Shimmering Kingdoms True20
In the formal society of the Shimmering Kingdoms, the legitimacy of parentage is very important. When a child is born to unwed parents, he or she is declared a bastard. They carry a religious and social stigma, and are seen as untrustworthy, lascivious, and deceitful. Bastards have few rights under the law and are rarely eligible for inheritance. Only if there are no other trueborn children or no stronger claims — such as an uncle or cousin — may a bastard inherit a family’s lands and titles.
Worse is when the fathers are Noblesse and their mothers of Seitsman blood. Bastards born to barbarian races are considered abominations.
Bastards may be male or female.
Bastards are treated harshly in the world, seen as second class citizens who are conceived under the mantle of lust and lies, and many believe such a child will be predisposed to treachery and evil. They are considered the product of deceit and debase acts, and are therefore believed to be creatures to be mistrusted and reviled. Whether this is merely an attitude or a metaphysical truth, bastard born humans are treated with mistrust and disdain by most of society, specifically the Noblesse.
Bastards have few rights under the law, but can sometimes gain full social status if legitimized by the King. As children they are usually fostered out to another noble house to be raised. They are never given their noble name, and always have names such as Lake, Rivers, Sand, Snow, Stone, Hill, or named after trees such as Birch or Willow, after flowers such as Rose or Daisy. The choosing of their last names is usually determined by the region of their birth.
Note: Playing a Bastard does not mean that the character is parented by a member of Nobility. Most player character Bastards will be illegitimate sons (or daughters) from lesser houses, whose parents are not officially titled or landed. It is remotely possible, however, to be born into a ruling house, but this must be worked out during the creation process of the character, with the DM, choosing appropriate Feats, such as Benefit (Status).
Bastardy Racial Traits:
• Ability Adjustments: +1 to any ability score, -1 to any other ability score. Bastards come from the stock of diverse peoples.
• Medium: Bastards are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
• Normal Speed: Bastards have a base speed of 30 feet.
• Bonus Feat: Bastards gain a bonus feat at first level. The bonus feat may be a general or favored feat, or may be chosen from any Role.
• Talented: +2 to two related skills (player’s choice)
• Favored Feats: Bastards may select two feats from the Warrior or Expert role as favored feats. These feats are available to you regardless of role.
• Suggested Feats: Talented (Bluff and Sense Motive), Iron Will, Skill Training.
• Stigma: When dealing with people who are concerned with issues of parentage, you suffer a -4 penalty to all social interaction checks. Bastardy is usually more problematic in areas that keep to the Church of the Pantheon. Additionally, despite any status belonging to your noble parent, your starting Social Station is considered LL Bastard (2).
• Automatic Language: Common, King’s Tongue. Bastards are literate in all languages based on the common alphabet which they know. Literacy for additional alphabets may be purchased with bonus languages, or by spending ranks to become literate. See Language (Skill).
• Bonus Languages: Any.