OSR: Rewards of the Monarch

Congratulations! You've saved the world / the nation / the city. The Monarch (absolute, dissipated, benign, slightly seedy) wishes to bestow a gift upon you. Big bags of gold are terribly unfashionable (and the kingdom is broke anyway / needs money to rebuild / is notoriously stingy), but as a token of Their Royal Esteem, the Monarch will ensure you are adequately rewarded.

Roll once per group per apocalypse averted. Entries with a ★ apply to one person in the group. Everyone else in the group gets the entry above or below the ★ entry (50% chance, roll once). The Monarch will generally fixate on the most responsible, clean-looking, and patriotic person.

Some of these rewards may be ludicrously out of scale with the services rendered by the group. This is intentional. The Monarch is either whimsical or Machiavellian.
Daniel Kamarudin

1d20 Rewards of the Monarch

1. Hearty Hand-Clasp
The group is presented with a laurel and hearty hand-clasp from the Monarch.

2. Knighthood ★
One character is knighted by the Monarch in a solemn ceremony. They can be called "Sir". Most people will treat them slightly better than the heaving mass of humanity. If the character is already a knight, they are promoted to a minor barony (of some far-off barren region). If they already are a baron, someone less suitable is knighted instead (barons and above being expected to serve the Monarch without complaint or recompense).

3. Honorary Doctorates
Presented in a ceremony at Loxdon College. Stuffy old deans snoring, spotty undergraduates picking their noses and playing cards in the back, slightly tinny brass band. Bearers gain the right to wear comically floppy hats, red robes trimmed with ermine, and carry a sword on Sundays without a permit. They are officially Doctors of Philosophy and are expected to turn up to one ceremonial dinner a year.

4. A Lifetime Pension
Enough to live just above poverty. The pension starts at age sixty. It does mean, no matter what the group's members do between now and then, they are unlikely to starve in their old age.

5. The Keys to the City
Presented by the Mayor to the Monarch, then by the Monarch to the group. Enables them to avoid parking fees, some zoning bylaws, and tolls. Everyone in the crowd now knows their faces.

6. Invitation to Court ★
The Monarch takes a liking to one member of the group. They will be invited to Court at least once a year to say something witty and memorable. If they don't, they won't be invited back. If they say something gauche or rude the Monarch might exile them. Showing up to Court is a good way to meet interesting, rich, and cunning people.

7. Commemorative Plaque
Large, brass, securely fixed to a convenient building. At least one name will be spelled wrong. 10% chance of being stolen each year.

8. Commemorative Statue
Very large, bronze and stone, a sculpture group of heroic deeds near a reasonably important street. Everyone looks a little gouty and distorted. Unveiled with a flourish and a great deal of polite clapping. Immediately misidentified by every tour guide and ignorant pedestrian as a statue of "General Monkton and his Famous Charge."

9. Street Naming ★
A prominent street is named after one of the group's members, ideally one with the best-sounding name, or one that lends itself to abbreviation, modification, or ease of use. Surprisingly disreputable things happen on the street going forward.

10. Dedicated Follower of Fashion

The Monarch decides some aspect of the group is fashionable and adopts it immediately. The fashion soon spreads. The group may be credited as the originators. Luxury-hating puritans will spit at them; courtiers and tailors will fawn over them, at least until fashion changes again.

11. Royal Marriage ★

One group member is offered the hand of the Monarch's daughter (or son in some regions) in marriage. If one (or both, in some regions) is of an incompatible gender, the Monarch will simply have it altered with a legal fiction. It would be treason to refuse. The would-be fiancee is eleventh in line to the throne, rather plain, and extremely spoiled.

12. Royal Speech

The Monarch makes a rare public speech on the group's heroic deeds, patriotic virtue, and public spirit. The group won't need to buy drinks for a month. Everything is discounted. Spontaneous celebrations inconvenience them wherever they go.

13. Minor Medal

In a hasty ceremony, possibly along side several dozen others, the Monarch presents the group's members with a small medal such as "Order of Valour, Second Class" or "Honourable Bar of the Knights of the Chalice".

14. Sincure ★
A post, such as "Master of the Royal Mint Plantations" or "Trustee of the Monarch's Hound's Pensions" is found for a deserving group member. It pays reasonably well and requires perhaps two  hours of work a week.

15. Commissioned Painting

A court artist unveils a grand painting of the group doing something heroic. The painting is far too large to be displayed in a private home. It will be put in one of the royal residences to amaze and confuse future visitors.

16. Quiet Castigation ★

One member of the group is discreetly asked about their enemies, rivals, and ambitions. The Monarch uses their influence to destroy one enemy (if possible) by calling in loans, cancelling licenses, spreading rumours, or, if all else fails, framing them for a capital offense.

17. Commissioned Music
A court musician presents a new composition to celebrate the group. In a few centuries it will be one of the most well-known pieces of music from the era, but at the present moment it receives a polite but tepid reception. People still hum it from time to time.

18. Memorable Day

The Monarch declares the anniversary of the group's efforts to be a public holiday (for the next five years). It might prove so popular that the Monarch will be pressured to keep it. Bizarre traditions (floats, effigies, dances, traditional foods) arise almost immediately.

19. Inaccurate Speech

The Monarch makes a rare public speech on the group's heroic deeds, exaggerating, misremembering, and interpolating events with horrifying conviction. The group is credited with powers beyond their means, with "securing eternal peace with the Manticore Kingdoms" or "ending the threat forever." Any future disasters will be blamed on the group. People will come to them for aid on all sorts of  unlikely matters, some of which could potentially be profitable.

20. Royal Counselors

The group is appointed "Special Advisors to the Monarch". They are expected to turn up when summoned and help the Monarch solve the nation's problems, or amuse the Monarch, or perform impossible feats. The position is unpaid but extremely valuable, as they have the Monarch's direct attention. If they bring the Monarch into disrepute they will, at the very least, be exiled.


  1. Very sweet.
    I can see myself using this :) Colourful and curious!

  2. Lovely, will definitely use this! ...I can say that with conviction, because I'm in the process of copying all your feudalism posts for personal use and am looking for nice rewards for my band of heroic peasants. (Say, what *does* happen to a noble who doesn't pay their upkeep for a month? Loss of status immediately? Loss of one rank per month in arrears, kicked out of the peerage after [rank] months?)

    1. You stop being a noble. You can get back in, but you basically start at square 1. You should probably sell property, pawn jewels, or rent houses to pay your upkeep.
      "And it's very very funny when you've lots and lots of money to be horrible to those with none." - Anna Russell

  3. love this post - another gem from Skerples