The stars of Pash-Mara
At one point and time, you were like everyone else. Then, you become immortal. The nature of your immortal existence prevents you from ever having a “normal” life. While some adventure in order to obtain power or wealth, you adventure out of necessity due to this blessing—or curse—and have lived long enough you know no other life than being an incarnation of immortality. Like members of other long-lived races, you do not have perfect recollection of everything you have ever experienced. Likewise, just because you have lived a long time doesn’t mean you were present for every important historical event throughout that time. Rather, you remember the high points and the low points of your long existence. Seeing the world in broad strokes, you have forgotten more than most individuals will ever learn in their relatively short lifespans. This doesn’t mean, however, that you exist completely apart from the rest of the world. You still live and work among mortals, pursuing your own agenda and goals that may take centuries or millennia to come to fruition. During this time you adapt to the current culture, share experiences with those you consider allies, and make a place for yourself in the world.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, plus one from among Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion
Tool Proficiencies: Your choice of an artisan’s tool, a gaming set, or a musical instrument Languages: Any one of your choice
Equipment: One set of traveler’s clothes, any items with which you are proficient, a small piece of artwork or jewelry worth 10 gp in the style of craftsmanship of an older society, and a pouch containing 10 gp
You have unlocked the secrets of true immortality. When you die, you reappear 24 hours later in a safe location of your choosing, which you must have visited at least once. Your body is restored completely, although you may choose to return to life as an older or younger version of yourself. Your physical remains, if they still exist, become inert and can’t thereafter be restored to life, since your soul is elsewhere. This feature may change slightly depending on the reason for why you are immortal (see below).
Why are you Immortal? The most important decision in creating an incarnation of immortality background is determining your source of immortality. The methods discussed here are all sufficiently powerful to justify the use of this background.
Arcane Secret. You gained your immortality after stumbling upon an arcane secret. This could be a piece of forgotten or dark lore, the remnants of a magical spell, or exposure to an artifact. Regardless, you are now tied to the Weave in such a way you will always return to life after death, no matter how many times you die. However, all magic can be undone by some means. When you choose this background, work with your DM to create a method by which your immortality can be undone (for suggestions see Destroying Artifacts, page 221 of the DMG).
Fated. You may be immortal because it is your destiny to perform great deeds in the world. Alternatively, you may be a fluke of the natural order, being brought back time and time again because of a loophole in cosmic law. Regardless, the universe seeks balance in all things. Whenever you are brought back to life, somewhere in the world a duplicate of you is also brought into existence. This duplicate looks, sounds, and acts just like you, except its only purpose is to kill you. While the duplicate has all of your memories prior to your being brought back to life, it lacks your immortal nature, does not possess class levels, and lacks the ability to gain class levels. The DM should create a challenging encounter based on this duplicate (for suggestions see Creating a Monster, page 273 in the DMG). If you are killed by your duplicate, your Immortality feature can’t bring you back from the dead. In most cases, your duplicate will attempt to “take over” your life but will adopt a less adventurous existence.
Mysterious Magical Event. You became immortal due to a mysterious magical event. Perhaps you were dissolved in a cloud of acid conjured by a powerful spellcaster. Perhaps you were frozen to death by winds from another plane of existence. Perhaps you were immolated in hell fire, only to find yourself alive and well the next day. Perhaps you were struck by lightning during a storm conjured by a god’s divine wrath. Perhaps you were exposed to the deafening sound of a word of creation. No matter what event was responsible for your first death and rebirth, you are now forever tied to those energies and only they hold the power to undo your immortality. When you choose this background you choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage. You can never benefit from resistance or immunity to this type of damage. If you are killed by this type of damage, your Immortality feature can’t bring you back from the dead. Nature’s Blessing. Your immortality is rooted in your ties to the endless cycle of death and rebirth found in nature. When you are brought back from the dead, you do not return to life in your previous body. Instead, you are reincarnated into a new body of your previous race. You may choose the cosmetic physical features of your new form, so long as they fall within your race’s normal range. This includes eye color, hair color, skin tone, height, weight, age, and gender. This method of rebirth ties you directly to nature and, as such, your ability to return to life after death is dependent on maintaining a balance with the natural world. You should work with your DM to create a list of tenets regarding maintaining balance with the natural world (for suggestions see the Paladin’s Sacred Oaths, page 85 in the PHB). If you violate these tenets, ever purposefully despoil nature, or knowingly unbalance the natural world, you may lose your Immortality feature until you seek atonement and perform a challenging task meant to restore balance to nature. Piety. Your immortality stems from your devotion to your deity or other higher power. When you use your Immortality feature, you are always brought back at a safe location considered sacred to your deity. So long as you continue to serve your deity’s cause with your actions, offer them prayers daily with your words, and never turn away from their teachings or violate their tenets, you will continue to return to life when you die. You should work with your DM to create a list of tenets of your faith (for suggestions see the Paladin’s Sacred Oaths, page 85 in the PHB). If you violate the tenets of your faith or ever turn away from your deity, you may lose your Immortality feature until you seek atonement and perform a challenging task on behalf of your deity. Suggested Characteristics An immortal existence lends itself to a unique outlook on life. Removed even from the longest lived races, an incarnation of immortality watches as the world changes and they remain virtually untouched by time.
1 There is nothing I like more than a good mystery.
2 While history is often written by the victor, I know the “truth” about many historical events and feel obligated to correct those ignorant of what really happened.
3 I know a story relevant to almost every situation.
4 I am utterly serene, even in the face of disaster.
5 I can find common ground between the fiercest of enemies, empathizing with them and always working towards peace.
6 I judge people by their actions, not their words.
1 Selfless. I will do whatever it takes to help others, even if it means sacrificing my life. (Good)
2 Merciful. Because of my immortal nature, I go out of my way to ensure I don’t unnecessarily take a life. (Lawful)
3 Independence. I am a free spirit—no one tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
4 Selfish. I will do whatever it takes to remain immortal. (Evil)
5 Live and Let Live. Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. (Neutral)
6 Axiomatic Self. The goal of an immortal existence is the betterment of oneself. (Any)
1 Within my mind I hold the ancient knowledge of a terrible secret that must not fall into the wrong hands.
2 I will make my mark on history, whatever it takes.
3 I have been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.
4 An injury to unspoiled wilderness is an injury to me.
5 Everything I do is for the common people.
6 I suffer awful visions of a coming disaster and will do anything to prevent it.
1 I like keeping secrets and won’t share them with anyone.
2 They say I was on the “wrong side” of history, but so long as I live, I will never concede defeat.
3 During my lowest point, I performed unspeakably evil acts. While that was long ago, there are those that would stop at nothing to see me destroyed if they knew I still lived.
4 I will do anything to protect the balance of nature, even if that means sacrificing myself or others.
5 My piety sometimes leads me to blindly trust those that profess faith in my god. 6 While I value the lives of my friends, I see others as little more than pawns to be manipulated and discarded when no longer needed.