|4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons|
Traits are an optional set of rules that give characters more options out of combat. They are purchased separately from the skills, feats and powers described in the Player's Handbook. The talent rules can thus be dropped into a game without affecting existing characters, albeit at the cost of some extra bookkeeping.
Traits are non-combat versions of feats. They give special abilities that are used to define a characters background and are used to represent your character’s livelihood outside of adventuring. This includes role-playing gimmicks and background options. They are also used to purchase talents (non-combat skills).
All characters start with three traits at level 1. You gain traits at the same rate as you get new feats; at level 11, 21, and every even level. You can retrain one talent at each new level, in addition to normal retraining limits.
There are three types of traits. Like so much else about traits, these classifications are a general guide and not hard and fast rules. Personal traits are innate abilities, similar to feats. Almost all campaigns can use these. Perks are social advantages or privileges. Subplots are recurring events that comes up again and again in your character's life. They are often just as much of a hindrance as an advantage; the advantage with them is that you get more screen time.
Some DMs might ban some or all perks and subplots as too invasive, you should ask each time you want to take one.
These deal with personal abilities of modest power and sublots and relationships on the local level.
Prerequisite: Speak the language of the race that adopts you (if there is such a language).
Benefit: You have very good relations with a race other than your own, to the point that you are considered a member of this race for social purposes. You are considered to be as honorable as any other member of this race, accepted as one of their own. Among humans, this only applies to one human culture; humans are too diverse for any one nonhuman to become accepted among all of humanity.
Prerequisite: Level 4
Benefit: You have an agent who will act on your behalf and represent you. While unwilling to risk his or her life, the agent will carry out instructions to the best of his ability, and look out for your interests when you are otherwise occupied. He will also travel to represent you in other places and can be sent on missions on his own. In return, the agent expects advice, patronage, and that you use your contacts on his behalf.
An agent is an NPC two levels lower than yours of a class and race agreed upon with the DM. If your agent is killed, you will want to retrain this talent.
Special: The agent is and NPC and is thus designed by the DM. You can take this talent several times, each time gaining a separate new agent.
Prerequisite: Trained in Intimidation.
Benefit: You are very good at projecting your image, be it scary or dazzling. This is great for becoming the center of attention. You can make an Intimidate roll as a free action when someone first spots you, on a success they take note of you. They do not become friendly or hostile; they merely focus some of their attention on you.
Benefit: Your family is old and recognized for its nobility, one of the most prestigious in the land. In a campaign where most everyone is a noble (a chivalry campaign, for example) you may even be of royal blood.
Those who care about such things will see you as a born leader, and your career often benefits. It is easy for you to be invited to parties and social functions, and you have relatives in high places. Your word is given due consideration, you are a valuable and reliable witness, and you will mostly be assumed to have a good reason to be wherever you are doing whatever it is you are doing, even if it might seem fishy. Even those who don't respect nobility find it hard to ignore your manners and bearing, it is clear that you are a person not to be trifled with.
You're not automatically wealthy, some nobles are dirt poor. If you get caught with your hands dirty, Blue Blood may backfire; everyone loves a good scandal.
Benefit: You are a champion for a certain cause, and know among others dedicated to and against this cause. This gives you a set of friends and enemies depending on the exact cause you choose when taking this talent. Causes can be religious, political, or focused on some kind of activity, such as charities. They always have an element of idealism about them; a thieves guild is not a cause.
Benefit: Contacts are persons you know and who are friendly to you and sympathetic to the same cause as you, but not your direct servants or allies. They will gladly supply information, acting as your eyes and ears. They also willingly perform services for you at normal cost, which can be a boon if they deal in something that is outlawed, rare, or otherwise hard to come by. Over time, your network of contacts grows, you gain new ones while some of your old contacts become obsolete.
This talent gives you a number of contacts equal to half your level, with a minimum of one contact. You generally acquire a new contact once per level, replacing an old one at odd levels and gaining a new one at even levels. Sometimes, your contacts change slower or quicker than this, but can never have more contacts than your level indicates.
A contact should ideally be someone you met and befriended during play. In this way, you can gain influential contacts; kings, courtiers, important heroes and other famous individuals. You can flesh out your stable of contacts with NPCs of your own invention, but these are generally not as important or influential as the ones you meet during play; typical examples are city guardsmen, traders, shopkeepers, local clergy, or minor mystics.
Benefit: Being cute makes it easy for you to get into social events, make acquaintances, and generally be very popular in a non-domineering sort of way. There is something about you that makes others care for you if you succeed on a Charisma roll against Will defense. People would ordinarily be hostile might kidnap you instead of kill you.
Benefit: Once per day when you are speculating as to the best course of action or about the motivations of a given character, you can have the GM tell straight out you whether your speculation is correct or incorrect.
Prerequisite: Trained in Bluff.
Benefit: With a few minutes of work you can disguise yourself as another person of your approximate size and same basic body shape. Imitating a specific individual is also possible, but takes a day of preparation and you need to find appropriate clothes, wigs etc which can be costly, especially if impersonating someone rich. Make a Bluff check opposed by passive Insight to pass inspection.
Normal: Anyone with Bluff can maintain a disguise, but it takes longer to don one and they will need more special materials.
Benefit: You spend a lot of time on the road, and have a tendency to just happen to be there when it happens. Any time another character is alone and needs help, you can show up if it's at all plausible. Even in non-dangerous scenes you have a tendency to just be there.
Benefit: There is something odd and unusual about you, that makes others leave you alone. This might be a mannerism, such as talking to yourself or staring vacantly into space, or an indefinable aura. The end result is that people expect odd tings from you and around you, and will pay no heed to such occurrences unless they cause some kind of direct harm. They might think you a harmless eccentric or leave you alone out of fear. If there is a witch-hunt in the area, this can backfire; people too cowardly or reserved to do something themselves might still report on you.
Prerequisite: Trained in the Celebrity talent.
Benefit: Gain a +3 feat bonus to the Celebrity talent.
Prerequisite: Trained in the Celebrity talent.
Benefit: You have a group of followers who look up to you, but who do not work for you. On many occasions, they will turn up and offer to help, fawn over you, or just hang around. This is often helpful, but sometimes annoying. They will not generally accompany you on adventures and never enter dungeons.
At any time, you have a number of fans equal to your Charisma score hanging around. All your followers are NPC minions no higher than two levels lower than you. All details are determined by the DM. Rarely, a powerful person or even a monster might turn out to be a fan, in which case he or she is likely to be extra pushy and demanding.
Benefit: You have knowledge of fashions of your time and understanding of what can be worn when and to provoke which reaction. This lets you dress for every occasion, and also gives you the know-how to dress unusually without causing a scandal.
Fashion sense most commonly applies to dress and toilette, but it can apply to art, architecture, cuisine and other cultural traits as well.
Benefit: You have market connections, and can sell or bye almost anything, even contraband, illegal items, loot that needs to be fenced, and other goods that are normally hard to trade in. You still pay market prices; this is mainly useful if you want to keep a very low profile.
Benefit: You have a group of followers who work for you. They serve in some capacity; for example as a garrison, police force, ship’s crew, caravan drivers, or guild thieves. They report to you, and you can give them orders slightly outside the scope of their normal activity, but they will not generally accompany you on adventures and never enter dungeons.
You have a number of followers equal to your Charisma score, and it they take losses they return to this number as soon as plausible - either because you get new followers, or because defeated ones return to action.
All your followers are identical NPC minions two levels lower than you of a class and race agreed upon with the DM.
Special: You can take this talent several times, each time getting a separate group of followers.
Benefit: You are good at ingraining yourself with rich and powerful people. Having you around and spending money on you makes people feel rich and successful. This makes it easy for you to live off others and join parties and social occasions as a hanger-on. Actually gaining riches or influence will require more effort.
Benefit: You are a member of an established guild; a conservative organization that exists to further the professional interests of its members. A guild provides little direct help, but has facilities you can use with skills and rituals and can provide access to markets. Typical guilds for heroes are mages' and thieves' guilds. Guilds are a great source of trainers, aides, and expertise. They also have medical resources, act as insurers and advocates, and have a pension fund, but such services are generally of little interest to adventurers.
I'm his daughter-in-law elect! - He'll marry his son - (He's only got one) - To his daughter-in-law elect!
- THE MIKADO by William S. Gilbert
It is well known that Something Marvelous is coming your way. Typically, you pick a paragon perk you are about to inherit (or an epic perk if you are of paragon level). People will know you are the heir apparent and fawn over you accordingly, tough there are no direct benefits whatsoever.
Prerequisite: Non-evil alignment
Benefit: You have a great deal of integrity, and it shows. People find you to be a fair arbiter, an impartial witness, and a trustworthy leader; even if you never strive for positions of responsibility people tend to put their trust in you and turn to you when they need someone to assume responsibility.
Benefit: You have a friend in a high position, corresponding to a perk talent one tier above your own. This can be a childhood friend, an accidental acquaintance, a lover, or otherwise someone in an official capacity who you know privately. For example, at the heroic tier, you might have an influential friend with an Army or who is a Minister, while at the paragon level your influential friend can even be a King. At the epic level, you can potentially have divine beings as your influential friend.
Inclined to act in your favor, an influential friend has many other obligations and is unreliable. An influential friends likes you and wants to correspond with you or sped time with you, but is aware that showing you preferential treatment is somewhat irresponsible and thus does not provide the full support of a Mentor. Pressuring an influential friend can produce grand results in the short term, but can easily backlash.
Prerequisite: Skilled in Diplomacy.
Benefit: You are quick to learn the codes and behaviors that make you an accepted member of a social circle. Once in a group, you are quick to integrate yourself and get treated as an insider; a member rather than an associate, family rather than a friend. You are good at understanding the unwritten rules that holds a group together and exploit them. However, if you break the tenets of the group, people might suddenly realize you were never really a member at all.
Benefit: You are an acknowledged member of a warrior caste with a code to uphold. This is not nobility, but close to it. In many cultures, knighthood is a martial archetype, but it need not be; Chinese knights were martial artists and a fantasy world can easily have supernatural guardians with a similar creed. As a knight (or local equivalent) you are known to follow a code, which makes you trusted and respected. Your word is held in high regard. You can expect free room and board almost anywhere you go. People turn to you with their troubles and expect you to help.
Prerequisite: Level 4
Benefit: You have a lackey who will provide for and serve you as long as it involves little personal risk. The lackey will travel with you, take care of your mounts or carriage, arrange for food and lodging, set up camp, stand guard, and do other domestic duties. A lackey avoids combat and only fights if sorely pressed. Sometimes, a lackey might provide more exiting services, such as opening a locked chest you bring back to camp, scouting, or acting as a foil, but never in competition with another player character. A lackey can have an interesting background or personal relationship with you.
The lackey is and NPC two levels lower than you, of a class and race agreed upon with the DM, and designed by the DM.
Special:. You can take this talent several times, each time gaining a separate lackey. If your lackey is killed, you will want to retrain this talent.
Benefit: Choose a language. You can now speak, read, and write this language fluently.
Special: You can take this talent more than once. Each time you select this talent, choose a new language to learn. Unlike the Linguist feat, this has no prerequisite. Using this talent in a campaign invalidates the Linguist feat.
Prerequisite: Training in Insight.
Benefit: You have the ability to decipher what people are saying merely from looking at their lips moving, as long as you can get a reasonably good view of a speaker's lips and know the language. Certain parts may be obscure or missing or require an Insight roll to understand correctly. If they have reason to be careful, an Insight roll against their Bluff is required.
Benefit: You are sensitive to psychic impressions, and can often catch the mood of a place and get glimpses of important events that happened there in the past. You are aligned with a particular type of spirits, who sometime give you visions. You can use a relevant skill to seek answers from spirits, which is much the same as asking around or doing research in a library, only the answers are colored by the nature of the spirits you commune with. The origin of the spirits is mostly for flavor; they can be encountered everywhere, but are more knowledgeable about their area of origin.
|Ghosts||Religion||Shadowfell||Individualistic. Wants to carry out unfulfilled desires from their lives.|
|Nature spirits||Nature||Natural world||Primordial. Care about environmental issues, daily life of animals, rituals and taboos.|
|Elementals||Arcana||Elemental Chaos||Wild. Sometimes out to right a perceived wrong, many just want to vent their rage|
|Fey Spirits||Arcana||Feywild||Mischievous. Want to bring magic into the world, for good or ill. Love riddles and tricks.|
|Abberant Spirits||Dungeoneering||Far Realm||Incomprehensible. Give visions both incomprehensible and profoundly disquieting.|
|Virtues||Religion||Astral Sea||Idealistic; some are benign, others infernal. Visions have to do with morals and ideals.|
Benefit: You have mentor or employer that sees you as a trusted agent. The mentor is a constant source of information, employment opportunities, and often useless advice.
The DM is encouraged to use the mentor as an adventure hook and patron, and might tailor benefits and rewards to the mentor’s outlook on you. You can also turn to the mentor for help and advice, but a mentor will not accept being used and will avoid becoming directly involved in the action. The mentor is a powerful figure, which might or might not mean that he is a high-level character. A rich merchant, influential queen, or behind-the-scenes monster can function as a mentor just as well as the classic warrior lord or wizard sage.
The exact details of your mentor are up to the DM and unknown to you. A mentor might have a secret agenda and use you as a pawn in it, but is rarely hostile to your ideals.
Benefit: Your identity are commonly mistaken; either for a specific person or for a role other than your own. You are known for traits and abilities you do not possess, based on misinterpretation, rumors, or just plain lies. A commoner fighter could be known as a magical prince, a holy man, or a demon summoner. People influenced by your Celebrity status will have heard of this false repute, and react accordingly
Benefit: Your fate and purpose is linked to a particular enemy. You and this enemy are bound to run across each other again and again, and you have a mysterious way of ending up in one-on-one encounters with this enemy. In addition, your nemesis advances in power as you do, and has an amazing ability to survive and return to fight another day. And should he die, there is always someone else on the sidelines, ready to step in.
The DM has to approve your choice of nemesis; it is generally best to pick a nemesis you've met during play and that proved particularly interesting, memorable, and loathsome.
Benefits: You are an ordained and recognized member of the official clergy of an important religious order. You can officiate at ceremonies and perform religious functions; this makes you a trusted individual and makes sure you are aware of the local gossip. People will naturally turn to you with spiritual and supernatural problems.
Note that not all divine characters need to have this talent. Many clerics have internal duties within their churches and almost never meet lay people, others are free wanderers with no official sanction or responsibilities. Many churches do not have the formal structure this feat implies at all.
Benefit: You have perfect recall; years afterward, you can call up the precise words of a conversation or recall details of a room seen only at a glance. This allows you to analyze as scene from memory as though you were actually present there. You can retroactively use the Perception skill to notice things you didn't think of looking for when you were actually there, which in turn might give more information from knowledge skills.
Benefit: You are never seen in social circles without a beautiful companion on your arm and is known as a man or woman of the world. You are well known at night spots and get VIP treatment in most establishments. Depending on your style, your companions might be lovers, friends, artists you patronize, or just about anything else you can come up with. Your relationship with these people is congenial and warm, but never very serious; you neither expect nor give exclusive attention to any one of them.
Benefit: There is something special about the way you use powers. This is a purely visual effect and does not change what the powers actually do, but it makes your power-use distinctive and noticeable. Choose one visual effect for your powers; this can be something like flaming skulls, psychic shock waves, or celestial light. A martial character would usually have a more mundane power signature, such as carving your initials or leaving a signature item behind, tough some actually leave traces of ephemeral energy when they perform their amazing moves.
A power signature generally makes it easier for others to recognize your handiwork. If you succeed at a Celebrity roll, people will recognize your power signature even from a distance and react accordingly. It can serve as an alibi (I could never have done that; everyone knows I leave a rose behind) or as a lead for an investigator. It is possible to fake your power signature, so it is not enough to count as evidence against you.
Benefit: You have a complex and troubled romance that enhances your role in the campaign. This is not just any relationship, but one involving someone you cannot easily get together with; your king and sovereign or the daughter of an arch enemy, perhaps even a nemesis. There are usually other complications as well; unrequited love, duty, racial differences, and other hindrances. Alternatively your romance is trouble-prone, and needs constant help and attention.
Having a quiet relationship does not need this trait; this is for a romance that takes up some actual screen time. Still, you might want to pick it for a normal relationship, just to pin it down and make it a more definite part of the game world.
Benefit: You constantly tend to get romantically entangled, but these romances rarely last.
Benefit: You have a tendency to pick stuff up and keep it around for no clear reason, and an ability to find uses all this junk. This lets you improvise and scrounge for food and gear in trash bins and ruins. Use your Dungeoneering, Nature, or Streetwise for this, depending on the environment. You can come up with improvised weapons like staves, clubs and daggers, as well as makeshift tools that negate the penalty for lack of a toolkit. You do not need to exactly specify your equipment list. You can specify items that are in your pack, without specifying them ahead of time. Such an item must be reasonably common in the area, the DM can veto items he considers outrageous. It can neither weight more than 1 lb per point of Strength you have nor cost more than 5% of a magic item of your level. When you specify an item like this, you immediately pay its normal cost.
Benefit: You are the member of a secret society, a fanatic group with a specific agenda. As long as you obey all orders with enthusiasm and devote yourself to the organization, you can expect their support. Fail them even a little and things can turn sour. In general, a player character secret agent will not be given suicidal orders, but of you don't live up to the expectations of the organization, you can expect very stern reprisals indeed. You can expect the full support of the organization; this can range from payment for special missions, information, fencing your loot and other trivial services to a suicide assault against your enemies by fanatic brothers in the cult. Typical secret societies are cults, spy rings, cabals, mystic orders, and the most close-knit of criminal gangs.
Benefit: You know how to keep a low profile. Your personal life is your own, and people in general do not know who you are or what you can do. This might be because you have a secret identity or simply stand back and let your companions take the limelight. Streetwise rolls to find out things about you suffer a +10 difficulty modifier.
If you are a Celebrity, you are a mysterious adventurer who’s true identity no-one knows. Regardless of how famous you are, you won’t be generally recognized unless in your heroic identity.
Benefit: You have law enforcement powers and can make arrests, repossess goods, hand out fines, and otherwise disperse justice. You can deputize others to act under your supervision.
Benefit: You possess an item that has a great potential as a magic item. You know a special ritual to transfer the power of other magic items into your signature item.
Choose one specific type of magic item to be your signature item. This must be a weapon, implement, suit of armor, or amulet/cloak. Your signature item does not start out with this enchantment, but you know a special variant of the Create Magic Item ritual that only works on your signature item. You can only enchant your signature item with the one enchantment you choose when you selected the item, or with a generic “plus only” enchantment if your level is too low to create an item of your chosen type. If your signature item is lost or destroyed, you will want to retrain this talent.
Special: You can take this talent several times. Each time you do, it applies to a different item.
Benefits: You have acquired the services of a special mount, often of a type not easily found. Choose a creature of your level or lower. The mounts from Adventurer’s Vault page 11 are generally available, and the DM might allow you to select a truly exotic creature if it makes sense in play. Elite, Leader, and Solo monsters are generally too strong to be special mounts. The mount will carry you in combat and allow you to use its Mount ability f you have Mounted Combat, but will not otherwise partake in adventures or fight for you except to defend itself.
Notes: Tough not required, the feats Mounted Combat and Mount Companion greatly increase the value of your special mount. To gain a new special mount, either to change or because the old one died, you must respecify this talent.
Benefit: You gain training in one talent.
Special: You can take this talent more than once. Each time you select this talent, choose a talent in which you are not trained.
Benefit: You have a secret but significant identity, and this identity is destined to become known and/or play a part in upcoming events. You can be the long-lost child of the old king, the destined savior of all lizardfolk, or a dragon bound to human form and abilities by a curse. The DM has to approve your choice, and its usually best to pick your true identity in play, once you know what the campaign is all about.
Benefit: You have a tendency to end up as a victim; when someone is to be captured, mugged, or otherwise fall victim to a subplot, it tends to be you. Taking this trait means you'll accept that the DM hand-waves situations where you fall into peril and have to be rescued or work to escape, but DMs are of course encouraged to try and make this as fun and non-disruptive as possible.
Benefit: You have an unusual or incredible background, such as having been teleported across half the world by a crazed wizard. While this does not allow you to take the DM does not want in his game, it can serve as an excuse to play something odd or unusual. Obviously, you have to take this talent at level 1. You can only respecify it if the campaign changes so that your background is no longer unusual.
These traits become available at level 11. At this level, character can assume social obligations and responsibilities, gaining power and influence thereby, but also assuming responsibilities. The practical benefits of such a position rarely applies to adventuring, but is a reward in itself as it gives you prestige and social status. It is generally a good idea to have an Agent to run the practical side of such a position, leaving you free to adventure.
In many cases, paragon traits build on heroic traits, but they generally do not replace them, nor have them as prerequisites. Instead, paragon traits build on and expand upon heroic traits. For example, it is possible to be a Baron without having Blue Blood, but if you have both you get the additional respect due a true blue-blooded scion of an ancient lineage. You can retrain Blue Blood to take Baron, but in this case this means you have advanced beyond your origin; your family is ancient but not originally baronial, and you are still seen as an upstart when you become a full baron. The effect of lacking relevant heroic traits has been explained in the description of some paragon traits. Even when it is not explicitly said, paragon traits expand upon but do not supersede heroic traits.
Peerage: Some paragon traits elevate you to the peerage; the ruling class. Not all peers are formally nobility, but as a peer you do have regional influence and wide-ranging respect. A peer has access to government or court, can arrange to be invited to almost any social event, and is generally considered upper class.
You should choose your position sensibly. While it is certainly possible for a rogue to be a High Priest in church that has gone political, such a position is generally more appropriate to a divine class character. The DM has final say on what traits you can pick. If your area of expertise is the focus of the campaign, you should expect to have to work for your advancement; becoming a baron might be the focus of a feudal campaign and something you have to do great deeds to accomplish. In other games, being a baron is just a backdrop, a wayside honor largely irrelevant to your adventuring activities. In this case it is usually easier to gain, but the impact on the campaign is much less.
Benefit: You have a horde or army of low-level followers you can call upon. When in active service, these followers take time and money to maintain, tough a successful campaign generally pays its own expenses and you can have them employed to patrol or as a garrison to defray costs. The army has a comprehensive look-and-feel; an infantry force, engineering corps, barbarian horde, or cavalry squadron. You build it like an encounter, with an XP budget equal to the gp cost of a magic item of your level. No member of your army has a higher level than half your level. An army can be used for military campaigns, as guards, and for other tasks that need a lot of people; they are not very useful on adventures.
Special: This feat can be taken several times, each time with a different army, often different in style.
Benefit: You are a regional landowner of considerable power, controlling a town or several villages. Benefits include a corps of guards similar to half an Army and a castle, but these guards are needed in the area and cannot range far or take part in adventures. You are also a political figure of importance, and your voice will be heard on most matters.
Notes: If you lack the Blue Blood talent, you are newly ennobled; while admired for your prowess, you do not gain the full respect due ancestral peers of the realm.
Benefit: You are a well-known hanger-on at court. Tough you have no official capacity, your wit, grace, and many friends assures that you are always welcome on high-class society, without any responsibilities.
Benefit: Your association with an element or force is strong enough that the effect goes with you wherever you go. Decide on an effect related to the powers you have, typical examples include elements, times of day, seasons, and so on. Wherever you go, the effect you are related to grows stronger. If you are related to winter, it is always cold where you are, if you are related to spring flowers bloom in tour path, and so on. While this has no direct game effect, it establishes you as a personage of power and importance.
Benefit: You are recognized as especially gifted, your works are given the highest regard. This is usually applicable to artists, but activists, muckrakers, priests, scholars, and philosophers can also qualify. Whatever you say or do is news, and your opinion weights heavily on public opinion. This gives you little direct power, but access to the highest circles. And if you are insulted or express your dislike of something, it can cause social chaos.
Benefit: You are a master of a guild, or in the case of very large and powerful guilds, a ranking official and regional leader. A guild is a professional organization as outlined under Guild Member above. You can call on your subordinates for support and professional services; this allows you to delegate work related to your organization. The guild also reports to you, which gives you a great deal of information.
Notes: Unless you are also a Guild Member, you do not gain access to guild resources like a guild member does; you are assumed to lead the guild from above, not be a working member.
Benefit: You are a magnet for spirits and poltergeist events. Odd but minor things happen near you; milk goes sour, animals walk on their hind legs, apparitions appear, and ghostly voices bemoan their fate. This gives you a solid reputation as a spooky person whose interests are not to be crossed; ordinary people dare not oppose your interest, tough they might petition lords and heroes to help them if you become an acute threat. Even persons of import show you a mix of fear and respect, but more guardedly. Overusing respect earned this way can backfire.
Notes: This does not make you a part of the peerage but gives you similar access and benefits; you are more of the wicked stepmother type who has to crash the party, but who no-one dares throw out once you get there.
Benefit: You have a high position in a church or religious order, generally being the regional leader comparable to a bishop. You can set the policy of the local church, and learn a lot of information about religious and magical events. You can declare holidays and feast days, and are expected to officiate at important ceremonies; if you do not it is seen as divine censure and can have political and divine repercussions. Unless you are also an Ordained Priest, you do not have the grassroots contacts that position brings.
Benefit: You are in a high judiciary position; depending on the locale, this can be a barbarian law-speaker or a robed and bewigged judge. In either case, your voice is given high regard on matters judiciary, and you are expected to resolve conflicts and settle disputes. Though it is not mandatory to be a skilled Governor to take this position, it is generally very hard to be a respected judge without such expertise.
Benefit: You are the guardian of a magical site; this can be a gateway to another world or a place of power. It is best to choose a place of power that has already appeared in the campaign, so that it has an already established magical effect. Typical effects of such sites are to aid certain rituals or allow travel to other planes. They also act as monster magnets; your presence influences what kinds of monsters appear, generally insuring they are amenable to your cause. A site with a responsible warden is an asset to its neighbors, and this position gives you social standing approximately equal to that of a baron or bishop.
Benefit: You are the regional master of an organization of Secret Agents. Your word is law to your lesser brothers. They will report anything they hear and are willing to do anything for you, but their fanaticism makes the society frail; it is easy to carelessly throw away the lives of your followers if you are not careful.
Benefit: You have made a political career and won access to important political venues; as a royal council, minister, or otherwise close to the seat of power. In this way you are a power behind the crown, with insight in and influence over policy.
Prerequisite: Trained in Bluff.
Benefit: You are a master of disguise and infiltration. You often turn up to help your comrades at the most unexpected times, disguised as one of the bad guys. This can make an alternate entrance for you in a scenario, or it can be a way to turn up in a scene were you wouldn't ordinarily be, able to help another character in a split party situation.
Benefit: You have one or more ships at your command. These vessel can be worth as much as a magic item of your level, and the crew is an Army with an XP budget of half that. You might not own these ships - it can be a merchant flotilla, part of a navy, or pirates, but you can use it on adventures and the crews are loyal to you; for all practical purposes it is yours. The crew generally stays with the ship and will not enter a dungeon.
Benefit: You claim to have visions, and these are generally recognized as true and valid; people believe you speak with the voice of supernatural authority. They might not agree, but they certainly take note of what you say. A true oracle is also a Medium, and now spiritual visitations are common; your fame has spread both in the spirit world and the mundane world. If you are not a Medium, you are a fake (but still respected) oracle and can invent your own mystic revelations.
Patron of the Arts
Benefit: You have arranged to support artists in your name, either by spending money directly or (more commonly) through the channels you gain from other social paragon traits. As a result, you are seen in a good light in the artist community, which helps you create a good public image, portraying yourself in the best possible light. This serves to enhance any fame or titles you already have, letting you affect how others see you and talk about you. If you are not already one of the rich and famous, patronizing the arts does little except give you personal satisfaction. You gain a +2 feat bonus to the Celebrity talent.
Benefit: You are a political representative on the ruling body of your country. If your country has a parliament, you can be a member. You might also be a spokesman for a noble family, burgomaster, ambassador, elected judge, governor, or otherwise be an officer of whatever political system you are a member of. This does not mean you have access to government (choose Minster for that), but you can make political appeals and have them respected and your opinion is given due weight. If you are mistreated or ignored, there might be unrest in the group you represent.
Benefit: You are recognized for your superior class abilities. Whether you are known as a magus, master thief, dragon-slaying warrior or whatever other famous deed you have done matters not; whatever your abilities they have given you recognition. You can freely associate with nobility as an equal, and your advice is sought on matters great and small. If you are also a Celebrity, this extends to almost all people. If you are not, your fame extends only to a select group of influential people and other adventurers of note.
Benefit: You are the recognized companion of persons of power; while your own powers might not be recognized, no-one denies your right to mingle in the peerage. You gain respect not for your own position but because of the achievements and status of those you associate with. Most commonly, because you are the known hanger-on to Paragon Adventurers, a heroic companion. Another variant is to be associated with a powerful personage, like being the first lady, parishoners wife, or younger brother of a great noble.
This can be good way into the peerage if you have a Secret Identity or otherwise don't want to draw attention to yourself while still having access to the highest circles. You do not have the respect due a Paragon Adventurer, but neither do you have the notoriety; people tend to underestimate you and your abilities because of this.
Select one talent you are trained in. You gain a +3 bonus with this talent. You can select this trait several times, each time selecting a different trait.
Prerequisites: Trained as a Celebrity.
Benefit: You have the presence and fame to create fashion trends. If you also have Fashion Sense, the trends you create are in good taste and become successful. Otherwise, it is very hit-and-miss; people imitate your style, but often do not win acclaim for it, which tends to create cliques and subcultures. Either way, you are notorious in fashionable circles.
At this level you approach absolute power as an independent monarch or other great leader. Epic traits often give worldwide influence, but this influence is vague. If you want direct influence in a smaller area, it is generally wise to hold on to your paragon traits. If you retrain those, you are assumed to have retired from such lower positions in order to enjoy the benefits of your new exalted position, leaving day-to-day activities (and the influence they bring) to someone new.
Benefit: You are the titular head of your religion, and can give orders to bishops. Your word is law in religious matters, tough it takes tact and diplomacy to get the law implemented across the world.
Benefit: You are the prime minister of a major power, responsible for day-to-day policy decisions and in charge of the judicial, financial, and diplomatic corps.
Benefit: You are an established presence in divine circles. This includes the presence of such august personages as gods, archdevils, primordials, elder dragons, fey archons and elemental lords. You might not strictly be related to any of these groups, but due to some special circumstance, you are accepted among them, if not as an equal so at least as someone worth respect and civility.
Benefit: You are beyond famous; one of the icons of the world of culture. Tough there is no way you can perform for all who want to see you, your works are carried on by others; imitators and those inspired by you or performing your works before new audiences. Whenever your presence becomes known in civilized areas, fans are likely to gather just to be near you.
Benefit: You are recognized for your superior class abilities, known as an archmage, legendary thief, or master of dragons. Whatever your abilities they have given you world-wide recognition. You can associate with royalty as an equal, and your personal influence is that of a small nation.
Benefit: Somehow, your epic status is obvious to all you meet. This might be an actual physical aura, or it might be your bearing or some unidentifiable quality about you. Either way, you will always be treated with the respect due your legendary status. People will not recognize what epic hero you are unless you pass a Celebrity roll, but they will know you are epic. Their exact behavior depends on their own status and attitude, but they will accept and respect you as an epic presence.
Select one talent you have the Paragon Talent trait for. You gain a +3 bonus with this talent. You can select this trait several times, each time selecting a different trait.
Benefit: You are an inspiration and rallying point for others who share your ideals. Heroes wander far and wide to meet you, nations build their national identity around your presence, and pilgrims visit your home and places where you have performed epic deeds. This has few concrete effects, but makes you a topic of devotion and conversation even in your absence.
Benefit: You are the lord of a county. You might bear a different title and your powers might not be absolute, but you are the final executive authority of a nation, if not a major power.
Benefit: You are a legend in your own time. The tales told of your exploits makes you seem larger-than-life, so fantastic that people barely believe you exist. They talk about you in hushed voices, and might not recognize you on sight - unless you project an awesome aura of power. Once they understand who you are, they will be awed by meeting a legend - but also become able to form their own opinion.
Benefit: The mark of a saint or archmage, you embody a magical phenomena to such a degree that supernatural effects happen spontaneously up to a mile away from you. Choose one type of effect such as plants growing in barren soil, the dead reanimating, the sick getting cured, or supernatural creatures of a certain type manifesting. You have no direct control over this, but effects are generally benign to you and your interests. The level of such events is on the heroic scale and around 20 levels below your own.
Benefit: You command the military forces of a major power; a large nation or military alliance. You can call a levy and demand armies from regional lords and allies.
Benefit: You are a master of professional and commercial ventures, a merchant lord or guilder of worldwide repute. Wherever you go, members of your profession come out to greet you and seek your aid and advice. You do not hold direct authority, but your influence can drive nations bankrupt.
Benefit: You are a master of plots and secrets; aware of and in a position to manipulate several Masterminds, either because you are their shadow mentor, or because you have spies planted in their organizations. Your information network is vast, and you can cause all kinds of events all over the world, but you have little direct control over what your minions do; such control would jeopardize security.
Benefit: You receive direct guidance from a supernatural source - or at least people believe you do. Strangers treat you as the emissary of a god - or demon lord. If you are also a Medium, your visions are genuine, and the power level of the spirits guiding you has increased manifold; you now hear the voice of past kings, primordials and demon princes, archfey, or gods. If you are also an Oracle your visions are frequent.
Notes: There is a danger in playing a genuine prophet; you are a tool of fate and lose some control over your character. In many cases, it is more interesting to play a false prophet or one at odds with his visions, who sees but does not fully believe. In other cases, the DM might simply let you decide what your visions are; it all depends on the needs of the campaign.
Benefit: Your ideas run like wildfire trough the world. Whether the listener knows who spoke them or not, your views and ideas spread rapidly, possibly changing the life of millions. If you express dislike for something, it comes under immediate public scrutiny. If you express a preference for something, it is likely to garner followers and grow into a popular movement.
|4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons|
|Classes||Artificer • Avenger • Barbarian • Bard • Cleric • Druid • Fighter • Invoker • Paladin • Ranger • Rogue • Shaman • Sorcerer • Swordmage • Warden • Warlock • Warlord • Wizard|
|Core||Characters • Feats • Skills • Paragon paths • Weapons • Magic Items • Rituals • Rules • Glossary|
|Extra||Traits • Talents • Craft|