Friday, 27 November 2015

D&D Background - Halfling Pickler

You come from a long and proud line of picklers of fine condiments. You are a halfling, of good stock, with the halfling's superior knowledge of food, particularly the fruits and vegetables of temperate climes.

You may be an independent trader, or part of a larger clan, supporting each other with information and business contacts. But pickling is your main trade - at home, family members work long hours to provide you with the small jars of condiments, both sweet and savoury, which you carry with you.

You like to think you have a brand now, that your name is synonymous with tasty sauces, relishes and jams. The children come out to beg you for free tastings when you enter villages. But your quest for new recipes, new substances to preserve, that is your real passion.

Skill Proficiencies: Medicine, Perception

Specialty Pickles

 Every pickler has his own specialist menu of pickles. Not for him your bog standard apple sauce or mint jam. No, the true servant of the art goes beyond these, into the realms of true esoterica of the jar.

  1. Deep fried beetles, marinaded in bull's blood
  2. Chilli so fiery it could kill you
  3. Reptile tongues
  4. Fermented goat saliva
  5. Minotaur sweetmeats
  6. Candied gorgon eyes

Feature: A Well-Developed Palate

A good pickler needs to have a grasp of what he is pickling. Hence, your knowledge of herbs and spices is legendary. You are a great cook, but can easily strike up a conversation with farmers and merchants about any food they are selling.  In addition, just by examining and maybe tasting an apple or a jar of dried prunes, you can sometimes tell where it was grown and when, and sometimes even by whom. Finally, when required, you can draw on your family network of fellow picklers for information - when you cross paths with them.

Suggested Characteristics

Picklers are merchants on the one hand, but also secretive, as they closely guard their recipes, often handed down over generations and won at great cost to their creators. A good pickler will be approachable and gregarious on the surface, but driven by insatiable greed for more culinary knowledge at another level.

d8 - Personality Trait

  1.  I am loyal to my customers, but only to those who fully appreciate me.
  2. I am devoted to my art, but money comes first.
  3. The world is a large place, and full of interesting things to pickle.
  4. My family has made me what I am - I owe them everything.
  5. Many people have not yet tasted the heights to which expert pickling can elevate their taste buds - I am determined to bring them enlightenment.
  6. I will not brook criticism of my pickles from oderous ignorami.
  7. The open road is the place to be; walls and roofs are a prison than can suffocate me.
  8. I have been cast out from my clan for deviating too far from accepted norms of food preservation and must find a way to redeem myself.

d6 Ideal

  1. Glory. To become recognised as one of the immortal High Picklers through perfecting my art.
  2. Freedom. To roam the world and taste new ingredients, that is true independence of spirit.
  3. People. With out people, there are no customers. Without customers, there is no pickling.
  4. Aspiration. Pickling is both profession and art - I must live up to its ancient ideals.
  5. Creativity. New recipes demand experimentation with new ingredients, but this is the true test of the master.
  6. Community. My fellow picklers are a ready source of help when times are hard; I must give back to them when I am able, sharing my good fortune with them.
d6 Bond

  1. My family has made me what I am - I owe them everything.
  2. I once poisoned a wealthy customer by mistake with an experimental recipe - his family still hunts me.
  3. I stole a recipe from my uncle once - he still doesn't know, but guilt drives me to make recompense.
  4. An evil monster has become a client of mine - I still sometimes meet him secretly to sell him spicy rat tails. 
  5. I once dreamed of an orchard with plums the size of fists. The vision stays with me still - I am sure it exists somewhere. Imagine the jam you could make!
  6. My comrades are more important than pickling - but only just.

d6 Flaw

  1. Pickling sometimes requires alcohol to preserve the food - sadly I've become too fond of it.
  2. My fondness for pickling has led to a fondness for baking too. I must keep my secret.
  3. I am a poor excuse for a pickler - I try to hold my own by buying others' pickles, and putting my own labels on them. The shame haunts me.
  4. Despite my success, I cannot make apple sauce, no matter how hard I try. It is becoming an obsession.
  5. I have an intolerance to sugar.
  6.  I quest obsessively for rare and exotic ingredients; nothing can divert me from my course. It has alienated my friends and family.


  1. Great stuff, more of this please.

  2. Like it.

    Could a flaw be:
    In my pursuit of the best pickling methods Abbs ingredients, I am prepared to take big risks to push taste buds to the max. The next stage: to travel and taste new flavours to improve the family life here. X