the characteristic will be added to the appropriate section. If you already have text in those sections, the new text will be added to the bottom of the content.
You can also click the 'Random' button to add a random characteristics. All suggested characteristics from your background are also displayed when you open the Personality Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws sections.
For your existing characters that have skills selected that are not part of a published background, you will retain those skills. If you make any changes to your skill choices, the new system will kick in and try to make your background give you the skills you should have based on it. If you want to choose skills outside what that background gives typically, be sure to use the 'Custom Background' option.
"You can access the changelog dndbeyond.com/changelog"
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
Eshuvenniel Kazander Ravid,Valor Bard and Acolyte of the Goddess of Luck Caradoc Langham, Halfling Rogue - Lost Magics - Epic of Pre-made Proportions! I'm not looking for heaven or hell... just someone to listen to stories I tell...
Could you make some sort of toggle option that makes it so that exotic languages require 2 free language slots? I.e., exotic languages count as two standard languages. Backgrounds normally grant up to two standard languages, but then the Haunted One background came out and granted an exotic language but no other language or tool proficiencies, showing that one exotic language could be allowed at the cost of not getting a second language or tool. I would like to set this restriction in my campaigns, maybe as a toggle option in the character builder like encumbrance and hit point increases are now.
The "Languages" section states: "Choose your languages from the Standard Languages table, or choose one that is common in your campaign. With your DM’s permission, you can instead choose a language from the Exotic Languages table or a secret language, such as thieves’ cant or the tongue of druids." By default, you can only pick your extra languages from the Standard Languages table, so players can't just say that their character speaks Celestial unless the DM says it's OK. The Haunted One background is the first published background that explicitly let a player have a free choice of an exotic language, but you'll notice that it only grants one language instead of 2 languages/tools or 1 language and 1 tool; otherwise, it grants 2 skill proficiencies and a background feature, following the format of every other background. It's pretty clear what the "economy" of what a background provides is.
If something is a general rule, it's in the general rules. The game is designed so you can look at the exceptions in isolation. The way warding wind works has no bearing on how gust of wind works. The Aarakocra monster stat block has no bearing on the playable Aarakocra race. The rules for a Rogue's Sneak Attack have no bearing on an Assassin NPC's Sneak Attack. You shouldn't have to look up every other enchantment spell to be sure of how suggestion works.