Gender and Professions



Late Victorian England saw the beginning of gender equality and the Law.  Women gained inheritance rights and the right to manage their own money and own assets.  This, combined with advances in technology that removed brute strength as a job prerequisite, opened many new career opportunities to women.  However, Victorian England (and indeed most of the world in the 19th century) is still a sexist society. Though career opportunities for women are opening up there are still many restrictions and perceived differences in regards to what is legal and what is acceptable. Though the Game Master has no issue with female characters pushing the envelope and undertaking ‘new’ careers (for women) please realise that in the role playing game the NPCs will have various reactions to new ideas.

Regardless of gender, in Victorian Dreadful, characters are more then traditional ‘fighters’ and ‘thieves’ or ‘magic-users’ and ‘clerics.’ These are part of who you are, but in a ‘modern society’ you are more accurately defined by your Profession. What you do to make a living in a world where ‘Adventuring’ is not an acceptable past time.

Each character will start with a Profession and a selection of skills that are related to that field. Some of these skills and professions may find application in some of the unusual circumstances the character may be thrust. Others will not. These professions will provide background descriptions to the character as well as explain what occurs during the time between adventures and provide at least a minimum income to cover the expenses of normal day to day living. As such the player will often need to adjust his or her actions to reflect the realities of the work their profession requires. At the very minimum this will entail time constraints that may impact a characters choices.

Although each character starts with an established profession and related job, keeping such is NOT automatic. The character can be let go or quit on their own initiative. Doing so may well have financial and social consequences.

The character’s starting Age will determine his or her position in their profession and income, if any.

Social Class

Victorian England is a highly stratified social class society. Social Class determines who your family is, who your friends are, the quality of your education, your speech patterns, manners, job opportunities, starting wealth, where you live and how others will react to you. For the game the character ‘default’ will be Middle Class to Upper Middle. This provides the most opportunity for education and social acceptance. Note: No character can be of Noble or Royal class.


Professions available to ‘Middle Class’ player characters

See detailed descriptions for more information


Profession Notes/Description Gender
Academic Professor, Teacher, Tutor, Researcher M, F
Academic Student at University M, F
Accountant Banker Investments, oversees books, taxes, etc M, F
Architect Designs buildings, bridges, etc M
Artist Painting, sculpture  M, F
Athlete/Sportsman(woman) Rugby, Football, Boxing, Golf, Tennis M(mostly) F (few)
Author Novels, Poetry M, F
Bookkeeper Clerk Works for Accountant or other Business. Maintains records, collects and disperses funds M, F
Engineer, Civil Designs projects not done by architects. (Canals, sewers, streets, harbors…) M, F
Entertainer* Musician, Actor/Actress, Singer, Dancer (Opera & Ballet) M, F
Governess Private Teacher/Tutor F
Government Official Low Level Filing clerk, secretary… M, F
Government Official Mid Level Senior clerk, manager level M
Government Official High Level Department Head Civil Servant M
Journalist Associated with a paper or Free Lance M
Law, Barrister Argues before the Bar M
Law, Clerk Works under Barrister or Solicitor M, F
Law, Solicitor Prepares contracts, wills, deeds, interprets same M, F
Medical, Nurse Works in Hospitals, Asylums, for Doctors and/or private care groups F
Medical, Physician Works in Hospitals, Asylums, private practice M
F (rare)
Military Officer, Army Junior Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain M
Military Officer, Army Senior Major, Lt Colonel, Colonel M
Military Officer, Navy Junior Ensign, Lieutenant M
Military Officer, Navy Senior Lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain M
Photographer B&W Kodak M, F
Religious Official, Clergy Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh Granthi M
Secretary Working for Company or Business M, F
Secretary, Private Employed by one individual M, F
 Student  Currently attending one of the Public Schools  M, F

* Entertainment as a profession is generally looked down upon by the Middle and Upper Classes unless the individual has achieved a degree of celebrity status in their field.


Royalty, Nobility and Gentry



Upper Classes

Royalty Queen, King, Prince and Princess
Nobility Dukes, Marquess, Earl/Count
Lesser Nobility: Peerage Vis-Count, Baron
Gentry Baronet, Knight, Squire

Middle Classes

Upper Middle Class Extremely Wealthy, ‘Gentlemen’ by education Top level Civil Servive
Middle Class Wealthy, ‘Occupational Gentleman’ (Army Officers, Clergy, upper level Civil Service etc)
Lower Middle Class gifted musicians, actors, painters, etc Comfortable wealth, Professionals (NOT Gentlemen) Mid level Civil Service, Engineers.
Upper Working Class Skilled Professions

Musicians, actors

Low level Civil Service, Police, Tailors, Clerks, accountants, NCO soldiers Senior Servants (Butler)
Tradesmen & Craftsmen Smith, plumber, carpenter, common soldier, sailor, mechanics etc
Merchants & Servants Shop keepers, etc
Lower Working Class Skilled Laborers Weavers, Sailors, Miners, Railroad engineer, servants (Cooks, maid…)
Trained Laborers Factory workers, colliers, etc
Common Laborers Agricultural workers, dock labor…
Unskilled Laborers Street Sweepers, Rag Pickers…
Destitute Beggers & Prostitutes
Work House Poor