Born with innate magical abilities sourced from various origins, sorcerers possess the power to wield and manipulate magic to accomplish their goals. However, the source of their magic sets each sorcerer apart from their peers. In addition to their magical prowess, sorcerers are known for their charismatic nature, which is reflected in their choice of background. Here are some excellent background options for sorcerers listed from good to best:
Anyone, especially those with divine soul abilities, can serve gods and pantheons as an acolyte. This background provides proficiency in insight and religion skills. While religion may not be of great use to most sorcerers, it holds more significance for those with a divine connection. Insight is a valuable skill for any kind of sorcerer, making this proficiency essential. The acolyte background also offers proficiency in two additional languages. The equipment for acolytes includes a holy symbol, a book of prayer, five sticks of incense, vestments, a set of everyday clothes, and 15 gold coins. Although this equipment may not be of much use to a sorcerer, it can add depth to their character. The Shelter of the Faithful feature allows acolytes, including sorcerers, to find support or seek shelter from followers of their religion/faith. While this background requires the character to have a religious inclination, it provides relevant proficiencies.
Natural-born sorcerers from influential families can easily ascend to nobility and secure their place among kings due to their high charisma and valuable capabilities. Choosing the noble background grants proficiency in history and persuasion skills. History can be a powerful knowledge base for sorcerers, and the persuasion proficiency complements their innate charm. Additionally, noble sorcerers gain proficiency with a chosen gaming set. However, this proficiency does not significantly contribute to the class. This background also grants one additional language and provides a set of noble’s equipment, including fine clothes, a signet ring, a scroll of pedigree, and a purse containing 25 gold coins. The Position of Privilege feature, unique to the noble background, grants access to high society and earns support from common folk due to their noble lineage. This background aligns well with sorcerers, although the history proficiency may not always be relevant.
While good charisma enables many sorcerers to quickly read and manipulate people, not all choose this path. The charlatan background offers proficiency in deception and sleight of hand skills, as well as a disguise and forgery kit. Although sorcerers may not excel in dexterity, combining these proficiencies with their high charisma compensates for any lack of finesse. Unlike most other backgrounds, the charlatan background does not provide any additional languages. However, the equipment includes fine clothes, a disguise kit, a signet ring, 15 gold coins, and tools of the trade for conning, such as weighted dice. The False Identity feature grants the sorcerer a second persona with official documentation and established contacts. With its valuable proficiencies and the false identity feature, this background suits sorcerers who operate outside the law.
3. Guild Artisan
As a sorcerer, you may have sought adventure and joined a guild where a master artisan guided you until you became a skilled practitioner. Choosing the guild artisan background grants proficiency in insight and persuasion skills, as well as proficiency in a chosen type of artisan’s tools. Both insight and persuasion are part of the sorcerer’s skill list and prove helpful for roleplay, especially for highly charismatic sorcerers. However, the proficiency in artisan’s tools may not be fully utilized by sorcerers. This background also provides proficiency in an additional language of choice and offers guild artisan’s equipment, including a set of tools, a set of traveler’s clothes, and 15 gold coins. While the equipment itself may not be notable, the starting gold is decent. The Guild Membership feature, shared with the acolyte and faction agent backgrounds, ensures that your guild provides assistance whenever possible, albeit with a monthly fee of 5 gold coins to maintain membership. While the guild artisan background offers useful proficiencies, the cost of membership and the artisan’s tools proficiency limit its overall usefulness for sorcerers.
With their high charisma and innate magic, sorcerers often find themselves serving as assistants or advisors to nobles or kings. The courtier background offers proficiency in insight and persuasion skills, both of which are part of the sorcerer’s skill list and complement their charismatic abilities. This background also grants proficiency in two additional languages of choice, a set of fine clothes, and five gold coins. The Court Functionary feature, exclusive to the courtier background, provides access to records and insider knowledge about court proceedings. While courtier is a great choice for sorcerers with its valuable proficiencies, two additional languages, and useful feature, the equipment provided may be lacking in both gold and tools.
1. Faction Agent
Your faction could be your family or a group of sorcerers with similar powers. Choosing the faction agent background grants proficiency in the insight skill and proficiency in a chosen mental skill (either charisma, wisdom, or intelligence). Insight is a strong skill for sorcerers and part of their skill list, and the additional proficiency in a chosen mental skill allows them to further specialize in one of the charisma-based skills. Additionally, faction agents gain proficiency in two extra languages and receive faction-specific equipment, including a badge or emblem, a copy of a seminal faction text, a set of common clothes, and 15 gold coins. While this equipment may not seem extraordinary, it helps shape the character’s identity. The Safe Haven feature, granted by the background, provides access to secret networks of supporters who can provide assistance when needed. With its excellent skill proficiencies and two additional languages, the faction agent background is a straightforward and solid choice for sorcerers.
In conclusion, choosing the right background for your sorcerer can greatly enhance your character’s story and abilities. Consider these options based on your sorcerer’s personality, goals, and the role you wish to play in your DnD campaign.