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I know some book had an equivalent for mortals, but I honestly don't remember which one. Thus what rank one could be with 5 being a king or so (didn't find it when skimming through my books nor the wiki though).

Can someone point me to the right book?

Talking about oWoD up to 20th anniversary.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ King? Do you play Dark Ages? \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 5, 2023 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Trish there are still plenty of monarchies around the world - 43 according to Wikipedia, even if in most cases the role of the king or queen is quite limited. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yasskier
    Feb 6, 2023 at 21:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Yasskier if the rules really did mention kings, then it's most likely coming from a Dark Ages supplement, rather than the regular line of "current-ish" time supplements. The presence or absence of monarchies right now in the real world isn't quite relevant. I personally don't recall if any mainline WoD products ever really talked about nobility amongst mortals in the current days. Maybe if you count the few mentions of "old money family" as a background mainly for vampires. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Feb 7, 2023 at 8:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ tribe book silver fangs alleges that some royal lines are silver fang kin. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Feb 9, 2023 at 13:35

2 Answers 2

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Status

The Status Background exists in several places in WoD - for Vampires, Elder Vampires (as "Elder Status") and Hunters, as noted by Trish. For Vampires, it states:

You have something of a reputation and standing (earned or unearned) within the local community of Kindred. Status among Camarilla society is as often derived from your sire’s status and the respect due your particular bloodline as it is by personal achievement. Among the Sabbat, status is more likely to stem from the reputation of your pack or the zeal of your outlook.

In other places a similar concept can be called "Rank" (within an organization), "Eminence" (among the Fallen), or "Pure Breed" (among Werewolves), among other things.

Influence

Most old-WoD core rulebooks have the Influence Background:

Your influence is a measure of your political power in mortal society.

Your rating in the Influence Background is a measure of your influence and what you can accomplish in the social or political scene. Occasionally, the Storyteller might call for a roll using Influence in place of an Ability to determine how effective you are at getting what you want out of the political machine.

A character does not have to be vastly influential to affect things in the mortal world for the good or ill of the supernatural. Someone on a local school board can make decisions and bring about changes that can have considerable effects on the local Changeling childlings and wilders for instance.

This tracks reasonably well with the Vampire Status Background. However, note how this also includes an element of reputation - fame or renown - that is mostly lacking in Influence.

Fame

Another commonality among many oWoD core rulebooks is the Fame Background:

You are widely known among mortals, perhaps as a famous writer, performer, or athlete. Your fame gives you certain advantages (like preferential treatment), but it can also give you a lot of unwanted attention sometimes. Fame gives you a great deal of pull with the media, gives you the chance to influence others through your work.

This covers the reputation aspect of Status, and notes explicitly how some level of influence is inherent in Fame.

It is probably fair to say that the authors of WoD generally considered "Status" (or Rank, or...) within a specific (secret) society or organization to be a combination of Influence and Fame, for those particular circumstances. Since there were so many splatbooks published for so many "secret subcultures", with so many different authors involved, there is no clear standard.

Dark Ages

I will also note, based on your referencing "being a king", that in VtDA20, both Influence and Fame exist in the core rulebook.

Fame (p. 180) is described as:

Four dots: A full-blown celebrity; your name is often recognized by the average person on the road.

Five dots: You’re a household word. People name their children after you.

And Influence (p. 181) as:

Four dots: Broad personal power; a force in national politics

Five dots: Vastly influential; a factor in global politics.

The combination of five in both seems extreme; something more applicable to the Pope or possibly the Holy Roman Emperor. A "mere" king would probably have fewer dots in both; four in both seems reasonable for a prominent king with a strong control over his own country and a solid international reputation, like Richard the Lionheart.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fame was my immediate thought \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Feb 9, 2023 at 13:03
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There's multiple

among the WoD, there have been multiple "Status" like backgrounds for mortals. However, usually it is a mix of multiple backgrounds that generate a high rank. Of particular interest are the following three that form the backbone of such a character and which are reprinted in many of the core books:

  • Fame
  • Influence
  • Resources

Besides those, there are other backgrounds that can further flesh out the actual rank.

The Bitter Road, MtA, 2000

While not a very good book, the Bitter Road arguably had some of the best (and worst) merits and backgrounds, among them various types of status in different human societies.

Certification 5 is Diplomatic Immunity and reprinted in M20.

Rank is a position in a Sleeper (non-supernatural-connected) organization. Rank 5 is described as:

***** Command Staff: General, prince, archbishop, senator, national news correspondent, dean, senior vice-president

Hunters Hunted II, VtA20, 2013

Status is a Background for a position in the Society of Leopold. They are a human only society.

MtA20

There's a reprint of certification in the core book.

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