[top]Noble, Alternative Class from Conan: the Roleplaying Game


Raised among the comforts and constrains of civilization, nobles are usually educated, wealthy individuals born into a high rank in society. Nobles are concerned with a wide range of societal activities, including the use of arms, the administration of laws, mercantile enterprise, and other highly skilled trades.
The noble class is the PC class counterpart to the NPC Aristocrat class presented in the Dungeon Master?s Guide. Just as the warrior class represents experience, but not the sophisticated training in fighting possessed by Fighters, the aristocrat class represents experience, but not sophisticated training in the art of command. Courtiers, functionaries, and minor diplomats are members of the NPC aristocrat class. The Noble class represents characters with sophisticated training in the art of command and in the garnering and managing of political influence. The noble class should generally be reserved for the ruling regents of long dynasties and their family members.


Nobles in Cerilia tend to believe in the adage ?If you want a job done correctly, you must do it yourself.? Trained since birth in their duty to family and country, nobles lead armies to war, route bandits, investigate disturbances, and involve themselves in the great intrigues for which Cerilian politics is famous. Although nobles can delegate a great deal of such responsibility, the best and most able leaders have always been those whom are actively involved in the defense and maintenance of their interests regardless of the personal risks which such activities may pose.


Nobles are trained to defend the interests of their family by both strength of arm and quickness of wit. Nobles must be at ease on both the battlefield and on the dance floor. They are familiar with most martial weaponry and armor and furthermore, have both the freedom and the finances to train in the skills of their choice. As they gain experience, nobles get more opportunities to develop their skills. Some chose to focus on combat maneuvers, others choose to develop skills that are useful in more subtle endeavors. Nobles are exceptionally flexible and each develops those skills and abilities they feel most useful in meeting their duties and obligations.
Noble is a class that a character is born into and hence a character must start out with the class in order to gain the benefits of it. The single exception is the scion class, which a character can take prior to having a class level in noble. The character must take a level of noble as his first non-scion class if he is to claim being derived from nobility to the extent that he gains the class features. After taking a level in noble the character is free to take levels in other classes and return to advance in noble following the normal rules for multiclassing.


Nobles may be of any alignment. Most seem to lean toward lawful alignments, however, as self-indulgent or inconsistent nobles are more likely to fail than those strongly committed to their duties.


Nobles tend to worship (or at least pay lip-service to) the state religion of the area in which they hold influence. Most also honor Haelyn in his role as the lord of the sacred feudal order which defines their privileges and obligations.

[top]Preferred Class Races/Cultures

Most nobles are humans from civilized cultures such as Anuire, Brechtür, or Khinasi. The less civilized human cultures generally do not afford their leaders the necessary leisure time to develop the skills common among a cultured upper class. Most elves, on the other hand, easily have the leisure time to develop such a class, but have chosen not to. Perhaps due to their longevity, there are very few social ranks among the elves and thus most elves devote their energies towards more arcane pursuits. Half-elf nobles are also rare as half-elves are generally distrusted as rulers among humans and elves alike. Although exceptionally civilized, Cerilian dwarves tend to have a less marked differentiation between their leaders and common-folk. Most dwarven leaders prefer to devote themselves to a more traditional profession and to lead by example rather than through the mastery of a staggering array of leadership skills. The halflings of the Burrows lack the concept of an upper-class, but halfling nobles are not uncommon among the few halfling families that have earned positions of high rank in human lands.

[top]Other classes

Although some nobles are aloof or arrogant, most deal exceptionally well with others. Nobles, on the whole, recognize that their skills are primarily focused on personal interaction and conflict resolution. Very few nobles could travel in the wild unaided - they are, for the most part, dependent on the comforts of civilization. Thus, nobles tend to work exceptionally well with others, particularly lawful minded warriors and clerics. Nobles are bred to the concept of giving and obeying fair and necessary orders from their superiors and tend to work well in any party with a strong party leader (often themselves).

[top]Game Rule Information

Nobles have the following game statistics:
Abilities : Charisma is especially important for nobles because it improves their social skills and leadership potential. Intelligence is also particularly useful, as a high intelligence not only improves a large number of important skills, but it also provides the noble with extra skill points. Strength and dexterity are also important for situations in which they find themselves unable to come to a peaceful agreement with their opponents.
Alignment: Any
Class Hit Die: d8

[top]Class Skills

The noble's class skills (and the key ability for each) are Administrate (Wis), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Lead (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language, Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Warcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int bonus) x 4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level : 4 + Int bonus.

[top]Class Features

Table 1-5: the noble
Base Fort Ref Will
Level Attack Bonus Save Save Save Special
1 st+0+0+0+2Title, Rank Hath Its Privileges, Wealth
2 nd+1+0+0+3Special Regional Feature +1
3 rd+2+1+1+3
4 th+3+1+1+4Social Ability
5 th+3+1+1+4Lead by Example
6 th+4+2+2+5Enhanced Leadership
7 th+5+2+2+5Special Regional Feature +2
8 th+6/+1+2+2+6
9 th+6/+1+3+3+6Social Ability
10 th+7/+2+3+3+7Lead by Example +4
11 th+8/+3+3+3+7Do You Know Who I Am?
12 th+9/+4+4+4+8Special Regional Feature +3
13 th+9/+4+4+4+8
14 th+10/+5+4+4+9Social Ability
15 th+11/+6/+1+5+5+9Lead By Example +6
16 th+12/+7/+2+5+5+10Rally
17 th+12/+7/+2+5+5+10Special Regional Feature +4
18 th+13/+8/+3+6+6+11
19 th+14/+9/+4+6+6+11Social Ability
20 th+15/+10/+5+6+6+12Absolute Power, Lead by Example +8

The following are class features of the noble.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The noble is proficient in the use of all simple and martial weapons, light armor, and shields. The noble is also proficient in the elite cultural arms and armor of his nation (see Table 1-1). Note that armor check penalties for armor heavier than leather apply to all applicable skills.
Starting Gear: 6d8 x 10 gp worth of equipment
Favored Region (Ex): At 1st level, a noble may select a regional area (such as the Southern Coast, Western Coast, Heartlands, Northern Marches, or Eastern Marches of Anuire). Due to his extensive experience with the people, customs, and attitudes of the nobles and training in techniques for manipulating the nobility of this region, the noble gains a +2 bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), and Sense Motive checks when using these skills in relation to regents and members of the upper class of this region.
At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th), the noble may select an additional favored region. In addition, at each such interval the bonus in any one favored region (including the one just selected, if desired) increases by 2.
Resources (Ex): A noble gains the ability to requisition resources and information by drawing on their reputation, personal wealth, and the promise of future favors. To successfully use their influence to gain access to resources, the noble rolls 1d20 and adds his noble level plus Charisma modifier to determine the resources check result. The DM sets the check?s DC. Simple favors have a DC 10, while expensive or illegal favors have a DC of 25 or higher.
A noble can only throw around so much influence before exhausting their goodwill. At 2nd level, a noble may requisition resources a number of times per domain turn equal to his Charisma modifier plus one (minimum once per turn). At 6th, 11th, and 16th level the noble gains the ability to make an additional resources check per Domain turn. A failed check doesn?t expend any of the noble?s influence, but the noble cannot attempt to access the same resource or contact that turn, and suffers a cumulative ?2 penalty to every subsequent attempt made to gain the same benefit from other sources. The DM should carefully monitor the use of this ability to ensure that it isn?t abused.
Resources are comprised of physical holdings that generate income, and individuals and organizations in which the noble has influence. The income that can be accessed is equal to (100 gp x noble level) per domain turn per economic resource. Accessing these monetary assets is considered a simple favor if performed when the noble is physically present in his home province. The difficulty of this action is increased when the noble is farther away. These assets should be carefully documented between the player and DM.
Behind the Curtain: How to handle a noble?s contacts. A noble?s resources are all physical resources. The contacts are individuals and it is important to have them identified in order to prevent this from being reduced to simple die roll. By using this philosophy a failed resource check can actually be an indication of trouble brewing on the horizon. For example one of the noble?s contacts is an administrator in Prince Avan?s court, who happens to ?owe? the noble a favor. When the noble taps this resource to find out whether or not Prince Avan is attempting to muster up his troops, by checking correspondences or supplies, the resource check fails. It would be up to the DM to decide if this failure is a result of no information being available, or if in fact the noble?s contact has been compromised leading to future political ramifications. Regardless of how this is handled the individuality of the contacts should be emphasized.
Born to Lead (Ex): At 3rd level, the noble?s inherent ability to lead starts to shine through. The noble gains the ability to attract followers and cohorts as if he had the leadership feat.
Coordinate (Ex): At 4th level, the noble gains the ability to guide the cooperation of other characters by making a Charisma check (DC 10 + the number of characters being guided). If successful, this increases the bonus granted by cooperation (i.e., aid another) by +2. This bonus increases to +4 at 12th level.
Inspiring Leader (Ex): When a noble appears on the field and presents himself as a leader, it inspires himself and his followers, soldiers, hirelings, or other loyal subjects who can see and hear him. At 4 th level, the noble and those that look to him for guidance (such as his employees, followers, or sworn subjects) gain a +1 morale bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls, Will saving throws against fear and mind-influencing enchantments (such as charm person), and to all skill checks made.
Presenting himself is a free action but entails standing tall and proud along with shouting (or forcefully giving) directions, and the bonuses last a number of rounds equal to the noble?s Charisma modifier. This ability may be used a number of times per day equal to the noble?s Charisma modifier.
Bonus Feat: At 5th level the noble gains a bonus feat from the following list. He gains an additional bonus feat from this list at every 5th level following (i.e., 10th, 15th and 20th levels). He must meet all of the required prerequisites for any feat selected.
Noble bonus feats: Great Leader*, Master Administrator*, Master Diplomat*, Master of the Arcane*, Master Merchant*, Military Genius*, Negotiator, Persuasive, Regent Focus*, Cultural Arms Focus*, Cultural Rogue Training*, Self Sufficient, Skill Focus, Spymaster*, Weapon Focus, Wilderness Savant*, or any cultural feat from his homeland since they are commonly available.
Inspire Loyalty(Ex): Beginning at 8th level, the noble can use oratory to inspire long lasting confidence in his loyal followers. To inspire loyalty, the noble must speak for at least one round and make a Lead check with a DC equal to 10 +1 per five allies to be inspired (including the noble). An ally so inspired gains a +1 morale bonus to attacks and damage, a +1 morale bonus on Will saving throws against fear and mind-influencing enchantments, and a +1 bonus to all skill checks. The effect begins with the conclusion of the noble?s oratory, and lasts for 1 minute per round the noble spent inspiring the allies, to a maximum of 1 hour for 60 rounds of inspirational speech. This ability is an enhancement of the noble?s Inspiring Leader ability; each use of Inspire Loyalty counts as one use of the Inspiring Leader ability. Both abilities may be used in any combination a total number of times per day equal to the noble?s Charisma modifier.
The confidence inspired by the noble increases as the noble attains levels. For every five levels after 8th, the bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +3 at 18th level.
Application of this ability to units in battle is slightly different. At 8th level a noble can grant a +1 morale bonus to attacks, damage and morale saving throws to a unit he personally commands (i.e., the unit he is physically present in) with a successful Lead check against a DC of 20. The DM can apply circumstance bonuses to this check depending on the nature of the battle, for instance in a war against a traditional enemy a circumstance bonus of +2 to +4 would not be inappropriate. The bonus to attack and damage applies to the first attack made by the unit so affected while the morale saving throw bonus applies as long as the noble is present on the field of battle (i.e., not in the reserve). At 13th level the noble can inspire all units located on the same area of the battle field granting them the same +1 morale bonus. At 18th level the noble can inspire all of his troops that start the battle located on the battlefield but not in the reserve with the same +1 morale bonus with a successful Lead check against DC 20 + 3 for every additional unit being targeted.
Presence (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, the noble has mastered the art of manipulation and command. For the purposes of noble class special abilities, skill checks, charisma checks, and leadership score, treat him as having a Charisma score 2 points higher than it actually is. This bonus increases by 2 points at 14th level and 19th level.

[top]Human Noble Starting Package

Armor: Chainshirt +4 AC, large steel shield +2 AC, armor check penalty -4, speed 30 ft., 40 lb.
Weapons: Masterwork longsword (+1 to hit, 1d8, crit. 19-20/x2, 4 lb., Medium-size, Slashing).
Shortbow (1d6, crit. x3, 60 ft., 2 lb., Medium-size, Piercing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 7 + Int modifier
Feats: Cultural Weapon Focus, Persuasive.
Gear: Signet Ring, Courtier?s outfit. Quiver with 20 arrows.
Gold: 4d8 gp.

[top]Table 1-1: Warrior arms, armor, and feats


Common arms

Common armor

Common feats

Anuire (std)

guisarme, longsword, longbow



Anuire (elite)

lance, bastard sword, shortbow

half-plate & lg. shield

spirited charge, exotic weapon

Brechtür (std)

rapier and main-gauche, shortbow

leather armor

two-weapon style, quickdraw

Brechtür (elite)

scimitar and main-gauche, lt. crossbow

breastplate & buckler

two-weapon style, spring attack

Khinasi (std)

shortspear, comp. shortbow

leather & sm. shield

expertise, mounted combat

Khinasi (elite)

scimitar, comp. shortbow

splint mail

mounted archery

Rjurik (std)

longbow, handaxe


alertness, run

Rjurik (elite)

long sword, longbow


cleave, endurance

Vos (std)

shortspear, flail



Vos (elite)

war spear, shortbow

banded mail w/spikes

combat reflexes, exotic weapon

Elf (std)

longbow, longsword

chain shirt

point blank shot, mobility

Elf (elite)

lance, longsword, longbow

half plate & lg. shield

mounted archery, shot on the run

Dwarf (std)

heavy pick, heavy crossbow

full plate & lg. shield

great fortitude, endurance

Dwarf (elite)

dwarven waraxe, heavy crossbow

full plate & lg. shield

cleave, great cleave

Goblinoid (std)

halfspear, shortsword



Goblinoid (elite)

greataxe, shortbow


Improved bull rush, improved sunder

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