Seeds of Despair
Appearance, Motivation, Occupation, Reputation, Cultural Traits
The four levels of Social Class and Wealth provide benefits as follows:
Nobility (85-00): Adventuring nobles are assumed to be from among the lower ranks of the nobility, usually without a landed title. If they receive income, it is from their work as soldiers, courtiers or freelances. Noble characters begin with 100 Gold Pieces. Income depends on exact position, but generally bachelor knights or free lances receive 31-40 (30 + 1d10) Silver Pieces a month, while courtiers live on the patronage of their superiors or liege lords. Nobles have the right to bear all arms and armor, are almost always formally educated, can own land, and enforce the laws of the realm or their liege lord. They are addressed as Sir or Lady.
Freemen (36-84): The middle class ranging from merchants to clerks, farmers, soldiers, clergy, artisans, tradesmen, blacksmiths et al. Most adventurers or wanderers come from this class. They are sometimes formally educated. They begin with 25 Gold Pieces; income (if established) is an additional 11-20 (10+1d10) Silver Pieces per month on average. They may bear arms and wear non-metallic armour, but may not own land without the consent of the local liege lord; they are not obliged to obey any noble to whom they have not sworn allegiance, but open irreverence and disrespect will earn swift retribution.
Peasants/Serfs (11-35): Workers bound to a particular lord or area of land by an oath of fealty; in return for their service (which they may not voluntarily refuse) the lord agrees to protect them militarily. They seldom have any education or training, and cannot own metallic weapons or armor (which still gives them staves and bows). They begin play with 5 Gold Pieces, and typical income is 2d10 Silver Pieces twice a year when crops are sold. Adventurers from this social class have probably snuck away from their liege lord, a practice technically illegal but seldom prosecuted, to see the wide world of adventure if they can.
Prisoners/Slaves (01-10): The bottom of the barrel, a condemned criminal or outright piece of property. Prisoners or slaves are assumed to have just escaped, or are about to escape as part of their first adventure; thus, they not only begin with no funds, income or possessions, but usually with the forces of the law pursuing them. Slavery is legal in many kingdoms in Weyrth, and escaped slaves or prisoners can expect little help or assistance which only makes the adventure all the more challenging.
wide-eyed recruit: from a farm town or fishing village, seduced by thoughts of glory and adventure
criminal: from cutpurses to pirate kings, one way out of the punishment is the military
draftee: when the Empire needs more soldiers, each province is required to provide
militia: called up for active duty in the army
volunteer: military as a way of life, a meal, a place to call home, and a paycheck
noble: rising in the officer ranks, traditionally the role of the 3rd son on a paid commission
slave market: during times of war the military is the biggest purchaser of slaves
- Knight: Horsemanship, first aid, hunting, heraldry, military strategy and tactics, tournament etiquette.
- Clergyman: Theology, court and church etiquette, meditation, ritual, oratory, literacy, diplomacy and first aid. Priests can’t automatically heal people but miracles have been known to occur with a sufficiently strong Faith….
- Scholar: Ancient languages, literacy, oratory, research, etiquette, and other areas of esoteric knowledge, including ritual magic.
- Druid : Naturalism, meditation, ritual magic, arcane theory and symbol drawing, herbalism, astronomy, and surgery.
- Soldier: Leadership and intimidation, riding, military strategy and tactics, heraldry, first aid, battle, rank politics.
- Merchant: Bargaining, training with numbers and inventory, assessing skills, sense interest, ear for rumors, basic literacy and legal knowledge, geography.
- Courtier: Court etiquette, diplomacy and persuasion, ridicule, games and gambling, dancing, literacy, intrigue, legal knowledge and lying/bluffing.
- Entertainer: Dancing, intrigue, oratory, musicianship and singing, acting, acrobatics, juggling, and disguise.
- Tribesman/Clansman: Hunting, first aid, clan/tribal etiquette and language, stealth, leadership and intimidation, sailing (for naval peoples) or survival (for land peoples).
- Sailor: Navigation, climbing and swimming, sailing, artillery use, boating, naval tactics, heraldry (flags), street wisdom and astronomy.
- Woodsman/Ranger: Hunting, tracking, survival, scrounging, herbalism, orienteering, stealth and wilderness camouflage, climbing and swimming.
- Labourer: Teamster work, street wisdom, scrounging, intimidation, gambling, a trade skill of choice (farming, masonry, carpentry, mining, shipbuilding, etc.)
- Rogue: Panhandling, trap detection, street wisdom, scrounging, stealth, pickpocketing and lockpicking, climbing, breaking and entry, and gambling.
- Peasant/Craftsman: Trade of choice (farming, smithcraft, tailorship, masonry etc), first aid, folklore, animal handling and herding, survival, hunting and trapping.
What are they called?
My world/setting actually has a company sort of like a combination of the Thieves Guild and the Wizard’s guild, with the church sort of affiliated with it and a company of retired mercenaries who train people in the arts of combat. This company is, essentially, the Post Office. The King grants the company a regular stipend to carry his messages to distant lands and they supplement it with being paid for other jobs.
So this company hires people, forms them into teams of ‘Adventurers’ (the highest risk, highest paid job in the company) and gives them news of any jobs they might want in return for a small job finders fee.
These teams are generally composed of:
One registered Wizard. There to provide magical support and any arcane expertise necessary. All Wizards must register, even if they never take a job, if they wish to live in the Empire. It stops unregistered Wizards from casting ‘Sending’ spells and taking business away from The Company. (Wizard or Sorcerer types)
One Scout. Usually, this team member is a specialist in either Urban or Rural scouting. They can manouvre unseen where the team as a whole cannot, and report back on the path ahead. Urban Scouts are often also qualified law enforcement. Rural Scouts keep their teams alive in the wilderness. (Ranger, Rogue or Thief types)
One Warrior. Whether trained as light infantry or heavy cavalry, the Warrior is the eminent bodyguard. On missions in which he does not need to guard a client, he dedicates himself utterly to the safety of his team or the elimination of the enemy. (Fighters, Knights or Swashbuckling types)
One Blessed. The Church has many faithful who have been given the ability heal with a touch and cure the ills of mortal man. Many of them join, or are assigned to, The Company in order to give physical, emotional and spiritual healing. (Priest or Druid Type)
“Mercenaries”, “freebooters, “filibusters”, “freelancers” “adventurers” and occasionally “champions” or “heroes”.
My job posters usually say someting like “Freemen with a military background required”. The general populous call them “Sir” or “My Lord” to their faces and a good proportion of them call them “Crazy ex army troublemakers” behind their backs.
If you play a dwarf, you replace your class’s general power with earth sense. You now know which way magnetic north is and can sense your depth underground, no chance of failure under normal circumstances (a loadstone might interfere with sensing north.) No need for level limits, class restrictions (except for setting purposes,) or disadvantages. Dwarves also get physical description labels of Short and Stout, which are “self-balancing” (drawback in some situations, benefit in others.) The rest is handled by cultural background.
I’m a ranger. Ok, so how did you become a ranger? Run background session to develop their story. A farmer who picked up a sword for the first time after their family was killed by rampaging orcs? That would be cool. GM gives the player a few “decision points” to help them develop personality and character.