Rank & Title


In Albion you will be playing the cream of society (you're at least among the bits that float at the top!) so it is expected that the majority of players will have an aristocratic title and many will be extremely wealthy. There are of course excpetions, the clergy are the most obvious but some commoners are important enough to come to Court and since the meteoric rise in the influence of the Oxford Colleges even undergraduates are sometimes seen at Court.

The rules below may look a bit daunting but that's to allow some flexibility and differentiation between characters. For most characters you need only exam the title and wealth tables and decide what is appropriate for your character concept. Then buy that title and its matching wealth, combined, as if you were buying a skill. So, buying the title of Earl (rank 4) and the matching wealth of an Earl (also rank 4) costs 10 points. Decide where your character is from and you're done.

Rank in an organisation is a separate matter and generally free, since it won't provide you with an income and the extra power will be balanced with extra responsibilities. The exceptions are Bishops and Archbishops of the Church of England since a clergyman has wealth and influence equivalent to a titled noble of the same rank. You therefore pay the same number of points. This represents Bishops and Archbishops having extensive estates or tithes as well as a recognisable title. Though the table below states Bishop as the equivalent of Earl (Rank 4) you only need buy Rank 3, and for Archbishop Rank 4. (You also still require the ordained quirk.)

Note that all characters receive rank 1 in title and wealth, that of a knight (or equivalent), for free.

Example: Bob intends his character Charles to be a party animal, assuming that the party is a fashionable ball and the animal a swan. He decides that a Viscount will be able to reasonably invite anyone from commoners to dukes to his fashionable soirées. He pays 6 points for that title and the matching wealth, and decides that he'd like to come from Bath. His character is now Viscount of Bath and owns a respectable proportion of Somerset, as well as a large enough townhouse in Oxford to squeeze in a few intimate partygoers. He's not yet sure which of the organisations to join.

Example: Alice doesn't know who her father was and her mother drowned herself in gin shortly after she was born. A life of petty thieving was cut short by an illegal press-gang and a few years on the ships of the East India Company. Eventually the skills of a navigator were flogged into her. Alice is as common as mud and barnacles so she decides to take the commoner quirk. Since absconding from the navy she's made her way as a privateer, and found she was very good at it. She's become a Captain in the Order of Sir Walter Raleigh. Being a Captain requires enough money to afford a ship, about rank 3, but starting as a commoner Alice doesn't have enough. We'll see further down how to spend points to get the additional ranks of wealth.

Rank and Title

Rank within an organisation grants you power and responsibility within that particular organisation, whereas Noble titles grant you general power in the Realm. This is important since having ranks within an organisation only gives you actual power in it - your general standing in the Kingdom is only improved significantly if you are in the top ranks. Meanwhile higher landed titles (i.e. the second category) increase your standing, power and reputation in the Kingdom, but without any specific control in organisations. An Earl or Duke can influence or change the Kingdom's foreign policy or internal measures, while even the Leader of the Dragoons would have limited say (unless of course, he was also a Duke).

Title is extremely important for anyone at court. It is an excellent guide to the relative importance and probable wealth of anyone you meet. The table below gives the order of precedence of the secular and ecclesiastical nobility of England. The higher the level in the table below the closer you will be sat to the King at banquets and the easier it is for you to gain His ear or that of one of his advisers.

(Strictly speaking within the same level of title clergy are seated before the aristocracy, who are seated before those with merely military rank and the academics are only grudgingly seated at all. The aristocrat whose title was created more recently must defer to one of the same level whose title is older. And so on in ever finer graduations of honour. Players have no need to remember any of this; if you are polite you will be assumed to be acting with all due decorum.)

Title Table

Rank Nobility Religious Academic
0 Commoner 1)
1 Sir / Dame Vicar Undergraduate
2 Baron / Baroness Prelate Graduate
3 Viscount / Viscountess Dean / Rabbi 2) Professor
4 Earl / Countess 3) Bishop Dean 4)
5 Duke / Duchess Archbishop 5) Rector or Master of a College
Ranks below here are initially unavailable to players; they are included for completeness and optimism.
6 Prince / Princess Archbishop of Canterbury
7 King

See the details below for some information about the flavour of each title, such as where a prelate might come from. The wealth table immediately below gives you a rough guide to the size of estate and land from which a title comes. (So no Barons of Yorkshire!)

Wealth Table

Rank Title Size of Holding
0 Commoner Hovel or hut, sleeping rough or sharing with a dozen other in a room in the Meadows of Oxford
1 Knight A small manor, and a holding of a dozen acres of marshy land, a room in college shared with an undergraduate
2 Baron A large manor or a small townhouse in an important county town, a holding of a hundred acres most of which isn't tidal and an arrangement with a student allowing a room to oneself in one of the Colleges
3 Viscount Significant portions of one of the smaller islands including one of the market towns, an imposing manor in the countryside and a small townhouse in East Oxford, though below Headington Hill
4 Earl An entire (small) island, a sprawling manor in the countryside and an imposing building in the largest town, a large and fashionable townhouse anywhere in Oxford or a small estate on Headington Hill
5 Duke An entire important island or perhaps a Welsh shire, a palace there and another palace in Oxford set close to the royal palace on Headington Hill

Junior clergy of the Established Church (or Rabbis) draw similar income from tithes - essentially a tax on the residents of a parish - or a mixture of tithes and land holdings bequeathed to the Church for bishops and the higher. They also tend to spend their money in a similar manner to the nobility of the same rank, though the more dedicated and pastoral minded clergyman will generally limit himself to a single home in his parish or bishopric.

Buying Rank

In General

All players start with the title and wealth of a knight by default. If you spend no more points on the matter it is assumed you have the title Sir (or Dame) and a small manor with a few farms in the countryside. You may at your discretion choose to be a Vicar or Undergraduate instead.

Title (i.e. Viscount, Earl etc) is bought together with Wealth (i.e. various assets) using the table below. Simply decide what rank of wealth and what level of title you want and look at the table for how much it will cost. If you want to have less wealth than one would expect for a person with your title then you must buy the debt quirk.

Thus, title and wealth are relatively inexpensive additions to your character which can be useful in different ways. (Do remember that you start with title and rank level 1 for free.)

Remember: You only have to pay for Noble Landed Titles, not for any organisation rank whether military, academic or merchant. The ONLY exceptions are Bishops and Archbishops who do have to buy it (read above).

Total Cost of Rank and Wealth
Title Rank Desired Wealth Rank
1 2 3 4 5
0 6) 0 1 3 5 7
1 0 1 3 5 7
2 - 3 4 6 9
3 - - 6 8 10
4 - - - 10 12
5 - - - - 15

You must have sufficient land to justify your title but for flavour purposes you can choose that any additional wealth comes from a different source. See the wealth page for some suggestions. Some character concepts require assets, for example merchants and privateers probably need ships, you can find the cost of these assets in the common property table. Of course you may require an asset not listed, the biggest and smelliest tannery in Wales perhaps, in which case just ask a GM for the cost.

Example: Bob is happy with the title of Viscount but not with the wealth that comes with it. He wants a fullsize ballroom and it won't fit in a small townhouse. He decides to spend another 2 points to gain the wealth of an Earl which will entitle him to a large townhouse. For another 4 points he could have the wealth of a Duke and a fetching palace but he wants to use those points for his diplomacy skill…

Example: Alice doesn't have any land, but she needs wealth rank 3 to afford the ship required for her piracy privateering. It costs her a mere 3 points, but the trade off is that she has no real influence outside the Order of Sir Walter Raleigh. If she were a Duke she could probably ensure there's always a naval war, now there might be unfortunate outbreaks of peace. On the other hand she doesn't have to get significantly involved in the politics of the realm.

Why Title?

At game start, your title will improve your standing at Court, and how other courtiers immediately view you. It will further affect most of your actions such as diplomacy, relations with the king and English factions and so on. Having a title will never allow you to compensate for ranks in skills you do not have, but it will certainly be a serious advantage to anything you try and do.

In other words, Rank 5 Title will not be able to compete with Diplomacy 5, but it will make Diplomacy 5 (and even 3 and 4) more effective against Diplomacy 5.

Why Wealth?

Wealth allows you to buy assets and invest which opens up possibilities of trade, faction-interaction and such things as having a whole fleet of your own to frolick to Cadiz with. (For role-playing purposes this also marks out what will be important to your character. A poor noble is going to have to be very careful with his single ship, whilst a duchess can risk losing an entire fleet over a drunken bet.) Wealth of some degree is required for most characters to signify the land, trade, ships, businesses and so on that you own. If you ever have any doubts about what sort of wealth your Sailor-Gentleman or Sorcerer-Trader-Playwright need feel free to consult the GMs.

In Organisations

Attaining a rank at organisation for a new character is relatively simple. Essentially any of the ranks excluding the Organisation leader can be taken with limited restriction - most organisation ranks have one or two basic requirements. All the ranks have a trade-off between perks and duties, essentially the higher your position, the more weight you have in the organisation, but more is also expected of you. If you fail to fulfil certain obligations, then your reputation, and indeed even your rank, will go down. There is thus a need to pay attention to your Organisation duties.

For whatever rank you wish to obtain, there needs to be good IC reason, including relevant skills and/or ranks of wealth.

Moving up ranks will depend on the organisation. See each individual page for more detail.

Rank Groups

Land Titles

All clerics and landed nobility have a place of origin. You are never just “Sir Bob”, you are “Sir Bob of Muddington”.

Vicars and prelates serve relatively small parishes, either in the countryside or part of a city. So you may meet the Vicar of Carfax but you'll never see the Vicar of Oxford. Similarly deans and bishops take their titles from the site of a cathedral. Thus the Dean of Bristol is fine, but the Bishop of Somerset is not.


Academics may come from any of the colleges of Oxford or Cambridge, or from the Invisible College. In the past academics were not afforded much respect, or at least little more than their noble title (if they possessed one) would allow them. Ever since the flooding of the realm however, and more importantly the immense new importance of Oxford, their importance has increased enormously. Now even a lowly undergraduate is a person of some importance and a dean of genuine importance.

Remember that Doctors and Professors teach and study a particular subject, though this will frequently be met with incomprehension if something exotic like “The Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge”. You should specify you're field of study for any academic however.


Ambassadors from even the smallest states are regarded as representatives of that country's king (or queen) and as such are regarded as holding a rank equivalent to prince (or princess). There may be exceptions for the weakest and smallest of German states that have annoyed the King, but even Dukes shouldn't be too vulgar around an ambassador.


Military rank (Navy and Army) is less linked to Wealth than title, especially in the Venerable Order but a Major-General or Lord-General is likely to also be an Earl or Viscount. It is possible to also hold military rank outside the structure of the Army or Horticulturalists though this is only permissible either in wartime or by special permission of the King. Anybody wishing to raise a regiment will have to buy it as an wealth and constantly maintain it while it is active - depending on the size of the military force you will also gain the appropriate rank and a boost in prestige.

1) Must be bought using the commoner quirk and counts towards your quirks.
2) only the title Rabbi is accorded respect equivalent to a noble rank
3) Yes, it's confusing that a female Earl is a Countess.
4) academic Deans are more important than Anglican Deans
5) Historically the Archbishop of York is the only other archbishop; we will allow you to be creative.
6) These numbers exclude the commoner quirk cost of -1
rank.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/10 11:32 by innokenti