Honor System

Now that the group has left the tunnels under Kenabres behind, word of your exploits may begin to travel, as there are other survivors you may see, hear, or even experience the good (or bad) deeds that you perform in your attempt to take back the city. As such, we will institute the Honor system. These rules can be found in more detail in Ultimate Campaign, but the jist is reproduced below. Check the book for specific honor code details (chivalric, for example, should fit at least half of you).


Beyond life and death, beyond good and evil, there is honor. It is the abode of the eternal, which none can take but which can be destroyed through a single rash act. It is a measure of one’s place within a society, a status known to all and sought by many. Whether in a samurai culture, the frozen viking wastes of the northlands, or the dizzying court intrigues of a byzantine kingdom, honor provides an anchor and stable foundations for your life’s work. If you lack honor, others view you as faithless, untrustworthy, disloyal, and unfair. Honor influences reputation, status, and legend, but transcends them all.

Who has honor varies from culture to culture. In some, anyone from the lowliest peasant to the emperor can pursue honor, and a life lived in accordance with honor is the highest achievement. In another land, honor is a game only for nobility, a scoring method in their battles over status. Honor may be purely a warrior’s code or a more primitive, largely unspoken understanding between combatants.

No matter what form it takes, honor is recognition of a code larger than the individual, a willingness to subsume one’s desires in the service of that code. Honor requires self-sacrifice. It is often neither the most reasonable course of action nor the most practical. It comes with a cost, but is its own reward. Your honor must be protected and upheld at all times; allowing another to besmirch it is almost as great an affront as you performing a dishonorable act. A dishonorable person may try to use your honorable code against you, but honor does not equate to stupidity.

Honor Points

Honor is represented by points on a scale from 0 to 100. A score of 0 represents a person who is seen as completely untrustworthy, willing to sacrifice anything and anyone for even a momentary gain. A score of 100 represents a person of legendary stature whose reputation is without blemish. Honor is not a measurement of alignment, fame, or goodwill so much as a gauge of loyalty, trustworthiness, and fairness—one could be a kindhearted-but-flighty shogun with 0 honor points, or a cruel-but-stalwart monk with 100 honor points.

PC Base Honor Points: You start with a number of honor points equal to your Charisma score plus your character level. For example, a 1st-level PC with a Charisma score of 13 starts with an honor score of 14. Whenever your experience level or Charisma permanently changes, adjust your honor score accordingly. You can also gain or lose honor points during play.

Gaining and Losing Honor

You gain and lose honor points through events. Some events affect all PCs in the party (such as destroying a demon that’s attacking a village), and others only affect you (such as losing a duel against a less honorable rival). Most of these events require witnesses who spread the word of what happened; if nobody outside sees the event, and nobody in the party speaks of it, it has no effect on your honor. The GM may decide that a delay of 1d6 days or more is appropriate for a change in honor, reflecting the time needed for news to travel.

A single event can earn you honor points for multiple reasons. For example, if you’re a paladin using the chivalric code and your party’s APL is 8, defeating a CR 11 hezrou demon earns everyone in the party 1 honor point for the “party overcomes a challenging encounter” general event and you earn 2 honor points for the “defeat a challenging monster of the opposite alignment” chivalric event.

Spending Honor

You can spend honor points once per game session to gain a temporary advantage for yourself, such as a gift, loan, or introduction to an important person. Each expenditure reduces your honor score by an amount determined by the GM. If you try to spend honor points for an advantage that costs more points than you currently have, your honor score is reduced to 0 and you don’t gain the advantage—by reaching too high, you lose honor and gain nothing. Examples of honor point expenditures include the following.

Favor: You call upon an allied NPC for a favor. Examples include access to private resources (such as a wizard’s library), unhindered passage through enemy territory (such as getting an official to write you a letter of passage), or an audience with an important person (such as a high priest or city governor). Cost: 1d6 to 5d6 honor points, depending on the difficulty of the favor and the NPC’s attitude toward you. If the GM is using the Contacts rules, the typical cost is 1d6 honor points per risk level of the task.

Gift or Loan: You ask an NPC ally to give or loan you something of value. The gift or loan must be in the form of wealth or a single item. The GM may rule that an NPC refuses to give away a particularly rare or expensive item. The item must be something the NPC can actually grant—you can’t ask a peasant for a suit of armor or a ronin for the emperor’s personal sword. A gift is permanent, but a loan lasts only for the game session in which it is granted. Cost: 1d6 honor points per 2,000 gp value of the gift. If the request is a loan instead of a gift, the honor point cost is halved, but if you do not return the item at the end of the session, you must pay this honor point cost at the start of each session until the item is returned. This counts as your one opportunity to spend honor points that session; you can’t spend honor on anything else until you return the item.

Skill Bonus: Choose Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate. You gain a +5 circumstance bonus on checks for that skill for the rest of the game session. Cost: 1d6 honor points.

Consequences of Losing Honor

If your honor score reaches 0, you take a —2 penalty on Will saving throws and Charisma-based checks, representing your sense of shame. If you are part of an honor-bound institution, your lack of honor may bring shame upon the institution, and cause its leaders to punish you.

You may renounce your code of honor at any time. You lose all honor points and benefits from honor, but do not take the penalty for having 0 honor points (not having a code is not the same as flaunting your code). Any characters who believe in that code refuse to speak or deal with you any more than they must. Your NPC allies avoid you. Your honorable institution declares you an enemy. Even those who have no association with your former code may steer clear of you, fearing retribution from your honorable institution.

Honor Codes

General Honor Events

•Complete a CR-appropriate Adventure Path: 10 Honor.
•Complete a noble task for an honorable NPC (50
honor points) and tell no one: +2 Honor.
•Roll 30 or higher on a Craft check to create a work of art or masterwork item: +2 Honor.
•Roll 30 or higher on a Diplomacy or Intimidate check: +2 Honor.
•Roll 30 or higher on a Perform check: +2 Honor.
•Complete a CR-appropriate adventure ): +1 Honor.
•Craft a powerful magic item: +1 Honor.
•Destroy an evil or dangerous magic item: +1 Honor.
•Party overcomes a challenging encounter (CR 3 or more higher than APL): +1 Honor.
•Willingly break one of the tenets of your code of honor: -2 Honor.
•Party flees an easy combat challenge (CR lower than APL): -3 Honor.
•Slander a person with a higher honor score: -4 Honor.
•Party loses an easy combat challenge (CR lower than APL): -5 Honor.
•Commit an act of treason or betray an honorable lord: -10 Honor.
•Be directly responsible for the death of an honorable ally or loved one under your protection. -20 Honor.

The Mendevian Honor Code

•Become a Saint for a Good aligned Religion: +50 Honor.
•Survive a lengthy exploration to the Worldwound (More than 1 month): +20 Honor.
•Redeem a creature with the evil subtype: +20 Honor.
•Adopt a strict code of honor: +8 Honor.
•Redeem a mortal creature that has fallen to evil: +6 Honor.
•Acquire vassals: +4 Honor.
•Be awarded with a medal of honor by an authority figure (per medal): +4 Honor.
•Offer sanctuary and defend that offer: +3 Honor.
•Swear fealty to a lord: +3 Honor.
•Defeat a challenging Demon (CR 2 or more higher than APL): +2 Honor.
•Protect a holy site to a Good aligned God: +2 Honor.
•Purify and clean a holy site to Good aligned God if it has been trained by Evil: +2 Honor.
•Destroy a shrine that’s dedicated to a Demon Lord: +2 Honor.
•Protect an innocent against significant odds (CR 2 or more higher than APL): +2 Honor.
•Swear a major oath and uphold it: +2 Honor.
•Help others in need without expecting rewards: +2 Honor.
•Accept an enemy’s parole: +1 Honor..
•Use social status to gain advantages over others: -2 Honor.
•Accept an enemy’s parole and refuse to honor the ransom: -2 Honor.
•Be betrayed by a “redeemed” foe: -2 Honor.
•Be convicted of a petty crime: -2 Honor.
•Offer sanctuary and betray it: -4 Honor.
•Swear a major oath and break it: -4 Honor.
•Allow others to fall to Evil ways: -10 Honor.
•Turn to the ways of Evil: -20 Honor.
•Ally with Demon Worshipers: -50 Honor.

Honor System

Wrath of the Righteous PFDMCooper PFDMCooper