General and Rassilon
The clannish Finnar and Saxa have long obeyed the laws of hospitality, though it is not exclusive to them. Most civilized races follow the basic tenets, with only minor cultural differences. The basic laws of hospitality are as follows.
- Characters who break these ancient laws receive a –2 penalty to Charisma for the next month, not only because word of their deeds will spread, but because the gods look badly on those who cannot follow simple courtesy.
- Guests must be welcomed at any hour.
- Hosts are responsible for the welfare of their guests.
- Guests must be given a minimum of bread, water, a blanket, a roof over their head, and entertainment.
- Guests may not bring their host into disrepute while under his protection, nor raise arms against him, nor speak of him badly. This also covers his family.
- Guests may stay for up to three days without being required to gift their host. After this, it is considered extremely boorish to remain under your host’s roof without recompensing him in some manner worthy of his status. Gifts within the first three days are optional.
Nomad Hospitality (Al-Shirkuh)
The nomads’ rules of hospitality are extremely complex, and few outsiders ever learn every unspoken rule. The situation is made more complex by the fact that every tribe has its own particular rules. One common rule is that of how to treat guests. The nomads have several grades of guest, and honor them accordingly.
How visiting heroes are treated depends largely on whether there are any nomads in the party (see Nomadic Tribal Alliances below). If there aren’t any nomads, use the Reaction Table as normal but with a –2 penalty—nomads are wary of “soft” city folk who choose to travel the perilous desert wastes. The entries in parentheses indicate the Reaction Table result required to receive a certain level of hospitality. Note that in all cases, costs for food and drink are after three days of receiving free hospitality.
- Honored Guests (Helpful) are typically those from other tribes or peoples currently allied to the local tribe and held in high favor with the sheikh. They are offered room among the tribe’s tents (for protection) and welcomed as close friends. They may carry weapons openly, even in the presence of the sheikh. Food and water consumed at the oasis are free.
- Welcomed Guests (Friendly) are usually those from other tribes or peoples currently allied to the local tribe. They are welcomed as friends. They may carry weapons openly, but never in front of the sheikh or his family. Space is set aside close to the tribe’s tents. Food and water consumed at the oasis is charged at half price.
- Accepted Guests (Neutral) are those neutral to the local tribe. They are allowed space within a short distance of the water source but not near the tribe’s tents. They may carry daggers for personal protection, but never in front of the sheikh or his family. Food and water consumed at the oasis is charged at the normal rate.
- Tolerated Guests (Uncooperative) are those tribes or peoples hostile to the controlling tribe. These guests are given an area a long walk from the water, often without much shade. They are forbidden from carrying weapons other than a dagger (they must leave other weapons in their tents). Food and water consumed at the oasis is charged at the 150% of the normal rate.
- Scorpion Guests (Hostile) are those tribes or peoples extremely hostile to the controlling tribe. As the old adage goes, “The scorpion may be an unwelcome guest, but it is still a guest.” Such guests are given an area of land far from the water, usually next to an anthill or scorpions’ nest, and where there is no shade. They are forbidden from carrying weapons (they must leave them in their tents), and cannot go anywhere without an armed escort. Food and water consumed at the oasis is charged at double the normal rate.