Entertainer Background in D&D 5e | A Comprehensive Guide

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Introduction

The Entertainer Background is one of the backgrounds available to players in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) 5th edition. This background represents characters who are performers, artists, or entertainers of some kind. They may be musicians, actors, dancers, acrobats, or even circus performers. In this article, we will explore what the Entertainer’s Background is, and why you might choose to play a character with this background.

What is the Entertainer’s Background?

  • Overview of the key features of the background, including proficiencies, equipment, and the By Popular Demand feature
  • Examples of the types of characters who might choose this background

Why choose the Entertainer Background?

  • Benefits of playing a character with this background, include versatility, the potential for interesting roleplaying, and opportunities for creative problem-solving
  • How the Entertainer Background can complement different classes and playstyles in D&D
  • Examples of famous characters from D&D lore who have the Entertainer Background

Overview of the Entertainer’s Background

The Entertainer Background is a popular option for players who want to create characters with a flair for the dramatic or love of performance. Here’s a quick overview of the key features of this background.

Proficiencies:

  • Proficiency in Acrobatics and Performance skills
  • Proficiency with one musical instrument of your choice

Equipment:

  • One musical instrument of your choice
  • The favor of an admirer (an NPC who is a fan of your performances)
  • A costume
  • 15 gp

Feature: By Popular Demand

  • You can always find a place to perform, as long as the venue can accommodate your act
  • You can earn enough money each day to support a modest lifestyle by performing in taverns, street corners, and other public places
  • You can also use your performances to attract a specific type of audience, such as nobles or commoners, and gain useful information or opportunities through your interactions with them.

Entertainer Background Variants

The Entertainer’s Background can be customized in several ways to reflect different types of performance and entertainment. Here are a few possible variants:

Actor:

 The Actor variant of the Entertainer Background focuses on characters who specialize in acting, whether on stage or in other settings. They may have a background in theater or film, or they may be con artists who use their acting skills to deceive others. This variant could replace the musical instrument proficiency with proficiency in the Deception skill, and the instrument of choice could be replaced with a disguise kit.

Gladiator:

 The Gladiator variant of the Entertainer Background is for characters who are skilled combatants and have made a name for themselves fighting in arenas or other venues. They may be former slaves or criminals who have been given a chance at fame and fortune through their fighting abilities. This variant could replace musical instrument proficiency with proficiency in Athletics skills, and the instrument of choice could be replaced with a weapon of their choosing.

Circus Performer:

The Circus Performer variant of the Entertainer Background focuses on characters who specialize in circus-style entertainment, such as acrobatics, juggling, and clowning. They may have grown up in a traveling circus or joined as adults to escape their previous lives. This variant could replace musical instrument proficiency with proficiency in Acrobatics skills, and the instrument of choice could be replaced with a set of juggling balls or another circus prop.

Jester:

 The Jester variant of the Entertainer Background is for characters who specialize in comedic performances, such as stand-up comedy or improv. They may use their humor to entertain crowds, but also to mock those in power or make social commentary. This variant could replace the musical instrument proficiency with proficiency in Persuasion skill, and the instrument of choice could be replaced with a set of jester’s bells or another comedic prop.

Minstrel:

The Minstrel variant of the Entertainer Background focuses on characters who specialize in musical performance, but with a more historical or traditional flair. They may sing songs of old legends or ballads of love and loss. This variant could replace musical instrument proficiency with proficiency in History skills, and the instrument of choice could be replaced with a lute or other traditional instrument.

These Entertainer Background variants can be used to create more specialized and unique characters that still have the base abilities of the Entertainer Background.

Entertainer Background in D&D 5e
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Building a Character with the Entertainer Background

When building a character with the Entertainer Background, there are a few things to consider:

Race:

Any race can be an Entertainer, but some may be more suited to certain types of performance than others. For example, elves are known for their grace and dexterity, making them great dancers or acrobats, while tief lings may excel at more dramatic or provocative forms of entertainment.

Class:

The Entertainer Background can work well with a variety of classes, but some may be particularly well-suited to the performance aspect of the background. Bards, of course, is a natural fit, with their musical and magical abilities. Rogues, too, can use their charisma and deception skills to pull off convincing performances. Warlocks could use their pact magic to enhance their abilities on stage.

Skills:

The Entertainer Background provides proficiency in two skills from a list of options. Depending on the type of performance your character specializes in, some skills may be more useful than others. For example, a musician may want proficiency in Performance and Perception, while a comedian may prefer Persuasion and Insight.

Feats:

Some feats can enhance an Entertainer character’s performance abilities. The actor, for example, allows the character to mimic the speech of others, making them particularly convincing when impersonating others on stage or in social situations. Inspiring Leaders can allow the character to use their charisma to boost the morale of their allies, while Magic Initiates can grant them some magical abilities to enhance their performances.

Building a character with the Entertainer Background is all about considering their race, class, skills, and feats to create a character that is well-suited to the performance aspect of the background, while also having depth and complexity beyond their talents on the stag

Roleplaying as an Entertainer

Playing an Entertainer character in D&D is all about charisma and performance. Here are some tips for roleplaying as an Entertainer:

Performance:

As an Entertainer, your character is skilled in a particular art form, whether it’s music, dance, theater, or something else entirely. Whenever there’s an opportunity to perform, take advantage of it! This could be in a tavern, at a party, or even during combat. Use your creativity to come up with unique and memorable performances that will impress your audience.

Social Interactions:

Entertainers are often outgoing and gregarious, so embrace that side of your character! Use your charisma and performance skills to charm and persuade NPCs, whether it’s to gain information, make a deal, or simply win their favor. Don’t be afraid to be bold and flamboyant, but also be aware of the social norms and etiquette of the setting.

Alignments:

Entertainers can come from all walks of life and have a wide range of alignments. Some may use their talents for good, using their performances to inspire and uplift others. Others may be more self-serving, using their charisma to manipulate and deceive others for their gain. Consider how your character’s alignment informs their motivations and actions.

Flaws:

No character is perfect, and Entertainers are no exception. Consider giving your character a flaw or weakness that makes them more interesting and relatable. Maybe they struggle with stage fright or have a gambling addiction, or have a tendency to let their ego get the best of them. These flaws can create opportunities for character growth and development throughout a campaign.

Playing an Entertainer character is all about embracing your character’s charisma and performance skills, while also giving them depth and complexity through their personality, motivations, and flaws. Have fun with it, and remember to always stay in character!

Multi-classing with the Entertainer Background

The Entertainer Background can be a great choice for characters who want to be charismatic performers, but it can also work well with other classes through multi-classing. Here are a few examples of classes that pair well with the Entertainer Background.

Rogue:

The Rogue class is all about using stealth and cunning to achieve their goals. The Entertainer Background can complement this play style by providing additional performance skills, such as acrobatics or disguise, that can be used to infiltrate and deceive. A Rogue with an Entertainer Background can also use their performances to distract enemies and gain an advantage in combat.

Bard:

The Bard class is the ultimate performer in D&D, with a wide range of musical and magical abilities. By multi-classing with the Entertainer Background, a Bard can further enhance their performance skills and become a master entertainer. A Bard with an Entertainer Background can also gain additional proficiency in skills like acrobatics or athletics, making them versatile and dynamic characters.

Warlock:

The Warlock class is all about making deals with powerful beings to gain magical powers. By multi-classing with the Entertainer Background, a Warlock can become a charismatic performer who uses their charm and wit to negotiate with their otherworldly patron. A Warlock with the Entertainer Background can also gain proficiency in deception and persuasion, making them master manipulators both on and off the stage.

Multi-classing with the Entertainer Background can add depth and versatility to your character, allowing you to explore different play styles and create a unique and memorable persona.

Creating an Entertainer NPC

When creating an NPC entertainer for your Dungeons & Dragons game, there are a few key elements to consider:

Personality Traits: Think about the personality of your NPC entertainer. Are they outgoing and charismatic, or more reserved and introspective? Do they love being the center of attention, or do they prefer to blend in with the crowd? Consider giving your NPC entertainer a unique personality trait that sets them apart from other performers.

Ideal:

What motivates your NPC entertainer?

Do they want to spread joy and happiness through their performances, or do they have a more cynical view of the world and use their performances to manipulate others? Think about what drives your NPC entertainer and give them an ideal that reflects that.

Bond:

What connections does your NPC entertainer have in the world?

Do they have family or friends they want to protect, or are they on a mission to find someone or something? Consider giving your NPC entertainer a bond that ties them to the world and gives them a reason to get involved in the players’ adventures.

Flaw:

What is your NPC entertainer’s weakness?

they struggle with addiction or tend to be too trusting? Giving your NPC entertainer a flaw makes them more realistic and interesting, and can also create plot hooks for your players to explore.

Stat Block:

When creating a stat block for your NPC entertainer, consider their performance skills, such as Charisma and Dexterity, as well as any combat abilities they may have. If your NPC entertainer is a bard, for example, they may have spells and abilities related to music and performance. On the other hand, if your NPC entertainer is a trickster or illusionist, they may have abilities related to deception and sleight of hand.

By considering these key elements when creating an NPC entertainer, you can create a well-rounded and memorable character that adds depth and interest to your D&D game.

Famous Entertainers in D&D Lore

Entertainers have played a significant role in many Dungeons & Dragons stories, both in published materials and in player-created content. Here are some examples of famous entertainers in D&D lore:

Scan lan Short halt:

Scan lan Short halt is a bard character played by actor Sam Riegel in the popular D&D live-play show, Critical Role. Scan lan is known for his quick wit, impressive musical talents, and occasional misadventures. He has appeared in multiple campaigns and has become a beloved character in the D&D community. Scan man’s performances have even been known to sway the outcome of battles and negotiations.

Volo:

Volo is a famous author and traveler in the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons. He is known for his various guides and books, including the widely popular Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Volo is also an accomplished storyteller and performer, often regaling tavern-goers with tales of his travels and adventures. He is a fixture in many D&D campaigns, and his books can be found in libraries and shops throughout the Forgotten Realms.

Shan die Free foot:

Shan die Free foot is a half-ling bard who appears in the Baldur’s Gate video game series. She is known for her musical talents and her skill with a lute, and she often performs in taverns and inns throughout the city. Shan die is also a member of the Harpers, a secretive organization that works to preserve peace and protect against threats to the realm. Her musical talents and connections within the Harpers can make her a valuable ally to player characters in the game.

These are just a few examples of the many famous entertainers that exist within the rich lore of Dungeons & Dragons. Whether they are bards, authors, or performers of other kinds, these characters add depth and interest to the world of D&D and can inspire players to create their memorable entertainer characters.

Sample Entertainer Background Character Concept

The Entertainer Background offers a lot of flexibility for creating interesting and unique characters with diverse skill sets. Here are some sample character concepts that could be created using the Entertainer Background:

The Bardic Acrobat:

The Bardic Acrobat is a performer who combines acrobatics with musical talent to create a truly unique act. This character is proficient in both Performance and Acrobatics and can use their skills to entertain crowds and distract enemies during combat. They may also have a talent for juggling or other circus tricks, and could even incorporate magical illusions into their act. In terms of equipment, they may carry musical instruments, acrobatics gear, and maybe even a set of throwing knives or other weapons for self-defense.

The Charismatic Gladiator:

The Charismatic Gladiator is a performer who rose to fame in the arenas of the Roman Empire or similar cultures. This character is proficient in Performance, Athletics, and possibly even Intimidation, and can use their skills to rile up crowds and intimidate opponents. They may have a background as a former slave or gladiator and could have a complicated relationship with violence and fighting. In terms of equipment, they may carry a gladius or other weapon, as well as armor or other protective gear.

The Masked Jester:

The Masked Jester is a performer who uses humor and trickery to entertain crowds and hide their true identity. This character is proficient in Performance, Sleight of Hand, and Deception, and can use their skills to pull off elaborate pranks and heists. They may wear a distinctive mask or costume to hide their face and create a sense of mystery around themselves. In terms of equipment, they may carry various tools for picking locks and pockets, as well as small props for their comedy routine.

The Entertainer Background offers a lot of potential for creating diverse and interesting characters with a wide range of skills and abilities. These are just a few examples of the many possibilities available when creating a character using the Entertainer Background.

Entertainer Background in Adventure Modules

The Entertainer Background can be a useful and interesting choice for characters in many D&D adventure modules, as it offers unique abilities and opportunities for roleplaying. Here are some examples of how the Entertainer Background can be incorporated into specific adventure modules:

Curse of Strahd:

In Curse of Strahd, the Entertainer’s Background can be a great fit for a character who can perform at the various taverns and inns throughout the villages and towns of Barovia. The By Popular Demand feature can be especially useful, as it allows the character to always find a place to perform and potentially earn some extra gold or information from the locals. Additionally, Performance and Persuasion skills can help navigate social encounters with NPCs.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist:

In Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, the Entertainer Background can be a good choice for characters who can perform at the many festivals and parties that take place throughout the city. The By Popular Demand feature can help find gigs and earn some extra gold, while the Performance skill can be useful in entertaining crowds and making connections with NPCs. Additionally, the Sleight of Hand and Deception skills can come in handy in this adventure module, especially if the character is involved in any criminal activities.

Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus:

In Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, the Entertainer Background can be a unique and interesting choice for a character who can perform in the various taverns and music halls of Baldur’s Gate. The By Popular Demand feature can help find gigs and earn some extra gold, while the Performance and Persuasion skills can be useful in navigating social encounters with NPCs. Additionally, the character’s entertainment skills can be useful in distracting demons or devils during combat encounters.

The Entertainer Background can add depth and versatility to a character in any adventure module and can offer unique opportunities for roleplaying and problem-solving.

Home Brewing the Entertainer Background

Home Brewing the Entertainer Background
NPC entertainer have in the world
Entertainer Background in D&D 5e
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Creating New Entertainer Variants:

One way to homebrew the Entertainer Background is to create new variants that offer different abilities and equipment options. For example, a variant could be created for a traveling circus performer that includes proficiency in animal handling and the ability to perform stunts with trained animals. Another variant could focus on a comedian or jester, with abilities centered around comedic timing and witty banter.

When creating new variants,

It’s important to consider the setting and the type of entertainment that would be common within that world. Additionally, balancing the abilities and equipment options with those of the existing Entertainer Background is crucial to maintaining game balance.

Adapting the Entertainer Background to Different Settings:

Another way to homebrew the Entertainer Background is to adapt it to fit different settings within the D&D universe. For example, in a high magic setting, an Entertainer Background variant could be created that focuses on illusions and magical performances, while in a gritty and realistic setting, an Entertainer Background variant could focus on performing skills that are useful in urban environments, such as pickpocketing and lock picking.

When adapting the Entertainer’s Background to different settings,

It’s important to consider how the setting would impact the type of entertainment that would be common and adjust the abilities and equipment options accordingly. Additionally, the GM may need to make adjustments to the By Popular Demand feature to fit the setting, such as allowing the character to find a place to perform but requiring payment for lodging and food.

Home brewing the Entertainer Background can add a lot of flavor and diversity to a D&D campaign, as well as offer players more options for creating unique and interesting characters. However, it’s important to maintain game balance and consider the setting when creating new variants or adapting the background to different worlds.

  • Conclusion
  • Summary of Key Takeaways:

The Entertainer Background in D&D 5e provides a rich and versatile roleplaying experience for players who wish to portray characters with a flair for performance and social interaction. The background offers several useful skills, such as proficiency in a musical instrument and proficiency in Persuasion and Performance skills. Entertainers can also choose from a variety of equipment options, such as costumes and musical instruments, to enhance their performances.

  • One of the unique features of the Entertainer Background is the Entertainer Routines, which offer players a set of abilities that can be used during performances to impress audiences and gain certain benefits. These routines can range from juggling to fire-eating to singing, and provide players with a variety of options for entertaining and engaging with NPCs in the game world.
  • Final Thoughts on the Entertainer Background in D&D 5e:

The Entertainer Background is a great choice for players who want to bring a bit of theatricality and showmanship to their roleplaying experience. The skills and abilities offered by the background are well-suited for characters who want to be the center of attention and engage with NPCs in a meaningful way.

  • The Entertainer Routines also provide players with a unique set of abilities that can be used creatively in and out of combat scenarios, making it a versatile option for players who want to contribute to the party in multiple ways.
  • The Entertainer Background is an excellent choice for players who want to add a bit of flair and showmanship to their characters, and it provides a great opportunity for roleplaying and character development.

FAQ

What are the key abilities of an Entertainer’s Background character?

The key abilities for an Entertainer Background character are proficiency in a musical instrument, proficiency in Persuasion and Performance skills, and the ability to choose from a variety of equipment options to enhance their performances.

How does the By Popular Demand feature work?

 The By Popular Demand feature allows an Entertainer Background character to always find a place to perform and receive free lodging and food in return. This is because their reputation as an entertainer precedes them and people are always eager to see them perform.

Can an Entertainer Background character use their performance skills in combat?

Entertainer Background characters can use their performance skills in creative ways during combat, such as distracting enemies or inspiring allies. However, their primary combat abilities will likely come from their class abilities rather than their Entertainer Background.

How can I make an Entertainer Background character that is effective in combat?

To make an Entertainer Background character effective in combat, it’s important to choose a class that complements their performance skills with combat abilities. Classes like Bard, Rogue, and Fighter can all be good choices. Additionally, selecting spells or abilities that can debuff enemies or buff allies can be a helpful way to contribute to combat.

Can an Entertainer Background character be evil?

Yes, an Entertainer Background character can be of any alignment, including evil. However, they may need to be creative in how they use their performance skills to achieve their evil goals without getting caught.

What are some common stereotypes associated with the Entertainer Background?

 Some common stereotypes associated with the Entertainer Background include being flamboyant, attention-seeking, and possibly even superficial or shallow. However, these stereotypes do not necessarily reflect the complexity and depth that can be brought to an Entertainer Background character through roleplaying and character development.

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