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Determining SEC

Dangerous Journeys


In this post we’ll have a look at how one determines what Socio-Economic Class—SEC—one’s HP belongs to.

The Methods

There are three, with the first two either the player or the guide make the decision. Either a player selects a class he wants his HP to belong to, or the guide chooses for him. In the first case it’s a matter of what the player wants to try. Now you can expect that most players will want to play an important role, but that doesn’t mean that the guide can’t use the player’s choice to his advantage. After all, everything has a price, and often that price can be a steep one.

When it is the guide who decides on an HP’s SEC it may be because he wants his players to try a role in a particular segment of society. Very often he may have a lesson he wishes to impart, or he may just want to see how his players handle what could be a difficult role.

The third method of determination is to roll percentiles against the table just below. The player rolls the dice, finds the number range the roll falls in, and reads across to find his result. 

Number of dice

Type of die:



Socio~Economic Class―SEC― Table

Roll Demographic SEC Name
01-05 38% 1 Serf
06-10 26% 2 Crofter
11-20 18% 3 Yeoman
21-30 9% 4 Shopkeep
31-45 4.5% 5 Tradesman
46-70 2.5 6 Guildsman
71-85 1.6 7 Gentry
86-95 0.3% 8 Aristocracy
96-00 0.1% 9 Nobility


You’ll note that the chance for anybody having the chance to go on adventures does not fit the actual demographics. By and large the poor and the rich tend to not go adventuring. In the former case they just don’t have the resources, in the latter they simply don’t have the time.

In addition the distribution of adventurers among the classes pretty much follow the apparent distribution in adventure stories. Such that Yeomen, Shopkeeps, and Aristocrats come to be about one out of ten adventurers, while Guildsmen are about 1 out of 4. Pretty much matches what I remember from the stories I know.

The SECs

Lower Lower Class: The lowest of the low. Such as slaves, serfs, vagabonds, and derelicts are found in this class. As are petty thieves and hobos. The mercenary soldier belongs here, as do the homeless for the most part. Very often the mentally disabled are found in these ranks.

The Lower Lower Class usually only have shelter when it is provided by another. Otherwise they sleep out under the stars, and quite often in encampments composed of other members of the class. Beggars sometimes sleep in what amounts to barracks, and charitable groups may provide beds, though their treatment of the least in society is sometimes harsh and hostile.

The Lower Lower Class don’t really have a steady source of income, most often relying on spot labor and/or the generosity of strangers. Diet is poor, as is health care, and hygiene is often what we would call lacking.

Middle Lower Class: Those in this SEC are usually a bit better off. They still don’t have what we would call a regular income, but they may have regular housing more often. Housing for which they are expected to pay rent, with that rent being in the form of labor or other service. A member of this class may often called upon to supervise those of the Lower Lower Class.

Upper Lower Class: Here is where we’re getting into what you could call important people. They’re still poor, but now they’ve often get a steady income. More often than not they’ll have the money to rent a home, and may even be able to save up for a later day. At the same time they very often will have greater responsibilities than those of the lower classes.

The Middle Class

These are people who own property, real estate. Along with the land they will often have homes built there, and along with home ownership certain rights and responsibilities.

Lower Middle Class: To some extent those of this SEC may actually be poorer than those in the Upper Lower Class, but unlike them those of this class do own land and as a result will have greater respect from those higher in society. By and large they sleep better, have better diets, and sometimes better medical care. It is not unusual for them to dress better.

Middle Middle Class: Who most of us think of when we think of the middle class. A fair number will have servants, or slaves is slaves are present in society. They are fairly well off, well dressed and well fed, and are often considered the spine of society. Lower ranked officers often come from this class. As do low ranking officials.

Upper Middle Class: For the most part this class overlaps with the Lower Upper Class to some degree. In some circles they are referred to as the lesser gentry, and the lesser orders of squires fall in this group. Most often well to do, they are also known for being responsible sorts and it is from them that we get the mid ranking officials and management. Corporate vice presidents come from here.

Upper Class

The people who run the show, the ones in charge.

Lower Upper Class: Here you find the gentry. Or the upper gentry if you prefer. While titled, their titles are not those handed down to their progeny. Rather their titles are ones assigned to a particular person for a particular reason, and most often buried with their names when they pass on. On rare occasion a title may become inherited, but most often this occurs when the one so honored is promoted to the aristocracy.

Middle Upper Class: The aristocrats insist that they are important. But not as important as the nobility. They are important and they like reminding you that they are important.

Upper Upper Class: The nobility are important, and they don’t have to tell you. They are rare, they run the show, and they get respect for the most part because they give respect.

Keep in mind that even beggars and barons can find themselves having adventures, whether they want to or not.

In Addition

SEC gets determined first because the HP’s SEC will have an impact on other matters. The first is the matter of species


I’m not comfortable calling such as elves and dwarfs races, they’re just too different. So in Dangerous Journeys they get to be species instead.

In addition those of certain species do tend to be of certain social classes. Elves for instance of the upper class, dwarfs of the middle class, and goblins in the lower class assuming the guide you use has elves, dwarfs and goblins.

Note that not all DJ Guides will have more than one species.


But each species, even if there is just one, will have races. Depending on the guide most any HP can be a member of a particular race or ethnic group. And while the genetic differences may not amount to much, in terms of physical appearance the differences are bloody obvious. And to be honest with you, the Melanesians and Hmong are proud of their appearance.


Finally there is the matter of exactly which Vocation an  HP may take depending on his SEC. This is handled in one of two ways.

In a guide such as Abyss and Unhallowed an HP may take any Vocation he wants regardless of his SEC. But in one such as Changeling or Mythus the SEC at birth—birth SEC if you like—limits which Vocation he may take at the beginning of his adventuring career.

In short a Persona will often have two SEC’s; the one he was born into—the Birth SEC, and the one he assumed when he took on the Vocation—the Vocational SEC. In addition where possible the Persona in question may likely get promoted as he gains in experience and wealth.

Outside the Cultural Bounds

The last matter to consider is just where the HP is to be found. Among his people he is most likely to be treated as a member of that culture’s society, but outside that area he will more likely be treated as someone of lower class, unless his culture’s version of a noble or guildsman is recognized in the foreign land. Among the Iroquois of Ærth French and Teclan nobles are recognized and honored, but the former are not recognized in Tecla and the latter not in France.

End note

That’s it for this revision. Coming up general description and Quirks.

Dangerous Journeys

What is a Persona?


I have rewriting to do, and this time around I’m focusing so I don’t get overwhelmed by the task.

On Personae

In Dangerous Journeys a persona is a role taken by player or guide that acts as a representative of him in play. Now by and large the role a player takes is known as an Heroic Persona—HP. Heroic in that the persona is an above average soul capable of being heroic, more so that most others in the world. Now an HP doesn’t have to be a hero, nor can he be expected to be heroic on every occasion, but he is capable of being heroic.

As an Heroic Persona the player is expected to have adventures, to travel to new lands, to see new sights. Or he may just be called upon to do heroic things and to deal with foes and troubles others may feel themselves overwhelmed by. For the Heroic Persona is most often somebody more capable than an ordinary person, being stronger, smarter, even wiser than the ordinary course of individual. Doesn’t mean he’s going to be the hero, but he does have what it takes to be heroic.

Other Personae

In turn the guide takes on the role of an Other Persona—OP.  They are the people the HPs meet and interact with, They are the foes and allies, those who call upon the Heroic Personae for assistance, who assist them, or oppose them. Think of them as the supporting cast. Or the antagonists to the HPs protagonists. OPs come in the following types.

Evil Persona

While rather ordinary fellows, the Evil Persona—EP—is nasty sort of chap out to cause trouble and make life hard for people. Most of the time they’re not exactly much trouble, but depending on how guide and players handle things they can be a handful.

Friendly Persona

Also rather ordinary sorts, this time around the typical FP—Friendly Persona—is more apt to be helpful. Not that he’s always going to be helpful in any real way, but at least his intentions are good.

Other Persona

Of course most Other Personae—OPs—won’t really be helpful or obstructive, just there. Depending on how things go they could become EPs or FPs, but they don’t have to. When you think of them think of extras and minor supporting cast.


Think of these roles as being DJ’s version of major supporting casting and villains. They come in two types.

Heroic Personage—HPG

The HPG is the guide’s version of the HP, what another RPG may call a Game Master Character—GMC. It is the HPG’s role to support the HPs, to act as their contact, their patron and sponsor. He may be their employer, or even the party who calls upon them for help, There may even be times when he’s actually more competent than they are, but sometimes he is going to need their help.

Monstrous Personage—MPG

Finally you have the MPG, the big bad if you would. Monstrous Personages are rather nasty people, with a nasty reputation. They’re really not the sorts you can just dispose of as you might some minion, and in fact they may even be an ally or a patron the HPs have come to rely on. The MPG is not to be taken for a fool, but treated with caution, wisely.

End Note

And that is the Persona in Dangerous Journeys. He is not just a playing piece, but should instead be treated as an individual much like you. For in a sense he is you, as you might be in a Dangerous Journeys world.

Up Next

The first step in creating a Persona, determining his Socio-Economic Class, or SEC.



I’m giving an old plugin a try again, to see if it will work as I think it should without a different plugin mucking things up. I’m doing this because I want to see my writing look good on the page, and not sprawl across the page as it would if it wasn’t in columns.

We don’t like lines of text that go on and on, so in print we put it into columns. A thing we could do on screeen, but certain parties just don’t want to see that, not being aware apparently that resources have improved since the old days. And that implementing something like this doesn’t have to be hard.

Anyway, should this work you can expect to see this implemented more across Dangerous Journeys.

A Change in Plans

Or, you deserve and explanation

Instead of just writing up the mechanics of Dangerous Journeys I’ve decided to explain things as best I can. That way you’ll actually have something to read instead of dry data. I’m working on the chapter on Personae, which will be follow by the chapters on Mechanics, Magick, Encounters, and Settings. I expect that the most complex part will be on fighting in Encounters.

It will get done.

The Hell I Will

Use Gutenberg That is.

Because the way things are going I rather doubt the current generation working on the crap will ever show any sign of understanding what they’re doing. We’ll have to wait until they’re dead before a new generation will start using those things the current generation is afraid to.


Turns out the column plugin and the CSS plugin I was using are not compatible.

Got an Idea

Which may well make the SRD shorter

The idea has to do with age and aging. For it has occurred to me that at present the aging charts in the SRD are a tad lengthy, and it struck me that the mechanics for aging could be handled much better. Easier to learn and remember at least.

So we’ll start with this: For every year past the ago of 50 the Persona will lose so many points from the Mental and Physical Traits, and STEEP, plus an additional number of points that could be taken from either the M or P Traits or from the skills.

At the lowest the Persona loses one point from either of the two Traits and a K/S Area, plus another two points from the player’s choice of trait or skill. Means a total of 5 points are lost by the Persona. The scheme goes this way…

  1. 1/5
  2. 2/10
  3. 3/15
  4. 4/20
  5. 5/25
  6. 6/30
  7. 7/35
  8. 8/40
  9. 9/45
  10. 10/50

What this means is that at the lower end the Persona in question ages slowly, while at the upper he ages quickly. But keep in mind that for some species—humans for example—aging will speed up as they grow older.

Where the Spiritual Trait is concerned a persona will gain so many points in his Spiritual Trait, plus the same amount in his Spiritual K/S Areas. At least up to a certain age, at which point he’ll start losing points instead. All because a fella does lose capability as he gets older. I’m thinking of making the switch happen when the Persona gets to be older than 80 for humans.

There’s more to be said, and I do have to handle growing up, but this should be enough for you to play with.

Just be thinking, and hoping you find a use for it with your system.


Answering a question

This is an addendum to this post.

I’ve been asked to tell you if I would appreciate your telling people where you got your mechanics from, should you happen to get them from Dangerous Journeys™. My reply is, of course.

Now keep in mind that the DJ mechanics are rather generic, so in all honesty you don’t have to tell anyone you got them from me. But it’s the nice thing to do, and lets people know you are an honorable person.

For my part I will do my best to keep the mechanics as generic as I can, though when I use them in the DJ system I will have to present them in such a wise as to make them legible. How you make them legible in your system is your business, for it will be your work. Just remember that 1+1=2 is public domain, while “Whilst one dost append a single item to another such single item dost mean that one has dost produced a duality of items.” can be and is copyrighted in that it is a unique expression—albeit a rather busy one.

No, I won’t be crafting a open gaming license—much less using one, or an open system license on the grounds I have too much to do to bother with fussing about it. If you want to use the DJ mechanics, go right ahead. You want to use the DJ system, let’s talk about it. Let’s keep things open and above board and to refrain from discouraging the efforts of others.

Legal Stuff

In as much as Dangerous Journeys™ is not a game in any sense, it thus cannot be an open game. What DJ is is a system, and it is as a system that it is an open system.

Dangerous Journeys™ is an open role playing system for the simple reason that the mechanics can’t be copyrighted. They could be patented, but since that would invoke the grandfather clause it really isn’t worth my time.

So if you want to use the mechanics I present on this site—and I will—go right ahead, and I hope you find them useful.

And before I go please note that Dangerous Journeys is Alan Kellogg’s trademark for the Dangerous Journeys role playing system intended for use in Dangerous Journeys role playing guides. All rights reserved.