Perks and Fringe Benefits
Perks can be purchased as outlined in the HSR. If a character wants the advantages associated with a given station in life, they must purchase the appropriate Perk. However, it is not compulsory. A character can be a Priest without purchasing the "Functioning religious" perk. This would mean that they are a minor functionary, or perhaps a member of some obscure cult - they cannot call on the resources of a powerful temple. Alternatively, they may be in bad standing with their temple, and so not entitled to any of the usual perquisites. A character can have a noble background without purchasing the Perk "Noble". Perhaps the character is from a minor provincial house, or one that is out of favour at court, or an old and once mighty family fallen on hard times - but again, they can expect only perfunctory notice and no assistance from their nominal peers and others. If these details are altered in the course of play, the character can then purchase the perk, and bask in the associated privileges. In some circumstances the GM can award characters a perk (and the XP.s to cover it) as an appropriate reward.
Not normally allowed. Try using animal trainer, etc. to acquire nonsentient companions, and good roleplaying to acquire sentient ones. DNPC follower types are allowed, but they are always under the GM's control, not the players. In exceptional cases, such as a magician's familiar, this perk is allowed.
as HSR. Character background must explain the source of this wealth.
Permitted Fringe Benefits
The character is a member of a religious order. He can perform simple religious rites and can expect assistance and at least some respect from other believers
The character is a member of a guild - usually legal, but occasionally not. He can practice a trade without harassment, and can expect some help from fellow guild members
Member of Lower Nobility
This perk entitles the character to basic respect from the authorities, often some privileges denied the hoi-polloi and usually some basic courtesies from the local nobility
This power represents the awarding of some secular authority to the character by a higher power - a warrant allowing exclusive trade rights, immunity to taxation, legal authority, license to practice a restricted trade, etc.
Member of Aristocracy
This perk entitles the character to respect and help from the local authorities, entrance to good parties, and in most settings, certain legal rights barred to ordinary citizens. Aristocrats can usually expect at least basic hospitality from their peers and can often demand it from their social inferiors
This perk represents the holding of an office that grants special powers on the holder, from a backer strong enough to enforce it. If revealed (to someone who knows what it means) it usually ensures some sort of help (or at least respect). This can represent such things as being the designated representative of a powerful but reclusive wizard, a diplomatic envoy, The Keeper of the Royal Seal or a powerful aristocrat's personal champion (or assassin!)