You are the representative of someone-- a noble, guild, group, order, coven, council...or maybe something else entirely. Regardless of who sent you, they have an interest in what is going on elsewhere in Brittanis, and so they sent you. You are the eyes, ears, and hands of your patron(s) abroad. You learn all you can for them, and you carry out their will when you are given instructions. Sometimes the will of your patron will co-incide with your own desires, and sometimes not-- but you must remember that you represent them in everything you do. Those around you will believe that everything you do is sanctioned or even ordered by your patron. Tier 1 Letters From Home (0 CP; Information Skill, Downtime) Letters and written communication are the standard for you; expect to get some kind of communique from your patron on a regular basis, both asking for updates and information as well as delivering their instructions to you. You can use this skill to request information from your patron(s) as well. So long as the information requested is in their area, you can expect a reasonably accurate reply. Using the skill in this way costs 4 hours of Downtime. Tier 2 Patronage (0 CP) In return for your proven service, your patron sends you a stipend of cash. You receive 3x Tier in silver per event. This money is expected to be used for room and board as well as furthering the aims of your patron (bribes for information, buying supplies needed back home, etc). Tier 3 I Speak As My Master (0 CP) Your service has pleased your patron well; you now are their ambassador in the world. You speak with the voice of your master-- your word carries equal power to theirs. In addition, you can make 3 packet attacks per Watch for, "Silence by Awe," as you channel the inner strength of your patron.
Every hero starts somewhere, learns their skills somewhere. Even the greatest natural talent has to be honed and trained to greatness. For you, that time of training has recently ended and you have moved on towards your own destiny, but the lessons learned during your training will stick with you for a lifetime. They are as much a part of you as your blood and bone; your time learning the skills of your craft have made your tools part of yourself as well. Whether it be sword, wand, holy symbol or woods-lore, your time in training has shaped you into who you are today-- and it is with that knowledge, training, and power that you step into your own story. Journeyman is a broad-focus Background that can accommodate just about any character concept. It is designed to be versatile and useful, while providing background options for characters that are flexible and carry the weight of story with them. Being a Journeyman means that you have spent a great deal of time--years, most often-- learning the skills of your trade. Some important questions to ask are: What skills did I learn? (Stealth? Weapons? Magic, etc) What kind of place did I study in? (Formal academy? Tribe-style training with each teacher instructing their own specialty? Informal training group? One-on-one apprenticeship, etc) Who did I learn with? (Fellow classmates? Other trainees? Family members? Coming-of-age group of relatives? Solo studies with a mentor, etc) Who taught me? (Single instructor/mentor/teacher? Multiple teachers for different subjects? Family member teaching their specialties in a clan, etc) ) What was my relationship with my instructor(s)? (Like family, strict and regimented like a military academy? Adversarial? Replacing lost family, etc) What were the circumstances of my leaving? (For those who left early under bad terms, see the Renegade Mage and Deserter backgrounds) Tier 1 Learning the Basics (0 CP) One of your first lessons was a simple but basic technique that set you on the path to greatness. You gain 1 skill from the General Skills list or the list of your Source Skills (not from a Class). This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. Tier 2 Advanced Studies (0 CP) From time to time you go back to your studies and open new doors of knowledge, learning new techniques, skills, and tricks. You gain 1 skill from Your Source Skills or 1 Class associated with your Primary Source. This skill must cost 3 CP or less. You must meet the Requirements of this skill as normal. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 1. You may assist up to 2 characters in this manner per Downtime. Tier 3 Teach Us, Master (0 CP) You are a master at your chosen vocation, and you are capable of adding to the skills of those who follow behind you. You can work with the Director to design a new skill to be added to your Source header list or any Class header list you have unlocked. You will have this skill as if you bought it, and that skill will go on the master list for the game. In addition, you may, during Downtime between events, assist another character in learning one of the skills you have already purchased. You must state the character you are assisting and the skill you are teaching in your PEL. Your assistance reduces the Downtime that character must spend on learning the skill by 2. You may assist up to 4 characters in this manner per Downtime.
You are a priest-- an anointed representative of an immensely powerful magical being of some kind. You might be a wandering priest, a tribal witch doctor, a sly infiltrator sworn to the Unseelie Court, or an empowered servant of a mighty dragon-- or maybe something else entirely. Regardless, your abilities have been enhanced by the magical power of your patron. Others may be Empowered by their patron, but you have trained, learned, and studied to learn the secrets of your patron's true power. You are more knowledgeable, more thoroughly prepared, and more focused in your service. You are a professional, and as such you are usually deeper in the confidences and plans of your patron as well. You are, after all, a proven and loyal devotee. Patron Options: White Court:Arturian,Aenryia, Aureus, Dagmar, Emrys, Ghorn,Liriel Three Sisters: Eldrea, Rhaine, Sarai Archfey (lords of Faerie) Primal Spirit (World Tree, Great Bear, etc) Other (email us if you have an idea for a patron! We'd love to hear it.) Tier 1 Empowerment (0 CP) You gain the 1st-level Tier 1 Empowerment skill for your patron for free. After all your study and training, you've certainly earned it. If you're a follower of the Three Sisters or the White Court, click the appropriate link in the list above to take you to the god/goddess's wiki page; their Empowerment skills are located there. Note: If you have an idea for a patron, let us know. Staff will need to build Empowerment skills for your patron! Tier 2 Patron's Magic (0CP) Your knowledge of your patron's power is deep and powerful. You unlock one Spell List from your patron's Minor list. You can now buy and cast spells from that list according to the Spellcasting rules. Tier 3 Devoted Servant (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) You can harness the power of your patron into a burst of energy that fuels you in battle. Once per event, you can perform a 1 minute ritual beseeching your patron for assistance, and call, "Refresh 5 Stamina by [Patron Name]."
Though the Arcanum in Rendayn appears on the outside merely a bastion of learning and education (and it is that), it also serves as a secret agenda of its own. Every single student of the Arcanum—whether they study magic, history, rhetoric, or any other subject—has their family lineage recorded for some undisclosed reason. Those who study magic give a vial of their blood to the Arcanum as well, again with no explanation given. Those who do not agree to these stipulations are forbidden from study. Additionally, every student of the arcane arts, at some point in their studies, must submit to the Harrowing, a test of magical ability and personal will that judges whether a mage is capable of resisting the temptations of the Otherworld and the extra-planar entities who would corrupt inexperienced mages and release their evil into the world. Those who study under Arcanum-trained mages outside the school itself are still subject to a Harrowing, administered by their master mage. Regardless of where they take it, everyone who desires to call themselves a Journeyman of the Arcanum must submit to the Harrowing. Those who fail the test are never seen again. Those who refuse the Harrowing likewise disappear. Instead of facing death, you left. You had studied at the Arcanum for years—long enough to learn the basics of magic, but for some reason the Harrowing was not an option. Family obligation forcing you to choose between the Arcanum and your family/clan? Did one of your friends die in the Harrowing? Refuse to take it and disappear forever? Did you learn some secret about the process and couldn’t reconcile that knowledge? Regardless of the reason, you left the Arcanum and ever since have been on the run from their hunters. It was surprisingly easy to leave—after all, who would flee the Arcanum, center of learning and enlightenment? By the time they knew to look for you, the ship carrying you to the mainland was long sailed, and you began life as a renegade mage. You barely remember the exhausting, frightened months of travel. Eventually you reached the heartlands of Brittanis and found that nobody asked about your past; those that did accepted the vague answers you provided. Only then did it occur to you to stop running and think about the future. You can never go back—those who flee the Harrowing are already assumed to have succumbed to the dark whispers from beyond the Veil of worlds. You will be slain if captured, there is no doubt. How do you live? Do you hide your magic? Pose as a graduate? Disguise yourself as a savage, those the Arcanum considers beneath them? How do you get by day to day? Tier 1 Dazzling Flare (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) A bright flash of light causes your pursuer to stop long enough that you can escape. Make a packet attack for, “Short Paralyze by Light” Note: The incantation for this spell must be 5 syllables long and must comply to all spellcasting rules. Tier 2 Disappear (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Day, Spell) In a pinch, you can will yourself to vanish from sight to avoid a foe. Once per day you can become insubstantial to the real world so long as you do not move. This skill can only be activated in a location where there is no direct sunlight. Pay 0 points of Stamina, gather your cloak around you and call out "Imbue by Magic" to become a spirit. So long as you do not move, speak, or use any other game skill you gain the Spirit defense. You gain the Magic trait and the Spirit trait. Any attack that is "to Magic" or "to Spirit" will affect you and, if they are not beneficial, knock you out of Spirit form. Otherwise you will stay in spirit form until you choose to move or dawn comes. Tier 3 Mage Silence (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) Those sent to capture or eliminate you are often fellow arcanists. You have learned a trick or two to give yourself an edge against them. Once per watch you can make 3 packet attacks for, “Silence by Background.”
You grew up on tales as old as Brittanis— gods and titans, heroes of the mortal races, knights and warriors and mages and priests. But you were also raised on tales of the most ancient empire of legend, the empire of magic and grandeur and power unlike anything mortals have known before or since. You were raised on the oldest stories of war and hubris—the stories of ancient Aquilon. As you grew and matured, the stories of Aquilon became more and more real to you, and eventually you decided to investigate the stories of ruins, artifacts, and fallen majesty. You mourned the loss of Aquilon like its fall had just happened, but that just increased the passion of your hunt. You seek the mysterious treasures and lost lore of Aquilon as if they are heirlooms of your own family. Who knows? Perhaps the reason you feel such a strong connection to the Empire Beneath is because somewhere in your ancestry is one of the refugees who survived the Breaking? Your search has not proven fruitless—far from it, in fact. The lore you have gathered and knowledge you have learned have proven (to you, if no-one else) that Aquilon had a more settled presence in Brittanis than sages previously thought. This means that ancient Aquilonian crypts, tombs, relics, and artifacts are waiting to be found—and you mean to be the one to discover them! Tier 1 Swallowing Waves (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch, Spell) You have learned to briefly conjure the dark, hungry waves that drank old Aquilon to the ocean’s bottom. Make 3 packet attacks for “Short Repel by Water.” Note: Use of this skill must comply with all the Spellcasting rules, and requires an incantation of 5 syllables. Tier 2 Drowned Lore (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Event) The magic of Aquilon was potent beyond modern understanding; you’ve learned a trick that lets you refresh your fighting spirit and energy. Once per event, you can call, “Refresh Daily Skills by Background” and refresh all skills which have the Day keyword. Tier 3 Secrets of the Deep (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) The final days of Aquilon are filled with mysterious and terrible secrets. It is known that the Magisters, mages of unparalleled power, violated their pact with the gods and tried to open the locked gate at the heart of Aquilon’s capital city; the secrets they unlocked drove every single Magister insane in a single instant. You harness some of that madness and inflict it on your foes. Make a packet attack for “Drain by Madness.”
This Background is focused towards those who move unprotected from place to place with regularity-- something dangerous and rave in the monster-haunted lands of Brittanis. These are the rovers, wanderers, explorers and those who journey through the wild in search of lore, treasure or glory. Many attempt it; precious few return, and even smaller is the number of those who decide to do it again. But you are such a one-- brave or crazy enough to embrace the perils of travel in these dark times. Tier 1 Whispers Of The Road (0CP) Your time on the road-- and in those place without roads-- has taught you much. You get any 2 Knowledge Skills (EXCEPT Military) for free. Tier 2 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Break My Stride (0 CP, Day) Your wanderlust is a powerful force within you-- it drive you to shake off any attempt to lock you in one place or keep you from moving. Choose Root or Slow when you get this skill. 3 times per Day, you can spend 3 seconds of roleplay shaking off the effect and call, "Purge [Chosen Effect] by Background!" and negate the effect. Tier 3 Ain't Nothin' Gonna Slow Me Down (0 CP, Day) Your ability to keep on moving is nearly supernatural now-- legends might be told of your feet and how they always move farther down the road. You call "Resist" against whichever effect you chose for Tier 2, and you can Purge the other effect as listed in Tier 2. Example: Micah is a Traveler, Tier 3. He chose Slow at Tier 2, so he can now call, "Resist by Background" against a Slow effect 3 times per day. He can also now spend 3 seconds shaking off a Root effect and then call, "Purge root by Background!" 3 times per day.
In the social ladder of Brittanis, there exists a small but growing group of folk who cannot neatly be qualified as Smallfolk or nobility. This new group is comprised of people skilled in a valuable trade (smiths, tanners, carpenters, stonemasons, etc) and those who deal in the goods produced by crafters (merchants, traders, teamsters, etc). These valued, often-wealthy folk are an anomaly in society, for they are often looked down upon by the nobility as upstarts while at the same time carrying tremendous influence in their local communities. Many times the Reeve, Elder, Mayor or other non-religious leader of a community is often a tradesman of some type-- they tend to be pillars of the community and their skills bring value to the communities they live in. As the name implies, Tradesmen (usually used as a gender-neutral reference despite the spelling) are those who deal with a skilled trade. Either directly as a producer of items and goods or indirectly as a merchant or distributor, the Tradesman has his fingers on the pulse of trade and his ear to the ground in his community. Her hands are agile, strong and make things of beauty or value that increase the status of her community and put food on her table or gold in her pockets. Villages and towns thrive or die by the quality of their tradesmen. Their influence in a community goes far beyond the wealth they often accumulate-- when there is only one smith in town, being the sole person able to make nails, tools or weapons is an incredibly powerful position to hold. The concept of a Guild or Merchant House is in its infancy in Brittanis, though there are a couple such economic powers in existence. In the south, a group calling themselves the Iron Circle has risen to prominence. They have grown from a group of metal-smiths who agreed to set standards for prices and quality into a conglomeration of interests who now have separate branches devoted to mine the ore they need, smelt it into usable metal, craft it into goods, transport the goods, and even a less-than-reputable mercenary group dedicated to guarding their shipments through the dangerous wild. Only time will tell if this idea of "corporation" will take off, but it certainly seems to have given the Iron Circle effective power equal to a noble house, if not greater.
Tier 1Skilled Trades (0 CP; 1 hrs Downtime)
- Skills from Crafting headers cost 1 less CP for you (minimum
- Each event you gain 4 points of Trade that can be used in place of Quintessence when using a Crafting skill. Each unused point of Trade can be cashed in by spending 1 hours of Downtime. Trade points cashed in this way is worth 5 silver shillings.
Tier 2Pillar of Trade (0 CP; Information Skill; 4 Hrs Downtime) You are a skilled at your craft, and the people of your community trust your judgement. Your influence often allows you to learn of the goings-on in your community. This is an information skill. Ask a specific question of staff in your post-event letter on a matter relating to the goings on in your home community. If gossip, rumor, or hearsay might be able to gain you the information, your chances of success will be greatly increased. The more specific the question, the more specific and useful the information gained is likely to be. Information is likely to be delivered at the next event in text form, though it may occasionally arrive in other ways. This skill costs 4 hours of Downtime. It may also attract the attention of others concerned with the subject matter of the gossip, so very dangerous subjects or sensitive information might carry some hazard, too.
- You gain 2 CP to be spent in any Crafting skill of your choice.
- Your Trade Points can now be cashed in for 1 gold piece per point. This still costs 1 hours of Downtime per point leftover.
Tier 3Who Rules Bartertown? (0 CP; 3 hrs Downtime) You are a master of your art; your influence in your community has grown along with your affluence. Now you trade not only in goods or services, but in favors and in power.
- You gain 4 CP that must be spent in Crafting skills. These skills cannot be spent all in the same header.
- You can ask two questions per Post-Event Letter using Pillar of the Community. Each question costs 3 hours of Downtime.
- You start with 6 Trade Points per event.
You are a member of one of the less-than-civilized tribes or clans that inhabit the outskirts of the settled world. While many might call you a savage, the majority of the barbarian peoples have a sophisticated culture full of myths, legends, oral histories and traditions-- just as much as more civilized folk, but many who were raised behind walls of stone learn to look down on or even fear those who live by choice in the wild. Thus, many barbarians are clannish, wary of outsiders, and treat self-reliance as a great virtue. Brittanis is an incredibly dangerous land, filled with brigands, bandit chiefs, and monsters. When faced with outside threat, many of the barbarian peoples gather together and fight-- their existence on the edge of civilization usually means that they rarely--if ever-- go looking for a fight, because even a serious wound is likely to become infected or keep you from being able to get food. And being unable to gather food is as good as a death sentence. However, the barbarian peoples also recognize that sometimes a fight is inevitable, and when that happens, there are no fiercer or more deadly warriors than those with their back to a wall. Tribal peoples will often run from a fight as many times as they can, only to suddenly and without warning turn on an enemy and crush them ruthlessly-- and then strip the bodes for anything that can be used, down to the bone and sinews of their foes. Waste in the wild can equal death. Examples of barbarians. Note that these are suggestions- feel free to come up with your own, but be sure to work with Staff when forming your PC Histories. : Mixed tribes of Erin'Tar, humans and Free Dwarves tribes in the mountains of Orkenay and Lyonesse. Human clans in the far north of Cambria. These savages are the remnants of the once-mighty Dalriada clans who ruled the north of Cambria generations ago. After the Dalriada were destroyed in the Waste invasion almost 50 years ago, the northern clans try to eke out a living while fighting the horrors that cross the straits. Gael'Dar clans can fall into this category when they lose contact with the Crystal Throne for long periods. The wood elves live off the great forest to begin with, and it's a short step from there to more savage ways. Some Free Dwarves who have fallen on hard times can qualify as barbarians as well. Normally the stout folk work tirelessly to preserve their culture, but when survival trumps tradition in a far-flung outpost, savagery can result. Tier 1 Savage Resolve (0 CP; 0 Stamina; Watch) Through force of will, you can ignore wounds and force yourself to fight on. Though painful, being able to outlast an opponent can be the difference between life and death. Once per watch, you can call "Heal X and Agony to self," where X is your Tier+1. Tier 2 Barbarian Strike (0 CP; 0 Stamima; Watch) You have learned how to take down prey to bring back as food for the clan; those same techniques often work well to bring down more dangerous foes as well. Once per watch, you can make a melee or missile attack for, "X Damage and Slam by Heritage" where X is your Tier+1. Tier 3 Untamed Toughness (0 CP) Your time in the wild has made you far more resilient than more civilized folk. Your maximum Vitality is permanently increased by 2.
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.