The Opal Empire
Open Game Content on this page is designated by a green box, like this one.
The Opal Empire is a social place where personal status matters. A person’s worth is measured by her deeds and reputation. Honor means something here. Status is divided into realms depending on the part of society the character is dealing with.
Whenever a character is attempting to sway an NPC or use his network to gain information, the player should make a status check. This is a normal skill check by the usual method (d20 + an appropriate background + relevant ability modifier + level + other modifiers vs. a difficulty class). In addition, the character may have a bonus or penalty determined by class.
A player may also choose to have the character call upon his Icon relationships for help (before or after the roll), by adding up to 1d6 per level of the relationship. Roll the dice and add their total to the d20 skill check. Any 5 that appears on these dice means Trouble in the usual way for icon rolls.
If a status check fails, the character does not achieve the goal of the roll. However, the player may opt to succeed anyway by taking a permanent -1 status penalty in that particular status realm (see below). These status penalties accumulate (a -1 becomes a -2, and so on) but can be removed through role-play, one -1 per play session.
Of course, thieves do not measure status the same way as queens and knights do. Thus we have multiple realms. A character has a different status score in each realm.
The Courts include the entire hierarchy of power from the imperial rulership down to the nobility. Anything dealing with rulership and governance, law, bribes of nobles, and military falls into this realm.
The City includes regular people in towns and cities. Anything involving commerce, education, defense, and city custom falls into this realm. This is normal city people stuff.
The Farmlands includes regular people in villages and the countryside — simple folk. Anything involving rural life and farming falls into this realm.
Where the City Realm covers normal city people stuff, the Streets cover the underworld and illegal (or at least shady) activities. Anything involving crime, threats, bribes of regular people and lower officials, and the black market falls into this realm.
There’s one more circle of society: the slave population. They have their own Status Realm. Anything involving reputation among slaves falls into this realm.