As the theme of the "Age of Ruin" is of lordlings and nobility, player characters receive a number of bonuses from the outset. Players are encouraged to invent their own house and lineage, or to elaborate on an existing one, and these might include specific weaponry or other armament that members of their household traditionally wield. If they so choose, their character may begin with proficiency in that weapon regardless of class, without spending a feat on it. This is partly to encourage the players to embrace this "heavily armed and armoured" feel of the campaign. Hopefully by making them free, rather than making them spend precious feats on proficiences, this will work out.

Likewise with armour. If a character is happy to suffer the associated skill penalties that go with wearing clunking great suits of steel plate, they will be allowed the proficiency for free.

As nobleborn, the characters will likely be familiar with riding horses (or their equivalent if they write something else into their House). If they wish it, PCs will possess mounts from the outset, as well as the Mounted Combat feat. For flavour purposes, PCs of less martial inclination might choose to ride around in a cart, or carriage. These might be driven by NPCs (see the section on servants).

Players may be accompanied by a small number of cohorts. These may be anything from pet animals, to servants and squires, to fools and concubines. These should be no more than one or two in number, and will likely have no combat application whatsoever. In fact, they probably won't even have stats.

A noble mage knight (sword mage) or paladin might wish to be accompanied by a squire. A wizard or warlock might like a ranger-type helper to forage for reagents for his potions and salves. A jack-of-all-trades would be useful, as a farrier, cook, lookout, etc.


Age of Ruin JamesP