Friday, March 16, 2012

Greyhawk Affiliations: Prince's Fleet

One of the few things I still like that I took from late 3.5e D&D was the Affiliation system that ran in the Dungeon Masters Guide 2. Affiliations also saw alot of use in Paizo's two Greyhawk-centric AP's the Age of Worms and Savage Tide. The idea that you can join a group, a guild, a profession, a faction of some kind, is an excellent way to ground a character in a setting and at the same time give a player a list of goals and in-game rewards for participating in exploring the worlds and cultures of your setting. I am also pleased that the affiliation system, while 3.5e in nature can easily work with any edition. So with that said, I've been striving to develop my Sea Princes campaign in a way that my players will find useful instead of purely fluff reading (which few care about). Thus I have created my first unique affiliation, the Prince's Fleet.

Disclaimer: I am no expert at writing game rules, in fact I know this affiliation might be lacking in information that professionally made ones might have, but for a casual campaign, what I present here should suffice. The rules and charts below should be self-explanatory.


Symbol: Varies depending on which port or which noble house is being served. All contain at least the colors blue or gold with a sailing ship, a golden crown or the combination of a ship topped by a gold crown, the traditional heraldic symbol of the Hold of the Sea Princes.
                Enemies and Allies: Most loyalists to the Prince of Monmurg despise the Kingdom of Keoland, the Crimson Fleet of Scuttlecove and hold a bitter centuries old rivalry with the former rulers of the Hold, the nobles of Port Toli. The Prince’s Fleet is well received in the free city of Sasserine and is on good trading terms with the Iron League, particularly the Lordship of the Isles whose Suel born buccaneers enjoy a friendly rivalry at sea.
                Members: Members of the Prince’s Fleet are primarily captains, landed nobles and officers of their respective houses and ships, but have been known to include skilled experts like shipwrights, musicians and catographers. People of any character class or race can be found among the Prince’s court though a majority is from the Hold and are Suel blooded by background. It is not uncommon to find expatriates of other nations among those pledged to the Prince’s Fleet. While Prince Jeon’s recent attempt to abolish slavery failed it has only strengthened the Fleet’s reputation among the oppressed masses.
Titles, Benefits, and Duties: Members of the Prince’s Fleet are expected to adhere to the “Prince’s Charter”, the Hold’s version of the Articles of Agreement that all sailors of the South Seas swear to when joining a ship. Abandoning these laws is tantamount to treason in the eyes of the Fleet. Characters who declare themselves to the Prince’s Fleet should also strive to uphold the reputation of the Prince, Monmurg and the dignity of the entire Hold of the Sea Princes. Advancing the Hold’s power either spiritually, socially, economically or technologically is considered the duty of all loyalists of any rank. New buccaneers of the Fleet are usually gifted with a garment or accessory bearing the Prince’s colors and heraldry by either their captain, master or another member.

Criterion                                                                                              Affiliation Score Modifier
Character level                                                                                     +1/2 PC level
5 or more ranks in Profession (sailor)                                              +1/2
5 or more ranks in Knowledge (local)                                              +1/2
5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility)                                         +1/2
Cleric of a sea god                                                                               +1
Adventure with Princes Fleet members                                           +1
Completes a mission assigned by Prince’s Council                       +2
Fail mission for the Prince’s Council                                                -2
Gain first captaincy                                                                            +2
Donates goods to the Prince                                                              +1/2000 gp (twice per year)
Explore new land/ open new trade route                                        +2
Ransom or imprison notable enemy of the Prince                        +1/8 NPC level
Ally with Keoland or the Crimson Fleet                                          -4
Mutiny against a Fleet member                                                        -15 (and expelled unless PC goes to Monmurg to face Prince’s judgment)

Affiliation Score                                Title: Benefits and Duties
3 or lower                             Junior member with no title or benefits.
4-10                                       Buccaneer: Colors of the Hold to signify alliance. The buccaneer also earns an appropriate nickname (unless one is already used) that gives the PC a +2 bonus to bluff, intimidate or gather information checks (choose one).  At bars, Buccaneers are also typically given the first round free when first returning to a Hold port.
11-20                                     Loyal Holder: Reputation. Gain a +2 bonus to either diplomacy, gather information or perform (choose one). Also sell goods in the Hold at +5% cost.
21-29                                     Respected Holder: Great reputation. Sell goods in the Hold at +10% cost.
30 or higher                         Prince’s Council: Portrait in Court of Monmurg. Gain another +2 bonus to either diplomacy, bluff, perform or intimidate (choose one). Favor of the Prince (once per year, at DM’s discretion).


Ragnardbard said...

Very nice- I appreciate the effort taken to work this out. This all reminds me of the social level system from Judge's Guild's CSIO. Must admit I have overlooked the affiliation rules until now- but I agree- they are applicable to various systems with only minor tweaking.

Thanks for your Greyhawk efforts too.
This kind of involvement adds to the setting. :)

mortellan said...

Thanks for the feedback! Admittedly I know zilch about Judges Guild stuff, maybe this social system is something I should look into?
I always strive to contribute in anyway I can to the GH community!

Valkaun_Dain said...

How about Olman's Tribe? ;)