Archetypes and Roles

   Archetypes turn up in a lot of ways. They serve as the foundations for characters, provide the basis for disguises and roles, underlie the “Identities” found in the Federation-Apocalypse setting, and provide a quick way to drop a simple set of powers suited to a particular role into a character design.  In second edition AD&D they appeared as “kits”. In World Tree they appear as “experience advantages”, representing time spent working at a particular job and the experience gained thereby. In this case, they’re also a special request from the player of Lingering Smoke, who wants to know how to take on, and put off, such identities.

   The first step in doing that is to define a few, so here are a few suitably-styled packages for Aristocrats, Berserkers, Commanders, Laborers, Magi, Messengers, Shadows, Wanderers, and Wise Companions.

   The Aristocrat is vain, shallow, and prideful. He displays his wealth and influence, whether it is within a street gang or within a mighty kingdom. He instinctively seeks out those allies who can be of benefit to him and gravitates to privilege.

  • Shaping (Specialized in vanity and social effects to allow L0 effects, 6 CP): The Aristocrat looks good at all times, his hair impeccable, his clothing resplendent, his person clean and sweetly scented. His glances speak volumes. (Mending, Prestidigitation, Message, +2 Luck bonus to Social Checks)
  • Privilege/Wealth (3 CP): The Aristocrat never lacks for petty cash or credit, and may live a high lifestyle without worrying about the cost.
  • Blessing/Share Saves and Checks with those in the immediate vicinity, rolling yours first, Specialized: Only affects socially-based effects, Corrupted: only works for lovers and immediate family members (both reducing the cost, 6 CP): The Aristocrat preempts criticism and manipulation for those within his purview, all such attempts must first be addressed to him and only afterwards at their objects.
  • Immunity to Official Observation (Common/Minor/Major, 6 CP): the Aristocrat is above official suspicion and scrutiny, whether due to his connections, fear, or being surrounded by loyal minions who will intercept any such annoyances.
  • Favors (3 CP): The Aristocrat trades in minor favors with the upper crust, and can thus obtain many minor special services and perks.

   The Berserker dresses savagely, and is always ready for war. His weapons and shield are never far from his hand. He glories in battle, whether in victory or defeat. He does not work well with others, seeing even great cities as just another wilderness – albeit with their own predators and laws. He surrounds himself with trophies and souvenirs of his battles and kills and boasts of his exploits.

  • Augment Attack: +3d8 damage with attacks (12 CP) which comes into play at 1d8 per 25% of HP taken (thus 1d8 at 75% HP or less, 2d8 at 50% or less, and 3d8 at 25% or less): The Berserker becomes ever more dangerous as he has less and less to lose.
  • Berserker and Enduring (9 CP): +4 Strength and +4/- Universal DR (versus both physical attacks and energy): The berserker fights like a bear at bay, without regard for the future; the fight is NOW.
  • Presence/Aura of Fear (enemies save DC 11 + Cha Mod or flee. Specialized: only while Berserk, 3 CP): When the rage is upon the Berserker, even the stoutest heart may tremble before him.

   The Commander leads with strength and purpose, demanding discipline and obedience from his men. While he is cold and acknowledges neither fear, exhaustion, nor weakness, he is fair and cares for his men as a miser cares for his gold. He bears the trappings of his rank and speaks in the tones of command.

  • Leadership and Emperor’s Star (12 CP): you may designate up to (2x [Level + Cha Mod]) individuals as followers, who will serve you loyally. Each gains one Positive Level.
  • Advanced Presence/Aura of Authority (12 CP). Those following your commands gain a +1 Moral Bonus to attacks, saves, checks, and weapons damage. Few will question your orders without good reason and you gain a +4 bonus on relevant social skill rolls.

   The Laborer is common and unremarkable, his dress is inexpensive, his food plain but hearty, and his demeanor humble. He does not question his orders and stumbles in confusion if he should attempt to lie.

  • Professional (6 CP) and Tireless (6 CP). The Laborer is equal to the task, gaining a +(Level/2) bonus on all Strength checks and never becoming fatigued from normal labors.
  • Assistant (6 CP) Your “Aid Another” actions provide twice the usual bonus. Your quiet strength bolsters the efforts of others.
  • Immunity/Being Noticed (Very Common/Minor/Major, Specialized: Only while you spend almost all your time working at humble tasks, half cost, 6 CP). As long as you labor at your tasks almost anyone will overlook you.

   The Magus has incorporated his power into his very core; none shall touch upon it without leave. It’s signs are upon him, his skin and clothing bears occult sigils, he wears talismans and bears devices of unknown nature, and traces of his power leak into his eyes, voice, and bearing. None can mistake him for a lesser being.

  • Immunity to power-draining and suppressing effects (Uncommon/Major/Great, 12 CP): Must I speak twice thou duffer? None shall touch upon it without leave.
  • Improved Presence: Aura of Mastery (+4 to all relevant social checks, recognized as a master. Specialized: the character is obviously a great mage and supernatural beings and powers in the area will tend to assume that your presence involves them, 6 CP). The Magus must be factored into the plans of others, whether he wilt or no.
  • Occult Ritual (6 CP): The Magus knows that there are many ways to channel power, and may wield it in precisely the ways he wishes.

   The Messenger has urgent business elsewhere, and will not be persuaded to delay it. He braves danger, darkness, and storm, without complaint. He bears a weapon and a package, neither of which he will lay down before the end of his journey. He is well-spoken and shows signs of fatigue and tension.

  • Presence (Specialized; only while on a mission, half cost, 3 CP): The Messenger feels no fear, and neither do those around him or her, while there is a mission to fulfill.
  • Deep Sleep (6 CP) and Cosmic Awareness (Specialized: Involuntary use only, 3 CP): The Messenger is driven and needs little rest, while the word he brings may oft reveal far more than he imagines.
  • Immunity/Bad Weather Penalties (Common/Minor/Trivial, 2 CP).
  • Blessing (Double Specialized: Both Double effect (both user and target share the ability) and Half Cost. Only with Deep Sleep and Weather Protection and only with a Mount, 3 CP).
  • Inherent Spell/Phantom Steed 1/Day (6 CP). The Messenger is never without a Mount.
  • Immunity/Intoxicants and Sophorics (Uncommon/Minor/Trivial, 1 CP): The Messenger remains alert, and can never be drugged or drunk into insensibility.

   The Shadow presents others with few clues, he is quiet and mysterious. None note his passing. The Shadow wears soft, dark, clothing and conceals his face. He lingers around sacred and magical places. He appears suddenly, and vanishes equally swiftly. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? THE SHADOW knows.

  • Inherent Spell/L3 Seal of Privacy with +2 Bonus Uses for 3/Day (9 CP). The area around the user is warded against supernatural intrusion, whether by divination, scrying sensors, teleportation, or other means. The places of the Shadow are mysterious and hidden. None shall trespass upon them.
  • Luck/Specialized in Stealth (3 CP): The shadow passes like a whisper of breeze. Three times per day you may either “take 20” in advance or reroll a stealth-related check.
  • Immunity to Official Observation (Common/Minor/Major, 6 CP): The Shadow moves in the hidden places, he is a myth and there is no record of his existence.
  • Innate Enchantment (6 CP, mostly at-will L1 spells cast at L1): Cloak of Shadows (+3 circumstance bonus to Stealth-related checks), Pop (may teleport up to 10 feet 3/day), Insight to the Heart (+3 competence bonus to perception-related skills), Moment of Insight 3/Day (+20 Insight bonus to a Check), and Void Sheathe (L0 at will, may extra-dimensionally conceal a single object weighing up to 20 lb).

   The Wanderer is a footloose free spirit, going where the wind takes him. He is unkempt and unburdened, his clothing is loose and comfortable, and his demeanor is relaxed. He fits casually into any group.

  • Presence (6 CP): You are accepted almost everywhere. Those around you will assume that you are either working or have some acceptable reason to be there.
  • Immunity/Mind Control (Uncommon/Severe/Great, providing immunity to effects of up to L7 and a +8 bonus to rolls to resist higher level effects, 18 CP). You are a freewheeling scamp, and nothing can force you to behave.

   The Wise Companion is plain, or even severe, in both dress and appearance and shows signs of age and wisdom. He is firmly grounded in the earth and practicality, providing the foundation for the soaring dreams of others and able to deal fairly with those about him. He carries medicines and herbs, and is prepared for many eventualities.

  • Healing Touch, with Improved, Switch, and Empower (Specialized: the recipient must sleep for at least four hours immediately after this is used or the effects are negated, 12 CP): With a few herbs, a gentle touch, and the sleep that doth knit up the raveled sleeve of care, the Wise Companion can readily deal with many innumerable ills.
  • Privilege/Hospitality (3 CP): The Wise Companion is always welcome, and may readily find a quiet, comfortable – and as private as his or her abruptly-acquired friends can arrange – place to stay wherever there are people. Anyone seeking the Wise Companion will have great difficulty in such a quest unless the Wise Companion chooses to advertise his location.
  • Major Privilege/Backing for the Wise Companions plans (Specialized: the plan must actually have some merit, be plausible, promise profit for the backers, and be honestly intended and presented, 3 CP).
  • Equipage (Corrupted: the Wise Companion must be able to provide both a plausible source for the goods produced and a plausible way in which they could have been brought along, 4 CP):
  • Contacts (2 CP): Given a few weeks in an area, a Wise Companion will soon become well-acquainted with some useful individuals.