Personally I am against the "long lost noble" to many complications since the game becomes about regaining the position, when did fame and fortune not become enough?
Especially given the tangled structure of the GK nobility, how and why did he lose his position, if legit no family to foster him?
If he is a member of a major house, given your Ivid V idea the complication grow even more so, especially since after Rauxes fall even his own noble house has better things to do then "kill the Overking". If you must I suggest you make him a forgotten bast..love child with no powerful friends or claim allowing the problems and noble aspirations if the character wants to play them. Perhaps he doesn't know he is a "love child", which could come as a shock for the PC who thinks he is noble at the start?
Well, if you wish to do something like that, the question is really "how powerful do you want the potential inheritance to be?". If its a little banneretcy or the like, you really only need to determine where you'd like it to be and who has control of that land now. If you want it to be something rather more significant, then you'll need to look more carefully at matters.
None of the Great Houses of the Aerdy were wiped out, so if you are looking at a really high end inheritance then either you can't use the Great Kingdom or you need to rewrite its history in a major way. Smaller noble houses are an option, of course. But they wouldn't be in a position to threaten Ivid especially.
Are you running a campaign in the Great Kingdom? Or are you still deciding on a location? There are plenty of other places that offer good options for such a thing also.
More information on what you want to do and where would really help in terms of making useful suggestions.
Furyondy or Urnst would make good choices given a starting locale near Verbobonc if you want 'real' nobility. The Wild Coast would also be interesting if you were looking at more 'bandit lord/local strongman' type nobility. Urnst would have the possibility of the very nasty Maures legacy as a background element which is easily made quite Cthulhoid. And both Furyondy and Urnst have the looming threat of Iuz and all the horror of his minions. As well as those of his allies Zuggtmoy and Iggwilv.
Do you have the Greyhawk supplement "The Marklands"? It deals specifically with that part of the world. You can get it in pdf form from www.rpgnow.com for a mere $4.95.
Interesting idea for a campaign. Personally the whole nobility thing doesnt interest me much, but there is much possibility for what you are looking at.
First I think the Great Kingdom is the best place to have his bloodlines from. I think no other place puts such a high value on nobility and bloodlines as the former GK. The whole area has was in a state of decline and corruption for centuries.
Ive never been too interested in the facts and history of Great Kingdom, so pardon if some of my comments arent quite 'canon'
Several of the noble houses successfully seperated from the malachite throne, Furondy, Nyrond, Veluna to mention a few. Several others tried, but were unsuccessful, See of Medegia (sp?), the South Province. These were brought back into line by bloody wars. Of course the rebelling nobility would of been put to the sword and replaced by those more sympathetic to the throne. Perhaps your player's characters great-great grandfather (or whoever) used powerful magicks to conceal the identities of his surviving family members in hopes that they would escape the wrath of the throne. Perhaps these magicks were so powerful that the people hidden from them were even unaware of who they were. Perhaps now, many years or generations later, that the Gk is more or less disolved into a state of total conflict and chaos that this magic has ended for the character to finally realize who he is and what he must do... reclaim the throne/crown/land or whatever for the cause of good/evil/this deity or that deity or whatever is appropriate.... just an idea...
If I may be as so bold to offer a suggestion, give your player the noble (and now ruined) house Von Carstein. I outright stole that from Warhammer Fantasy. You can say that some craaaaazy vampire led a battle against the house for whatever reason. Put it in Geoff! Then you have, if you want, a staging area to run I6(?) Castle Ravenloft. The locals will think that Carstein is an unholy name and they will find no friends if they try to regain family honor b/c folks think the von Carsteins were in league with Strahd. Play however you want, but I thought I would offer two coppers.
Well, I think it depends on the goals of the campaign, regarding this character. If your plan is to make him a potential emperor, then the Great Kingdom/Furyondy idea might be more along the lines of what you're looking for. But if you don't want to have to worry to much about "stepping on toes" as far as published materials go, I'd go with the suggestion someone else posted about the PC being heir to a lesser title.
Perhaps instead of his father being the deposed lord, why not make it his grandfather or great grandfather? For one thing, it allows the title to have been swept under the family rug, so to speak. If great grandpa was deposed when grandpa was just an infant, gramps could have grown up blissfully unaware of the noble title he was born into, but no longer has. Perhaps great grandpa carried deep feelings of guilt or resentment about the loss of his lands and title, and never spoke of it, even forbade his wife to tell the kids about it. And so, knowledge of this was lost to the family, until whatever event you have planned that allows the PC to learn of his birthright.
This would work if you plan to go with a Great Kingdom title.
Personally, I think an easier way to go would be to have the PC descended from a Shield Lands noble. Depending on when you have your campaign set, the family could have been wiped out by the forces of Iuz, or the Horned Society, or even an attack from the Bandit Kingdoms.
An advantage to this is even after the PC somehow makes his claim to the title and lands stick, there's plenty of opportunities for things to happen in the area. While he's trying to secure his holdings, Iuz (or whoever) might send forces to claim the area for his (or their) own. Even if the PC himself gets too bogged down in the details of running a kingdom (let's face it, that part does not make for interesting D&D usually), You now have your NPC patron for the next batch of low level PCs.
Then again, when the information comes to light, will the PC even care? He might not want the burdens of running a small nation.
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