An Affiliation for Bards
The rules for affiliations can be found in chapter 7 of the Player's Handbook II.

Name: The Amazing Chicanery Troupe
Symbol: A white snake, with red eyes and tongue
Motto: Trickery is mightier than the fist
Members: Lukwind, his cohort and followers
Secrets: Lukwind's identity as a Changeling; Rohit's identity as a Vanara; Helena's identity as a half-Drow
Type: Business
Scale: 1 (neighborhood)
Capital: 1

Criterion: Affiliation Score Modifier
Character level: +1/2 PC’s level
Charisma 13 or higher: +1
Bard: +1
Can cast 3rd-level or higher illusion spells: +1
Can cast 3rd-level or higher enchantment spells: +1
5-9 ranks in Perform, Tumble, Sleight of Hand or Gather Information: +1 per skill
10 or more ranks in Perform, Tumble, Sleight of Hand or Gather Information: +2 per skill
Extraordinary performance as part of the troupe: +1 per performance
Has no ranks in Perform, Tumble, Sleight of Hand or Gather Information: -2
Charisma 8 or lower: -2
Failed to show for a performance: -2 per performance

Titles, Benefits, and Duties:
Characters who participate in a performance of the troupe do not earn money as they usually would for the Perform skill. Instead, this money is assumed to go into the coffers of the troupe. In return, members are fed and given a place to sleep. The troupe is not a wealthy organization - its prestige, particularly that of Lukwind, its founder, is what attracts new members to join. The guild does not charge dues - participation in its performances is all that it requires.

If a character expects to be away from her responsibilities while pursuing other goals (such as adventuring), she can ask her guild to waive these service requirements while she is away, but in return for that favor she must agree to pay the guild 10% of the value of any income or treasure gained on her expedition.

If the troupe is unable to perform for an entire week then the affiliation capital drops by 1. An affiliation whose capital falls to –1 is disbanded and cannot be refounded for a period of 1d4 months.

Guildmasters are expected to spend at least 8 consecutive hours per week dealing with administrative matters and interacting with other guild members. However, because of their enhanced status, they are no longer required to attend every performance of the troupe. Their duties increasingly involve scriptwriting, composing, choreographing and directing.

Title: Benefits and Duties
0 or lowerNo affiliation.
1-3Understudy or backstage crew (costumes, scenery, etc.)
4-10Bit player: walk-on parts or a member of the chorus. Obliged to participate in the performances and rehearsals of the troupe. Generally, this requires 1d4–1 days (8 hours per day) each week.
11-20Thespian: plays a leading role. You begin to build a loyal fanbase in any locale where you have made an Extraordinary performance. +2 bonus to Reputation checks for being recognized.
21-29Superstar: headlining act. Your arrival in a town or city is a major event. Due to your command of public opinion, the authorities are far more indulgent with you than usual. Fans flock to you whenever you make an appearance.
(mob with attitude=Friendly; DC 20 Perform check to make them Helpful; DC 60 to make them Fanatical. On a natural 1, they riot)
30 or higherAuteur: your innovations are at the forefront of the development of the art form. Many of the world's top performers would give their left arm for the chance to work with you, but equally many are insanely jealous of your success.

Whenever knowledge of your arrival has spread throughout an urban centre, the DM will secretly roll 1d6 for each of the highest-level bards, rogues and experts (2 of each in a small city, 3 in a large city, or 4 in a metropolis):

1-2: jealousy
3-4: indifference
5-6: fawning

Jealousy (hostile): this NPC might be perfectly nice to you in public, but they are secretly plotting to have you assassinated or kidnapped.

Indifference: this NPC feels that you are overrated, and will tell anyone who cares to listen. But they wish you no ill will.

Fawning (helpful): this NPC will perform favours for you, in exchange for the opportunity to rehearse and perform with your guild. If you choose, you can recruit them as a follower or cohort. Otherwise, they will return to their normal lives once the favour has been reciprocated. 

Executive Powers: Gift, craft, pariah.

Lukwind, a changeling bard and master orator
Rohit, a vanara ninja and accomplished acrobat
Helena, a half-drow cleric who has a way with words

Noirin, a dwarven weaponsmith with a deep baritone voice
Talabelia, a half-elven tinker with a repertoire of card tricks, shell games, etc.
Limji, a kobold rogue who specializes in traps, as well as tumbling
Bolias, a dwarven citharist who drives the mobile stronghold

Enemies and Allies:
Thurstan Brightstone, the priest of Hermes in the city of Marchion, has given Lukwind's troupe his patronage.
Deborah and her band of pirates have become the sworn enemies of Lukwind's adventuring party

Background, Goals, and Dreams:
There are many Rokugani stories about the snake, the most popular being the “legend of the white snake”. In the story, two snake-demons, one White and one Red, assumed the form of two very beautiful women who came to a small town one day and met a student known as “Hui Sang”. The White Snake demon fell in love with Hui Sang. They got married, raise a family, and had a new born baby. with the Red snake working as their maid.

One day, a Shugenja who was also an exorcist known as Fa Hoi (literally, Dharma Sea) arrived at the village temple and noticed that there was something unusual at Hui Sang’s house. The exorcist monk considered the wife to be evil and waged a big battle with her. She lost and was confined under the Temple of Shinsei in Kim Sang. The husband died shortly after with a broken heart.

The couple left behind a orphaned son, who proved to be a very intelligent student with great wisdoms. Twenty years of hard studying enabled him to pass the civil service examination with flying colours, and he was appointed as a senior officer in the Imperial Court. When the Emperor heard of his parent’s stories, he was furious. He ordered Fa Hoi to be arrested and punished. The mother White Snake was released and the father was given a great posthumous honour.

If you are a snake, then, you are cunning, beautiful, attractive, with great wisdom. You are not afraid of difficulties, are determined to success and will finally achieve your goal.


Christian said…
I love all the diverse personalities you've included in the troupe. Are any of the PCs in your campaign members?
Azeari said…
Yes, Lukwind is a player character.
He founded the affiliation when he took the Leadership feat. It was originally intended as a travelling troupe of performers, but since then they have established a permanent theater in the small city of Marchion, and another in the metropolis of Laveril.

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