The Chancers' Club
This exclusive adventurers' club is widely known throughout the Plateaus as being an elitist members-only club made up of active and retired thrill-seekers. Daredevil young nobles challenge one another to duels and brag of their feats of bravado. Mature, moneyed nobles mount big game hunting expeditions into the heart of the Badlands. Retired and wealthy old veterans sip port in the clubhouse, and reminisce about battles gone by. Some say the Chancers are blessed with more money than sense, but the organization has flourished for almost 40 years, and its place in high society suggests that members gain access to some of the most powerful people in the Wold.
Class: Most, though Aristocrats, wizards and fighters make up the majority of those drawn to the club. Bards, rogues and sorcerers are not uncommon. Barbarians are unheard of; few can remember the last time a monk or paladin sought admission.
Level: No restriction.
Race: Most members are human, though the occasional wealthy halfling, elf and half-elf has been known to join.
Deity: Any, though Wardd is by far the most commonly worshipped.
Deed: Application for membership can be won through sponsorship by an existing member of at least two year's standing. This sponsorship will be based upon some significant deed of bravery, as well as a personal endorsement. The application is put before the Screening Committee, who have final say on all membership decisions.
Only a certain type is welcome in the Chancers' Club. In practice this means those of Noble birth, of high social standing or of exceptional personal qualities. Money alone is insufficient. One must be of the "right sort".
Fee: An initial fee of 10,000 GP is payable upon entrance to cover administrative costs, with a further 1000GP payable annually.
Sphere of Influence: The club is more than just a gathering place for adventurers of wealth and leisure. It is a prestigious social club, and its two annual events are key dates in the social calendars of Plateau City's elite.
The Chancers Ball: a themed high society dinner dance. This is a chance to rub shoulders with some of the most powerful people in Plateau City and beyond. The theme, be it masked, Fire and Ice, Night or whatever changes each year. Tickets are hugely sought after.
The Chancers' Tourney: members of the general public are invited to attend an annual competition of martial prowess, athleticism and skill. Jousting, archery and duelling are popular attractions, and betting is an integral part of the games. Certain events include an element of risk, but serious injury or death is rare in this public event.
Ethos: "To Dare is to Live". The club membership has a particular outlook on life. Not for them the common drudge; to them life is an adventure, every day a call to a new challenge. They live for high adventure and personal gain in the face of great risk. They consider themselves a social elite, and there is a certain arrogance inherent in membership.
The socialite and diplomat Sir Wallace of Baenville founded the club almost 40 years ago. Intended as a place where the moneyed classes could meet to discuss, plan and undertake expeditions of exploration and adventure, membership grew rapidly. The club was an instant hit amongst the well-heeled adventurers of Plateau City, and has remained the most exclusive adventuring group in New Elenna since its inception.
Different members have joined for different reasons, and the club became a big game hunting club (the heads of many rare and exotic creatures are mounted on the clubhouse walls), a high stakes gambling club, and the place to be seen for young aristocrats with a taste for danger and 100-year-old wines.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a group made up largely of the idle rich, the members have a great fondness for forming important sounding committees. These are numerous, can spring up or disband overnight or grow to become significant powers within the club. Many Chancers are members of multiple committees. Here are some of the most significant:
Screening Committee: Always made up of 12 members (11 voters and a chairman). They vote on prospective candidates for membership and (more rarely) to vote on the expulsion of unsuitable members. The chairperson is Karnak D'Argunia, a highly placed diplomat in the Plateau City government.
Entertainments Committee: This group is charged with organizing the annual ball and tourney, along with various fundraisers, away days and club events. Internal-only events tend to be far more dangerous than the Tourney. The chairperson is Lady Tessela von Gurin, a formidable figure, and not crossed lightly.
The Questor Comittee: This group meet to offer or assign quests, tasks, challenges and dares to the membership. Anything from dragonslaying to undetected theft, if it's dangerous, exciting or just plain foolhardy, the Questor Committee will be involved. The chairperson is Lord Fortisque III, considered by many to be Plateau City's most eligible bachelor.
Larger events may also generate sub committees of their own. For example although the Entertainments Committee would allocate the funds (which in turn are made available by the Finance Committee) and the timeslot for the Chancers’ Ball, it would be the Ball Committee that would plan out the minutiae of the event, liasing with caterers, florists etc.
Headquarters: The members meet at the Chancers' Clubhouse, an exclusive residence in Plateau City. They also hire out function rooms and other buildings for special occasions.
Politics: Members consider themselves the elite of the adventuring world, looking down upon such organizations as the WLA. They have links with the most powerful organizations in the Wold, and are made up of some of the richest and most influential people in New Elenna.
Prestige: Membership of the Club is considered the height of social acceptability.
Information: Having the ear of some of the Wold's prime movers and shakers can have its advantages. At the DM's discretion pertinent Diplomacy checks to Gather Info may be made at a +4 bonus. Also Knowledge (Nobility) is a class skill.
Financial: The old adage that money is drawn to money is certainly true of the Chancers. Members have been known to grow extremely wealthy in pursuit of the Club goals of adventure and excitement. Of course it is equally common for a member to lose vast sums on a single throw of the dice, but that's the chance you take when you live life on the edge.