Signs of the Supernatural (5A)

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Signs of the Supernatural for use with the Touched background.

Strange Signs, [[Signs of the Supernatural (5A)|Signs of the Supernatural], and Infirmities are all about disadvantages and compensations you can get from backgrounds.

Abyssal

Your blood is a dark purple and you have am alien vitality. You bleed and bruise easily, reduce your number of Hit Points by one per level. You gain proficiency with Constitution and Charisma saving throws.

Aged

You appear to be of venerable age. You suffer disadvantage on checks using your Acrobatics, Athletics, and Perception skills, even if you lack the respective proficiency. You are immune to magical aging and gain proficiency in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.

Anasyrma

Clothes are for folk; animals, spirits, and gods are rarely dressed, and you share this quality.

Your body won't carry armor and very few objects. You cannot carry more than 5 lbs. per point of Strength, and you cannot wear vests, vestments, or any armor, but you can use weapons and shields normally. Surplus items simply fall right through you, as if you were insubstantial.

You should select a type of Martial Arts Defense. You can use Freedom of Movement on yourself as a bonus action, but the effect only lasts one minute.

Animal Aspect

Your head (and at your option other parts, commonly hands, feet, and tail) is that of an animal. While clearly noticeable, this body part is fully functional. Some people might be shocked or reviled at your appearance, while others treat you as a divine avatar.

You gain the ability to sense the presence (but not location) of aberrations, celestials, fey, fiends, and undead within 60 ft. by scent. You can identify what type of creature you are catching the scent of.

Animal Transformation

Are you a humanoid miraculously transformed into a small animal, or the other way around? This is an invasive ability unsuited to games with a lot of combat.

Pick a tiny or small beast of challenge rating zero. You can transform into the shape of this creature, as the spell Polymoph. When you are affected by a harmful effect you can opt to transform into your animal form as a reaction. This negates that harmful effect. If you would suffer the Frightened, Incapacitated, or Restrained, condition, or if you are affected by a successful Charisma (Intimidation) check, you automatically transform in this manner (no action required), whether you want to or not.

If you transform back into your normal form within one minute of assuming your animal form, you suffer disadvantage on all checks and attack rolls and enemies have advantage on saving throws against your spells for one minute. During this time you cannot transform again using this ability.

Bestial

You are not a full shapechanger, but in stressful situations and combat you undergo a minor change, where you grow more muscular and gain bestial traits such as fur, scales, fangs, and claws. You stay in this form during the period of stress and for 1 minute afterward. A creature who sees you in this form must make a Wisdom (Insight) check (DC 15) to recognize you. Close associates have advantage on this check. On a failure people are liable to treat you as a monster.

When transformed your hands become natural weapons with the finesse and light properties dealing 1d6 slashing damage. They can still function as hands.

Blind

You permanently suffer the Blinded condition. You gain blindsight with a range of 20 ft. Your blindsight can perceive things in the Ethereal Plane.

Celestial Mark

You have the mark of celestial favor, making you glow and shed bright light in a 10 ft. radius and dim light a further 10 ft. This light cannot be overcome by darkness magic, and you cannot benefit from concealment or invisibility. The mark works as a spell focus for you, regardless of class. You cannot use spells or abilities to create or summon fiends or undead.

Chained

You are constantly bound in magical chains. This imposes disadvantage on all Strength and Dexterity checks and you cannot use weapons with the versatile or two-handed properties or take the Dash action. You are immune to the Grappled and Restrained conditions.

Child

You appear to be a child. You suffer disadvantage on Strength checks and Strength-based attacks. You cannot use weapons with the heavy property. You gain proficiency with Constitution and Charisma saving throws.

Fishy

You have gills on your neck and webbed fingers and toes. Reduce your land speed by 5 ft. You gain a swim speed equal to your (reduced) land speed and can breathe water.

Ghostly

You are translucent and appear to be insubstantial. You are easily mistaken for an undead creature. You count as undead for effects that have specific effect against such creatures, like holy water and the turn undead ability. You have resistance to necrotic and poison damage.

Growling

You normally express yourself only in animal sounds. You can use words, but very slowly and not in situations of stress. This does not interfere with spellcasting but hinders spells that require a common language. You can Speak With Animals. A creature able to Speak With Animals can understand you, and you can communicate with such characters normally.

Hallucinations

You suffer confusing visions of things unreal, unrealized, or just plain weird.

You suffer disadvantage on all Investigation and Perception checks.

You learn the Minor illusion cantrip and the Silent Image, Phantasmal Force, Major Image, and Phantasmal Killer spells. You can use Minor illusion right away, but to cast the other listed spells you must gain spell slots from a class and you use that class' spellcasting ability with these spells. If you lack a spellcasting ability, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability for these spells.

Haunted

You are haunted by certain kind of spirits, generally Fey but some touched are haunted by Fiends, Celestials, Aberrations or other kinds. The spirits are invisible and cannot be interacted with. They do annoying but non-lethal things like tying your shoelaces together or tracing an icy touch down your back. You suffer a -4 penalty on Dexterity checks for initiative. The spirits haunting you go noticeably silent in tense situations, making you immune to surprise.

Infernal

You have been touched by hell. You are surrounded by a faint smell of burnt sulfur, and your eyes look afire when you are angry. You suffer disadvantage on Persuasion against good creatures, and if there is a witch-hunt you are likely to be a suspect. You learn the Create Bonfire, Friends, and Toll the Dead cantrips and the Hellish Rebuke spell. You can cast Hellish Rebuke once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast Hellish Rebuke when you finish a long rest.

Living Weapon

When you roll initiative, you transform into a specific weapon and fly up to 100 ft. into the hands of an ally to be wielded. Its best to per-arrange this with a party member, so that you turn into a weapon that party member uses. If your chosen ally is not present, another ally within 100 ft. can wield you.

As a wielded weapon you are considered an attended object and cannot be targeted or take damage from area effects. When your turn comes up in combat, you can either attack with the weapon that you are, cast spells, or use social interactions. You take reactions normally. You cannot move independently of your wielder. When attacking, you are considered to be wielding yourself. You are your own spell focus. if you become incapacitated, you remain a weapon but can no longer take actions, and Warding Bond (see below) ends. When your bearer uses you to attack, they use their abilities. You constantly have Warding Bond active on your wielder. When you advance in level, you become a magic weapon: +1 at 5th level, +2 at 10th level, and +3 at 15th level.

If no ally within 100 ft. wants to wield you, you can animate yourself to fight. Your body still disappears and you look like a hovering weapon, but use your normal abilities (including movement) and can take damage normally in this form.

Mark of Evil

You carry a birthmark in the form of a blasphemous sign on your face. You cannot use spells or abilities to summon celestials. The mark works as a spell focus for all classes.

Scorched

You have permanent burn marks, especially on your hands. You suffer vulnerability to cold damage. You learn the Bonfire, Control Fire, and Fire Bolt cantrips. You learn the Burning Hands spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast Burning Hands when you finish a long rest.

Sincere

You cannot use the Deception skill or illusion spells, and this limitation is obvious to anyone who hears you speak. You learn the Charm Person spell, but must use your own spell slots to cast it. The spell does not count against your limit on spells know and spells prepared.

Smashed

You have permanent bruise marks, especially on your face and hands. You suffer vulnerability to thunder damage. You learn the Blade Ward, Magic Stone, Mending, and Mould Earth cantrips. You learn the Earth Tremor spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast any spells with a limited number of uses when you finish a long rest.

Soaked

You constantly drip water, even when your clothes and equipment is dry. You suffer vulnerability to radiant damage. You learn the Acid Splash, Ray of Frost, and Shape Water cantrips. You learn the Tasha's Caustic Brew spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast any spells with a limited number of uses when you finish a long rest.

Stigmata

You carry permanent bloody wounds on your body that resist all attempts at healing. Reduce your number of Hit Points by one per level. You learn the Spare the Dying and Word of Radiance cantrips. You learn the Cure Wounds spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast any spells with a limited number of uses when you finish a long rest.

Sun-Blind

You are blind when exposed to sunlight (treat areas in sunlight as darkness) and treat bright light as if it was dim light (you suffer advantageous on Perception checks against creatures in bright light). You gain darkvision 60 ft. If you already have darkvision, you instead add 30 ft. to that darkvision.

Temptation

You are constantly tempted by sacrilegious voices trying to lure you into sin.

You constantly have nagging voices at the back of your head that encourage you to break faith with your ideals. These voices are distracting, making you suffer -2 penalty on Dexterity checks for initiative. You gain proficiency in Deception. As an action you may bargain with your voices for information, using your Charisma (Deception) skill as if it was Intelligence (Religion).

Tongues

You can only ever speak in Aklo, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Primordial, Shadowtongue, or Sylvan. You learn one of these languages. You understand any spoken language, but not code or Theive's Cant.

Voices

You are constantly surrounded by a choir of voices that advice and guide you. These voices are distracting, making you suffer -2 penalty on Dexterity checks for initiative.

At least once per session, they urge you to go to extreme lengths in pursuit of the ideals of your creed. The player or GM should voice this advice at least once per session. Not following the advice of your voices means you must use a bonus action each round argue with them until you come to an agreement or one minute has passed.

You can ask the advice of your voices as an action. They have a bonus of +10 in Intelligence (Religion). You gain proficiency in Religion the voices and always Help you (giving you advantage) when you roll check using your proficiency bonus in Religion.

Wild Magic

When you cast a spell of the highest spell level you can cast, you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table (see the Wild Magic Sorcerer). This Wild Magic Surge can never inflict more dice of damage than your level. You only need to roll on the Wild Magic Surge table once, regaining the effect in a long or short rest. You learn the Chaos Bolt spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast Chaos Bolt when you finish a long rest.

Windblown

You are surrounded by gusts and static electricity. You suffer vulnerability to force damage. You learn the Gust, Lightning Lure, and Thunderclap cantrips. You learn the Catapult spell, and you can cast this spell once without using a spell slot as if you used a spell slot of half your level (rounded up). You use these as spells from your spellcaster class. If you are not a spellcaster, use Charisma as the spellcasting ability. You regain the ability to cast any spells with a limited number of uses when you finish a long rest.