Backgrounds and Touchstones
13th Age of Worms
This document is chiefly provided as a way to spark ideas. Players are welcome to play to or against type.
The background recommendations are very general like "bouncer" but players should contextualize this further (for example, Bouncer at the Feral Dog). Information on Diamond Lake found in Grizzlebeard's Ramblings will be useful.
Few dwarves call Diamond Lake home. Most have some sort of business with the Greysmere Covenant - a trio of prominent Dwarven businessmen who import iron ore into Axis. The councilors' work requires a cadre of assistants and underlings. Some, however, are tied to mining or other work.
Background suggestions. bargeman, brewer, guard, magical advisor, merchant, miner, negotiator, stonemason
Most elves hate Diamond Lake since it represents the worst of humanity. Only Ellival Moonmeadow and his deputies (exclusively elven) seem to have the stomach for the place. Also, some elves may have ties to the Bronzewood Lodge.
Background suggestions. aristocrat, courtier, retainer, scout
Gnomes may be agents of any mine manager. Those with a theatrical flair might find steady work with the Emporium. Most come from the nearby warren of Grossetgrottel and may be representing trade interests from there as well.
Background suggestions. actor, dancer, jester, minstrel, poet, tumbler, storyteller, merchant, spy, trader
Many halflings in Diamond Lake work in the hospitality field. Others are (relatively) wealthy visitors from the halfling community of Elmshire to the far north.
Background suggestions. baker, brewer, clerk, cook, merchant, retainer, scrivenor, squire, trader
Half-elves might belong to the Bronzewood Lodge community or might find themselves in the employ of Ellival Moonmeadow but soon become aware that the mine manager simply doesn't like anyone other than elves, and half-elves don't quite qualify.
Background suggestions. any
Though most half-orcs are reluctant to take to settled life, those that do make ideal miners or enforcers in Diamond Lake. Some are closely tied to the Bronzewood Lodge as well.
Background suggestions. bargeman, bouncer, enforcer, fur-trader, guide, hunter, marauder, miner, scout
Humans can fill any role in Diamond Lake.
Background suggestions. any
Lizardfolk (Half-Orc variant)
Lizardfolk are angered by the Empire's encroachment into their lands. Some grudgingly make a living in Diamond Lake regardless.
Background suggestions. gladiator, guide, pit fighter, raider, trader, tribal healer
Aasimar, Dragonspawn and Tieflings are all rare sights out in Diamond Lake. Few, if any, reside here and any seen are likely visitors.
Background suggestions. varies
Bards looking for an interesting way to fit into Diamond Lake need look no further than the Emporium. Players looking for a sllghtly less debauched hook might make good performers at the Spinning Giant or another venue.
Background suggestions. actor, dancer, fortune reader, jester, minstrel, poet, storyteller, tumbler
Berserker (barbarian replacement)
Some berserkers could simply be fighters with fewer tricks up their sleeves (if so, see "Commander or Fighter" below). Others may be more akin to the nature-dwelling rangers (if so, see "Ranger" below).
Chaos Mage or Sorcerer
The Emporium is always on the lookout for charismatic exhibitors with a magical trick up their sleeve-the flashier the better. Such mages might also be affiliated with a street gang that frequents the Feral Dog or might be in the employ of one of the mine managers.
Background suggestions. combustible magician, enforcer, magecraft
Champion (paladin replacement)
The Chapel of the Unyielding regularly houses one or two young champions from Axis, who work within the garrison sanctuary as lesson in humility on a path to bigger and better things within the greater church. A champion beholden to the Auditor or the Gatekeeper would be minor figurehead in the cult, uniformly respected by the flock.
Background suggestions. acolyte, knight errant, soldier, temple guard
For the easiest fit, players should select one of the local faiths (following either the Auditor, the Unyielding, the Gatekeeper, or the Great Root), which will allow them to interact with a local clergy. The DM can also work with you to change one of these to a deity archetype which you find more appealing. As another alternative, you can be an adjunct cleric "loaned" to the local temple or a lone prophet amid the common folk of Diamond Lake.
Background suggestions. acolyte, church servitor, priest
Commander or Fighter
Most commanders or fighters in Diamond Lake are part of the garrison contingent, but a few work as muscle for the mine managers. For an interesting spin, consider being a deputy serving under the corrupt Sheriff Cubbin looking to move on after witnessing too many abuses of power.
Background suggestions. agent, city watch, caravan guard, gladiator, hired thug, pit fighter, sellsword, soldier, tax-collector
Druids fit perfectly into the Bronzewood Lodge community, and might get into the campaign as representatives of Nogwier, the druid of the Great Root who leads that community and who sends them into the hills chasing stories of unkillable undead.
Background suggestions. forester, herbalist, hermit, priest
Monks native to the Diamond Lake region come from the Twilight Monastery, an edifice located just outside the town, and would then worship the Gatekeeper. Some, however, may be flagellants in service of the Auditor. Others may have come from afar and now be gathering the coin to move on.
Background suggestions. acolyte, brewer, chanter, hermit, martial artist
Practioners of the dark arts do not normally advertise their craft. Necromancers in this campaign would need to be Redeemers in service of the Gatekeeper and would likely work with the Twilight Monastery to bring rest to restless souls.
Background suggestions. acolyte, alchemist, church servitor, magecraft
Occultist or Wizard
Studied arcanists may serve another more powerful mentor in town. Or they may be striking out on their own (the most likely case for THE Occultist) or working in service of one of the mine managers.
Background suggestions. alchemist, apothecary, arcane apprentice, librarian, researcher, scribe
Few rangers dwell within Diamond Lake, but the druidic community at the Bronzewood Lodge includes several who might have reason to regularly visit Diamond Lake. Other rangers might come from the wild tribes of the Cairn Hills. A few may have even roamed the edges of the Knee Deep and oppose the encroachment of the Empire.
Background suggestions. animal handler, bounty hunter, caravan master, cartographer, forester, fur-trader, herder, marauder, nomad, scout, surveyor
Rogues are right at home neatly anywhere in Diamond Lake, but especially in vice dens like the Emporium. Each of the mine managers sponsors at least one gang of toughs, making a rogue PC a great point of contact with the town's seedy underworld.
Background suggestions. bandit, burglar, charlatan, cutpurse, enforcer, gambler, merchant, smuggler, spy, trader, urchin