Birth Heritage

Quick Method

 In the interests of brevity and speed, ALL Quick Method characters can be assumed legitimate with no complications.

In this case, you can move right along to determining the size of family, sibling rank, and sibling sexes, etc. Again in the interest of brevity and speed and going with the greater common demographic, only a single marriage is assumed and all siblings are assumed to have survived.

Alternately, you can leave these details to the GM to determine.

While you are certainly free to embroider on this and incorporate any number of twists or complications as are embodied on table 2-1., there is no benefit or advantage in it in regards to the later stages of character creation as there are in some circumstances to those players creating Custom Method characters.

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Custom Method

Legitimate birth with no complications or back-story embroidery costs 0 DP’s. 

There are no guarantees in life, and the innocent and unsuspecting character raised with the belief that his or her legitimate status is beyond question may well, in fact, be illegitimate.

Parents often conceal inconvenient or ugly truths from their children.

On the roll of a 1 on another d10, OR 01 through 10 on d100 (GM’s discretion), the GM may find the legitimacy of the character’s birth to be a fiction or subject to special circumstances, to be determined on table 2-1.

Alternately, the GM may choose to employ such a twist in the character origins to sow mischief later on down the road in the campaign. While the variations are laid out in table format to enable an easy roll of the dice, the GM is always free to choose the result that pleases him and/or suits the circumstances of his campaign best.

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2-1. Legitimate Family Circumstances

d100 Circumstances
01-07 Raised as legitimate by mother with stepfather’s knowledge and cooperation, may be illegitimate in fact.
08-14 Raised as legitimate by father with stepmother’s knowledge and cooperation, may be illegitimate in fact.
15-21 Raised as legitimate by mother as a “legacy” of previously deceased husband, remarried after the birth, may be illegitimate in fact, but status unknown to stepfather or stepsiblings.
22-28 Raised as legitimate by mother without stepfather’s knowledge, may be illegitimate in fact.
29-35 Raised as legitimate by father and stepmother, who married after the birth, may be illegitimate in fact, but status unknown to her or stepsiblings.
36-41 Raised as legitimate, raised by mother alone as a “legacy” of previously deceased husband, may be illegitimate in fact, but status unknown to others.
42-43 Raised as legitimate, husband cuckolded without the indiscretion being discovered.
44 Raised as a fostered but legitimate child of the family, but true birth heritage and actual origins a mystery to the generous family who took the character in
45-50 Legitimate, fostered, raised by mother’s parents, sibling or cousin (GM’s discretion)
50-56 Legitimate, fostered, raised by father’s parents, sibling or cousin (GM’s discretion)
57-63 Legitimate, fostered, raised by father’s lord
64-70 Legitimate, fostered, raised by neighbor
71-77 Legitimate, orphaned, raised in a charitable house of religion (monastery, abbey, priory, rural or town, GM’s discretion)
Legitimate, orphaned, raised by local lord of parents
Legitimate, orphaned, raised by a neighbor of either father or mother’s family
78-85 Legitimate, orphaned, raised by mother’s sibling or cousin
86-92 Legitimate, orphaned, raised by father’s sibling or cousin
92-00 Legitimate, orphaned, raised by stranger foster-family

 The GM must determine the actual rank of any lord indicated in the above table.

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Being raised legitimate but being illegitimate in fact, as some of the results indicate, it falls to the GM to generate the true details of the character’s birth, the facts that have been concealed. This knowledge should be concealed from the player, as well, until such time as the character finds out, if ever he does, in the course of game play.

The orphaned character’s parents are both assumed to be dead, and it must be determined at what age he was orphaned (d10 in years of age).

  • IF the character was younger than the age of 5 when orphaned, or was raised in a house of religion, table 2-1 should be used to determine how much information the character was given by those who raised him, if any.

While the result does not affect the state of the character’s birth heritage, the GM should discuss the concept of being orphaned with the player to get a reaction before implementing it and writing it into the background character briefing for the game.

The difference between being fostered out and being orphaned is that the fostered child’s parents are still alive, and it is likely the character will have regular contact with them and visit them or entertain their visits, depending on what sort of relationship is indicated by the dice or purchased with them on table 2-5.

 

  • When the GM makes use of table 2-1, the results are for his eyes only. That information should be revealed only if the PC should stumble across evidence leading to that information, or some NPC who reveals it to him, or in case the GM should otherwise decide to reveal it to the player at some later date after the character has been brought into play.

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Illegitimate Birth Heritage

IF your character concept includes being illegitimate, this is rather big deal in the period of the game – at least in the society of humans! The circumstances surrounding a character’s illegitimacy can also be very important. You need to consult with your GM in determining the details of the circumstances under which the character grew up (providing you are making a Quick Method character and want to participate in that process); all details of background need to be compatible with the setting he is creating, and so are subject to his approval.

For the rich material and fertile ground it provides the GM for writing hooks for adventures, the more complex this aspect of the character’s life, the better.

No, really. It’s true.

Again, these details can be wholly left to the GM to determine if desired.

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Being raised with his illegitimacy being a matter of public knowledge nets the character a 15-point DP bonus, due to the stigma. This does not apply to characters of the dwarf or elfin races, nor half-elfin characters raised in elfin society.

The social class and station of both birth parents of the illegitimate character must be determined separately. It is rather likely that the social classes are separated by bounds of station, and perhaps class as well. The liaison between the parents was certainly considered unsuitable in terms of marriage, although the couple obviously found sufficient drive and desire to consummate it.

Illegitimate birth allows that ONLY the character and those around him, in the community as well as the family by whom he was raised, are aware of being illegitimate.

  • IF the character is illegitimate, it must be determined the circumstances under which he was raised, as follows on tables 2-2, 2-3 evaluating what the character knows of each parent, 2-4 evaluating what each parent knows of the character their child, and 2-5 determining whether or not there is any relationship there that needs to be acknowledged/maintained.

The player may choose or roll, as he wishes. The farther removed from those of his own family blood are those who raised him, and the less information he has about his birth parents, the greater the DP bonus that is awarded, to add to the base of 15DP’s already awarded for illegitimacy above.

 The GM should take care not to reveal the circumstances surrounding the character’s illegitimate status until he has determined how much of that information the character knows, according to the results of the following tables.

For those aspects of the character’s background the tables indicate he is not aware of but are noted as yielding DP bonuses, the GM should award the DP’s but keep the information to himself.


2-2. Illegitimate Family Dispositions

d10 DP’s Result
1 0 Raised by birth mother and stepfather
2 (+1) Raised by birth mother alone
3 (+2) Raised by true father and stepmother
4 (+3) Raised by true father alone
5 (+4) Raised by mother’s parents, sibling or cousin
6 (+4) Raised by father’s parents, sibling or cousin
7 (+4) Raised in a Religious House
8 (+4) Raised by local lord of either father or mother
9 (+5) Raised by a neighbor of either father or mother
10 (+6) Raised by strangers

2-3. Character Knowledge of Absentee Parent(s)

d10 DP’s Results
1-3 0 Character has no information at all regarding the absentee parent(s)
4-5 1 Character knows absentee parent’s general location (shire, if same shire, then name of the hundred)
6-7 3 Character knows absentee parent’s family name (surname) and social class
8-9 6 Character knows absentee parent’s given name, surname, class, station/occupation, shire, hundred and specific city/town/village
10 10 Character knows absentee parent’s given name, surname, class, station/occupation, shire, hundred, city/town/village and specific locale and neighborhood

 

2-4. Parent(s) Knowledge of Illegitimate Children

d10 DP’s Results
1-4 10 Character’s existence unknown to father AND mother*
5-6 8 Character’s existence known to father, not mother*
7-8 4 Character’s existence known to mother, not father
9 6 Character’s existence known to close personal servant(s) of mother or father, but knowledge concealed from the parent.
10 0 Character’s existence known to both mother AND father

* Character taken away at birth, assumed dead by mother

2-5. Absentee Parent Relationships

d10 DP’s Result
1-5 0 Parent has had no contact with the character.
6-7 2 Character met the parent on a single occasion.
8 5 Character has met the parent on a few, isolated occasions.
9 8 Character has contact with the parent a few times a year, around major holidays.
10 10 Character and parent are in frequent regular contact.

For both legitimate and illegitimate PC’s, there are other considerations the GM should entertain. The player must go through the text and tables determining the actual circumstances under which his character was raised, the character’s knowledge of his absentee parent(s), his relationship with him/them, and the rest of the details of the family.

The GM must determine the Class and Station of any absentee parent(s) of a PC, as follows, along with the details of whether or not they are aware of the existence of the character, of the character’s location, and of the character’s identity, and any relationship he may have with them, if any. The player should then be informed ONLY of those results of which the character is aware, to keep player and character knowledge the same, to avoid a conflict or the temptation of having the character act on knowledge he does not have.

For the purposes of “orphan” results, both of the character’s parents are assumed to have died, and only results of 6 through 10 on table 2-2. should be accepted for the character’s disposition. In all these cases, the GM will need to determine the class and station of both the family to which the family was born and the station in which he was raised, the class being assumed to the same as the birth parent.

IF the character was raised in the absence of one or both true parents, it must be determined how much he knows of him or them, and whether they know of him.

The player must pay the DP cost indicated on table 2-3. as indicated for the level of knowledge he wishes the character to have of any absentee parent.

  • IF a different family entirely raised the character, the player will have to pay for character knowledge of BOTH parents, as desired.

Having determined the character’s knowledge of his true parent(s), the knowledge of the parent concerning the character must be established, as per table 2-4.

  • IF the results establish that the character and parent(s) are aware of one another, especially if that knowledge extends to specific knowledge of identity and location, the nature of any relationship between them must be established, as per table 2-5, following.
  • IF the character has knowledge of two absentee parents who also have knowledge of him, the status of the relationship with each must be determined on table 2-5.
  • IF the PC has knowledge of the parent(s) but they do not know of him or have not contacted him, there are no relationship unless the PC wishes to reveal himself and provide some proof and try to establish relations of some sort.

In order to determine the age at which the absentee parent first saw/met the character (as applicable), roll 3d5.

In evaluating the backgrounds of the PC’s for purposes of bringing them into play, the GM should take the opportunity to fill in all blanks (names, locations, and the like) needed so they are at his fingertips when writing the PC brief for the player. It will only strengthen his position and grasp of that corner of the world and the characters before the start of play.

Beyond the simple fact of a NPC’s legitimacy or lack of it, the details developed for a PC are only necessary for those NPC’s the GM intends to have in play for some time. Such intimate details as size of family and sibling ranks, age of siblings, the nature of his familial ties and all the details which are of interest to a player for his PC are only really of interest to the GM in regards to NPC’s in order to evaluate their resources when he or the PC’s are considering upping the stakes socially for tangling with him and/or thwarting his goals in the course of playing out the story at hand.

 

At the player’s option, the character’s birth heritage may be left as a complete question mark, completely unknown to the character due to his parent(s) abandoning him at birth or up to roughly 5 years of age (d5). The only information the player will have from the foster family are the location and circumstances under which the character was found as a child. If the character chooses to pursue any inquiries to find out his true origins, he are working with a trail that is decades cold.

In this circumstance, the player gets a bonus of 5 DP’s and leave all the details of the character’s heritage in the GM’s capable hands to determine. What information regarding the character’s family determined here for his background origins actually defines the family of strangers good enough to take him in and raise him as a foster-child.

It is assumed in this case that the character is aware of the circumstances under which the family took him in, otherwise he would have been raised as legitimate, in the manner described by the entry for a result of “44” on table 2-1.

In application with half-elf characters, while the elfin blood is obvious, whether the father or mother was elfin remains a mystery until the character somehow eventually ferrets that information out, if ever he does, should he start play not having that information about his parents.