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40 D&D Fighter Backgrounds

Updated: Apr 6, 2023



In Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the fighter class is one of the most versatile and popular options for players. Whether you prefer to wield a mighty sword, specialize in a specific fighting style, or become a master tactician, there's a fighter subclass that will suit your playstyle. However, creating a well-rounded and interesting fighter character background can be a challenge, especially if you're new to the game or unsure of where to start.


In this article, we've compiled 40 unique fighter background ideas to help inspire your next player character. From seasoned war veterans to exiled nobles and everything in between, these backgrounds offer a variety of options to help you create a compelling and engaging character.


This is the core of character creation, here we take dice rolls, stats and proficiency bonuses and create an entire life from them. A fighter is not simple the combination of ability scores, ability checks, hit points and each ability score improvement. A fighter character is the product of the story you tell about them, it is the history of the hero. Were they from the rural areas of your world or from a small town or small village? Does the character's race (origin) have a bearing on their background?


Have they been adventuring a long time? Were they mentored by retired adventurers? This doesn't have to be hard work, as we've created prompts for you below, but it does require taking that amazing imagination you have and creating the story that the character arrives with at the start of their adventures .


As you progress through the game and reach higher levels, your fighter character will gain access to new abilities, spells, and feats. You'll have the opportunity to improve your ability scores and take on more challenging foes, using your bonus actions and abilities to their fullest potential. Whether you prefer to wield a greatsword, dual-wield short swords, or specialize in ranged attacks, there's a fighter background that will complement your preferred fighting style.


Your character's backstory is an essential starting point for developing a unique personality and history.


Perhaps your character started fighting at an early age, training in the natural world with a best friend who eventually became a trusted party member (sometimes it is good to create a couple of characters and link them together). Or maybe they were born into nobility, but due to circumstances beyond their control, they found themselves exiled and forced to fend for themselves in a harsh world, perhaps having to leave their childhood home forever.


In addition to combat abilities, your fighter might also excel in social situations, having spent much time as a courtier or knight (perhaps an old friend of a powerful lord?). You may find that your fighter's background plays a significant role in how they approach different situations.


For example, a character who grew up in a rough neighbourhood may have an easier time navigating social situations with a gangsters, bandits, mercenaries and thugs, while a noble-born character may struggle in those same situations. Regardless of your character's background, it's important to stay true to their personality and story.


So if you're ready to dive into the world of D&D and create a powerful and compelling fighter character, read on for 40 background ideas that are sure to inspire your next adventure. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the game, these backgrounds offer a wealth of options to help you create the ultimate fighter character at 1st level and beyond.

40 Fighter Types



1. The Honor-Bound Samurai: This warrior was raised in a strict code of honor, which they follow to the letter. Their strict adherence to this code often puts them at odds with others, as they refuse to compromise on their principles. They may be seeking redemption for a past dishonor or mistake, or they may be on a quest to prove themselves worthy of their clan's leadership.


2. The Fallen Paladin: Once a holy crusader of a righteous deity, this warrior has fallen from grace after committing a terrible sin. They are seeking redemption for their actions, but struggle with the guilt and shame of their past deeds. They may be reluctant to take up arms or use their divine powers, fearing that they will only cause more harm.


3. The Outlaw: This warrior was once a member of a powerful kingdom's army, but was falsely accused of a crime and forced to flee. Now an outlaw, they live on the fringes of society, avoiding the law and seeking vengeance against those who wronged them. They may be forced to make difficult choices in order to survive, such as stealing or killing.


4. The Mercenary: This warrior fights for coin, and has no allegiance to any particular kingdom or cause. They may be a bit of a loner, as they have learned not to trust anyone too much. They may be seeking a big payout or the chance to prove their worth, but may also struggle with the morality of their profession.


5. The Noble Warrior: Born into a wealthy and powerful family, this warrior was trained in the art of combat from a young age. They may be seeking to prove themselves worthy of their family's legacy, or they may be trying to break away from their family's expectations and forge their own path. They may have a sense of entitlement or arrogance, but also a strong sense of duty to their family.


6. The Reformed Criminal: This warrior was once a member of a criminal organization, but has since left that life behind. They may be seeking redemption for their past actions, or they may be trying to distance themselves from their old associates. They may struggle with the temptation to return to their old ways, or they may face persecution from those who knew them in their criminal days.


7. The Reluctant Hero: This warrior never wanted to be a hero, but circumstances have thrust them into the role. They may be seeking a way out of their newfound responsibility, or they may be trying to come to terms with their destiny. They may be in over their head, and struggle with self-doubt and fear.


8. The Avenger: This warrior is on a mission of revenge, seeking to avenge the death of a loved one or right a wrong that was done to them. They may be consumed by their need for vengeance, and may struggle with the morality of their actions. They may also be at odds with others who would prefer to handle things through more diplomatic means.


9. The Traumatized Soldier: This warrior has seen the horrors of war, and has been left with deep scars both physical and mental. They may suffer from PTSD, and may struggle with relationships and social situations. They may be seeking a way to cope with their trauma, or they may be trying to find a new purpose in life.


10. The Mysterious Stranger: This warrior is a mystery to those around them, revealing little about their past or motivations. They may be seeking something, but no one knows what it is. They may be on the run from something or someone, or they may be searching for a lost artifact or secret knowledge. Others may be wary of them, unsure of their true


11. The Orcish War Chief: This warrior is a leader of their orcish tribe, known for their battle prowess and strategic mind. They may be seeking to unite their scattered people or to expand their territory, but may also struggle with the need to balance diplomacy and violence. They may be at odds with other tribes or races, and may face discrimination from those who see all orcs as savages.


12. The Gladiator Slave: This warrior was once a slave forced to fight for the entertainment of their captors, but has since won their freedom. They may be seeking revenge against those who enslaved them, or they may be trying to find their place in a world they never knew. They may struggle with the psychological scars of their past or with the stigma of being a former slave.


13. The Dragon Slayer: This warrior has dedicated their life to hunting and slaying dragons, either out of a sense of duty or for personal reasons. They may be seeking a particular dragon or simply trying to rid the world of the beasts. They may be at odds with those who seek to use dragons for their own gain, or they may face scrutiny from dragon allies.


14. The Battle Mage: This warrior is skilled in both swordplay and magic, blending the two into a deadly combination. They may be seeking to learn more powerful spells or to discover new applications for their magic. They may be at odds with those who mistrust or fear magic, or they may struggle with the ethical implications of using their powers in combat.


15. The Rebellious Heir: This warrior is the child of a powerful noble family, but has rejected their upbringing in favor of a life of adventure. They may be seeking to prove themselves to their family or to find their own way in the world. They may be at odds with their family's expectations or with the societal norms of their station.


16. The Faithful Crusader: This warrior is a devout follower of their deity, and seeks to spread their faith and protect the innocent. They may be seeking to complete a holy quest or to defend a sacred site. They may be at odds with those who do not share their beliefs, or they may struggle with doubts about their own faith.


17. The Cursed Warrior: This warrior is plagued by a curse that affects their body or mind, making them a pariah to others. They may be seeking a way to lift the curse or to come to terms with their fate. They may be at odds with those who fear or shun them, or they may struggle with the physical or mental toll of the curse.


18. The Tribal Champion: This warrior is the champion of their tribal people, responsible for defending them in battle and representing them in diplomacy. They may be seeking to secure their tribe's safety or to expand their influence. They may be at odds with other tribes or with outsiders who do not understand their customs.


19. The Master Duelist: This warrior is a master of one-on-one combat, seeking to prove their skill against the best opponents. They may be seeking to win a prestigious tournament or to defeat a rival. They may be at odds with those who use underhanded tactics or who do not respect the rules of a fair fight.


20. The Demon Hunter: This warrior has dedicated their life to hunting and slaying demons, either for personal reasons or out of a sense of duty. They may be seeking to rid the world of demonic influence or to protect innocent lives. They may be at odds with those who believe demons can be redeemed or who do not take the threat seriously.


21. The Orcish War Chief: This warrior is a leader of their orcish tribe, known for their battle prowess and strategic mind. They may be seeking to unite their scattered people or to expand their territory, but may also struggle with the need to balance diplomacy and violence. They may be at odds with other tribes or races, and may face discrimination from those who see all orcs as savages.


22. The Gladiator Slave: This warrior was once a slave forced to fight for the entertainment of their captors, but has since won their freedom. They may be seeking revenge against those who enslaved them, or they may be trying to find their place in a world they never knew. They may struggle with the psychological scars of their past or with the stigma of being a former slave.


23. The Dragon Slayer: This warrior has dedicated their life to hunting and slaying dragons, either out of a sense of duty or for personal reasons. They may be seeking a particular dragon or simply trying to rid the world of the beasts. They may be at odds with those who seek to use dragons for their own gain, or they may face scrutiny from dragon allies.


24. The Battle Mage: This warrior is skilled in both swordplay and magic, blending the two into a deadly combination. They may be seeking to learn more powerful spells or to discover new applications for their magic. They may be at odds with those who mistrust or fear magic, or they may struggle with the ethical implications of using their powers in combat.


25. The Rebellious Heir: This warrior is the child of a powerful noble family, but has rejected their upbringing in favor of a life of adventure. They may be seeking to prove themselves to their family or to find their own way in the world. They may be at odds with their family's expectations or with the societal norms of their station.


26. The Faithful Crusader: This warrior is a devout follower of their deity, and seeks to spread their faith and protect the innocent. They may be seeking to complete a holy quest or to defend a sacred site. They may be at odds with those who do not share their beliefs, or they may struggle with doubts about their own faith.


27. The Cursed Warrior: This warrior is plagued by a curse that affects their body or mind, making them a pariah to others. They may be seeking a way to lift the curse or to come to terms with their fate. They may be at odds with those who fear or shun them, or they may struggle with the physical or mental toll of the curse.


28. The Tribal Champion: This warrior is the champion of their tribal people, responsible for defending them in battle and representing them in diplomacy. They may be seeking to secure their tribe's safety or to expand their influence. They may be at odds with other tribes or with outsiders who do not understand their customs.


29.The Master Duelist: This warrior is a master of one-on-one combat, seeking to prove their skill against the best opponents. They may be seeking to win a prestigious tournament or to defeat a rival. They may be at odds with those who use underhanded tactics or who do not respect the rules of a fair fight.


30. The Demon Hunter: This warrior has dedicated their life to hunting and slaying demons, either for personal reasons or out of a sense of duty. They may be seeking to rid the world of demonic influence or to protect innocent lives. They may be at odds with those who believe demons can be redeemed or who do not take the threat seriously.


31. The Exiled Prince/Princess: This warrior was once royalty but has been exiled from their kingdom for a perceived transgression. They may be seeking a way to regain their throne or to find a new purpose in life. They may be at odds with their former allies or with those who seek to keep them from returning to power.


32. The Veteran Mercenary: This warrior has seen it all, having fought in countless battles as a mercenary for hire. They may be seeking one last job before retirement or to find a new meaning in life after their years of service. They may be at odds with their former employers or with those who view mercenaries as dishonorable.


33. The Drunken Brawler: This warrior is known for their drinking and love of a good brawl. They may be seeking to prove their toughness or to forget their past mistakes. They may be at odds with those who view them as a brute or with their own addiction to alcohol.


34. The Vengeful Avenger: This warrior seeks revenge against those who wronged them or their loved ones. They may be seeking justice or simply to satisfy their desire for revenge. They may be at odds with the law or with those who try to dissuade them from their quest.


35. The Fallen Paladin: This warrior was once a paladin but has fallen from grace, perhaps by breaking their oath or committing a heinous act. They may be seeking redemption or to atone for their sins. They may be at odds with their former comrades or with their own sense of morality.


36. The Pirate Captain: This warrior is the captain of a pirate ship, seeking treasure and adventure on the high seas. They may be seeking to establish their own pirate kingdom or to take revenge against a rival. They may be at odds with naval authorities or with those who disapprove of their lifestyle.


37. The Outcast Clan Member: This warrior is a member of a clan or tribe but has been exiled or rejected by their people. They may be seeking to regain their honor or to find a new home among outsiders. They may be at odds with their former allies or with the societal norms of their people.


38. The Loyal Bodyguard: This warrior is a loyal bodyguard to a noble or powerful figure, willing to lay down their life to protect their charge. They may be seeking to uncover a conspiracy against their charge or to ensure their safety in a dangerous world. They may be at odds with those who seek to harm their charge or with their own personal desires.


39. The Duel-Wielding Assassin: This warrior is a skilled assassin who specializes in using two weapons at once. They may be seeking to complete a contract or to find their next target. They may be at odds with those who seek to stop them or with the ethical implications of their profession.


40. The War-Torn Veteran: This warrior is a veteran of a devastating war, scarred by the horrors they witnessed. They may be seeking to find a new purpose in life or to come to terms with their past. They may be at odds with those who do not understand their trauma or with their own psychological wounds.


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