"It’s what I do, darlin’"
Every character must declare an occupation, which determines what the character does to maintain his style of life. The occupation takes the place of a maintenance cost. It is free – the player does not have to purchase it with character points.
The player should choose an occupation that makes sense for the character. For instance, don’t choose Magician as an occupation if you have no magician skills. On the other hand, having a skill does not require that you choose an occupation that uses it. For instance, you could pick the armorsmith skill and not choose blacksmith as an occupation.
Generally speaking, an occupation is a roleplaying tool meant to add flavor to your character. Use it to support the small town feel we are striving for in the Cottington Woods game. The Brave Little Tailor, the Butcher, the Baker or the Candlestick Maker, the Shoemaker, these are all examples of occupations that appear prominently in fairy tales.
The occupation does not grant the character any skills or money in game.
A Note from John:
We are potentially going to allow certain classic occupations to grant point discounts on various skills, but we’re a long way from this. If we do implement such a change, then it will be done before we accept characters for the game. Right now, assume it will not happen, and go ahead and work with what we have here.
The first level of occupation is free, but it offers nothing in the way of benefit beyond the roleplaying option. A player can purchase additional levels, which grant extra coin at each game event. This is our money skill.
In any case, the effect is the same. The character benefits from the added coin at each event. If we present plot that targets a specific occupation (it could happen) then a person could benefit from any occupation he has purchased.
Note: It is possible through play for a character to gain additional levels of an occupation without having to purchase the level with character points. It is also possible for a character to lose additional levels of occupation.
Selling Back Occupations
A player cannot sell back the first level of an occupation, since that level represents the knowledge the character has learned in order to do that job. A player can sell back any additional levels of an occupation, however. Thus, a person with three levels of farmer could sell back two levels, but not the last level. Barring unusual circumstances, he’s stuck with it.
A person who knows two different occupations may sell back any additional levels, but cannot sell back the first level of either.
List of Occupations
Some headers make appropriate occupations. Being a Priest of the Word is pretty much a way of life. A wood witch could create and sell potions while a hearth witch is sought for her healing. Magicians cast spells that have all sorts of effects.
Examples: Magician, Priest of the Word, Witch, Man of Science.
An person who builds or repairs things is a craftsman. Tales are full of craftsmen, a well known example being the short but sweet tale of seagoing adventure featuring the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.
Examples: Smith, Leatherworker, Herbalist, Carpenter, Baker, Wine maker, Shoemaker.
Servicemen perform tasks to make a living. A bartender serves drinks (and might overhears things). A courier runs messages (and might encounter things). A Town Crier delivers news (and might overhear things).
Example: Bartender, Courier, Fortune Teller, Chef, Healer.
Landowners tend to land all around the woods. Each level of the landowner occupation represents a different unit of land. Landowners might also take the role of team leaders, with the other members working for him.
Example: Farmer, Rancher, Miner
We encourage folks to entertain. The Cotting House will always be open and there will be time set aside for folks to sing or tell stories or dance. The master of the Cotting House will always pay for folks to entertain, but those with an occupation will usually make more than those without.
Playing an entertainer should be a roleplaying choice. Unlike other occupations, however, it might be best to play an entertainer only if you decide you want to entertain.
Example: Singer, Storyteller, Dancer
Some occupations are more appropriate as part of a character’s history than as his current occupation.
The soldier is a good example. While there will be plenty to fight in Cottington Woods, the game is not about professional men at arms, and at least in the beginning Cottington cannot support them.
Mercenaries are less appropriate. It is less likely that person in peril would be seeking to hire help than it is that he would simply be seeking it, and very few people in the woods could afford to pay the fees of a person who charges to put his life on the line. Don’t pick an occupation that will force you to avoid plot. If adventure comes looking, it will always seek the lowest bidder. If your character requires money to be part of the Cottington community, you’ll eventually have to look elsewhere for work.
No player can be an Innkeeper, since the only inn in town is the Cotting House, and that is run by Vigo Cotting.
Lastly, our economy is world driven and not solely affected by the actions of the player characters. While PCs can buy and sell things on the small scale, they are not general merchants. They could claim butcher, cobbler, or bee farmer, and sell meat or shoes or beeswax. A person cannot have a far reaching merchant business.
Example: Soldier, Mercenary, Innkeeper, Merchant
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