Rise of Nations
All of the following traits revolve around characters making their homes in and around Brevoy, and lead to them becoming more interested in an exploratory effort meant to chart the Stolen Lands. While campaign traits assume a lot more about a character’s backstory than generic ones, they are meant to help serve as an inspiration for a player working to create a detailed and interesting history for his character. You have a certain amount of leeway in adjusting a campaign trait’s expected backstory once you’ve selected which trait is right for you, pending the DM’s approval.
Bastard (limited to human characters): One of your parents was a member of one of the great families of Brevoy, perhaps even of the line of Rogarvia itself. Yet you have no substantive proof of your nobility, and you’ve learned that claiming nobility without evidence makes you as good as a liar. While you might own a piece of jewelry, a scrap of once-rich fabric, or an aged confession of love, none of this directly supports your claim. Thus, you’ve lived your life in the shadow of nobility, knowing that you deserve the comforts and esteem of the elite, even though the contempt of fate brings you nothing but their scorn. Whether a recent attempt to prove your heritage has brought down the wrath of a noble family’s henchmen or you merely seek to prove the worth of the blood in your veins, you’ve joined an expedition into the Stolen Lands, hoping to make a name all your own. You take a -1 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks made when dealing with members of Brevic nobility but gain a +1 trait bonus on Knowledge (nobility) and Sense Motive checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you. (The penalty aspect of this trait is removed if you ever manage to establish yourself as a true noble.)
Brigand: You hail from the River Kingdoms or the more lawless reaches of Brevoy. Life has been hard for you. Perhaps your parents and siblings were crooks and con artists, or maybe your rough, lonely life lead you to fall in with thieves and worse. You know how to ambush travelers, bully traders, avoid the law, and camp where no one might find you. Recently, you’ve run into some trouble, either with the law or with other bandits, and you’re looking to get away to somewhere no one would ever think to look for you. An expedition into the rugged wilderness seems like a perfect way to lie low until the trouble blows over. You begin the campaign with an extra 100 gp in ill-gotten gains. You also gain a +1 trait bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks when dealing with brigands, thieves, bandits, and their ilk.
Issian: You were raised in northern Brevoy, a land of misty shores and harsh hill lands, of snowy vistas and violet-hued mountains. You are descended from an able and intelligent people, and you have grand ambitions, a mind alert for opportunity, and the tenacity to fight for your goals no matter the challenge. You care for little more than achieving your aspirations and opportunities to win wealth and grandeur, for which few costs prove too great. You see yourself as a citizen of Brevoy through and through. The call for champions willing to help take back your country’s rightful holdings in the Stolen Lands has inflamed your dreams of profit and possibilities, so you have joined an expedition to quest south. Your agile mind grants you a +1 trait bonus on all Will saves.
Noble Born: You claim a tangential but legitimate connection to one of Brevoy’s noble families. If you aren’t human, you were likely adopted by one of Brevoy’s nobles or were instead a favored servant or even a childhood friend of a noble scion. Whatever the cause, you’ve had a comfortable life, but one far from the dignity and decadence your distant cousins know. Although are you associated with an esteemed name, your immediate family is hardly well-to-do, and you’ve found your name to be more of a burden to you than a boon in many social situations. You’ve recently decided to test yourself, to see if you can face the world without the aegis of a name you have little real claim or care for. An expedition into the storied Stolen Lands seems like just the test to see if you really are worth the title “noble.” Choose one of the following noble families and associated benefits.
Garess: Your family’s long association with the dwarves of the Golushkin Mountains has left its mark. You ignore the movement penalty for the first 5 feet of rocky difficult terrain you move through per round. This applies only to terrain made difficult by rocks or ruins. In addition, you gain a +2 trait bonus on Appraise checks to assess the value of natural stones or metals. Your family motto is “Strong as the Mountains.”
Lebeda: Your family’s history of trading along the shores of Lake Reykal pervades your blood. As a deft merchant of the region, you gain a bonus language: Dwarven, Elven, Hallit, Gnome, Giant, Halfling, Skald, or Sylvan and a +1 trait bonus on all Knowledge (local) checks regarding events and places in Brevoy. Your family motto is “Success through Grace.”
Lodovka: Your family has made a living off the coasts of the Lake of Mists and Veils since before Brevoy existed. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Swim checks, and Swim is always treated as a class skill for you. Your family motto is “The Water, Our Fields.”
Medvyed: Your family has long a deep respect for the wilderness and is superstitious about the creatures that dwell therein. You gain a +2 trait bonus on all Diplomacy checks made to deal with fey creatures and a +1 trait bonus on WIll saves made against their spells and supernatural abilities. Your family motto is “Endurance Overcomes All.”
Orlovsky: Your family has a reputation for avoiding conflicts. You gain a +1 trait bonus on your CMD. In addition, choose Acrobatics, Diplomacy, or Stealth— you gain a +1 trait bonus on this skill. Your family motto is “High Above.”
Surtova: Your family is well known for their political agility and scheming natures. You deal +2 damage when attacking a flat-footed opponent while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon. Your family motto is “Ours is the Right.”
Pioneer: You have long lived along the southern border of Brevoy, in the shadow of the wilderness known as the Stolen Lands. Life has been hard, but through hunting, trapping, trading, and coaxing crops from the freezing earth, you’ve learned how to survive on the rugged frontier. With the wilderness ever at your door, you’ve also learned much about its denizens and the wild creatures that lurk in that unwholesome land. Your family might even claim holdings in the Stolen Lands, with elders telling stories of being driven from or robbed of a lost ancestral homestead, fertile farmlands, bountiful orchards, or a hidden mining claim. Whether because of your personal expertise and familiarity with the borderlands or in order to reclaim your family’s land, you’ve joined the expedition into the Stolen Lands. You begin play with a horse (or a pony if you are Small sized). Also, choose one of the following skills: Climb, Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Perception, Ride, Survival, or Swim— you gain a +1 trait bonus on this skill.
Rostlander: You were raised in the south of Brevoy, a land of dense forests and rolling plains, of crystalline rivers and endless sapphire skies. You come from hearty stock and were raised with simple sensibilities of hard work winning well-deserved gains, the importance of charity and compassion, and the value of personal and familial honor. Yours is the country of the Aldori swordlords and the heroes who refused to bend before the armies of a violent conqueror. You care little for matters of politics and nobles or of deception and schemes. As you are thoroughly Brevic, the call for champions willing to expand your land’s influence into the Stolen Lands has inflamed your sense of patriotism and honor, and so you have joined an expedition to quest southward. Your hardy nature grants you a +1 trait bonus on all Fortitude saves.
Sword Scion: You have lived all your life in and around the city of Restov, growing up on tales of Baron Sirian Aldori and the exploits of your home city’s heroic and legendary swordlords. Perhaps one of your family members was an Aldori swordlord, you have a contact among their members, or you have dreamed since childhood of joining. Regardless, you idolize the heroes, styles, and philosophies of the Aldori and have sought to mimic their vaunted art. Before you can petition to join their ranks, however, you feel you must test your mettle. Joining an expedition into the Stolen Lands seems like a perfect way to improve your skills and begin a legend comparable to that of Baron Aldori. You begin play with a longsword or Aldori dueling sword and gain a +1 trait bonus on all attacks and combat maneuvers made with such a weapon.