What Is a TitleMeant to fill a similar role to prestige classes in Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, titles are meant to reward players with diversified, thematic features that go beyond what is offered by their class alone. A title represents a character’s connection to a font of great power (such as the Axe of Mab), devotion to a specific cause (Queen’s Guard), or even just a unique way they live their life (Superstar). Some are easy to acquire and only offer a few, relatively minor features (Seachranai), while others may require a lifetime of study (Vennican Magus), or an epic quest to prove the character’s worth (Seelie Knight).
Whatever the source, titles offer a way for players to connect their characters to the lore of the world in a concrete way that they otherwise could not. Playing a fighter who is devoted to Ares is perfectly fun and allows you to interact with the world, but playing a Hammer of Ares makes your character a part of the world.
Gaining TitlesBy their very nature, there are no system requirements to gaining a title. If a character wants to become a Devout of the God-King, she can’t do it simply by having +7 Religion skill and the Heavily Armored feat and announcing to her GM that she’s met the requirements.
Instead, she has to earn it through playing the game. She has to have met one of the Devout, proven her worth, and participated in their initiation rites. She has to actually experience what it means to be Devout and act in a way that exemplifies her faith.
Only then does she gain access to the system benefits of joining that particular order.
Growing into a TitleIntended to augment a character, titles do not disrupt a character’s progression in their class. Rather, they use a character’s level (CL) to determine their rank in their title. For example, look to to the partial progression chart for Seachranai below.
At character level 2, the character is considered “Rank 1” as a Seachranai and gains the “Traveler’s Reputation” feature. At level 4, she is Rank 2 and gains one of the Seachranai’s signature talismans. So on and so forth. Seachranai
Using Titles in Your CampaignVirtually all of the titles that will be presented here are intended for use in the world of Emeriss but can easily be adapted for use in your own world. Regardless of what setting you choose to employ titles in, the GM has all the power in deciding what titles the players in your campaign have access to.
Do you have a wizard in the party whose player really wants to become a Vennican Magus but you’re worried that it will throw off the game? Then simply have the party never meet a friendly Magus willing to train him.
Alternatively, perhaps you have a player who has been investing a lot of time and energy in helping the local goblin clan and you would like to reward her excellent RP in a way other than just more gold and magic items? Why not have the clan leader offer to train her as a Bauble Witch?
Above all else, remember that titles are not meant to simply give your players access to yet another set of fantastical abilities so that they can better wipe the floor with that tribe of Gnolls out on Gothrick’s Ridge - they are a way to reward players who have really invested themselves into the collaborative storytelling process that makes Dungeons and Dragons such an amazing game.