Backgrounds - The Accountant

Backgrounds - The Accountant

Wait, don’t leave!

I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want to have an accountant background? They could possibly have the most boring profession in the world. 

First off, being an accountant is probably why you put down the quill, shoved the ledgers aside, and set off in search of fame and glory. You are sick of counting other people’s money and want to go out and get some of your own. How long could you sit at a desk counting some rich noble’s pile of money and not want to go find your own riches?

Secondly, have you not seen how the accountant has become the star of the screen? It used to be the accountant was some little squirrelly guy who toppled the BBEG in court (Untouchables, 1987) or they were dastardly schmucks (The Producers, 1968) of questionable moral character. More recently, accountants in film are badasses. Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption, 1994) wasn’t an action hero but used his wisdom and intelligence to escape prison with a spoon. In Midnight Run, (1988) Jonathan Mardukas escapes from the bounty catcher assigned to catch him. He “borrows” cars, slips sway when not being watched, and even steals a plane! Most recently, Christian Wolff (The Accountant, 2016) kills, well, everyone that gets in his way. There’s a wizard, a rogue and monk/gunslinger!

The Accountant

So, you’re great with numbers and coins. As word of your financial skills spread throughout the city, members of the wealthier classes search you out for your skillset. Some of the people (or organizations) may be legitimate businessmen or merchants who want to protect their money and grow their business. Others, if your morals are a bit more flexible, could be part of the underworld or maybe corrupt government officials. No matter who your employer is, you can save and grow their money beyond their wildest dreams.

Tired of working for a pittance, you informed your employers that you are leaving your boring and unfulfilling life to slay dragons and explore dungeons. Some bosses are sad to see you go but understand. Others may not be so supportive. In some cases, your leaving may not be a choice but a necessity (see the variant accountant). Whatever the reason, you are now out the world, a sword on your belt or a spellbook in your hands, and ready for your first adventure.

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Employer

The employer can be just a piece of flavor for your background, or it can play an incredibly important part of who you are and the campaign itself. Some of the organizations below may not be thrilled with you leaving, since you may have a wealth of knowledge about the financial workings of their business. That said, you may want to keep your head on a swivel.

Employers and Organizations

  1. Local Bank - You know a lot about a lot of people’s finances and wealth.

  2. Local Government - Not exactly the most efficient of organizations on the Material Plane.

  3. Thieves Guild - At least they are upfront about their ill-gotten gains. Keep your mouth shut and all is good.

  4. Self Employed - Small Business Accountant - In it for the little guy.

  5. Local Criminal Element - You don’t ask how “Vincent the Leg Breaker Vanzulo” got the money from his “client”

  6. Artisan's Guild - Some are on the up and up. Some aren’t. And some are flat out greedy bastards.

  7. Personal Accountant to Noble/Wealthy Merchant - We all know the rich have skeletons in their closets.

  8. Local Temple - It’s amazing how much money religion can bring in

Feature: Appraiser

The rich have more than just gold. Many of them spend their money on wonderful pieces of art, magical items of legend, and 10 ft. high velvet self-portraits of themselves. Your clients often come to you wanting to know how much a valuable item they own is worth. They rely on your knowledge before they make a purchase, ensuring they are not getting ripped off. You know the value of all gemstones, jewelry, and art. Also, you have developed the skills to be able to identify some magical items. You have advantage on Arcana checks when trying to identify magical items.

Personality Trait

  1. I value my clients trust more than anything else. - They trust you so you can trust them.

  2. I am jealous of the riches the people I work for have. - It should be me, not them.

  3. If my clients are doing illegal things, I will report them to the authorities. - Really, really, REALLY hope you are not employed by the Thieves’ Guild.

  4. I prefer to spend most of my time alone with my numbers. - People suck.

  5. As long as I get paid, I'll do whatever my clients want me to do. - Except babysit. I hate kids.

  6. I hold myself to the highest ethical standards. - Money doesn’t corrupt everyone. I’m one of the good guys.

  7. So much time at work has left me bored and unsatisfied with my life. - Anyone that sits in a cubicle all day completely understands.

  8. My clients have so much much, they won't notice if I take a little from them. - What’s a gold piece here and there?

Ideal

  1. Morality. - A good man/woman may be hard to find, but when they meet you, they need not look any further.

  2. Fairness. - Your wealth never determines the quality of my work.

  3. Greed. - What’s fair is fair and if you don’t want to give it to me, I’ll just take it.

  4. Generosity. - If I have to get paid in chickens, at least I have breakfast and dinner!

  5. Logic. - People lie, numbers don’t, unless I’m told to.

  6. Power. - I’ll get that Christmas’s bonus one way or another.

Bond

  1. The office I work out of is my favorite place in the world. - It’s my man cave or she shed.

  2. My clients mean everything to me. - Not their money.

  3. I owed an employer a debt, and now I have to pay it off by working for them. - The other option that Vinnie the Leg Breaker gave me wasn’t very appealing.

  4. My true love is money and myself. - Sounds like most elected officials.

  5. I am love with the daughter/son of a client. - I would give it all up for their hand in marriage.

  6. I enjoy working for the common man more than the rich. - Rich people suck.

Flaw

  1. Sometimes I forget to use financial language my clients understand. - Doesn’t everyone know what EBITDA stands for? (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)

  2. I'd rather spend my time alone working with numbers. - Once again, number don’t lie, people do.

  3. If my clients can't pay, I take whatever they can afford in trade. - Remember that chicken? I’ve been paid in vegetables, ale and bread before.

  4. I skim off the top of my rich clients. - They have so much money, they will never notice.

  5. I get annoyed when a client spends their money on frivolous things. - Do they really need that many sets of metal and polished stone dice…Oh wait, that’s me.

  6. I worry to much about my clients money. - Fighting kobolds has to be less stressful.


Variant Accountant: On the Run

Welp, you couldn’t keep your greedy mitts to yourself. Skimming off the top, cooking the books, misdirecting funds…whatever the way you went about it, you’ve been stealing from your employer.

And you got caught.

Even if they are the forgiving type, there are two things in the world you never fuck with: people’s kids and people’s money. Once they found out about your theft, the walls started to close around you. Knowing that if you did not leave, the best you could hope for was a quick death. You gathered what you could and started to run. Will you be on the run forever, or is there a way to fix this? You have no idea, but Vinnie is hot on your trail, so that sword on your belt makes you feel a little better.

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Header Art Credit - Iker Cortázar

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