I created some campaign traits for my game before I had a Player’s Handbook so I was only working on what I guessed that 5e backgrounds would work. These are fine but I actually think the Dungeon Muser did a better job so feel free to pick and choose which you like to use.
The following campaign traits tie characters to the Starfall Campaign. Each trait explains your link to Nimmeria, and gives you a built-in reason to be in the town of Torch when the adventure begins. If you’re from Torch, you should pick one of the seven core races or android as your character’s race. If you’re a recent arrival, feel free to choose a race from any 5e product. Deciding to be a local or a visitor to Torch has no other effect on character creation.
Several traits refer to technological items or the Gearhead feat. The DM has additional information on these rules options and the feat is described in detail later in this guide.
As a special note, each of the following campaign traits ties into a specific encounter or plot development in the first adventure of the Starfall Campaign—what that encounter or development might be, you’ll find out as the story unfolds. It doesn’t matter if you pick the same trait as another player; that just means that your characters will share a deeper bond as the adventure progresses.
The most important recent event in Torch is the loss of the town’s eponymous feature. A strange violet flame has long burned atop the hill the town is built around, and these fires burn hot enough to allow the smelting of skymetal. This has given Torch a singular source of income. Smiths, metalworkers, and scavengers from miles around come to Torch to use its flame to smelt and work with skymetals. Now and then, the flame has pulsed and blasted a beam of fire into the skies above town, during which time it isn’t safe to be atop the hill, but until a week ago, the flame has never gone out. Now it has, and no one in town knows why. Without the flame, the town’s primary source of income has been removed, and with a number of significant taxes to the Technic League coming due soon, the town’s leaders are growing desperate to re-light the violet fires. One of Torch’s most beloved leaders, the wizard Khonnir Baine, discovered strange activity in a number of hitherto unknown caves below the city’s central hill, and even recovered a deactivated automaton now stored in his home behind his tavern, The Foundry. But when Khonnir returned to these strange caves to try to learn more, he vanished. The town has grown increasingly desperate for answers, and now looks for the return of their missing wizard as well, but with so many other local and visiting adventurers having gone missing in the caves, fewer and fewer volunteers are stepping forward.
You and your new companions have come together to be these latest volunteers. While each of you likely has your own reasons for wanting to explore the caves below Torch Hill (as detailed in the campaign traits below), you know that what waits below will require teamwork to survive!
Against the Technic League: Although the Black Sovereign rules Nimmeria in name, it’s the spellcasters and techpriests of the Technic League who hold the real power. While their influence is certainly strongest in the capital of Starfall, their touch can be felt even here in Torch—the League takes a significant cut of the town’s income as tithes every month. For some reason, you have a grudge against the Technic League. Perhaps your parents lost their jobs as the result of an act they took that displeased the League—you might even suspect the League was responsible for their deaths. Alternatively, you could just rankle at the League’s open acceptance of slavery, their reputation for sadism and cruelty, or their penchant for hoarding and controlling technological wonders. Talk to your GM to refine the reasons why you hate the Technic League, but you’re convinced that they are somehow responsible for putting out the town’s torch and that evidence of their tampering can be found in the caverns below—if you can find evidence of the Technic League working against Torch’s better interests, that could well be a step toward the town’s independence from the League. Mechanically your attacks all have advantage (or disadvantage as appropriate) against targets you know are associated with the Technic League.
Local Ties: You have ties to a prominent local in the town of Torch—the missing wizard Khonnir Baine. If you’re a wizard, alchemist, or other scholarly type, he may have been your tutor or teacher. If you’re of a more martial bent, Khonnir could instead have been a friend or business associate of your mother, father, or patron. He may even have been your adoptive father, in which case you likely have a bond of friendship or rivalry with his adopted daughter Val. Your association with Khonnir has given you insight into how technology works. Mechanically you may choose either proficiency with ePick (As Thieves Tools for purposes of technological devices) or gain the skill Cybertheurgy (intelligence).
Nimmerian Archaeologist: Nimmeria is a land ripe for archaeological exploration, since so many of the strange technological dungeons have been either avoided by the superstitious barbarian tribes or have been locked down by the Technic League, leaving many of them untouched and ripe for exploration. You’ve studied the strange language associated with these eerie technological ruins, and are eager to start exploring them—you suspect that Torch’s namesake is in fact part of a larger buried ruin, and you hope to enter these ruins and learn their original purpose by exploring the caves below town. Mechanically you gain Gothic as an additional language. In addition, you possess a knack for technological items; when you use a timeworn technological item, roll twice when determining any glitches the item might cause and choose which result to use as your actual result. Talk to your DM for more information about resolving glitches.
Robot Slayer: The strange automatons that plague the wilds of Nimmeria are a blight upon the world, and the idea that there could be countless more of these creatures lying in wait in the unknown ruins scattered throughout the region chills your blood. Khonnir’s recovery of a deactivated robot from the caves below Torch worries you—not only could that thing wake up and run amok in town, but there may well be more lurking below! You want to explore the caves under Torch to determine if there is indeed a lurking robot threat below town. Mechanically you gain +1d4 on attack and damage rolls against robots.
Skymetal Smith: The fires atop Torch Hill have long been a boon to smiths and metalworkers, and your family is no exception. Whether you grew up in Torch or simply made several trips here with your parents to use the fire, this was to be your first time to use the torch for your own project. You managed to use the fires to craft a small weapon or piece of armour from skymetal, but not long thereafter the fires went out. The violet flames are as much a part of your upbringing as anything else, and their loss distresses you; you hope to find a way to rekindle the torch below the hill. You’ve long hoped to work with skymetal, and begin the game with a small metal bauble made of the skymetal of your choice—you made this item yourself. Mechanically the item is nothing more than a valuable art object worth 100 gp. You can use the “Trinkets” table for inspiration. You can sell it to gain an additional 100 gp when creating your character, but if you keep it, your pride in its crafting grants advantage on Wisdom based saving throws made against emotion and fear effects. You lose this bonus if you willingly sell or give up the item, but if it is destroyed or lost through no fault of your own, you retain the bonus on Wisdom based saves.
Stargazer: They say the strange technological ruins scattered throughout Nimmeria came from the skies several thousand years ago. The concept of life on other planets far beyond Pangaea has always fascinated you, and you’ve long hoped to learn more about what life on those other planets may have been like. You’ve heard stories about the strange alien creatures found in Nimmerian dungeons and hope to learn all you can about them—perhaps some of these aliens can be found in the caverns below Torch! Mechanically you gain a advantage on skill checks to identify alien monsters’ abilities and weaknesses. In addition, you gain double proficiency bonus on Nature (wisdom) checks, and this skill is a class skill for you.