Thursday, July 18, 2013

More About Bonds & Social Class In the Shadow of the Black Giant

Are you sick of the Black Giant yet? Well, I've got a few more things to write before I start up that campaign (which is looking like Saturday nights if you're interested and haven't spoken up yet). A little while ago, I talked about using Dungeon World-style Bonds and gave some lists of DW-style mandatory Bonds; since then, I've rethought the issue and have a different way to go about things. 

In the Shadow of the Black Giant, social class is inextricably linked to the way individuals relate to the world around them; thus, social class plays a large part in determining the Bonds that characters form with one another. The system presented here replaces the one discussed previously, and presents the player with an interesting choice: what social class will his adventurer hail from? Each social class has unique benefits and Bonds, making the choice less an obvious one and more of an interesting one.

Lower Class

Dr. Bosengehirn can augment lower-class
wages with "volunteer money;" visit his
surgery in Blauheim for details!
Farmers, laborers, poor parish priests, peasants of all stripes, the lower class drives the survival and economy of the Blauertal. Lower class adventurers are often starved for resources at the outset of their careers, but are some of the hardiest people in the valley.

  • For starting money, roll 5d6 and pick the three lowest, multiplying the result by ten. Gain that many Marks. 
  • For beginning hit points, roll two hit dice and pick the higher of the two. 
  • Pick one of the following mandatory Bonds (for either another PC or for an NPC):
    • I'm sure that ______ is a witch. 
    • ______ has proven himself through his toil; I respect his strength and dedication.
    • ______ doesn't respect a hard day's labor; I need to show him the satisfaction of a job well done. 
    • Despite a long-standing rivalry between our families, ______ and I are fast friends.
    • Although ______ and I were childhood friends, we've become rivals over the years.
    • I may just be a simple country boy/girl, but I'll prove my love to ______ yet.
    • I owe ______ a debt that I can only hope to repay someday. 
    • Last year, I helped out ______ when he and his were in a bad way; how he settles that debt will mark his measure.  
    • I've heard songs sung of ______'s prowess and skill, but I'm not impressed... yet. 


Middle Class

Hard work isn't just for peasants. 
Traders, tradesmen, bureaucrats, mid-ranked priests, minor intellectuals and professionals compose the middle class of the Blauertal, forming the backbone of the emerging social structures of the valley. Adventurers from the middle class often make the easiest transition into their fortune-seeking careers, particularly given the growing amount of leisure time (and thus boredom) their class affords them and the drive to work hard that their culture has instilled in them.

  • Middle class characters start with a 3d6 times 10 Marks, but will have at least a minimum of 60.
  • Roll beginning hit points normally, but Middle Class characters are guaranteed a minimum number, depending on their hit dice (on a d4, the minimum is 2; on a d6, 3; on a d8, 4). 
  • Pick one of the following mandatory Bonds (for either another PC or for an NPC): 
    • I've heard that ______ and his family are heretics, he must be shown the light of the true way. 
    • I should stick with _______; his cleverness and industriousness will bring him far in life. 
    • ______'s contempt for society's virtues is sickening; I must make sure he is punished for his wicked ways. 
    • Business relations between ______'s family and mine have soured, but I believe we patch things up if we work hard at it. 
    • ______ and I are old travelling companions from our time [working/trading/studying] abroad.
    • I must find a way to get ______'s parents - and mine - to agree to our marriage!
    • I owe my success to the intervention of ______; when God permits me, it is only right and fitting that repay his kindness. 
    • ______ rents from me and my family; I'm here to ensure he keeps accounts in good stead. 
    • ______ was praised for his aptitudes and virtues during mass last Sunday; I'm sure he'll be a shining example to all of us!
Only the upper class has time
for poetry. 

Upper Class

Landed nobles and the ecclesiastical aristocracy, the upper class enjoys every benefit of society. Upper class adventurers use their (potentially) vast resources to make up for their physical shortcomings and frailties. 
  • For starting money, roll 5d6 and pick the highest three, multiplying the result by ten. Gain that many Marks. 
  • For beginning hit points, roll two hit dice and pick the lower of the two.
  • Pick one of the following mandatory Bonds (for either another PC or for an NPC): 
    • My sources say that ______ is a heretic; I'm sure I can profit from that knowledge.
    • ______'s star is rising here in the valley; I'll gladly ride his coattails to success.
    • ______ tries a bit too hard, don't you think? That much naked ambition cannot be trusted.
    • Is there any hope to heal the vast political rift between ______'s family and mine? 
    • Of course I'm old friends with ______, but I think it's time to remind him of his proper place. 
    • That bastard ______ is my chief rival for the heart of my love. He shall pay for standing in my way!
    • It seems that I am indebted to ______ for his careful application of favors and influence; I must find a way to get out from under that onerous burden. 
    • ______ owes me a favor, and I owe it to myself to make sure I make the most of that fact. 
    • A would-be poet composed an impromptu verse about ______; time has yet to tell whether the poet's words were praise or satire.