In Bes Pelargic, there are five principal Agatean families. They are the Fangs, the Hongs, the McSweeneys, the Sungs, and the Tangs. Players can join a family if they are in good enough standing with them. Some families have additional requirements, such as an Agatean birth certificate or skills.
You may be able to improve your standing with a family by killing their enemies or by "donate"ing money to them in their finance room (a hundred rhinu or so seems sufficient to raise their opinion of you by about one level, and four hundred rhinu is sufficient to raise their opinion of you from never having heard of you, to letting you join). For some finance rooms you'll need to sneak, find a way other than the guarded entry rooms or get rid of the guards to get to the finance room. Also, over time, standings with families seem to go back to "no strong opinions".
If you are already a member of a family, you can do missions for them (see below), which can improve your standing if you succeed (failure can damage your standing). Doing missions affects your standing with other families as well--this isn't well understood but it seems that doing a mission against a family will make that family think worse of you. It's also possible for a family's opinion of you to improve after you fail a mission against a different family.
Finally, if you're already a member of a family, you can give your family's mission npc crests of enemy families. This will immediately improve their opinion of you, and affect other families' opinions of you based on how much they liked the family whose crests you delivered. Note that giving crests will greatly decrease your relation with the house the crests belong to, a lot more than your relation with your own family will increase.
There may be a delay between killing a family's allies or enemies and having their opinion of you change.
Some of the different standings are (may be incomplete):
- would happily see you drop dead
- despises you with a fiery passion
- thoroughly detests you
- hates you
- intensely dislikes you
- holds a very low opinion of you
- does not like you at all
- thinks very badly of you (at this point the family guards will attack you (after a warning) if you enter the estate)
- thinks badly of you
- holds no strong opinions about you
- thinks well of you
- thinks very well of you
- likes you (at this point you may join the family)
- likes you a lot
- holds a high opinion of you
- holds an extremely high opinion of you
- holds the highest regard for you
- treats you as a family friend
- considers you a close family friend
You can find out your standing with all families by going to a family library, or the Hall of Records, and "check"ing yourself. In a more organic way, you can get a sense of what they think of you by how the npcs on the estate react to you.
When you are in good standing with a family (not necessarily your own, besides your family can get angry at you) you will receive a discount for the merchants in Bes Pelargic aligned with that family.
The family of npc merchants can often be found by looking at their clothes (crests, dresses with the motif of the family). The npc will also tell you when you list, browse or buy items that you are receiving discount prices because you are in good standings with their family if that is the case.
Relations between families
Relationships between the families are constantly shifting, so if you're eager to go out and strike down the enemies of your family (or the one you're trying to join), you may need to find out who they are, first. You can find out how different families are getting along by going to the Hall of Records or a family's library and "check"ing a family. So if you want to know what the Fangs think of the other families, you can "check fang".
These are some of the possible opinions families can have of each other (may not be in order):
- are officially in a state of full-blown war.
- are engaging each other in light skirmishes. (At this point, or possibly before, the guards will stop you from entering the estate even if they like you, though they do not attack.)
- detest each other.
- deeply distrust each other.
- are on poor terms
- are neutral towards each other.
- are on good terms.
- hold a tentative peace agreement
- are on extremely good terms.
- share an official strategic alliance.
- have declared themselves an indomitable coalition.
If a family's relationship with your own family is bad enough, they will not let you into their estate--though they won't actually attack you unless your standing with them is low enough.
Families assign missions through the npc in the library in the estate of your family.
When you are granted a mission, you receive a chit with all the details of your assignment. Should you lose this chit, you should go back to the library to request a replacement before continuing.
Upon successful completion of a mission, your chit will disappear, you'll get a bit of xp, and some money will be added to your family account (the amount of money and xp varies). You can check or collect the monies owed to you in your family's finance room. If your family is on bad terms with all of the other families, you will be unable to collect money from your account.
You can only do one mission at once, and there is a delay between finishing a mission and being able to get another (this appears to be half an hour in real time).
When you join a family, you receive a family crest. When wearing this crest, you'll have a family title in your whois that reflects how many missions you've completed. The title lists vary from family to family, and they also depend on your guild.
If you happen to lose your crest, you can also use any crest of your family or replace it from the library npc (asking "Can I have a crest" will work, and will cost you a few rhinu).
Each family estate is different, but they have some common features. They all have the following facilities:
- A library, where you may check standing, check relationships between families, or read the family history
- A finance room, where you can donate money, or, if you're a member of the family, check or collect the monies owed to you from missions
- A contract room, where inhuming members of the family may get contracts and collect the pay from them
- A mail room, where family members can access the mail system.
Some estates have additional facilities.
All of the estates also have family guards--some who wander, and some who stay in one place and guard specific areas. Stationary guards are posted at the entrances (to keep out members of enemy families), and at the entrances to private areas of the estate (to keep out everyone except family members). If moved to another room, that guard will no longer be guarding anything.
All family guards will attack players whose standing with the family is low enough, though they will first warn you and give you a few seconds:
The Hong family guard says to you in Agatean with a Bes Pelargic accent: How dare you darken the domain of House Hong. Leave now or I will teach you a final lesson.
If you fight a family guard for too long (the exact amount of time seems to vary), more guards will appear and attack you as well. These summoned guards will not give any experience when killed.
- For example, with Agoraphobia, Fear, Sorsalsean's Seismic Eruption, and likely Mother Feelbright's Busy Bees.