Having a patron can give a character benefits and abilities otherwise not available.
Having a patron also has drawbacks.
- First, all patrons have goals and objectives. A vassal is expected to work toward these goals and objectives; working against them can reduce a patron’s favor and lead to other problems. A vassal may have more than one patron, but the vassal must work within the constraints of all of them.
- Second, as a character gains a patron’s favor, they manifest stigmata that can reveal the vassal’s relationship to the patron, and approximately how much favor the vassal has. Some of these stigmata range from ‘merely revealing’ to ‘inconvenient to the vassal or those near the vassal’ or even ‘outright dangerous’.
- Third, the favors themselves can be hazardous to the vassal. Some require Dark and Dangerous Magic checks, others might trigger a specific effect as if a failed Dark and Dangerous Magic check (having an effect on the vassal, losing a point of Luck, and resetting the vassal’s Dark and Dangerous Magic counter).
- Fourth, the three drawbacks above can lead to in-character problems as the character is discovered to be a patron’s vassal. A patron known to have detrimental goals, or whose stigmata is dangerous to those around the vassal, might cause others to treat the vassal negatively… even without taking the favor side effects into account.