UA:Character Background: Aristocratic Background

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Aristocratic Background

The noble court formed an important center of medieval life, where knights, troubadours, and artisans experienced the scope of feudal life (minus the peasants). Aristocratic adventures center on intrigue and political maneuvering, but courts also feature ritualized combat such as duels and jousts.

Recognition for characters with aristocratic backgrounds varies widely, because noble courts have a highly stratified social structure. Actual nobles can attain progressively greater noble titles, but other characters who spend time in noble courts don't have that chance.

A character's familiarity with the ways of the noble court provides a bonus on recognition checks; each time the aristocratic background is selected for this character, the bonus increases by 1.

Example aristocratic titles

The noble titles below are examples drawn from medieval Europe (Britain in particular), so they're suitable for most sword-and-sorcery settings. Other historical feudal and quasi-feudal cultures (such as Japan and India) can also inspire noble titles for your game.

Titles (Lowest to Highest): Knight, Baronet, Baron or Baroness, Viscount or Viscountess, Count or Countess, Marquess or Marchioness, Duke or Duchess, Grand Duke or Grand Duchess, Prince or Princess, King or Queen, Emperor or Empress.

Sometimes counts are called earls, and marquesses are referred to as matquises or margraves. Germanic culture refers to dukes as grafs and baronets as ritters. Prince or Princess can either be a noble title or it can describe a familial relationship: son or daughter of the king or queen.

Aristocratic Background Activities
d% Activity Class Feats Skills Gear Contacts Rep Recognition
01-07 Noble warlord Fighter or Paladin Leadership, Weapon Focus Intimidate, Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) Armor Influence +1 Title, DC 22
8-14 Landed gentry Bard Leadership, Skill Focus (Diplomacy) Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (history), Perform Wondrous item that aids interaction Influence +1 Title, DC 22
15-21 Church potentate Cleric Leadership, Persuasive Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Spellcraft Rod or Staff Influence +1 Title, DC 22
22-28 Dragon-blooded Sorcerer Leadership, Spell Focus (Enchantment) Diplomacy, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Concentration Rod or Staff Influence +1 title, DC 24
29-39 Troubadour Bard Skill Focus (Perform), Spell Focus(Enchantment) Perform (any), Diplomacy, Sense Motive, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (local) Wondrous item that charms or compels Influence +1/2 -
40-49 Court Jester Rogue Acrobatic, Agile Perform (any), Tumble, Jump, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Balance Wondrous item that aids movement Influence +1/2 -
50-59 Court Arcanist Wizard of Loremaster 1 Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Illusion) Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (local), Spellcraft, Concentration Extra spells in spellbook Influence +1/2 -
60-69 Religious advisor Cleric Negotiator, Spell Focus (Divination) Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Spellcraft Item with divination aura Influence +1/2 -
70-80 Chivalric knight Paladin Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack Ride, Intimidate, Diplomacy Armor Influence +1/2 Title, DC 24
81-80 Seneschal Bard Negotiator, Investigator Sense Motive, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (local) Item with divination aura Influence +1/2 -
91-100 Duelist Fighter or Duelist 1 Combat Expertise, Improved Feint Bluff, Perform (any), Tumble, Sense Motive, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) Weapon Influence +1/2 -
1 Indicates a prestige class. Only available if the class is allowed in the campaign.

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