Appendix A: Alternative Lifepath

Lifepath: Profession Table

This appendix presents an alternative to the character creation rules presented in Chapter 2. If you want to randomly generate your characters story and background in a more detailed way the methodology presented below is for you. This methodology is better for shorter campaigns, typically focused on story development and investigation more than combat, character progression, and dungeon delving. These rules allow players to start as a fully functional adventurer, possibly with many years of experience behind them.

The following are the steps required to create a character with these alternate rules.

Roll Attributes

Roll 3d6 nine times to generate each Attribute score using the following table to determine the score for each die roll result. Then choose which Attribute to assign each generated score. If you want even more randomness, you can also simply roll down the line for each Attribute and apply the rolled score to that Attribute.

Attributes Table

3d6 ResultAttribute Score3d6 ResultAttribute Score3d6 ResultAttribute Score3d6 ResultAttribute Score
34761181510
45871291611
55971391711
6610814101812

Roll Social Class

Next, roll for your character’s Social Class. This ranges from Pauper, Peasant, Citizen, Patrician, up to Aristocrat. This will determine how many options they will have for their profession and how easily it will be to qualify and excel at those professions.

Social Class Table

d20Social Class%
1-2Pauper10%
3-10Peasant40%
11-16Citizen30%
17-19Patrician15%
20Aristocrat5%

Pauper – You are the poorest of the poor. You might live on the streets, on the edge of society, or are completely outcast from normal civilization. You own little more than the clothes on your back.

Peasant – You are part of the working poor. You might be a feudal farmer with a small plot of rented land or living in meager rented housing with an extended family. Your wealth is very limited, and you are one missed payday from becoming a pauper.

Citizen – You are of the middle-class of society. You likely have basic rights and own a simple dwelling and perhaps even your own small business. You live modestly, but comfortably and have the occasional luxury to enjoy. Your family likely runs their own business or provides important services.

Patrician – You are of the wealthy and powerful. You likely were afforded a reasonable education and granted many social and financial opportunities. You live quite comfortably and enjoy many luxuries. Your family likely owns many properties and business ventures.

Aristocrat – You are at the top of the social hierarchy. You live in a world of extravagant wealth and privilege. You had the finest education with numerous social and financial opportunities. You live in luxury and your family likely owns a grand estate and numerous properties and enterprise throughout the land.

Lifepath

The lifepath methodology takes place in Phases, each Phase is 4 years of time in the game world. Your character starts as a fresh, young 16 year old, ready to enter an apprenticeship and begin their first Profession. During each Phase, you will have to choose a career and professional path of your character. Your choices will be limited by your Social Class and upbringing. During the course of these years, various events can happen to your character that will alter the course of their life and career. They can gain more skills and experience in the world, although they may also get injured or traumatized. Characters often gain skill bonuses in the form of an increased Training Rank. It is up to the player to decide if they want to risk their character’s health and livelihood for another Phase where they can increase their skills. Each character must undergo at least one Phase. There is an inherent trade-off between the rewards of additional Phases, and the risks of mishaps and increasing age.

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The next section provides information for each available Profession, separated into eighteen Motivation Paths. The format for each Motivation Path and Profession is as follows:

Motivation Path  [Tolerance]

Profession Name  
[Social Class, Qualification Test, Primary Skill, Stability Test] 
Each Profession is followed by a short description and a Secondary Skill Table showing the additional skills that can be acquired. If the Primary Skill is an unspecified (*) category skill (e.g. Craft, Fight, Lore, Shoot), choose one subcategory as your Primary Skill. If the Secondary Skill options include the same skill (**), you must choose a different subcategory for that choice. You can also choose a different subcategory each time the Primary or Secondary Skill is chosen.

The two Professions associated with each Motivation Path are then followed by an appropriate Mishap Table. If you fail the Profession’s Stability Test to stay in the Profession, you then must roll on this Mishap Table and are then (usually) ejected from the Profession. If you succeed, you instead roll on that Profession’s Event Table.

The Prisoner Profession is special and certain events can cause you to become a Prisoner. See the Prisoner Profession more information.

The following is a quick guide with each step for reference when working through a character’s lifepath. Greater detail and description for each step follows.

Lifepath Quick-Guide

1) Childhood Bonuses. Gain +1 to one Tolerance, +1 to one Resistance,
+2 to one social skill and +1 to another social skill of your choice.

2) Roll for Qualification Test.
     (+2/-2 for each Social Class difference, -1 for each previous Profession)

     If FAIL, can join Laborer, Hermit, Ruffian; try Companion or Spouse; or drafted as a Soldier; or become a Courtier (Patrician or Aristocrat only) instead; or stay in previous Profession if passed a Stability Test.

     If SUCCESS, enter the Profession to which you qualified.

3) Add Skill Bonuses.

     If first Profession, add +2 to Primary Skill, and +1 to each Secondary Skill.

     Otherwise, add +1 to Primary Skill, and +1 to one random Secondary Skill.

4) Roll Motivation Path Tolerance Test, if FAIL, increase Tolerance +1.

5) Roll Profession Stability Test to determine event and stay in Profession.

     If FAIL, roll on Mishap Table. Ejected from Profession (usually).

     If SUCCESS, can choose to stay in Profession, Roll on Event Table.
        Add +1 to one Secondary Skill of your choice.

6) Roll on the Reward Table (unless you lost your reward), -1 if ejected.

7) Aging: If 5th or greater Phase, Roll on Aging Table (2d6 − Phases).
8) Increase Social Class:
(optional) Roll CHA +2, with a -2 penalty for each Social Class category difference. If success, can increase Social Class one category.

9) Choose: STAY in current Profession, TRY a new profession, or END the Lifepath.

10) Determine Age. You are 16 + 4 for each Phase. Then add 1d6-3 to determine your final age.

1) Childhood Bonuses

Your character gets a few bonus Training Ranks from their childhood. You get to choose one Tolerance to add a +1 Training Rank. You get to choose one Resistance to add a +1 Training Rank. You then get to pick one social Skill to add +2 Training Ranks and one social Skill to add +1 Training Rank. Think about how this might reflect your character’s childhood backstory. For random generation, you can use the Birth Circumstance, Childhood, and Adolescence: Social tables.

2) Roll Qualification Test

Choose a Profession to join. In order to join a Profession, you must first succeed on a Qualification Test. Each Profession lists an associated Qualification Test, a Basic Test  using the listed Attribute, typically with a +4 bonus. You also have a −1 penalty for each previous Profession you’ve held (but not each individual phase).

If the Social Class of the Profession is higher than yours, subtract a -2 penalty for each category the Profession is above yours. For example, your Peasant character would apply a −4 penalty to the Qualification Test for the Artist Profession, which is of the Patrician class (two categories above Peasant). Likewise, if the Profession’s Social Class is below yours, apply a +2 bonus for each category difference. For example, a Patrician would have an easier time qualifying to join the Keeper Profession, and gains a +4 bonus to their Qualification Test. Likewise, an Aristocrat has a +2 to Patrician Professions.

If you fail the Qualification Test, you will have to spend this Phase joining one of the following Professions: Laborer, Hermit, or Ruffian. You may also attempt one  Qualification Test for the Companion or Spouse Professions. Alternatively, you can choose to be drafted into the military as a Soldier (without a Qualification Test), but this can only be chosen once during a character’s lifepath, and only if your character is under 30 years old (Phase 4 and less). If your character is a Patrician or Aristocrat and they fail a Qualification Test for a Profession, they may instead join the Courtier Profession without rolling a Qualification Test.

If you failed a Qualification Test for a new Profession but succeeded at the Stability Test for your previous Profession, you can choose to instead remain in your previous Profession.

If you Succeed at the Qualification Test, you can successfully join that Profession.

3) Add Skill Bonuses.

If this is your first Profession, you gain a +2 to the Training Rank of that Profession’s Primary Skill, and you gain a +1 to the Training Rank of each Secondary Skill listed in the Profession’s Secondary Skill Table.

If this is not your first Profession, or if you are continuing a new phase in an existing Profession, you only add +1 to the Training Rank of the Profession’s Primary Skill and roll a d6 to determine one random Secondary Skill to add +1 to the Training Rank of that skill.

Training Limits: You cannot increase the Training Rank of any Tolerance, Resistance, or Skill greater than 6 (Master) during the Lifepath process. If the Primary or Secondary skill for your Profession already has 6 Training Ranks when you gain a bonus Training Rank, you can instead apply the +1 Training Rank to a random Secondary Skill for your Profession instead. This applies to bonuses from this step of the Lifepath process in addition to any Life Events that may grant Training Rank bonuses.

4) Motivation Path Tolerance Test.

Each Profession is associated with a particular Motivation Path. When you join a new Profession, or you continue in your current Profession, make a Basic Test  using the listed Tolerance associated with that Motivation Path. The Target Number is equal to that Tolerance‘s maximum value. If you SUCEED on the test, nothing happens. If you FAIL the test, you have room for improvement, and may increase the Training Rank of that Tolerance by +1.

Note that this bonus Training Rank is subject to the maximum of 6 as noted above. However, if you have reached the maximum of 6 Training Ranks in your Profession‘s Tolerance, you can add +1 to the Training Rank of a different Tolerance of your choice.

As a sidenote, keep track of the Motivation Paths throughout your character’s Lifepath and it may help you choose your character’s final Motivation (see Chapter 2 for more information about Character Motivations).

5) Roll Profession Stability Test to Determine Event

Now your character must see if they can maintain a stable career this Phase. Roll a Basic Test using the Profession’s listed Stability Attribute. This usually includes a modifier (typically +4).

If you FAIL the test, you must roll on the Profession’s associated Mishap Table. You are also ejected from this Profession (unless the result says otherwise). You will have to choose a new Profession next Phase and cannot advance your Social Class.

If you SUCCEED on the test, you have demonstrated your capability for advancement in your Profession. You gain +1 to the Training Rank of a Secondary Skill of your choice. Then roll on the Profession’s associated Event Table.

6) Roll for Rewards

After each Phase in a Profession, you can reap your rewards. Roll on the Reward Table for the Profession. You can always choose a lower Reward option than what you rolled. If you have been ejected from your Profession this phase, you have a -1 modifier to the roll. If you roll a 0 or less, you get nothing.

Most Professions have some form of housing as a Reward option. You can only have one form of housing at a time. If you roll a better housing option and want to upgrade your housing, you can cash in your previous housing for the listed upgrade value. If your character does not have any housing when you end the Lifepath, they are assumed to live in a wilderness shelter or on the street if they are poor. Otherwise, they likely rent a cheap apartment or cottage.

HousingUpgrade ValueDescription
Shack (Pauper)0 spA small one-room shack with crude furniture and no reliable heating source. Slightly better than a shelter.
Cottage (Peasant)100 spA meager small 1-2 room house, typically of mud or stone with a fireplace and simple furnishings. Includes a small garden for vegetables and herbs.
Apartment (Citizen)200 spA comfortable 1-3 room portion of a building in town, typically over a store or workshop. Has comfortable furnishings, a warm fireplace, and good lighting.
Manor (Patrician)400 spA fine home with 3-6 rooms, fine furnishings, and hand-crafted furniture. Bright, warm, and comfortable.
Estate (Aristocrat)~A lavish manor with a small estate. The home has 5-10 rooms, lavish furnishings, and fine décor. The estate might include a garden, paddock, or vineyard.

All Professions have Attribute bonuses as a Reward option. These are applied immediately to the character when chosen. A character’s Attribute cannot be increased above 12.

7) Aging

If this is your 5th Phase or greater, you must roll on the Aging Table. You have a −1 modifier for each Phase you have fully completed, such that you will have a −4 modifier the first time you roll on this table. Attributes cannot be reduced below 4.

2d6 – PhasesEffect
−6Reduce three physical attributes by −2. Reduce one mental attribute be −1.
−5Reduce three physical attributes by −2.
−4Reduce two physical attributes by −2. Reduce one physical attribute by −1.
−3Reduce one physical attribute by −2. Reduce two physical attributes by −1.
−2Reduce all three physical attributes by −1.
−1Reduce two physical attributes by −1.
0Reduce one physical attribute by −1.
1+You age with no adverse effects.

8) Increasing Social Class (Optional)

If you are able and choose to stay in your current Profession, you may attempt to increase your Social Class to match your Profession. Roll a Basic Test  using your CHA with a +2 bonus, but you must apply a −2 penalty for each Social Class category difference between your current Social Class and the Profession. If you SUCCEED, you increase your Social Class one category. You cannot increase your Social Class higher than Patrician.

9) Stay, Go, or Begin

Now you must choose between three options: you can stay in your current Profession; you can leave your Profession to try and qualify for a new one; or you can choose to end the Lifepath and begin your adventure.

If you choose to STAY in your Profession, you can decide if you want to try and increase your Social Class. Otherwise, you can return to step 3 and gain skill bonuses for the next phase of your Profession. You do not need to roll a Qualification Test.   

If you choose to LEAVE your Profession, either willingly or unwillingly, then you start the next Phase at step 2, rolling a Qualification Test for your next Profession. You cannot attempt to immediately return to a Profession if you were ejected. When you leave some Professions, you may not be able to reenter that Profession again at all during the Lifepath.

If you choose to BEGIN the adventure and end the Lifepath, proceed to the next step.

10) Ending the Lifepath

     Determine Age:  To determine the final age of your character, add a +4 years for each completed Phase to the starting age of 16. Then add 1d6−3 to determine your final age.


Profession Table

ProfessionClassQual.StabilityPrimary SkillMotivation Path
CompanionPauperCHA+4PER+4PerformIntimacy
LaborerPauperEND+4AthleticsHonor
HermitPauperEND+4SurvivalIndependence
RuffianPauperEND+4IntimidateRevolution
CharlatanPeasantPER+4CHA+2DeceiveExcitement
CultistPeasantCHA+4PER+4DeceiveEnlightenment
HealerPeasantEMP+4INT+4HealingBenevolence
KeeperPeasantEMP+4CHA+4InspireConnections
PerformerPeasantCHA+4COR+4PerformAchievement
SettlerPeasantEND+4INT+4SurvivalIndependence
SoldierPeasantEND+4COR+4Fight/ShootSecurity
SpousePeasantCHA+4EMP+4InspireIntimacy
ThiefPeasantINT+4AGL+2ThieveryExcitement
WandererPeasantPER+4INT+4InvestigateStimulation
AcolyteCitizenEMP+4CHA+4InspireEnlightenment
AlchemistCitizenINT+4COR+4Craft (Alch.)Knowledge
CounselorCitizenCHA+4EMP+4InspireBenevolence
CrafterCitizenCOR+4INT+4Craft (*)Creation
DespotCitizenWIL+2CHA+2CommandPower
ExplorerCitizenEND+4INT+4SurvivalDiscovery
InfiltratorCitizenAGL+4INT+2StealthRevolution
InvestigatorCitizenPER+4INT+4InvestigateJustice
MercenaryCitizenCOR+4END+4Fight/ShootWealth
MerchantCitizenCHA+4INT+4PersuadeWealth
NaturalistCitizenINT+2PER+4Lore (Nature)Understanding
OratorCitizenCHA+4INT+4PersuadeConnections
SeerCitizenEMP+2INT+4InvestigateUnderstanding
ArtistPatricianINT+4CHA+4Craft (Art)Achievement
ChampionPatricianWIL+2CHA+4CommandHonor
CommanderPatricianCHA+2WIL+4CommandSecurity
CourtierPatricianCHA+2PER+4DeceiveStimulation
EnvoyPatricianCHA+4INT+4PersuadeDiscovery
MagistratePatricianPER+4CHA+4InvestigateJustice
OverseerPatricianCHA+4WIL+4CommandPower
ScholarPatricianINT+4PER+4Lore (*)Knowledge
WriterPatricianINT+4PER+4Craft (Lit.)Creation
PrisonerSTR+4Athletics
MageINTINT+4Lore (Arc.)

Injury Table

2d6LocationDescription
2UnmentionablesYour injury leaves you sterile and emotionally withdrawn.  -1 EMP
3-4ArmOne or both of your arms were broken.  -1 COR
5-9Body (1d6) 
 1-2 – MuscleYou greatly injured a major muscle group. -1 STR
 3-4 – BackYour back or abdominal core was injured. -1 AGL
 5-6 – InternalOne or more of your organs were injured. -1 END
10-11LegA leg injury leaves you with a limp. -1 Speed
12Head (1d6) 
 1-2 – ScarThe injury left a visible scar. -1 CHA
 3-4 – SensesA blow to the head affected your senses. -1 PER
 5-6 – BrainYou have suffered some brain damage.  -1 INT

Life Events

2d6Event
2Sickness or Injury: Roll on the Injury Table (page XX).
3Birth or Death: You or someone close to you gives birth, or someone close to you dies.
4Relationship Ends: A romantic relationship ends poorly for you. Gain a Rival or Enemy.
5Improved Relationship: An existing relationship improves, likely leading to marriage or similar commitment. Gain an Ally.
6New Relationship: You begin a new romantic relationship. Gain an Ally.
7New Contact: You meet someone new. Gain a Contact.
8Betrayal: You are betrayed by a friend. Either an existing Contact or Ally becomes a Rival or Enemy or gain a new one.
9Travel: You move to a new region. Gain +2 to your next Qualification Test.
10Good Fortune: Luck has come your way. Gain +2 to your next Reward roll.
11Crime: Roll 1d6. 1-4 – You are the victim of a crime. Lose your Reward roll this Phase.  5-6 – You committed or are accused of a crime. Roll a Persuade or Deceive Basic Test. If you fail, you are convicted and become a Prisoner next Phase.
12Unusual Event: Roll 1d6.
1 – Magic: You have an opportunity to learn the secrets of magic. If your GM approves, you may join the Mage Profession next Phase. +1 INT
2 – Myth: You encounter a mythical being, such as a dragon or unicorn. You gain +1 EMP and the mythical being as a Contact.
3 – Magical Artifact: You find a strange magical artifact that grants a +1 Item bonus when used with an associated skill. Roll a random Secondary Skill to determine which skill it affects, then envision the item.
4 – Amnesia: You awaken with no knowledge of what happened to you, but you feel driven to find out. +1 WIL
5 – Ruler Contact: You came into contact with the highest rulers of your region, such as a king or emperor. +1 CHA
6 – Divine Inspiration: You believe you were divinely inspired, and you see the world differently now.  +1 PER