I currently think that I won’t be using character classes for Vaarn in future. I’ve tried a Warrior/Mystic/Adept trifecta, and although it works alright, we’ve been getting much more interesting gameplay from the PCs’ ancestries than their classes. Whether someone is a two-headed mutant or a talking horse-man comes up all the time in our sessions, whereas their class almost never does. I’m leaning towards making Mystic Gifts available to all characters through adventuring, and eliminating the Warrior and Adept classes altogether.

However, I do like the world-building that can be sketched out through short, flavourful character backgrounds. To that end, I’ve been mulling over some starter packages that could replace or supplement the current random equipment a starting Vaarn PC is given. I hope these help fill in some of the wider world’s tone and can suggest something about a character’s place in it.

1 Alchymist Alchymical Robes (AC 11)Prismatic Blade (d6)Vial of ICE-9
2 ArtificerHardy Worksuit (AC 12, 2 slots)Wrench (d6)Random Exotica
3 Aurum Barge CrewWorn Voidsuit (AC 12, 2 slots)Suit Cutter (d6)O2 Mask
4 Clone Catcher Catcher’s Armour (AC 12, 2 slots)Concealed Pistol (d6)Genepeeker
5 Faa NomadNomad’s Robes (AC 11)Nomad’s Bow (d8)Sandworm Horn
6 Fire Speaker Crimson Attire (AC 11)Bronze Dagger (d6)GIFT – Pyrokinesis
7 FungusmongerMerchant’s Robes (AC 11)Sporegun (d8)Dried Fungus Man
8 Gladiator Battered Armour (AC 14, 4 slots)Hard-used Blade (d8)Gruesome Trophy
9 Hypergeometrician Scholar’s Attire (AC 11)Scholar’s Gun (d6)GIFT – Hypergeometry
10 Inquisitor Grim Attire (AC 11)Querulous Blade (d6)Truth Serum
11 Mercenary Gambeson (AC 12, 2 slots)Plasma Fusil (d8)Plasma Grenades (3)
12 Mystic Mystic’s Robes (AC 11)Walking Stick (d6)Random GIFT
13 Priest of
Sevenscore Moons
Moondark Attire (AC 11)Waning Blade (d6)Draught of
Merciful Tranquility
14 Priest of
Sevenscore Suns
Sunburst Attire (AC 11)Sun Staff (d6)Medicinal Gourd
15 Psychonaut Mismatched Rags (AC 11)Ego-Death Ray (d6)Random Drugs (2)
16 Relic Thief  Dark Clothes (AC 11)Blackened Dagger (d6)Void-Saint’s Finger
17 Sin EaterEater’s Robes (AC 11)Ritual Dining Fork (d6)Sin You Couldn’t Eat
18 Wall-Born Climbing Armour (AC 12, 2 slots)Grapple Gun (d8)Trained Ape
19Ceremonial FoolMotley (AC 11)Jolly Bludgeon (d6)Sacred Puppet
20Nameless CloneRags (AC 11)Bone Knife (d6)Nothing

I would probably choose not to define the backgrounds much more clearly than they are here, instead leaving that to my players. What exactly does the Draught of Merciful Tranquility do? I imagine it’s likely a poison, but that’s up to the Priest of Sevenscore Moons to decide. Likewise, I have a fairly good idea what the Clone Catcher’s Genepeeker is probably used for, but the exact form and function of the device I would leave to the player to define.

3 thoughts on “20 BACKGROUNDS FOR VAARN”

  1. I think this has to be one of my favourite Vaarn posts of yours. Especially love the “fungusmonger” and “hypergeometrician.” Also, the “sin you couldn’t eat” item made me chuckle.


    1. Thanks, this is a bit of an odd formative post as I ended up not using these backgrounds in any published stuff. They’re leaning a bit more Troika or Electric Bastionland-ish with the unique weapons and gear. I agree that the Sin Eater is quite a fun one, I should revisit that profession somehow

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, definitely does lean towards that. I like it though. Gives a bit more of the eccentric goodness of Vaarn through some pain quotidien. That sin eater stuff definitely is gravy. 10/10 should revisit.


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