Apothecary (5e Background)

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Author: Dracomortis (talk)
Date Created: October 24, 2014
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Apothecary is a background in 5th edition.


Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Medicine
Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism kit, Poisoner’s Kit

Equipment: An herbalism kit, a merchant’s scale, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp

Feature: Medical Professional

You have a reputation as a healer of the sick, and are often called upon by those who are diseased or injured. You can usually gain an audience with anyone who needs treatment — even if protocol would normally prevent you from doing so — simply by agreeing to offer your assistance. By spending a few moments examining a chemical — a vial of liquid, a packet of ground powder, or the like — you can determine whether the substance is intended to harm or heal (or neither). This examination does not reveal any specific information about the substance(such as that a powder is actually an inhaled poison, or that it paralyzes its victim), only that it is either harmful or helpful to those that it is used on.

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

Apothecaries are defined by their attention to detail. Because so many of the illnesses they treat often have similar symptoms, they are careful about the things they say and the questions they ask, always looking to gather precise and accurate information. They tend towards cleanliness and organization, as they need to keep their tools sterile and their supplies ready at all times.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I distance myself from everyone, even those I care about.
2 I keep all of my possessions meticulously clean, and I hate any kind of filth. 
3 I am honest to a fault; knowing all of the information is the only way to make an accurate diagnosis. 
4 I make incredibly poor jokes in an attempt to put others at ease. 
5 I talk down to others when speaking on a field I believe myself to be knowledgeable in. 
6 I present everything I say as a guess or estimate so that I don’t look bad if it turns out to be wrong. 
7 It seems like I always try to strike up a conversation at the worst possible moment. 
8 I set very high standards for myself, and expect others to follow my example.

d6 Ideal
1 Aid. Every sick or wounded person deserves my help, regardless of the life they lead. (Good)
2 Control. By deciding who lives and who dies, I can shape the world to my liking. (Evil) 
3 Loyalty. It is my duty to treat those to whom I have sworn allegiance. (Lawful) 
4 Efficiency. I am not emotionally invested in those I aid; to act otherwise would compromise my work. (Neutral) 
5 Prevention. Stopping the spread of sickness is better than treating it. (Any) 
6 Research. In order to treat patients effectively, we must understand the maladies afflicting them. (Any)

d6 Bond
1 I share my discoveries with my fellow apothecaries, to further the goals of our trade.
2 I give my aid to those who protect my country and my ruler. 
3 Many medicinal reagents are rare or hard to find; those who secure them deserve respect. 
4 I seek a cure to a mysterious disease that afflicts one of my loved ones. 
5 I wish to prove that “mundane” healing is just as viable as magic. 
6 I work closely with a group that aims to eliminate a particular disease from existence.

d6 Flaw
1 I use unproven treatments on my patients without their knowledge.
2 I refuse to give aid to those of a certain species or nationality, no matter how desperately they need it. 
3 If a disease is particularly deadly, I refuse to treat it out of fear for my own health. 
4 Memories of a horrible plague that I failed to cure still haunt me to this day. 
5 The sight of blood makes me queasy, and I can only treat those who have no external wounds. 
6 I am only interested in the ailments my patients suffer from, not the people themselves.

Back to Main Page5eCharacter OptionsBackgrounds

AuthorDracomortis +
EquipmentAn herbalism kit, a merchant’s scale, a set of common clothes, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp +
FeaturesMedical Professional +
Identifier5e Background +
RatingUndiscussed +
SkillInvestigation + and Medicine +
SummaryIndividuals who make a living diagnosing and treating medical ailments...or causing them +
TitleApothecary +
ToolsHerbalism kit, Poisoner’s Kit +