Wealthy lords and ladies are often in need of companionship, and canny courtesans are able to fill their own pockets and learn valuable secrets by cozying up to a noble patron or two. Courtesans are mostly well-respected, and while some may sneer at the sexual side of their profession, the fact remains that trading sex for money and favors is but one aspect of a courtesan’s life. Many of these wealthy, upperclass prostitutes are also well-regarded artists, and their aristocratic benefactor enables them to create paintings, perform music, and direct acclaimed stage plays. Some use their position of privilege to enter politics, and though they face an upward battle, a few courtesans with a steely will have become powerful magistrates and lawmakers.

Skill Proficiencies: Deception, Persuasion.

Tool Proficiencies: One type of gaming set, herbalism kit.

Equipment: A set of fine clothes, a gaming set, an herbalism kit, and a coin purse containing 15 gp.

Feature: Courtly Intrigue

Even though you are not of noble birth, you fit right in at upper-class social functions. You are treated as a person of noble standing by other highborn people and are privy to all the latest gossip. You easily gather rumors of important and tantalizing scandals, political maneuvers, and even major criminal activity if you spend at least 1 hour gossiping with a person of power.

Suggested Characteristics

Courtesans must fight tooth and nail for their position of privilege and take pride in their newfound social power. A courtesan likely rose from poverty into great wealth predicated upon her beauty and charm.

d8 Personality Traits
1 The only armor I wear is invisible, and I never take it off. It keeps people from seeing my inner fears.
2 Let’s be honest—I like sex. It’s fun, and it feels good.
3 I tell so many white lies that I don’t even know what my real personality is anymore.
4 Someday, I’ll find that special someone. I just have to wait.
5 I hope some big noble takes me under their wing and makes me famous.
6 The palace is so pretty. I could live around beautiful things forever.
7 I wish I didn’t have to meet people. I get so anxious about every little thing.
8 Life is short and painful and then you die. I might as well have a great time while I’m here!
d6 Ideal
1 Loyalty. I would never betray the trust of my benefactor or my friends. (Lawful)
2 Profit. I’ve become rich pitting these blockheaded aristocrats against one another. (Chaos)
3 Comfort. When you strip away all the ego and lies, everyone’s broken and looking for someone to make them feel good. I’ll be that person. (Good)
4 Truth. My word is my bond. Someone in this godsforsaken profession has to be honest. (Any)
5 Theft. Oh, my last patron’s precious jewels went missing? How careless. (Evil)
6 Chaos. I spread rumors for fun. I love seeing these petty nobles run around like headless fowl. (Chaotic)
d6 Bond
1 My benefactor is a kind noble. I would not see them harmed or slandered.
2 I answer to only one person, and that person is me.
3 The mob has dirt on me and my family. They take every bit of money I earn.
4 I have a second job as a dancer at a tavern. Those people are my real family.
5 I have a kid in a village in the cantons. And they need to eat.
6 My old mother needs the money I give her each month, but she would die if she learned about my profession.
d6 Flaw
1 I learn all these secrets and bits of gossip, but my memory is so bad,… uh, sorry, what was I talking about?
2 I always blurt out something stupid at the wrong time!
3 There’s someone hunting me… someone I crossed years ago.
4 I’m worried I caught something last week. I feel queasy all the time… and it’s only getting worse.
5 I take everything as a criticism, and I’m not good at keeping my temper in check.
6 None of the lords of court will invite me back with them. Can’t we just cuddle and drink wine while I extract state secrets from you?
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Zobeck: Clockwork City © 2022 Open Design Llc; Author: Wolfgang Baur, Mike Franke, James J. Haeck, Ben Mcfarland, Richard Pett, Christina Stiles, Matthew Stinson.

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