The Courtier Edit

Whether the powerful unmarked scions of the Dragonmarked houses, well-to-do merchants with an eye for politics, or nobles born to the privilege and responsibilities of leadership, courtiers are entrenched in the power structures of the world of Eberron. Utilizing their natural charisma and intelligence to make their way in the world, courtiers are more likely to defuse a situation with pens than swords, though few would hesitate to lift a blade when needed.

Adventures: Very few courtiers live the comfortable lives of the upper nobility. Whether knee-deep in multi-national politics, or crusading for the rights of others, even powerful courtiers are occasionally forced to go to strange places and deal with strange people. Diplomats, political crusaders, military commanders, messengers for or aids to higher-ranking courtiers, organized crime bosses, inquisitives and police chiefs could all be courtier characters.

Characteristics: Courtiers rely upon diplomacy and negotiation to succeed. Where other classes might run headlong into a fight, the courtier asks pointed questions and hopes to work out a deal that benefits everyone (or at least appears to). Exploiting the power, and the perceived power, inherent in his position, wealth and contacts is the most expeditious way for a courtier to get things done. Most believe that promises, favors and good will can get accomplish more than violence, though most will quickly draw steel when words fail. Courtiers are more comfortable in cities and large towns, where civilization and the trappings that come with it are readily accessible. Law and society mean everything to a courtier; the wilderness is sadly lacking in both. Courtiers are good talkers, bluffers, gamblers and negotiators, and the military training most recieve makes them as dangerous on the battlefield as in the political arena. Though nowhere near so skilled as the bard, a courtier can help inspire others, and usually make good leaders.

Alignment: Courtiers come to their profession from many walks of life, and their ideals are often varied and different. All courtiers, however, rely on societal norms, laws, and organizations to help them succeed; as such, all courtiers are lawful. An idealistic courtier believes it is his duty to carry the burden of responsibility and leads his people for their benefit rather than his own. More selfish courtiers seek the wealth, fame, power and comfort associated with "life at the top." Power-hungry courtiers are in it for their own gain, and to Infernia with whoever gets in their way.

Religion: Religious endeavors are typically an exercise in expediency for the courtier. Though some are truly and utterly devoted to their faiths, most courtiers adopt the religion of the people they lead. Those whose morals tend to slack will often use the religion of the masses against them, making it seem that whatever the courtier proposes is the will of the gods. Many, though, are too preoccupied with their own schemes and machinations to worry about giving more than lipservice to their religion.

Background: Every culture, ever people, every race and every nation has leaders. On the Talenta Plains, for instance, the village chief is often a courtier. Lords, ladies, kings, queens, the Daughters of Sora Kell, Merrix d'Cannith's eldest daughter, unmarked scions of the dragonmarked houses, Prince Ryger ir'Wynarn, chieftans of dwarf clans; all of these and many more can be represented by the courtier class. A sliver tongue, a quick wit, and some privilege are all that truly define the origins of courtier characters.

Races: Just as any group of people have their courtiers, so too do all of the races of Eberron. Humans and half-elves have their kings and queens, lords and ladies. Dwarves, halflings, shifters and goblinoids have less powerful (but infinitely more approachable) chiefs and chieftains. Even changelings, notorious for their lack of racial structure, have the Cabinet of Faces.

other Classes: Courtiers do their best work when talking. They are not completely vulnerable in combat, as most have taken at least some small amount of martial training, but they are far from tanks. Their skills are usually geared toward diplomacy and negotiation, leaving the sneaking about for rogues and bards. Courtiers tend to look down on barbarians and druids as "uncivilized," and view sorcerers in nearly as bad a light. They get along famously with wizards and bards, exchanging quips, knowledge and political intrigues, but bards tend to view the courtier as an intrusion on their space.

Role: Courtiers are often the "face" of an adventuring party, and they serve a secondary role as support fighters. This tends to place them at odds with bards, as there is often a level of overlap between the two classes, but so long as the classes remain delineated (bards are the face for entertainment and magic; courtiers are the face for nobility and warriors), there should not be too big a problem. Their ability to call on favors from people in high places can often mean the difference between a successful adventure and a failed one, providing essential equipment, research and information that other heroes simply don't have access to.

Game Rule Information Edit

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