Storyteller House Rule
Of all the stellar nations, only the Thuldans, the Borealins, the Solars, and the Hatires have anything resembling a titled aristocracy. In other nations, the ‘nobility’ may consist of families commanding unusual wealth, prestige, or political power. These oligarchs, merchant princes, and corporate directors pass their fortunes and interests to their descendants, just as the land-holding lords of old passed their fiefs to their children. A stellar noble hero is a scion of one of these families, born to wealth and power beyond the dreams of most people.
Stellar nobles adventure for a variety of reasons. Some are philanthropists, dedicated to using their position and fortune to bettering the world around them. Others are merchant-lords charting the course of a powerful privately held company in a universe of monolithic corporations. Still others are simply bored dilettantes looking for thrills.
Many of the noble families of Old Space sent out favored relatives to the Verge when it was first colonized. The Verge nobles spent a great deal of their wealth settling into their new homes, virtually eliminating their ties with Old Space altogether. When the war cut the Verge off from Old Space, the new nobles of the Verge found themselves stranded. Many of the Verge noble houses dissolved,» others were destroyed in riots. Those that survived held little love for their Old Space founders.
In the Verge: There are more than thirty noble houses in the Verge. Some of these are survivors of the original nobles. Others are houses that have emerged as the Verge has grown in power and prestige. The houses detailed below are some of the more prominent in the Verge.
House Kaitors: Kaitors Industries is the leading producer of electronic components in the Verge. With its supply of high-technology parts from Did Space reestablished, Marilyn Kaitors will most likely capture more of the technology market from her home planet of Leen in the Oberon system.
House Maritec: Thomas Maritec, the patron of the House, is a retired admiral from the Borealis military. Upon his retirement, he received an area in the Argos star system to oversee for the Borealins. With the return of the stellar nations to the Verge, Admiral Maritec is aiding the Galactic Concord, as directed by his government.
House Hale: Christopher Hale led his fleet of renegade ships to Aegis and proclaimed himself the Regent of Bluefall. Despite an earlier attempt by the Thuldans to remove him from power, Hale has remained the undisputed ruler of Bluefall.
Members of the noble class use their intelligence and natural charisma to make their way in the Stellar Nations. From true royalty to elected officials, military commanders to crime lords, traders, merchants, ambassadors, holovid stars, and influential corporate magnates, character types who appear in the noble class are varied and numerous. Some bring honor to the name. Others are sly, treacherous, and dishonorable to the core. With a winning smile, a golden tongue, a powerful message, or a knack for making compromises, the noble commands respect, makes friends, and inevitably influences people.
Most nobles wind up in dangerous situations because of something they believe in or because their job calls for it. Others hope to use their negotiating talents to navigate a course through the troubles around them, or seek to find profit in the troubles of others. Whatever their initial motivations, nobles usually wind up taking to a cause and a goal that sustains them through the roughest missions. An adventuring noble might be an aide, a free trader, a diplomat, a true prince or princess, or an outlaw’s lieutenant. Nobles often feel responsible for others, though some consider themselves to be better than those around them.
The noble fosters feelings of good will and honesty, or at least the illusion of such, to succeed. Where as some other classes shoot first, the noble starts out asking questions and hopes to finish by negotiating a deal. The noble believes she can be more effective with words and deeds than with violence, though some draw a blaster when push comes to shove. The noble is more comfortable in civilized regions of space, where law and order have some meaning. Of all the classes, nobles have the best diplomatic and bargaining skills. They’re good talkers, negotiators, and bluffers. They have a knack for inspiring others, and they make good leaders.
Altruistic nobles believe it is their duty and responsibility to serve and lead. More selfish nobles seek the fame, wealth, and power often associated with the positions they aspire to. Power-hungry nobles take advantage of the system and wind up helping others only to help themselves. The halls of power are calling. How the noble answers can make all the difference.
To qualify to become a Stellar Noble, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
The following information pertains to the Stellar Noble advanced class.
Hit Die: 1d6
Action Points: + one-half character level, rounded down, every time the Stellar Noble attains a new level in this class.
The ’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
The following features pertain to the Stellar Noble advanced class.
At 1st level, a noble may designate any one cross-class skill (except for a Force-related skill) as a class skill. This represents an area of expertise the noble picks up outside his or her normal training.
The noble has the ability to call in favors from those she knows. By make a favor check, the noble can call upon contacts to gain important information without going through the time and trouble of doing a lot of research. Favors can also be used to acquire the loan of equipment or documents from influential acquaintances.
To call in a favor, the noble makes a favor check. Roll a d20 and add the character’s favor bonus (+1 at 1st level, +2 at 3rd level, and so on). The GM sets the DC based on the scope of the favor being requested. The DC ranges from 10 for a simple favor being requested to as high as 25 for highly dangerous, expensive, or illegal favors. The noble can’t take 10 or take 20 on this check, nor can she retry for the same (or virtually the same) favor. Note that favors should help advance the plot of an adventure. A favor that would enable a character to circumvent an adventure should always be unavailable to the character, regardless of the result of a favor check.
A noble can try to call in a favor a number of times in a week of game time that’s equal to half her noble levels, rounded down (minimum of one).
So, as a 1st-level noble, Arani can attempt to call in a single favor, while as a 7th-level noble she can attempt to call in favors as many as three times from different contacts.
The GM should carefully monitor the noble’s use of favors to ensure that this ability isn’t abused. The success or failure of a mission shouldn’t hinge on the use of a favor, and calling in favors shouldn’t replace good roleplaying or the use of other skills. The GM may disallow any favor deemed to be disruptive to the game (see favors and contacts for additional information on this).
Beginning at 2nd level, a noble can use oratory to inspire confidence in allies, bolstering them and improving their chances of success. An ally must listen to and observe the noble for a full round for the inspiration to take hold. The effect lasts for 5 rounds. The noble can inspire a number of allies equal to half her noble levels, rounded up. She can inspire confidence once per day for every four levels of noble she possesses (once per day from 1st to 4th level, twice per day from 5th to 8th level, and so on).
An ally inspired with confidence gains a +2 morale bonus on saving throws and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls.
The noble can’t inspire confidence in herself. The ability only aids her allies.
Beginning at 3rd level, a noble has access to an array of resources (usually from family, influential friends, or patrons). Once per day, the noble can make a Charisma check to use those resources during the adventure.
The value of resources gained equals the noble’s class level multiplied by the result of the Charisma check multiplied by 20. Thus, a 3rd-level noble who gets a result of 16 on her Charisma check would gain 960 credits’ worth of resources to use in the adventure (3 x 16 x 20 = 960).
These resources can take almost any form the noble chooses (within reason) and are hers to do with as she pleases. She can keep them, use them, give them away, or sell them as she sees fit. The resources gained arrive in the noble’s possession 1d8 hours after she makes the check. These resources must be reasonably available when and where she chooses to make the check. For instance, a noble trekking through the wilderness of Endor’s forest moon won’t have access to many resources.
Resource access tends to be monetary, whereas favors tend to be benefits that can’t necessarily be measured in credits.
A noble has a knack for getting people to work together. When the noble can aid others and give directions, she provides a bonus to the task at hand by making an aid another check. This bonus is in addition to the normal aid another bonus of +2 (see aiding others), and it increases as the noble gains levels. So, the noble provides a total +3 bonus at 4th level (+2 aid another bonus, +1 cooperation bonus), a +4 bonus at 8th level, etc.
This ability can’t be used to assist in combat.
At 6th, 9th, 14th, and 19th level, the noble gains a bonus feat. This feat must be selected from the following list, and the noble must meet any prerequisites.
Diplomatic Immunity, Fame, Frightful Presence, Influence, Mimic, Persuasive, Sharp-Eyed, Trustworthy
Beginning at 10th level, a noble can inspire greatness in an ally, granting extra fighting capability. This works similar to inspire confidence, except it affects but a single ally. An ally inspired with greatness gains +2d6 temporary vitality points, a +2 competence bonus on attacks, and a +2 morale bonus to saving throws. The effect lasts for 5 rounds. The noble can inspire greatness once per day.
The noble can’t inspire greatness in herself. The ability only aids her allies.
|Class Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Defense Bonus||Reputation Bonus|
2 +1 +0 +2 +3 Inspire Confidence +3 +1 3 +2 +1 +2 +3 Favor +2, Resource Access +3 +1 4 +3 +1 +2 +4 Coordinate +1 +3 +2 5 +3 +1 +3 +4 Bonus Class Skill +4 +2 6 +4 +2 +3 +5 Bonus Feat +4 +2 7 +5 +2 +4 +5 Favor +3 +5 +2 8 +6 +2 +4 +6 Coordinate +2 +5 +3 9 +6 +3 +4 +6 Bonus Feat +5 +3 10 +7 +3 +5 +7 Inspire Greatness +6 +3