Choose one of the following backgrounds to begin play with (no need to pay xp to gain it). These are also added to the list of advancements you may take from experience.
You gain competency and have a specialty with one craft of your choice chosen from smithing, leatherwork, or bowmaking.
As a reaction, you may shove/pull a willing creature 5ft in any direction and move into the space it previously occupied.
You gain competency with clubs and unarmed strikes, and specialize in intimidation checks against sentient creatures that you have socially recognized authority over.
You are competent with handaxes and cooking.
In addition, you specialize in survival checks made in a wilderness terrain chosen from arctic, aquatic, desert, forest, grasslands, jungle, mountain, planar wilds (choose a plane), swamp, underground, or volcanic.
Note: this background should be taken only by NPCs since PCs in Meskellian already have either it or its equivalent.
You gain competency with a weapon of your choice and specialize in checks made to negotiate pay for a job.
In addition, you have the professional lingo, clout, and networking to both find out where the local mercenary hangouts are in any city of the Dodekapolis and find jobs at those hangouts.
You have competency with social checks made against members of nobility and royalty.
Choose a city. You are a minor member of a noble family in that city; work with your referee to determine the power, size, and disposition of this family.
In addition, you may secure lodging for yourself and any companions in the home of any lesser nobility in your family, or among the citizenry of your city. You may also bill expenses to your family treasury. Note that abusing these powers may have dire consequences on your noble standing.
You gain competency with unarmed strikes and specialize in performance skill checks made in combat.
In addition, your unarmed strikes deal weapon damage equal to your Eminence.
You gain competency with shields and a weapon of your choice.
In addition, choose the city you served under. Prices for food, drink, and lodging at establishments aligned with that city are reduced by fifty percent. Most establishments in a city are loyal to their home, but all cities have at least some neutral expat hangouts or even outright misaligned establishments.