Charlatan 5E Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you for checking out the 8th episode of our background series, if you’ve missed any or want to go through this series in its entirety then go with this best dnd backgrounds page. In any case today we are going to be taking a look at just a fan favorite and outright fantastic choice. We’re going to be taking a look at the charlatan dnd background.

This background is found in the 128 page of player’s handbook. So it’s one of the og’s and for the longest time this was the only background i really played around with. I just thought was really strong lots you can do with it as i’m sure you’ll come to understand in a little bit. If you don’t know already most people i know have played this at least once though. In any case let’s move on to the description.

Overview Of Charlatan 5E Background

You always had a way with peoples those who’re in the relevant society. You had an idea about what makes those people’s tick. After having the conversation for few minutes you can get tease out their hearts’ desires, by using the few leading questions you can able to read them as they’re children’s books. This is the very much advantageous talent for you, so you can use it perfectly with full of your willingness for the sake of your advantage.

Basically, you have an opinion on what people want and you do deliver, or rather, you make a promise to deliver. Here the common sense should be steer people away from things which sounds good to be true, but always the common sense should be in the short supply whenever you’re around.

The pink colored bottle which contains the liquid can surely cure that unseemly rash, actually this ointment –nothing more than bit of fat by a sprinkle of the silver dust can be restored youth and vigor and of course there was a bridge in that specific city which just happens to be for the sake of sale only. By their nature, these marvels sound implausible, but with your talent you can make them sound like the real deal.

Feature: Favorite Schemes

Every dnd charlatan has their own angle they do use in preference to other schemes. You can choose your favorite scam or you can roll on the below mentioned table too.

It also has a d6 table for your favorite racket. Whether or not you want to roll for it or come up with your own is up to you. I usually prefer people come up with their own with the help of the dungeon master of course. It just makes the game run a little bit more intuitive with what the dungeon master’s overall idea is and because of that they’re more likely to take advantage of it. Now let’s take a look at their mechanics.

1I cheat at games of chance.
2I shave coins or forge documents.
3I insinuate myself into people's lives to prey on their weakness and secure their fortunes.
4I put on new identities like clothes.
5I run sleight-of-hand cons on street corners.
6I convince people that worthless junk is worth their hard-earned money.


Under skill proficiency you gain access to both deception and sleight of hand. Under tool proficiencies you can access to the disguise kit and the forgery kit. Under equipment, a set of fine clothes, a disguise kit, tools of the con of your choice so like weighted dice marked cards, potential identities of other people stuff like that or another person rather and a pouch containing 15 gold piece which puts it above the average which is certainly handy if you’re starting out.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Sleight of Hand
  • Tool Proficiencies: Disguise kit, forgery kit
  • Languages: None
  • Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a disguise kit, tools of the con of your choice (ten stoppered bottles filled with colored liquid, a set of weighted dice, a deck of marked cards, or a signet ring of an imaginary duke), and a belt pouch containing 15 gp.

Overall these mechanics are quite good. Deception is something you’re going to be using quite a bit in your game, sleight of hand it kind of depends on the play style and the circumstances but i certainly would not consider it to be a wasted proficiency. Having access to both the disguise kit and the forgery kit puts you in really just an exceptional position overall.

There are certainly spells and things of that nature that you can use to gain superior effects. But just having them for the sake of having them and being able to use them without consuming any resources or having any magical lingering effects is certainly really nice and beneficial as well.

The equipment is just kind of math, i think the tools of the con is probably the best thing here especially with that sleight of hand proficiency, you can really push your luck quite far and maybe even make a fair bit of coin as well. Having that extra five gold piece starting out would certainly put you at some sense of an advantage.

Al though it does kind of depend on what sort of a game you’re playing. Now let’s move on to its feature. This one will be called false identity which does a pretty good job of summing it up.

Feature: False Identity 5E

You’ve created a second identity for you, which contains documentation, established acquaintances, and disguises they allow you to assume that persona.

In an additional, you can easily forge documents which includes the official papers and also the personal letters, But as long as you seen an instance of the kind of document or else the handwriting what you’re trying to copy.

Amazing, just incredible stuff! There’s so much you can do with this and this is one of those interesting features where the more complex a society is the more power this feature is going to have within that society. Especially if there’s a ton of magic and magical detections kind of all the rage. You can’t really forge using magic in that world but this doesn’t rely on magic at all it’s just good old time and patience.

If you’re planning on running this racket there are certainly ways to do it more superior than others, going with the changeling for your race for example would put you at a huge advantage and maybe even taking the actor feat would help seal the deal in terms of really convincing people.

However let me know you think down beneath. Overall i think this is incredibly strong, this might even be the strongest feature we’ve covered so far and on a side note there’s a strong argument to be made for this feature being able to replicate other features. By this what i mean is if you use the false identity to impersonate an acolyte then maybe the shelter of the faithful would apply to you as well.

There’s a lot of things you can do with this let me know what your ideas are down beneath however. Now let’s move on to suggested characteristics.

Suggested Characteristics

Even though the charlatan background 5e are the colorful those who conceal their true selves behind their masks they construct. They can able to reflect what are the peoples like to see?, what they want to believe?, and how do they see the world?.

By their true selves were sometimes plagued with their uneasy conscience, an old enemy or else with their deep-seated trust issues.

Personality Traits

Under personality trait, I put i have a joke for every occasion. Especially occasions where humor is inappropriate.

D8Personality Traits
1I fall in and out of love easily, and am always pursuing someone.
2I have a joke for every occasion, especially occasions where humor is inappropriate.
3Flattery is my preferred trick for getting what I want.
4I'm a born gambler who can't resist taking a risk for a potential payoff.
5I lie about almost everything, even when there's no good reason to.
6Sarcasm and insults are my weapons of choice.
7I keep multiple holy symbols on me and invoke whatever deity might come in useful at any given moment.
8I pocket anything I see that might have some value.


Under ideal i put independence. I am a free spirit….No one tells me what to do and that will put you a tick towards the chaotic element.

1Independence: I am a free spirit – no one tells me what to do. (Chaotic)
2Fairness: I never target people who can't afford to lose a few coins. (Lawful)
3Charity: I distribute the money I acquire to the people who really need it. (Good)
4Creativity: I never run the same con twice. (Chaotic)
5Friendship: Material goods come and go. Bonds of friendship last forever. (Good)
6Aspiration: I'm determined to make something of myself. (Any)


Under Bond a powerful person killed someone i love. Someday soon, i’ll have my revenge.

1I fleeced the wrong person and must work to ensure that this individual never crosses paths with me or those I care about.
2I owe everything to my mentor – a horrible person who's probably rotting in jail somewhere.
3Somewhere out there, I have a child who doesn't know me. I'm making the world better for him or her.
4I come from a noble family, and one day I'll reclaim my lands and title from those who stole them from me.
5A powerful person killed someone I love. Some day soon, I'll have my revenge.
6I swindled and ruined a person who didn't deserve it. I seek to atone for my misdeeds but might never be able to forgive myself.


Under flaw, i’m convinced that no one could ever fool me the way i fool others.

1I can't resist a pretty face.
2I'm always in debt. I spend my ill-gotten gains on decadent luxuries faster than I bring them in.
3I'm convinced that no one could ever fool me the way I fool others.
4I'm too greedy for my own good. I can't resist taking a risk if there's money involved.
5I can't resist swindling people who are more powerful than me.
6I hate to admit it and will hate myself for it, but I'll run and preserve my own hide if the going gets tough.

I was kind of going for a joker or even cicero-esque vibe here however feel free to interpret however you want. I think it’s really good to have characters like this in your party. Kind of chaotic humorous elements to any party really livened things up and really help break down the more metagamy elements of 5e.

So feel free to use it however you want, this particular character type might get you into more trouble than anything else. You do have to bear in mind when you’re role-playing that you as a character have a whole false identity to fall back on if things really hit the fan and maybe your false identity is similar to these personality traits.

But maybe it’s the polar opposite outright. Kind of like the whole joker secretly being alfred fans theory, i think it’s pretty funny not really plausible but you could have something similar to that. Very cool stuff or maybe the person that your adventuring party knows is the false identity. And who you are is someone completely different. Now let’s take a look at my personal thoughts. Also Read inheritor 5e background also, if you’re searching for it.


Overall i’m in love with the charlatan, not gonna try and hide it. It isn’t my favorite background anymore however for the longest time it was the only one i felt comfortable playing and it was the only one i felt that offered far more benefit than any of the others. Since then and since really looking into what the other backgrounds have it’s very subjective.

Using false identity to take advantage of other background features is something that the DM is definitely going to need to sign off on, most DMs i’ve talked to are okay with it but that’s what led me to kind of exploiting it. There’s also nothing that really specifies that you can only have one false identity. So it’s plausible with enough time, gold and effort you could create several and just play it off however you’d like.

However, i don’t know some DM’s could probably have an issue with that. Their mechanics are quite strong and the suggested characteristics have a ton of flavor in them, so overall i would probably put this on one of the higher tiers of backgrounds.

Wrap Up

Maybe you agree, maybe you disagree let me know down beneath either way. Mention any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns or ideas of your own or maybe even your own experiences that’d great as well. Because i’m imagining a lot of you have played as a charlatan at at least one point or another. I hope everyone has a great day and as always happy adventuring everyone.

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