Faceless Background 5e: Everything You Need to Know

Faceless Background 5e Masked Warlock Feature

Do you want to be the life of the party, but don’t want everyone to know your name? Do you enjoy being mysterious and keeping people guessing about your true identity? If so, then the faceless background in 5e may be perfect for you! This article will discuss what it means to have a faceless persona in Dungeons and Dragons, as well as provide tips on how to roleplay one effectively. Let’s get started!

Faceless Background 5e—Who are the Faceless?

The faceless are those of you who could never be a hero because of where you come from. Maybe you’re already an extraordinary person who “isn’t allowed” to go off adventuring. Maybe it’s the family or social class you’re born into. Or even your sins if they’re dark enough. Whatever it is, something prevents the true you from effectively pursuing the path you’ve chosen.

But those are trifling matters that won’t stop you from becoming the hero you know you can be. So you leave your old face behind and take on a new persona created from many characters.

Those of you with the faceless background don disguises in order to protect your true identity. Sometimes the disguises are literal disguises, and sometimes they are personas you fashion to fool those you interact with. Will you choose larger-than-life personalities, or an inconspicuous one, blending into the world around you?

The faceless background largely focuses on detailing the hero behind the mask or persona you decide to don.

Faceless Background 5e Bonuses

  • Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Intimidation
  • Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit
  • Languages: One of your choice
  • Equipment: Disguise kit, a costume, a pouch containing 10 gp
Art by Artgerm

Faceless Persona

As the faceless hero, you live behind the facade of a public persona. But that persona is second nature to you! It feels as natural as your true identity, even if the disguise has animalistic or monstrous characteristics.

And how you come up with that persona is up to you.

Roll a d10 on the Faceless Persona Table to determine your persona. Or as we recommend at Nerd Night News, work with your DM! Between the two of you, you’ll be able to fabricate a persona unique to you and the tone of your game.

Faceless Persona Table (d10)

1—A flamboyant spy or brigand
2—The incarnation of a nation or people
3—A scoundrel with a masked guise
4—A vengeful spirit
5—The manifestation of a deity or your faith
6—One whose beauty is greatly accented using makeup
7—An impersonation of another hero
8—The embodiment of a school of magic
9—A warrior with distinctive armor
10—A disguise with animalistic or monstrous characteristics, meant to inspire fear

Faceless Characteristics

A faceless character adventures behind the mask of a public persona. You wear your persona most of the time because your true identity cannot be safely revealed. But it is all a facade. To define your persona, you can choose characteristics from other backgrounds, particularly folk hero, hermit, or noble for great examples.

But don’t forget about your true identity. Choose a set of faceless characteristics distinct from your persona. Consequently, heroes with this background will have two sets of characteristics: one set for their persona(s), and one set for their faceless selves (aka their secret identity).

Personality Trait (d8)

1—I’m earnest and uncommonly direct.
2—I strive to have no personality — it’s easier to forget what’s hardly there.
3—I treasure a memento of the person or instance that set me upon my path.
4—I sleep just as much as I need to and on an unusual schedule.
5—I think far ahead, a detachedness often mistaken for daydreaming.
6—I cultivate a single obscure hobby or study and eagerly discuss it at length.
7—I am ever learning how to be among others — when to stay quiet, when to laugh.
8—I behave like an extreme opposite of my persona.

Ideal (d6)

1—Justice. Place in society shouldn’t determine one’s access to what is right. (Good)
2—Security. Doing what must be done can’t bring the innocent to harm. (Lawful)
3—Confusion. Deception is a weapon. Strike from where your foes won’t expect. (Chaotic)
4—Infamy. My name will be a malediction, a curse that fulfills my will. (Evil)
5—Incorruptibility. Be a symbol, and leave your flawed being behind. (Any)
6—Anonymity. It’s my deeds that should be remembered, not their instrument. (Any)

Bond (d6)

1—I do everything for my family. My first thought is keeping them safe.
2—What I do, I do for the world. The people don’t realize how much they need me.
3—I’ve seen too many in need. I must not fail them as everyone else has.
4—I stand in opposition, lest the wicked go unopposed.
5—I am exceptional. I do this because no one else can, and no one can stop me.
6—I do everything for those who were taken from me.

Flaw (d6)

1—I am callous about death. It comes to us all eventually.
2—I never make eye contact or hold it unflinchingly.
3—I have no sense of humor. Laughing is uncomfortable and embarrassing.
4—I overexert myself, sometimes needing to recuperate for a day or more.
5—I think far ahead, a detachedness often mistaken for daydreaming.
6—I see morality entirely in black and white.

Art by Halcyon450

Faceless Background 5e Feature: Dual Personalities

Most beings you interact with know you as your persona, including your fellow adventurers. If someone does question you to uncover your goals, weaknesses or where you come from, he or she will be unable to dig deeper than your persona. When you behave as your persona, no one can identify your true identity. And conversely, no one can identify you as your persona when you behave as your true self.

This feature grants you the ability to switch between your dual personalities as many times as you would like. So you can use one as convenient camouflage for the other. But if you are careless, someone might connect the dots. If that happens, the potency of your deception might wane.

Faceless Background 5e—Tips to Roleplay

This background allows you to craft two distinct personalities—so embrace that. It will certainly make differentiating between the two easier for you.

What do I mean?

Well, if your persona is an upstanding member of the community who always tries to do what’s right, while your true self is a serial killer, then you shouldn’t have issues remaining in character.

And if that same persona had a privileged upbringing while your true serial killer self had a brutal upbringing, then you shouldn’t have difficulty remembering which “facts” belong to each identity.

On the other hand, if both your faceless persona and your true self are loners who don’t get along well with others, how difficult is it going to be to remember which one you are?

What made you want to play a faceless hero? What would you change to improve this background? Let us know in the comments!

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