Every story has a beginning. Your character's background reveals where he came from, how he became an adventurer and his place in the world. Your warrior may have been a brave knight or a grizzled soldier. Your magician may have been a sage or a craftsman. Your rogue may have been in jail as a thief or led crowds as a minstrel.
DnD Backgrounds give you information about the identity of your character. The most important thing you have to ask yourself about your background is: what has changed? Why did you stop doing what your background describes and go on an adventure? When did you get the money to buy your starter kit or, if you come from a wealthy background, why don't you have more money?
How did you learn the skills of your class? What sets you apart from ordinary people who share your background?
5e Backgrounds affect different aspects of your character sheet:
Each background gives you proficiency with two abilities.
Additionally, most backgrounds give character proficiency with one or more tools.
If a character can achieve the same proficiency from two different sources, they can instead choose a different proficiency of the same type (skill or tool).
Some backgrounds also allow characters to learn more languages than those granted by their race.
Each background provides a starting equipment pack. If you use the optional rule to buy your own equipment with money, you do not receive the starting equipment from your background.
Each background contains suggestions for personal characteristics. You can choose them to your liking, roll the dice to determine them randomly, or use them as inspiration to create your own characteristics.
Customize a background
You may want to modify some of the parts of the background to better suit your character or the setting of the campaign. To customize a background, you can replace its trait with another background, choose any two skills, and choose a total of two skills with tools or languages from the example backgrounds. You can take the equipment pack from your background or buy the equipment you want with money, as described in "Equipment", in which case you cannot take the equipment pack that your class gives you. Finally, choose two personality traits, an idea, a bond, and a disadvantage. If you can't find a Trait that fits the background you want, talk to your Gamemaster to create one.
You have dedicated your life to serving a temple to a specific god or pantheon of gods. You act as an intermediary between the realm of the sacred and the mortal world, performing sacred rites and offering sacrifices to lead worshipers into the presence of the divine. You are not necessarily a clergyman; performing sacred rites is not the same as channeling the power of divinity.
Choose a god, pantheon of gods, or any other quasi-divine being from those listed in "Pantheons" or specified by the gamemaster, and agree with him on the nature of your religious service. Were you a minor temple official? Were you raised from childhood to help the priest in sacred rites? Or were you a high priest who suddenly heard the call to serve your god in a different way? Perhaps you were the leader of a small sect outside of any established temple structure, or even of an occult group that served an infernal teacher that you now deny.
Skill Proficiency: Insight, Religion
Languages: Two of your choice
Equipment: A sacred symbol (a gift from when you entered the priesthood), a prayer book or a prayer wheel, 5 sticks of incense, clothing, a set of common clothing, and a sack containing 15 GP.
Trait: Refuge of the Faithful
As an acolyte, you inspire respect in those who share your faith and can perform the religious ceremonies of your deity. You and your fellow adventurers can expect to receive free healing and care in a temple, shrine, or any establishment of your faith, although you must provide the necessary material components. Those who share your religion will finance a moderate lifestyle (but only for you).
You can also have ties to a specific temple dedicated to your chosen deity or pantheon and have a residence there. It may be the temple you used to serve if you were on good terms with them or one where you have found a new home. As long as you are near your temple, you can turn to their priests for help, as long as what you ask is not dangerous and fits your temple well.