Sexton: A D&D 5e Background

Sexton Background image is Dig-dug, by Lorc, under CC By 3.0 license. No changes have been made to this image.

For our return to regular posting, I’d like to share the Sexton D&D background I created for a character in a horror-leaning 5e campaign I’ve been running. This character was initiated into the barbarian class when they were forced to contend with an uprising of undead from their cemetery of business. Needless to say, they were most put out.


For several years or more you have worked as the caretaker, groundskeeper, gravedigger, and general handyperson in the cemeteries and graveyards of one or more towns or cities. You’ve spent time with artisans, morticians, priests, and journeymen learning the fundamentals of funerary rites for multiple religions, faiths, and creeds. You know the differences between various forms of postmortem preparation and interment, and which sects prefer what style of each. Your profession is a loose knit one, but you maintain several colleagues and friends among the other sextons across the land.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Land Vehicles, Tinker’s Tools

Equipment: common clothes, shovel, pick, lantern, pouch with 10 gp.

Feature: Experience and Community

As a sexton, you are familiar with the funerary rites and traditions of the most common religions. You have Advantage on Ability checks involving such knowledge. You are also familiar with simple carpentry, horticulture, stonemasonry, and any other skills needed to keep a cemetery tidy and in working order. While sextons don’t have an official guild, there is a loosely networked community. You are familiar with other sextons in your local area and can call on them for aid or lodging (though likely not for free).