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5e Backgrounds: Undertaker

As a counterpart to my 5e archetypes, enjoy a series of player backgrounds to go with each of them.


For pay or passion, you helped reach out to give the dead a voice and the living closure. Often, you have worked in preparing bodies for interment, clearing graveyards, and providing counseling to the relatives of the deceased. Your close connection to the dead has given you some sensitivity to their spirits.

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Insight

Tool Proficiencies: One Artisan Tool, Disguise Kit

Equipment: One Set of Artisan Tools, Incense, a Holy Symbol, and a pouch containing 5 gp.

Burial Rites: You are well versed in the spirituality and respect of the dead, allowing you to perform a ritual to sanctify a corpse, preventing it from being raised to undeath. Additionally, your exposure to numerous corpses over your lifetime gives you the ability to determine the cause of death of a corpse you perform the rites for. You may also perform these rites for the spirit of a deceased creature if it is present and willing, allowing you to ask a single yes or no question of the deceased.

d6 Your Burial Traditions

  1. Funeral Pyres: The body must be purified with a ritual flame.
  2. Embalming: Treated with ritual oils and wrapping the body is the requirement for a peaceful rest.
  3. Entombing: Bodies must be buried inside solid rock or at least covered by stones to keep scavengers off.
  4. Cremation: A deceased body should be burned to ashes and the ashes scattered.
  5. Decomposition: A corpse should be prepared and buried in organic soils to return it to the earth respectfully.
  6. Procession: The living must be allowed time to grieve before the body is buried.

Suggested Characteristics

d8 Personality Trait:

The best Undertakers are empathetic or cunning in their social graces to work with the faltering, scared, and angry, whether those be the relatives of the deceased or the spirits of the dead themselves.

  1. I have helped many spirits throughout my life.
  2. I find graveyards to be a place of peace and tranquility, especially at night.
  3. Spirits make for better companions than the living.
  4. I weep at every funeral, even if I have never met the deceased.
  5. When I prepare a body, I am just going through the motions, I don’t believe the rituals do anything.
  6. I love to discover the secrets of the dead, their gossip is delicious.
  7. I hate the smell of the dead, but noone is going to do this job if I don’t.
  8. The dead always seek me out, no matter what I do.

d6 Ideal:

  1. It is my calling to escort the dead to their beyond (Duty)
  2. I believe the truest emotions and wisdoms come from the dead. (Clarity)
  3. The dead are gone, but their secrets and knowledge are still useful to the living. (Discovery)
  4. I want to help every spirit reach a happy resting place. (Hope)
  5. I must cleanse the world of spirits clinging to this plane past their natural end. (Sanctity)
  6. Rituals for the dead are important closure both for the dead and the living they leave behind. (Tradition)

d6 Bond:

  1. I have a loved one’s spirit that I still commune with.
  2. I am the keeper of my culture’s burial traditions.
  3. I desire to find lost tombs and crypts to commune with their owners.
  4. I seek the solve the greatest unsolved mysteries and murders.
  5. I follow in the footsteps of a famous ghostcaller.
  6. I intend to free one of my relatives from the curses of undeath.

d6 Flaw:

  1. I cannot leave a corpse to just rot.
  2. I abhor leaving valuables to sit idle alongside a buried corpse.
  3. A ghost haunts my travels and my dreams.
  4. I obsess over finding the lost spirit of someone I cared about.
  5. A powerful family I worked for is hunting for me to disprove the ghostly will and testament I provided.
  6. I often talk to people who aren’t there.

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