So since writing this, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything has been announced and I’ve read the blurb – possibly the mention of group patrons and ‘perks’ covers some of what I’ve written below.
Let’s talk a bit about patrons in D&D.
No, not the ones for Warlocks. In Eberron – Rising from the Last War, the character creation section gives us information on patrons for the adventuring party, from guilds to noble houses to immortals to academic orders.
As I see it, there’s plenty of opportunity to match these patrons up with the renown mechanics as presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, or even the slight extension with Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.
But let’s consider another option – what if we look at the piety mechanics from Mythic Odysseys of Theros, and convert them into favour with our patron?
If we think of favour in the same way as piety and renown, we can give graded levels that give us some form of benefit as we move upwards.
With renown, this is generally access to different NPCS, maybe equipment discount or access to spellcasters or knowledge, and so forth.
With piety, this is generally access to spells, advantage on certain rolls, and so forth.
So, let’s bring this together, shall we?
We can definitely see a world in which a group might have multiple patrons – they do a job for the adventuring guild, they do a job for the university, they do another for a noble house, they go back to the guild, they find a relic that gives them a quest for the university, and so on. So we’ll ignore any issues of conflict for now (they can be in some advanced rules to be written later!)
We’ll go with some simple ranks that mimic both renown and piety – 3, 10, 25 and 50. (Where have I seen those before?)
As we’re not extra special magical beings (unless it’s the immortal, but I’m going to ignore that special circumstance for now), maybe we’ll take a cue from the piety rules and award a spell but via a magic item – say a wand, a sword or an amulet or something, whatever fits. We can also give bonuses to contacts, a safe haven, and advantage on rolls to do something in certain circumstances, or a discount on wares etc.
So, let’s see what we can pull together.
|Rank||Benefit to the party|
|3||A contact or ally in the patron’s organisation, and some kind of benefit – a discount from a certain merchant or better rates from a fence, or advantage on research rolls by using the patron’s library.|
|10||An additional benefit similar to the above – further allies to call upon, such as a spellcaster to cast identify for free a limited number of times or a cleric to cast remove disease. A non-replenishing magic wand or a quiver of magic ammunition might also be available.|
Dispositions to allies of the patron are also be more positive to the group.
|25||A magic item that fits the patron – a weapon for an adventuring or thieves guild, a wand from the wizards, armour for a military force, and so on.|
DM’s discretion if they give multiple items to the group, though depending on power level entirely possible.
|50||Go crazy – at this point, the party members are all loyal retainers of the patron and can be relied on for help as much as they require it. |
Access to resurrection and plane shift spells, even outside of a mission for the patron – after all, the party’s business is the patron’s business now.
That’s a quick first pass at it, another one to refine later.