Dungeons & Dragons
You understand wealth, power, and privilege. You carry a noble title, and your family owns land, collects taxes, and wields significant political influence. You might be a pampered aristocrat unfamiliar with work or discomfort, a former merchant just elevated to the nobility, or a disinherited scoundrel with a disproportionate sense of entitlement. Or you could be an honest, hard-working landowner who cares deeply about the people who live and work on your land, keenly aware of your responsibility to them.
Work with your DM to come up with an appropriate title and determine how much authority that title carries. A noble title doesn’t stand on its own—it’s connected to an entire family, and whatever title you hold, you will pass it down to your own children. Not only do you need to determine your noble title, but you should also work with the DM to describe your family and their influence on you.
Is your family old and established, or was your title only recently bestowed? How much influence do they wield, and over what area? What kind of reputation does your family have among the other aristocrats of the region? How do the common people regard them?
What’s your position in the family? Are you the heir to the head of the family? Have you already inherited the title? How do you feel about that responsibility? Or are you so far down the line of inheritance that no one cares what you do, as long as you don’t embarrass the family? How does the head of your family feel about your adventuring career? Are you in your family’s good graces, or shunned by the rest of your family?
Does your family have a coat of arms? An insignia you might wear on a signet ring? Particular colors you wear all the time? An animal you regard as a symbol of your line or even a spiritual member of the family?
These details help establish your family and your title as features of the world of the campaign.
Skill Proficiencies: History, Persuasion
Tool Proficiencies: One type af gaming set
Languages: One of your choice
Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a signet ring, a scroll of pedigree, and a purse containing 25 gp
Position of Privilege
Thanks to your noble birth, people are inclined to think the best of you. You are welcome in high society, and people assume you have the right to be wherever you are. The common folk make every effort to accommodate you and avoid your displeasure, and other people of high birth treat you as a member of the same social sphere. You can secure an audience with a local noble if you need to.
Variant Feature: Retainers
If your character has a noble background, you may select this background feature instead of Position of Privilege. You have the service of three retainers loyal to your family. These retainers can be attendants or messengers, and one might be a majordomo. Your retainers are commoners who can perform mundane tasks for you, but they do not fight for you, will not follow you into obviously dangerous areas (such as dungeons). and will leave if they are frequently endangered or abused.
Nobles are born and raised to a very different lifestyle than most people ever experience, and their personalities reflect that upbringing. A noble title comes with a plethora of bonds—responsibilities to family, to other nobles (including the sovereign), to the people entrusted to the family’s care, or even to the title itself. But this responsibility is often a good way to undermine a noble.
Variant Noble: Knight
A knighthood is among the lowest noble titles in most societies, but it can be a path to higher status. If you wish to be a knight, choose the Retainers feature instead of the Position of Privilege feature. One of your commoner retainers is replaced by a noble who serves as your squire, aiding you in exchange for training on his or her own path to knighthood. Your two remaining retainers might include a groom to care for your horse and a servant who polishes your armor (and even helps you put it on).
As an emblem of chivalry and the ideais of courtly love, you might include among your equipment a banner or other token from a noble lord or lady to whom you have given your heart—in a chaste sort of devotion. (This person could be your bond.)