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I'm reading through the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure, and the side quests that can be had from some of the people in town. After finishing those quests, the characters can be approached by the NPC, and if the characters share viewpoints with the quest giver, the NPC can award the character a title.

For example, Daran Edermath, of the Order of the Gauntlet, can give a character showing honor and vigilance the title of Chevall. Halia Thornton, of the Zhentarim, can give a character showing a desire for wealth and power the title of Fang.

What is the point of these titles? I'm wondering about these titles in this adventure specifically, but an answer about titles in general is also welcome.

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There is no specific purpose, for now

First of all, Daran does not just give you a title, he offers you to join the Order. He basically recruits the character:

Daran Edermath privately approaches certain members of the group to urge them to join the Order of the Gauntlet. He speaks with those who exemplify the virtues of the order, such as honor and vigilance.

This makes little sense in the context of the adventure though, since Daran is the only representative of the order in Phandalin. However, the Lost Mine of Phandelver adventure could be the beginning of a larger campaign. Aside from getting an employment, a player's character also gets a useful contact in the respective faction. See the "Faction Agent" background in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (p. 147) for a practical example:

As a faction agent, you have access to a secret network of supporters and operatives who can provide assistance on your adventures. You know a set of secret signs and passwords you can use to identify such operatives, who can provide you with access to a hidden safe house, free room and board, or assistance in finding information.

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There's no inherent point - so it's up to you as DM

The party members are given the opportunity to join a faction as part of the adventure, as you point out. However, there are no story implications for joining these factions as part of the adventure.

As such, any consequences of joining a faction are entirely up to you (as DM), and whether you want to continue adventuring in the same world with the same characters after you complete the campaign. If you do, of course, you can have their faction membership provide them with some benefits, or plot hooks/missions that tie in to your next adventure.

AL handles them in a unique way

In addition, faction membership has more relevance in Adventurers League organized play, where players take the same character through several different adventures. This article summarizes the way faction membership originally worked in AL.

However, it seems like AL's faction rules have changed for the season 8 storyline, and now only allow characters to stay in a faction if they swap their existing background feature for the Faction Agent's "Safe Haven" background feature. Their reasoning and changes are summarized here:

We wanted to use them in a support capacity in our Adventurers League games but after 7 seasons we found that they just weren’t hitting the guided narrative tones that we wanted to hit. Their inclusion, while superficially an attractive option, was leading to weak story decisions and more often than not we felt that the faction missions and motivations were “tacked on” to the adventures. This takes away from the scope of the stories that we want to share, and nobody wants a subpar story.

[...]

So what does this mean for characters that already have a faction? Well, it’s pretty easy:

  • you can leave your faction (normal rules apply)
  • you can stay in your faction by exchanging your current background feature with Safe Haven, the feature used by the Faction Agent background (from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide). You may do this regardless of your level, just as how your alignment might change as your story progresses.
  • factions will no longer be providing magic items, nor will the mentor functions exist
  • we have a replacement system that is undergoing additional review to replace those functions – and more!
  • remember that characters with a lawful evil alignment are required to be members of either the Zhentarim or the Lords’ Alliance, and Adventurers League play does not allow neutral evil or chaotic evil alignments in play

I haven't personally played AL, so I don't know all the details. Even if you don't play AL, you can model your own handling of factions after their faction system (their old one or the upcoming one).

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Titles served to many purposes, but basically it describe what you are and what privileges (and responsibilities) you have and such.

  • nobility: King or Queen are more "noble" than Prince or Princess, which are more "noble" then ... (sometimes the lower parts was actually more poor, than average citizen, having just the title and maybe sword, but still where "NOBLES", not just plebs)
  • land ownership - who owns (and rules) this part of Imperium (be it state, city, or just village)
  • special privileges (sorry my English - but those who care of King's horses, serves him at table, hold a key, ...) many times such title could be just honorary and his bearer just formally oversee peoples doing such work
  • some was like awards for special deeds and was awarded with some rent (King's Astronome, Achymist ...) or even just one time reward (and honor)
  • some was functions like in Army

and when two interests collide, there was rules, who have precedence over who (like place at table, getting better rooms on travels outside city and such)

Anybody with title was "something more" then anybody without any.

Also different titles give its owners different privileges (sometimes as big as to rule all Imperium or as to get executed anybody they was ruling over, sometimes more symbolical as to use some "special" colors or special ornaments in erb, sometimes just practical as to wear two swords or freely travel over land, sometimes just right having be targeted with the title and right to be executed by sword, not by hanging)

Also big village can gain (or not) the right to became "city" get right to brew its own beer freely and such


So it spread even outside nobility and to any larger organized group (be it city representation or thieves' guild or just few drunken friends with special seats in local tavern and titles like "the master of glasses" and "the master or cards" - respected and having mean just inside that community)


For game have good meaning titles inside guilds/fractions/etc which gives the bearer some privileges and rights anywhere in the guild (even so simple as say "member" can ask for help and be allowed to sleep under roof of any other "member", "sparrow" is more then just "member" and can request members to share info or do simple work for him (put an eye on who goes in and out of that tavern) and can request access to guild halls day and night, "eagle" can order "sparrow" and less to some more demanding work and sleep in guild building, if there is one as well as order some special material (say some poison) from guild and get it delivered (at the right price) ... all the way up to the "king of the guild" who have full power over lives of guild members in all cities in whole region and can order assassinations at his whim and without questions)


For game also have good meaning titles given by "official structures" which are usually just something like "medal for honor or extraordinary help" and brings glory and recognition to its bearer as well as some bonuses at negotiation with people, sometimes better prices or free pint of bear for local hero and such - more for statutary and role playing, than dungeon-crawling-wise, but many times the character AND the player is rather known as "Gothreg - the Blue Lion of WoodTown" local hero, who save the town from unimaginable terror and is subject of local ballads, then just get reward of 10.000 GP and still be just some "Gothreg or how he call himself" ...

Because just the Pride and its recognition in form of Title may mean more for some persons. And local authorities can offer it for cheaper, than 10.000GP in unmarked precious gems.

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    \$\begingroup\$ wow, thank V2Blast to help me again :) \$\endgroup\$ – gilhad Sep 16 '18 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ While none of this is wrong as such, this doesn't seem to answer the question what the titles granted in LMoP are there for \$\endgroup\$ – Cubic Sep 17 '18 at 9:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is answer for last paragraph of the question - What is the point of these titles? I'm wondering about these titles in this adventure specifically, but an “answer about titles in general” is also welcome. \$\endgroup\$ – gilhad Sep 17 '18 at 10:30

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