Ruins of Adventure
Nobles in this Campaign: Noble PCs are assumed to be minor, impoverished Nobles from distant lands—second and third sons, or families that have fallen on hard times—driven to Phlan by the same prospects of changing their fortunes as anyone else. After the start of play Noble PCs may draw on family funds as described, but begin the game with only what resources can be purchased with their starting funds, as do all other PCs, and must adhere to all of the normal strictures of the Noble kit when purchasing initial equipment.
A Noble PC who claims New Phlan as his homeland may benefit from living with his family as described below, but (due to the politics of Phlan) must be human or half-human, and must be related to one of The Council of New Phlan. A Noble PC from may draw on family funds via the banks, but may not benefit from living with family (as they are, by definition, elsewhere). They may by property in New Phlan using the funds at their disposal.
- Races: Any1
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Health 13, Leadership 13
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class, plus 300gp
1 All races in the Realms have their rulers. Depending on the political and economic conditions of your specific homeland, the choice of races may be limited ().
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Punching or Wrestling specialization
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Horseman’s Mace or Flail, Sword (any one-handed), Lance (any), Dagger
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Social
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Etiquette, Heraldry, Local History, Land-based Riding
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Ancient History, Ancient Languages, Animal Training, Appraising, Artistic Ability, Blind-Fighting, Dancing, Gaming, Hunting, Literacy, Meditative Focus, Modern Languages, Musical Instrument, Raise Army, Religion, Singing.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: Begging
Overview: This character is of the nobility, and theoretically represents everything the ruling class stands for. In classic medieval fantasy, this means chivalry, the protection of women (those who want to be protected, that is—it’s a bad idea to try to protect a woman warrior anxious to prove herself in combat), and (especially) upholding the rights of the ruling class to rule (and upholding the rights of the other classes to serve…).
The noble prefers the company of nobles and is often appointed as an adviser to a noble family, a ruler, an important local governor, etc. He has less concern for the lives and welfare of commoners. When pressed, he will use his adventuring skills for to aid the lower classes, but he usually seeks to avoid such things; either keeping himself away from common folk as much as possible in order to avoid these inconveniences or assigning a subordinate or a follower to attend their needs.
The noble may join an adventuring party out of a sense of duty to his country or to promote the common good—in spite of their snobbery, good-aligned nobles usually have strong moral codes. A noble might have grown weary of his pampered life and sought an adventuring party to add a touch of excitement to his otherwise dreary existence. Alternately, his parents might have ordered him to join a party to teach him humility.
Description: Nobles dress in a manner appropriate to their homeland, but always dress their finest. The use the best armor, best weapons, and best mounts available. They never skimp on their equipment.
Role-Playing: In a campaign, the noble adventurer is a romantic ideal which most of society looks up to. The noble is supposed to be courageous, gallant, protective of the defenseless, dedicated to honorable ideals. But that’s just what society expects of the noble. Some theoretically noble adventurers are mere brutes in shiny armor, warriors who take what they want, murder the innocent, and continually betray the oaths they took to king and country.
The noble prefers the company of nobles and other members of the upper class. Most nobles are wealthy and have no need to earn money, but many still serve their societies as administrators, counselors, and ambassadors. Since they have access to the finest teachers and universities, nobles are usually extremely well-educated and expert in a variety of areas. As an adventurer, the noble often has a challenging agenda mapped out for her by her family—whether or not she follows that agenda is her own business. Until she actually assumes the mantle of leadership and the family title, she is often free to pursue her own initiatives.
Fellow player characters should rightfully perceive the noble to be an arrogant, condescending snob (though he might not be aware of his snobbery). The noble is generally cooperative with the party, though he will balk at any suggestion that compromises his sense of dignity (for instance, he will never enter a filthy cavern or search the bodies of slain enemies without squawking). The condescending noble can be a fun role to play, but he’d better have some redeeming features if the other PCs are to continue to associate with him. If he does have redeeming features, it’s very likely that some PCs will try to “reform” him to their own way of thinking.
- The noble begins with more gold than any other character kit. He also has a family, clan, or estate to support him. If he wishes, the noble can live with his relations indefinitely, enjoying a life of ease and luxury. Even when not living with relatives, the noble can choose to accept a stipend of 10gp per level each month from his family, though a noble living off his family’s fortune will find that his family expects his full loyalty.
- The noble receives a +3 bonus on NPC reactions from anyone of his own culture, and a +2 bonus against nobles of other cultures. When travelling, he can demand shelter from anyone in his own nation who is of lower social status than he. Likewise, most people of his own status or higher (regardless of homeland) will offer him shelter as well—plus shelter for up to two additional persons per level.
- In his own land, the noble can administer low justice upon commoners—acting as judge, jury, and executioner for minor crimes he comes across (subject to the laws of his homeland).
- The noble may spend his gold however chooses—but there are certain minimum standards he cannot violate. Before starting play he must buy:
- A suit of armor (at least a suit of banded mail, or the best armor available to his class), and a shield (if allowed by his class).
- One metal weapon of at least medium size.
- A horse (at least a riding horse), plus tack: a riding saddle, bit and bridle, horseshoes, shoeing, halter, and saddle blanket.
- A noble is expected to live well. After character creation, the noble must spend an additional +10% per level on all goods, services, and equipment he buys. This extra cost is not a tip, the character is buying higher quality goods to reflect his noble tastes and requirements.
If the noble is unable to spend this extra money because of lack of funds, he may settle for lesser goods, but his bonus on reactions will be reduced, at -1 per such incident (to a minimum of a -3 penalty), as he develops a reputation as a miser, penny-pincher, and shabby dresser. If enough of his equipment is shabby, common-quality goods, people may not believe that he is a nobleman and may refuse him shelter or other benefits of the kit (DMs discretion).
He can only regain his former bonus through conspicuous consumption—buying a new set of clothes and new equipment for himself and all of his retainers (with the necessary mark up) and throwing a large banquette or similar gathering (at a cost of 1000gp per level).
- Just as other nobles are expected to extend shelter to the Noble PC, he is expected to offer shelter to other nobles when they are travelling through his territory or when they meet on the road while he is encamped and they are not. Whenever a Noble PC is getting too cocky, the DM can have him visited by a nice, large crowd of nobles to whom he is expected to offer food and shelter—and who proceed to eat him out of house and home.
- If the noble is living off his family and using their estate as his home base, his relations are glad to have him around and will often ask him for favors or support. At least once per week, the character will have to fulfill some family obligation; he may have to use his skills as an adventurer against the house’s enemies, he may be asked to spy on a rival house, he may be asked to serve as the house’s representative in a royal court (or a legal court), or he may even be subject to an arranged political marriage. A PC who asks his family to buy new weapons for him and all of his friends had better be prepared to pay for it with his time and effort.
- While the noble is able to administer justice, his decisions can always be overruled by a noble or greater status (in some nations his decisions may also be subject to review by an official court system).
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