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Lawful Good: A D&D 5e Background – The Archaeologist

Occasionally we’ll offer free D&D 5e content such as NPCsrandom tables, or interesting professions for townsfolk. This week is a D&D 5e Background – The Archaeologist.

A D&D 5e Background – The Archaeologist


You spent your early career digging up your (and others) cultural identity, searching for things that are lost or forgotten. When not in the field, you spent your time pouring over books or clues, with hope they’ll provide information that leads to your next site. Others may have seen your obsession as a waste of time, but you believed that the past holds the key to the future.

Work with your DM to select a civilization that you are obsessed with learning more about. Were you an assistant to a scholar? Are you an adventurer obsessed with relics that might provide wealth, power, or both? Or are a seeker of knowledge to bolster your magical studies?

Skill Proficiencies: History, Investigation
Tool Proficiencies: Cartographer’s Tools
Languages: One of Your Choice (but it would be more thematic to choose an obscure, largely out of usage language)
Equipment: A small knife, a pick and spade, scholar’s pack, cartographer’s tools, a belt punch containing 15 gold pieces.
Trinket: Half of a floorpan for a temple, castle, or some other structure

Suggested Characteristics:
Archeologists are driven by their desire to actively uncover the past, not satisfied to read about it in a book. They are very knowledgeable companions under the right circumstances and possess a surprisingly adventurous outlook for an academic type. Their flaw might be an underlying greed that drives them or an irrational competitiveness to be the first to claim a find.

Access to the Archaeologists Guild, a secretive group with the purpose of collecting, cataloging, studying and sometimes reselling of ancient relics and artifacts.

dx1007ex_91978The Archaeologists Guild solicits and collects news and rumors of possible locations for excavation and discovery. Site of great interest to the Archaeologists Guild might mean a pooling of their resources to fund a full fledged expedition. But often there is not enough interest in a particular location to fund an expedition, and adventurers can benefit from this by accepting it as an open assignment.

The Archaeologists Guild may supply minor magical items to aid in excavations, such as comprehend languages scrolls, or specialized tools. Items purchased through the guild are 20% cheaper for you than they would be for other non guild members, with the agreement being that you sell your finds exclusively through the guild.

Personality Trait:

  1. I would save an ancient relic before I would save my friends.
  2. I go on long diatribes about history and lore with everyone I meet, whether they want to hear it or not.
  3. I can become so obsessed with ancient cultures that I’ll begin dressing and acting as if I were am member of it.
  4. I am a meticulously detailed planner and organizer, every detail must be accounted for.
  5. I will kill someone for needlessly destroying a place of ancient relics.
  6. I am paranoid that someone else might swoop in and claim a discovery I make.
  7. Nothing can shake my optimism that the next great discovery is just ahead.
  8. I am often so engrossed by ancient cultures, that I have trouble fitting into my own.


  1. Curiosity. I just need to see these things myself! (Any)
  2. Knowledge. Discoveries bring us knowledge about the past we need to learn. (Neutral)
  3. Charity. I will find a proper and secure place for the relics I find, as only through appreciating them can we plot a path forward. (Good)
  4. Selfish. Some relics hold power that I will keep and use for my own purposes. (Chaotic)
  5. Greedy. I collect these relics because they fetch a tidy price on the black market. (Evil)
  6. Honor. I only recover relics for officially sanctioned institutes of learning. (Lawful)


  1. I seek vengence against those who destroyed the museum that I collected relics for. 
  2. I lost a valuable relic and seek to rediscover it.
  3. I have an unfinished map that I believe leads to a place of great and terrible power.
  4. I lost a companion while searching for a relic and it still haunts me.
  5. I work to preserve a temple, library, university, or monastery.
  6. I have alienated many in my tireless pursuit of the past.


  1. When I hear about a potential ruin to explore, I obsess over it to the point of being blind to the risks.
  2. Preserving a relic once lost to time is worth the loss of a few lives, however unfortunate.
  3. I have little respect for anyone outside the realm of academia.
  4. I secretly hate the civilization I am studying and I am seeking only the flaws that brought them to ruin.
  5. I will lie about the worth and significance of a relic if it will benefit me financially or socially.
  6. I hate snakes.
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