An ideal is an idea that a character strongly believes in. It compels the character to act the way that they do. Ideals can range from moral creeds to future ambitions. They are meant to tell what a character strives to make reality out of, and give them purpose or motivation. Ideals typically match a character's alignment.

List of Ideals

Most backgrounds come with a list of suggested ideals. Those that don't refer to existing backgrounds for ideas on what ideals could match the background. While recommended for anyone struggling to develop their character, players are not required to use the ideals listed and may list whatever they want.


Main article: Acolyte

  • Tradition: The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld. (Lawful)
  • Charity: I always try to help those in need, no matter what the personal cost. (Good)
  • Change: We must help bring about the changes the gods are constantly working in the world. (Chaotic)
  • Power: I hope to one day rise to the top of my faith's religious hierarchy. (Lawful)
  • Faith: I trust that my deity will guide my actions, I have faith that if I work hard, things will go well. (Lawful)
  • Aspiration: I seek to prove myself worthy of my god's favor by matching my actions against their teachings. (Any)


Main article: Anthropologist

  • Discovery: I want to be the first person to discover a lost culture. (Any)
  • Distance: One must not interfere with the affairs of another culture– even one in need of aid. (Lawful)
  • Knowledge: By understanding other races and cultures, we learn to understand ourselves. (Any)
  • Power: Common people crave strong leadership, and I do my utmost to provide it. (Lawful)
  • Protection: l must do everything possible to save a society facing extinction. (Good)
  • Indifferent: Life is cruel. What's the point in saving people if they're going to die anyway? (Chaotic)


Main article: Archaeologist

  • Preservation: That artifact belongs in a museum. (Good)
  • Greed: I won't risk my life for nothing. I expect some kind of payment. (Evil)
  • Death Wish: Nothing is more exhilarating than a narrow escape from the jaws of death. (Chaotic)
  • Dignity: The dead and their belongings deserve to be treated with respect. (Lawful)
  • Immortality: All my exploring is part of a plan to find the secret of everlasting life. (Any)
  • Danger: With every great discovery comes grave danger. The two walk hand in hand. (Any)

Black Fist Double Agent

Main article: Black Fist Double Agent

  • Suspicious: In my experience, everybody has something to hide, and what they hide can usually hurt me. (Any)
  • Secretive: I trade in secrets, and am not about to let any of mine slip. (Any)
  • Hedonist: Life is short. I live my life to the fullest, as I know any day could be my last. (Chaotic)
  • Selfless: I use my position to help the downtrodden avoid persecution from the authorities. (Good)
  • Patriotic: I am a loyal supporter of Phlan and its leaders, and see my role as a solemn duty and necessary evil to prevent anarchy. (Lawful)
  • Manipulative: I use my knowledge to blackmail and manipulate others to my own benefit. (Evil)

Caravan Specialist

Main article: Caravan Specialist

  • Service: Using my talents to help others is the best way of helping myself. (Good)
  • Selfish: What people don't know WILL hurt them, but why is that my problem? (Evil)
  • Wanderer: I go where the road takes me. Sometimes, that's a good thing... (Chaotic)
  • Fittest: On the open road, the law of nature wins. Victims are the unprepared. (Lawful)
  • Focused: I simply have a job to do, and I'm going to do it. (Neutral)
  • Motivated: There's a reason I'm good at what I do, I pay attention to the details. (Any)


Main article: Charlatan

  • Independence: I am a free spirit– no one tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
  • Fairness: I never target people who can't afford to lose a few coins. (Lawful)
  • Charity: I distribute the money I acquire to the people who really need it. (Good)
  • Creativity: I never run the same con twice. (Chaotic)
  • Friendship: Material goods come and go. Bonds of friendship last forever. (Good)
  • Aspiration: I'm determined to make something of myself. (Any)

Cormanthor Refugee

Main article: Cormanthor Refugee

  • Patient: The elves have taught me to think and plan for the long-term. (Lawful)
  • Rebellious: Governments and politicians drove my family to the camps. I subtly defy authority whenever I think I can get away with it. (Chaotic)
  • Self-Absorbed: I've had to look out for number one so long that it has become second nature. (Any)
  • Wanderlust: I want to see as much of the world beyond the camps as I can. (Any)
  • Generous: I give everything I can to help those in need, regardless of who they are. (Good)
  • To the Abyss with Them: The people of Hillsfar cast me out. I won't risk my hide to help them. (Evil)


Main article: Criminal

  • Honor: I don't steal from others in the trade. (Lawful)
  • Freedom: Chains are meant to be broken, as are those who would forge them. (Chaotic)
  • Charity: I steal from the wealthy so that I can help people in need. (Good)
  • Greed: I will do whatever it takes to become wealthy. (Evil)
  • People: I'm loyal to my friends, not to any ideals, and everyone else can take a trip down the Styx for all I care. (Neutral)
  • Redemption: There's a spark of good in everyone. (Good)

Dragon Casualty

Main article: Dragon Casualty

  • Survivor: No matter the cost, I will take any action necessary to survive. (Any)
  • Independence: When in trouble, the only person I can rely on is myself. (Chaotic)
  • Compassionate: I have suffered long at the hands of a Dragon, and take pity and compassion on the suffering of others. (Good)
  • Secretive: I am withdrawn, and hide my monstrous appearance for fear of drawing unwanted attention. (Chaotic)
  • Justice: I have been wronged, and will not allow the same fate to befall others. (Lawful)
  • Sycophant: During my ordeal, I became a willing servant of the Maimed Virulence, and spy on his behalf. (Evil)

Earthspur Miner

Main article: Earthspur Miner

  • Generosity: The riches of the earth are to be shared by all. (Good)
  • Greed: Gems and precious metals, I want them all for myself. (Evil)
  • Mooch: Property, schmoperty. If I need it, I take and use it. If I don't, I leave it for someone else. (Chaotic)
  • Boundaries: Everything and everyone has its prescribed place; I respect that and expect others to do the same. (Lawful)
  • Let it Be: I don't meddle in the affairs of others if I can avoid it. They're none of my business. (Neutral)
  • Materialist: I want riches to improve my life. (Any)


Main article: Entertainer

  • Beauty: When I perform, I make the world better than it was. (Good)
  • Tradition: The stories, legends, and songs of the past must never be forgotten, for they teach us who we are. (Lawful)
  • Creativity: The world is in need of new ideas and bold action. (Chaotic)
  • Greed: I'm only in it for the money and fame. (Evil)
  • People: I like seeing the smiles on people's faces when I perform. That's all that matters. (Neutral)
  • Honesty: Art should reflect the soul; it should come from within and reveal who we really are. (Any)

Far Traveler

Main article: Far Traveler

  • Open: I have much to learn from the kindly folk I meet along my way. (Good)
  • Reserved: As someone new to these strange lands, I am cautious and respectful in my dealings. (Lawful)
  • Adventure: I'm far from home, and everything is strange and wonderful! (Chaotic)
  • Cunning: Though I may not know their ways, neither do they know mine, which can be to my advantage. (Evil)
  • Inquisitive: Everything is new, but I have a thirst to learn. (Neutral)
  • Suspicious: I must be careful, for I have no way of telling friend from foe here. (Any)

Folk Hero

Main article: Folk Hero

  • Respect: People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. (Good)
  • Fairness: No one should get preferential treatment before the law, and no one is above the law. (Lawful)
  • Freedom: Tyrants must not be allowed to oppress the people. (Chaotic)
  • Might: If I become strong, I can take what I want– what I deserve. (Evil)
  • Sincerity: There's no good in pretending to be something I'm not. (Neutral)
  • Destiny: Nothing and no one can steer me away from my higher calling. (Any)

Gate Urchin

Main article: Gate Urchin

  • Loyal: I never rat out any of my friends, even when the Red Plumes or the Rogues Guild ask. (Lawful)
  • Adventurous: I don't like doing the same thing every day. I crave variety. (Chaotic)
  • Strong: Only the strong survive. I respect those who are strong and powerful. (Any)
  • Witty: Brains are better than brawn. I rely on my wits and respect others who do the same. (Any)
  • Honest: Others can do what they want, but I won't lie or steal, even to feed my family. (Good)
  • Ungrateful: Those who give, only do it to make themselves feel better. I steal from them. (Evil)

Guild Artisan

Main article: Guild Artisan

  • Community: It is the duty of all civilized people to strengthen the bonds of community and the security of civilization. (Lawful)
  • Generosity: My talents were given to me so that I could use them to benefit the world. (Good)
  • Freedom: Everyone should be free to pursue their own livelihood. (Chaotic)
  • Greed: I'm only in it for the money. (Evil)
  • People: I'm committed to the people I care about, not to ideals. (Neutral)
  • Aspiration: I work hard to be the best there is at my craft.


Main article: Harborfolk

  • Calm: For all things, there is a tide. I set sail when it is right, and mend my nets when it is not. (Lawful)
  • Windblown: I go where the winds blow. No man or woman tells me where or when to sail. (Chaotic)
  • Aspiring: I will gain the favor of a Zor or Zora patron, maybe even one of the Blades! (Any)
  • Salty: I want people to look to me as an expert on plying Mulmaster Harbor. (Any)
  • Selfless: We are all children of the sea. I help everyone in peril afloat and ashore. (Good)
  • Let them Drown: I refuse to risk my hide to help others. They wouldn't help me if roles were reversed. (Evil)

Haunted One

Main article: Haunted One

  • I try to help those in need, no matter what the personal cost. (Good)
  • I'll stop the spirits that haunt me or die trying. (Any)
  • I kill monsters to make the world a safer place and to exorcise my own demons. (Good)
  • I have a dark calling that puts me above the law. (Chaotic)
  • I like to know my enemy's capabilities and weaknesses before rushing into battle. (Lawful)
  • I'm a monster that destroys other monsters and anything else that gets in my way. (Evil)


Main article: Hermit

  • Greater Good: My gifts are meant to be shared with all, not used for my own benefit. (Good)
  • Logic: Emotions must not cloud our sense of what is right and true, or our logical thinking. (Lawful)
  • Free Thinking: Inquiry and curiosity are the pillars of progress. (Chaotic)
  • Power: Solitude and contemplation are paths toward mystical or magical power. (Evil)
  • Live and Let Live: Meddling in the affairs of others only causes trouble. (Neutral)
  • Self-Knowledge: If you know yourself, there's nothing left to know. (Any)

Hillsfar Merchant

Main article: Hillsfar Merchant

  • Frugal: I spend my money very carefully. (Lawful)
  • Profligate: I tend to spend extravagantly. (Chaotic)
  • Honest: I deal with others above board. (Any)
  • Sharp: I seek to make the best deal possible. (Any)
  • Charitable: I give generously to others. (Good)
  • Greedy: I do not share my wealth with others. (Evil)

Hillsfar Smuggler

Main article: Hillsfar Smuggler

  • Fair: I think everyone deserves to be treated fairly. I don't play favorites. (Lawful)
  • Impulsive: Planning is often a waste of time. No plan survives contact with reality. It's easier to dive in and deal with the consequences. (Chaotic)
  • Curious: I want to learn as much as I can about the people and places I encounter. (Any)
  • Prepared: I think success depends on preparing as much as possible in advance. (Any)
  • Respectful: I think everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their race, creed, color, or origin. (Good)
  • Corrupt: I will break the law or act dishonestly if the money is right. (Evil)

House Agent

Main article: House Agent

  • Common Good: My house serves a vital function, and its prosperity helps everyone. (Good)
  • Tradition: I uphold traditions of my house and bring honor to my family. (Lawful)
  • Innovation: Abandon old traditions and find better ways to do things. (Chaotic)
  • Power: I want to ensure the prosperity of my house and wield its power myself. (Evil)
  • Discovery: I want to learn all I can, both for my house and for my own curiosity. (Any)
  • Comfort: I want to ensure that me and mine enjoy the best things in life. (Any)


Main article: Initiate

  • Solidarity: The thing that matters most of all is that we're there for each other. (Lawful)
  • Knowledge: The world is a puzzle– a mystery waiting to be solved. (Neutral)
  • Strength: All that matters to me is my own perfection. Let everyone else seek that perfection in their own way. (Any)
  • Ambition: I'm going to prove that I deserve only the best– of everything. (Evil)
  • Zeal: Anything worth doing is worth throwing my whole self into. (Any)
  • Redemption: I will train all the harder to make up for the doubt I entertained when I was younger. (Any)


Main article: Inquisitor

  • Honesty: The smallest deception paves the way to grievous sin. (Lawful)
  • Piety: Devotion to the angels and the rites of the church is all that keeps the world from destruction. (Good)
  • Order: The laws of Avacyn are meant to preserve the social order– everything in its proper place. (Lawful)
  • Humanity: Human life is to be cherished and preserved against the horrors of the night. (Good)
  • Knowledge: The path to holiness comes through understanding of the world. (Any)
  • Punishment: It is better for the innocent to suffer than for the guilty to escape their due. (Evil)

Iron Route Bandit

Main article: Iron Route Bandit

  • Loyalty: Never bite the hand that feeds. (Good)
  • Unpredictability: Keep your enemy guessing and off-balance like a confused deer. (Chaotic)
  • Power: I strive to become leader of the pack at all costs. (Lawful)
  • Freedom: I bow to no one I don't respect. (Chaotic)
  • Resourcefulness: Our wits are our most valuable resource in troubled times. (Any)
  • Unity: Lone wolves fail where the pack succeeds. (Any)

Mulmaster Aristocrat

Main article: Mulmaster Aristocrat

  • Generous: I have a responsibility to help and protect the less fortunate. (Good)
  • Loyal: My word, once given, is my bond. (Lawful)
  • Callous: I am unconcerned with any negative effects my actions may have on the lives and fortunes of others. (Evil)
  • Impulsive: I follow my heart. (Chaotic)
  • Ignorant: Explanations bore me. (Neutral)
  • Isolationist: I am concerned with the fortunes of my friends and family. Others must see to themselves. (Any)


Main article: Noble

  • Respect: Respect is due to me because of my position, but all people regardless of station deserve to be treated with dignity. (Good)
  • Responsibility: It is my duty to respect the authority of those above me, just as those below me must respect mine. (Lawful)
  • Independence: I must prove that I can handle myself without the coddling of my family. (Chaotic)
  • Power: If I can attain more power, no one will tell me what to do. (Evil)
  • Family: Blood runs thicker than water. (Any)
  • Noble Obligation: It is my duty to protect and care for the people beneath me. (Good)


Main article: Outlander

  • Change: Life is like the seasons, in constant change, and we must change with it. (Chaotic)
  • Greater Good: It is each person's responsibility to make the most happiness for the whole tribe. (Good)
  • Honor: If I dishonor myself, I dishonor my whole clan. (Lawful)
  • Might: The strongest are meant to rule. (Evil)
  • Nature: The natural world is more important than all the constructs of civilization. (Neutral)
  • Glory: I must earn glory in battle, for myself and my clan. (Any)

Phlan Insurgent

Main article: Phlan Insurgent

  • Leadership: The oppressed need someone to inspire them to courageous acts. (Good)
  • Unpredictability: Keeping the enemy guessing and off-balance is my tactical strength. (Chaotic)
  • Determination: Threats to my home must be eliminated at all costs. (Any)
  • Freedom: Those who are enslaved and unjustly imprisoned deserve my aid. (Good)
  • Resourcefulness: Our wits are our most valuable resource in troubled times. (Any)
  • Unity: Working together, we can overcome all obstacles, even the most seemingly insurmountable ones. (Any)

Phlan Refugee

Main article: Phlan Refugee

  • Justice: Corruption brought Phlan down, I will not tolerate that any longer. (Lawful)
  • Acceptance: Stability is a myth, to think you can control your future is futile. (Chaotic)
  • Hope: I am guided by a higher power and I trust that everything will be right in the end. (Good)
  • Restraint: I hate those who caused my loss. It is all I can do not to lash out at them. (Any)
  • Strength: As shown in Phlan, the strong survive. If you are weak you deserve what you get. (Evil)
  • Openness: I am always willing to share my life story with anyone who will listen. (Any)


Main article: Sage

  • Knowledge: The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)
  • Beauty: What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true. (Good)
  • Logic: Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking. (Lawful)
  • No Limits: Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. (Chaotic)
  • Power: Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)
  • Self-Improvement: The goal of a life of study is the betterment of oneself. (Any)


Main article: Sailor

  • Respect: The thing that keeps a ship together is mutual respect between captain and crew. (Good)
  • Fairness: We all do the work, so we all share in the rewards. (Lawful)
  • Freedom: The sea is freedom– the freedom to go anywhere and do anything. (Chaotic)
  • Mastery: I'm a predator, and the other ships on the sea are my prey. (Evil)
  • People: I'm committed to my crewmates, not to ideals. (Neutral)
  • Aspiration: Someday I'll own my own ship and chart my own destiny. (Any)

Secret Identity

Main article: Secret Identity

  • Quisling: Supporting the rulers of the land and following the laws is the road to salvation. (Lawful)
  • Scofflaw: The laws and lawmakers are corrupt. I follow laws only when it suits me. (Chaotic)
  • Optimist: Everyone is basically good. Though the government is misguided, it will all be okay. (Any)
  • Secretive: I am in the habit of not talking about myself. My business is none of yours. (Any)
  • Heroic: I do everything I can to help non-humans, regardless of the personal cost to me. (Good)
  • Depraved: I have lost my moral compass. The ends justify most any means. (Evil)

Shade Fanatic

Main article: Shade Fanatic

  • Hope: I know even if I need do evil acts, history will be my redemption. (Chaotic)
  • Dedicated: I can do anything I put my mind to. (Lawful)
  • Exciting: I have found the truth of the Shadovar and want to share it with everyone. (Any)
  • Frugal: I horde my possessions knowing that someday I will be called upon to give everything I have to the cause. (Any)
  • Eloquent: I use my words to sway others to my beliefs. (Any)
  • Compassionate: It is through love that others will join in our cause. (Good)


Main article: Soldier

  • Greater Good: Our lot is to lay down our lives in defense of others. (Good)
  • Responsibility: I do what I must and obey just authority. (Lawful)
  • Independence: When people follow orders blindly, they embrace a kind of tyranny. (Chaotic)
  • Might: In life as in war, the stronger force wins. (Evil)
  • Live and Let Live: Ideals aren't worth killing over or going to war for. (Neutral)
  • Nation: My city, nation, or people are all that matter. (Any)

Stojanow Prisoner

Main article: Stojanow Prisoner

  • Loss: I freely give those who offend me what was so brutally denied me: death. (Chaotic)
  • Dedication: I never betray those who trust me. (Lawful)
  • Vengeance: I use any means to get information I need. I have been well taught. (Evil)
  • Redemption: Everyone deserves a second chance. (Good)
  • Resilience: I can survive any challenge. (Any)
  • Leadership: The best teams are made up of those that society has discarded.

Ticklebelly Nomad

Main article: Ticklebelly Nomad

  • Kinship: Family is most important in life. Though I may be far from my own, the bonds of family must be protected in others' lives as well. (Good)
  • Preservation: Nature must not be despoiled by encroaching civilization. (Any)
  • Wanderlust: One must expand their horizons by seeing the world and exploring. (Chaotic)
  • Isolation: My tribe and its ways must be protected and shielded from outside influence. (Neutral)
  • Protection: Threats to the land and to the people must be dealt with at any and all costs. (Lawful)
  • Belonging: All creatures have a place in the world, so I strive to help others find theirs. (Good)

Trade Sheriff

Main article: Trade Sheriff

  • Hope: My job is to speak for the victim. (Good)
  • Dedicated: Once I start an investigation, until told to do so, I do not quit, not matter where it leads. (Lawful)
  • Nation: My city, nation, or people are all that matter. (Any)
  • Mercenary: When I do investigations, I expect answers immediately. (Any)
  • Eloquent: I use my words to sway others to give me answers. (Good)
  • Might: It is through threats and force that I get my answers. (Lawful)


Main article: Urchin

  • Respect: All people, rich or poor, deserve respect. (Good)
  • Community: We have to take care of each other, because no one else is going to do it. (Lawful)
  • Change: The low are lifted up, and the high and mighty are brought down. Change is the nature of things. (Chaotic)
  • Retribution: The rich need to be shown what life and death are like in the gutters. (Evil)
  • People: I help the people who help me– that's what keeps us alive. (Neutral)
  • Aspiration: I'm going to prove that I'm worthy of a better life. (Any)


Main article: Vizier

  • Solidarity: The worthy must respect the worthy. In the afterlife, all will be united in goal and action. (Oketra)
  • Knowledge: The worthy shall cultivate a nimble mind, so as to perceive the wonders beyond imagination that wait in the afterlife. (Kefnet)
  • Strength: The worthy shall hone a strong body that can withstand the boundless energies of the afterlife. (Rhonas)
  • Ambition: The worthy shall strive for greatness, for supremacy in life leads to supremacy in the afterlife. (Bontu)
  • Zeal: The worthy shall rush to the God-Pharaoh's side with relentless passion, rising to overcome every obstacle in their way. (Hazoret)
  • Naktamun: The life of the city is ordered according to the plan of the God-Pharaoh, and that order must be preserved at all costs.