Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Every character has certain specific or general concepts that they hold above all others. These should be major, life-central matters to the character that they wish to uphold or protect at all costs. When a character’s allegiances are challenged, the character generally is forced to choose between up-holding their allegiance (or one of several contending allegiances) or to violate their allegiances to achieve some greater goal. In either case, the character learns something about life and about themselves from such experiences.
The idea of allegiances is two-fold. First it is meant to help establish what some of a character’s most major concerns are in life. Secondly it establishes circumstances under which the GM can best recognize when character-specific Role Playing experience may be warranted. Characters may only have 4 allegiances at a time. If a character has more than 4 major allegiances, the player should try to choose the 4 most important and personally influencing of those allegiances to set as the character’s official allegiances.
|Example: Davin the Knight of Keland has allegiances to his Country, to his Beloved, to his Honor, and to his Comrades. A circumstance arises where Davin’s Beloved and Comrades are leaving the country, but for reasons of safety wish to take a magic item with them. This magic item, however, is locked inside a safe which is guarded by Davin’s fellow countrymen – thus they plan to break in and steal the item. Thus Davin is in an incredibly difficult scenario.
To aid them in their heist both betrays Davin’s country and protects it, but it certainly violates Davin’s personal honor as it is an act of theft and betrayal. Alternatively, betraying the thieves would be betraying his Beloved and betraying his comrades. Finally, to do nothing would be a failure to do his duty to his country by either stealing or securing the dangerous item, a failure to do his duty to his beloved, a failure to do his duty to his comrades, and be an act of cowardice which would violate his honor.
In a case such as this Davin’s allegiances are being tested even more contentiously than usual, and almost any decision he makes would result in a serious character moment warranting an XP reward.
The rewards for scenarios where allegiances are challenged is determined according to the following criteria. 1) Number of allegiances challenged in the scenario. 2) Gravity of the scenario. 3) Gravity of the Challenge. The table below shall be the guide for XP determination.
|Number of Allegiances Challenged|
|Gravity of Scenario||Examples|
|1 Mild||Minor Loss of Property or Face|
|2 Moderate||Major Loss of Property, Minor Injuries, Major loss of Face|
|3 Serious||Major Injuries, Loss of One Life|
|4 Severe||Loss of Several Lives, Destruction of Allegiance|
|Gravity of Challenge||Examples|
|1 Mild||Little (if any) Action Necessary|
|2 Moderate||Some Action Necessary|
|3 Serious||Major Action Necessary|
|4 Severe||Notable Risk of Personal Death|
|Point Sum||Experience Amount|
|3||30 xp / HD|
|4||50 xp / HD|
|5||60 xp / HD|
|6||70 xp / HD|
|7||90 xp / HD|
|8||100 xp / HD|
|9||110 xp / HD|
|10||130 xp / HD|
|11||140 xp / HD|
|12||150 xp / HD|
In general, Experience awards for Allegiance challenges will never be awarded when there is no practical choice involved, or when the character has no real necessary investment in the matter.
|For example, if a character’s options are suffer some minor ridicule (which would challenge an allegiance) or threaten a dragon to a duel to the death (that the character will clearly lose), there is little room for allegiance experience. In suffering the ridicule the character is essentially taking no action, and in the case of challenging the dragon to a duel to the death the character is taking an action with no practical end.|
|As another example, if a character has an allegiance to their country, and one of their comrades is going to give up on their own life of service, then the primary character is not having an allegiance challenge. Though they may be experiencing vicarious stress due to their comrade’s own doubts or abandonment, unless they are presented with a choice – say their comrade attempts to convince them to leave as well – then they are not having their allegiance challenged.|
A character’s Allegiances should never really change without being challenged first. It doesn’t matter how drastic the challenge is, but any time a Character’s allegiance is challenged it’s possible that the allegiance will shift in the process. This does not negate the effects of that challenge, it simply represents a character coming out of a very potent, personal experience in their life with a new set of priorities.
Allegiances can also change whenever a character undergoes a shift of alignment for any reason, but more often come about once the old allegiances are formally challenged. Shifting alignment in and of itself can never be a challenging event, but actions taken in line with a new alignment can often challenge a character’s preexisting values and allegiances.