|Some Important People, apparently.|
How To Use It: Design
- Designing a brand new symbol takes 4 hours, extra time spent and haste can also be applied. Applicable complementary skills might be relevant forms of Artist for bringing a point across correctly, Hidden Lore for imparting a secret meaning that only an illuminated member of a certain society should understand, Savoir-Faire to communicate a message to a specific class, and whatever else you might want. Keep track of the margin of success for the Heraldry roll. This will help calculate a bonus for later situations.
- Realizing a completed design takes a particular crafting skill like Armoury, Artist, Sewing or likewise to create a shield with the insignia, create a seal for letterheads, or to create a banner, or can be hired out. Low Tech Companion 3 has some thoughts on how to do that labor if you want help crunching numbers.
- Once the party has a symbol that represents them, they can accrue a reputation as a group. This requires curation and tempering. When designing the symbol, the party should choose what kind of aura they want, perhaps from, but not limited to, the following:
- Ruthless - Enemies are encouraged to surrender instead of incurring wrath. +1 to intimidation attempts to stop a fight from occurring for every 3 margin of success when designing the symbol.
- Heroic - Jobs are easier to find because people know you are dependable. +1 to all rolls while looking for work for every 3 margin of success in the design roll.
- Legendary - You are surely destined for great things, and for better or for worse, people want to find you. For every 3 margin of success, friendly people react to you at +1, while antagonistic characters react to you at -1.
- Camaraderie - Especially if using skills like Hidden Lore to communicate a secret message to only the right people, "I support the fairy nationalist movement," or "we pledge fealty to the true king." Things like this might have a similar effect to a legendary aura, attracting requests for help from the right audience, aide from those in power aligned with your cause, and, as well, negative attention from those who would stand against such a cause.
- These bonuses come with a restriction that a certain air must be maintained. A ruthless band doesn't save an orphanage with a bake sale, but I'd allow them to mow down a goblin fortress and sell all the copper wiring to solve the same problem. A Legendary band will turn down the small jobs for the bigger things, or find a way to turn small opportunities into the bigger things, and a Heroic band will stop at nothing to right all wrongs in the world.
How To Use It: Recognition
- Seeing if you can trust an unknown party by the uniforms they wear or flags they carry
- Knowing if a particular party of goblins is related or opposed to the ones you skirmished with a few days ago.
- Determining if someone is an imposter because of nuanced inaccuracies in presentation.
- Finding secret motivations or function in a group: If all the soldiers in the enemy army have a blue, three pronged trident on their shoulder, what does it mean that the one on horseback travelling towards your location has a two pronged, red bident instead?
- Heraldry might be a kinda gateway ability that enables other abilities to follow. A successful heraldry roll might allow one of these rolls in secret:
- Counterfit to tell that this unit is an imposter
- Hidden Lore to tell this is the special hell's mouth division which is rumored to employ demons and Infernals for jobs that humans are not fit for.
- Savoir-Faire to tell that the royal purple fleur de lis means that this unit is composed of royals... who either are pampered and have no idea how to fight and will make a great ransom... or who had the best tutoring that money can buy and you need to get away as soon as possible if you value your life.
- Soldier to suss out what type of weapons a group might be specialized in.
- Strategy to understand why a group of people with a particular skillset might be in a particular place at a particular time. (These royal Dwarf Miners are going in a different direction from the main force, are they coordinating a deceptive retreat into an explosive ambush?)
- It could also be used in the identification of treasure. If, for example, you find an armory in an abandoned cathedral, and inside there is a glowing stone engraved with an olive branch entwined around a sword, you might recognize that this is mysteriously the crest of the empire to the east, hundreds of miles away from this location. Maybe they know what the stone means, what the purpose of the church was, or how to use the stone?
- It could be used to identify the country of origin of certain currencies, if the flag or a seal is on a coin.
- It could be used to verify that the sender of a letter is who they say they are by looking at the seal, assuming the seal was not stolen, of course.