Forgotten Realms: Splendors & Shadow
Status 2 characters may be scions of a local noble house or influential merchant concern. Such characters may not start better-off than Wealthy.
Status 1 characters may be moderately successful merchants, well-to-do tradesmen, or other city professionals. Such characters may generally not start with higher than Comfortable wealth.
Status 0 includes most townsfolk and visitors, and probably the majority of the PCs. Such characters may generally not start with higher than Comfortable wealth.
Status -1 characters may be laborers, sailors, or petty criminals. They may not start with better than Average wealth.
Status -2 characters are beggars, drifters, and vagrants, generally rousted by the Watch if found anywhere other than the Dock Ward. Such characters may not start with better then Struggling wealth.
Each church, sect, and order within the city has its own ecclesiastic hierarchy, and selects its own members by its own criteria. It’s certainly possible to have Church Rank in a sect that’s not sanctioned within the city, but check with the GM to see if it’s going to do you enough good to be worth any points. The most common sects for PCs are likely to be the Church or one of the orders of the Holy Triad, or one of the faiths or orders of the Ecumenical Council. PC Clerics may have Church Rank 0 (friar, novice, neighborhood vicar), Rank 1 (priest, initiate), or Rank 2 (senior priest, knight, adept).
Guild or Order Rank
Most official organizations within the city have some sort of rank structure; those of most interest to PCs are the Arcanists’ Guild and the Order of the Black Staff. PCs may have Rank 0 (apprentice, neophyte), Rank 1 (journeyman, initiate), or Rank 2 (professional, mage-adept).
Watch Rank & Legal Enforcement Powers
Depending on the offense, different groups have different kinds and levels of legal enforcement powers within the city. The following are available to starting PCs.
Watchman (5 points)
General civil & criminal jurisdiction within the city, no extraordinary powers. PC Watchmen may be of Rank 0 (Constable), Rank 1 (Sergeant), or Rank 2 (Lieutenant).
Watch Wizard (5 points)
Jurisdiction and wide influence over magical and supernatural matters, but no extraordinary powers. PC Watch Wizards use the same ranking as the normal watch, and may also have Guild Rank (see below).
There are several groups who fall under special, private laws within the city. The following versions of Legal Immunity are available to PCs:
Guildsman (5 points): Members-in-good-standing of officially recognized local guilds (Status 0-2) are subject to the city’s trade laws, which are highly favorable for them in dealings or competition with foreign merchants and non-guild professionals. In civil and criminal matters, however, they have no special rights or immunities.
Noblesse Oblige (10 points): Members of city’s Noble Houses (Status 2+) have the right to demand a hearing before the Council of Lords for any offense — a bureaucratic nightmare for the Watch, which generally results in all but the most serious charges being dropped before the noble spends a single night in jail. The other side of Noblesse Oblige is the expectation that nobles will conduct themselves nobly, that is, with dignity and respect for the city and its laws. A noble who spends a lot of time being arrested by the Watch is much more likely to be dealt with by his family, to avoid scandal, and some families can be quite harsh in dealing with spoiled scions.
Most organizations that act as a Patron and/or grant Rank will have some kind of associated Duties. To avoid hijacking the game, frequency of duty should be no more than Fairly Often (9 or less) without GM approval. No duty available to PCs counts as Extremely Hazardous or Involuntary.
For the most part, Waterdhavian society doesn’t stigmatize large groups. Natives may look down on summertime visitors, old-money nobles may disdain new-money upstarts, but in general, no one group has the social leverage to blanket-stigmatize another. The primary exceptions to this are “barbarians” and “monstrous” races — those known to be uncivilized and/or inimical to humanity. The stigma for these individuals ranges from -5 (Unwashed Barbarian) to -15 (Man-eating Monster). Other possible stigmas include Known Criminal (-5), Disowned Noble (-5), Unsanctioned/Excommunicated Clergy (-5), and Underage (-5).
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