Shimmering Kingdoms True20
Allegiances are an important part of the Shimmering Kingdoms campaign. Once allegiance is established, which may be implied or involving vows sworn, it is considered as if a character has taken a solemn oath. A declaration that is acknowledged by both the one swearing the oath, and the one to whom it is sworn, the allegiance is often made before witnesses. Allegiances may not be a two-way street, however. Still, there may be social consequences for breaking them. Note that this is different from the Complication Code of Honor or Oath of Fealty.
A hero may have any number of allegiances so long as he or she can balance and integrate the duties and philosophies of all the allegiances. Allegiances may affect a hero’s Reputation.
A hero may have allegiances to any of these things:
- Belief System: This includes religions, sects, schools of thought, philosophies, or political leanings, both orthodox and heterodox.
- Person or Group: This includes a leader or superior, a child, the hero’s family or tribe, a band of adventurers, a discrete unit within a larger organization, or someone whose safety the character has been entrusted with.
- Nation or City: This may or may not be the nation the hero currently resides in. It may be where the individual was born or where the hero resides after immigrating to a new home.
- Organization: This may be a gathering of like-minded individuals, a brotherhood or sisterhood, a secret society, a branch of the military, a university, an employer, or an otherwise established authority.
A character without an allegiance might be looked down upon – a man without religion, family, or sovereign may not be viewed as a man at all. Such characters are often selfish rogues hailing from the lowest of classes, who are denied rights of citizenship, receive no representation in the courts, and are preferentially rounded up by authorities.
Even belonging to a heretical secret society, while it may mark you for persecution, is a sign that a person believes in something higher than him or herself. In the minds of most, to have a defective religion is better than to be a disbeliever, since there is an element of truth in every religion. Players who begin without an allegiance should explain why their hero has none, and should think about an allegiance which might suit their hero down the road.
General Benefits of Swearing Allegiance
Swearing allegiance provides you with the rewards of belonging to a group; whenever you interact with someone with the same allegiance you gain a +2 on all interaction checks. Many allegiances also provide various services such as information, advice, employment, healing, protection of family members, a network of contacts, and a restful sanctuary, providing bonuses on spending Prestige Points See Reputation.
It is possible for a character to change allegiance, though this often involves a great loss of honor (and Reputation). While most sects encourage converts, they shun those who attempt to leave the faith; the ramifications for converting to a new religion or sovereign may range from being denied previous rights to outright murder. In extreme cases, apostates may be killed (having a contract put out on them), as revenge for betrayal, or to avoid a stain on the honor of their old allies.