All Background Choices in Pentiment and what they do

Pick your background carefully. Each one has a different benefit!

Pentiment is an adventure RPG game available on PC and free to play with Xbox Gamepass. Step into the shoes of Andreas Maler in this historical-driven tale full of scandal and deceit. Andreas is an artist who must attempt to clear his name as he is caught in a dangerous conspiracy. It's up to you to piece Andreas' story together, even as much as choosing his background and attributes that will assist you as you play. Here are all the background choices and what they can do for you going forward.

All Background Choices

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

You will get to make these background choices for Andreas at the start of the game, which is essential to your future journey. They will affect how others see you, how you can react and succeed in certain situations, and your strengths and weaknesses. There is no wrong answer. Each choice can help you with various aspects of the game. This means you will want to choose wisely.

Past Residence

This choice will determine what languages you can speak and understand. This is important for being able to talk to specific NPCs along your journey, being able to understand or read particular dialects, as well as connecting with others that may be from the same region.

  • Basel - Italian and French
  • Flanders - Dutch and French
  • Italy - Italian and Greek

Related: Which background should I choose in Pentiment?


This choice determines what Andreas likes to do in his free time. It is beneficial in dictating some of Andrea's strengths and weaknesses and how well he might be able to handle the sticky situations he finds himself in going forward.

  • Hedonist: Socialable, seeks out pleasures in any situation, and experienced in all vices. Andreas can be more charming when talking to other NPCs and has knowledge and experience with all the world's debauchery. He might be able to relate more to others or find ways to cope amid troubles.
  • Craftsman: Lives to work and dedicates his time to art. Andreas is a hard worker and might have a better standing with his fellow artists and employers. He will excel at his art and have a great love and respect for it.
  • Bookworm: Spends all his free-time searching and reading books. This will allow Andreas to better understand manuscripts, histories, and stories in various aspects. There is much knowledge to be learned from books, and this vast knowledge might benefit Andreas in his finding symbols, patterns, signs, and other pieces he might come across on his path.
  • Rapscallion: Penchant for getting involved in petty crimes and fist-fights. Andreas might be a bit of a troublemaker, but it can benefit him if he finds himself in a physical situation and must defend himself. He knows how to fight and find ways to get himself out of trouble, even if it comes to violence.
  • Business: Excels at self-promotion, business expenses, investments, and balancing books. Andreas will have a keen eye for money and how to handle it responsibly. This can help him discuss financial matters with more authority, use his money more successfully, and be able to guide those in need of financial help.


This choice determines what Andreas studied during his time at University and, ultimately, what he has the most knowledge and skill for. It can dictate whether or not he will be able to perform specific tasks along the way or if he might have to take a different route.

  • Theology: Understands Catholic theology, biblical knowledge, heresies, and canon law. He knows more about the grand scheme of the spiritual world and the strict rules regarding morality. He might be able to have more keen debates with others on the topic or relate more to his peers at the church and abbey.
  • Imperial Law: Basics of fractured systems of law that govern the Holy Roman people. He understands how the justice system works and the restrictive wrongs and rights upheld within it. He may better understand what he can and can't get away with and how to mend a situation regarding the law.
  • Medicine: Familiar with the basics of human biology, treatment, and illness. He knows the functionalities and details of the human body and how he can heal and fix specific ailments that might arise in the future.

Related:Best ways to gain positive favor with NPCs in Pentiment

Favorite Subject

You can pick two of these choices to decide what subjects Andreas favored during his time at University. These choices will again determine what Andreas is good at and open up certain future dialogue choices or actions that can benefit your progress.

  • Latinist: Command of Latin grammar and vocabulary, easily recalls quoted words. Andreas can excel at wordplay and vocabulary structure. This goes hand-in-hand with the Bookworm hobby since Andreas will keenly understand quotes and passages that might come into play.
  • Logician: Spatial analysis, efficiently performing complicated calculations. Andreas excels at all logical aspects of the world. This pairs great with the Business hobby, allowing him to work great with numbers and equations.
  • Orator: A skilled teacher, persuader, and public speaker. Andreas will know how to speak to others easily and often find a way to twist it to his favor. This is great for talking your way out of situations or persuading people to do what you like. This works perfectly with the Hedonist hobby, maxing out Andreas' social skills.
  • Occultist: Theoretical and has practical knowledge in alchemy, astrology, theurgy, necromancy, and magical rites. Matched with the studies of Theology or Medicine, Andreas will be the master of all things relating to religion, medicine, and spiritual research, as well as how to use them in a practical sense for his benefit.
  • Heavens and Earth: A knowledge of constellations, heavenly bodies and their movement, and plants and animals. While this may seem more obscure intelligence compared to the others, this understanding may help with Andreas' study of Medicine or Theology, especially being able to handle animals and plants with experience.

None of these choices are right or wrong, but they can change how the story unfolds for you. Specific options or paths may open up based on what Andreas is knowledgeable about and his strengths and weaknesses. However, it is also up to you to choose his words carefully as well. You can always restart and select different backgrounds if you don't like how things turn out.

Looking for more great RPG or adventure games to try? Check out Pro Game Guides' lists of Best RPG nominations for Game of the Year 2022 or Best Adventure Games on PC!

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About the Author

Abby Smith is a super nerd and video game fanatic and grew up playing games on a variety of platforms. She likes to spend her free time binge-watching Netflix, reading all genres of novels, and playing all the best new video games. She is currently a full-time Staff Writer for Pro Game Guides, and as an alumni from Full Sail University, also enjoys dabbling in creative writing such as short stories, scripts, and comics on the side.

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All Background Choices in Pentiment and what they do

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