Available Backgrounds

The available Backgrounds for the 7th Age and a brief description of their uses are listed below. For more detailed rules for each Background, please refer to the appropriate Minds Eye Theater book. Certain Backgrounds, denoted by the "Population" keyword, adds 1,000 people to a character's total population, which is used to determine their Title. Please also see the Backgrounds page for more detail on select backgrounds. As always please reach out to the storyteller staff if anything is unclear.

Backgrounds for All Races

  • Allies - Population, Gain 1 ability or influence (max 5 in any one influence) per point of Allies.
  • Alternate Identity - Able to mask 1 Downtime action/point, do not need to create an identity, cannot impersonate characters. More than one point may be spent to more thoroughly mask the action.
  • Arsenal - Represents weapons to arm your soldiers. Capped by your Domain Security
  • Contacts - Population, can gain information on 1 influence action/domain/influence/point used.
    • Example: Maeve has Contacts x3. She uses 1 to look at the Court Influence in the Imperial Domain, 1 to look at Industry Influence in Aranta, and 1 to look at Political Influence in the Sultanate. Unless someone blocked their actions from being detected, she will get to see one use of each specified Influence (Court, Industry, and Political) in the specified domains (Imperial, Aranta, and Sultanate). If a PC uses these influences, we choose to reveal those first, and the most prominent use of the specified Influence in the domain chosen.
  • Domain - Population, The general public and citizens of your domain. They can be trained (via Learning influence) into other influences or population producing backgrounds.
  • Domain Security - Population, this is your domain’s personal defence force and what is used for the “War” aspect of the game.
  • Hoard - Represents raw materials for trade and crafting. Raw materials represented by Hoard are capable of sustaining magical enchantment, making them a prerequisite for crafting magical items. Note, however, that they are only able to hold magic, and do not bestow any magical affect on their own. 
  • Information Network - Population, can gain 1 piece of info on a person, place, or thing/point used
  • Library - Used to reduce learning times
  • Mentor - Used to reduce learning times and learn Abilities and powers from, you must be of the appropriate creature type to learn powers from them.
    • Example: A Fae can teach a Kinain Mage Arts, but cannot teach a Vampire Arts.
  • Resources - The maximum rating a character can have in Resources is 10. A character can buy temporary non-population producing backgrounds on a one for one basis. Temporary backgrounds must be used within the month they are gained. All of these follow the rules for such items presented here and none of them, unless stated in its description, can exceed a character’s Maximum Background Rating or their potential to purchase based upon their Resource Rating. Example: if you have 6 permanent Resources, you cannot purchase anything more powerful than a level 3 item, Blessing, or levels of Arsenal, etc.
    • The non-population producing temporary backgrounds available to purchase are -
      • Alternate Identity (service)
      • Hoard (good)
      • Library (service)
      • Mentor (service)
      • Trods (service)
    • Some people find items and magical services with influences, while others buy them from a market. To purchase a magical item or service costs permanent Resources at a rate of 2 Resources for every 1 point of the purchased background. This may be adjusted to 1:1, up to your level of Commerce ability (though merchants may negate your use of Commerce with their own, which will be determined by a random die roll). These are the backgrounds you can purchase in such a manner -
      • Arsenal (good)
      • Boosting of existing Arsenal (service)
      • Chimera (good)
      • Fetish / Treasure / Wonder / Trinket (good)
      • Blessing (service)
      • Enhancement (service)
    • Other uses of Resources, bribes for instance, may be possible, but must be done via RP.
  • Retainers - your individual pawns, they can take one DT action (background or influence) each month as directed. Direct them how you see fit. Gaining a Retainer during gameplay can be done by expending an appropriate influence action (depending upon the description of the Retainer you desire) to find your new Retainer, and experience expended equal to the level of Retainer you wish to purchase. The number of influence spent will limit the initial level of the Retainer found and the experience you may spend to bring them into your service: Occult 6 spent will allow 6 exp to be spent to gain a level 6 Retainer, while 3 levels of Influence will cap at a level 3 Retainer and cost 3 exp. Regardless of the Influence and experience spent, you cannot purchase a Retainer higher than your Maximum Background Rating. Retainers acquired after character creation will be created by a storyteller (with input from you), based on the category of influence used to acquire them as a base character of their creature type, plus experience equal to 5 x their Retainer rating.
  • Secrets - Uncover dangerous truths about people, places, and things per each trait spent. These secrets are dangerous and can get you killed or worse if known or uttered to anyone else. Note that anyone can gain access to Secrets via the Spies influence. 

Fae Backgrounds

  • Chimera - A magical item of power, the higher the rating, the more impressive the item is. It is solely made of Glamour and subject to banality.
  • Companion - A chimerical creature or bygone that follows you. Its rating increases its power. All companions are made with a storyteller at character creation. Its rating determines the level of Art it may possess. Gaining a Companion during gameplay can be done by expending an appropriate influence action (depending upon the description of the Companion you desire) to find your new Companion and experience expended equal to the level of Companion you wish to purchase. You cannot purchase a Companion higher than your Maximum Background Rating.
  • Dreamers - Population, regain Glamour on 1 for 1 basis 1/night
  • Remembrance - use to retest Gremayre challenges, expend and win a Simple Test with an ST to gain useful knowledge of the Fae (nothing on specific characters)
  • Holdings - Population, a Fae’s place of power, regain Glamour on 1 for 1 basis 1/night, Holdings represent the site of power and the household to take care of it, representing the population produced from it.
  • Patron - a powerful noble in Dischordia favors you and is friendly towards you, you can request that this noble uses one of their backgrounds or influences on your behalf up to their rating each Downtime. However, they may ask favors of you as well to be carried out at court. A Patron can be purchased at character creation or gained in Gameplay solely at Storyteller discretion. Patrons are not generally public knowledge as others can become jealous of their patronage. Only Fae can purchase Patron at Character Creation.
  • Political Connections - Population, use one Influence up to rating in a another domain
  • Treasure - an item of magical power
  • Trod - pathways known to you through the dreaming, may be dangerous, but faster to travel them when they are available.

Vampire Backgrounds

  • Generation - determines the potency of your blood and your trait caps
  • Herd - Population, regain Blood at a 1 for 1 rate once/game session

Mage Backgrounds

  • Arcane - Arcane removes the memory of your face and name from a scene; used/scene, 1 for face, 1 for name. Requires a test vs. observers to work
  • Avatar - Determines a Mage's ability to channel Quintessence. At the Storyteller’s discretion, your mage’s Avatar rating may affect his Seekings. A strong Avatar (many Traits in the Background) may guide a Seeking more strongly and personally.
  • Destiny - You know that you’re destined for some fate, and this knowledge helps you persevere even when the chips are down. Regaining Willpower Traits with Destiny is done at the beginning of your turn before you act. You can't spend Willpower, recoup it with Destiny, spend more and repeat the cycle. However, you don't have to use up all of your Destiny Traits at once.
  • Dream - Your connection with the global unconscious can allow you to access an Ability you do not possess, at a level equivalent to your Dream background. Once used, all points are considered spent for the month
  • Node - a Mage’s place of power, regain Quintessence up to your Avatar rating 1/night
  • Wonder - An item of magical power, it has a cost equal to the level of Spheres required to make it work, doubled if it’s always on.
  • Blessing - A Blessing functions just like a power in a Wonder, except that it’s part of you. It has a cost equal to the level of Spheres required to make it work, doubled if it’s always on.
  • Cult - Population, adds Grades of Success in Ritual Casting on a 1 for 1 basis, can gain Tass equal to its rating once/session
  • Chantry - Adds ½ its rating, which may be pooled with other characters, into applicable backgrounds: Arcane, Destiny, Library, Wonder, Sanctum, Mentor, Allies, Retainers, or Cult. Must be purchased at Character Creation and can be pooled by a group of players. New players buying Chantry can pool it with existing player’s Chantries.
  • Demesne - Your Demesne represents the area and control you have over a dream-realm that you visit whenever you dream.
  • Enhancement - You can choose to be cybernetically or biologically enhanced - one or the other.
    • Cyborg: cybernetic enhancements may cause Paradox depending upon the domain you are in. Each level of the Background grants one permanent Paradox Trait that counts for backlashes but never goes away if you are in a domain that rejects this paradigm. Each level allows you to purchase one additional Attribute Trait (which can take you above your normal maximum) or two Traits of implanted Devices. Naturally, you're still limited to Devices that can fit in your body, and no Devices above your Maximum Background Rating. Thus, you can have implanted armor or a plasma cannon, but not a car.
    • Biomod: Your biological modifications cause physiological disorders. Choose one Negative Trait for every level you take in the Enhancement. You gain one additional Attribute Trait (above normal human maximums) or two Traits of biological modifications (like a Blessing, but specifically related to the body and the Life Sphere).
  • Familiar - A spirit in physical form which can serve you in a number of ways. If you purchase a Familiar at character creation, it can exceed your Maximum Background Rating, but no category of the familiar can exceed your maximum background rating. Example: if you choose Paradox Nullification and your Maximum Background Rating is 5, your Familiar cannot have more than 5 traits in this category. Gaining a Familiar during gameplay can be done by expending an appropriate influence action (depending upon the description of the Familiar you desire) to find your new Familiar and experience expended equal to the level of Familiar you wish to purchase. Creation of a Familiar during gameplay is the same as during character creation.
  • Legend - Your character reflects traits associated with a particular legend. When you behave according to your Legend, you generate Quintessence just like a Node. 
  • Past Life - Your connection can allow you to access skills possessed by your past life to gain 1 ability per point spent.
  • Sanctum - An area in which your personal paradigm rules and in which your magic is completely coincidental and never Vulgar.
  • Fae Blood - Requires the Fae Blood Merit, this background indicates the strength of your Fae Blood, and determines the highest level of Arts you can attain (max 5 points) and the number of different Arts you can have (max 5 points), and the number of Fae Gifts you can have (max 5). pg. 149 Shining Host Players Guide
  • Kenning - Requires the Fae Blood Merit, This is used to retest your arts and for your knowledge of them, pg. 151 Shining Host Players Guide

Shifters

  • Ancestors - gain 1 ability per, may convert 1 trait at a time
  • Fetish - items of power imbued with spirits
  • Kinfolk (Ratkin cannot take this) - Population, gain 1 Gnosis/trait and breeding stock
  • Purebreed (Garou) - Each Trait in Purebreed adds one Social Trait for tests against other Garou.
  • Rites - can be outside of rank but is taboo, by sept., taking this at character creation adds an amount of rites you know past 1 per each Rank you possess.
  • Totem - a spirit of power that aids a group of shifters collectively or individual. You cannot have more Totem than your Maximum Background Rating.

Nuwisha, Corax, and Bastet Only

  • Umbral Maps (Nuwisha or Corax) - For each level of Umbral Maps background that the character has, their knowledge of the Near Umbra increases; while "maps" to the other areas of the Umbra also exist, they are notoriously unreliable due to the fluid nature of reality in such areas. Provided the character has a valid "map" of the area, each level of this Background reduces by one the difficulty of all tests related to traveling through the spirit world, finding shelter there, even attempting to speak with the native spirits. It should be noted that this Background rarely represents actual physical maps, but rather the knowledge imparted by long lessons in Umbral byways and a certain intuitive grasp of Umbral travel.
  • Den-Realm (Bastet) - a Bastet’s place of power, regain Gnosis on a 1 for 1 basis 1/night
  • Jamak (Bastet) - a spirit of power that aids you individually, like a Totem, but it cannot be combined. You cannot have a Jamak greater than your Maximum Background Rating.
  • Trinkets (Bastet) - items of power imbued with spirits for Bastet

Gurahl and Mokole Only

  • Umbral Glade (Gurahl) - a Gurahl’s place of power, regain Gnosis on a 1 for 1 basis 1/night
  • Mnesis (Mokole) - Mnesis is the instinctive memory of the Mokolk, containing memories as old as the age of dinosaurs. They can quest into their memories to retrieve lost knowledge or sage advice on how to counter a problem in the present. Each Trait represents an increased connection to the memories of the ages. Mnesis is often necessary to progress in studying Memory or in spiritual matters, and may occasionally be used in challenges to recall things from Memory.
  • Wallow (Mokole) - a Mokole’s place of power, regain Gnosis on a 1 for 1 basis 1/night

Ratkin Only

  • Colony - Population, like Kinfolk for a rat, a Metis Rat must take at least one point in Colony
  • Freak Factor - This Background describes how truly demented your Ratkin is, how far away from the general perception of reality she is. 

Mummy

  • Arcane - Arcane removes the memory of your face and name from a scene; used/scene, 1 for face, 1 for name. Requires a test vs. observers to work
  • Ba - For every Trait of Ba, a mummy's normal 60 year lifespan extends for 10 years. These Traits also represent the number of retests you can call once your mummy has died. If you do not succeed in a resurrection challenge, then you must wait until the next game session to initiate this challenge. Note: It takes five full sessions in the Underworld to gain the energy necessary to make a resurrection challenge. Each level of the Ba Background reduces this number by one. At five Ba, you can attempt the challenge one hour after death.
  • Companion - The Companion is immaterial, but it can communicate with you. It may gift you with minor blessings, as these creatures are sacred to the gods, and the gods look favorably on those who walk with their favored creatures. Your Companion also accompanies you in the Underworld. It’s rating determines the level of power it possesses. Work with the Storyteller to hash out your Companion specifics. Gaining a Companion during gameplay can be done by expending an appropriate influence action (depending upon the description of the Companion you desire) to find your new Companion and experience expended equal to the level of Companion you wish to purchase. You cannot purchase a Companion higher than your Maximum Background Rating.
  • Ka - The levels of Ka also grant it an equal number of extra Traits to use in bids against attempts to harm your khat (body). Likewise, those who would harm your khat are forced to bid the same number of extra Traits in challenges whenever they seek to injure your corpse or defile your tomb. So, three levels of Ka grants you three extra Traits to add when comparing on ties or to use in bidding, and it means that the local tomb raider, who was given a Static Mental Challenge against six Traits to figure out how to open the door, must add those on to the difficulty (for a grand total of a nine-Trait difficulty).
  • Legacy - Once per game, a mummy in the presence of their Legacy may win a Simple Test to temporarily add two Sekhem/Wakka to their pool for the night. If the challenge is tied or lost, only one Sekhem/Wakka is added.
  • Memory - For every Trait in this category, you can attempt to recall a specific piece of information, such as locations of certain tombs or a mystical phrase to activate an artifact. The Storyteller determines the specific information you can obtain.
  • Tomb - Each Trait in this Background represents the luxury and security of your Tomb. If you wish, your levels can represent multiple lesser tombs. A mummy in their Tomb can replenish Sekhem/Wakka at the rating of the Tomb once per session.
  • Vessel - For every Trait in this category, one Trait of Sekhem may be stored in a Vessel. To activate a Vessel, you must concentrate for one turn as the Sekhem flows into you, which you can use like your own. To store Sekhem, you must concentrate for two full hours and spend one Trait of Sekhem, imbuing the Vessel with this Trait, up to its maximum capacity.
  • Ayllu (Capacocha Only) - Population, required to be able to resurrect as Capacocha, can replenish Wakka at rating once per session.