Character Background Generator
The Character Background Generator is a series of random rolls designed to outline a new player character's basic characteristics and idiosyncracies resulting from cultural heritage, race, age, ability stats and chance events happening during the individual in the time prior to joining the game. The Generator concentrates on social relationships and skills that originate with the game world and do not, therefore, come within the player's sphere of control. A chararacter's background provides insight into who the individual is, defining his or her culture — but it's important to remember that no one chooses what culture into which we'll be born. Therefore, the Generator rolls this background randomly.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Physical Characteristics
- 2.1 Height & Weight
- 2.2 Age
- 2.3 Cultural Backgrounds
- 2.4 Skin Tone
- 2.5 Cultural Traits Tables
- 2.6 Hair
- 2.7 Eye Colour
- 2.8 Body Type & Overall Appearance
- 3 Origin
- 4 Personal History
Backgrounds should be deep and complex. When a character joins the campaign, it's assumed that character is a mature adult, perhaps young, perhaps old, depending upon their class and race. Training has taken place in the use of weapons, magic and other skills. The Generator imagines that this training began some 5 to 10 years before the character becomes 1st level. During to this training, the character has been a young adult, with a teenager's drives, outlooks and willingness to test the boundaries that culture sets. Before then, the character was a child, and before that an infant. Each of these periods provide a rich opportunity to define what makes a character's background ... mostly in ways that don't exist to serve what the player wishes to do right now when approaching the game.
This is important. It's not the character that bends it's will to the player. That's not how games work. It's the player who must accept the circumstances of the character, and then show an ability to PLAY that character effectively. Too often, the opposite is promoted — and even treated as the point of the game. This makes no sense.
The Generator has been divised to provide basic characteristics and idiosyncracies for any character, as life might provide. The Generator itself consists of many tables, intended to define the character's appearance, origin, skill-set, social relevance, health and so on. Some of these results may come as very good news to the player, giving wonderful benefits to be used freely without restraint. Other results won't be so wonderful. That is how the game works. Players cannot always have their way. This is not a bad thing.
Each part of the generator is based upon a new character's rolled ability statistics, the player's choice of biological sex and race, and that is all. From very little information, a tremendous range of details and ideas are brought into existence. As you read through the Generator, you'll see how this is done.
Application to Games
How these results are applied are left to the imagination of the Game Master. While this system very definitely arises from the sensibilities provided by a singular well-known role-playing game, the practicality and extent of the information provided can undoubtedly be applied to a host of other games, as well as the creation of characters by fiction authors. There are eleven character classes that are addressed in the Generator, and seven character races. No effort is made to explain what these classes or races are. They might be exchanged for any other race, as desired.
In addition, certain tenets have been accepted, such as limitations to a given race's choice of class, which may mystify some players. This is not explained. Additionally, it's taken for granted that every race included enjoys a similar lifespan, so that a 70-year-old elf is exactly comparable with a 70-year-old human. This provides the best possible understanding where results between characters are compared.
Because the backgrounds are frankly random, when a character is rolled, everyone round the table has reason to lean forward and eagerly discover what's been generated. If a player rolls a terrific result, it's truly an act of luck and virtuously fair. The player can be justly proud of the fact that no other player can simply "make up" the same result for their own character. Every participant understands that this character came by these traits honestly – by a die roll, and not from ego or wish fulfillment.
If it happens that a player doesn't like his or her character's background ... well, it's acknowledged that the player can always lie to folks in the game world. He or she may not really be a prince, or wealthy, or a close personal friend of the most powerful mage in the world ... but the player can still invent lies that create a better "back story" than the truth – that the character's merely a bumpkin from Podunkville. Such shenanigans are completely permitted, though they won't change the facts ... those facts known to the DM and the party. This is for the best.
Experience shows that when players lose to power to control their destiny, the process both fascinates and delights. Players are often as excited about bad outcomes as good, as these outcomes define what a character is.
With the exception of childbearing, which may be relevant in a character's generation, and the height and weight of a character, no distinction is made throughout the system between female and male persons. What one person can do, another person can do.
Despite what the Medieval-Renaissance culture might have believed, no position is taken on what roles or status that one character can achieve as compared ot another. Each can be just as bad, just as good, just as powerful, just as weak, as the next person, regardless of biological sex or gender.
No rules are contained herein regarding how ability stats work, or what game actions they serve. They are used here strictly as a number that's applied to aspects having nothing to do with any known role-playing game. These numbers have tremendous significance in providing the Generator's results. Each stat is compared with a rolled die to explain the character's traits and history – with differences of a single digit providing significantly different results.
Therefore, assigning a low score to a stat (however that's done) increases the probability that something very bad might result. With the Generator in place, players ought to be careful thinking of any ability as a "dump stat." Further, results have been tempered to ensure having a low intelligence, wisdom or charisma could have seriously dire consequences.
Conversely, while a high stat might offer an opposite, beneficial result, there's no promise that any roll made upon any stat won't be very ordinary. Every roll has both good and bad possibilities ... it's only that "good" and "bad" move along a spectrum according to the character's ability stat numbers.
The placement of each stat is like playing a lottery, with the best players understanding there are always some "wins" and some "losses" in the process. The end reward is a depth of characterisation and personality far beyond what a player can simply invent. Don't be surprised when players eagerly reach for the dice to learn what their characters are about to become, forsaking the tedium of traditional character-creation policies.
The DM's Sphere of Influence
Wherever possible, the Generator's purpose is to bind the hands of the Dungeon Master as much as the players. The DM should never control the result of any die, and should be prepared to adapt to whatever results occur. With the results occurring outside the DM's meddling, both good and bad results are also a function of the game itself ... a game originally founded on taking risks and playing the odds, as best players can.
Yes, occasionally this might require the DM to bend his or her campaign setting – particularly as the DM can bestow equipment, buildings, land, titles, supporting soldiers ... and even the status of nobility or royalty. These things can be had even if the character is only 1st level. It's an assumption of the Generator that the character is 1st, freshly released from training and now ready to take on the world for the first time. Thus the descriptions herein explains how these benefits are managed, what unusual circumstances arise around the character's past and all the shiny new things a character might gain. In the bargain, a player may also find the character is saddled with unexpected responsibilities as well, owed to those denizens of the setting who now depend on the character's actions.
It's true that no generator can faithfully provide every detail in a given circumstance ... and players will seek to twist every situation in a manner that suits them personally. It should always be remembered, however, that the setting is the DM's sole responsibility. It's not in the power of the players to invent persons, circumstances or benefits within the game world, simply because it satisfies their imagination. The details surrounding the character's background is still subject to the DM's concept of setting.
Therefore, while it's fine for players to invent the particulars of some crime they've committed, or why they're deeply liked by their families or even the whole village, remind them that they're allowed to describe their own feelings and actions – and not those of other persons! The DM, and the DM alone, determines the setting. Whenever possible, this should be done as empathically and supportively as possible, but it's the DM's right to put a hard line between what the player's want and what the players actually have.
In places throughout the Generator, there are useful faculties and talents that occur as skills the characters have learned on account of their background. These skills are not designed to grant bonuses to character rolls, but to state clearly things the character is able to do, or make, or things the character definitely knows. These skills describe unquestionably dependable aspects of the character, which the player can rely upon when making choices in the game. Thus, a character that's able o manage a team of horses, cook good food, construct a barrel from scratch, read & write, contact members of a specific guild, navigate a cave and so on, need not make any roll to see if they can make or know these things. It's a fact that they can.
In nearly every case, the character's class has nothing to do with these skills. In fact, they exist because the character's parent, or "progenitor," was a teamster, a cook, a cooper, a scribe, a political advisor or a tomb robber. The character learns these skills as a child or young adult, helping mother and father to farm, manage animals, work with stone, shelve books in a library, search for mushrooms, work a forge, perform services in a gypsy camp, bake bread, bind books, work backstage in a theatre or whatever, depending on what upbringing the character had before becoming a paladin, a druid, an assassin or a bard.
I've created numerous, progressive iterations of the character Generator since 2004, as a compliment to character creation. Over time, the system has grown and evolved, producing more and more possible outcomes and unlikely additions. Where possible, the generator makes the attempt to be all-inclusive, especially with regards to things like skin tone, eye colour and hair ... as these outer expressions of a character matter a great deal to players.
Naturally, these characteristics are based on Earth-models ... however, an inventive DM could easily expand the tables to suit his or her campaign. There’s no reason to think this is the last incarnation of my background Generator. This iteration is merely an expression of how far my ideas have expanded thus far, entirely from my imagination.
Before discussing other aspects of the character's background, it's necessary to generate the individual's physical characteristics. These define the appearance of the character: his or her general shape, hair, eye colour and so on. The creation of these depends somewhat on charisma, but not entirely. A high charisma doesn't guarantee that a character will look pretty or handsome; nor is it impossible for a character of average charisma to possess characteristics associated with beauty.
In either case, the results in no way raises or lowers a character's charisma! Beauty, as with all things, must be interpreted within other aspects of the character's presence and personality.
Although a limited collection of traditional races are provided, individual DMs should be able to create their own tables for any race that's desired, based on the templates provided.
Height & Weight
All must start somewhere, so we might as well learn how tall the character stands and how much he or she weighs.
Weight describes the character's mass in imperial pound units. Metric is not used because it's a late 18th-century creation ... and therefore anachronistic to the context of a Medieval or Renaissance fantasy realm. Yes, other anachronistic things are embraced by the Generator, but it's believed that understanding the unpleasantnesxs of using imperial units can act to help player's understand the mindset of people in the game setting. Imagine what it must have been like for people long ago, who had no choice in how to measure things.
Height is measured in feet and inches. This describes the distance between the ball of the foot to the top of the character's head, when the individual is standing erect. This is a factor in the character's reach, as well as the character's ability to employ certain weapons. The practical length of a pike, for instance, is three times the character's height. A pole-arm, spear or javelin can be up to 1½ times a person's height. Most other weapons cannot be longer than a character is tall.
|4||3 ft. 3 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 10 in.||4 ft. 3 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||3 ft.||4 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||2 ft. 4 in.||2 ft. 7 in.||4 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||5 ft.|
|5||3 ft. 4 in.||3 ft. 6 in.||3 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 4 in.||2 ft. 10 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 6 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||2 ft. 5 in.||2 ft. 7 in.||4 ft. 6 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 1 in.|
|6||3 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||4 ft.||4 ft. 5 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 6 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||2 ft. 5 in.||2 ft. 8 in.||4 ft. 7 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 2 in.|
|7||3 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 6 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||4 ft. 7 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||2 ft. 6 in.||2 ft. 8 in.||4 ft. 8 in.||5 ft.||4 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 3 in.|
|8||3 ft. 6 in.||3 ft. 8 in.||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 7 in.||3 ft.||3 ft. 2 in.||4 ft. 8 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||2 ft. 6 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft.||5 ft. 4 in.|
|9||3 ft. 7 in.||3 ft. 9 in.||4 ft. 2 in.||4 ft. 8 in.||3 ft.||3 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||5 ft.||2 ft. 7 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 5 in.|
|10||3 ft. 7 in.||3 ft. 9 in.||4 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||2 ft. 7 in.||2 ft. 10 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 6 in.|
|11||3 ft. 8 in.||3 ft. 10 in.||4 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||2 ft. 8 in.||2 ft. 10 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 7 in.|
|12||3 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||2 ft. 8 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||5 ft.||5 ft. 5 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 8 in.|
|13||3 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||5 ft.||5 ft. 4 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 5 in.||5 ft. 9 in.|
|14||3 ft. 10 in.||4 ft.||4 ft. 6 in.||5 ft.||3 ft. 3 in.||3 ft. 6 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 5 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||3 ft.||5 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||5 ft. 10 in.|
|15||3 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 4 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||2 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 9 in.||5 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 11 in.|
|16||3 ft. 11 in.||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 8 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||3 ft. 4 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||2 ft. 10 in.||3 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||6 ft.|
|17||4 ft.||4 ft. 2 in.||4 ft. 8 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 8 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 7 in.||2 ft. 10 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 5 in.||5 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 9 in.||6 ft. 1 in.|
|18||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 9 in.||5 ft. 3 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 8 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||6 ft.||5 ft. 10 in.||6 ft. 2 in.|
|19||4 ft. 1 in.||4 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||3 ft. 6 in.||3 ft. 9 in.||5 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 9 in.||2 ft. 11 in.||3 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||6 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 11 in.||6 ft. 3 in.|
|20||4 ft. 2 in.||4 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 5 in.||3 ft. 6 in.||3 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 5 in.||5 ft. 10 in.||3 ft.||3 ft. 3 in.||5 ft. 7 in.||6 ft. 2 in.||6 ft.||6 ft. 4 in.|
|21||4 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||3 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 6 in.||5 ft. 11 in.||3 ft.||3 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||6 ft. 3 in.||6 ft. 1 in.||6 ft. 5 in.|
|22||4 ft. 3 in.||4 ft. 5 in.||5 ft.||5 ft. 7 in.||3 ft. 7 in.||3 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 7 in.||6 ft.||3 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 4 in.||5 ft. 9 in.||6 ft. 4 in.||6 ft. 2 in.||6 ft. 6 in.|
|23||4 ft. 4 in.||4 ft. 6 in.||5 ft. 1 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||3 ft. 8 in.||3 ft. 11 in.||5 ft. 8 in.||6 ft.||3 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 5 in.||5 ft. 10 in.||6 ft. 5 in.||6 ft. 2 in.||6 ft. 7 in.|
|24||4 ft. 5 in.||4 ft. 7 in.||5 ft. 2 in.||5 ft. 9 in.||3 ft. 9 in.||4 ft.||5 ft. 9 in.||6 ft. 1 in.||3 ft. 2 in.||3 ft. 6 in.||5 ft. 11 in.||6 ft. 6 in.||6 ft. 3 in.||6 ft. 8 in.|
The heights and weights obtained from the tables are subject to alteration by other rolls produced elsewhere in the Generator. Thus, the above should be viewed as base numbers only. Weight has a higher likelihood of being altered than does height, due to addiction, gluttony, the qualities of being robust ... or if the character has wasted away due to a hard life. Otherwise, if not altered, the numbers describe the character in the peak of condition.
During play, participants tend to skip over height and weight in their imaginations. While understandable, as getting past our self-perception and those of the other players can be a stretch, the DM should counsel the players towards truly embracing the character's real semblance. Artworks can help, if any player has that talent, as can repeating the character's gender and size as often as possible, until it's clear everyone around the table – including the DM – has a firm image of how the party looks to others.
Age is an important detail that helps players envision their alter-egos. After all, we have a at least some idea of what older persons are like, compared to their younger selves. That said, players shouldn't indulge in stereotypes! Not all older characters are automatically grumpy or wise, just as many young people are not revolutionary or gullible. To create a whole personality, age is an important facet, but it's not the whole person.
The number produced by the Age Generation Table indicates how old the individual is upon entering the campaign as a 1st level character. Like with height and weight, this number can be altered by other results in the Generator. The space of years gives time for the character to learn since being born. Children gather knowledge and skills from family members or from a mentor (if the character lacked a traditional family) as they age – for example, learning how to sail from the age of six or how to ride a horse at five. With regards to more sagacious skills, such as architecture or politics, the character began his or her education in this things at a later time – but still within the passing years indicated. Whatever skills have been gained, its always assumed these were gained prior to the character entering the campaign.
Some classes, particularly spellcasters whose training demands the learning of a magical language, the time needed is more than classes like fighter or mage. To calculate how many years are needed for a given character to achieve their "higher education," assume that he or she began studying between the ages of 9 and 11 ... when they were young, impressionable and quicker to learn than adults. It can be seen at once that even a fighter needs 5-9 years of hard training.
In cases where a particular race tends to take excessively longer than others to learn the same class, we should assume that character lived a life practicing their secondary skill before initiating their education as a cleric, druid or whatever.
In a departure from traditional assumptions about non-human ages, I've chosen to present every character rade within the same familiar lifespan associated with humans. With regards to maturity, a 60-year-old elf has the same relative maturity as a similarly aged human. This may take away some mystique from non-human races, but it makes it easier for the player to relate to the character, which is more important. Those who feel this is wrong may devise numbers that suit their campaign's needs.
To calculate age, the first number is a base to which is added a number generated by dice: 2d4, as an example, being two 4-sided dice. Thus, a half-elven mage's age, shown as 23+2d6, is 23 plus two 6-sided dice.
Multi-classed characters begin with the highest base number of all the classes the character has. This total is increased by the collective random dice of all possessed classes. For example, a halfling fighter/thief begins with a base age of 29 years. This is increased by one 4-sided die for the fighter side and one 6-sided die for a thief, resulting in an age between 31 and 39.
Where "n/a" appears on the table, this indicates the class is not available to that race.
Other results occurring through the Generator may extend this number or shorten it. It might be that the character has spent time in jail, or was interrupted in his or her studies by a family tragedy. It's also possible that the character's abilities as a student has shortened the time needed to acquire his or her class skills. Or those studies may be lengthened because the character was lazy or irresponsible. The number generated here, therefore, is only a base number.
There are no starting ages for dwarven bards, half-elven illusionist or elven paladins because I have a personal belief that not every character race should be allowed to be every character class. This may disappoint some. It's always possible to create numbers to fill in these gaps as desired for one's personal campaign.
Non-player Character Ages
Recall that the numbers on the age generation table are meant for new characters that have only just achieved 1st level status. Thus non-player characters, who've presumedly been fighters, clerics, mages and so on for some time before meeting the players, are certain to be older. A general guideline of 1d4 years can be added per level of the NPC, indicating how much time they took to pass each level mark.
For example, a 5th level fighter would have spent 4d4 years earning the levels they've acquired since their education. This is added to the generated age above, so that an average fighter of that experience would be 14+5d4 years of age. Naturally, this proposed guideline can be ignored, since it's possible to earn those four levels in less than a year or two, while at the same time a 5th level fighter could easily be 70+ years old.
A character's visual appearance depends on his or her origin. There are 17 human cultures covered by the Generator's scope, and 7 non-human races, which are treated as each having one ethnicity in appearance. Much simplification has gone towards creating this few groups – but practicality requires that there can only be so many templates. A strong structure is provided by the Generator, however, so that if any individual wishes to expand a race, or the number of races, there's license to do so.
Alphabetically, these ethnic backgrounds include the Amerindian, comprising those peoples who crossed into North and South America some 15,000 years ago. East & South African counts the Congo jungles, as well as the savanna and veldt stretching from Somalia to the Cape of Good Hope. This includes the Kalahari Desert, Madagascar and the Islands of the Indian Ocean.
East Asia takes in the regions of China, Korea and Japan, including parts to the north and west that were historically touched by the Han Dynasty more than two thousand years ago. Germanic peoples dominate central Europe, whose ancestors account for many tribes beyond the Saxons and Goths. Himalayan lands count the high elevation sub-cultures reaching from the Tien Shan to Bhutan, including Tibet. The Indian Subcontinent includes the triangular plateau of Pakistan and India below the Himalayas, including the valleys of the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra.
Mediterranean groups include many with Latin and Hellenistic roots, from Portugal to Greece. North African encompasses the southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco to Egypt, reaching to the oases of the Sahara. Persian describes those cultures dwelling in Iran, Afghanistan and adjacent parts, whose ancestors invaded the Fertile Crescent millennia ago. Polynesian peoples occupy the islands of the Pacific, including Australia.
Scandinavian are peoples dwelling in Denmark and various lands north of the Baltic and North Seas, including Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway. Slavic takes in many peoples dwelling in Eastern Europe and Russia. Southeast Asia embraces the East Indies and the Philippines and the mainland peninsula south of China and east of Assam.
Sub-Saharan African includes regions south of the Sahara Desert – Gambia, Ghana and Sudan, consisting of savanna and jungle reaching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Nile. Turkic accounts for a wide range of cultures who came from Ural-Altaic origins, whose tribes migrated from the steppes of high-central Asia and into Anatolia and parts of the Middle East. Western European includes tribes from Britain and France, the genetics of which were influenced by tribes like the Franks, Saxons, Danes, Vandals and Visigoths.
Parts of the world that have experienced invasions and occupations by foreign groups, such as Europe and the Middle East, tend to have greater variation in their genetic make-up ... while other parts, like Polynesia and East Asia, have remained distinctly homogenous in appearance. This accounts for the multiplicity of results among some humans as opposed to others.
The content that follows has tried to be accurate and fair in the presentation of human traits, with strong emphasis on how these people would have looked in a pre-17th century world, before the widespread use of ships and other forms of rapid travel. Some license has been taken along these lines with non-human races, whose tables appear among those of human cultures.
Players are encouraged to roll randomly to learn what results they obtain, recognising once again that we don't choose the background we're born into – something that includes our skin tone, hair and eye colour.
As the player's desire for individuality and unusualness is at a premium, an effort has been made to create varying tables for skin tone, hair and eye colour which are as detailed as possible. Tables have also been added for dwarves, elves, gnomes and so on. It helps that we have more examples for human appearance from cultures around the world, than we do for fanciful races that exist only in fiction.
For some, skin tone is a volatile subject. Some DMs will shy away from dictating a character's skin tones for unspoken reasons – and therefore would prefer the players to choose their own, not speaking of the matter in any capacity. However, because the Generator's ambition is to remove such choices from both the DM and the players, I don't believe this is an appropriate method.
Moreover, as with gender, I see no reason why any distinction should be made between the members of one culture vs. another. To hell with human history; all members of every ethnic background deserve to be treated equally by the game, with "colour" having no more relevance than it's role in describing which part of the globe a person might come from.
Intensity of Tone
To reduce misunderstandings, the best approach is to use those labels provided by the cosmetics industry, as shown in the right-hand image. That industry has a vested interest in providing correct shades of make-up for persons of every background. An internet search of these tones, accompanied by the word "cosmetics," provides multiple visual examples of these same tones and words used to describe them.
There are 24 distinct tones represented. The darkest are ebony, sepia, earth and molasses. These are tones associated with sub-Saharan, eastern and southern Africa, although sepia tones can also be found in North Africa and Polynesia. Softer brown pigments include chocolate, cocoa, mocha and mahogany, colours we associate with tropical and sub-tropical regions around the globe.
Mid-tones include almond, caramel, cinnamon, bronze, olive and honey, which are so common as to exist in all but the most northern climates. Where the sun's presence reduces human pigmentation, somewhat lighter skin tones occur, including sienna, tan, beige and caucasian, with a fair colour acting as a borderline between brownness and pale. The lightest human skin colours remaining are soft beige, cream, ivory, Nordic and alabaster.
These tones apply to most non-human races, with the exception of half-orcs, who add two additional unnatural tones: dark honey and greenish walnut.
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||beige||4 to 7||iron grey||1.||stick-straight||4 to 21||walnut brown|
|2.||honey||8 to 26||sooty black||2.||straight with slight wave||22 to 29||whiskey brown|
|3.||olive||27 to 33||jet black||–||30 to 34||topaz brown|
|–||34 to 38||raven black||–||35 to 36||amber|
|–||–||–||37 to 38||golden brown|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||bronze||4 to 7||ash grey||1.||spiral curls||4 to 7||moss green||30||emerald green|
|2.||olive||8 to 26||ash brown||2.||s-waves||8 to 14||coal black||31||jet black|
|3.||sepia||27 to 30||copper red||–||15 to 20||graphite||32||obsidian|
|–||31 to 33||ginger||–||21||pewter||33 to 34||topaz brown|
|–||34 to 35||bronze||–||22 to 24||cloud grey||35||amber|
|–||36 to 38||flaming red||–||25 to 27||ebony black||36||charcoal grey|
|–||–||–||28 to 29||slate grey||37||golden brown|
|East & South African Origin|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||almond||4 to 6||iron grey||1.||kinked||4 to 11||walnut brown|
|2.||bronze||8 to 17||flat black||2.||tightly coiled||12 to 17||chocolate brown|
|3.||caramel||18 to 26||salt & pepper grey||3.||tight corkscrews||18 to 20||faded blue|
|4.||chocolate||27 to 29||jet black||–||21 to 22||graphite|
|5.||cocoa||30 to 33||tawny||–||23 to 25||chestnut brown|
|6.||earth||34 to 38||raven black||–||26 to 29||whiskey brown|
|7.||ebony||–||–||30 to 34||russet brown|
|8.||mahogany||–||–||35 to 38||champagne brown|
|East Asian Origin|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||caucasian||4 to 7||iron grey||1.||stick-straight||4 to 14||walnut brown|
|2.||honey||8 to 12||flat black||–||15 to 21||chocolate brown|
|3.||olive||13 to 26||flat black||–||22 to 25||chestnut brown|
|4.||sienna||27 to 33||flat black||–||26 to 29||whiskey brown|
|5.||soft beige||34 to 38||flat black||–||30 to 32||russet brown|
|–||–||–||33 to 34||topaz brown|
|–||–||–||35 to 36||amber|
|–||–||–||37 to 38||golden brown|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||ivory||4 to 7||sooty black||1.||stick-straight||4 to 11||china blue||32||ice blue|
|2.||nordic||8 to 26||russet brown||2.||straight with slight wave||12 to 14||cornflower blue||33||sapphire blue|
|–||27 to 33||wheaten||–||15 to 21||sky blue||34||amethyst|
|–||34 to 35||flat white||–||22 to 24||sea green||35||aquamarine|
|–||36 to 37||platinum blonde||–||25 to 27||steel blue||36||indigo|
|–||38||silver grey||–||28 to 29||crystal blue||37||ultramarine|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||caucasian||4||ash grey||1.||ringlets||4 to 5||walnut brown||25||crystal blue|
|2.||cream||5||iron grey||2.||spiral curls||6 to 8||faded blue||26||electric blue|
|3.||fair||6 to 7||steel grey||3.||stick-straight||9||china blue||27||emerald green|
|4.||nordic||8 to 11||ash brown||4.||straight with body wave||10 to 11||cornflower blue||28||forest green|
|5.||sienna||12 to 14||salt & pepper grey||5.||s-waves||12||hazel||29||honey brown|
|6.||soft beige||15 to 17||sandy brown||–||13 to 14||jade green||30||ice blue|
|7.||tan||18 to 20||sooty black||–||15 to 16||sky blue||31||russet brown|
|–||21 to 23||strawberry blonde||–||17||chestnut brown||32||sapphire blue|
|–||24 to 26||russet brown||–||18||cloud grey||33||amber|
|–||27 to 28||ash blonde||–||19||sea green||34||aquamarine|
|–||29 to 30||auburn||–||20||steel blue||35||champagne brown|
|–||31 to 32||chestnut brown||–||21||whiskey brown||36||grass green|
|–||33||jet black||–||22||baby blue||37||indigo|
|–||34 to 36||flaxen||–||23||cat's eye green||38||bottle green|
|–||37 to 38||platinum blonde||–||24||chartreuse|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||bronze||4 to 7||ash grey||1.||straight with slight wave||4 to 7||seaweed green||32||russet brown|
|2.||olive||8 to 26||tawny||2.||s-waves||8 to 11||hazel||33||tawny brown|
|3.||tan||27 to 30||ginger||–||12 to 14||moss green||34||bottle green|
|–||31 to 33||jet black||–||15 to 17||pine green||35||grass green|
|–||34 to 35||bronze||–||15 to 17||walnut green||36||midnight black|
|–||36 to 38||flaming red||–||15 to 17||fern green||37||ultramarine|
|–||–||–||22 to 30||forest green||38||ultraviolet|
|–||–||–||31||cat's eye green|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||alabaster||4 to 7||ginger||1.||stick-straight||4 to 10||faded blue||31||emerald green|
|2.||cream||8 to 26||russet brown||–||11 to 14||cornflower blue||32||ice blue|
|3.||soft beige||27 to 30||jet black||–||15 to 20||sky blue||33 to 34||sapphire blue|
|–||31 to 33||wheaten||–||21||china blue||35||aquamarine|
|–||34 to 35||flat white||–||22 to 24||china blue||36 to 37||indigo|
|–||36 to 38||platinum blonde||–||25 to 29||steel blue||38||violet|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||bronze||4 to 7||salt & pepper grey||1.||spiral curls||4 to 7||umber brown||30 to 31||chartreuse|
|2.||honey||8 to 17||ash brown||2.||s-waves||8 to 14||chocolate brown||32 to 34||honey brown|
|–||18 to 26||tawny||–||15 to 20||walnut brown||35||champagne brown|
|–||27 to 33||ginger||–||21||gingerbread brown||36 to 37||golden brown|
|–||34 to 38||flaming red||–||22 to 24||chestnut brown||38||silver grey|
|–||–||–||25 to 29||cinnamon brown|
|Skin Tone||Hair Colour||Hair Texture||Eye Colour|
|1.||bronze||4 to 26||sooty black||1.||kinked||4 to 7||turquoise|
|2.||dark honey||27 to 33||jet black||2.||tight corkscrews||8 to 21||hazel|
|3.||green walnut||34 to 38||bluish black||3.||tightly coiled||22 to 29||pink with green flecks|
|–||–||–||30 to 34||pink with grey flecks|
|–||–||–||35 to 38||pale pink|
Cultural Traits Tables
These tables are organised according to the ethnic background of each character origin. Each allows the player to roll skin tone, hair features and eye colour. As regards skin tone, there is an equal chance of each type occuring; the same is true of hair texture. Hair and eye colour, on the other hand, are rolled. The result is calculated by adding a d20 to the character's charisma, separately for each roll to be made.
For example, the dwarf Annabeth is rolling for her hair colour. Her charisma equals 12. Adding a d20, the worst result Annabeth can manage is a 13, which would make her hair ash brown. If she rolled a 19 or 20, her hair would be ginger. Instead, she rolls a 16, making her hair copper red.
Varieties of hair colour and vitality are more varied than skin tone. In addition, the Generator takes the character's physical beauty and charisma into account, along with regional factors. Richer hair colours are recognised as more attractive than drab alternatives, so that less charismatic characters tend toward early greying ... while beautiful people are often blessed with unusual huges like platinum blonde or bluish black. Still, some ethnic groups have little variation, as these groups are strongly dominated by a single type. With the uncertainty of all things, not all charismatic characters have "great hair" ... though more likely, nothing is certain.
List of Hair Colours
Below is a complete list of the Generator's hair colours that appear on the table, with a description for each, aiding players to understand what the words mean:
- ash blonde: blonde hair with dark roots and a hint of grey.
- ash brown: brunette hair blended with cool grey tones, sometimes called "mushroom brown."
- ash grey: found at the darker end of the grey spectrum, with a smoky hue.
- auburn: reddish-brown, ranging from medium-red to burgundy.
- bluish black: thick black hair with distinctive blue highlights, occurring as a natural "balayage."
- bronze: brunette hair with notes of gold, appearing especially vibrant.
- chestnut brown: deep brown with reddish hues.
- copper red: dark, rich ginger hair blended with brunette.
- flaming red: shocking bright red hair, with crimson and orange highlights.
- flat black: black hair without gloss or sheen, appearing dull in sunlight.
- flat white: giving an eerily matte appearance, with a nonetheless velvety lustre.
- flaxen: pale yellow-grey hair, the colour of straw.
- ginger: burnt orange colour blended with pale reddish-brown.
- golden blonde: warm, rich yellowy colour
- honey blonde: blend of blonde hair with a sheen of light brown.
- honey brown: warm brown colour with honey-toned highlights.
- iron grey: dark, dull grey hair.
- jet black: intense black hair with a dramatic blue and purple undertone.
- platinum blonde: whitish blonde hair with an luscious metallic gloss.
- raven black: lustrous shimmering black hair with softened tones.
- russet brown: hard, reddish-brown hair blended with grey undertones.
- salt & pepper grey: mixture of black and grey colouring, with inconsistent traces of white hair.
- sandy brown: soft light brown hair, lacking shine.
- silver grey: shiny grey hair mingled with white strands.
- sooty black: dusky, dull-coloured black hair, with hints of depth.
- sooty grey: uniform, matte grey colour lacking sheen.
- steel grey: distinctive bluish-grey hair with a hard lustre.
- strawberry blonde: reddish blonde hair with an orange hue.
- tawny: pale brown hair with tan highlights and varying sheen.
- wheaten: soft brown-blonde hair with light brown highlights.
In addition to colour, hair possesses many varieties of feel, appearance and thickness, evident in how curly hair is, it's volume and it's consistency. Like colour, hair types are distinctive in different parts of the world – and so again, ethnic background is useful in determining a character's personal look.
In much of the world, hair tends towards certain singular types. Asian hair, for example, is nearly always straight, growing perpendicularly from the scalp. African varieties tend to be very tightly coiled and dense, while highly resistant to management with comb, as it grows in an angle-like helix shape. This is commonly called "kinky." The management of one's hair is paart of the character's experience – for though a player can't choose the character's hair texture, it is possible to decide how hair is worn. How the character fixes or manipulates his or her hair is as important as the hair itself.
Those living in temperate climates, with wavy or curly hair, often choose to grow their hair out long as protection against the elements. To manage a thick volume, hair is bound with cords and thongs; braided elaborately for comfort and convenience; or shaved, leaving a bald scalp. In northerly climates, extensive beards are grown to give even more protection in sub-zero weather. Players may want to experiment with the hair on the character's scalp and many varieties of facial hair. Details like this can add verve, creating a need to carry around a mirror or other tools to address his or her coiffure.
Further, the character's constitution affects the healthiness and vitality of an individual's hair. This is addressed further down, below the list of character ethnic origins.
List of Hair Textures
Like hair, certain eye colours possess an unparalleled attractiveness, and so the character's charisma affects a luminosity and richness of colour in the character's eyes. Also, the presence of non-human races gives the opportunity for eye colours that don't exist in humans ... providing interesting opportunities in determining this physical characteristic. In general, fantastic colours are considered more appealing than brown eyes — though it can be recognised that there are many shades of brown, some of which are considered more attractive than others.
There are other matters having to do with a character's eyes and hair that have yet to be addressed, namely the possibility of a character being an albino, or possessing heterochromia. These things are dealt with below.
Once again, the character needs to roll a d20 and subtract his or her charisma. This is then compared against the varying races and regions that have been used thus far for skin tone and hair colour. In addition, to give an impression of different eye colours, a description of each is included to aid characters in understanding what the words mean:
- Amber: clear, luminous golden colour, both warm and seductive
- Amethyst: very pale, clear, true-violet colour with no hint of blue
- Amethyst blue: like amethyst, but with sky-blue striations
- Aquamarine: clear, piercing blue-green with a yellow hue
- Baby blue: very light to very pale greenish or purplish blue
- Bottle green: deep vivid green, luminous, with grey flecks or rays
- Cat's eye green: pale green with yellow undertones surrounding the iris
- Champagne brown: pale orange to greyish yellow, sparkling and light-catching
- Charcoal grey: very dark grey, almost black
- Chartreuse: a brilliant greenish yellow, backlit with a deep yellowish hue
- Chestnut brown: greyish brown with a soft medium reddish hue and orangish rays
- China blue: strikingly pure dark indigo with a luminous quality
- Chocolate brown: medium true-brown, with elements of red and grey; sexy and decadent
- Cinnamon brown: distinctive reddish eyes with warm brown undertone
- Cloud grey: softly luminous pale grey with whitish tones and striations
- Coal black: pure black eyes with a vague shininess or gleam
- Cornflower blue: muted medium-blue with flecks of light blue and white
- Crystal blue: extremely pale with white rays, clear and luminous
- Ebony black: flat black eyes with a soft and subdued beauty
- Electric blue: pale to medium bright blue; bright, energetic and striking
- Emerald green: very dark, clear green with a gleaming radiance
- Faded blue: dull pale blue with a homespun quality
- Fern green: cool, flat green colour lacking in other colours
- Forest green: soft, medium green with few flecks of brown, without a brown hue
- Gingerbread brown: medium brown with a strong yellow hue and rays
- Golden brown: medium warm brown with golden rays and gold circling around the iris
- Graphite: medium true-grey, flat and dull but distinctively unusual
- Grass green: medium true-green with equal ratio of blue and yellow rays
- Hazel: strong greenish-brown with glints of many colours, with blue or yellow rays
- Honey brown: pale brown with soft, light golden colour with a warm character
- Ice blue: extremely pale blue eyes, nearly white, hard and unsettling
- Indigo: warm, exotic dark blue that absorb light rather than reflect it
- Jade green: pale greenish-white with soapy luminosity, occasionally with exotic black flecks
- Jet black: a luxurious glossy black colour notorious for reflecting images
- Midnight black: blue-black with an indigo underlay and flecks of white
- Moss green: cool mid-tone greyish green with grey-blue undertones
- Obsidian: hard, flinty black with elements of unsettling transparency
- Pale pink: whitish-pink with yellow-grey flecks
- Pewter: rich saturated dark grey with a hint of soft blue undertone
- Pine green: deep, dark green colour with a slight black hue
- Pink with green flecks: sickly-looking pink-orange hue with flinty dark green flecks
- Pink w/grey flecks: deep pink color with grey flecks and striations
- Russet brown: shimmering, glossy reddish-brown with deep blue undertones
- Sapphire blue: deep, luminous medium-blue with a rich, luminous colour
- Sea green: clear blue-green colour with darker outer blue rim
- Seaweed green: flat dark green mixed with yellow and brown hues
- Silver grey: Bright and shining glossy grey with metallic rays, very luminous
- Sky blue: clear, light blue lacking highlights or balancing hues
- Slate grey: medium grey with hints of blue with stony coolness and a matte appearance
- Steel blue: hard iron grey-blue with light grey highlights, somewhat flat in colour
- Steel green: hard iron grey-green with flecks of grey-white colour
- Tawny brown: light brown to brownish orange, with yellow gold striations
- Topaz brown: pale, clear gold colour that reflects and appears glowing or luminous
- Turquoise: pale, milky blue-green colour with white hue and undertones
- Ultramarine: vivid strong blue mixed with dense, dark violet; very luminous and beautiful
- Umber brown: dark purplish-red colour mixed with deep brown, with violet ring around iris
- Violet: light purplish colour, somewhat dull, with white and yellow flecks
- Walnut brown: medium dull dark-brown, with lighter brown ring around the iris
- Whiskey brown: watery, warm brown with a light orange hue and a reflective quality
The chance of a character being an "albino" should be higher than the chance of a real person having this condition (between 1 in 3000 to 1 in 20000, depending on region). Albinism inspires a unique characteristic for a player to consider when having their character approach the game world. I suggest that the chances of the first albino occurring in the campaign should be 1 in 100; and the chance of a second like character being 1 in 400. Such characters possess a flat white hair colour and deep red eyes. They may also be partially or wholly blind, in which case they have adjusted somewhat to that condition; or the DM may rule that the character's condition has been cured and that only the appearance of albinism remains.
In either case, the presence of albinism supercedes the generation of hair and eye colour, and so this roll should be made first. Of course, some DMs may prefer greater odds against the condition, or the suspension of the condition in their campaign.
This is the variation of colour between the character's two eyes. Less than 1% of the world's population possesses eyes of two different colours, so we may fairly institute a 1 in 100 chance of this occurring, without the odds against increasing. Simply roll twice on the tables given for the character, indicating the left eye and the right eye.
Body Type & Overall Appearance
While the main determination of the character's general semblance and quality of being pleasing or sexually alluring is determined primarily by the character's charisma, a potential exists for the character's appearance to also be affected by wisdom. Unwise characters may have experienced critical accidents through foolhardiness that resulted in the loss of a hand or limb, or even an eye. However, those effects by wisdom are dealt with elsewhere. Imagine, then, that the tables for physical appearance and features describe what the character would look like without such mishaps having occurred.
[further details to be added at a later time]
The character's origin addresses the circumstances of the character's birth and other matters relating to upbringing, family, early training in secondary skills and the character's starting wealth. Prior to that moment when the player first enters the game, all time that has passed and all things that have happened are out of the player's control. These things are determined randomly, influenced by the choices made in allocating their ability scores ... for this allocation may allow or disallow the occurrence of a wide range of chance events and possibilities.
As we know from our own experience, no person chooses the family or social status into which he or she is born. We may wish to be born rich, or a member of the nobility, but the fact is that our fate is out of our hands. Some are lucky; some are not. A part of learning what the character is, or what opportunities exist to be had, we must first learn what family the character has. The attribute that determines this is strength, which dictates the overall survival and number of the character's living relations.
By extension, we may assume that if the character has living grandparents or parents, most likely there exists a corresponding extended family, dwelling around the area of the character's birthplace. If, on the other hand, it turns out the character was made an orphan in their youth — perhaps without any family relations at all — then the lack of family might be a motivating factor in the way the character sees the game world.
We begin by creating an adjusted strength number, rolling a d20 and subtracting the character's strength. This produces a number between 17 and -17, as explained in the determination of hair. By consulting the table, we can learn the extent of the character's living family. Throughout the table, additional details need to be rolled here or on the subtable below. Where it describes the character as "raised by," it should be understood that the named parents are still alive when the character enters the campaign.
If there are parents, the first sibling is born into a family when the mother is between the age of 14 and 20. Count the father's age as [3d4-4] added to the mother's age. Additional children are born 1 to 3 years after the first (the time difference accounting for children who may have been lost between living siblings).
|+17 to +14||Left on the doorstep of a cottage as a foundling; and thereafter adopted and given an education|
|+13||Born a slave and kept until freed, began working as an apprentice at the age of [6-9].|
|+12 to +11||Lost family at age [6-9], finding support from a mentor acting as a surrogate parent [+1 age for elf thieves]|
|+10 to +9||Lost family after beginning class-level training at age [10-14] [+2 age for elf thieves]; continued education with the help of mentor and institution; [see Institution subtable]|
|+8 to +7||Raised by [mother/father]'s [sister/brother] after [1-12] years of age; [see Sibling subtable for this entry and all entries downtable]|
|+6 to +4||Raised by [mother/father]'s [sister/brother] after [1-12] years of age|
|+3||Raised by an elder [sister/brother] after [3-12] years of age; sibling is [2-8] years older than the character|
|+2||Lost family at age [6-9], finding support from a mentor acting as a surrogate parent [+1 age for elf thieves]|
|+1||Raised by both of [mother/father]'s parents after [2d4+5] years of age|
|0||Raised by single [mother/father]|
|-1 to -2||Raised by both parents|
|-3 to -6||Raised by both parents and [1-2] grandparents, elder either to [mother/father]|
|-7 to -12||Raised by both parents and 3 grandparents|
|-13 to -17||Raised by both parents and all four grandparents|
This should give the approximate age of the character's parents. If the placement of the character in the order of birth cannot be reconciled, then assume elder brothers and sisters are twins or triplets. Mentors will be [5d6+20] years older than the character.
From extrapolating the age of the parents and siblings, a character may take the time, if wished, to calculate their wider family tree by rolling the strength of each family member, rolling their own background on the family table — obviously discounting any results that can't fit with known details. At present, a true depiction would require another table for maladies and early deaths, which I don't intend to create at this time; but the reader could make up one of their own.
A character's relationships with his or her siblings are discussed under Choices and Relationships. It shouldn't be assumed that characters have a positive relationship to any member of their family. With the table below, we're only concerned with the number of siblings, along with other odd matters. The same adjusted strength roll should be used for the sibling table as it was for the main family table.
Thus, if the character's adjusted strength was +8, indicating that "he" was raised by an "aunt," then the same +8 result would be used to determine the character's number of siblings.
Due to the circumstances of their birth, character with an adjusted strength of +17 to +9 have no known siblings.
Once the sex of each sibling has been determined, the character can be placed in the order of birth by simply rolling a random number of siblings who are either younger or older than the character. For example, if the character were one of 8 children, a d8 could be used to indicate if the character where the 1st or the 5th born, or whatever.
This particular fact can matter greatly where it comes to possibility of inheriting a rich parent's fortune, and is particularly crucial if the character turns out to be born a member of a region's nobility or of a kingdom's royal family.
|Adj. Strength||Number of Siblings||Special|
|+8 to +7||[roll d20] none (1-14),
one (15-19) or two (20)
|+6||[roll d20] none (1-9), one (10-17),
two (18-19) or three (20)
|+5 to +3||0-3 (d4-1)||—|
|+1 to -2||1-4||—|
|-3 to -6||2-4||—|
|-7 to -9||0-5 (d6-1)||character had a fraternal twin that|
died [roll d20] at birth (1-7), at the
age of [1-3] (8-17) or at the age of
|-10||1-6||character has a living fraternal twin|
|-11||2-7||character has a living identical twin|
|-12 to -13||2-8||roll character had an identical twin|
that died [roll d20] at birth (1-9), at the
age of [1-3] (10-17) or at the age of
|-14 to -15||4-10||—|
|-16 to -17||6-15 (3d4+3)||—|
Should it happen that the character has a fraternal or an identical twin, the DM may give the player the option of running both. In the case of fraternal twins, roll 2d8 for each of the original character's stats, subtracting 5, producing an adjustment between -3 and +3. For each of these rolls, there's a 10 in 16 chance that the adjusted stat for the twin would be the same or within 1 point of the originally rolled character. The chance is 15 in 16 that it'll be within 2 points. With identical twins, the twin's stats are exactly the same.
The table doesn't include the possibility of triplets or quadruplets, but the DM may allow a 1 in 100 chance of triplet fraternal twins — with an equal chance of quadruplets and quintuplets, following each roll of 1 in 100 (thus, quintuplets would occur with three rolls of double-zero) once the twin result shows. The chance of triplet identical twins might be rated at 1 in 400. The reason the chances are so low is that in a medieval or post-medieval setting, like as not all of three or more twins would be unlikely to survive the birth, or the mother either.
It should be noticed that character's with high strengths, like clerics, fighters, monks, paladins and rangers, are far more likely to have large families than are bards, illusionists or mages. This is intentional. Strength and bravery ask for a strong support network, encouragement and a belief in working together, the sort of thing that large families encourage. On the other hand, the unlikeliness of illusionists and mages suggest that many who come to profession come to it by chance, as self-reliant, even resentful persons isolated by their circumstances — for example, by being made an orphan.
Still, a line has been inserted into the Family Table to ensure there is at least some chance for every character to become an orphan. Some would certainly miss the possibility if this were entirely denied.
The sort of upbringing an individual is given has no influence at all on their ability as a class character. But it does suggest a view of the world; a history that can be played, for the player to find in his or herself when approaching the game.
Instititutions, foster parents and mentors are determined by the character's class. Normally, an individual starts training as a bard, cleric, druid and so on at the age of 8 to 10. A foundling or a young character forced to fend for themselves — who has clearly made something of themself, since we're looking back — relies upon whatever culture is willing to support them. Assassins thus come from cultures very different than an illusionist or a paladin.
|assassin||barracks (1-3), beggar's guild (4-16),|
shipboard (17-19), whorehouse (20)
|bard||bard's college (1-14), guildhouse (15-16),|
performing troupe (17-20)
|cleric||church/temple (1-14), monastery (15-20)|
|fighter||baggage train (1), barracks (2-13),|
manor farm (14-16), shipboard (17-20)
|illusionist||guildhouse (1-9), library (10-20)|
|mage||guildhouse (1-14), library (15-20)|
|paladin||barracks (1-12), manor farm (13-19),|
|ranger||manor farm (1-9), shipboard (10-20)|
|thief||beggar's guild (1-12), guildhouse (13),|
shipboard (14-18), whorehouse (19-20)
Applicable discriptions for the different institutions are below. Remember that although a character may have spent time aboard ship or in a varying type of guild, this doesn't necessarily mean they learned how to swim or create an article of some sort; to learn precisely what sort of secondary knowledge the character accumulated in their youth, see Progenitors.
- Baggage camp: the character spent their childhood following military camps through campaigns, helping to cook, launder clothes, make liquor, nurse soldiers, carry baggage and otherwise act as a servant to soldiers. Like as not, he or she began their training as a fighter while still on the move, as taught by the soldiers present, not actually being sent to a proper school to gain traditional fighting skills until the age of 13.
- Bard's college: these are dramatic places of learning, often no more than a single sprawling structure, where the character was able to watch and listen to bards discuss and perform their arts. Much of the character's youth would have involved servant and cleaning duties, though as a bard they would have learned to read & write at an age of six or seven — as all bards have this ability. Practical, serious training would have started at the age of 10.
- Barracks: these are long buildings used to house soldiers and labourers. Characters would have spent much time cleaning weapons, sharpening them, sewing arming gowns and flags, cleaning and attending livestock or acting as servants to the soldiers. Practical training for fighters and paladins would have started and been completed in rooms attached to the main barracks; assassins from a barracks have started this training until their mid-teens, before abandoning the traditional path to gain knowledge from tutors and masters in less savoury activities.
- Beggar's guild: starting under the tutelage of a "kidsman," an organiser of begging and thieving children as depicted by Fagan, both assassins and thieves would have been stealing from the age of 6 or even earlier. Assassins, having shown a talent and interest in intimidation and confrontation, would have taken the skills learned as a child and maneuvered themselves into a proper barracks school to master fighting. Thieves, on the other hand, are likely to have reached the full skills of their class without any formal training at all, having started so young.
- Church/Temple: being taken in and given a place to sleep as an act of charity, the character would have spent their childhood cleaning the pews, carrying hymnals and other books, gardening, tending to animals kept to help support the clergy and carrying candles, flags and podiums during festivals. After the character is given a place during services and shows his or her piety, the decision is made to send the character to a formal seminary on a stipend.
- Guildhouse: represents different possible organisations for different classes, but in all cases the characters would spend time acting as servants and participating in the backbreaking work of feeding and housing a large number of workers. This means much laundering, kitchen duties and carrying much wood and water. Bards are familiar with guilds related to ceramic, tailoring, woodworking guilds and other artisan examples. Illusionists spend their time in bookbinding, print houses, scribners and university-supportive guilds. In addition to these for the illusionist, a mage can include guilds dedicated towards alchemy, medicine and other sciences. The guild for a thief is assuredly a thief's guild. Each of these guilds would be responsible, through collections and donations, for the character receiving a formal education in their class.
- Library: the duties for children in these places are primarily cleaning, collecting and copying. As illusionist and mages, they would have learned to read & write at the age of 8 to 9, when they were old enough to be trusted to spend endless hours writing copies as a scholar droned on and on. Characters of this type would also have some experience with many possible educations; as "farmers" or "explorers," they may never have stood in a field or been aboard a ship. Formal education begins when the character is paid for their ability to write, a task they perform all through their training.
- Manor farm: the character becomes a part of a squire or minor noble's household, working in a wide variety of possible tasks and places: in the stables, attending the reeve or hayward, farming, processing staples into foodstuffs, working as a servant in the house and like the guilds above, many hours of carrying wood and water. Future druids and rangers find themselves acting as a servant to the gameskeeper and manor shepherds, learning about the woods and animals. Paladins impress the manor owners so much that their way is to a formal education is paid, whereas fighters and others must beg, borrow or steal the money from the various overseers and friends they've made.
- Monastery: the culture here is not so different from that of a manor, with opportunities to learn about farming, animals and the making of various foodstuffs ... but the religious expectation encouraged the character to become a cleric or a monk — remaining to complete their training in the same institution they attended as young children. Paladins growing up in a monastery remain affected by what they saw and the rituals they took part in, but by the age of 10 or 11 they head out, with a stipend, to get formal training in fighting.
- Performing troupe: a fun and exciting life for a young future bard, full of helping to move and walk long distances beside wagons on their way to the next town ... but also opportunities to act on stage, walk through strange places shouting out the arrival of the troupe to outsiders, handling money and watching the players and performers hone their craft. Many heartbreaking moments also, as a performer in a troupe can lose heart. Such bards use what skills they can find in these places to audition their way into a college or guild to receive their formal training.
- Shipboard: life aboard ship includes many dangerous, unique ideas for the character to discover as a child, but it's hard, repetitive work also. Decks must be scrubbed white, while learning to walk out on a mast or spar in a storm is also part of the character's education. More than one lost friend, fellow child or adult alike, is remembered though they are long gone. Shipboard also allows for long periods ashore, where a fellow seaman may take time to teach an assassin, fighter, ranger or thief a wide variety of secondary abilities. Formal training is usually made possible by a long voyage at sea, where years of income are accumulated and paid out in a single day.
- Whorehouse: the most lurid of places where the assassin or thief character might spend their childhood. Suffice to say that the duties may be of a kind that the character would never speak of, be they man or woman. Certainly bathing the artists, cleaning, acting as servants and perpetually cleaning after the worst sort of visitors would make for unpleasant memories. More likely as not, the character stole what they needed to get out and be long gone from such a place — though they could never admit it.
Progenitor is a blanket term for the strongest person in the character's early life, who instigated or acted as the antecedent to the character's eventual career as a class-levelled person. Most often, this is the character's father and mother, but it might be an uncle or a mentor, depending on the generated family above. This person's profession was experienced and lightly transferred to the character prior to advanced training as a fighter, mage, thief or whatever — and that profession forms the character's "secondary skill," or in terms of knowledge, a "sage ability."
In most cases, the happenstance of this relationship is simple. Yet the determination of the character's progenitor also defines their starting capital, the social status of their birth and the possibility of other peculiar benefits and opportunities.
So far, 112 progenitors have been added to the character's generation. Like character classes, these are divided into six "source", each rated according to their "primary attribute" — strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity or charisma. Usually, a character gets only one progenitor; but there are exceptions that occur (dealt with on other tables).
To determine the character's secondary skills, we must first subtract 10 points from each of the character's ability stats. If the character has less than 1 point in any of these, then secondary skills from that source are unavailable. The remaining points are added together and used for weighting the roll to determine from which source the character's progenitor comes.
- For example, Paul rolls his ability stats, ending with an 18 str, 12 int, 10 wis, 14 con, 8 dex and 13 chr. Subtracting 10 from each and discarding wisdom and dexterity, Paul ends with 8 str, 2 int, 4 con and 3 chr; a total of 17. He rolls a random number from 1 to 17: str (1-8); int (9-10); con (11-14) and chr (15-17). Paul gets a "17." The source for his secondary skill is found on the charisma table.
As will be seen, characters with insufficient strength have no chance to be a gladiator or guardsmen; those without enough intelligence cannot be a surgeon or a scribe; and those without enough charisma have no chance at all to be a military leader or royalty. That's simply how the cards fall; not everyone can be everything. Most of the time, we end up being a farmer, a potter, a rat catcher or a teamster. The best the character can do is choose where to put his or her ability stats and hope for the best kind of luck.
Once we know the source, we can roll on that table. Each table is organised for a d100 roll, with the commonest progenitors at the top and the rarest (and with the most status) at the top. So a high roll on any of these tables is sure to produce good results. Feel free to jump ahead if you know what table you want:
Skills & Knowledge Points
In all cases below, the skills gained from the progenitor are additional to those gained by the character due to his or her class — but the points for these skills are not added to the player's total that would be gained from a normal distribution of sage studies and abilities.
- For example, if the character was a mage who chose alchemy as their study, AND also happened to have an alchemist as a progenitor, then the 10 points of knowledge gained from his or her progenitor would not be added to the knowledge the mage gained by choosing alchemy as a study. In addition, if the character as heir to an alchemist gains 0-3 pts. of knowledge per level in alchemy, while the character as a mage class were to gain 1-12 pts. in that study, these numbers are NOT added together; only the 1-12 increase would count. In all cases, the character uses the greatest amount of points, or the greatest speed at gaining points, but the knowledge itself is in no way combined.
There are but 10 professions associated with the strength stat — these include possibilities that demand enormous stoicism and spirit of character, the sort of grit that provides a character with courage in the face of adversity. Naturally, these are good professions for a fighter to have.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-21||Farmer: farming; +1 to strength checks when outdoors||6d10|
|22-39||Fisherfolk: catch fishing; swimming||7d10|
|40-57||Sailor: sailing; +2 to dexterity checks when shipboard||7d12|
|58-74||Teamster: teamstering; start with cart, no animals||9d12|
|75-85||Guard: on guard; +1 damage when pummelling or grappling||5d6 x5|
|86-92||Mercenary: hereditary weapon I; bonus proficiency in any weapon regardless of class||7d6 x5|
|93-96||Outrider: handle horse well; start with light warhorse; check height||8d6 x5|
|97-98||Bounty Hunter: tracker; strengthened arm; bonus proficiency in fired or hurled missile weapon||9d6 x5|
|99||Master-at-Arms: hereditary weapon II; bonus two proficiencies in any weapon regardless of class||10d6 x5|
|00||Gladiator: shield as a weapon; +1 damage in all melee attacks regardless of strength||6d6 x10|
All sage abilities have 10 pts. of knowledge, except for the master-at-arms hereditary weapon II, which has 30. Each increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Further notes on the strength source table are as follows:
- Bounty Hunter: the character has only participated in the bringing in of outlaws for pay; he or she has never actually hunted a bounty acting as hunt leader. The "bonus proficiency" gained by the character must be a missile weapon (hurled or fired) and may be any weapon of this type, regardless of the character's class. Strengthened arm improves missile ranges; tracking is the scouting sage ability. The character has a legal right to collect prisoners and bounties and knows where and how to go about being assigned this duty.
- Farmer: character has spent at least two seasons farming; knows yearly cycle, knows planting time, can manage an ox & plow and may reliably choose good land to grow his or her own food. If the character has living parents, presume the existence of a "family farm," one which the character may have future rights to, if he or she is the eldest living sibling.
- Fisherfolk: character can manage a boat on still water or near shore fairly well, but has no sailing or river skills. Has angling skill with rod & line, knows best places to cast for fish. Cannot fish with a net. Can clean and cook fish with passable efficiency.
- Gladiator: the character's progenitor was a career gladiator, but the character has participated in 5-20 bouts personally, being personally responsible for the deaths of 2-5 persons. A standing request exists asking the character to participate in additional bouts, at a price of 2 g.p. per appearance, with an 8 g.p. bonus for winning. Since bouts can end when one of the participants is unconscious, not all combats are fought to the death. The character personally knows 1-3 ex-gladiators willing to hire out as mercenaries.
- Guard: the "on guard" sage ability ensures that when the character is actively taking a watch that he or she can only be surprised on a 1 in 6. Gains +1 bonus damage when not using weapons; knows the ins and outs, and habits, of guards managing large facilities, towns or cities. Has local knowledge of guards in nearest city, has friends there.
- Master-at-arms: this title describes the character's progenitor, the master instructor at the character's training school, who took a personal interest in the character. This is how the character gains a better hereditary weapon and bonus two weapon proficiencies, because of the time spent training with the progenitor. A bonus of +100 g.p. is added as a personal gift from the character's progenitor, over and above the starting capital listed.
- Mercenary: character has participated in at least one campaign lasting two seasons, six or seven months, as a combatant; this should be somewhere that a war has taken place in the last 6 to 10 years. This gives a fair knowledge of travel routes to and from that part of the world, along knowing that culture. Character has killed a person in combat. The character knows where to hire mercenaries and what to expect from them, but gives no special knowledge with regards to managing such persons.
- Outrider: an "outrider" is a cavalry scout or dispatch rider, and so the character will have months of experience acting and training in this duty. "Horse Handling I" enables the character to direct the horse and ride at various gaits. The horse that starts with the character will have been in his or her possession for 6-18 months; roll random for pedigree, with a minimum average and no result less than 10 (reroll lowest rolls until average is achieved). If the character is shorter than 4 ft. 6 inches tall, treat result as "mercenary."
- Sailor: character has spent at least a year at sea and is capable of acting as a crew for any sort of ship. This says only that the character is an able-bodied sailor and nothing more. Can manage a single-person sailboat. Has basic swimming skill.
- Teamster: can master a wagon or cart over most kinds of terrain, whether pulled by donkey, mule, horse or oxen, in teams of two or four; six-handed teams require 30 points of knowledge. Has skill in loading and unloading, recognise health issues with draft animals and can clean hooves, can't shoe animals. Has local knowledge of shippers, places to buy loads and warehouse overseers.
There are 15 professions associated with the intelligence stat — these include possibilities that demand complex thinking, memory, problem solving and application of design. Occasionally, such pursuits lead characters into the strangest of places.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-09||Trapper: set snares; tan leather and furs||3d10|
|10||Hermit: foraging; +2 constitution checks when outdoors||1d10|
|11-35||Scribe: read & write; add 5 pts. to character's chosen study, 1 pt. to all other studies||6d10|
|36-47||Carpenter: carpentry; attack wooden defenses; start with 15 ft. square one-story wooden house||8d10|
|48-59||Mason: masonry; attack stone defenses; start with 10 ft. square one-story stone house||8d10|
|60-65||Gamewarden: hunting; pathfinding I||8d10|
|66-70||Boathandler: steershand; +2 to dexterity checks when shipboard; start with long boat||8d10|
|71-80||Alchemist: read & write; amateur alchemist||4d10 x5|
|81-82||Tomb Robber: caver; [see Robber Items subtable]||6d10 x5|
|83-85||Artillerist: fire siege engines; start with small ballista||6d10 x5|
|86-87||Veterinarian: amateur animal physiologist||7d10 x5|
|88-90||Surgeon: amputation; bloodletting; +1 to hit with dagger||4d10 x10|
|91-94||Architect: read & write; amateur construction designer; choice of one tradecraft||5d10 x10|
|95-98||Lawyer: read & write; amateur practitioner of the law||4d10 x20|
|99-00||Political advisor: read & write; amateur politician||5d10 x20|
All sage abilities and studies have 10 pts. of knowledge; studies enable the possession of all amateur abilites therein. Each ability or whole study increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Further notes on the intelligence source table are as follows:
- Alchemist: character has multiple sage abilities associated to study of alchemy, knows how to set up a lab, has worked as an apprentice to his or her alchemist progenitor for two years. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in full study.
- Architect: character has multiple sage abilities associated to study of construction architecture, enabling simple builds and the ability to keep a crew of up to eight persons working. He or she will have worked on many sites for a collective period of two years. Trade gained may be carpetry, excavation, masonry, brickwork, tile work or thatching. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in full study.
- Artillerist: character has familiarity with loading and firing siege engines; effectively, has a "weapons proficiency" in it. Has experience in at least one protracted siege; can act as a member of a battery; has no special skills for commanding one. The small ballista in the character's possession is located on a friend's rural property near the character's entry into the campaign.
- Boathandler: has skill as steering small and large river boats, as well as a barge, down river courses within the kingdom where the character joins the campaign. Very much at ease on water. Long boat has single stepped mast, 18 ft. long, 6 ft. beam, carries 2 tons, 9 in. draft. Is docked at nearest docking post/dock/quay to the character upon entry into campaign.
- Carpenter: character is able to construct or demolish wholly wooden structures with amateur proficiency, having spent at least two years on various sites and participating in numerous builds. Wooden house's location is 2-5 miles from nearest large settlement, depending on where the character enters the game. Includes one acre of land; finished with wooden/earth foundation, no furnishings.
- Gamewarden: character has been trained to watch over farmland, as a professional hunter of herbivores who would eat crops or predators that prey on livestock. Has skill at locating the best routes through unknown wilderness. Also has an excellent relationship with the lord of a estate nearby a medium/large village, upon whose land the character dwelt for periodically over a four year time period, while training.
- Hermit: character has spent at least 2 years living in complete isolation, with long-time acquaintance with both starvation and extreme weather. Can sleep comfortably without shelter in weather as cold as frosty conditions (-6 C/20 F) without mishap, assuming proper clothing.
- Lawyer: character has multiple sage abilities associated with law and social policy, having participated in organising a business, defending clients to judges and securing local permits. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in full study.
- Mason: character is able to construct or demolish wholly stone structures with amateur proficiency, having spent at least three years on various sites and participating in numerous builds. Stone house's location is 2-5 miles from nearest large settlement, depending on where the character enters the game. Includes one acre of land; finished with stone foundation, no furnishings.
- Political Advisor: character has multiple sage abilities associated with politics and the halls of power. His or her progenitor was an important, elite voice, influencing the monarch and upper nobility in matters of finance, defense, preparations for war and foreign diplomacy. The character may someday have like influence; even now, the character can expect to be recognised by numerous persons in court, enabling access to same. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in full study.
- Scribe: character has worked at least 2 years in counting houses or other company establishments, gathering information on all manner of subjects. The character is well-read and adds 5 pts. of knowledge to their starting chosen study, +1 pt. to all studies within their class sage abilities.
- Surgeon: character has assisted in scores of operations, has 10 pts. of knowledge in amputation and bloodletting, but no skill in other medical procedures. Has familiarity with surgical tools and a high tolerance for blood and gore. When the character acquires 30 pts. of knowledge, he or she will gain the ability to perform minor invasive surgery. These numbers can be surpassed if the character is able to specialise in the whole study of medicine.
|Assassin||dagger +1 (1-9), gaseous form potion (10-14), shield +1 (15-20)|
|Bard||dagger +1 (1-10), leather armour +1 (11), philter of love (12-16), scroll w/2nd level bardic spell (17-20)|
|Cleric||club +1 (1-7), healing potion (8-10), scroll w/2nd level clerical spell (11-14), shield +1 (15-20)|
|Druid||leather armour +1 (1-4), healing potion (6-10), scroll w/2nd level druidical spell (11-14), spear +1 (15-20)|
|Fighter||heroism potion (1-6), shield +1 (7-13), short sword +1 (14-20)|
|Illusionist||dagger +1 (1-8), healing potion (9-13), scroll w/2nd level illusionary spell (14-19), ring of protection +1 (20)|
|Mage||dagger +1 (1-7), healing potion (8-12), scroll w/2nd level magical spell (13-19), ring of protection +1 (20)|
|Monk||quarterstaff +1 (1-12), spear +1 (13-17), speed potion (18-20)|
|Paladin||invulnerability potion (1-4), long sword +1 (5-12), shield +1 (13-20)|
|Ranger||animal control potion (1-4), battle axe +1 (5-14), leather armour +1 (15-18), short bow +1 (19-20)|
|Thief||dagger +1 (1-8), invisibility potion (9-14), leather armour +1 (15-20)|
- Tomb Robber: character has plunged into many an underground environment; knows spelunking and navigating caves, and as such will be comfortable and ready for any dungeon he or she encounters. Character has has had one adventure in the underground with his or her progenitor that resulted in the character obtaining a magic item, as indicated by the Robber Items subtable. Roll for the character class the character has become; with multiclass characters, roll d40 or d60 enabling all possibilties. For example, an assassin cleric would roll 1d40; for results of 1-20, consult the assassin-friendly items; for results of 21-40, consult those of the cleric.
- Because the items are awarded to the character as the result of plunder, a reasonable selectivity and trading afterwards will allow the player to choose the single-use spell on any scroll that's been gotten. All potions have 1 quaff. No special weapons proficiency is given with the weapons, nor may they wish to have the armour that's found, but the character possesses these things nonetheless. The character is free to choose a proficiency in the weapon obtained and loan out armour to other party members until the character acquires a henchfolk.
- Trapper: has familiarity with animal traps, one-person watercraft. Familiar with 3-6 nearest wilderness hexes (size 20-mile diameter), knowing holes and other mysterious places that might exist there. Can skin and clean animal carcasses, has some contacts with furriers willing to pay for obtained furs. Progenitor was loner with even more experience of wilderness, with no outside world contacts.
- Veterinarian: has worked as an apprentice vet in area before joining campaign; has multiple sage abilities associated with animal physiology, is familiar with the care and treatment of most barnyard animals. Has 10 points of knowledge in full study. Add +1 morale for animals while in the veterinarian's care or possession.
There are 14 professions and personages associated with the wisdom stat — these relate to matters of pursuing education and the application of experience, ethics and knowledge of the greater good. While on the surface this may suggest a staid, responsible member of society, often it's also the wisdom to recognise the culture's faults and reasons why it should fall.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-12||Prospector: prospecting; can manage donkeys and mules, improving encumbrance for each||4d10|
|13-38||Husbander: domesticate horses; manage work animals; +2 saving throw for all animals in the husbander's care||5d10|
|39-52||Tutor: read & write; instruction; +1 pt. to all studies||5d10|
|53-63||Steward: motivation; has standing invitation to act as steward over a baronet's keep||5d10 x5|
|64-68||Physician: read & write; medicine||4d10 x5|
|69-76||Herbalist: identify herbs; cultivate mushroom; +3 save vs. poison||4d10 x5|
|77-82||Librarian: Tutor: read & write; +2 pts. to all studies; start with 3-12 practical books||4d10 x5|
|83-86||Curate: perform burial, immersion, marriage; able to cast one clerical spell regardless of class: [see Bonus Spells subtable]||5d10 x5|
|87-90||Village witch: carve sigil; make a reading; able to cast one magical spell regardless of class: [see Bonus Spells subtable]||6d10 x5|
|91-93||Priest: read & write; faith; invitation to become a missionary||6d10 x10|
|94-96||Professor: read & write; instruction; +2 pts. to all studies; start with 3-12 practical books||4d10 x10|
|97-98||Mortician: turn undead; +1 to saves, to hit and damage against undead||5d10 x10|
|99||Witchhunter: make salve; +3 saving throw vs. magic||6d10 x10|
|00||Sinecure: read & write; writ of passage; respect from a local noble; seat in the town hall||7d6 x25|
All sage abilities and studies have 10 pts. of knowledge; studies permit the possession of all amateur abilities therein. Each ability or whole study increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Further notes on the wisdom source table are as follows:
- Curate: able to perform minor ceremonies within the character's religion, the internment of a dead body, the welcoming of a new worshipper into the religion and the marriage between two believers. This is possible regardless of the character's class, for he or she has demonstrated their piety sufficiently to maintain this right and ability; likewise, the character has also learned one additional clerical spell, which would be a bonus spell to a cleric and something a non-cleric is still able to cast. The spell is indicated on the bonus spells subtable.
|Roll||Curate Spell||Village Witch Spell|
|1||create water||dancing lights|
|3||endure cold & heat||feather fall|
|4||invisibility to undead||grease|
|7||precipitation||Nystul's magic aura|
|8||purify food & drink||taunt|
|9||remove fear||unseen servant|
- Characters won't gain further spells from this progenitor. If the character is a cleric, the spell's effectiveness equals any other possessed spell; but for non-clerics, the spell always functions as though the character were 1st level.
- Herbalist: has skill in the examination, recognition and administration of herbs and medicinal mushrooms, as well as experience raising the latter, having spent years observing plants in the wild and learning their medicinal qualities. Character has an unusual skill at recognising the use of poison, with great respect for it, and so gains a +3 saving throw where poison is concerned.
- Husbander: character has herded and handled animals for at least two years on a farm, raising them for meat or using them as work animals; can manage sheepdogs, horses, mules, donkeys or oxen (and elephants if of Asian descent). Keeps animals in good health, enabling them better saving throws.
- Librarian: since being a boy, the character has spent a hundred months perusing books, copying from them, reading, even gathering a few of his or her own. All studies associated with the character's class gain +2 points of knowledge above normal.
- In addition, the character gains [3-12] "practical books." These are authority-status in value. Authority-status books provide a +5 pt. benefit to an amateur's knowledge; thus, enabling a character with 26 knowledge points as an amateur to function as an "authority" as long as the character has the book and 10 minutes to study it — and the ability to continuously consult the book as needed. If the character is an authority, then the book provides no special benefit; the character would need an expert-status book, which would grant +7 pts. An amateur character cannot fully comprehend an expert-status book and gets no benefit from one.
- The character assigns each practical book to a study, one per study, from those studies associated with studies gained from the character's class (otherwise, the practical book would be useless). For example, if the character were a druid with only 3 books, then he or she might assign one to sea life, one to natural astronomy and one to trees.
- Physician: character has multiple sage abilities in the study of medicine, the practice of healing without the use of magic. Has spent at least two years working with diseased and injured persons and has overcome any feelings of doubt or distaste for the practice. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study.
- Priest: character has spent two years steeped in religion and is able to both preach and proselytise, as well as practice other sage abilities associated with the study of faith. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Is free to petition the appropriate religious clergy if the character wishes to be assigned to some part of the world as a missionary. The posting comes with 1,500 g.p. and two servants, but the location of the posting is beyond the character's control. Asking for a posting only to refuse on account of the location ensures no further missionary work will ever be offered to the player.
- Professor: character has spent at least two years taking courses, arguing, reading and otherwise experiencing the scholarly life at a noted university; he or she has spoken in public and given official lectures, though never a full class. All studies associated with the character's class gain +2 points of knowledge above normal. As an instructor, the character can teach any skill they possess to any person able to learn, up to 5 less points than the character possesses, to a limit of 10 points. See librarian for an explanation of practical books.
- Prospector: character has spent at least four seasons in summer and fall participating in panning for placer deposits and digging. Has extensive knowledge of nearby mountains and hills, dangerous place. Knowledge of working with donkeys and mules; encumbrance limit +10% for each.
- Sinecure: the character's progenitor held an office within his or her religion that paid [500-1500] g.p. yearly, with no responsibility, no asked for labour and no active service. This was granted by one of the highest ranking clerics of the local continent where the character enters the game. The character's high starting capital is a reflection of this sinecure; moreover, if the character's biological father or mother is the possessor of the sinecure, and the character is the eldest sibling, then the office becomes a legacy for the character when the requisite parent passes away. Otherwise, as a child of the sinecure holder, the character enjoys the privilege of being treated as a person of importance and good reputation.
- Steward: character has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of motivation. His or her progenitor acted as an overseer of an estate in the owner's absence, teaching the character how to give orders and yield respect. Has 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. A local baronet (minor baron), has asked the character to act as a steward for a year, so the baronet may pursue interests abroad; the character has not yet accepted, but the offer is open for 2-5 months.
- Tutor: character has been shown how to teach, and has instructed others through the time of his or her own training. Has had opportunities to read and pursue knowledge. All studies associated with the character's class gain +1 point of knowledge above normal.
- Village Witch: traditionally, a paganist practitioner of black magic, dwelling in a hinterland and treated as an outsider; at the same time, this same person is surreptitiously approached by the desperate and unscrupulous, who will pay the witch for cast spells. The character spent at least to years in the company of such a witch, observing villagers who came in the dark of night to ask for healing, love potions, the casting of curses and foretellings using the occult. This has taught the character some occultist skills and has — regardless of class — bestowed upon the character the ability to cast a single magic spell. The spell is indicated on the bonus spells subtable, above. As with curate, characters won't gain further spells from this progenitor. If the character is a mage, the spell's effectiveness equals any other possessed spell; but for non-mages, the spell always functions as though the character were 1st level.
- Mortician: character has aided in the embalming and internment of the dead, and has a time or two even encountered the undead in the flesh. Possesses an ability to turn the undead, which may increase slowly as the character accumulates knowledge. Character is also an effective fighter against the undead.
- Witchhunter: in a world of magic, there are spellcasters who use their powers against the good of society instead of for it; the character has accompanied his or her progenitor in the pursuit of the villains on many occasions, and as a result the character has been taught the secrets behind resisting magic, gaining a +3 bonus against saving throws. In addition, the character has learned the art of making healing salve from scratch, a semi-magical ointment that heals 1-4 hit points.
There are 12 professions and personages associated with the constitution stat, indicating professions that require considerable fortitude, good health, along with a willingness to do dirty and unpleasant work. Here we speak of the worst sort of environments, where heat, confinement, isolation and grime are the order of the day.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-05||Rat catcher: +2 roll to hit against rats; +1 saving throw vs. poison; immune to disease from rats||3d10|
|06-07||Graverobber: fence stolen goods, appraisal I; +2 armour class vs. undead||4d10|
|08-33||Labourer: +2 bonus when learning skills; +1 strength when calculating encumbrance||4d10|
|34-49||Porter: stability; +2 strength when calculating encumbrance||5d10|
|50-62||Miner: mining, prospecting; constitution +1 when underground||6d10|
|63-69||Gypsy: evil eye, prognostication; +1 save vs. magic||8d10|
|70-76||Alchemist's apprentice: distilling, identify earths, acid use; -1 damage per die against acid, electricity and poison||8d10|
|77-89||Blacksmith: forgery; -1 damage per die against fire; +1 to hit and damage with short hammer||3d10 x5|
|90-94||Armourer: make leather and metal armour; armour of the character and party saves at +2||5d10 x5|
|95-97||Weaponsmith: make weapons; weapons of the character and party save at +2||5d10 x5|
|98||Executioner: perform execution; writ of passage; +1 to hit with axe||6d10 x5|
|99-00||Explorer: read & write, navigation, pathfinder I; memory of distant land||5d10 x10|
All sage abilities and studies have 10 pts. of knowledge; studies permit the possession of all amateur abilities therein. Each ability or whole study increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Further notes on the constitution source table are as follows:
- Alchemist's apprentice: unlike the "alchemist" progenitor found under intelligence, the character's progenitor never achieved even an amateur knowledge of the study. The character can perform a few skills, as given. Years of cleaning and serving in laboratories has quickened the character's reaction time to acid, electricity and poison, so that he or she subtracts 1 point of damage from attacks of those kinds.
- Armourer: character is an amateur maker of leather and metal non-magical armour, having spent 18 months learning the craft. The character's present suit of armour is self-made and is considered a bonus over and above the character's starting capital — this is true whether or not the character is of a class permitted to wear armour. The character may choose any armour type, and may adjust it for another character. This requires only tongs and hammer, at a cost of one day per 10 lbs. weight difference plus one day per 1 in. height difference. A smithy is required to make armour from scratch. The character is assumed to be maintaining the party's armour continuously.
- Blacksmith: character is able to shape ordinary metal tools and ironmongery using a hammer, anvil and forge. After a year of constant work in the field, the character is acclimatised to working with heat, molten metal and steam, so that he or she subtracts 1 point of damage from attacks with either normal or magical fire. A short hammer is a 14-inch long striking tool that normally causes 1-3 damage on a hit; the blacksmith is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapons proficiency; the character must buy the tool. A smithy is required to make metal objects.
- Executioner: character has performed [0-2 (d4-2)] official executions in his or her past. If the character has committed an execution, it was sanctioned by a noble known only to the player, as the executioner character wore a hood in the act. The character carries a writ of passage for free movement throughout the realm (no payment required for tolls or fees) and bears a tattooed mark that can be displayed if the character wishes to be known to the locals as a potential executioner for hire. The character has learned a practiced indifference to death, which may or may not be embraced by the player.
- Explorer: character is able to read and study books, possesses skill at navigating by the stars and can locate the best routes while travelling through a wilderness. The character spent [9-36] months journeying to a strange and largely unknown land, randomly determined, before returning to the place where he or she enters the campaign — much is known about this place and the character has [2-5] allies and potential followers who dwell there. During the journey, the character was merely an attendant to his or her progenitor explorer ... but should the character wish to raise money for another expedition to the same land, a sum of [2-5] thousand gold pieces is available — provided the character can match that amount from his or her own pocket. There's no time limit on this offer.
- Graverobber: graverobbing is not a matter of digging up random graves; the character must pay attention to whom is being buried, the corpse's former wealthiness and the apparent willingness of the family to bury valuables with the body. Graverobbers usually strike within a week of the internment, when the soil is still soft and easily dug. They look over the body's trinkets with a keen eye, recognising what should be left behind and which should be taken. Then the goods are carefully fenced, so as not to reappear in the same place where the corpses' family might recognize Uncle Julian's gold circlet or Aunt Maztah's necklace. In addition, the character has dodged and undead or two in his or her day.
- Gypsy: character has been raised by and with gypsies, most often in groups of more than 50 persons. As such, the character identifies many persons as "family," beyond those to him he or she is biologically related. The character has gifts in telling the near future and in delivering a specific form of curse to enemies, the "evil eye." The character was born at least 200-500 miles from where their entry point into the campaign, and has knowledge of those places and cultures located in between.
- Labourer: character has no real profession, having worked dozens, perhaps scores of jobs over the past three or four years, in between advancing his or her training. As a candidate for training, however, with regards to instruction, the character adapts and learns more quickly than most. In addition, having spent so much time with carrying and moving loads, the character's strength is counted one point higher when calculating encumbrance; this strength addition cannot be applied to other game circumstances.
- Miner: character has spent two years of his or her life toiling in the underground, digging out valuable minerals, shovelling them to the surface and breaking stone apart to find its ores. As such, the character has an amateur ability as a miner and a prospector (as the sage abilities), and exceptionally resilient when adventuring underground. No special skill has been gained for seeing in the dark.
- Porter: character has spent many seasons acting as a mule through all sorts of climates and over every kind of terrain. This has provided the character with unusual balance and stability. Because of the time spent bearing one burden after another, the character's strength is counted as two points higher when calculating encumbrance; this strength addition cannot be applied to other game circumstances.
- Rat catcher: character has caught and killed many hundreds of rats, and has wandered through city sewers, abandoned buildings and into the worst quarters for years in search of these vermin. He or she has been sick many times of rat-borne diseases and is now completely immune; and has a heightened resistance against poison as well. Likely the past was unpleasant, though the character's memory of these times may vary.
- Weaponsmith: character is an amateur maker of weapons of all non-magical types, whether fashioned of wood, bone, metal or other hardened material. He or she has spent two years learning the craft. The character may count the cost of his or her proficient weapons as a bonus over and above the character's starting capital. A smithy is required to make metal weapons from scratch. The character is assumed to be maintaining the party's weapons continuously.
There are 42 professions and personages associated with the dexterity stat, the balance of which includes a wide range of artisans who have been trained to work with their hands to make practical objects. Other progenitors associated with dexterity represent arts where nimble fingers, fast movements and sharp practice. Many persons from these backgrounds treat the pursuit of an experience level and character class as an escape from the drugery of their rigorous family obligations.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-04||Brewer: brewing; count character's weight at +50% when calculating intoxication||2d10 x5|
|05-08||Baker: baking; -1 damage per die against heat (not fire)||3d10 x5|
|09-12||Butcher: butchering; +1 to hit and damage with cleaver||3d10 x5|
|13-15||Candlemaker: chandler; -1 damage per die against boiling liquids||4d10 x5|
|15-18||Confectioner: candy-making; -1 damage per die against boiling liquids||5d10 x5|
|19-21||Cook: cooking; +1 to hit and damage with short knife||3d10 x5|
|22-24||Fishmonger: net fishing; +3 save vs. nausea and odour-based attacks||3d10 x5|
|25-27||Tobacconist: plantation culture; resistance to addictive substances; +2 save vs. mind control liquids & gasses||6d10 x5|
|28-30||Woodcutter: cut down trees, stability; +1 to hit and damage with short axe||5d10|
|31-33||Vintner: winemaking; count character's weight at +50% when calculating intoxication||5d10 x5|
|34-36||Tailor: make clothing; start with suit of fine clothes; cloth items of the character and party save at +2||5d10 x5|
|37-39||Furrier: fur-maker; start with fur cloak; +1 to hit and damage with short knife, +2 to hit with short knife vs. rodents||7d10 x5|
|40-41||Draper: make canvas; bargaining; start with camp tent||8d10 x5|
|42-43||Fuller: pound fibres to make cloth; +2 strength checks||4d10 x5|
|44-46||Weaver: make cloth; start with two bolts of ready cloth; cloth items of the character and party save at +2||4d10 x5|
|47-49||Tanner: tan leather; +2 save vs. acid-based attacks; has skill at putting down animals for skinning||5d10 x5|
|50-53||Leather worker: leatherworking; start with leather cloak and hat; leather items of the character and party save at +2||6d10 x5|
|54-55||Cobbler: make shoes & boots; start with high boots; footwear of the character and party save at +2||3d10 x5|
|56-57||Cooper: barrel-making; start with 2 kegs and a barrel; +2 strength checks||4d10 x5|
|58-61||Wagoneer: wagonwright; drive wagons & carts; start with wagon||4d10 x5|
|62-64||Shipwright: shipbuilding, sailing; +2 when keeping ships afloat; start with single-masted sloop||5d10 x5|
|65||Furniture-maker: make furniture; dismantle doors, chests, other wooden objects; start with three-legged stool||7d10 x5|
|66-67||Instrument-maker: make musical instruments, play instrument; start with musical instrument||8d10 x5|
|68||Papermaker: make paper, read & write; resistance to disease||2d10 x5|
|69-70||Bookbinder: make books, read & write; start with 2-5 choice practical books||3d10 x5|
|71-74||Potter: make pottery; flasks can be scored so for a +3 bonus to break if desired; otherwise, ceramic items of the character and party save at +3||5d10 x5|
|75-77||Glassmaker: make glass objects; -1 damage per die against heat-based attacks; glass items of the character and party save at +3||6d10 x5|
|78||Glazier: make glass windows, breaking & entering; -1 damage per die against heat-based attacks||6d10 x5|
|79-80||Sculptor: sculpt objects, appraisal I; +1 to hit and damage with short knife||3d10 x5|
|81-82||Stonecutter: cut stone; +3 bonus to strength checks||4d10 x5|
|83||Puddler: found metals from ore; -2 damage per die against heat-based attacks||6d10 x5|
|84||Jeweller: make jewellery, appraisal I||6d10 x10|
|85||Lapidary: cut, polish and engrave gems, appraisal I||6d10 x10|
|86-87||Tinker: repair items, repair tools & machines; +1 to hit and damage with short hammer||5d10 x5|
|88||Metallurgist: make metal alloys; -1 damage per die against heat-based attacks||8d10 x5|
|89||Diemaker: carve metal; appraisal I; counterfeit coins||5d10 x5|
|90||Engraver: engrave letters; assay metals; start with [6-72] engraved letters on owned items||7d10 x5|
|91||Juggler: juggle objects, evade missiles; +1 to hit with missile weapons||2d10 x5|
|92-93||Toll keeper: bribe officials; +1 bonus to wisdom checks||3d10 x5|
|94||Forger: forge documents, read & write; legitimate writ of passage; false papers of ownership||4d10x5|
|95-99||Gambler: gamble proficiently; start with shaved dice, fixed playing cards||6d10 x5|
|00||Monk: improved armour class, fleetness, perform snap kick||5d10 x10|
All sage abilities and studies have 10 pts. of knowledge; studies permit the possession of all amateur abilities therein. Each ability or whole study increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Unless specified otherwise, most professions from the dexterity source assume the character has spent 2 to 3 years learning their craft; in each case, to make use of their craft to make items requires the proper space and tools. Further notes are as follows:
- Baking: baking can be performed in campfire or better standards of preparation, saving the party food costs while improving overall nutrition and character food quality.
- Bookbinder: familiar with a printing press, setting type and binding books between leather, requiring a workshop, the character is also able to read and write. See librarian, under wisdom source, for an explanation of practical books.
- Brewer: character can brew, strain and cask his or her own lager beer, though this will be of middling quality as the character begins as an amateur. Intoxication is calculated according to how much a character weighs, the character's race and the amount of alcohol inbibed. A greater relative weight would mean the character has more difficulty becoming intoxicated.
- Butcher: character can make better use of hunted or live animal foods, since the character is adept at getting all meat from the bone. The cleaver is a highly sharpened 12-inch long cutting tool that normally causes 1-4 damage on a hit; the butcher is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapon proficiency; the character must buy the tool.
- Candlemaker: character can render fat to make candles and oil, saving on the cost of illumination. Has ample experience working with boiling liquids, so that he or she subtracts 1 point of damage from such attacks. This includes burning oil, boiling water or steam. A pint of prepared bubbling wax can be thrown for 1 to 4 damage by any character, similar to throwing acid.
- Confectioner: character can make candy, glazed fruit and other dessert vittles, soothing the sweet tooth of others. Like the candlemaker, has ample experience working with boiling liquids, also subtracting damage from these attacks.
- Cobbler: with a bone needle, materials and cobbler's bench, the character can make footwear of all kinds. Starts with high boots, either hard or soft, made of cowhide, horsehide, sheepskin or kid leather, as wished. These are in addition to the rolled capital. The character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's footwear continuously.
- Cook: character has an amateur experience with the preparation of food in any setting, increasing its nutritional quality. The short knife is a 10-inch blade that normally causes 0-2 damage on a hit. The character is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapon proficiency; begins the game with his or her own knife.
- Cooper: enables the character to make wooden slats and forge iron bands so as to make barrels, kegs, buckets and so on. Starts with two empty kegs, 5 gallon capacity, and one empty barrel, 63 gallon capacity, in addition to starting capital. These are located at a place safely nearby the character's entry in the campaign.
- Diemaker: character has skill at carving for the purpose of creating crests, buttons and cameos — and also for minting coins. The sage ability to counterfeit coins enables the amateur to make low grade pieces of exchange that can be identified by workmanship and composition of the metallic content; however, for most persons dwelling in mere villages and other backward areas, the nature of these coins is nearly certain to go unchallenged. Character has the ability to identify other false coins of the same workmanship instantly.
- Draper: a draper is a cloth wholesaler, so the character has experience at buying and selling cloth, which provides the bargaining skill linked on the table. Start with a camp tent with one centerpole, 8 ft. square with 6 ft. ceiling, with room for 11¾ tons storage; putting up time, 1 hr; pack time, ½ hr; made of canvas. This in addition to starting capital.
- Engraver: character is able to carve metal to produce lettering, and recognise the nature and quality of metal for what it is. He or she begins the game having inscribed 6d12 letters on objects of the character's desire. Further use of the skill requires tools and a workbench; the ability, "Engraver I," does not allow the engraving of pictures or the use of chemicals; but these are skills the character may acquire later with an accumulation of knowledge.
- Fishmonger: character has cleaned and gutted thousands of fish and is highly resistant to the sight of blood, bad odours or the effects from same. He or she may be considered a "cook" with respect to the preparation of fish, but no other sort of food.
- Forger: apart from being able to read & write and forge documents. The character starts with a legitimate "writ of passage," which exempts the character from paying road and bridge tolls, or fees to enter a walled town or city, within the realm where the character enters the campaign. It's possible for the character to use this writ to forge others. The character also has false papers for the ownership of a "carucate," equal to 120 acres of productive land, a quarter of a square mile; these are made for a village in the realm at least 24 miles away; the player is free to choose which village. It's possible to secure a loan against this land, or sell the land to someone else, provided efforts aren't made to detect the veracity of the documents. The false papers can also be used as a template to create more false papers.
- Fuller: "fulling" is the process of scouring and pounding raw fibre, making the cloth ready for spinning; the process required moving and stretching the heavy fibre mass on great frames called "tenters," while the fibre was sopping wet. This accounts for the +2 bonus to all strength checks the character gains. The character is comfortable performing hard labour for ten or more hours at a time.
- Furniture-maker: character can build items of furniture and decor, requiring a workshop. Knowledge of how wood is put together enables skill at pulling apart doors and opening chests by circumventing the lid; however, further knowledge of this kind isn't possessed. Character starts with a three-legged camp stool of his or her own making, along with bed, armoire, desk, two chairs and a large chest, in addition to starting capital. These objects, made of fir, spruce or oak, are in the care of a friend at the nearest village upon the character entering the campaign.
- Furrier: with a bone needle & thread, a table, pelts and a knife, the character can make fur clothing; includes skinning of fur-bearing animals. Character begins with an ordinary quality cloak made of red fox or silver wolf fur, in addition to starting capital. The short knife is a 10-inch blade that normally causes 0-2 damage on a hit. The character is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapon proficiency; begins the game with his or her own knife.
- Gambler: although the character has gambled extensively in the past, and has used this to build a stake, the character is under no obligation to continue gambling if that pattern of behaviour is unwished. That said, the character is a proficient gambler, and proficient at cheating (if he or she so chooses), having been taught how by his or her progenitor.
- Glassmaker: character is able to "blow" glassware to make objects. Long experience standing in front of a forge enables the character to subtract 1 point of damage from heat-based attacks. The character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's glassware continuously.
- Glazier: describes the making and installation of windows made of framed glass. This skill gives an additional aid to the character in removing a window so that a place can be entered for burglary purposes. The character's familiarity with heating and pouring liquid glass subtracts 1 point of damage from heat-based attacks.
- Instrument-maker: refers to the making of musical instruments; the character may choose the instrument with which he or she is familiar and can play. Start with one musical instrument of choice, of his or her own making, in addition to starting capital.
- Jeweller: character has the ability to identify the value of jewellery and to make it from materials, requiring a small forge, precision tools and workshop; the character is equally capable of taking jewellery apart without innately spoiling its value. As the character accumulates knowledge, the practice can become time-consuming and lucrative.
- Juggler: character is able to perform and busk for income, and has spent most of their life practicing the ability. If the character makes a saving throw, he or she can avoid being struck by missiles. The bonus for missile weapons may be applied to hurled or fired weapons alike.
- Lapidary: character is able to identify the value of gems; he or she may transform rough crytals into polished stones, which can be cut to make gems. This requires tools and a workshop. The character can also set stones and gems into existing objects. Like with the jeweller, the practice can become time-consuming and lucrative.
- Leather worker: with a bone needle, knife, wooden mallet and short hammer, table and small workshop, the character can make leather items of all kinds. Starts with a leather cloak and hat, made of cowhide, horsehide or sheepskin, as wished; either can be waterproofed if so desired and of a style the player chooses. These are in addition to starting capital. The character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's leather goods continuously.
- Metallurgist: similar to a puddler, except that the emphasis is upon creating various alloys from founded metals, both valuable like pewter or white gold, or functional like steel, brass or bronze. Time spent adjacent to a forge allows the character to subtract 1 point of damage from heat-based attacks, including fire, boiling water and steam.
- Monk: the character has spent several years acquiring the habit of meditation, self-denial and the pursuit of physical and mental acuity. This has given the character a natural armour class of 9 rather than 10, prior to the application of dexterity bonuses; fleetness of speed that allows one additional action point when moving; and the ability to perform a "snap kick," similar to savate and other martial skills, that delivers 2-5 damage on a hit. Through asceticism and abstention from all forms of indulgence, the character has accumulated an unusual sum of money to begin; but the character is under no obligation to practice this self-discipline further.
- Papermaker: able to make paper from scratch, requiring a workshop, as well as read and write. As the practice of making affordable paper involves the processing of worn and discarded linen and other materials, much of the product is filthy and disease-ridden; this has granted the character a strong resistance against disease, reducing both the nature and degree by -1 when rolling on a d8.
- Potter: character is able to "throw" pottery with a wheel and sufficient preparation requiring a workshop. Ceramics can be strengthened and cared for so as to grant them a +3 saving throw; the character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's ceramics continuously. Flasks for throwing oil, where breaking is desirable, can be carefully altered so they save at -3, improving their chance of breaking and causing burning oil to splash.
- Puddler: time spent in close proximity to a forge and liquid metals, inside a foundry, has given the character a rough, leathery skin from the constant heat. Therefore, he or she subtracts 2 points of damage from heat-based attacks, including fire, boiling water and steam.
- Sculptor: apart from being able to sculpt objects made of stone, wood or other materials, the sculptor has spent an enormous amount of time with knife in hand. The short knife is a 10-inch blade that normally causes 0-2 damage on a hit. The character is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapon proficiency; begins the game with his or her own knife.
- Shipwright: able to build or oversee small lake and ocean-going craft; the character has no knowledge of making a boat able to endure the rigours of river travel. Eventually, the character may be skilled enough to design and build crafts of any size. Bonus applies to situations where a craft is sinking and requires a roll to see if it does within a given time. Start with a single-masted gaff-rigged sloop, safely harboured at nearest stillwater location in the care of a friend; 33 ft. length, 7.9 tons cargo, 2 ft. draft, 1-4 crew, needs sailcloth. This in addition to starting capital.
- Stonecutter: character has considerable experience with cutting, transporting and readying stone-blocks for use in masonry, a series of processes that requires both steady endurance and precise dexterity when landing blows. Even if the character's strength isn't up to the task, he or she gains a +3 bonus to all strength checks.
- Tailor: with a needle & thread, a table, cloth and a knife, the character can make clothing, saving on the cost of livery for the party and hirelings. Starts with high soft boots, breeches, shirt, doublet, robe and cloak made of either wool or linen fabric, worth 2.3 times their ordinary cost, in addition to starting capital. The character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's clothing continuously.
- Tanner: includes skinning and drying of animal skins, including fur-bearing animals, as well as putting down such animals prior to skinning. Regular use of chemicals has made the character wary and uncommonly protective against the use of acid. Causes +10% damage when attacking helpless defenders, including animals and beasts, with a +2 to hit such creatures after the initial attack.
- Tinker: discarding notions that a tinker is necessarily an inventor, the profession involves the fabrication of tin and brass precision tools, repairing tools and machines and generally adjusting and maintaining mechanical objects made of metal. This can be applied to invention but it most often isn't by tinkers. A short hammer is a 14-inch long striking tool that normally causes 1-3 damage on a hit; the blacksmith is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapons proficiency; the character must buy the tool.
- Tobacconist: character can grow, harvest, dry and smoke tobacco leaves, rolling them for smoking or powdering them for use as snuff. Having been addicted to numerous associated smoked substances, the character has tremendous resistance to the effects of narcotics, as a liquid or a gas, including magical substances such as a philter of love or eating food that's able to charm.
- Toll keeper: character has spent much time in obscure hinterlands with only the solace of a companion animal, most likely a dog. Familiar with the pattern and effectiveness of bribes, the character knows how to make them as well as exploit them; he or she gains +1 to wisdom checks in most situations.
- Vintner: character can grow, harvest and press grapes into wine, though the latter will be of a middling quality, as the character begins as an amateur. Intoxication is calculated according to how much a character weighs, the character's race and the amount of alcohol inbibed. A greater relative weight would mean the character has more difficulty becoming intoxicated.
- Wagoneer: character is able build wagons and carts, as well as driving same; however, the character is not a teamster and therefore lacks any special knowledge of loading and unloading, the health of draft animals, or the location of shippers, places to buy loads, nor familiarity with warehouse overseers. Start with a wagon for haulage, durable and sprung for loading; heavy construction, flat platform and strong wheels, carries 8 tons. This in addition to starting capital.
- Weaver: includes the process of transforming cleaned fibre tufts into cloth that can be made into objects; includes the ability to spin and use a loom. Start with two bolts of cloth, each 39 yards of material; character may choose from burlap, calico, cambric, canvas, cotton, flannel, linen, muslin or wool. The character is assumed to be mending and maintaining the party's clothing continuously.
- Woodcutter: able to choose the best wood from a standing forest and practice selective cutting of trees. Time spent avoiding felled trees and riding logs on water has increased the character's balance. The short axe is a 15-inch tool with handle and metal axe-head that normally causes 1-4 damage on a hit; the woodcutter is assumed to have the tool/weapon as a bonus weapon proficiency; begins the game with his or her own axe.
There are 27 professions and personages associated with the charisma stat, with most of these possessing status, fame or recognition of like sort. It's argued that persons who rise to the heights of notariety do so in large part because of their ability to relate positively to others; and in the case of some, because they are trained from an early age to see their life as an obligation towards the greater good of their family and the realm as a whole.
|Profession & Benefits||Starting|
|01-02||Painter: amateur painter, bartering; +1 bonus to dexterity checks||4d10|
|03||Poet: amateur poet, busking; +1 bonus to intelligence checks||3d10|
|04||Sculptor: amateur sculptor, bartering; +1 bonus to strength checks||5d10|
|05||Writer: amateur writer, bargaining; +1 bonus to wisdom checks||6d10|
|06||Jester: amateur clown; +2 to charisma checks||5d10|
|07||Dancer: amateur folk dancer; +1 to both strength and dexterity checks||4d10|
|08||Actor: amateur actor; +2 to charisma checks||3d10|
|09||Singer: amateur folk singing; +2 to charisma checks||4d10|
|10-11||Musician: amateur folk musician; +1 to both intelligence and wisdom checks||5d10|
|12||Puppeteer: amateur puppeteer; +2 to dexterity checks; start with puppet||5d10|
|13-28||Landlord: own property; receive rents; permission to build||5d10 x5|
|29-38||Innkeeper: bookkeeping; gain credit; [see Innkeeper subtable]||6d10 x5|
|39-44||Tavern keeper: bookkeeping; gain credit; [see Tavern keeper subtable]||7d10 x5|
|45-50||Buccaneer: sailing, swimming; start with two-masted ketch; possess opportunity for contract||4d10 x10|
|51-53||Usurer: bargaining, lend money, read & write; gain credit||5d10 x10|
|54||Fence: fence goods; start with stolen goods safely hidden: [see Stolen Goods subtable]||3d10 x5|
|55||Assassin: assassination, hereditary weapon; jack-of-all-trades||5d10 x5|
|56||Banker: bookkeeping, lend money, bookkeeping, read & write; gain credit; writ of passage||7d10 x15|
|57-75||Squire: start with heraldic crest; receive bequest from one's progenitor of 120-480 acres of land||8d10 x10|
|76-82||Landed Knight: hereditary weapon, improve morale; invested as knight, regardless of class; permitted to use the title, "Sir" or "Dame"; start with heraldic crest; knight's fee; commitment to take part in wars||9d10 x10|
|83-84||Guildmaster: amateur mercantilism; see Guildmaster subtable to learn the type of guild; invitation to court; gain credit||5d10 x20|
|85-86||Dispossessed noble: hereditary weapon, read & write; invitation to court; permitted to use the title, "Sir" or "Dame"; start with heraldic crest; +2 pts. to all studies||6d10 x20|
|87-95||Crusader: amateur puissance; member of a knight order; +1 bonus to charisma checks||7d10 x20|
|96-97||Marshal: amateur puissance, amateur motivation, read & write; own property; invitation to court||8d10 x20|
|98||Nobility: amateur motivation; heir to the jurisdiction over a province; +2 bonus to charisma checks; +2 pts. to all studies||8d10 x25|
|99||Royalty: amateur motivation; member of the royal family, not legally in line for a throne; permitted to use the title, "Prince" or "Princess;" +3 bonus to charisma checks; +2 pts. to all studies||8d10 x30|
|00||Ruling Monarch: amateur motivation; potentially in line as ruler of a realm; permitted to use the title, "Prince" or "Princess;" +4 bonus to charisma checks; +2 pts. to all studies||8d10 x40|
All sage abilities and studies have 10 pts. of knowledge; studies permit the possession of all amateur abilities therein. Each ability or whole study increases at d4-1 (0-3) per level, unless superseded by the character's class. These abilities/studies are possessed regardless of class. Further notes on the charisma source are as follows:
- Actor: character followed around a troupe of performers with his or her progenitor from a very young age, performing in front of an audience before the age of 7. As such, the character is very comfortable speaking in public. Has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of acting, with 10 points of knowledge in the full study.
- Assassin: character has learned the art of assassination, regardless of class, this being directly taught to the character at a young age. The character has also been trained in a weapon preferred among his or her culture and race, according to the hereditary weapon page (see link on table). This weapon should be treated as a bonus proficiency, though the character must purchase the weapon. Finally, as a jack-of-all-trades, the player is entitled to choose ANY two amateur abilities from any class or study for the character, other than those in the character's own class. These abilities increase from 0-3 points like any other ability gained from a progenitor. Character has committed murder anywhere from [1-4] times before entering the campaign, perhaps without desire, while pressured by his or her progenitor.
- Banker: character has personal experience with matters of banking and disbursement of capital, though with a limited amateur perspective. Would recognise a good risk, can make interest loans to whomever he or she wishes from own money supply. The character starts with a legitimate "writ of passage," which exempts the character from paying road and bridge tolls, or fees to enter a walled town or city, within the realm where the character enters the campaign.
- The character is also permitted to obtain a loan through credit up to 10 times his or her own starting capital; thus if the character began the campaign with 100 g.p., he or she could take out a loan up to 1,000 g.p. This loan must be paid back within a year at 6% interest; making good on the loan increases the character's credit in future.
- Buccaneer: Able to sail and swim, the character begins the game with a two-masted ketch without head or staysails, harboured at nearest lake or sea location in care of a friend; 75 ft. length, 77 tons cargo, 8 ft. draft, 5-14 crew, needs sailcloth. Character has offer to take one full load of goods to be shipped on contract, sailing time three weeks, with crew and captain to be paid 7 shares of 22 for the privilege; money to be paid by writ, reimbursed through a bank of the shipper's choosing. Goods at loading dock to be worth 700 to 1200 g.p., at least, exact number to be determined; value at destination estimated to be +50%. Further arrangements possible if job done well.
- Crusader: character has personally fought in a foreign land against members of another religion, having returned to the place where he or she enters the campaign. While the character has been taught that this is for the greater good, the character is free to make up his or her own mind; however, the character HAS been invested in a religion and MUST choose a religion to which he or she is permanently attached. Character has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of puissance, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study.
- As a member of a knight order (to be determined within the campaign), the former crusader and party have access to freely given healing, raise dead and resurrection in any city of more than 16,000 persons within the geographical distribution of that order. The order provides a heraldic crest; while there are dictates inherent in the order's philosophy, the character has free will regarding whether or not to follow them.
- Dancer: character has performed dancing before an audience since being a child; has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of folk dancing, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the the full study. This has built up the character's dexterity and strength, enabling bonuses to ability checks for those stats without raising the actual number for each.
- Dispossessed Noble: character's progenitor has lost his or her lands due to debts, disgrace or disfavour, with an even chance for each; as such, even though the character has been raised as a member of the nobility, and still is one in name, he or she has no land, no responsibilities and no official place in the social order — nor does there exist a legal path by which the lost property can EVER be regained. To be readmitted to the social order, the character must perform new deeds to win favour.
- Until that time, the dispossessed noble has been rigorously educated and therefore all studies associated with the character's class gain +2 points of knowledge above normal. He or she is entitled to use the apellation "Sir" or "Dame" with reference to his or her self in the presence of legitimate power; the character possesses a heraldic crest that demonstrates this right. The character's hereditary weapon must be chosen with respect to their normal number of weapon proficiencies. A standing invitation to court (within the kingdom of the character's entry into the campaign) enables the character to communicate with other nobles and persons attached to the monarchy, with but gives no right to directly address members of the royal family.
- Fence: character has connections with the underworld that can be exploited if the player wishes to continue the player's former activities: buying stolen goods and selling them. Some danger is inherent in continuing illegal activities. The character begins with a collection of stolen goods when entering the campaign, as shown on the stolen goods subtable.
|01-14||kegs of lager or stout|
|18-26||dried fish in barrels|
|27-35||wooden boxes of snuff|
|36-49||bottles of rare wine|
|50-56||bound heretical books|
|71-82||ornamental and fancy gems in pouches|
|83-00||bars of pure silver or gold|
- The total value of these goods equals [80-480] g.p. (6d8 x10). Where two things are indicated, a 50/50 chance of each should be rolled. Knowledge of the amount stolen is known to the local constabulary. The goods are conveniently hidden in a safe place for the character to collect at a convenient time. Character has every expection, however, that the stash will be found within [5-12] months (d4 +8) if they're not moved and sold.
- Guildmaster: character is not a guildmaster, but was raised by one, such that he or she grew closely acquainted with the management of a large workforce possessing both political and economic influence. Has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of mercantilism, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Character has no personal skill as a journeyman or master of the craft over which his or her progenitor controlled.
- A standing invitation to court enables the character to communicate with other nobles and persons attached to the monarchy, with but gives no right to directly address members of the royal family.
- The character also possesses a ring-seal that identifies him or her as a member of the guild; as such, products of that guild may be purchased for ⅔rds the usual cost, while services by that guild are guaranteed to the character should they be needed. This seal is recognised throughout the culture in which the character was raised (but not necessarily the one in which the character enters the campaign).
- Innkeeper: character's family owns an inn of some type, as indicated on the Guest House subtable; the property is located in the nearest appropriate location when the character enters the campaign. Character has spent many hundreds of hours serving customers, performing chores, witnessing the drama surrounding guests, directly attending to persons of high importance (as circumstances would suggest) or the worst level of criminal (if other circumstances result on the table shown).
- If the character is the eldest sibling, then he or she is set to inherit the property; if the character has no elder family member, and was raised as a mentor, then the character is considered the property owner when joining the campaign. Residence at the inn comes at no cost to the character in any event. See note for credit under "banker," above.
|01-03||Avenue-front city inn: stone house, highest quality; [7-12] generations; [9-16] rooms; bathhouse, laundry, stable & open air paddock; prestigious members of society||700 g.p.|
|04-09||Back-lane hospice: decrepit former home; [1-4] rooms, [5-8] palettes for sleeping; no services; indigent & criminals||140 s.p.|
|10-31||City street inn: 4-story half-timbered house; [2-8] generations; [3-12] rooms & common room; bathhouse, laundry, stable; tradespeople & merchants||225 g.p.|
|32-42||Roadhouse: collected wooden buildings, room for tents; [1-2] generations; [5-8] rooms, outdoor bath; stable & open air paddock; travellers||95 g.p.|
|32-78||Town street inn: 3-story half-timbered house; [1-4] generations; [5-8] rooms; laundry, stable & open air paddock; travellers, tradespeople & merchants||150 g.p.|
|79-92||Village hostel: 1-story sprawling common house, room for tents; no services; travellers & soldiers||40 g.p.|
|93-00||Way station: large outer yard for wagons & tents; [1-3] generations; barn, kitchen house; travellers||25 g.p.|
|†numbers are approximate|
- Character is entitled to 5% of the monthly income as a stipend until ownership of the property falls to the next heir; this in addition to capital gained. The owed money will be held until the character chooses to collect, or invested in the property as asked.
- Jester: character possesses a plethora of songs, storytelling and anecdotes which pleases others; this should not be taken as permission for the PLAYER to derail the campaign with snark or mocking. Nonetheless, in the campaign, though he or she starts with 10 pts. of knowledge as a jester, it's possible to accumulate 30 pts. and acquire the "jester's privilege." This allows the jokester to talk and mock freely without being punished. Players unable to make a joke can stipulate that a joke is made, without needing to insert the real article.
- Landed knight: character is a minor knight, invested as such regardless of class. He or she is entitled to use the apellation "Sir" or "Dame" with reference to his or her self in the presence of legitimate power; the character possesses a heraldic crest that demonstrates this right. The character's hereditary weapon must be chosen with respect to their normal number of weapon proficiencies. "Improve morale" is a sage ability that sets the standard morale for hirelings and associate non-player characters at 8, while those standing within 30 ft. of the character are improved to 7.
- Character possesses a knight's fee, an area of land consisting of 600 acres of marginal ploughland, good enough for planting only staple crops. Includes [20-120] acres of non-arable land. The fee is continuous, but snaking through a strategic valley or upon one side of a river upon a county or kingdom's border, depending on where the character enters the campaign. Tenants are optional; one tenant family can be placed on each "virgate" of 30 acres, with rents set at 80 c.p. per month. Character must personally collect rents or assign persons to do so. Property taxes equal 14 c.p. per acre per year.
- Landed knights are required to maintain a retinue of 25 equipped soldiers, barracked on the property, out of their own pocket. Additionally, in exchange for the knight's fee, the character is committed to take part in wars of the realm when called to serve.
- Landlord: Character owns [3-12] property lots in the nearest country town upon entering the campaign, with at least [1-8] of these lots being empty of development. The remaining properties should be rolled individually with a [20/80] chance as a two-story half-timbered house or a one-story wattle & daub hovel. Developed properties are rented, with houses renting at 5 g.p. and hovels at 14 s.p. per month. Taxes per lot are 3 g.p. per year. Character must personally collect rents or assign persons to do so. Character has official permission to improve on lots as he or she wishes.
- Marshal: character is not a marshal, but was raised by one, such that he or she grew spent many years in military settings and following the character's progenitor on campaigns. Character has multiple sage abilities associated with the study of puissance, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Character possesses a knight's fee (see landed knight for details, above). A standing invitation to court (within the kingdom of the character's entry into the campaign) enables the character to communicate with other nobles and persons attached to the monarchy, with moderate rights to seek a personal audience with the king or royal family in light of the progenitor's esteemed name in the realm.
|Left on a doorstep as a foundling or "born a slave"||character is the eldest sibling and rightful heir to the title/throne, but has been deposed at a young age by a usurper, most likely an aunt or uncle with their own child|
|Lost family at any time prior to entering campaign||character has been raised in secrecy and told the lie of a "lost family," so that he or she, having reached the age of maturity, can step forward|
|Raised by an aunt/uncle||progenitor is regent; character is the rightful heir upon reaching the age of 18, depending on his or her personal relationships with family|
|Raised by elder sibling||character cannot be the eldest sibling and yet is in line for the title until the eldest begets a surviving child.|
|All other results||character's potential obtaining of the title depends on the character's age and that of his or her siblings.|
- Musician: character has performed with music before an audience since being a child; has multiple abilities associated with the study of folk music, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. The study of music and emotional form has provided in the character with immoderate acuity on subjects related to intelligence and wisdom, enabling bonuses to ability checks for those stats without raising the actual number of each.
- Nobility: character is a member of the aristocracy and potential heir to the title over a provincial estate. This circumstance may not correlate with the circumstances of the character's birth [see Circumstances of Noble/Royal Birth subtable]. The character must be the eldest sibling to inherit the title; if not, the character may still rely upon the bequest of an estate within the province following the death of the progenitor. It can be seen from the circumstances surrounding the character's birth that the player character doesn't begin the game as a reigning noble, but instead must take some steps to become one — either waiting for the progenitor's death or taking matters in hand to become a usurper. In any case, the character may wait before deciding the time is right to possess the position.
- He or she is entitled to use the apellation "your grace," "my lord" or "my lady" with reference to his or her self in the presence of legitimate power; the character possesses a heraldic crest that demonstrates this right. The noble has been rigorously educated and therefore all studies associated with the character's class gain +2 points of knowledge above normal. "Improve morale" is a sage ability that sets the standard morale for hirelings and associate non-player characters at 8, while those standing within 30 ft. of the character are improved to 7.
|01-13||less than 2|
|14-47||2 to 2.9|
|48-68||3 to 4.9|
|69-81||5 to 6.9|
|82-89||7 to 9.9|
|90-94||10 to 12.9|
|95-97||13 to 15.9|
|98-99||16 to 19.9|
|00||20 to 29.9|
- The size of possession, determined by the Province Size subtable, is measured in 20-mile hexes. The character's will be the nearest province that fits the range indicated. Noble characters are allowed a 1 in 10 chance of rolling twice on the province size table, adding the lowest number of the first roll to both numbers of the second. Thus, if the character rolled "67" on the first roll and "82" on the second, their final result would be "10 to 12.9." If "less than 2" is rolled on the first roll, count it as adding "1" to the second roll.
- There are more than 1,200 provinces in the game world, of differing sizes — the character's is that which conforms to the size indicated which is nearest to the point where the character enters the campaign. The table is deliberately balanced so as to make inheriting a large province unlikely. If the intervening distance between the character and his or her homeland seems excessive, the DM is free to create a sub-province from an existing province and award that to the player.
- Painter: character has long dabbled in paint, having accumulated a reminiscent odour that even a cantrip can't eliminate — perhaps because the character would find the smell's absence abhorrent. He or she has multiple abilities associated with the study of painting, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. The character has also spent much time bartering paintings for food and other sundries, while the deliberate and precise application of paint to surfaces allows for a bonus to the character's dexterity checks. Has connections with numerous merchants and professionals with whom the character has contracted in relation to work done.
- Poet: character has scribbled in solitude for many years, occasionally presenting poems read aloud — occasionally in public to a general audience but more often to selective groups of the middle classes. Character has multiple abilities associated with the study of poetry, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Has perhaps written poems for the purpose of political commentary, religious zeal and the expression of love — certainly the last, however unsuccessful in all three categories.
- Puppeteer: character has performed many times in the public eye, but has also often encountered the religious belief that puppets are "works of evil." When best manipulated, puppets demonstrate unnaturally believable characteristices, that are taken to be evidence by some religious types that the puppet has been possessed by a demon, and that the puppeteer is the demon's master. Though almost always untrue — and a character entering the campaign with experience as a puppeteer certainly hasn't the skill necessary — the accusation pervades some cultures, so that a puppeteer must be careful before performing in publc. Character has multiple abilities associated with the study of puppeteering, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Starts game with a puppet 18 in. high and weighing 3 lbs., made of wood and shaped as the player wishes.
- Royalty: similar to nobility above, except that the character is a member of the realm's ruling family, though not one who's in line for the throne. Instead, the character is the offspring of the monarch's sibling, and therefore 1st cousins with the monarch's children — if children exist. If it should happen that the monarch's line ends, then it's possible the character's progenitor might become the reigning monarch, in which case the character would be in line for the monarchy if he or she were the eldest sibling. Another possibility is that the character's progenitor seizes the throne, killing the ruling line. Later, should the character ascend to the progenitor's rank, again through being the eldest sibling, then these circumstances may yet apply or present themselves as possibilities.
- The character's father or mother is the "Duke" or "Duchess;" the character must be the eldest sibling to inherit their estates and title. If not, the character may still rely upon the bequest of an estate within the province following the death of the progenitor. For circumstances where the character has no living family, see the Circumstances of Noble/Royal Birth subtable above. The character is entitled to use the appellation "your highness," "prince" or "princess," as due his or her rank. The character's heraldic crest is that of the realm. As with the noble, the character has been rigorously educated (see Noble for details). Character has multiple abilities associated with the study of motivation, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study.
- The character's progenitor does not rule over a province, but instead possesses large estates within the character's realm. To determine the size of these estates, roll twice on the Province Size subtable above, adding the lowest number of the first roll to the highest number of the second. These numbers combined indicate the number of 20-mile hexes comprising the estates controlled by the character's progenitor; the host realm for estates of this size will be the nearest that is at least double the size of estates indicated. For example, the player rolls a total of 6.9 hexes with two dice; the nearest realm that is sufficient in size and population is the character's homeland (double the area of estates, at least double the population upon those estates). The estates are more likely to be scattered throughout the realm rather than in one place; these estates will comprise between 200 and 1,200 "bovates," or 30-acre partitions, per 20-mile hex. One bovate is occupied by one family, and so if the character's progenitor were to preside over estates this extensive, he or she would have some 5,000 families, or 25,000 persons, as tenants. See "Landed knight," above, for details on rents and property taxes.
- Ruling Monarch: similar to royalty, above, except that the character is potentially in line for the throne. The character must be the eldest sibling to inherit; if not, the character will be named a "Duke" or "Duchess" upon the death of the progenitor, when his or her sibling ascends to the throne. See Royalty for notes on a duke or duchess's estates, understanding that the size of estate given depends on the number of siblings ascending to the rank; siblings who are the fourth or more eldest are given titles in name only, without estates, but with a sinecure (see wisdom source, above).
- Until that time, the character is entitled to use the apellation "your royal highness," "prince" or "princess." The character's heraldic crest is that of the realm. As with the noble, the character has been rigorously educated (see Noble for details). Character has multiple abilities associated with the study of motivation, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study.
- Sculptor: character has spent long periods managing heavy materials such as wood, clay and stone, working largely in solitary conditions and bartering work for food and other sundries. He or she has multiple abilities associated with the study of sculpture, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Has connections with numerous suppliers for raw materials, as well as merchants and professionals with whom the character has contracted in relation to work done.
- Singer: character has an excellent, resonant voice and has performed before an audience since being a child; has multiple abilities associated with the study of folk music, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Performance and emotional expression has provided the character with a very likeable persona, so that he or she receives a bonus when making a charisma check.
- Squire: The character has received a bequest of [1-4] "carucates," land sections of 120 acres each, with four 30-acre "virgates" each, all occupied. He or she is entitled to the apellation, "your honor" or "m'lady" with reference to his or her self among lesser persons; the character possesses a heraldic crest that demonstrates this right. Rents for each 30-acre virgate are 65 c.p. per month; character must personally collect rents or assign persons to do so. Property taxes equal 14 c.p. per acre per year.
|01-24||Alehouse: middle-class tavern, tradespersons and merchants; nearest town-settlement of more than 3,000 persons||155 g.p.|
|25-27||Beer garden: austere open air drinking park, middle & upper classes; closed 5 mths of year; nearest city-settlement of more than 16,000 persons||250 g.p.|
|28-66||Country pub: small house, locals; nearest country town||125 g.p.|
|67-81||Sailor's Drinkhouse: quayside tavern, churning patronage; nearest seaside manufacturing or commercial town||94 g.p.|
|82-87||Soldier's Den: tavern for soldiers only, churning patronage; nearest manufacturing or commercial town||78 g.p.|
|88-91||Sovereign Arms: rich public house, upper class & aristocracy; nearest city-settlement of 10,000 persons||390 g.p.|
|92-00||Wineshop: tavern for wine drinking; tradespersons & merchants; nearest town-settlement of 1,000 persons in wine-growing country||185 g.p.|
|†numbers are approximate|
- Tavern keeper: similar to innkeeper, in that the character's family owns a tavern of some type, as indicated on the Public House subtable. Location given on the map; country towns have an infrastructure of type-3; manufacturing towns, type-2; commercial towns, type-1. See settlements. Churning patronage describes establishments that are varyingly very busy for short periods and very quiet for long periods, reducing monthly income.
- Character has spent many hundreds of hours serving customers, with varying forms of service given depending on the kind of establishment. If the character is the eldest sibling, then he or she is set to inherit the property; if the character has no elder family member, and was raised as a mentor, then the character is considered the property owner when joining the campaign. First three drinks for the character at the establishment come at no cost, but no others in the party can drink for free. Character is entitled to 5% of the monthly income as a stipend until ownership of the property falls to the next heir; this in addition to capital gained. The owed money will be held until the character chooses to collect, or invested in the property as asked.
- Usurer: "usury" is the illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest; the character has experience with banking and making loans, though has no legal right to do so. Would recognise a good risk, can make interest loans to whomever he or she wishes from own money supply. The character is also permitted to obtain a loan through credit up to 10 times his or her own starting capital; thus if the character began the campaign with 100 g.p., he or she could take out a loan up to 1,000 g.p. This loan must be paid back within a year at 9% interest; making good on the loan increases the character's credit in future.
- Writer: character has scribbled in solitude for many years, occasionally producing written materials for other persons to read; he or she feels on the verge of being able to write their first book, but hasn't done so yet. Character has multiple abilities associated with the study of prose, with 10 pts. of knowledge in the full study. Understands the manner of using a printing press, but has only a little experience with it.
In the time between being trained to become a character class and learning the habits and skills of their progenitor's profession, characters have also had time of their own in which to build relationships, learn the ways of the world, get themselves into terrible trouble and win the hearts and minds of other persons in their orbit. For the most part, it's assumed the character has been a perfectly normal person in these things — neither special nor egregiously foolish in their day-to-day actions. Yet for each character, certain distinctive moments have occurred, relating to choices made by the character, their personal exceptional talents (or lack thereof), their tendencies and interests and finally, their interpersonal relationships.
Together, these impose four rolls on the character: two associated with intelligence and two associated with wisdom. Good rolls provide benefits for the character, reflecting a time well spent. Bad rolls, on the other hand, describe moments of imprudence, stubbornness, churlishness or wanton disregard for doing what's right.
|+17||Possesses only one sage study, "Puissance," with no possibility of knowledge points in any other study or sage ability; supercedes results from progenitors and elsewhere.|
|+16||Possesses any two sage studies within the field of "Mastery of Arms," but no more than two, and no knowledge of any other study or any other field; singular sage abilities gain through progenitor are viable.|
|+15||Possesses two fields, "Animal Training" and Mastery of Arms, and may choose any study from those; has no knowledge of any other field, except those possibly gained through progenitor.|
|+14||Character must abandon one field permanently from their collection of sage studies; no other effects|
|+13 to +12||Character has spent time in prison: [roll d20] one year (1-8), two to four years (9-15), five to eight years (16-19), nine to sixteen years (20); add intervening time to character's age; see Crime subtable|
|+11||Character is a wanted criminal and is presently a fugitive from the law in another province, for actions taking place in the last [2-5] months; see Crime subtable|
|+10||Gambling, waste and foolishness has caused the character to lose all but 20% of their rolled starting capital upon entering the campaign|
|+9||Character's choice of associates was very poor; their betrayal has swindled the character out of his or her starting capital, leaving the character with nothing but a pair of breeches, shirt and a loin cloth.|
|+8||Although already invested in a religion, the character's choices have led him or her to be excommunicated; which can be reversed through an act of faith|
|+7||If the character is a male, he has fathered a child out of wedlock; if the character is female, then she is pregnant upon entering the campaign and due to give birth in [4-9] months.|
|+6||Trust and generosity to the character's family members has reduced the character's rolled starting capital by [20-80%]|
|+5 to +4||Character has acquired an addiction to a substance that requires a daily or weekly dose to maintain [see Addiction subtable]|
|+3 to +1||Character had a mis-spent youth, so that it's taken [2-5] more years than ordinary to complete his or her training; add intervening time to character's age|
|0||Through an act of foolishness, the character has suffered a permanent malady of some sort, from mild to egregious [see Reckless Malady subtable]|
|-1||A touch of luck has marginally increased the character's coin; add 10% to starting capital|
|-2||The character performed a small act of heroism some [2-12] years ago; this has won the character a gold medallion from a squire, noble or royalty, whichever is one rank above the character.|
|-3||Character has acquired the ability to play an instrument; player may choose any instrument light enough to be carried.|
|-4 to -5||Mindful of the character's progenitors, the character has diligently saved their money to day; add 20% to starting capital|
|-6||Fall in love; in the event of this roll, the feelings are returned and the would-be partner is merely waiting for the engagement to be declared|
|-7||Character helps to recover a buried treasure, receives a reward of [100-600] g.p.; add to starting capital|
|-8||Distinguished service on the character's part has secured him or her a writ of passage within the realm where entering the campaign|
|-9 to -10||Character possesses credit, having proved their reliability and worth|
|-11||Investments and support given to a venture has profoundly increased the character's wealth; double starting capital|
|-12 to -14||Character is a born scholar, easily mastering his or her studies; improve all class sage studies by 2 pts. and subtract one year from the character's age.|
|-15 to -16||Through favours, problem solving and cleverly manipulating the character's progenitor and instructive masters, the character begins the campaign with two potions; player's choice|
|-17||Due to the character's diligence in studies and extracurricular efforts, the character is given an honourary title, in accordance with his or her character class|
We begin by creating an adjusted intelligence number, rolling a d20 and subtracting the character's intelligence. This produces a number between 17 and -17, determining the result on the Choices table. Further notes on the table are as follows:
- Depleted sage abilities (results +17 to +14): The player's decision to assign a 6 or less to a character's intelligence provokes a 20% chance that the character will lose most or some of his or her sage abilities. In most cases, the character's woeful intelligence with respect to education and knowledge can be overlooked, supposing the character is a natural savant of some kind that would enable a sufficient level of practical skill. But it must be acknowledged that there's a chance the character will be so dull-witted that only the bare minimum of special training will have taken hold.
- Bear in mind that characters with an intelligence of 5 or less can only be fighters, which is why the sage studies and fields are described exactly for the first three results of this section. It isn't possible to get a +17 result unless the character's intelligence is 3; and none of these results can occur if the character has an intelligence greater than 6. It is therefore a rare non-fighter who would lose a sage study; and it is something that can never happen to assassins, bards, illusionists, mages, paladins, rangers or thieves, as all these classes require an intelligence higher than 6.
- Criminal activities (results +13 to +11): For whatever reason, the character tried to improve his or her situation through breaking the law, which has not turned out so well to date. If the character has already been to prison, then the location of that prison will be the nearest settlement of more than 2,000 persons from where the character entered the campaign. If the character is on the run, then a random adjacent province to that where the character enters the campaign needs to be rolled — that province is where the character committed his or her crimes and is the one seeking the criminal character's recovery. In all cases, the character was definitely guilty — though there's no requirement on the character's part to admit it to anyone.
|01-15||Murdered a peasant|
|16-20||Murdered a tradesperson|
|21-35||Committed assault against an official|
|36-70||Committed petty theft from a trading shop|
|71-80||Committed petty theft from a merchant's house|
|81-85||Expressed words of sedition against the monarchy|
|86-90||Expressed words of heresy against the religious establishment|
|91-00||Damaged and set fire to property|
- The chance of bounty hunters appearing to seize the character is a roll of 2 on 2d6; this roll should be made once per month. If the character moves one further province distant from the one where he or she pursued the crime, this chance drops to a 3 or 4 on 3d6. If the character moves further again, at least three provinces from the crime, this chance drops to effectively zero.
- The Crime subtable gives a general description of the crime committed; sentences are utterly arbitrary, so the time spent in prison is irrelevant to the atrociousness of the crime. Thus the character may do 10 years or more for a relatively benign act, or receive only one year for murder. There is a small chance that the character may still possess the stolen goods, if he or she has the right progenitor. The actual words spoken against the monarchy or religious establishment are up to the player. The total property damage is limited to 500 g.p. The player may fill in further details as desired.
- Gambling, et al (result +10): this reflects a combination between pursuing vices of varying kinds, the choice being left to the player, causing the character to lose much of their starting capital. Anyone might go through a time like this; it's meant to be something in the character's past, that's been overcome as the character gains wisdom, and not as a prescription for what the character is like now.
- Choice of associates (result +9): like gambling above, the character has allowed his or her self to fall into a bad group of people, who succeeded in depleting nearly all of the character's resources. The character therefore begins the game in a position of want, being unable to buy so much as an apple to eat. Naturally, it's expected that the party should pity the character, giving over some starting capital and letting the players work out how the debt should be reasonable repaid.
- Excommunication (result +8): while the character was raised in the local religion of his or her birth country, actions taken and mistakes made have led the character to be denied the privilege of taking part in the organised rituals of that faith. A sigil has been placed on the character that makes it possible for any leader of that religion to recognise the excommunication. The character can, if wished, choose another religion; or he or she can restore their privileges by participating in an "act of faith," which requires a sacrifice of a quest — the exact nature of which is left up to the non-player priest whom the character must apply for restoration to the faith. Circumstances are dependent on which religion has excommunicated the character.
- Pregnancy (result +7): however unintentional, the character has been involved with creating a baby that's [4-9] months along at the time of the character's entry into the campaign. If the character is male, the mother is located in the nearest hamlet or village; the father knows the mother's name and knows of the pregnancy but has not made any declarations to marry. As such, he's not exactly welcome to those of the woman's family who may or may not know of the pregnancy. If the baby is more than 5 months along, then they certainly know; otherwise, there's a 70% chance they know if it's the pregnancy is in the 5th month and 25% if it's in the 4th. The choice of what the father is to do is left up to the player.
- If the character is a woman, then it's she whose pregnant at the start of the campaign. She knows who the father is but has no expectations that there will be a declaration of marriage. It is up to the character to confront the father or decide to bear the child alone.
- Unless the character is in the 9th month of pregnancy, nothing about the character's abilities is affected. In the last month, she suffers a -1 penalty to hit and -1 to all healing she receives. In the last two weeks, these adjustments are doubled to -2. If at any time the mother is wounded, then there is a 1 in 20 chance that she will miscarry. Upon giving birth, the mother must make a system shock survival roll according to her constitution, or die during the event. There is a 1 in 6 chance that the baby won't survive. There are means by which the character is able to abort the fetus, but the particulars are left up to the innovation of the character. Any attempt to abort will require a system shock roll with a -2 penalty to the character's constitution. Failure to succeed in this roll, just as in giving birth, will kill the character as well as the baby.
- Trust and generosity (result +6): while the character has diligently maintained his or her studies and duties, the character's family members have not; this has caused relatives, fellow mates and other acquaintances to winnow away the character's gold, a choice the character has allowed to continue until entering the campaign. As such, the character only has 2d4 x10% of their rolled starting capital when entering the campaign. As it stands, the character has been paying 3 g.p. per month to maintain his or her relations and associates; this can stop now that the character has joined the party, or it can continue as the character wishes.
|01-71||[1-6] oz. tobacco daily|
|72-79||[1-4]+4 oz. hard liquor daily|
|80-96||[2-8]+4 oz. ale daily|
|97-00||1 oz. opium weekly|
- Addiction (results +5 to +4): the character has allowed his or her self to become addicted to one of four substances, which the character must make use of on a regular basis or suffer a -10% penalty to all of his or her ability stats — with resultant fractions being discarded. Thus, a character with a 9 intelligence would count as an 8, the 0.1 being dropped. However, so long as the character obtains their addiction, their abilities are unaffected.
- The character has no special protection against intoxication or physical deterioration; failure to cease the addiction will double aging penalties to the character upon reaching middle-age and beyond. Nor can the character simply refuse the addition; detoxification is a difficult and lengthy process. The Addiction subtable indicates how much substance must be taken; the form that it's taken is left to the player. The character can smoke or use snuff. Hard liquors must be at least 6% alcohol; ales must be at least 2%. Each of these can be consumed while the player is active. Opium requires a 12-18 hour period to smoke and recover from, during which time the character lacks all function or lucidity.
- Mis-spent youth (results +3 to +1): reflects a common attitude in which the character failed to take his or her studies seriously, or showed any concern for the future. The time wasted may or may not be looked upon fondly; in any case, the only effect is that it's made the character older by [2-5] years when beginning the campaign than might have been if the character were more diligent as a youth.
|01-45||Fierce scar upon the face or neck; -1 to charisma checks||88-90||Blinded in one eye; affects ranged weapons, surprised 4 in 6 from bad side|
|46-58||Accident has left the character with a permanent limp; -1 stride||91-96||Severe burn on one side of body; -2 to charisma checks|
|59-72||Loss of [1-3] toes; -1 to dexterity checks related to balance||97||Missing right or left hand; cannot use two-handed weapon; can opt for hook-hand as a proficiency|
|73-79||Loss of one finger; -1 to weapons used with that hand||98||Full loss of right or left arm; cannot use two-handed weapon or weapon & shield|
|80-82||Loss of two fingers; -2 to weapons used with that hand||99||Partial loss of right or left leg; character possesses peg leg; -2 stride|
|83||Loss of 3 fingers; -4 to weapons used with that hand||00||Loss of both eyes; character is blind; there's been time for the character to adapt to this malady.|
|84-87||Rendered deaf in one ear; surprised 3 in 6|
- Reckless malady (result 0): in a moment of folly and recklessness during the character's path, coupled with great misfortune, the character has suffered a lasting consequence as a result. The Reckless Malady subtable indicates the damage that's been done and its consequences. Some possibilities offer a grave concern for the character's wellbeing and comfort.
- Which leg, arm, hand, foot, eye, ear, toe or finger is affected should be rolled randomly. Balance checks are those relating to the character falling or tumbling. Effects to stride are penalties against action points only when the character is walking, running or sprinting. A specially made shield can be used by a character with two arms but lacking a hand; but suiting into the shield and removing it requires twice as many action points than usual. One eye affects depth-perception; so missile ranges are normal at close range, but penalties are doubled at medium and long ranges. Extensive burns will reach from fingertip to [5-40]% of the character's face; these are healed and offer no special discomfort. The hook-hand causes 1-4 damage as a weapon. See blindness rules for special considerations. All lost body parts can be restored with regeneration if the character wishes. Scars, burns and a limp can be healed with the clerical 6th level heal spell. These may not be easily available when the character enters the campaign.
- It's appreciated that many campaigns will resist the possibility of saddling a character with the loss of an arm, leg or their eyesight upon entering the game, especially if that character must start at 1st level. DMs anxious to mitigate this result may state that the malady happened in the past, with the character having been healed prior to their campaign entrance.
- Touch of luck (result -1): this may be explained by the death of a relative, found money, an unexpected gift from a stranger or similar event.
- Heroism (result -2): the heroic act can be invented by the player. Examples would include saving a child from drowning (if the character is able to swim), carrying an important message, putting out a fire in time, tackling a thief, giving warning of a disaster, etcetera. The medallion wouldn't be solid gold, but would be worth at least 100 g.p., and would have some role-playing value when establishing the character within the realm where the medal was awarded. Fame is fleeting, however, and NPCs in authority may not care much about a noble, village or child that was saved or given aid ten years ago.
- Play an instrument (result -3): the character has in his or her spare time learned to play a musical instrument reasonably well, as an amateur with 10 knowledge points. This ability increases at d4-1 [0-3] per level. If the character already possesses this ability either due to being a Bard or through their progenitor, then the specific increase indicated here is added to that gained elsewhere. This bonus is only granted through this adjusted intelligence number.
- Saved money (results -4 to -5): by dutifully following the advice of the character's elders or mentor, the character has laboured, practiced a life of moderation, resisted temptation and has wisely never borrowed or lent money to others. It can be surmised that this has made the character something of a serious-minded, unadventurous stick-in-the-mud, but once joining the campaign the character is under no obligation to keep from being a spendthrift.
- Fall in love (result -6): this occurs with the appreciation that "love" is not a choice, and that every character has undoubtedly fallen in love prior to joining the campaign whether or not they've received this result. However, in this case the character has intelligently pursued the matter so that the perspective "amour" is waiting for "the day." The character may, therefore, propose, set an engagement or get married, as he or she will; or put off the engagement until having made his or her "fortune;" or decide they're not really ready for the commitment, as wished. The result merely states that the partner is definitely willing — and it may be assumed that whatever the player wishes the character to do, his or her NPC love will understand, as he or she is IN LOVE with the character, and will understand the character's motivations, whatever they are. It's possible, then, that the amour would come along adventuring, if asked; or help protect a home where equipment or treasure can be stored. This depends on the character's abilities and background.
- For game purposes, roll a d20: commoner and untested (1-3), comrade (4-13), 1st level, of the character's own class (14-17), 1st level, random class (18-19), 2nd or 3rd level, random class (20). The amour's progenitor should be rolled, granting abilities of some kind. A "commoner" has no experience level. "Hardened" indicates they've been trained somewhat to fight. Amours of a "random class" are of some other class than the character.
- Buried treasure (result -7): the character has taken part in a small expedition to a place within 100 to 600 miles from the place where the character enters the campaign, in order to recover a hidden treasure horde, a sunken ship or to secure a legacy on behalf of the expedition's leader. This experience gives the character some knowledge of that small part of the world along with the amount of gold pieces secured as a reward.
- Distinguished service (result -8): the "service" performed will have much to do with the character's secondary profession gained from his or her progenitor. A farmer might be granted the benefit for helping quell a rebellion, while a guard might recieve it for capturing a dangerous criminal. The player is encouraged to use his or her imagination. The "writ of passage" exempts the character from paying road and bridge tolls, or fees to enter a walled town or city, within the realm where the character enters the campaign. If the character already possesses this through another source, the character will instead receive a "merchant's charter," permitting the character to sell goods directly in the market place, having paid a nominal fee of 5 g.p.
- Possess credit (results -9 to -10): the character has proven to be dependable and respectable, and is therefore permitted to obtain a loan up to 10 times his or her starting capital. Thus, if the character began the game with 100 g.p., he or she could take out a loan up to 1,000 g.p. This loan must be paid back within a year at 6% interest; making good on the loan increases the character's credit in the future. If the character has already received this benefit from some other source, then the interest charged is lowered to 5%.
- Investments (result -11): presumes the character has sold off his or her investments prior to entering the campaign. The character retains contacts with prospective developers, however, and may, if wished, choose to invest up to five times his or her starting capital in another venture. This opportunity exists for a year from the time when the character starts in the campaign, and must be undertaken in the province where the character's entry in the campaign occurred. The success of this investment is by no means guaranteed.
- Born scholar (results -12 to -14): the character was a prodigy, enabling the completion of all studies in a shorter time — thus the character's age is reduced by one year when entering the campaign. The knowledge to sage studies and abilities is a one-time improvement.
- Favours & problem solving (results -15 to -16): as implied, the character has cleverly manipulated the generosity of people within his or her orbit to grant the boon of two potions. As the character has the choice of which potions are gotten, since those were the ones the character vied for, these may be two uses of the same potion, or different ones, as wished. Only two uses of potion are gained.
- Diligence in study (result -17): the title granted is of the professional sort, so this varies considerably with regards to the character's class. Assassins and thieves are "guildsmen" and "guildswomen." Bards are "collegiates." Clerics are "deacon," "father" or "mother," or possibly "master" in some religions. Druids are made a "member of the order," usually related to a tribe, plant or animal. Fighters are a "master-at-arms," even if they have no special fighting skills. Illusionists become a "professor," either of science or art, as the character wishes. Mages adopt the distinction of a "doctor of magic." A monk is a "master" or "guru," depending on the culture. Paladins become a "knight errant," which distinguishes him or her from those having a noble title; "errant" presumes the character is searching for this. Rangers receive the title of "curator," as an overseer or guardian of the natural environment.
- Each title carries weight among members of the character's class and as a form of introduction to notable strangers, who are more apt to trust a character with such a title. In circumstances where trusting in the character's word prior to an adventure matters, the character receives a +2 bonus to charisma checks, supported by the character's 18 intelligence. This result cannot be achieved otherwise.
|Adj. Intelligence||Aversion or Aptitude|
|+17||Character is an "idiot" and needs supervision to care for his or her self, fight or take other actions; lacks social comprehension and is unable to form relationships; other limitations|
|+16||Character is an "imbecile," and while able to care for self and fight without supervision, needs some care from others; lacks social comprehension and is unable to form relationships; other limitations|
|+15||Character is a "moron," and while able to grasp most simple concepts, lacks understanding of complex relationships or many social concepts; begins game with two less weapon proficiencies than normal; other limitations|
|+14||Dense: begins game with one less weapon proficiency than normal; can be instructed in any ability up to authority status; limited to two henchfolk|
|+13 to +12||Reckless: character's display poor judgment regularly, so that hirelings and followers begin with a morale of 11|
|+11||Easily duped: character recieves a -4 penalty against charm effects|
|+10||Slow learner: the character's inability to learn has added 2-8 years to the character's starting age|
|+9||Incapable: character is all thumbs where it comes to objects with moving parts, denying the use of such items; worse, the character is also denies use of magical wands, rods or staves|
|+8||Negligent: character's inattention to details frustrates others, so that hirelings and followers begin with a morale of 10|
|+7 to +6||Illiterate: the character cannot read or write common language; spellcaster are still able to interpret magical writing.|
|+5||Bad memory: the character has a tendency to forget important details about their abilities or possessions in times of stress; this is managed by restricting the player's access to information.|
|+4||Moody: the character is a very impatient student and is subject to outbursts of temper that makes instruction difficult.|
|+3||Speech impaired: character suffers from a random moderately debilitating speech characteristic|
|+2 to +1||Forgetful: whenever travelling, the character makes a check if something has been forgotten and left behind|
|0 to -2||Literate: character is able to read & write; those formerly able to do so gain knowledge|
|-3 to -4||Weaponmaster: character gains one additional weapon proficiency|
|-5||Cook: character possesses the cooking sage ability|
|-6||Bargainer: character possesses the bargaining sage ability|
|-7||Natural combatant: character may choose two amateur sage abilities from the puissance sage study|
|-8 to -9||Second progenitor: the character possesses a second influencing parent or mentor who also provided skills during the character's childhood; roll again on the progenitor determination tables|
|-10 to -12||Gifted: the character may add a general field of study from any class and add it to their list of other sage studies|
|-13||Hypersensitive: acute sensitivity to touch; causes an inability to take action in high stress situations|
|-14||Photographic memory: the character is possessed with the ability to instantly memorise any image they see once, including text and images|
|-15||Clairaudient: natural gift allows the character grasp hints of sound too far away to be ordinarily heard, so long as the character is within line-of-sight, once per day|
|-16||Clairvoyant: natural gift allows the grasping of visions for brief flashes, once per day|
|-17||Telepathic: natural gift allows the reading of thoughts for brief moments, once per day|
As with Choices, above, a new adjusted intelligence number is created by rolling a d20 and subtracting the character's intelligence. All characters with an intelligence less than 6, whose adjusted number is lower than +14, are assigned to +14.
Otherwise, the adjusted intelligence number is applied to the Talents table. Further notes on the table are as follows:
- Idiot (result +17): a character can only achieve this result if he or she possesses a 3 intelligence, which only fighters can have. Most of the time, a "3" can be treated as merely indicative of the character being dense, but with this result the character has a mental age of 2-4 years. This translates as a minimum of speech, a dependency on others to secure food and encourage the character to eat, lead the character around, occasionally calm the character down and so on. The character cannot make plans, solve puzzles or interact meaningfully with others; cannot use or understand money; and he or she cannot have followers. He or she may possess one henchfolk upon reaching 5th level. The character is assumed to have only one weapon proficiency and can never have another. Any non-physical skills gained through the progenitor are discarded. Sage abilities are also limited to physical skills only. The character cannot be instructed. The character can fight, gain levels and improve as a combatant, but must be told when to fight and when to stop fighting. Considerable latitude must be given to allow playability, but the above limitations should be observed generally.
- Note: it's acknowledged that the obsolescent psychological definition used here would be offensive to some persons; however, an unenlightened Medieval/Renaissance world was extremely cruel to such members of society, much, much more so than the ill-use of a poorly chosen word; if the word captures by 1% of what it was like to be a "moron" in the 17th century and earlier, then it gives aid to understanding what the life of such disabled persons must have been like. DMs are free not to use the term, but should acknowledge that the condition is REAL, regardless of what it's called.
- Imbecile (result +16): a character can only achieve this result if he or she possesses a 3 or 4 intelligence, which only fighters can have. Under other circumstances, these numbers can be treated as the character being dense, but with this result the character has a mental age of 6-7 years. This translates as remembering to eat, some resistance against sleep when it's needed, an ability to fight without supervision ... but much more requires the help of other persons. The character cannot make plans, solve puzzles or hold an adult conversation; he or she understands how to spend money, but doesn't know the value of money; and he or she cannot have followers. One henchfolk can be gotten upon reaching 5th level, but no more. The character is assumed to have up to two weapon proficiencies and can never have more. Any non-physical skills gained through the progenitor are discarded. Sage abilities are also limited to physical skills only. The character can be instructed in physical skills up to amateur-status. See note under "idiot," above.
- Moron (result +15): a character can only achieve this result if he or she possesses a 3 to 5 intelligence, which only fighters can have. Under other circumstances, these numbers can be treated as the character being dense, , but with this result the character has a mental age of 11 to 12 years. The character can understand most matters, including the value of money, the necessity to eat and sleep, short-term planning and problem solving and the ability to act and fight without need of supervision. However, sophisticated matters and subjects are beyond the character's ability, such as a sexual relationship, position of responsibility or the nuances of long-term planning. The character can have non-levelled followers and up to two henchfolk, but no more. Character begins game with two less weapon proficiencies than normally indicated, even if this leaves them with none. The character can possess both physical and non-physical sage abilities, but with the latter is limited to amateur-status abilities only. Can be instructed in any ability up to amateur-status. See note under "idiot," above.
- Dense (result +14): may include any character class; characters with an intelligence of less than 6 are assigned this result if their adjusted intelligence number is not between +15 and +17. Character begins game with one less weapon proficiency, even if this leaves them with none. The character can be instructed in sage abilities up to authority status and no better; the character is also limited so that non-physical skills cannot be gained at authority-status in the character's sage fields or studies. The character can have only non-levelled followers and up to two henchfolk, but no more.
- Reckless (results +13 to +12): however careful the player may be with the character, the effect the character's nature has on others is that he or she appears to rush ahead without thinking, making rash judgments and often backbiting others for what seems like good reason to the character, but not to others. As a result, hirelings and followers may grudgingly perform duties or maintain the relationship, but they are mostly unwilling to risk themselves — which is reflected in their starting morale equalling 11 instead of the standard of 9.
- Easily duped (result +11): however wise the character may be, this result indicates that intelligence regularly lets the character down when resisting the power of charm. This is simply a case that the character's scattered thoughts are easily mastered by a stronger mind or a dweomer that takes advantage of a weak mind.
- Slow learner (result +10): training and school were very hard for the character, although he or she finally acquired their class and abilities with resolve or possibly great need. In either case, it took the character much longer than most to reach this goal, so the character's starting age is increased 2-8 years on account of this.
- Incapable (result +9): when faced with objects that have moving parts, such as pieces of artillery, bows, crossbows and various magical items, the character is simply "all thumbs." However he or she tries, the actions needed to reproduce the dexterous movements necessary are outside the character's ken. Therefore, using these objects is prohibited, regardless of the character's supposed understanding of the device. Likewise, the character is also unable to create the movement that makes it possible to use wands, rods or staves.
- Negligent (result +8): the character's inner frustrations, doubts and slow thinking causes him or her to fail in taking proper care of doing things, especially for other persons — such as forgetting to care for their things, pay them on time or otherwise take proper responsibility for his or her role. This results in hirelings and followers having a starting morale of 10 instead of the standard of 9.
- Illiterate (results +7 to +6): this result supercedes the character's ability to read & write according to the progenitor's result or the character's class. For the most part, this can only marginally affect the character's sage abilities, but those which require writing must be discounted from the character's skills. If the character is a spellcaster, he or she can read the necessary symbols needed to memorise and cast those spells, but this is done despite the inability to read or write common. The character can be taught to read and write in the usual way, by finding an instructor and through practice.
- Bad memory (result +5): in order to convey the character's difficulty in this regard, while the player is permitted to make notes regarding details about the game world, as well as his or her spells, these notes must be kept separate during ANY event in which the character is under pressure. Once a combat begins, or like situation, the player cannot review this material. He or she therefore must try to remember the character's spell list, available weapons, equipment list and so on. The player can ask another player for this information, and that player may provide one piece of information per action point — but doing so causes BOTH players to lose that action point as a part of that deliberation.
- Moody (result +4): whenever the character is placed in a situation where he or she wishes to learn something from an instructor, all success rolls are performed with a penalty of -2. This reflects the tendency of the character to become infuriated at things that are difficult to learn, or which fail to make the right impression due to idiosyncracies within the instructor. This slows the learning process but doesn't deny the character the eventual ability to learn.
- Speech impaired (result +3): the character has a biological disconnect in his or her thought process that makes it difficult to speak properly. To determine the nature of the impediment, the player rolls a d20 with the following results:
- 1-3: "cluttering," in which the character speaks too quickly and must be told to slow down; there is a 60% chance that anything said by the character must be repeated to be understood.
- 4: larynx impediment, which has no effect on the character's ability to speak clearly, but produces an unnatural sounding tone that cannot be corrected.
- 5: paralysis of speech, in which the character cannot speak at all for 1-4 action points, which must be spent attempting to enunciate words. If the character is a spellcaster, this disability has been overcome specifically due to casting times, but applies to all other speech.
- 6-20: stuttering, which extends the length of time to speak any specific sentence by 1 action point. Can be generally disregarded.
- For game purposes, each of these impediments have no effect on the character's charisma. It's assumed that in the game world, such habits are much more common than might be imagined, in fact occurring in about 1 in 20 persons — and are therefore not less compromising than the presence would be to a present-day observer.
- Forgetful (results +2 to +1): whenever the character heads out from a location, he or she must make an intelligence check 1-8 hours after leaving. If the check fails, it'll be discovered that the character has left 1 random item behind, having failed to pack them — even though at the time they'd intended to do so. These items cannot be the character's main clothing, nor body armour, nor items that would normally not be unpacked when camping for the night or resting at an inn. It would include the character's carried weapons, helmet, cap, gloves, belt pouch, a full sack, items of jewelry, magic items that might have been handled during the last stay (such as wands, rods or staves), a quiver, book, pole, cup, plate, cutlery, drinking flask, musical instrument and other items of this nature. Most often it should be something incidental and easily replaceable, but it's conceivable the character could have left their magic sword on the bed, or might even have left their dog chained to a stile somewhere.
- Other characters in the party may take it upon themselves to help keep track of such items, although this must be limited to one designated person in the party that attends to this responsibility. He or she then rolls a wisdom check if an item is forgotten, effectively retconning the incident with the protecting character saying, "Oh, you forgot this." If both checks fail, the item is truly left behind. Obviously, the wisest person in the party should be the designated attendant. If the item is forgotten and the character goes back, there is an 80% chance that the item can be easily recovered, even if it's magical. Otherwise, it's disappearance may be overlooked or it may begin a minor quest to restore its possession to the character.
- Because of the character's nature, forgetting something and recovering it has no effect on the character's resolve not to forget it in the future.
- Literate (results 0 to -2): character is able to read & write, and make use of practical books, if he or she was unable to do so before. If the character already has this ability, then the character should add +2 knowledge points to each study in the character's chosen field at the start of the game.
- Weaponmaster (results -3 to -4): character possesses a natural talent for one more weapon proficiency, which may be chosen from the weapons list as a whole, regardless of the character's class. The exception results because the character's ken is such that the weapon didn't need to be taught; the character simply had a natural gift for it's use.
- Cook (result -5): character has a natural talent for the making of food, enabling them to prepare meals as a person with the amateur-status cooking sage ability. As this skill wasn't learned through practical training, the character's knowledge of cooking doesn't increase as he or she gains levels. Further knowledge of cooking can be obtained through instruction, however. If the character is already a cook through a progenitor or as a character class, add 2 pts. of knowledge to their total.
- Bargainer (result -6): character has a natural talent for haggling when buying items, enabling them to buy items at a cheaper cost through negotiation. As this skill wasn't learned through practical training, the character's bargaining ability doesn't increase as he or she gains levels. Other ability related to business and merchant practices can be obtained through instruction. If the character already has the sage ability through a progenitor or as a character class, add 2 pts. of knowledge to their total.
- Natural combatant (result -7): character has a natural talent and skill at combat, so that they possess two amateur sage abilities from the study of puissance, even if they are not a fighter. The abilities to choose from include close drop, gain proficiency, hereditary weapon I, shield as a weapon and strengthened arm. Any proficiency gained from this bonus must be one that the character's class permits. As this skill wasn't learned through practical training, further knowledge in fighting doesn't increase as he or she gains levels — unless the character's class indicates otherwise.
- If the character is an assassin, fighter, ranger or paladin, and hasn't taken puissance as their chosen study upon entering the game, the two bonus abilities are given with the expectation that eventually the character will accumulate knowledge in puissance until such time as the other three unchosen abilities are also gained. If, however, the character HAS chosen puissance as their beginning study, then he or she may choose one authority-status sage ability in that study, to be had until such time as the character eventually becomes an authority in puissance.
- Second progenitor (results -8 to -9): When raised as a child, the character had not only one, but two progenitors, perhaps a father and a mother, mother and a grandmother, father and a mentor, or whatever combination of aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents and mentors seems best. The character therefore goes back to the beginning of the progenitor table and rolls again, potentially gaining additional knowledge and ability. The starting capital from this and the character's original progenitor are ADDED together. It is conceivably possible the character could have what seems like conflicting results; it's up to the DM to make sense of this, ensuring the character gets all that he or she is owed from having this result.
- Gifted (results -10 to -12): the extra field of study that's added cannot be chosen by the character at first level and is considered "out of fields" until the character is free to choose another field, usually at 7th level. Until it is chosen, studies in that field increase at d4-1 (0-3), even if the field is druidic (only druids gain a d6-1 out-of-fields increase, and only in their own fields). As stated, the field can be one from any class — it would not be from the character's own class, because the fields from that class are already in the character's possession.
- Hypersensitive (result -13): it seems anathema that a negative result should arise for what should be a benefit, but this is a malady that affects those with pronounced intelligence. The character is unable to wear rough-hewn fibres or leathers for clothing; doing so reduces all ability stats by 2 pts. Stress should not be on expensive fabrics, but upon those that are soft: flannel, muslin, velvet or velour, and kidskin or sealskin leather.
- If the character should fail a saving throw, cause friendly fire or break a weapon, the character suffers an intense moment of angst due to the perception of having "failed" something critical. The reaction is similar to being stunned, lasting one round. The character's inherent nature cannot abide failure, especially with small shortcomings that anyone might perform.
- Photographic memory (result -14): although the use of "photograph" is an anachronism, the ability describes the character's ability to look at a scene or an image and retain a perfect memory of it, even years later. If the character is a spellcaster that would normally be dependent upon the images in a spellbook, the character does experience a period of discontinuity following a spell's casting — and therefore cannot cast spells more often than other characters. However, the character does not need a spellbook to memorise a spell; once the discontinuity passes, after a sufficient period of sleep, the character can merely close his or her eyes and visualise the original writing as if it being read in the present. This halves the amount of time it takes for the character to order his or her mind, so as to be ready to cast the spell again — that is, rather than needing 15 minutes per level of spell to memorise the text, they need only 7½. Other benefits of photographic memory can be surmised in the remembering of people and written materials. The memory does not extend to things that are heard, only that which is seen.
- Clairaudient (result -15): this natural gift is very fleeting, lasting no more than three rounds — but so long as the character is within line-of-sight, they're able to hear the barest whisper upon concentrating, even if the whisper is spoken half a mile away. Furthermore, the character possesses an intuition that makes it possible to know exactly when they should concentrate in order to make the best of the moments they have, to learn something that's being said. Of course, if nothing is being said that might affect the character, the clairaudient can identify that by concentrating also. This ability can be employed but one time per day, as the end result is that it muddles the mind until the character can have a proper sleep of at least six hours.
- Clairvoyant (result -16): as with the clairaudient above, this natural gift is also very fleeting, lasting no more than three rounds. However, it enables the character to "see" things that are wholly unseeable; the scene behind a door, the contents of a closed box, what's immediately around the corner and so on. The range of this ability is a mere 100 ft., only 20 combat hexes, but it can nevertheless be employed to great effect once per day. The ability can be used again when the character has had a proper sleep of at least six hours.
- Telepathic (result -17): as with clairaudient and clairvoyant above, this natural gift is also very fleeting, lasting no more than three rounds. However, during that time, the character can read the thoughts of another individual within a range of 60 ft., or 12 combat hexes. This can be any creature with an intelligence of 5 or more, whether or not they are a humanoid. The only exception are creatures that have the power to influence the minds of others through ESP and mind control. The telepath cannot read the thoughts of these creatures, and attempting to use the ability will make the esper aware of the character's ability. This reading of thoughts permits obtaining knowledge that directly affects the character, as these thoughts will make themselves foremost in the target's mind, when the character attempts to read it. The ability can be employed one time a day, and requires two full rounds of rest to recover from its use; it will become available again when the character has had a proper sleep of at least six hours.
|+17 to +15||Character is actively hated and despised by all the character has known, including family, former friends and mentors|
|+14 to +13||Relations with family and friends are strained at best; for a long time the character has been selfish about his or her need to train as a character class|
|+12||Powerful enemies among the local elite have taken a dislike to the character, including squires and guild leaders; even persons of great importance are aware of the character's despised reputation|
|+11||Character has been banned from acting in business within 60 miles from where he or she enters the campaign, due to the character's former bad behaviour|
|+10||A sworn enemy has promised to kill the character over a dispute that has never been settled|
|+9||Animals distrust the character, perhaps because they sniff something wrong or the character lacks the necessary empathy; all relations with creatures of less than 5 intelligence therefore arduous|
|+8 to +7||Family treats the character with general contempt, taking every oppotunity to mock or deride the character, or otherwise to discourage the character from feeling supported|
|+6||Persecuted by a local gang of toughs, numbering between 3 and 8. These openly taunt the character cruelly whenever he or she is present, with no one having any trouble with this|
|+5 to +4||Character is heartily disliked by many people, so that whenever moving about, the character is subject to nasty looks, gossip and a strong desire to have him or her go away|
|+3||Character has been shunned by a love interest that he or she yearned to engage|
|+2 to +1||Family treats the character with indifference, barely acknowledging the character at all when he or she is around, asking if the character plans to move on in life|
|0||Ordinary upbringing; the character has had a "normal" life to date|
|-1 to -2||Character is close with his or her family, who are friendly and supportive, willing to provide hospitality, make small loans and willing to do safe work|
|-3||Character has a friendly, potentially serious relationship with a love interest|
|-4||Character is well-liked in his or her place of origin, hailed as a good person and treated as a friend; news of the character is sincerely desired|
|-5||Character's friends include two soldiers-at-arms who are ready to adventure with the character; see the Soldier-at-arms subtable|
|-6||Character is treated as the family favorite, regularly receiving gifts from home; his or her family will look forward to visits and news. Friends of the character will be treated well|
|-7||Character has popularity around the local town or village, getting a free drink once per day from the tavern, enjoying a 10% reduction in the cost of local goods and services|
|-8||Character is friends with the local constabulary or military, such that he or she can obtain weapons up to 20 g.p. for free, once every six months; military hirelings start with an 8 morale|
|-9||Character is well-liked with the local taverners and innkeepers that he or she lodges drinks for free every night, anywhere in the area|
|-10 to -11||Character has contacts with a local guild; see the Local Guild subtable|
|-12||An opportunity exists to ask a favour of a local noble, which the character has earned through acquaintance with the noble or with a member of the noble's kin|
|-13 to -14||Character has gained the retinue of 3-6 soldiers with a morale of 8 each; they will cost the character 6 g.p. per month if he or she wishes to retain them|
|-15 to -16||Character has an association with the Illuminati|
|-17||An opportunity exists to ask a favour of the realm's monarch, which the character has earned through acquaintance with the monarch's family|
Whatever the character may wish to do with his or her life, time has passed and the character has either made the most of their interpersonal relationships. This table exists to show whether the character has been despised or well-liked, has made friends and if those and the character's family can be relied upon. It's possible the character has good reason to turn his or her back on home, and perhaps never go there again, given that those people were never really understanding of the character's nature and ambitions. When interpreting this table, it's important to understand that this is how the character has BEEN, and should have no direct influence on what the character wishes to become, or upon things the character wishes to do, now that he or she has entered the campaign.
Here, the player creates an adjusted wisdom number, by rolling a d20 and subtracting the character's wisdom. This adjusted number is then applied to the Relationship table. Further notes on the table are as follows:
- Hatred (results +17 to +15): to obtain this result, the character must have a wisdom of 3 to 5 points, which means the character must be a thief, since only that class allows a wisdom less than 6. We may therefore assume the attitude towards the character is due to excessive thieving and other possible cruelties that have gone on for years. Importantly, the character has been dispossesed from his or her progenitor, who despite have taught the character how to be a thief, is displeased at the sort of thief the character has been. It must be understood that the bridge has been burned; these people who have known the character will never, ever find it in their hearts to forgive. That is how things are.
- Strained relations (results +14 to +13): while the character still has "friends," and family too if the character's other background generator supports that, there has been a long period of dissatifaction on both parts. Much of this has been due to the character's focus on completing his or her training, but likely it's also that the character has simply taken most everyone he or she knows for granted. It would be possible to mend these bridges, but it would take much work. The character's family, such as they are, would accept support; and over time would recognise a change in the character. But for the present, it's best that the character first demonstrate that he or she is capable of improving their reputation through deeds, generosity and the assumption of responsibility.
- The benefits of having a family in D&D may be overlooked; but a supportive family offers a place to rest and re-evaluate; they offer reliable knowledge and information. The progenitor in a family, along with the character's siblings, have the same skills the character does. Respected, they are reliable hirelings who work for free. And in their own actions, they will have the character's needs in mind, so that an unexpected boon may arrive at any time, as a result of the family working on the player's behalf. It's not something to be wholly disregarded.
- Powerful enemies (result +12): one way or another, the character has earned the enmity of several powerful persons in the district where the character enters the campaign. This may be deserved or not; it could be the result of things the character has done unwise, or a case of mistaken identity based upon the character's relatively low wisdom (which cannot be higher than "8" for this result) and generally bad reputation. However it's happened, the guard has been warned to keep an eye out for the character, and to gaol him or her on any pretense that presents itself. It would be best if the character got out of the province, and probably the whole kingdom, as the character's name has also come to the attention of a lord whose standing is equal to that of a count or countess. Therefore, should the character fall into serious trouble anywhere within the kingdom — or perhaps within adjoined kingdoms, depending on the size of each — it's very possible the character could be executed or gaoled for life.
- Banned (result +11): due to moments of bad behaviour and a growing distrust, the character is disallowed within 60 miles of the place where he or she has entered the campaign to invest in monetary ventures or sell goods of any kind, or hire persons for any purpose, on pain of being forced to spend 10 days in the stocks, and most likely a severe whipping besides. Perhaps the character has sold one too many lame mules, or passed around fool's gold a time too often, but in any event the character is not trusted in the neighbourhood. Even if the character convinces someone to do business, if this is discovered, pursuit and punishment is sure to follow. The character must, if he or she wishest to partake in business, seek another part of the world. In any case, the character is permitted to purchase goods at the market, but he or she must suffer to have a reliable local inspect the character's money, to see if it's fit to use.
- Sworn enemy (result +10): the character knows the name and person of the enemy, and is well aware of the threat to kill and the reasons why. Possibilities might be that the character has slept with the enemy's daughter or sister, than he or she is accused of destroying something of value, or ruining a reputation, or is blamed for spoiling the enemy's chances for advancement. In any event, the enemy is beyond deliberance and is intractable on the matter. How the supposed murder will happen, if it will be a personal meeting or involve the hiring of an assassin, or even that it might come to nothing in the long run, is something the character cannot know.
- Animal distrust (result +9): while the character retains his or her ability to make use of domesticated animals, riding animals cannot be mounted in a rushed manner, while directed animals have an effective "morale" of 9. This means the character must spend one full round plus the normal number of action points in order to mount an animal, so as not to appear threatening. Animals ordered across dangerous passages or directed to fight must make a morale check before obeying; and must again make a morale check if they are stunned in combat, just as any other combatant. A successful roll for a stunned animal lowers its morale by 1 pt., to a minimum of 3. Riding animals that have known the character every day for a year finally behave normally when mounted.
- Family abuse (results +8 to +7): essentially, the character's family supposes that he or she will amount to very little or nothing, and as such they do not miss an opportunity to say so, or remark upon the character's ill luck. However, this is still the character's family, and are willing to provide lodging if the character needs it (though not for friends and others), provide a meal or lend up to 3-12 s.p. once per month. Despite this, however, there is very sign that these people like the character.
- If the character has no family, as determined by the Family Table, then this behaviour applies to the character's mentor — who feels that although the character has completed his or her studies, the feeling remains that the character has done the bare minimum to succeed and therefore not deserving of the mentor's praise.
- Persecution (result +6): The gang's actions are relatively benign, in that they may harass or bully the character, but never stoop to out-and-out fighting. The group is definitely stronger than the character at 1st level, being made up of more persons and having experience levels between 1 and 3. The overall party might be a match, or more than a match for them; but the gang isn't looking for a fight to the death and will give way if seriously confronted by a stronger party. They might even mend their ways. But so long as they can, the gang will enjoy being able to taunt the weaker character — a situation made somewhat worse by the locals not especially liking the character either.
- The situation persists only as long as the character remains in the place, or nearest village, where the character enters the campaign. There's no need to resolve it; the character can just go elsewhere. But it can be stressed that the situation remains in the memory of the character, no matter where he or she goes, nor what's someday accomplished.
- Hearty dislike (results +5 to +4): As with persecution, immediately above, the result displays a general sentiment towards the character and not the motivation to actively hurt or even drive out the character from wherever he or she has entered the campaign. Again, the problem can be resolved easily by the character leaving that village, town, or even part of the city, if the place is big enough. But so long as the character stays, the quiet resentment of others will be evident. What the character has done to possibly deserve this dislike is possibly a misunderstanding or possibly deserved; it's left up to the player to decide.
- Shunned (result +3): the unrequited feelings of the character remain, as he or she still loves the individual who's refused the character's advances. This love interest, he or she, is nearby when the character enters the campaign; alive and active, and the character knows where to go if he or she wishes to see this person. But the love affair is definitely beyond reconciling; the character must live with the fact that he or she's been rejected. Reasonably, we may guess the status of the character's love is equal or one step above that of the character, as determined by the character's background so far.
- Indifference (results +2 to +1): the character's progenitor and family are expressly self-involved, to the point where the character's importance is next to nothing; perhaps at some point, when the character proves his or her self, they might come around, but for the present they approach the character with the attitude of, "You've grown up now, we've done our jobs, it's time for you to move on." Importantly, there's no animosity present in this; only the feeling that the character is old enough to get on with his or her life, while the character's family or mentor gets on with theirs.
- Ordinary upbringing (result 0): the situation at home is what might be called, "normal," with a family — or a mentor — that exhibit a modicrum of affection and love, with a somewhat reliable amount of support. The character may visit, but should not feel free to bring over friends for dinner or to stay the night. The character's family, and wider group of associates and acquaintances, have a general sense of the character being a worthy person who is owed a good life. Where other results fail to mention the character's family, this result is the default.
- Close family (results -1 to -2): the character's progenitor and family are always happy to see the character, readily offering a meal to the character and up to five other player characters ... even offering places to sleep for the night for up to six people, provided they stay no more than three days. If requested, the family can make a loan up to one twentieth the character's starting capital, as often as once a year, with only nominal expectation that the loan will be paid back. Members of the family will work for the character for periods up to thirty days in their own home, or three days "on the road," so long as what's being asked is completely safe. Asking too much, too often could hurt the character's relationship with his or her family.
- Friendly relationship (result -3): describes an ongoing amorous relationship with a potential partner that's been going on from 2-5 years. The co-partner is understanding of the character's adventuring interests and has agreed to wait for the day when the character may be ready to return and pledge to marry. Otherwise, the love interest is ready to part as friends with the character, if that's what's wanted.
- Well-liked (result -4): not only the character's family, but persons from the character's village or town/city quarter view the character as an important member of their community. As a result, the character will be met with friendliness and varying kinds of support upon returning home, including free drinks, food and lodging, with a cheerful willingness to help the character establish a permanent residence. Should the character be mentioned, the community members will be eager to hear any news about the character, and will graciously agree to provide a fine place for the character to be buried within, when the character's day of death arrives.
|01-14||archer||long bow||short sword (1-4), club (5-10)||ring mail (1-2), leather armour (3-7), none (8-10)|
|15-16||artillerist||short sword||dagger (1-9), club (10)||scale mail (1), leather armour (2-5), none (6-10)|
|17-26||crossbowyer||light crossbow||mace (1-9), club (10)||scale mail (1-2), leather armour (3-8), none (9-10)|
|27-45||footsoldier (heavy)||long sword||morning star & dagger (1-2), spear (3-9), dagger (10)||splint mail (1), chain mail (2-5), scale mail (6-10)|
|46-72||footsoldier (light)||short sword||spear (1-7), dagger (8-10)||ring mail (1), leather armour (2-10)|
|73-74||horse soldier (heavy)||scimitar||light crossbow (1), lance (2-4), horseman's flail/pick* (5-9), hand axe (10)||chain mail (1-2), scale mail (3-5), ring mail (6-10)|
|75-80||horse soldier (light)||horseman's flail/pick||small bow (1-3), lance (4), hand axe (5-10)||ring mail (1-4), leather armour (5-8), none (9-10)|
|81-91||horse soldier (medium)||horseman's flail/pick||small bow (1-2), lance (3-4), hand axe (5-10)||scale mail (1-4), ring mail (4-10)|
|92-96||pike soldier||pike||short sword (1-9), club (10)||leather armour (1-6), padded armour (7-10)|
|97-00||sapper||dagger||short sword (1-9), club (10)||leather armour (1-2), none (3-10)|
|* roll 50/50 to determine which|
- Soldiers-at-arms (result -5): these are life-long friends of the character who haven't obtained level-status, but are hardened and willing to fight. They possess a morale of 7. As friends, they're entitled to a share of treasure rather than monthly pay, and will consider any other arrangement an insult, leading to a rift and hurt feelings. Names can be provided by the DM or the player, as the campaign warrants.
- Type of training, weapons and armour are obtained from the Soldier-at-Arms Table provided. Horse soldiers will join in possession of appropriate light, medium or heavy warhorses. Soldiers will be proficient in their weapons and will possess the appropriate sage abilities for their profession.
- Family favorite (result -6): Whenever the character should appear, his or her family will be very welcoming, not only of the character but of the character's friends also. All shall be met with free drinks, food and lodging, and an honest desire for the family to get to know these friends of their offspring. Family siblings as young as 10 will be happy to work for the character, starting with a morale of 3 and showing an eager desire to learn anything the character wishes to teach them.
- Popular in town (result -7): Wherever the character happens to have entered the campaign, he or she will be treated as a very welcome person in the nearest town or village. If there is a tavern that exists, the character may count on recieving one drink a day there for free, as well as 50% off any meal. Local goods and services that are purchased by the character in this "home town" will cost 10% less than usual. If the character should decide to stay in some other town, and remain there, then regardless of the character's charisma, on account of his or her wisdom, the character will newly gain this popularity.
- Friends with the constabulary (result -8): Through past associations and time spent drinking with many guards, town watch or military persons in the community nearest where the character enters the campaign, the character may rely upon gaining information and help from about a dozen persons ranging between non-levelled and 3rd level. Asking these persons to fail to do their job would end the friendship, but otherwise the character would be able to learn much of what the residents of a typical guard house or barracks would know. The character can easily find reliable persons who can be hired as mercenaries, with an 8 morale to start. In addition, the character can "borrow," without expectation of it needing to be returned, any weapon costing up to 20 g.p. every four months, no questions asked.
- Well-liked by innkeepers (result -9): Because the character is so interesting to listen to, and makes the patrons feel more welcome, the character is free to lodge free in any inn, hostel or way station within 30 miles of the point where he or she enters the campaign; moreover, for taverns within the same range, the character is granted the first three drinks they'll have for free, provided the character doesn't abuse the privilege by always choosing the most expensive offerings on the menu. Once a week, the character can also eat for free at a tavern. Naturally, because the character is so popular, it's always especially favoured when the character spends a few hours visiting, before heading away for the night.
|01-03||alchemist's||prices at provincial apothecaries are reduced by 20%|
|04||assassin's||gives warning of any contract made against the character, while enabling the character to place contracts|
|05-09||freemason's||reduces all construction prices in the province by 10%|
|10-19||merchant's||allows the duty free transport of goods into provincial towns and cities|
|20||thieves'||immunity from theft by any member of the guild, with the possibility of recovering goods stolen by non-guild members|
- Contacts with a local guild (results -10 to -11): while the character is not a member, he or she is acquainted with members of a special guild, as determined by the table shown. Each type of guild brings its own benefits. "Provincial" describes within the borders of a realm's subordinate administrative division and not the whole realm — unless the realm has no subdivisions. Contact with the assassin's guild assures the character will be given personal warning by a friend if the character is targeted by an assassin; prices for the character to hire an assassin are standard, but negotiations and fee are easily begun, since the character already has the trust of this guild. If the character has been robbed, the local thieves' guild will set out to recover the stolen property on the character's behalf — and the character also has access to purchase stolen goods from the thieves' guild, if wished. Other general benefits, such as hiring members of each guild for other purposes, or seeking advice or knowledge from members of these guilds, are also available to the character.
- Noble's favour (result -12): at some point prior to joining the campaign, the character has done a service for a local ruler within the realm, of the rank of baron/baroness or count/countess, including all worldly equivalents. The choice of whom the service was done is left to the DM. It may be that the character attended training with the noble's offspring, or took part in a campaign led by the noble, or otherwise gave service in the form of advice or counselling (for, to receive this result, the character must have a wisdom of no less than 13). In return, the character may ask a favour of the noble that is within the noble's power to grant, which in no way diminishes the noble's power. Nor may a sum of more than 1,500 g.p. be asked for, whether in coin, goods or services.
- If, for example, the character were to ask to be made a squire over land up to 1,500 g.p. in value, then he or she would have to pledge fealty to the noble, that the noble's authority over that land would not be lost. If the character were to ask for the hand of the noble's offspring, then the character would need standing equal to the noble, gained in some other manner, and a previous relationship with said offspring. If the character were to ask for legal immunity within the noble's province, this could be granted, but rescinded if the character became an outlaw. In any case, the DM should counsel the player to understand that the "favour" must be treated as an exchange, in which not only the character benefits, but the noble also.
- Retinue (results -13 to -14): the character has acquired a collection of 3 to 6 retainers, who are ready to be completely loyal to the character, possessing a morale of 8. These individuals are non-levelled, but trained for combat, educated, deeply respectful of the character and willing to serve in any capacity recommended. Their progenitors should be rolled, to determine what additional abilities each has. They will be armed according to the soldiers-at-arms subtable. Each costs a fee of 6 g.p. per month; if the character is unable to pay, these retainers will return to their homes and live by their own means, but will always be available to return to the character when called for, no longer how much time has passed.
- Illuminati (results -15 to -16): the character has acquaintances who are members of an extensive, secret cabal whose influence is said to be felt throughout the world. The Illuminati, it's believed, has members in every royal court, and in some cases, seated upon the throne, while the larger organisation controls scores of lesser associations and societies whose public works support the Illuminati's designs. It is sometimes believed that the Freemason's are a front for the Illuminati, but this may also be said of many other groups. The character's relationship to this cabal is obscure at best, in which the character has become acquainted with a cell of three individuals who are interested in the character's eventual joining of the Illuminati's number. This shall require the character to gain a legitimate title as an authority or societal head, and the donation of 50,000 g.p. to the Illuminati.
- In the meantime, as proof this offer is not a fraud, the character is able to contact the Illuminati clandestinely, in a manner known only to the character (and which cannot be shared with others, as the Illuminati would surely know), to obtain special favours no closer than four months apart. These favours include arranging for an assassin; a raise dead, regeneration, restoration or resurrection spell; a letter introduction to a noble or monarch within three hundred miles of the character's present location; evacuation from a hostile state, even one that's under occupation from an enemy; a pardon from prison; or an opportunity to consult with any individual in the world whose location is known. Once arranged, these things will usually happen within a few days, signifying the power of the cabal ... but in some cases, where circumstances requires long travel, it may take weeks or even months to arrange a meeting. A message can be gotten to the Illuminati from any city in the world with more than 15,000 persons.
- If the character becomes a member of the Illuminati, then he or she will be expected to use their influence to enable other members in the same manner as the above. For example, if the character were an assassin, every 2 to 5 months, the character would be asked to perform an assassination at no charge, without explanation given. If the character were a cleric of sufficient level, then he or she would be required to perform spells for chosen individuals, no questions asked. Once a member of the Illuminati, the character can ask a favour no closer than three months apart, instead of four.
- Royal favour (result -17): Like the favour from a noble, but instead the favour may be asked of the monarch in the realm where the character enters the campaign. The value that's available to the character as a request is increased to 4,500 g.p. Moreover, the character can be asked to be named a landless knight, or dispossessed noble, which the monarch will be eager to grant, as this costs him or her nothing and saves a great deal of money.
Predispositions & Shortcomings
|+17||Character suffers from great ignorance and superstition; all saves vs. fear and mind control spells carry a -8 to -6 penalty against success|
|+16||Character displays great foolishness and gullibility; all saves vs. mind control spells, perceiving disguises or illusions carry a -5 to -4 penalty against success|
|+15 to +14||Character is cowardly and lacking in confidence; if stunned, the character must make a save vs. paralysation; if this fails, the character will flee the combat at stride-8 for one round, before restoring their courage|
|+13||Character has an awful temper. While the character means well, set-backs have a tendency to cause the character to over-react in a manner that distracts the character's attention, while undermining his or her effectiveness|
|+12||When competing against another character for a prize, such as a magic item, losing creates a wave of such envy in the character that for a full day his or her wisdom is reduced by 2 points|
|+11 to +10||Character's gluttonous behaviour is so rife that the character must eat 50% more food than normal in order to feel "full"; moreover, the character's weight is increased by 10 to 25 per cent|
|+9||Gullibility makes the character so impressionable that he or she is liable to spend money frivolously unless restrained by an ally or companion AND a saving throw is made|
|+8||Character is so possessed with belief in the occult and necromancy that, if cursed or magically imprisoned, nothing less than an exorcism spell can restore his or her sensibilities|
|+7||Being overly cautious, before entering a combat situation, or casting a spell against an enemy, the character must make a wisdom check first; this check may be repeated, with a +3 cumulative bonus each round|
|+6 to +5||If an individual with 12 or greater charisma, who matches the character's sexual preference, attempts to seduce the character, the character must make a wisdom check with a -2 penalty to resist the attempt|
|+4 to +3||Whatever the character's ability scores, the character is wrongheadedly incapable of gaining an experience bonus deriving from his or her stats. If the character was never able to receive such a bonus, then he or she enters the campaign with negative experience equal to 10% of the amount required for 2nd level|
|+2 to +1||If sampling an addictive substance, the character must save vs. paralysation or become a regular user of that substance, requiring one ounce of material or 3 fluid ounces of liquid per day|
|0||Character reduces the penalty for using a non-proficient weapon by 1 point|
|-1 to -2||Exhibiting bravery when fighting creatures up to twice or more the character's size, he or she receives a +1 armour class bonus|
|-3||Character begins the game with bonus experience equal to 10% of the amount needed to reach 2nd level|
|-4 to -5||Character receives a 10% bonus to all experience received, regardless of his or her ability stats|
|-6||Character cannot become addicted to any substance without actively wishing to do so|
|-7 to -8||When faced with starvation, the character may choose to roll wisdom instead of either strength or constitution, should his or her wisdom be a higher number|
|-9||When becoming intoxicated, the character receives no penalties towards his or her wisdom|
|-10 or -11||Blessed with intuition and sagacity, the character gains an additional +2 saving throw against charm spells|
|-12||The character's foresight enables the individual to retcon the purchase of a single item which the character may have forgotten to buy on their last visit to a market|
|-13||If the character fails a save vs. poison, the character's willpower enables the character to roll again|
|-14 to -15||Character is able to overcome being stunned during a combat, one time per day|
|-16||Blessed with an immense sense of purpose, the character has a +3 saving throw against both natural petrification and breath weapons|
|-17||Being inexplicably chosen by the gods, the character has a +4 saving throw against all magic.|
Here the player rolls to determine the character's foibles or resilience where the character's self-control is concerned. Those will a low self-control will fall prey to superstition, weakness of character and addictions of the body, while those with discipline shall possess a spirit that enables their mind to overcome things that would otherwise destroy lesser persons.
Once again, the player creates an adjusted wisdom number by rolling a d20 and subtracting the character's wisdom. This number is then applied to the Predisposition table. Further notes on the table are as follows: