Weaving, sewing, quilting, tapestries — these arts were part of what common people did in the times that inspire fantasy storytelling. It’s rare that these professions are featured as heroes, but they should be. They are community leaders or practitioners of the quiet circle, often of women unempowered in a society.
From these origins one may rise to be a powerful Artificer, a storytelling Bard, a Mastermind Rogue, a healing Druid, a Cleric of Peace, a vengeful Paladin. Or something else.
The weaver is not soft, though they can make great fabrics. A quilter is not necessarily warm to all. These are the people who toil with nimble fingers and converse with those too often overlooked by authority.
These are the people who see destiny in fabric.
You are an independent artisan who makes fabric or clothes or blankets. Your specific art is less important than what you do with it. Your friends and colleagues know things and count on you.
Authority may overlook your presence, but you know their tenor and can hide what they are looking for — whether that’s a person or a thing.
Skill Proficiencies: Insight, Sleight of Hand
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Weaver’s Tools
Languages: No additional
Equipment: Blanket, 3 candles, chalk, cloths (either common or winter), 3 needles, spool of thread, pouch, 5 gold
Feature: As the Wheel Wills
You have a certain comfort and understanding that you aren’t always in control. You have advantage on saves against fear, charm and other enchantments after the first round in these conditions.
Additionally, you are able to find and protect secrets. When using Insight or Sleight of Hand to keep or discover secrets you do so with double proficiency.
Personality: use the Folk Hero and Guild Artisan as guidance.
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Avoiding the Folk Hero’s problem of “if you’re already a hero you shouldn’t be level 1” is my primary goal with the Clothier. It’s the primary goal with many of the backgrounds I’ve created. Common people become heroes through playing D&D — although someday I’ll make a False Hero, one who hasn’t yet been heroic.
Fernando Pessoa once said “Sometimes, when I wake up at night, I feel invisible hands weaving my destiny.”
I also wanted to capture the magic of weaving and other arts of cloth. These aren’t arts that I understand. They are arts that I want to celebrate.
From the literature that inspires D&D the lines from Wheel of Time about “the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills” prodded me into action.
Finally there are some important quilters in my life. This background goes out to them too. Whether by stitch, by arms long or short, they are the fabric of our lives. A quilter can tell a story in squares and thread. Hopefully this story helps tell theirs.
Custom Backgrounds for 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons
- Remarkable Drudge
- Farmer & Beekeeper
- Caravanserai & Innkeeper
- Lamplighter & street sweeper
- Far Talker
- Clerk & Tax Collector
- Barber, stylist or bloodletter
- Cabbie & ferien
- Clothier or Weaver
2 thoughts on “Be the hands that weave – a new 5e D&D background”
This is great! I have wanted to make a DnD character based off a blend of two of the Ainur from Tolkien’s mythology, Vaire and Este. Vaire was the weaver goddess, who recorded the whole story of time in woven tapestries. Este was the goddess of rest and healing. My aim is to make a character who healed physical and emotional hurts of the word, turning suffering into wisdom and strength.
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Glad to help!