Social Class

In Victorian times, class means much more than whether you are a fighter or a wizard. Social class determines where you live, the company you keep, what you eat, how you dress, the work you do, and so much more. In game terms, the differences are important, too. When you begin building your character, choose one of the following social classes:

Upper class:

  • You automatically receive the Groomed for Nobility feat (S&S, p. 108), with the following change: gentlemen who take this feat receive the ability to read, write, and speak Draconic and Latin rather than the bonus to Sense Motive.
  • You may take one title feat without meeting the prerequisite feat, though you must still meet the spellcasting prerequisite.
  • You may begin the game with a wardrobe appropriate for your class, including jewelry if your character is female. Your family has at least one coach. You live in a beautiful home with as many as a dozen servants. You may or may not be the legal possessor of these items, and if you attempt to sell, rent, or otherwise profit by any of them you will lose your standing in society. You have connections among the upper classes, and likely know several members of parliament.
  • An upper-class woman who takes up an adventuring life will lose some temporary status, but she will still be invited to society balls thrown by people who crave excitement. Proposals of marriage will taper off, but many upper-class men and some upper-class women will happily receive her. If she carries herself with dignity and upholds proper decorum at all times, she will likely be able to regain her position in time. A young lady should consider a chaperone while adventuring to protect her reputation.

Middle class:

  • You automatically receive the Industrial Upbringing feat (S&S, p. 108).
  • After choosing your race and class, and assigning your rolls to your abilities, roll a d6. You may increase one ability according to the following chart:

    1. 2 to Strength

    2. 2 to Dexterity

    3. 2 to Constitution

    4. 2 to Intelligence

    5. 2 to Wisdom

    6. 2 to Charisma

  • You begin the game with a respectable wardrobe. You live in a reasonably comfortable home with at least one servant. You may or may not be the legal possessor of these items, and if you attempt to sell, rent, or otherwise profit by any of them you will lose your standing in society. Your friends and acquaintances tend to be businessmen, clerks, and the occasional doctor or lawyer.
  • A middle-class woman who takes up an adventuring lifestyle may be dropped by many of her social circle. She will likely be welcomed by the artistic community, who generally admire adventuresses. Unless she is a votary, she will have trouble regaining her position in respectable middle-class circles. As with upper-class young ladies, the presence of a chaperone will help preserve her reputation.

Lower class:

  • You automatically receive the Street Urchin feat (S&S, p. 108).
  • You may add +2 to the ability of your choice.
  • You begin the game with two changes of clothes, appropriate to your occupation. Unless your position requires otherwise (e.g. servant, sailor, etc.) you share your house either with your extended family or with others of your class. Your home has no indoor plumbing or gas, and possibly not even a drain.
  • A lower-class woman who takes up an adventuring lifestyle will gain fame within her social circle. However, many people will make assumptions about her moral flexibility, and may assume she wouldn’t object to practicing a little prostitution on the side.

So what if you don’t want your character to fit neatly into one of these types? What if you want a character of noble birth, who was raised in poverty? It is a common theme of Victorian literature, after all. The Victorians like to believe that “blood shows.” In such a situation you might take the lower class package, but then take Groomed for Nobility as one of your first level feats, to represent the fact that on some level you are fundamentally classy.

Social Class

Victoriana Striga