ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?! Because it’s time to check out the entertainer background in 5e! This background is perfect for anyone who wants to captivate others through actions, words, or performances. Use your abilities to distract, impress, or just earn some coin from town to town.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about the entertainer background in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, including the skills, proficiencies, personality traits, features, and tips to roleplay a character with the entertainer background.
Entertainer Background 5e—Who are the Entertainers?
You are at home when you command the attention of an audience. Nothing fuels your drive to perform at your best than knowing countless eyes watch your every move while their ears hang on every word you speak.
Your undeniable charisma and alluring charm suck them in and keep them where you want them for as long as your performance lasts. You speak poetry that stirs the most jaded of hearts, awakening grief or joy, laughter or anger. Your tales of bravery inspire the timidest of beings. And your dance steps and acrobatics captivate while your wit elicits laughter from the most stoic of men.
Entertainer 5e Bonuses
- Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Performance
- Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, one type of musical instrument
- Equipment: A musical instrument (one of your choice), a single costume, the favor of an admirer (love letter, lock of hair, or trinket), and a belt pouch with 15 gold pieces
Your Routine as an Entertainer
No entertainer would be complete without a routine to wow onlookers, distract a crowd, or seduce a tavern wench. Choose up to three of the entertainer routines listed below and charm the pants off of anyone fortunate enough to witness your performance.
Entertainer 5e Routines Table (d10)
Entertainer 5e Characteristics
The best entertainers know how to capture attention and play with it, so they tend to have flamboyant or forceful personalities. If you have the entertainer background in 5e, you strive to be mysterious, over-the-top, forceful, or seductive. Some entertainers see beauty in the fleeting essence of life, some see beauty in the divine nature of athleticism, and others see beauty in the power of language.
Where do you find beauty?
While entertainers are often extroverted, they can also be introverted and shy when not performing. This dichotomy allows them to understand both those who crave attention and those who try to avoid it. No matter their personality type, entertainers have an air of confidence in their craft.
Personality Trait (d8)
1—I know a story relevant to almost every situation.
2—Whenever I come to a new place, I collect local rumors and spread gossip.
3—I’m a hopeless romantic, always searching for that “special someone.”
4—Nobody stays angry at me or around me for long, since I can defuse any amount of tension.
5—I love a good insult, even one directed at me.
6—I get bitter if I’m not the center of attention.
7—I’ll settle for nothing less than perfection.
8—I change my mood or my mind as quickly as I change key in a song.
1—Beauty. When I perform, I make the world better than it was. (Good)
2—Tradition. The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten, for they teach us who we are. (Lawful)
3—Creativity. The world is in need of new ideas and bold action. (Chaotic)
4—Greed. I’m only in it for the money and fame. (Evil)
5—People. I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces when I perform. That’s all that matters. (Neutral)
6—Honesty. Art should reflect the soul; it should come from within and reveal who we really are. (Any)
1—My instrument is my most treasured possession, and it reminds me of someone I love.
2—Someone stole my precious instrument, and someday I’ll get it back.
3—I want to be famous, whatever it takes.
4—I idolize a hero of the old tales and measure my deeds against that person’s.
5—I will do anything to prove myself superior to my hated rival.
6—I would do anything for the other members of my old troupe.
1—I’ll do anything to win fame and renown.
2—I’m a sucker for a pretty face.
3—A scandal prevents me from ever going home again. That kind of trouble seems to follow me around.
4—I once satirized a noble who still wants my head. It was a mistake that I will likely repeat.
5—I have trouble keeping my true feelings hidden. My sharp tongue lands me in trouble.
6—Despite my best efforts, I am unreliable to my friends.
Entertainer Background 5e Feature: By Popular Demand
You’ve been doing this long enough. You know where to go and who to talk to when you want a place to perform, whether it’s an inn, tavern, circus, theater, or even at the court of a local lord. Maybe it’s your charm, maybe your reputation precedes you, maybe it’s Maybelline. Either way, people welcome the services you provide.
You are rewarded with free lodging and meals for as many nights as you perform. The quality of room and board is of a modest or comfortable standard but will depend on the establishment itself. So don’t expect comfortable lodging at a roadside inn. Lastly, due to your exceptional performances, people who recognize you in a town where you’ve performed will think well of you.
Variant Entertainer: Gladiator
A gladiator is not required simply to kill but to entertain, to win the crowd. You were trained to turn mortal combat into a rousing performance to enthrall onlookers. Flashy sword combat, flourishing parries, acrobatic dodges, and the charisma to hold court in a gladiatorial arena.
A gladiator is as much an entertainer as any bard or circus performer, but there is no position a man can have that so finely dances the line between life and death, savagery and civilization. You are expected to be focused in combat, do what is necessary to survive, look good doing it, and capture the hearts of the mob.
By Popular Demand, Gladiator Style
The By Popular Demand feature of the entertainer background in 5e gains a bonus with the gladiator variant. Instead of just finding a place to perform, you also find venues that allow combat as a form of entertainment. Perhaps a gladiatorial arena or underground fight club.
Lastly, you have the option to replace the musical instrument the vanilla entertainer background receives. Instead, you can choose an unusual weapon better suited to a gladiator, like a trident, net,
You can replace the musical instrument in your equipment package with an inexpensive but unusual weapon, such as a glaive, whip, trident, or net.
Entertainer Background 5e—Tips to Roleplay
Have you heard the tale of Drach of Auren?
A dragonborn kidnapped as an infant and sold to a gladiator school, Drach was trained in the arts of combat and showmanship. In his adolescence, Drach’s gladiatorial school burned down, killing the headmistress of the school and his teacher.
Without a home and without a purpose, this gladiator wandered through the desert. He used his skills to compete in underground fight clubs, gladiator exhibition matches, and protecting those who paid him.
Eventually, Drach was taken in by a group of adventurers who valued the young dragonborn’s prowess on the battlefield. Drach found a family he could protect. With that family came his willingness to let down his guard.
Incorporating the 5e Entertainer Background into Gameplay
Drach was still an adolescent, so he was prone to showing off. Every battle was an opportunity for him to not just fight and protect his new family, but to look damn good doing it. With his gladiator training, he knew victory doesn’t always demand an opponent’s death. Sometimes you intimidate him with ferociousness and blood lust. Other times with a calmness that terrifies. Sometimes you grapple with your opponent and force him to submit.
Outside of combat, Drach was as charming as any gladiator worth his weight in gold. But Drach was also an adolescent, so his desire to show off and be the center of attention rubbed people the wrong way at times. For example, he had a terrible habit (terribly entertaining that is) of flexing and posing like a bodybuilder whenever he and his companions were introduced to someone important.
Thanks to his +6 in Performance and dazzling physique, such introductions often went better than expected. Such is the reality of being strong, handsome, charming, and a master of your craft.
While his companions were initially embarrassed by Drach’s incessant flexing and power posing, it couldn’t have been too terrible though, because eventually, his adventuring companions started doing the same.
Drach was a brave dragonborn who lived his life as himself. He was trained as a fighter and entertainer, and it showed in everything he did.
What do you think about the 5e entertainer background? Is there anything you’d add or change? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!