Fringe Benefit

Fringe Benefit is a Perk which the character acquires from his job or background — a “perk” in the classic sense.

Membership represents the benefits that accrue to a character from belonging to a large and/or powerful organization — the City Guards, the Lancers, an organized crime family, a trade guild, you name it. The character can call on the group’s resources when he needs them (within reason, and subject to the GM’s permission). On the other hand, being a member of a group means the character also has responsibilities to that group (often reflected with related Disadvantages, such as Hunted (Watched) or Social Limitation: Subject To Orders).

The cost of Membership depends on two things: the extent of the group’s power and resources; and the character’s position within the organization. The greater the power/resources, and the more important the character’s position, the more points Membership costs. Thus, being a lowly recruit the Atlan’s Guard or a thieves guild might cost 1 point; as the character progresses in rank and loyalty to the organisation 2 – 3 points; head of a battalion or lieutenant in the guild 4 – 5 points (maybe more); a member of the Atlan’s elite cadre, 6 points; and one of the council of Advisors, 8-10 points.

The Lordship Fringe Benefit represents a character’s position in, and authority deriving from, a government or other rulership hierarchy. The accompanying table contains Fringe Benefit values for positions based on the Atlantean World’s cultures;

Most nobles, particularly in Fantasy literature, are wealthy; they should have the Money Perk, and often a demesne with a manor house, castle, or the like as well. However, more than a few down-on-their-luck nobles, with little more to their names than their titles, have existed throughout history; such characters could easily find their way into your Fantasy Hero game. On the other hand, the privileges of nobility come with responsibilities. If a noble holds land, he must take care of the peasants who live on it (though some nobles honor this duty more in the breach than the observance). He also has to pay taxes. Whether he owns land or not, he owes service to his liege lord.

Depending on the time and place, this can range from significant responsibilities (fight for his lord, maintain a road) to the trivial (bring his lord a rose on New Year’s Day every year). His lord may call upon him to go on a quest, or give him the power of a Justicar (to administer Low Justice (i.e., to judge minor disputes among lower-ranking persons)).

A noble who neglects his duties — particularly the paying of taxes and rendering of military service — incurs his lord’s displeasure, and perhaps punishment. Depending on the severity of the offense, he may be required to pay a fine or provide a special service; if appropriate, the lord may strip him of his title and give it to another person (in which case, the character does not get back the points he spent on the Perk).

Universal Fringe Benefits

Cost Fringe Benefit
1 point License to practice a profession (e.g., Lawyer, Engineer, Physician)
1 point Right to Marry (can perform the marriage ceremony)
1 – 10 points Membership (see text, above)
1 – 20 points Lordship (see text, above)
3 points Justicar: Character has the right to mete out low justice

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Fringe Benefit

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