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by Giampaolo Agosta

Role: the Viziers emulate Farid, al-Kalim's companion, wise and clever, pragmatic to the point of ruthlessness, ready to manage the shadiest businesses while keeping their masters' reputation unblemished. Every government officer has his Vizier, though there is great difference between the Grand Vizier of the Caliph and the governors' secretaries or the Qadi's tribal adviser. A Vizier has no power of his own, but he has a great ability and potential for control the power wielded by his master.

Requirements: a Vizier needs to have quick wits, in order to comply with his master requests and to find the legal loopholes which gives him invaluable advantage, and to be prudent, in order to protect his not only his master's reputation, but also his own position. In addition, a Vizier needs to stay on his master's good side, and to be able to perform diplomatic missions. Therefore, minimum scores of 12 Int, 13 Wis and 13 Cha are required for anyone to become a Vizier.
Viziers are often Lawful, but many adhere only to the letter of the laws, therefore falling into the Evil side. Less scrupulous Viziers may be of other alignments, though non-Lawful, Good-aligned Viziers tend to last little in their positions.
Viziers are most often Thieves or Bards. Priests of the Eternal Truth don't have the necessary pragmatism, and a Ylari Fighter's honour does not allow him to use morally ambiguous means to reach his goals --in the end, that is why Viziers exist. Wizard are sometimes Viziers, but they don't like to be distracted from their studies, and often prefer to work on their own, which makes them poor candidates for Vizier positions.

Class Modifications: Viziers Thieves and Bards get the Bribe Officials skill instead of Climb Walls. In addition, Vizier Thieves prefer skills that allow them to acquire information, like Detect Noise or Read Languages. However, they are free to choose how to distribute their skill points.

Weapon Proficiencies: Viziers can choose freely their weapons, within their class limits. Many select the traditional Alasiyan weapons, kouglar (dagger) and scimitar.

Non-Weapon Proficiencies: most Viziers use whatever means they can to persuade others to do their biddings. Bards use their special abilities, which are always turned to intimidation, blackmail or guile more than persuasion, while Thieves and Wizards get Intimidation and Etiquette as bonus proficiencies. All Viziers must be literate, so non-Bards must take Reading/Writing (Alasiyan). All Viziers get the Information Gathering proficiency for free, since acquiring information is vital for their job.

Equipment: Viziers can use whatever equipment they can afford. In addition, they can use their master's fund, provided they have a very good reason to do so.

Special Benefits: Viziers don't have special benefits other than their bonus proficiencies and their connections and funds.

Special Hindrances: Viziers are feared and distrusted, and when they have to get something done, they must force people to work for them.
When a Vizier has no means to coerce someone, he gets a -3 reaction penalty. In addition, Viziers must obey their masters, or risk being replaced. A replaced Vizier is usually definitively silenced by his successor, especially if the position he had was one of great power.

Starting Wealth: a Vizier is usually well funded by his master or department, so he gets double standard funds for his class.