Gladiator Background 5e (5th Edition) in D&D

Dungeons and Dragons is an RPG(role-playing games) game that allows you to choose your player and come up with a good story for it. Here, you can give special powers to your character or a specific background and help the DM(Dungeon Master) to set up a good storyline. You can present the players’ background and powers in front of the Dungeon Master and other players. After that, the DM will align your story with others to create a perfect storyline.

The 5th edition introduced a lot of background stories for the warrior character and peace over monks. Some background stories are similar to the base, but some take your character up to the next level. Hermit Background and Folk Hero 5e background fits on every character and that allows you to come up with a good story. However, a new background named “the Gladiator Background” of 5the edition is getting more popular and also very easy to explain.

The gladiator is a character type that appeared throughout the DnD in various forms. In the “Dark Sun setting,” they’re especially prominent as a character where brutal arena combat was a popular public entertainment in different states of the Tyr region. In the Player’s Handbook, the gladiator background appeared as an alternative to the entertainer’s background. It was one of the inaugural themes in the Dark Sun settings.

Gladiator Background 5e (5th Edition) in D&D

What is Gladiator Background 5e?

You were a gladiator of the colosseum who was captured, imprisoned, and forced to kill others in deathmatches. However, your fighting style made you a victorious gladiator and helped you to remain alive. Now, the colosseum is floating in your veins with the events that took place and the memories replay in the dreams. You are now the result of the past experiences you got either by choice or not. Although you are free now and can do whatever you want, still you get nightmares of the place and sometimes mentally go back to the arena.

In the gladiator’s background 5e of DnD by killing people, you earned the respect or fear and became the champion by participating in the armed combat sports. It is similar to the battle where magical beasts and the wild animal fight with each other until the opponent gets killed. This feature sets the gladiator background apart from other backgrounds.

Usually, these battles were fought using the swords and axes, but sometimes the battle leads by the competition of archery, martial arts, foot races, or chariots, through treacherous obstacle crosses.

Skill Proficiencies: 

Athletics, Acrobatics, Performance, and Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies:

Disguise Kit, a type of musical instrument

Starting Equipment:

A set of common clothes, costume, a disguise kit, a belt pouch containing 15 GP, a trinket(like a belt, sash, trophy, or a badge) from the competition you won, and a unique weapon like a scimitar, net, or a trident.


Any language you speak

Arena Types

Many gladiators are different from each other, some fight with weapons or magic, while some fight with their fists. You can choose any skill that kept you alive.


There are some skills that you can specialize in and use them to make your character more powerful. You need to present these powers of your character in front of the DM in such a way that he could easily understand how you got your powers in the background. In other words, you need to create a Gladiator background which will not only build your character but also explain how you specialized in these skills. Some of these skills are:

  • Fight club: You don’t talk about fight clubs because you have crushed many skulls with your bare hands. For this type of skill, you should be fighting in the arena without any weapon.
  • Magic: You have seen many deaths of mages with your knowledge of arcane. This skill will make your character more powerful as he knows the magic tricks and can easily defeat his enemy.
  • Pit Fighter: In a crowded area where you fought with weapons, smelled death and fear. It shows how many fighters lost fighting their lives in the arena and you’re the lucky one survived.
  • Coliseum: You fought your opponents to test the strength and honor, but there is no such thing when you’re being forced to kill someone. It shows that you are a fighter, but at the same time don’t want to kill the innocents.
  • Tamar: You butchered many beasts by your own or with a team, but still hear their screams. It means that you’re forced to fight the battles and kills the ones whom you don’t even know.
  • Dueler: One-on-one duel is your specialty, man and beast fall before you as the despots. This reason for this is the greatness and power you have. You can easily solve the problems and convince them to end the fight.

Feature: Contacts

You have the option to find a venue in the town in which you will fight wither for reputation or the money.


The gladiator fight might be held in a secret arena like the underground clubs that give profit to the criminal organizations, or it could be the public arenas sponsored by the government or the rulers of the state.

There are chances when you by chance or against the will become a Gladiator background in 5e of the Dungeons and Dragons. It generally happens when you’re either captured or sold as a slave. Here you can use the skills discussed above to enhance your character. Also, discuss with the DM(Dungeon Master) and other players about your powers and skills.

In Gladiator Background 5e, there is another possibility of you as a criminal. You were executed for the crime you didn’t commit and they sent you to the arena as a punishment as you were a fighter. Another possibility could be an accident. Gladiator combats are mostly brutal, to a death sport. However, in some places, it’s friendly combat to test each others’ skills. So, you’re fighting a friendly battle against your fellow teammate, but accidentally put a sword right through his head.

For this accidental crime, you left the town and lived in jungles, but there some people captured and sold you to the arena owners. Here, you are forced to fight with other fighters till his last breath. The gladiators generally remain silent and won’t speak much about their past, their true personality may differ than that of the character.

Personality Traits

  • I faced a type of wild beasts(lions, bears, wolves, etc) which I strongly dislike
  • Although, I strongly infuse my actions with the comic decoration, but wouldn’t admit that the showmanship was genuine
  • I only speak about myself as a third person
  • I have a short phrase or a dialogue which I use in battle
  • I insist that other people never call me by my ring name and I correct them whenever they do so
  • I get frustrated if I’m not the center of attention
  • Nearly everyone I meet, I give them combat pointers
  • I do whatever I can to boost confidence in me as I know my abilities

Feature: Ring Name

Your skills like athletics and acrobatics bought you fame and now people are famous by your ring name – a moniker which helps you protect your identity. The ring name might be a fictional name like a nickname “Jumbo Joe”, or a descriptive name like “The Brutal Barbarian”. With a ring name, you encourage yourself to talk with your DM(Dungeon Master) to flesh out the details of that persona(ring name).

People might not recognize you in simple clothing with a real name walking on the streets, but when you put on your fighter clothes being called by your stage name, people treat you differently and chant your name in the arena. So, use the 5e Dungeons and Dragons gladiator background to enhance your powers and skills and also introduce your character with a different storyline.

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