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Noble PCs and the Shackled City AP


Shackled City Adventure Path


Hey gang,

I'm running a solo campaign where my wife is playing a Rogue/Ranger and I'm NPCing a number of her character's friends as the rest of her party, but I've run into a conundrum. She's playing a Noble! Since she's a noble, wouldn't that mean she'd have access to more of the families in the game than the AP calls for, thus leading potentially to more issues with keeping the game rolling as it is planned?

The further I look into the hardcover (which is incredible, btw), the more information I see that could become problematic. For instance, she's a lesser noble. She COULD conceivably have access to the Cusp of Sunrise before the AP calls for it...

Any suggestions or alternatives you can think for nobles in the SCAP??

Syrinx


Making her a noble certainly opens up opportunities to include the Stormblades, the adventuring party made up of sons and daughters of the city's noble families.

You could either make her an ally of the Stormblades, or really play up the rivalry. In the latter case, you might want to link her to Alek Tercival, the last survivor of an impoverished noble family and a fervent paladin follower of St Cuthbert. He would like to restore his family's former wealth and standing.

Cheliax

Syrinx wrote:

Hey gang,

I'm running a solo campaign where my wife is playing a Rogue/Ranger and I'm NPCing a number of her character's friends as the rest of her party, but I've run into a conundrum. She's playing a Noble! Since she's a noble, wouldn't that mean she'd have access to more of the families in the game than the AP calls for, thus leading potentially to more issues with keeping the game rolling as it is planned?

The further I look into the hardcover (which is incredible, btw), the more information I see that could become problematic. For instance, she's a lesser noble. She COULD conceivably have access to the Cusp of Sunrise before the AP calls for it...

Any suggestions or alternatives you can think for nobles in the SCAP??

Syrinx

I think having a noble in the party makes things a lot more interesting, as it gives the PCs a way to easily interact as equals with the upper crust of Cauldron society and lets them have prior experience with the people who make the important decisions in the town. This will definitely come in handy later on in the AP, or even as early as the third adventure, if you use delvesdeep's Flood Festival mod.

As for access to the Cusp of Sunrise, I don't see much problem with it if it happens earlier on - I don't think it spoils anything if the characters can get into an exclusive club like that a little early. If you'd really rather avoid having her go there, you can claim that her parents angrily resigned their membership after a pointed slight by the Aslaxins or something of that nature.

One suggestion for you would be to add in a male Lathenmire sibling - the Lathenmires aren't officially nobility yet, and so they'd be seeking to marry into the noble families of Cauldron. That could either create a love interest for your wife's PC (and could lead to a greater rivalry with Cora) or it could lead to tension within the PC's family, as her parents try to get her to marry for money.


Already plenty of great advice and ideas from MrVergee and Pulp.

As already stated having noble opens up plenty of additional opportunities to interact with the nobles and gives you an abundance of roleplay side treks you could engineer.

I would have your wife being the sister of Alek or Ophelha. This distances her enough from the noble 'villians' of the Path as well as the government while still giving her a few privledges and access to areas she would normally not be entitled to.

Being Alek's relative would allow you to give your wife many of the same motivations that Alek has - reclaim the family estate and wealth, protect the city from evil etc. It would also give extra weight and significance to future encounters involving Alek such as his battle with the demonic general Nabthataron and if you plan to use the Demonskar Ball and/or Seige of Redgorge documents (shameless self plug here :)) then it would also make these side treks more meaningful too.

Having Ophelha as a relative would give you wife a 'home' in Hollowsky but would also very much put her on the 'edge of influence' in terms of Cauldron politics. Ophelha has old family connections to the Lord Mayor (at least in my game) which would make his disappearance more of a focus later in the campaign.

As Pulp already said, having access to the Cusp of Sunrise early would not be a bad thing and having your wife an equal to the Stormblades may only esculate the rivalry. The nobles in the city are an interesting bunch so allowing your wife to interact with them more can only be a good thing IMO.

Delvesdeep

Cheliax

Our group just finished SC a few months ago. My character was a wizard named Ander Aslaxin, the second son of Zachery the first and younger brother to Zachery the second. It was awsome! In the end he even was elected the Lord Mayor of the city during the "Foundation of Flame" adventure.I basically played things up as being an independent of my father and seeking to outshine the Stormblades (which are group did alot! We even embaressed Zachary II by stealing his pants and running the up the flag pole in town sqaure while he was having a tryst with one of the other stormblade chicks). It was probably my favorite character I have ever played thus far. So I say go for it, the above suggestions are great as well.


My group is starting SCAP in the next couple of weeks. We have 4 players. My wife's character, an aspiring helf-elf eldritch theurge has takne the noble trait as well. Her idea is to be a member of the Hollow family. This is the family the lord mayor married into that got his parents not speaking to him. She isn't looking for a power play. Actually, she wants to have her mother be a b#$%# (think the mother from 2 1/2 Men) who went to be a priestess of the Temple of Wee-Jas which I thought could be fun later--especially since she essentially hates her mother. The mothers brother had foolishly lost a ton of money bringing shame to that side (the non-Hollow) of the family so the PC goes to stay with the somewhat reluctant father. He effectively gives her a place to stay and let's her be 'noble' but not much more than that. She is happy becuase it means that, unlike growing up, she is treated like a human at least.

Here are some questions:
1. Does this sound workable?
2. What potential problems might I encounter?
3. I believe in the HC the Hollow's don't have holdings in the city anymore--or there aren't details at least. Would it cause any problems to have her father maintain a small estate there where she could live?

I am open to many thoughts. I've downloaded a ton of info from RPGenius which is fantastic and am searching these threads for even more. I really wnat this to be great for the players. Any help is appreciated.

As a note, the other players are going to be a Human Fighter (dervish)with the mark of the beast trait, a scout, and a divine character of some sort


What's the best family for an Elven noble in the SCAP? One of the players in my campaign chose an Elven noble fighter as her character. Any suggestions?


Hrothgar--the Knowlerns are the main elven noble family in the area. Ophelha Knowlern is the main one mentioned in the SCAP book, and there are some additional Knowlerns in Sasserine, if you've got the relevant Dungeon issue and/or the STAP player's guide.


Peruhain of Brithondy wrote:
Hrothgar--the Knowlerns are the main elven noble family in the area. Ophelha Knowlern is the main one mentioned in the SCAP book, and there are some additional Knowlerns in Sasserine, if you've got the relevant Dungeon issue and/or the STAP player's guide.

Thank you. I'll have to look for the Knowlerns in the SCAP hardback.

I don't have any Dragon Magazines. Though I'm thinking of getting the ones with Age of Worms and Savage Tide after the SCAP, if we decide to remain on Oerth.

Thank you very much.

If you know what chapters I should look in for info on the Knowlerns, I'd really appreciate it. We're almost done in Drakthar's Way and about to head into Flood Season, so the interactions of the nobility at the festival might be important to a member of the Knowlerns.

Thanks, again.


OK. I found some info in chapter 4 and on page 29.

Does anyone know if there is any information on Ophellha's relatives in the area in the SCAP HC?

Also, do any of the adventures take place in Hollowsky?


One way to get around worries about too much noble influence is to have a character have origins in another city. Sasserine is one example but the character could even be from farther away. This grants a certain status and respect but doesn't require as much forethought about fitting into every kind of intrigue. It can be a fun way of doing introductions to high society in fact.

Also there are nobles and there are nobles. A noble from Sterich or Bissel might come from a family still rebuilding lands lost in the giant wars, but might have particular influence with the ruler of one of those lands. On the other hand a noble from Onnwall might have little direct influence but more wealth.


Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

OK. I found some info in chapter 4 and on page 29.

Does anyone know if there is any information on Ophellha's relatives in the area in the SCAP HC?

Also, do any of the adventures take place in Hollowsky?

none of the adventures deal directly with Hollowsky, the HC has only a littel information on the town.

The Knowlern family has extensive holding is Sasserine as detailed in the Savage Tide Players Pack


When I started running SC, one of my PCs expressed two preferences: she wanted to play a noble, and she wanted to be evil (most of the party was good-aligned, as the AP assumes).

I did a quick embellishment of the Five Families, establishing more particulars for each family, since I expected they would come up fairly often. Of the five families I picked (Aslaxin, Vanderboren, Tercival, Taskerhill, and Rhiavaldi), the only one that seemed suitably evil was Rhiavaldi, Thifirane's clan (Todd Vanderboren is evil, but a sort of petty, thuggish evil).

I didn't want this PC to be Thifirane's daughter, so I made her a niece instead. I also described the Rhiavaldis as a black sheep family, social outcasts who deal in secrets and blackmail, and who are only tolerated because of their wealth.

This choice -- marginalizing the PC's noble family -- makes it a more interesting challenge for her when role-playing in the city (for example, she could probably gain access to the Cusp of Sunrise, but people might leave the room as soon as she entered). I also felt it gave Thifirane some extra motivation for allying herself with Vhalantru and the Cagewrights.

I threw in a few plot kinks along the way -- like a potential arranged marriage between Vhalantru and the PC! -- and then eventually had her get disowned by her parents (for sneaking away on adventures all the time). As of Chapter Seven, she is plotting revenge, and an eventual political coup. The final confrontation with Thifirane should be fun!

Silver Crusade

I've made my noble player Todd Vanderboren's cousin. Todd being my player's snivelly cousin that he can't stand. Their confrontation with the stormblades is coming up soon.

Kind of like being Snape's cousin. :/

Osirion

my noble is a Lathenmire, and I mare Cora from the stormblades another noble...One thing I did do, however, is make Triel in (chapter 3?) a sister who was exiled before his birth, and was seeking vengeance on the city...it was kinda cool...


Did you guys make your noble PC's "waste a level on Aristocrat"? I've ruled that noble (or otherwise upper class) PC's don't have to do that, but don't get a lot of tangible benefits from being noble either. They get the same starting equipment as a PC with a "street thug" background would, it's just the people they know and people's reactions are a bit different.

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