Street-hood Profession

A higher-ranking (former) Street-hood

For newcomers, I’ll refer you to Secondary Professions and Skill Checks and Training and Improving Secondary Skills.

The Street-hood profession is useful for campaigns that don’t include a Bard or are set in mostly urban environments. A Street-hood is connected; he’s got acquaintances (if not friends) everywhere and, given enough time, can help the party get into just about anywhere. He’s an information broker, a minor escape artist, and able to survive the roughest prisons.

Major Stat: INT or CHA        Minor Stat: WIS

Requirements: Strictly speaking, Street-hood should be acquired at Level 1 as part of the character’s backstory or, later, as a result of the character losing all worldly possessions. How else can he learn how to survive on the streets with nothing, if he has easy access to his wealth and weapons? That being said, an alternative would be to operate under an assumed name and “give up” those possessions: give them away, sell them, entrust them to someone else, put it into a bank vault, and so on. This is less “authentic”, since it’s possible to go back to their old life, but it’s not quite as easy.

Level 1 characters with Street-hood: Since characters using this system start with Rank 3 of their profession, it’s assumed that he’s already made a few connections within his home city, town, or the starting location, though the player may decide he wants to make his own connections.

Normally, a Street-hood can have a number of Contacts (see below) equal to twice the number of the Retainers he could have, depending on his CHA score. So a Level 1 character would start knowing 1/4 of that number (rounded down); generally, between 1 and 3 Contacts.

As a guide and in order of preference: the first Contact is a Hoodlum and a close childhood friend. The Hoodlum works under the second Contact, a Thug who can acquire some contraband for the character. The Thug works for the third Contact, a Dealer, who is a fence of all types of goods.

Aside: Normally, one must start a chain of Contacts from Street-rat on up, but the Level 1 character was once the Street-rat before he or she took up adventuring. See below for the list of titles.

Paying for training: Paying for training in this skill is still required, but isn’t done in the traditional way and requires a bit of imagination. In the case of leaving one’s wealth behind, examples might be: accrued rent for a bank vault or other security for one’s wealth, shifting and repayment of debts made through gambling, botched jobs, and criminal fines, and initiation fees. If the character is entirely destitute when he begins, he can pay his dues through the normal way money is earned with professions (see below)

After acquiring Rank 1 the going becomes somewhat easier; the character has made connections and paying your “trainers” in a more direct fashion becomes much easier.

Rank 1: Hoodlum

Requires 100gp for the initial training, which includes the 10gp to gain a Street-rat Contact (see below). This covers the ‘initiation’ cost of getting other Street-rats and Hoodlums to trust your character.

  • Make a skill check to gain information by asking around or picking your own memory. You can learn general information about a person, place or thing so long as the target is something a commoner in the area would know about.
  • Make a skill check to create a shiv from materials surrounding your character. A shiv does 1d3+Str damage, but if done as a Backstab, it does x3 damage. It will also break or be useless after 5 rounds or when a violent encounter ends, whichever is sooner. It takes 1 Turn to craft a shiv.
  • You may substitute a CHA check for your Street-hood skill check to influence those on the same social level as you; typically, those who only have Rank 1 Street-hood.
  • Make a skill check to “craft” a contact. This works the same as ordinary crafting and saves you the trouble of roleplaying every aspect of it, though that would save you time and money. However, you’re creating an NPC for a specific purpose. This NPC will generally be loyal to you, but won’t act outside of their role or act against their best interests. Examples might be: a fence for selling stolen goods, a source to purchase some unavailable type of item, a source of reliable information on a particular group of people, a person to help you enter a secure building, and so on. The DM has the final say on the scope of your contact.
  • Contacts can get information on or help you connect with those one step above them and have very reliable information about the people lower-ranking than themselves. Higher-ranking contacts must be built from previous contacts.
  • At Rank 1, you can create a Street-rat or a Hoodlum contact. At this Rank, it takes 1 day / 50gp of the creation cost (rounded up), minimum 1 full day. These days do not need to be consecutive. At least one week must elapse between the creation of a contact. This cost covers the expenses incurred getting on this character’s good side, if not their trust.
  • A Street-hood may have twice as many Contacts as he could retainers, depending on his CHA score. A Contact’s morale (and therefore their probability to do something very risky for the Street-hood) is also dependent on his CHA score.
  • A contact’s buy/sell maximum is the total amount they’re willing to buy or sell you in a single transaction. This amount typically resets at the beginning of each week.

Rank 2: Thug

  • Make a skill check to gain information by asking around or picking your own memory. You can learn general information about a person, place or thing so long as the target is something a well-to-do merchant in the area would know about.
  • Make a skill check to craft a shank from materials surrounding your character. A shank does 1d6+Str damage, but if done as a Backstab, it does x3 damage. It will also break or be useless after 8 rounds or after two violent encounters end, whichever is sooner. It takes 2 Turns to craft a shiv.
  • You may substitute a CHA check for your Street-hood skill check to influence those on the same social level as you, typically those with Rank 1 or Rank 2 Street-hood.
  • Make a skill check to “craft” a contact at the level of Thug or Dealer. At Rank 2, it takes 1 day / 100gp of the creation cost. These days do not need to be consecutive.

Rank 3: Dealer

  • Make a skill check to gain information by asking around or picking your own memory. You can learn general information about a person, place or thing so long as the target is something a well-connected aristocrat in the area would know about.
  • Make a skill check to escape from ropes, bindings, manacles, Hold spells, and so on. This reflects your knowledge and experience of being bound, your will to survive, and general wiliness. One attempt can be made, at most, once every Turn, but after three failed attempts, escape is impossible unless a new Hold spell, manacle, binding, etc is attached.
  • You may substitute a CHA check for your Street-hood skill check to influence those on the same social level as you, typically those with Rank 1 to Rank 3 Street-hood.
  • Make a skill check to “craft” a contact at the level of Boss or Fixer. At Rank 3, it takes 1 day / 500gp of the creation cost. These days do not need to be consecutive.

 Rank 4: Fixer

  • Make a skill check to gain information by asking around or picking your own memory. You can learn general information about a person, place or thing so long as the target is something a local king’s close adviser would know about.
  • Make a skill check to get around a city unobserved and in 75% of the time normally required. The Street-hood must have at least one Contact in the city in order for this to function. This reflects the Street-hood’s knowledge of the back-alleys, shortcuts, ability to blend in, and use of tight-lipped contacts to help him move quickly. The Street-hood may bring with him up to 1 person / 2 total levels he has. Bulky cargo counts as two people. This ability may not be used more than once per week.
  • You may substitute a CHA check for your Street-hood skill check to influence those on the same social level as you, typically those with Rank 1 to Rank 4 Street-hood.
  • Make a skill check to “craft” a contact at the level of Broker. At Rank 4, it takes 1 day / 500gp of the creation cost. These days do not need to be consecutive.

Doing Street-hood jobs: Normally, when one earns money with a profession, one makes a Skill Check every week to find a job. This still applies, but one can choose which of their Contacts to ask for a job. The higher up in the chain the Contact is, the character can earn more money.

Earning money is done normally using a 1d20 and adding the Contact’s multiplyer (see below). However, if a 1 is rolled, no money is earned and the Contact makes a Morale check, due to the job having been botched. If the Morale check fails, the Contact loses all faith and cuts contact with the character. The Morale of all Contacts above the lost Contact is worsened by 1 as a result. This also breaks the chain of Contacts, so the character cannot do a job for any higher-ranking Contacts until the chain is restored with a new Contact.

If the Morale check is two sixes (box-cars, so to speak), the Contact was so enraged that he turned the character into the authorities or allowed the character to be implicated. Roll another d20 and add the Contact’s multiplier again; this is the fine (in gold pieces) the character must pay or be jailed for an equal number of days, rounded up to the nearest week or month (depending on the severity).

Optional Rule: Once the player starts doing things on other planes, they may need to make more exotic Contacts in the cities they travel to. Extra-planar Contacts typically cost more; perhaps 2x to 10x as much depending on the location and due to their special needs and appetites. These exotic Contacts could count separately from those on the Material Plane, but one may have only half as many Contacts per Plane.

I’d advise that Demi-gods, Gods, Arch-Devils, Demon Lords, and other very powerful beings be exempt from being a Contact, since they typically lack much interest in mortal, worldly affairs. Such beings are better dealt with by the appropriate Clerics and Magic-User spells.

Title Creation Cost Buy/Sell Max Job Mutliplyer
Street-rat 10 gp 20 gp 1x
Hoodlum 50 gp 100 gp 2x
Thug 100 gp 200 gp 4x
Dealer 500 gp 1,500 gp 10x
Boss 2,500 gp 7,500 gp 20x
Fixer 5,000 gp 20,000 gp 30x
Broker 15,000 gp 60,000 gp 50x
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One thought on “Street-hood Profession

  1. Pingback: Random Underworld Contact Generator | The Dais and Column

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