Grisly Eye Games

Low Magic Characters

These variant, character creation rules are for low magic campaigns where spellcasters and monsters are uncommon and non-human characters with magical abilities are the exception, not the rule.

Normally, low-magic characters are limited to playing humans, and choosing from the following classes only:

  • Path of Berserker Barbarian
  • Battle Master or Champion Fighter
  • Thief or Assassin Rogue

Unique Backgrounds

If you want to play a magical character you can select a unique background at the start of character creation, instead of a normal background. A unique background represents a rare or special origin that might give your character access to magical races or classes (or feats) in a way that is sympathetic to low-magic campaigns.

Each unique background lists which magical races, classes and feats are available to players who choose them.

Unique backgrounds have the following limitations:

  1. Unique. You may only pick a particular unique background if no one else in your party has chosen it.
  2. No Feature. You do not gain a background feature with a unique background.
  3. Unique Flaw. In addition to the flaw you would normally choose for your character, you must choose an extra, unique flaw detailed in the description of your unique background.

Example: Far Traveller

This section takes the far traveller background from the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide and shows how you can adapt it into a unique background. Follow the far traveller background as written, with these changes:

Far Traveller Illustration

Public Domain image of Moorish Noble from Cairo taken from Cesare Vecellio's 16th Century Costume Guide.

The unique far traveller represents a character that hails from distant lands where magic yet lingers, strange arts are practiced and mysterious gods still make their presence known.

You do not gain the All Eyes On You feature if you take far traveller as a unique background. Instead, you must take the Strange Custom unique flaw, as described below.

You may now choose from the following options at character creation:

Classes: Cleric, Monk, Path of Totem Warrior Barbarian, Sorcerer, Warlock or Wizard.

Unique Flaw: Strange Customs

In order to use your mysterious magics, or commune with your strange gods, you must perform curious customs or rituals, often at inconvenient moments. You can roll on the following table to determine your custom, or choose one that best fits your homeland.

d6 Custom
1 I must meditate five times a day to maintain the balance of my energies.
2 I am forbidden to touch the unclean ground with my bare flesh.
3 I'm always wear a mask to conceal my identity from dark spirits.
4 My gods command that I may not eat after sunset.
5 Once tricked into an oath I'm loathe to break it, no matter the cost.
6 Disturbing tattoos cover my face and arms.