Heroes come from all walks of life-- some begin their stories as common folk, working their way up from nothing; others begin life with more blessings and are obligated to do more with the gifts they have been given. Those born into the nobility are examples of the latter. Some heroes come from a noble family, a high-ranking merchant house, or some other form of inherent power. The characters who become heroes have the Birthright background to represent that. Regardless of their race or culture, the nobility of all peoples have several things in common: Responsibility. It is the function of the nobility to protect, guide, and see to the welfare of those whom they lead. Paragon. Regardless of culture, it is the charge of the birthright to set an example for those they rule in action, word and attitude. Generosity. It is not for the nobility to hoard the wealth of his folk, but rather to steward it to the benefit of all, and give freely when times allow. Honor. Without a strong sense of personal honor, the leaders of men will fall quickly. Those with integrity and strength of character lead. Those without are tyrants. This background DOES NOT give a character any inherent power over other player characters. It represents the family a character comes from. No character will start game with a noble title of any kind other than one appropriate to a lesser member of a noble family. Characters with this background are not in direct line of succession at the beginning of play-- that may happen over the course of adventures, but when you come into game the first time, there is at least 1 other person in line to be family heir ahead of you. Determining your family members and your relation to them is an important part of PC Histories-- make certain you detail these for the Plot team. Also, most noble families have some way of distinguishing themselves (Brittanic heraldry, Brynn tartan, Free Dwarves sigil, etc) and it is important that you either use the identifiers if using the provided families, or create the family identifiers and get them approved by Staff. Also, deciding how your family gets along with the other nobles families in the area (regardless of race) is important as well. Examples of Birthright characters: Brittanic human warrior, descendant of the ruling Ambrosius family. Many of the older Welsh legends say that King Uther had many children before Arthur-- maybe you could be one of them! Brynn child of the clan chief; Brynn chieftains are elected, not born. While you may desire to become clan chief one day, you will have to cover yourself in glory and reasons for the clan to choose you before you are worthy. Khemri clan leaders are called Rombaro (female Rombara), and are chosen by the Krisatora, or Elder Council. Similar to the Brynn, the Krisatora is the council of elders from all walks of life (senior traders, mages, priests, scouts, warriors, etc) who choose. Many times, a prospective Rombaro will be told to go out into the world and bring back a new story, relic, or other benefit to the clan in order to prove their worthiness. The nonhuman races all have their own forms of nobility and birthright. The Erin'Tar judge worth based on magical power-- those without it will never rule. The Gael'Dar nobility are all family in some way or another to the the Crystal Throne of Seridane; the Free Dwarves, clinging to their fallen royalty, choose those with blood ties to the Valyn clan. Tier 1 Soothing Word (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) You have learned how to use your voice and charisma to calm those in extreme mental states. Once per watch you can make a 10 second speech exhorting your allies and then call EITHER, "By My Voice, Cure Mental by Nobility" OR "By My Voice, Cure Frenzy by Nobility" Regardless of which version you use, you get only 1 use per watch. Tier 2 Take Heart! (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) You have taken responsibility for those under you; that power radiates from you, protecting those whom you watch over. Once per watch you can make a 10 second speech to an ally, calling out their will and stamina and then touch that ally, calling, "Grant Protection X by Nobility," Where X is your Tier+2. Tier 3 Rallying Cry (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) You can, when a battle becomes toughest, call forth your will to strengthen your vassals. Make a 10-second speech to your allies and then call, "By My Voice, Heal X to Hero by Nobility!" where X is your Tier.
Not everybody was lucky enough to have a secure, solid place in the structures of society. Indeed, some folk are forced to the fringes of civilized life and make their way by the rejection of that society; these people prey on the weakness of others, whether they chose the criminal life or not. This background covers the whole gamut of criminal activities, from the street beggar and informant, to the child cutpurse, cat burglar, guild thief, or even the member of an organized, structured crime ring--even pirates, brigands, bandits and highwaymen. Regardless of how they got there, these people reject the structures of society and make a living off of the hard work of others. This background does not (and most likely doesn't) mean that a character is still a criminal-- Brittanis is a game about heroes, and stealing from and backstabbing your friends doesn't make for a very heroic game. However, many heroes have a larcenous or criminal PAST, and their heroic career begins as they throw off that old life, though often that past can come back to haunt them. In the view of most merchants, nobles, and government officials, the criminal is a lawbreaker thug who flagrantly threatens the fabric of society; the truth is that crime is always worst where the nobility and government neglect or abuse the smallfolk, though. Many times the criminal underworld can be the only place some folk can get the food and vital materials necessary for life, due to the abuses of corrupt leadership. In these cases, criminals might even be seen as folk heroes, caring for those who society oppresses with a heavy hand. Criminals believe in preservation and pragmatism first and always-- on many occasions during times of war and siege, the criminal element of a city or settlement can act as spies, smugglers and even assassins, in order to protect their home from monstrous hordes or invading armies. After all, sacking a city often involves burning, pillaging and destroying it-- all of which are bad for business. Tier 1 Clean Getaway (0 CP; - Stamina; Watch) One of the first things a criminal learns is how to not get caught. Once per watch, you can call, "Resist by Heritage" against a single Root or Slow effect. At 2nd Tier, you add Slam and Paralyze to the list of effects; At 3rd Tier, add Stun and Drain to the list of effects. Regardless of how may effects this skill can be called against you still only get one Resist per watch-- NOT one Resist against each effect. Tier 2 It's a Trap! (0 CP, 0 Stamina; Watch) You know that sometimes you have to be willing to take a punch in order to set a foe up for your own attack. Once per watch, when you take 3 or more damage from a single attack, you can call, "Imbue by Heritage" and gain 1 melee or missile attack for "X Damage by Heritage," where X is your Tier+2. If you use this attack as a backstrike, you add +1 to the damage. Tier 3 Bloody Example (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) In the criminal underworld, sometimes you have to make an example out of someone in order to get the message across to others. When you drop an unwilling enemy to 0 Vitality, you can IMMEDIATELY make an attack for, "By My Gesture, Repel by Fear." This attack must be used within 10 seconds after dropping the triggering enemy or it is lost.
You abandoned your post, your clan, your family, your Guild or some other group to which you belonged. Now those people hunt you in retribution for the betrayal they feel you have handed them. Some reasons for leaving are justified, others less so. Regardless of your motivation, you are now hunted by those who once were your allies. No matter what kind of group you left, you now hide from their vengeance. Some groups will seek to return you to the fold and force you to rejoin their company. Others see the betrayal as punishable by death. What kind of group did you leave? What was your reason for leaving? Who hunts you now? Do they seek reconciliation or retribution? These are the questions to answer when choosing this background. Guild: Did a job go bad? Did you try to take over and lose? Were you framed for betrayal by a rival? Tired of always running from the law and decide to go straight? Did the Guild cross a line in their crimes you could not abide by? Family/Clan: Fleeing an arranged marriage? Framed by a relative? White sheep in a black-hearted family? Lord/Military: Did a superior order you to commit war crimes? Abused by a tyrannical overlord? Jaded by a life of constant battle? Saw and did too many things you now regret? Last survivor of a Fomorian attack? Tier 1 Whispers of the Past (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Battle) You have learned to identify the members of the group that hunts you. Once per battle, you can call, “By My Voice, Expose [Trait] by Background” where the Trait you choose must identify the group that hunts you. Example, if you are hunted by your family, you might call, “By My Voice, Expose House Silverhand by Background,” but you could not use a trait like Hero, or Human, because they don’t identify your family specifically. Tier 2 Hit & Run (0 CP, 0 Stamina; Watch) You are adept at striking hard and leaving a pursuer incapacitated so you can escape. You can make a melee or missile attack for, “Slow by Background” • Tier 3: “Maim [leg] by Background” Tier 3 Desperate Escape (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) Your frightened desperation give you the strength to break free of effects that would allow your enemy to re-capture you. Once per watch, once you have used Whispers of the Past to identify members of the group that hunts you, you can call “NO EFFECT” against any Root, Slam, Stun, or Slow effect generated by those enemies. Example: Valerias is hunted by the members of the Tel’sharas family, a rival elven house and sworn enemies of his family. He encounters a group of elves he suspects might be those foe, and calls, “By My Voice, Expose Tel’sharas by Background,” and one of the elves cries out in response to the Expose effect. Valerias now knows the elf who cried out is a member of the house that hunts him. That elf casts a spell and hits Valerias with a packet, calling, “2 Damage and Stun by Magic!” Valerias gets to respond with, “No Effect” against that spell.
Despite the best efforts of some civilized nations of Brittanis, slavery is alive and well in the darkening world. Siluria and Orkenay both utilize slave labor, and the Fomorians are notorious for working slaves nearly to death and then using them as sacrifice to their savage demon-gods. The Swordlands are a land utterly without law; slavery is commonplace in the lands that once were called Logres. In the places where law has little power, folk of all races are kidnapped and sold into bondage. In the outskirts where tyrants and petty warlords rule, some folk have been born into slavery and will die there. Escape is never easy, but it does sometimes happen. Just as marauders and brigands raid settlements for captives, sometimes bands of adventurers or heroes raid the borderlands, freeing the slaves they find therein. How did you come to be a slave? Who were you in bondage to? What was your work? How did you gain your freedom? What do you do now? Slavery affects both body and spirit, altering the slave forever. Even those of noble birth who end up in bondage are marked by the experience ever after. Regardless of your former station, the chains you once wore define your personality and life; even though they are removed from your flesh, the marks on your soul will never fade. Tier 1
Slave's Work (0 CP)Regardless of their function, slaves are worked and abused regularly. You developed physical and mental reserves to endure. Choose one of the three following options during character creation. Once this choice is made, it can never be changed: Your maximum Vitality and Stamina are permanently increased by 1 each. Your maximum Vitality is permanently increased by 2. Your maximum Stamina is permanently increased by 2. Tier 2
No Bonds Can Hold Me (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch)After your time in bondage, you learned quickly how to avoid becoming incapacitated. You refuse to ever go back to the chains that bound you. Once per watch, you can call, " Purge by Background" against one Stun, Paralyze, Root, or Slow effect with a Physical trait. Tier 3
Turn the Tables (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Rest)During your time as a slave, you learned the attacks and techniques of your captors. Now you know how to reverse their tactics and use them against your hated foe. Once per watch, when you use No Bonds Can Hold Me, you immediately gain one melee attack with the same effect you Purged. If the attack was a combined effect with Damage, you DO NOT gain the damage effect-- only the Stun, Paralyze, Root, or Slow is gained. This attack is lost if you rest for any reason before you use it. Example: Asharra is 3rd Tier, and an Escaped Slave. A Fomorian slaver hits her with a missile attack for, "3 Damage and Stun." She immediately spends 3 seconds roleplaying Asharra shaking off the effect and calls, "Purge by Background." Asharra then immediately gains a melee attack for, "Stun by Background." If she rests for any reason before delivering that attack, the attack is lost and Asharra cannot use it.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people; in Brittanis, the world is slowly falling into an age of darkness and chaos, and such things happen more frequently. Unfortunately, your family has been a recipient of such misfortune. As a Fallen Noble, something has happened in the recent (last 2 generations or so) past that has caused your once-prosperous family to fall from grace. Once your family name was known as powerful and wealthy, or at the least a holder of political prowess and influence in your home kingdom. Now, however, your wealth is gone, your family might be decimated or greatly diminished. Some ideas for how your family fell from grace: Family Rivalry: As the saying goes, "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground." Your family was once prominent, but an enemy faction or family has brought you low. Were you betrayed, or was the challenge for dominance made openly? How did it occur? Was it a political victory, military, or something more sinister? Disaster: Some great natural or environmental calamity destroyed your family's power base. Perhaps a great plague struck your lands, or an earthquake destroyed the castle. Drought caused famine and disease, or monsters from the wilds attacked and your forces could not stop them. What kind of disaster was it? Who survived? Logres: 44 years ago, a horde of twisted monsters came pouring out of The Waste, and the first nation to fall against them was the nation of Logres. Its people scattered, its nobility betrayed and annihilated, the Shield of Brittanis was utterly destroyed in the assault. To this day, the lands that were once named Logres are instead the Swordlands, a monster-haunted wilderness filled with savages, brigands and worse. Are you a descendant of the few nobles who survived the massacre? Where have you been raised, and how do you feel about your lost homeland? White Sheep: Sometimes, a noble family is struck down for good reason: money and idle time can lead to depravity, decadence and vile practices, and your family was one such. The head of your family led the rest down a dark path, and much pain and suffering was the result. Eventually, these practices were discovered and your family was destroyed, cast down, and the survivors exiled. How did you survive? What were their crimes? Who still knows of your existence?
NOTE:YOU ARE NOT THE SOLE SURVIVING MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY. THERE MUST BE AT *LEAST* ONE OTHER MEMBER. Even if your family was destroyed by monsters, please try to be creative about it and don't just go the boring, "revenge is my reason for living" route. You can be more creative than that. Read the PC Histories section for guidelines. Tier 1
Dirty Deed (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch)You have been on the run for a long time. Somewhere along the way, you learned that being able to incapacitate an opponent easily can be the best way to get away from an ugly situation. 1/watch, you can make a backstrike attack and call, "Short Stun" Tier 2
Maintain Your Bearing (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch)Despite your family's fall, you have had poise and noble bearing taught since birth. Once per watch, you can call, "Resist" against any Frenzy effect or an attack with the Fear, or Madness trait. Tier 3
Prepared for the Worst (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch)Assassins are a reality for someone whose family has been destroyed, regardless of cause; many times, rivals or usurpers want you dead simply for existing. You've learned how to lessen the attack of an assassin into something you can live through. 1/watch, when hit with a Death effect, you may fall to the ground as normal, but instead of Death, you take a Stun effect. You do not have to call this out loud.
FAVORED SOUL IS A RESTRICTED BACKGROUND. SEEK STAFF APPROVAL BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THIS BACKGROUND. On Aerys, the Otherworld is both wholly separated from the natural world and tantalizingly, terrifyingly close. The only thing separating the two worlds is a powerful magical barrier called the Veil, formed by the Titan-goddess Sarai at the end of the Godswar. Her magic and divine life-force keep the Otherworld and the mortal realm separate, but what many do not know is that the Veil is not a solid wall. In truth, it is more of a thick membrane, keeping the the two worlds apart; those with sufficient power and ambition can open small, temporary doors between the two worlds, and beings can pass in both directions. The ability of powerful beings to cross the Veil has, over the aeons, allowed beings both divine and demonic to cross over (briefly) and either influence mortals directly to heroism and great deeds or to wreak terrible havoc and destruction. There is a kernel of truth to legends of the gods walking the world and even, occasionally, loving mortals and either siring children upon them or infusing them with divine power. Likewise, the ancient tales of demons walking the face of Aerys or answering the summons of demon worshipers has resulted in a few isolated bloodlines in which the power of the Abyss flows. You are a descendant of one such union, either divine or demonic. At times the power might skip many generations and manifest in those unaware of their heritage, or the encounter with denizens of the Otherworld might be more recent. Regardless of how it happened, the blood of the Otherworld runs in your veins. You have never met your divine/demonic ancestor; do not expect this to happen in play, or to gain special roleplaying favors because of your heritage. The creatures of the Otherworld--even the benign ones-- are inscrutable and do things for their own reasons and in their own time. Only the mightiest and most accomplished of favored souls gain the direct attention of their ancestors. When you choose this Background, you must choose your Otherworld ancestor. This does not have to be one of the gods directly, but can be an angel or divine servant of dome kind as well. Likewise, the Demon Princes are unlikely to make a direct appearance. Also, if you're interested in being a descendant of one of the sidhe-folk from Faerie, look at the Faetouched Background instead. When you submit your request for this Background, it must contain the following: Email Format. No hard copy will be accepted. You can submit this request along with your PC Histories, but make sure it is in its own section. Ancestor: you must tell us exactly who you are requesting for your ancestor. Please, no real-world gods, angels, demons, etc. That's a bad idea, and it won't pass. If you want to base your ancestor off a real-world mythological being, that's one thing, but give it a new name and tweak it a little, too. Be creative. Costuming Requirements: When you take this Background, you must have an OBVIOUS trait that marks you as having some kind of Otherwordly ancestry. Divine favored souls might have gold skin, strange eyes (contact lenses), an obvious, large birthmark in a place you can't hide, etc. Demonic favored souls might have small horns, red skin, crazy eyes, small scales, obvious fangs, maybe even a tail or cloven-hoofed feet. YOU get to pick what alteration you want to have, but it must be EASILY VISIBLE AT ALL TIMES. The point is that other players should be able to see the difference at a distance of TEN FEET, and it cannot be something easily hidden. The point is to be obviously different from a normal member of your race. You must still abide by all costume restrictions of your core race. Expect Modifications. Staff will do everything possible to accommodate your concept, but be prepared for a response that suggests a few alterations, tweaks, or outright changes. These will be to help you integrate the character in Brittanis plotlines, and so we can help you sculpt the story of your character through play. If you proposal is approved, you character gains the following abilities: Tier 1 Empowerment (0 CP) You have the blood of your Otherworldly ancestor in your veins. Channeling their power is as simple to you as breathing-- whether you see that as a blessing or a curse is part of your own story. You gain the lowest level of your patron's Empowerment skill, and can purchase higher levels as normal. If your ancestor does not have an Empowerment skill, when your proposal is approved, one will be custom built and posted to the website. Tier 2 Power in the Blood (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch; Other) The power of your incredibly-powerful ancestor is yours; you can harness their power easily. Divine: Once per watch, you can roleplay cutting yourself for 3 seconds, then touch a target and call, "Heal X and Refresh X Stamina" where X is your Tier. This skill cannot be used on yourself. Demonic: Once per watch, you can make a packet attack for, "X Damage by Darkness" where X is your Tier+4. Tier 3 Wrath of the Otherworld (0 CP; 0 Stamina, Watch, Rest, Burst) You focus the power of your ancestor into mighty force. Divine: This skill has the Burst keyword. You gain 5 packet attacks for "3 Damage by Light." For each attack that hits and deals damage (is not defended or negated in some way), you gain 1 touch effect for, "Heal 2 by Light" Demonic: You must have 2 Medium claw props to use this skill. Call, "Imbue by Darkness" and ready the claw props. The claws MUST be sheathed or otherwise unusable before you call the Imbue. Once the claws are ready, your base melee attack becomes "3 Damage by Darkness." This skill ends when you use ANY skill with the Heal effect, the "by Light" trait, or rest for any reason.
Of all the realms of the Otherworld, the realm of Faerie-- the dwelling place of beings alien, enigmatic, and mercurial-- is the realm closest to that of the mortal world. Faerie also boasts the most semi-permanent "doorways" between the two worlds. Though not easy, these portals can be opened with terrifying regularity and allow both unwary mortals to pass into Faerie and those enigmatic beings to cross onto Aerys. It also means that the energies of that fey realm leak through the Veil all too often, causing change in mortal creatures-- change that can cause a mortal being to be empowered with the energies of Faerie, and likewise can defend a mortal creature from those same energies. The Faetouched (alternately spelled Feytouched) are mortal creatures that have been affected by the energies of the realm of Faerie and granted powers or abilities beyond their normal racial abilities. Faetouched are mortal creatures influenced by or imbued with energies of pure Faerie, changing them into something not fully Faerie, but non longer fully of the mortal realm, either. Yes, even the High Elves and Wood Elves can be affected in this way, gaining even more abilities of their lost farrie nature. Faetouched are sometimes referred to as 'half-elves', despite the fact that none of the nonhuman races can interbreed with one another, nor with humans. The association of both elven races with Faerie, however, means that many unfortunate misunderstandings have occurred through the generations; Faetouched are often mistaken for a child born of human/elven lovers. The Faetouched Background is the only way to approximate a half-elf character in Brittanis. The vast majority of Faetouched are born that way, influenced in the womb by the potent magics of Faerie. Tales claim that this can be caused by any number of things, usually attributed to the conduct of the mother. Anything from laying with a lover in a faerie circle and becoming pregnant to crossing a ring of toadstools while pregnant has been blamed; the superstitious find reasons everywhere. The truth of the matter is unknown, but direct contact with a True Fae or crossing into Faerie while pregnant are known to increase the chances dramatically. Also sometimes erroneously referred to as Changelings, the Faetouched whose faerie nature manifests in adulthood are the topic of many sad and tragic tales; family and clan often turn on the Faetouched, viewing the transformation as a corruption or aberration. Costume Requirements ALL faetouched develop physical traits that speak clearly of their otherwordly heritage. When you take this Background, you must have an OBVIOUS trait that marks you as having some kind of faerie influence. Strangely colored hair (a shock of non-natural color, or a wig of similarly odd color), strangely colored eyes (costume contacts), fangs like a beast, nose of a fae feline, pointed ears like the elves, or some other obvious trait mark the faetouched as something different from their standard race. If you choose to play a Faetouched Erin'Tar or Gael'Dar, you may choose extra-large ear tips as your faetouched trait, but your regular racial costume requirements DO NOT count for Faetouched costuming. It must be different, distinct, and obvious. YOU get to pick what alteration you want to have, but it must be EASILY VISIBLE AT ALL TIMES. Other players should be able to see the difference at a distance of TEN FEET, and it cannot be something easily hidden. The point is to be obviously different from a normal member of your race. You must still abide by all costume restrictions of your core race. Many faetouched grow up with no idea of the difference in their blood. The changes hit only around puberty, when in addition to the normal chaos of that time of life, they begin manifesting strange powers and drastic physical changes beyond the norm for their race. As time goes on, the faetouched learn to manipulate the power in their blood, using lesser versions of the glamours that the archfey, lords of Faerie, use with the ease of breathing. Eventually, once that power has been mastered, the faetouched can guard themselves against the machinations of the fae as well. Faetouched live a strange existence-- both blessed by otherwordly power and always slightly separate from their own race. They become excellent diplomats, blessed with the gifts of their heritage and their knowledge of interpersonal dynamics. Some of the greatest knights and heroes of legend have been Faetouched, seeking glory and renown to define their existence. Sadly, the faetouched also tend to become wrapped up in the schemes of the faerie folk-- even those children of half-elven origin are marked and targeted by the faerie. The faetouched live always with the knowledge that the power in their blood calls to the fae folk, and they will ever seek to ensnare and manipulate those mortals who bear the magic of faerie. Tier 1 Glamour (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Rest, Watch) You call upon the power of your faerie blood and use that magic to confuse the mind of a target. Once per watch, make 3 packet attacks for, "Repel by Illusion" Reveal Faerie (0 CP; 1 Stamina; Watch) You can spend 1 Stamina to point at a target and call, "By My Gesture, Expose Fae by Heritage." Tier 2 Warding Iron (0 CP; 0 or 1 Stamina; Watch, Battle (special)) You have learned the secrets of the power infusing you-- you have also learned how to defend against it. Once per watch, you can make 3 packet attacks for, "Agony to Fae by Cold Iron." Note: Both Erin'Tar and Gael'Dar have the Fae racial trait, so this attack WILL affect them. In addition, once per battle, you can spend 1 Stamina to call, "Resist by Heritage" against any 1 attack by a creature with the Fae trait you have Exposed with the Tier 1 ability. Note that you MUST use the Expose first in order to use this skill. Tier 3 True Faerie Blood (0 CP; 0 or 2 Stamina; Watch) Your faerie blood has become powerful and purified in your veins; it pumps so strongly within you that you gain a small bit of the immortality of the fae and can inflict the fae's inability to lie on another. Once per event, you can call, "Reduce to 10 Damage" against a Death effect that strikes you. Also, once per day, you can spend 2 Stamina and 1 minute of activity to cast a small ritual cursing your target. You touch the target after the activity time is finished and call, "Inflict by Faerie" and give them an Inflict card that says: "Bonds of the Sidhe: You cannot lie. When asked a direct question, if you answer you must always tell the truth to the best of your ability. This effect lasts until the end of the event."
This Background is designed for those who grew up on the fringes of society, where the wilderness is a stone's throw away and living off the land is a necessity. This is for people who learned how to take care of themselves; where growing your own food, keeping away predators and living carefully was the norm. Tier 1 Self Sufficient (0 CP) You were raised to depend on yourself for food, lodging, and daily necessities. You are considered to always have Commoner Maintenance without paying any money. Tier 2: You are considered to have Gentry Maintenance without paying anything. Tier 3: You are considered to have Wealthy Maintenance without paying anything.
This background is for those who are currently a student at the Arcanum in the Erin'Tar kingdom of Rendayn. The school is the only one of its kind in Brittanis, dedicated to the study of academics and higher learning. The Arcanum began as a college of magic, but it has since evolved into something much greater. Today, every subject imaginable is taught at the Arcanum, and students of all races from all over Brittanis are educated there. Magic is still the primary subject for most students, but some come to learn history, economics, and ancient lore as well. A strict code of conduct comes along with admittance to the Arcanum; students must represent the school well at all times and send any knowledge gained back to the Arcanum for storage in the Great Library. Tier 1 Book Learning (0 CP) The basic education offered by the Arcanum is thorough; it teaches a great many subjects. You've managed to retain some of it, too. Choose any 2 of: Diagnose, First Aid, Knowledge (any Novice). Tier 2 Graduate Research Assistant (0 CP; Information Skill; Downtime) You have access via letter to the Great Library at the Arcanum. Its vaulted halls hold the greatest repository of knowledge in all of Brittanis. You can write a letter to the scribes there and ask a single question per Downtime. This skill costs 3 hours of Downtime, but the results are usually detailed and (somewhat) accurate. In addition, the 2 skills you chose from Tier 1 improve by 1 rank (Novice to Student, for example) or by 1 Purchase. Tier 3 Learned Master (0 CP) Choose 2 more skills from the list in Tier 1. You gain those skills at Novice/Apprentice rank. In addition, the 2 skills you chose from Tier 1 improve by 1 rank (Student to Sage, for example) or by 1 Purchase.
In the lands of Brittanis, the VAST majority of people do not live in castles, or bear arms against monsters or fight evil. Rather, they are the hardworking, durable folk who live their day to day lives as farmers, laborers, or craftspeople, working diligently every single day to put food no the table and have enough left over to sell some at market and make a profit. These people have many names-- peasant, commoner, countryman, etc-- but the most common moniker for them is smallfolk. The smallfok are some of the most rugged and durable people in all of Brittanis, regardless of race. Every ethnicity of human has farmers, ranchers, shepherds and craftmen. Free Dwarves are rightly famous for their miners and craftspeople, and the elven societies have those who work hard as well. These people are sturdy and resilient, stubborn and prideful in their own abilities-- when a barn is struck by lightning and burns down, the smallfolk do not cry and lament their poor fortune. Instead the village gathers together and they work hard to rebuild, and then throw a party once the sun goes down. The Great Houses and nobles of Brittanis-- the ones with wisdom, in any case-- know that their power comes directly from the smallfolk in their responsibility, and know that their rulership is double-edged. The smallfolk sweat in the fields and their labors provide the nobility with food for the nobles' table, and in return the nobles provide warriors and soldiers to keep their smallfolk safe from harm. In Brittanis, the dark and dangerous nature of the world means that if a Lord cannot keep his smallfolk safe, those same commoners who put food on the table will instead go somewhere else and find a lord who WILL. Unlike historical Earth, the smallfolk and the nobility have a MUCH closer and non-exploitative relationship. When the people who put food on your table can be eaten by monsters from the wild or slain by dark magics, it becomes a MUCH greater concern for the nobility to protect and not exploit those in their care. Many stories and fireside legends tell of the farmer who puts aside his plow and picks up a sword to defend his homeland, or of the humble shepherd who answers his lord's call to arms and goes off to war and becomes a hero. Many is the knight or lord who retires to his farms after a lifetime of service. The call to be a hero lies in the spirit, not in one's birth--commoners can be heroes just the same as a noble lord born to title and lands. Tier 1 Lifetime of Labor (0 CP) You gain a +2 bonus to base maximum Vitality, +1 bonus to base maximum Stamina. In addition, if you unlock a Crafting header, all skills in that header cost .5 CP less. Tier 2 Skilled Hands (0 CP) You gain an additional +1 bonus to maximum Vitality and +1 bonus to maximum Stamina. You gain 3 CP to spend in the Crafting header from Tier 1. Tier 3 Defend the Home (0 CP) Your experience in adventuring has given you the ability to defend that which is yours ferociously. Once per watch, when you are within 10 feet of the place where you sleep (cabin, tent, hammock, etc), you may call, "Imbue by Heritage" and gain 5 melee or missile attacks for "3 Damage by Heritage."