There are eight different backgrounds to choose from when you create your character, but you can be a stranger with no background. The background defines your character's relationship with different factions. A thief starts as a member of the Thieves Guild and gets reputation bonuses with its allies and reputation penalties with its enemies, and so on. The background is not a class, so it doesn't restrict or guide your character's development in any way. The following character backgrounds are available in The Age of Decadence during character creation:
Assassin - When diplomacy fails, assassination is often the only recourse. Renowned and respected for their ability to resolve disputes with the least amount of bloodshed, cloaked by the shadows of the night, assassins are in high demand amongst all strata of society. Whether drawn from a petty dispute or a matter of state, blood is blood.
Thief - Regardless of the social fabric, there will always be those that prefer to live in accordance with their own code of conduct - outside the law. To a thief, a world in ruins is a world of opportunity. While those that covet power are consumed by deceit, the Thieves are turning a tidy profit on their neglected wealth.
Praetor - Always looking for promising individuals to serve their interests, Noble Houses elevate ambitious men with a diverse set of skills to the rank of the Praetorian Guard. While most possess some martial training and patiently wait for the spoils and glory of bloodshed, others still favor the gentler arts of diplomacy and take a discrete, yet active role in the courts of nobles.
Loremaster - Preserving and understanding pre-war knowledge and technology is a lucrative business. An increasing number of people see their salvation in the ashes of the past and thus the market is becoming saturated with icons and objects from the old empire, most without any real value. Always on the lookout for something of real worth, cataloging and appraising items, loremasters remain at the front line of this trade.
Grifter - While most thieves prefer to form gangs and act under the cover of darkness, grifters see no reason to trade the laws of society for the laws of a guild. Preying upon the gullible with a combination of personal magnetism and persuasion, the grifter's art is rarely noticed.
Drifter - While for most people the focus is on trying to belong and having a place to call their own, drifters display no such sentiments. Valuing freedom above all else and answering to no man, they prefer instead to move freely without the weight on any shackles, never staying in one place for too long.
Mercenary - In a world rife with conflict, those with martial skills are never idle for long. Most mercenaries take on personal contracts with individual clients, although they are occasionally embroiled in the greater machinations of the Noble Houses. Determined by gold, their allegiance lies with the highest bidder.
Merchant - Behind every Noble's power and every struggle for territory lies the gold of a merchant, respected and feared. More than mere traders, merchants manipulate entire markets and those that depend upon them. People, information, and favor all have a price, but only the merchants know their true worth.