In first edition Pathfinder, I really liked the design space occupied by traits particularly the campaign traits. In second edition this design space is most similar to the new Background mechanics and I’m excited by the options I can create for my home games very easily whether I’m building a new campaign from scratch or adapting an Adventure Path from first to second edition.
Today I thought I’d take a stab at the latter option. Now I have a fondness for the Mummy’s Mask AP and some experience with the traits as I adapted the whole selection of them to the Cypher System back in January so I thought I’d dip back into that well and present a few 2e Background alternatives for the Mummy’s Mask AP.
Blood of Pharaohs (Background)
Long ago, one of your ancestors generations removed ruled over the lands of Osirion. Although you are many generations removed and the line of descent is hard to prove, his or her blood still runs in your veins. Perhaps you may find some proof of your lineage in the tombs of Wati’s necropolis.
Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Wisdom or Charisma and one is a free ability boost.
You are trained in the Society skill and the Genealogy Lore skill. You gain the Multilingual feat and may choose Ancient Osiriani as one of your additional languages.
Devotee of the Old Gods (Background)
Osirion has a history stretching back over 8,000 years, and the deities worshiped today in modern Osirion are not the same ones revered in Ancient Osirion’s heyday—deities with names like Anubis, Osiris, Ra, and Set, among others. Your family never lost the faith of your ancestors, however, and your devotion to one of the deities of Ancient Osirion has helped keep the memory of Osirion’s past alive—a past that still lingers on in the untouched necropolis of Wati.
Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Wisdom and one is a free ability boost.
You are trained in the Religion skill and the Old Gods Lore skill. You gain the Student of the Canon feat.
Foreign Opportunist (Background)
You’re not a native Osirian, but the opportunity to explore the tombs of Ancient Osirion—and “liberate” the treasures they hold—is too good to pass up. Whether or not you’re interested in the history of this land, you’re definitely interested in the wealth that’s lain hidden in dusty crypts for millennia—such as the tombs in the newly opened necropolis of Wati.
Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Charisma and one is a free ability boost.
You are trained in the Diplomacy skill and the Relics of Ancient Osirion Lore skill. You gain the Bargain Hunter feat.
Inquisitive Archaeologist (Background)
You have studied the architectural styles of nations throughout the Inner Sea region, but none have fascinated you like the architecture of Ancient Osirion. Hearing that the famed necropolis of Wati has finally been opened for exploration, you’ve come to that city to get firsthand experience with the lost secrets of Ancient Osirion’s master builders.
Choose two ability boosts one must be to Intelligence or Wisdom and the other is a free ability boost.
You are trained in the Society Skill and the Archaeology Lore skill. You gain the Experienced Professional feat with Archaeology Lore.
At some time in the recent past you died, but you were brought back to life—whether because of magic, a blessing of the gods, a destiny you have to fulfill, or perhaps it just wasn’t your time to die yet. Either through insights gained from your journey beyond or a quirt of your resurrection you find that you are able to wield magic items you normally could not. Whatever the nature of your resurrection, your experience gave you a fascination with death, and you hope to find some insight into the nature of mortality by exploring the tombs of Wati’s famous necropolis.
Choose two ability boosts one must be to Constitution or Wisdom and the other is a free ability boost.
You are trained in the Occultism or Religion skill and the Philosophy Lore skill. You gain the Trick Magic Item feat.
Sphinx Riddler (Background)
You’ve always been fascinated with the ancient race of sphinxes, and are inspired by them to love puzzles and riddles and enjoy solving difficult dilemmas. Like so many others, you’ve come to Wati to explore its ancient necropolis, but you’ve also heard that sphinxes occasionally visit a sphinx-shaped ruin called Ubet’s Folly in the city—perhaps you’ll have the chance to meet and talk with a sphinx yourself!
Choose two ability scores one must be Intelligence or Wisdom and the other is a free ability boost.
You’re trained in the Society skill and the Puzzle and Riddle Lore skill. You gain the Multilingual feat and may choose Sphinx as one of your additional languages.
Trap Finder (Background)
Forgotten dungeons and ancient tombs have always held an appeal for you, and you’ve never been able to resist the urge to delve into these lost sites in search of knowledge, treasure, or both. You may not have received any formal training in the roguish arts, but you’ve nonetheless become skilled at spotting and disabling hidden traps. The tombs of Wati’s necropolis, just opened for exploration, seem like the perfect place to put your skills to the test.
Choose two ability scores one must be Dexterity or Wisdom and the other is a free ability boost.
You’re trained in the Thievery skill and the Traps Lore skill. You gain the Assurance feat with the Thievery skill.
Undead Crusader (Background)
You have dedicated your life to eradicating the scourge of the undead from Golarion. You have spent countless hours studying the different types of undead and have trained endlessly to learn the best ways to defeat them. If any undead creatures come out of the tombs of Wati’s necropolis, you’ll be ready for them!
Choose two ability boosts one must be Strength or Constitution and one is a free ability boost.
You’re trained in Athletics or Stealth and Undead Lore. You gain the Assurance feat with a skill of your choice.
Wati Native (Background)
You were born and raised in the city of Wati, and you know its streets and secrets well. Although it’s frowned upon by the city’s authorities, you have sneaked into the necropolis on multiple occasions to wander its dusty, abandoned streets. Out of respect for the deceased, you’ve never actually entered one of the necropolis’s silent tombs, but you have no fear of what might lie inside.
Choose two ability boosts one must be Dexterity or Wisdom and the one is a free ability boost.
You’re trained in the Diplomacy skill and the Wati Lore skill. You gain the Hobnobber feat.
You may have noticed I left Mummy-Cursed off the list. This was a deliberate choice because there didn’t seem to be a skill feat that worked with the original intent of the Mummy-Cursed trait. As Paizo, third party publishers, or even yourself add new skill feats the options for Backgrounds will continue to expand. That helps make this an even more exciting design space to play in. I highly encourage GMs to add a custom background or two to their campaigns for players to choose.
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