Codes of Honor (or Honour)... a common occurance?

Do your Players and/or PCs tend to take/uphold Codes of Honor?

  • Yes, most of my Players/PCs have the Barbaric Code of Honor

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  • Yes, most of my Players/PCs have the Civilized Code of Honor

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  • Yes, there's about an even/equal mix between Barbaric & Civilized Codes of Honor in my games

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  • No, most of my Players/PCs do not take any Codes of Honor

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  • Total voters
In most people's games, to you see Codes of Honor being adopted pretty frequently by the PCs? Do you often have encounters with NPCs (or even "villains") who have Codes of Honor?

How difficult (or not) is it to form a group/party where there is a mix of people; some of whom have Barbaric Codes, some of whom have Civilized Codes and some of whom don't have any Code?

Do you ever run into issues when a PCs who follows a Code does something (or refrains from doing something) "by the code" but then one of his/her comrades ends up acting in such a way that "violates" the code (because the comrade either doesn't have a code or follows another code)?

Are there "restrictions" regarding whom one may adventure with based on Codes of Honor (perhaps not quite as strict as say the D&D's Paladin who can't knowingly travel with Evil characters)?

Example: Uthgard the Aesir Barbarian (with the Barbaric Code of Honor) is fighting a Hyrkanian Nomad Chief (who has behaved honorably up to this point) in single combat. Uthgard gets the upper hand and the Chief acknowledges that he is beaten and (as per the wording in the Code): "throws himself on the character's mercy". By his Code, Uthgard is not supposed to slay the Chief.

However, Antonio the Zingaran Pirate (who follows no Code of Honor) feels no such restriction to his actions and he feels the group will be better off with the Chief dead. Thus as soon as Uthgard grants clemency to the Chief and backs off... Antonio strikes from behind and Coup de Graces the Chief (or Sneak Attacks or whatever).

Now the question is... how should Uthgard react/respond? Can Uthgard shrug this off since Antonio is a "comrade-in-arms" (albeit a potentially dishonorable one... though perhaps Antonio has always acted honorably towards Uthgard)?


I would say yes. Killing an honourable individual who is helpless is a bad thing.

The rogue should think a bit more carefully before utterly disregarding the wishes of the guy with the huge axe who gets mad.

I think conan would have slain the rogue as a savage and a dishonourable fool.


My group has 3 players who took the mercenary code of honour from Aquilonia, and 1 barbarian who took the barbarian code of honour. The last, a stygian sorcerer, obviously has no honour :)

Anyways, the group tends to stick to their codes relatively well. I don't usually worry too much about the code in my games as they involve a lot more combat and usually not a lot of talking. But I haven't really used any NPC's with codes yet or deliberately made a plea against the barbarian's code.

But this has me thinking, hehehe.
I don't require Honour as a must in my Conan campaign, but in my home-brew Celtic Age game (drawing from both Avalanche Press' Celtic Age and a recently acquired copy of Slaine 8) ) Honour is a very big deal. A loss of honour is shameful and worse than death. I guess if I had a Poitainian Knight PC/NPC honour would be important...


I almost killed a party member who insulted my Charicter, (Im on the barbarian code of honour,) Worst thing is nither me nor my charicter wanted to kill him. Fortunatly he appologised pretty damn fast.

To be fair to him he did insult me in a language he diden't think I spoke ;o)

To me Codes of Honour are a great roleplay tool, but you have to accept that they do add to inter party tension.
Speaking of different Codes of Honour, do GMs tend to restrict the types of Codes available to PCs based on their Race and/or Class?

For instance, if someone is a Noble or Soldier, would they be allowed to take the Barbaric Code?

Could a Barbarian or Nomad take a Civilized Code (although I suppose Nomads might be able to since the Turanians are favored as Nomads and the Turan Empire is one of the key "civilized" societies during the Hyborian Age).

Would non-Thieves (aside from perhaps Pirates) be fairly free to pick Honour Among Thieves?

What I'm asking isn't so much a rules question as more of "GM's call"... do people feel that the Codes followed should fit the Race and/or Class being played?


I imagine most of the codes could be taken based on character concept. Certainly a Nordheimer or Cimmerian soldier (neither race prohibits the class) would nevertheless take the barbaric code of honour. A Zamorian noble might still take the thieves' code if the player's concept makes it viable. I'm sure that you can find other examples.
My party desires 'moral flexibility' in practically all situations. Sometimes they get confused who they're betraying and for what side......