ARRGS – Lifepath

A lifepath is a pseudo random method of generating a character and history all in one.

First select a race, then roll once on the Birth Lifepath

Birth Lifepath

RollCaste
1Peasant
2Urban Dweller
3Clansmen (Optional)
4Professional
5Merchant
6Religion / Magic User
7Nobility
8Court Nobility
9Slave
10Outcast

The Birth Lifepath determines what social class you were born into and your future prospects in life. Every character rolls once and only once on the Birth Lifepath. In circumstances where a particular Birth Lifepath is not available (such as Court Nobility for an Orc, or Slave for a region where slavery is illegal then roll again.

Peasant: You were born to a peasant family, you live a subsistence lifestyle in a rural setting with nothing in your future except a lifetime of toil just to stay alive. Your father was a farmer and it is quite likely his father was also a farmer working on the same farm his entire life. In most lands your family owns the very small farm they work. In places like Sembia, Amn, or Mulhorand your family rent the farmland from a rich land owner. In some places such as Thay and Unther there are no peasants, only slaves.

Urban Dwellers: Urban dwellers are just peasants that live in a larger city or town, they still live a subsistence lifestyle, but the variety of jobs they can hold is far more varied (but still menial and unskilled), usually dock workers or labourers.

Clansmen: In some regions, the lower classes long ago banded together to form Clans in order to curb the rising power of hereditary nobility. These clans are little better than gangs whose membership cooperate for protection, but in some places (like the Moonshaes, and in dwarven or elven lands), the clans are a powerful political entity. Your family are a low ranking member of this clan, able to call upon your clansmen for assistance in times of need.

Professional: Your father or mother has a valuable skill or trade that elevates their position in society. Your parents might be engineers, architects, apothecaries, carpenters, stonemasons, blacksmiths, fletchers, wainwrights, etc. They have far greater disposable income and quality of life than a peasant. They can live in both urban and rural settings.

Merchant: Your parents are merchants, they are wealthy beyond the dreams of normal peasantry. They most likely live in an urban setting but possibly in a wealthy rural region. They might own and run a shop or caravan themselves or work as a caravan master or shop keeper for a larger trading coster or company.

Religion / Magic User: At least one of your parents is a wizard or works as a priest in a temple. They have a special status in society where everyone from the peasantry to the nobility value their skills.

Nobility: Your family are of noble birth and own a sizeable estate with other people working for them to generate wealth. Nobles have vast resources, from gold, to physical and personnel assets.

Court Nobility: Court Nobility are the senior nobility of a region. They have lands and titles many times in excess of normal nobility and the associated wealth and power that comes with it. They are often of an ancient noble lineage, related to royalty however distantly. There is nothing these people cannot do or buy.

Slave: Your family are enslaved to another. Whether this be through true slavery as practised in Thay, Calimshan, Mulhorand, and Unther, or indentured servitude as happens in Sembia and Amn. Even peasants are thankful they are not slaves, for your life is not your own, and freedom is just a dream.

Outcast: Your family are outcast from normal society, living in secret or in lands no one else has claimed. Your parents might be wanted criminals, they could have a contagious disease, they might even be social outcasts for breaking some societal norm. Whatever the reason, you and your family are not welcome in lawful society and must live on the fringe.

Childhood Lifepaths

Childhood is a time when a character is dependent upon his parents and family for survival, as a result the events are very much centred around events happening to others rather than the character alone. Each character rolls a number of times on the Childhood Lifepath (which is determined by their Birth Lifepath) depending upon which race they belong to. (Humans = 3, Orcs = 2, Half Elf = 3, Halfling = 4, Dwarf = 4, Elf = 5)

Nobility Lifepath

RollResultRollResult
1Your family is accused of serious crimes (rightly or wrongly).
You acquire a nemesis – a rival noble that accused your family.
01-10




11-60





61-100
Your family are imprisoned and you are discarded onto the streets.
Lose all your personal wealth.
Gain +1 Personality
Roll again on the Peasant Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.

Your family escapes and begins again in another land.
Lose half your personal wealth.
Roll again on the Merchant Lifepath and for future Lifepaths

You become a ward of the state and live with another noble family.
Lose all your personal wealth.
2You spend your youth training to be a proper knight of the realm.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry, Missile Weaponry, Defence, and Ride.
You may choose Warrior for your Adolescent Lifepath.
01-40





41-80






81-100
You displease your trainer and he drills you black and blue each day.
You acquire a nemesis – your former weapons trainer.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline.
You gain +1 Body

You please your trainer.
You gain your choice of weapon and shield
You acquire a contact – your weapons trainer – +20 disposition

Your weapons trainer exalts your skills.
You gain your choice of weapon, armour, and shield.
You acquire a contact – your weapons trainer – +40 disposition
You gain +1 Body or +1 Agility
3Your father invests the family wealth in a series of risky enterprises.01-50







51-90







91-100
The investments turn sour and your are forced to ally with criminal elements in society.
Lose half your personal wealth.
You acquire a contact – a local smuggler or pickpocket – +10 disposition
You gain +1 Skill Training in Stealth, Thievery or Influence (pick one)

The investments revive your family fortunes.
Gain +1 gold piece personal wealth.
Gain an item of your choice.
You acquire a contact – a merchant working with your family – +20 disposition

The investments make your family among the wealthiest in the land.
Gain +10 gold pieces personal wealth
Gain 2 items of your choice.
Gain a weapon of your choice
You acquire a contact – a merchant – +50 disposition
You acquire a nemesis – a rival noble that fell afoul of your investments.
4Your family arranges a marriage with another noble house.01-40









41-90






91-100
The arranged marriage is a disaster and collapses, costing your family much reputation and wealth.
You acquire a nemesis – your former betrothed.
Lose half your personal wealth

The arranged marriage enriches your family’s wealth and prospects.
You acquire 1 gold piece personal wealth.
Gain 1 item or weapon of your choice.
Gain a contact – a noble ward from your future in laws. – +30 disposition

The arranged marriage is to a senior noble family.
Roll again on the Court Nobility Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.
Gain a +1 magical item as a dowry
5Illness strikes your family.01-10









11-70






71-100
Plague afflicts your household. Both parents die. Your household is run into the ground by greedy family members.
You lose -1 Body.
You gain +1 Personality
Roll again on the Peasant Lifepath or Urban Dweller Lifepath (your choice) and for future Lifepaths

Your father is poisoned. You are forced to help your mother run the household
You acquire a nemesis – a rival nobleman you believe poisoned your father.
You lose -1 Agility.
You gain +1 Intellect
You gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline

Your entire family suffer from plague but recover without any long term effects
Gain +1 Body
6You are given a private tutor.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline and Knowledge
from a local temple
01-30






31-60







61-80





81-100
You are a terrible student, you waste your education playing with friends
Gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry, Thievery, Stealth, or Athletics (choose one)
Gain a contact – a childhood friend – +50 disposition
Gain a nemesis – your old tutor

You are an excellent student
Gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline, or Language (choose one)
Gain a contact – your old tutor – +40 disposition

You are tutored by a senior priest
Gain +1 Intellect
Gain +1 Skill Training in Religion
You may choose Religion as your Adolescent Lifepath
Gain a contact – your old tutor – +30 disposition

You are tutored by a mage
Gain +1 Intellect
Gain +1 Skill Training in Arcana
You may choose Magic User as your Adolescent Lifepath
Gain a contact – your old tutor – +20 disposition
7Your family are accused of treason.
Acquire a nemesis – a member of the royal family or senior nobleman.
-50 disposition when interacting with any NPC from your land of birth.





01-10





20-90




90-100




Your parents are captured and executed. You escape with other family members.
You lose all your family wealth.
Roll again on the Outcast Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.

You become a ward of the state and live with another noble family.
Lose all your personal wealth.

You are sold into slavery in a foreign land along with the rest of your surviving family members.
Lose all your personal wealth and items.
Roll again on the Slave Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.
8You are sent to be a pageboy for another nobleman and train to be a knight 0-20






21-70






71-100



You injure yourself in a horse riding accident, you spend your remaining years looking after your master’s hawks and hounds and learning how to run a household.
-1 Body
+1 Skill Training in Nature and Profession

You spend your time hunting and carousing with your master
+1 Agility
+1 Skill Training in Missile Weapon, Nature, Perception, Ride
Gain a missile weapon of your choice

You learn the art of battle and spend many years touring theatres of warfare
+1 Body
+1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry, Defence, Ride, Discipline
Gain a weapon of your choice
You may choose soldier as your Adolescent Lifepath
9The lands of your family are thrown into turmoil when civil war strike, a peasant rebellion brews, or some outside force invades your landsYour family and their forces are unable to defeat the enemy. Your family are slaughtered, your lands are burned and you are enslaved.
Lose all your personal wealth and items
Roll again on the Slave Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.

Your family and their forces are defeated and slain but you are rescued by a loyal servant.
Lose half your personal wealth
Roll again on the Professional Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.
Gain a contact – your rescue – +50 disposition

Your family defeat the enemy but suffer grievous losses of land and income, even you had to participate in the defence of your home.
Lose half your personal wealth
+1 Body
+1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry, Discipline

Your family defeat the enemy and are granted a title by their liege lord as protectors of the realm
Roll again on the Court Nobility Lifepath and for future Lifepaths.
+1 gold piece personal wealth
1 masterwork item of your choice.

Orc Nobility Lifepath

RollResultROLLRESULT
1A plague sweeps through your tribe, both your parents are killed and the tribe is decimated. You survive but are left to fend for yourself.
You gain +1 to Body.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Nature, Thievery, and Stealth.
You must roll on the Outcast Lifepath immediately and any future childhood Lifepaths.
2Your tribe successfully raids a major settlement nearby. Your father gains greater riches and power.
You gain a masterwork weapon with 1 special quality (your choice of weapon and quality). A gift from your father.
You acquire a nemesis, a survivor or orphan from the raid.
You suffer -10 disposition with any NPCs of the same race as those inhabiting the settlement your tribe sacked.
3Your tribe attacks another orc tribe and conquers it, absorbing its warriors and lands and growing in power.
You gain +5 silver piece in personal wealth.
You gain a weapon of your choice as a gift.
You gain an orc contact with +50 disposition from within your own tribe, pledged to aid and protect the chief and his children.
4Your tribe is attacked and loses a significant proportion of warriors and lands.
You take part in the defence of your home despite your age.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weapons and Defence.
You suffer a serious injury and -1 Agility.
You lose half your personal wealth.
You acquire a Battle Axe and Round Shield, both with the Broken quality.
You acquire a nemesis, a warrior (orc, goblin, hobgoblin, bugbear, etc) that wounded you.
5Your father, the tribe chieftain, is slain by one of his own tribe. You lose half your personal wealth and any one item you own as a gift to your new chieftain for sparing your life. You must now roll on the Orc Lifepath immediately and for any future childhood Lifepaths.
You acquire a nemesis, the new chieftain of the tribe who slew your father.
6Your tribe is completely destroyed by another tribe or rampaging monster (e.g. a dragon). You are enslaved, you lose all possessions and personal wealth and must now roll on the Slave Lifepath immediately and for any future childhood Lifepaths.
You gain +1 Personality.
You acquire a nemesis, the chieftain of the tribe or the monster that destroyed your tribe.
7The tribe shaman tries to sacrifice you to demonic entities. The ritual fails because you survive, but you are imbued with accursed powers.
You gain +1 to Body, and Agility.
You gain Infernal Taint as an Option.
You suffer -10 disposition with any good aligned NPC
You acquire a nemesis, a demon or devil who wants you dead so he can reclaim his power and steal your soul.
8You spend your youth bullying and battling orcs of your own age, forming a mini tribe of your own.
You gain +1 to Body.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Athletics, Martial Weapons, Influence
You gain +10 copper pieces personal wealth.
You gain 1-6 orc contacts with a +20 disposition from within your own tribe, your friends that you bonded with in your youth.
9Your aptitude for magic is noticed or awakened by the tribal shaman.
You gain +1 Intellect.
You gain 1 Spell scroll as a gift.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Knowledge, Arcana, Nature.
10Your lair is raided by adventurers who slay many of your tribe. Your father survives, but the tribe disperses and is absorbed into other passages nearby.
You gain 10 silver pieces personal wealth.
You gain a suit of Chainmail with the Broken Quality.
You gain a weapon of your choice.
You must now roll on the Orc Lifepath immediately and for future childhood Lifepaths.
11Your tribe allies with a nearby evil power (e.g. a dragon, lich, demo, devil, or evil organisation). You are traded to that power as part of the bargain where you are trained to become part of their elite guard.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weapons, Ranged Weapons, Defence, Discipline.
You gain Leather Armour
You gain a Round Shield
You gain a Spear.
You may roll on the Soldier Lifepath for future childhood Lifepaths.
12You are sent into the wilderness with a number of other orc children as a rite of passage to slay a dangerous beast.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weapons
You gain +1 Vitality
Roll a d20. 1-10 you fail and are outcast. You must now roll on the Outcast Lifepath immediately and for future childhood Lifepaths. 11-20 you succeed and may continue to roll on the Orc Nobility Lifepath for future childhood Lifepaths. 11-20.
If you succeed you gain +10 disposition with any orc NPCs.
You gain a nemesis, the monster (your choice) you failed to defeat but seriously wounded (e.g. removing a claw or eye), or the children of the monster you slew.

Orc society is distinct enough that it merits its own lifepath. Most orcs are not allowed into normal humanoid society and so grow up separately from the other races in the numerous tribes that dot the mountains, forests and uninhabited regions on the edge of human, dwarf, elf, and other humanoid lands.

As a tribal society the Orc nobility are the chieftains and their immediate families, they have a different lifestyle and quality of life to ordinary orcs and as a result a distinct lifepath.

Adolescent Lifepaths

During adolescence, most characters will embark upon their chosen career and continue upon that path until they reach adulthood. Each race has a different number of rolls on the Adolescent Lifepath (Human = 2, Orc = 2, Half Elf = 3, Halfling = 2, Dwarf = 3, Elf = 5)

Warrior Lifepath

The life of a warrior is one of discipline and preparation for combat. In order to choose this Lifepath you must have at least 1 Skill Training in Martial or Missile Weaponry and in Discipline.

The careers available to a warrior are; Watchman, Guardsman, Soldier, Mercenary, etc.

Each warrior gains an annual wage of 1 silver piece per rank, but must spend 50% of that wage on annual costs. There are a maximum of 10 ranks in a military organisation.

RollResult
1You are forced to leave your career through misconduct. You lose your annual wage.
Roll 1d20. 1-10 You must choose another adolescent Lifepath for which you have the necessary skills.
11-20 You may choose the Warrior Lifepath again but with a different career choice.
You have -20 disposition when interacting with any former comrades.
You acquire a nemesis, your former commanding officer who forced you (rightly or wrongly) to leave, or another warrior that framed you for, or exposed your misconduct.
2You spend a long time in drills and weapon practice.
Gain +1 Skill Training in Melee or Missile Weaponry (your choice), and +1 Skill Training in Discipline
3You gain a promotion for your exemplary record.
You gain a promotion of 1 rank
You gain +1 additional silver piece per year to your annual wage
You gain a weapon of choice as a gift from your commanding officer
You gain +10 disposition when interacting with any comrades.
You gain a nemesis, a fellow comrade who did not get the promotion he wanted and blames you.
4You become company athletics champion and compete in athletics events.
You gain +1 Body or Agility (your choice)
You gain +1 Skill Training in Athletics and an Expertise of your choice
Roll 1d20. 1-10 You lose a number of events but gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline
11-20 You win all your events and gain a medal of solid silver worth 10 silver pieces. However, you also gain a nemesis in a rival athletics champion who you beat repeatedly.
5You take part in real combat but are injured in the process, hampering your career and seeing you assigned to support works such as supply or first aid duties .
You lose -1 Body or Agility
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee or Missile Weaponry and +1 Skill Training in Defence
You gain a permanent contact with +30 disposition, a fellow wounded veteran who mentored you during this time.
You suffer from PTSD when faced with specific combat (fighting in a alley, open battlefields, overwhelming odds, fighting orcs, being shot at by archers, etc)
You may not be promoted for the rest of your career.
6You take part in real combat and defeat your enemies soundly.
You gain +2 Skill Training in Melee or Missile Weaponry
You gain a medal for your bravery worth +5 silver pieces
You gain +10 disposition when interacting with fellow comrades
7You witness the atrocities of warfare; a major battle, the sacking of a city, the pillaging of lands. The horrors of that time allow you to tap the power of your fury and anger
You gain the Rage Option
8You squire for someone; a noble knight, a senior commander, etc
You gain +1 Personality
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry, Defence, and Ride
You gain a Sword and Round Shield
Roll 1d10. 1-10 You acquire a nemesis, your former master was a tyrant that hates you even now.
11-20 You acquire a permanent contact with +50 disposition. Your former master was kind and generous and you bonded in the fires of battle.
9You are captured during an engagement with the enemy. You are sold into slavery in a far off land
You lose all your personal wealth
You lose all your items
You gain +1 Personality
You gain +1 Skill Training in Craft, Language
You must roll on the Slave Lifepath immediately and for any future adolescent Lifepaths
10You capture an enemy soldier during battle. You can slay, maim, sell, or free your captive.
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry
If you slay him you gain a nemesis in the form of his wife and children
If you maim him you gain a nemesis in the form of the captured soldier
If you sell him you gain +10 silver pieces in personal wealth and you gain a nemesis in the form of the captured soldier.
If you free your captive you gain a permanent contact with +60 disposition towards you as the former captive promises to repay his debt to you.
11 You become company weapons champion and compete in duelling events.
You gain +1 Body or Agility (your choice)
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry and an Expertise of your choice
Roll 1d20. 1-10 You lose a number of events but gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline
11-20 You win all your events and gain a medal of solid silver worth 10 silver pieces. However, you also gain a nemesis in a rival duelling champion who you beat repeatedly.
12 You become company archery champion and compete in archery events.
You gain +1 Agility
You gain +1 Skill Training in Missile Weaponry and an Expertise of your choice
Roll 1d20. 1-10 You lose a number of events but gain +1 Skill Training in Discipline
11-20 You win all your events and gain a medal of solid silver worth 10 silver pieces. However, you also gain a nemesis in a rival archery champion who you beat repeatedly.
13You capture an important enemy (a criminal lord, an enemy commander).
You gain +1 Skill Training in Melee Weaponry
You gain +1 gold piece in personal wealth
You gain a Masterwork Weapon, Armour, or Shield (your choice)
You gain a promotion of 2 ranks
You gain a nemesis in the form of the important enemy that you captured (who later escaped or was released) and whose equipment and wealth you took.

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