D&D General A old roleplaying magazine had ideas for either buying or earning a title. Why not allow a character that earns a title to pay to upgrade it?


The more popular route, I believe, was to find a lawless area and loot and plunder it until the local authorities decided that the easiest solution was to grant you the legitimacy of a title, and then tax you.
That happened in my campaign. Well, the bandit leader turned warlord got a knighthood. A PC party did the go-between negotiations. It’s how I ran the Harn adventure “Trobridge Inn”.

Off topic a bit, I love the medievalism of Harn - a non-D&D medieval fantasy RPG.

For off topic, my wife and I just discovered “Last Kingdom” this weekend - solidly medieval feel built adjacent to real history. It’s a TV series from 2015 to the present about the period c. 869 AD in England - we just saw the episode where the Vikings killed King Edmund (later St. Edmund) and ended the Kingdom of East Anglia.

Anyhow, if all these title and marriage questions are not rhetorical, the history of the period you’re recreating, or the fantasy you’re recreating, will tell if cash for titles is a thing or not.

Some other good sources for medieval feel:
  • Brother Cadfael novels or TV series (zero fantasy, historical fiction)
  • The old movie “The Lion in Winter“ (zero fantasy, historical fiction)
  • Game of Thrones novels and TV series (medium fantasy, sometimes “history informed”)
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If someone is granted a title and land... Where does this land come from?
And is it land that’s empty? Land that needs to be reclaimed? Or land that’s fully stocked with serfs and servants and warriors.

In one of my campaigns (different party from the Trobridge Inn folks, same world), the PC’s succeeded at “The Standing Stones” (3e) adventure and were left with … SPOILERS …

the village of Ossington with 1 actual human resident and around 150 “faux humans and faux halflings“ created from animals using an immobile Druidic artifact. They were heathens and didn’t have the skills to tend crops or run a village. The cleric decided to convert them to St. Cuthbert and the party stayed a few months and built a chapel, trying to teach them the skills they’d need to live as humans/halflings. The party also brought a bunch of refugees there (big war in the background) to teach the faux folks how to farm and so forth, and add to their numbers, while the fighter trained militia, the ranger trained scouts, and so on.

I had already decided the village was outside any kingdom, way out in the Dim Forest of Greyhaw, but when the cleric told the authorities of the church about it, asking for help, the church told the ruler they had served, on the mission that sent them there in the first place. (They were sent by a bureaucrat dealing with adventurers for the ruler to see why a dwarf hold hadn’t delivered weapons on time during a war. The reason was supply chain disruption at Ossington.)

The ruler declared he added Ossington to his country (Bissel in Greyhawk), with the PC cleric as Baronet holding it for the ruler and the church.

I worked with the player, who came up with a building plan for a tower, as we worked out his income and expenses, and we developed every person there as an NPC.

He got nothing from Bissel and the church sent only 1 acolyte, and owes troops and money to his lord. He did his own negotiations with local dwarfs, elves, and woodsmen - no free lunch for this title, but it is recognition for service to the realm and a respectable title, and national backing if he truly needs it. Mostly he’s way out on the frontier and has to make it real.

Ossington’s ownership is disputed by two other countries, and there was a threat from a goblin army (being dealt with by the lower level party that did the Harn scenario).

That’s how you get to be a baronet in my game - make it happen by service to the realm, and fight to make it stick.

And btw the cleric/Baronet is celibate. No worries about the opinions of princesses’ dads.
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Don't forget that the article said
What article?

Oh, it just occurred to me - you might LOVE the Xbox game “Pathfinder: Kingmaker”. You start as a level 1 D&D character (well, PF character but super close) and in the game you CAN BECOME A BARON.

And you can expand your barony. And I believe you can marry.

The game is also on PC, I think, and perhaps other platforms. It’s like 4 years old, but should still be available.
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