Cloistered Scholar Background 5E

Hello everyone welcome or welcome back to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 11th episode of our background series. In any case today we’re going to be taking a look at the cloistered scholar background 5e which is one of my favorite ish ones it’s honestly really good as a really strong feature it is.

It does play second fiddle to another background from an another book but for the most part it’s pretty well set up. The cloistered scholar is found in the sword coast adventurers guide…in case if you were curious it did a really good job of adding in a lot of these backgrounds we’re going to be covering so clearly worth getting the book if you find it offers you a lot of content. Now let’s move on to it’s description here.

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Being a child, you were just a inquisitive whenever your playmates are more possessive or else raucous. In some of your formative years, you already have found your related way to one of the Faerûn’s greatest institutes of learning, so wherever you were apprenticed and even taught that knowledge is the more valuable treasure than the gold or the germs too. Of course you are almost ready now to leave your home- but not abandon it, but also to quest for the new lore for adding to its storehouse of the knowledge.

The most well known of the Faerûn’s fonts of the knowledge is a Candlekeep. Any how the greatest library is always in a need of the worker and also the attendants, and also some of whom rise through the ranks for assuming roles of the greater responsibility and prominence too.

Actually, you might have been one of the Candlekeep’s  own and also it has dedicated to a curatorship of what is likely to be the most complete body of lore and and also the history in all over the world.

Probably instead of you were taken in by the scholars of a vault of some of the sages or else the map houses in the Silverymoon, and now also you have been strucked out for the sake of increasing of your knowledge and also to make yourself available to the help whoever in other places those whoever seek your expertise. Probably, you might have been one of the few those who aid Herald’s Holdfast, helping to the catalogue and also maintaining some of the records of an information which can arrives daily from across the Faerûn.

Very good stuff! I like this description a lot. Naturally you can take some liberties with it as you see fit. But in essence it actually reminds me a a lot of the mage callege in the skyrim series. Occasionally you’ll run into mages in the wild that are seeking to do just this broaden their own experience and knowledge so they can relay it back to the college itself.

Very cool stuff! Naturally you can take as many liberties as you like seeing how it’s your character and of course discuss with your DM how to best fit this narrative into your overall world. Very cool stuff! Now let’s take a look at its mechanics.


  • Skill Proficiencies: Under skill proficiencies you gain access to history, plus your choice of one from among Arcana, Nature, and Religion. So you can pick one of the three last ones there. I feel like the majority are gonna end up with arcana just because this background as a whole seems to be focused on it. However who knows it is up to you.
  • Languages: Under languages you get two of your choice and sadly no tool proficiencies although given the description it does make sense.
  • Tool Proficiencies: None
  • Equipment: Under equipment you get the scholar’s robes of your cloister and you can have them denote which school or which institution you belong to, You gain a writing kit with all the necessities (small pouch with a quill, ink, folded parchment, and a small penknife), a borrowed book from your library on the certain subject of your current study, and a pouch containing 10 gp. Which is right in line with that average.

Overall mechanically this background seems to be pretty good. I like that it does offer some versatility between the arcana nature or religion. So you have all of your main casters kind of covered there. Be you a wizard or a druid or even a cleric or warlock depending on how you want to go about it.

The two additional languages completely up to you is certainly nice as well. Once again discuss with your dungeon master which languages are going to be more prevalent in whatever region you may have grown up in and the equipment is just it’s all right for what it is. Nothing really worth bragging about but it’s not bad in general. Now let’s move on to its feature. This one is called library access and it’s a little bit more complicated than most but let’s run through it.

Feature: Library Access

Even though many others must frequently be endure an extensive interviews and also the significant fees for gaining the access to even the most common archives in your personal library, of course you already have your free and an easy access for the majority of the library, although it may also have the repositories of lore which which are very much valuable, magical, or else the secret to permit anyone immediate access.

You of course have the working knowledge some of your cloistred scholor’s personnel and bureaucracy, and even though you know how to navigate those connections by some ease.

In an addition, you are almost likely to have gained preferential treatment at any other libraries which are across the Realms, like the professional courtesy shown for one of the fellow scholors.

Very interesting stuff. So the way this kind of works out is it’ll allow you to go to some places of research libraries archives places like that with relatively a little ease they might perhaps recognize the symbol on your robes or you may have some other form of identification as well. Once again work with your dungeon master to figure out exactly how that works.

And if you’d really want to go the extra mile with this, i would have whatever group you belong to be failrly prevalent in your world. That way the area of the feature that mentions you have a good knowledge of the personnel and bureaucracy. That would really help make that particular section that be a lot more prevalent in game. This is something that will give you and your party quite the edge during the exploration and social pillars of the game.

You know to be fair libraries in general would serve as great exposition if the DM wanted to give you any world building information or lore that may be pertinent to your current quest or campaign as a whole. It’s just a really good tool for them to take advantage of. Now let’s go over some suggested charactertistics really quick here.

Suggested Characteristics

You can use the table of sage dnd background like the basis for your traits and motivations and also modifying the entries whenever it appropriate to suit your identity otherwise you can use the below mentioned tables too.


Under bond “I’ve been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.”

D6Options For Bond
1It is my duty to protect my students.
2I have an ancient text that holds terrible secrets that must not fall into the wrong hands.
3I work to preserve a library, university, scriptorium, or monastery.
4My life's work is a series of tomes related to a specific field of lore.
5I've been searching my whole life for the answer to a certain question.
6I sold my soul for knowledge. I hope to do great deeds and win it back.


Under ideal “Beauty: What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true.(Good)”.

D6Options For Ideal
1Knowledge: The path to power and self-improvement is through knowledge. (Neutral)
2Beauty: What is beautiful points us beyond itself toward what is true. (Good)
3Logic: Emotions must not cloud our logical thinking. (Lawful)
4No Limits: Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. (Chaotic)
5Power: Knowledge is the path to power and domination. (Evil)
6Self-Improvement: The goal of a life of study is the betterment of oneself. (Any)


“I am easily distracted by the promise of information.”

D6Options For Flaw
1I am easily distracted by the promise of information.
2Most people scream and run when they see a demon. I stop and take notes on its anatomy.
3Unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.
4I overlook obvious solutions in favor of complicated ones.
5I speak without really thinking through my words, invariably insulting others.
6I can't keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else's.

Personality Traits

For a personal trait i put “there is nothing i like more than a good mystery.”

D8Options For Personality Traits
1I use polysyllabic words that convey the impression of great erudition.
2I've read every book in the world's greatest libraries – or I like to boast that I have.
3I'm used to helping out those who aren't as smart as I am, and I patiently explain anything and everything to others.
4There's nothing I like more than a good mystery.
5I'm willing to listen to every side of an argument before I make my own judgment.
6I… speak… slowly… when talking… to idiots,… which… almost… everyone… is… compared… to me.
7I am horribly, horribly awkward in social situations.
8I'm convinced that people are always trying to steal my secrets.

Almost your bond is certainly associated either by the place wherever you grew up or else by the knowledge that you hope to acquire via an adventuring. Of course your ideal is nothing to doubt which is related to how you view the quest for the sake of knowledge and also for the truth-probably like a worthy goal in itself, or else may be like the means for a desirable end.

You can also get the article on folk hero background 5e.

All this is really good stuff and lends itself to a ton of plot hooks, as well as a lot of incentive to pursue the adventuring trade. The desire to love mystery is really good for just advancing plot lines in general, looking towards beautiful things or having a tendency to go towards them would likely lead to the character becoming distracted maybe at a key moment and the question you’re searching for might be just the whole focus of the quest you’re going out to do.

And then after you find that answer you plan on returning back and retiring as an adventurer which to be fair isn’t necessarily a terrible way to build a character a lot of times i find players build characters with no real end in mind and no real goal outside of maybe dying a glorious death from time to time. But i do think that’d be interesting and easily distracted by the promise of information would fall in line with the beauty ideal right!

As well as perhaps lead them down more in nefarious path for example if a demon offered them some information in exchange for a handful of souls what would that character do it kind of depends on what kind of a scholar they are. You know if they’re morally influenced and seek to be an example to other students then maybe they’ll turn it down but if they’re cold calculating and unfeeling maybe they’ll take that off or only to maybe regret it later on.

I also think would be relatively humorous if the question they were looking for was what is the nature of life or something to that effect and the answer is something as cliche as friendship you know. Something like that would be relatively interesting to play around with at least conceptually. Now let’s get into my personal thoughts.

Personal Thoughts

As a relates to the cloistered scholar as a whole i really like it. Its description is interesting and provides some sense of a character arc just in of itself which is super nice for both dungeon masters and players to refer back to from time to time. Its mechanics are quite versatile between picking your own proficiencies and picking your own languages. The only real drawback is a lack of utility that comes from artisan tools but it is what it is and you can get those from classes as well and if your DM is open to the optional rules about it, you can pursue that in your downtime.

Looking at its feature…i think it’s quite good and provides a great opportunity for exposition and i do find a lot of dungeon masters have a nasty habit of over preparing and to be fair i’m guilty of that as well. But this feature provides a great outlet for all that extra information they may have included but not had the opportunity to tell you just because it hasn’t come up yet and it might not.

So i think it’s relatively good for that alone. Looking at their charactertistics they’re quite wide and varied and do offer some really interesting insights as to what kind of a scholar you might be. Overall i like it, i think it’s a pretty strong choice. I might rework some of the feature just to make it a little bit better at all levels of play and at all locations. But outside of that i think it’s quite well done.


That being said, let me know what you think about cloistered scholar down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns you have regarding it. That being said, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring my friends.

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