A Parade of Black
The notion of Honor runs deep to the very heart and soul of HackMaster. Honor is very different from the Alignment-based code of honor wot which a paladin must adhere. It is a reflection of his character as well as the character of his bloodline. It is a measure of his worth in his society, his dependability his personal character, his trustworthiness, his decency and much more. The Honor of a family affects the Honor of a character and vice versa. With Honor comes respect, power, influence and position. Without it, characters a can expect disrespect, humiliation and insults.
Honor is not a judgement of good and evil. A cruel tyrant may very well possess high Honor, while a goodly knight, through unfortunate circumstances, might possess a miserable Honor. Honor is more a measure of the deeds accomplished by both the individual( and sometimes bloodline/clan) as well as those individuals with whom he associates himself(party, peers, etc.).
Honor is an indication of such things as success in combat or politics, obedience to the parameters of one’s character class, loyalty, talent and success; qualities that can be held by any individual regardless of alignment. Adherence to one’s alignment and patron gawd does factor into Honor, but it is all a matter of context. A character worshiping an evil gawd can do some pretty nasty things without reflecting on his Honor(possibly even improving it as he’s playing his part in the universe). Honor is more about staying true to one’s self and beliefs.
Honor is about respect and how others view the character. This is why Fame ties in so closely with Honor. Honor causes Fame to rise and fall. To have Honor is to command respect. When you lose Honor, you lose face. It’s embarrassing. It is palpable and so essential to the hero that it is reflected in his very continence. People and monsters can sense how much Honor a PC has just by standing in his presence. And sometimes(if his Honor is through the roof) just by looking at him. So much gravity in placed on Honor that ritual suicide has been performed when it is deemed Honor has been so thoroughly trashed as to be irreparable.
Honor is something the character earns through his actions, much like EPs or alignment infractions points(AIPs). Moreover, Honor can also be lost, depending on the actions of the character. In Fact, Honor is easier to lose than to gain, so characters must carefully consider the consequences of their actions. Breaking faith, treachery, cowardice and unavenged insults result in a loss of Honor(usually). Valiant deeds, self-sacrifice, mastery of skills and keeping faith earn the character Honor.