The Company of Kardeon

   Here we have another sample Party Template – this time one suited for new recruits to an established group and one on the verge of becoming a standard Package Deal.

   Originally, the Company of Kardeon was a footloose band of high-powered adventurers, like so many others – but a series of wars, and being placed in charge of several border towns, changed that. The dozen or so members of the original Company took personal charge of the veteran troops and became the command-and-support structure of a considerably larger company. While this spread their training and techniques thin – taking the minimum level from twelve or so down to two – it also ensured that their party template wouldn’t die with the later dissolution of their original company. Their original template is now well on it’s way to “Package Deal” status – and isn’t a bad one, as it’s at the twelve-point limit for such bonuses.

   The Company of Kardeon now functions as a mercenary company, and has about six hundred members. They still only accept combat veterans and noncombatants with demonstrated special abilities in support roles – effectively demanding a minimum level of two.

  • Ergo, their lowest-level member is level two.
  • The traditions of the Company demand that they stick with their contracts. They usually include a few escape clauses to cover pulling out of catastrophes, but this is still a form of the “Compulsive” disadvantage.
  • The company is widely know as a bunch of ruthless, cutthroat, mercenaries, as well as a haven for thieves, murderers, and vicious madmen. That isn’t entirely deserved – but it isn’t entirely unfounded either. Still, quite a few of the nobles, and more fastidious or ethical factions, want nothing to do with any member of the Company – a form of the “Outcast” disadvantage.
  • The company avenges betrayals ruthlessly, and does not put up with being shortchanged, exploited, or abused. In their view, if you let anyone get away with that kind of thing, you’re asking for it to happen over and over and over again. Whether in great matters or small, the members of the Company do their best to ensure that no one ever gets away with doing anything like that to any other member of the Company – a form of the “Obligations” disadvantage that isn’t always welcome. Occasionally even members of the Company would rather forgive and forget.

   That gives them the afore-mentioned 12 CP to spend.

  • The members of the company are all trained in using various poisons safely – although not in the techniques needed to actually make their own (Poison Use, Corrupted/does not cover making poisons, 4 CP).
  • As a military group they gain the Legionary ability – providing them with bonuses to their AC, Attacks, and Reflex Saves as long as they’re working together. Unlike the Forest Stalkers, their training is general enough to let them work with other legionaries – but they’re only trained with the company-issued armor and weapons, a Corruption they’ll have to overcome later if they want to branch out a bit (4 CP).
  • Finally, they’re trained in parrying; not being hit in the first place is a lot better than relying on a cleric being handy. Sadly, they’re only trained in blocking with their primary weapons again, and will have to spend a few of their own character points if they want to generalize the ability (Block/Melee, Corrupted/only while wielding one of the standard company weapons, 4 CP).

   The Company of Kardeon “party” template is an excellent practical package for a mercenary fighter, even if it is better adapted to larger groups than most parties. Still, if you want a military campaign – perhaps with the characters undertaking special missions – a group could do far worse than to sign up with the Company. They wouldn’t be official members of the company, or get the package, until they hit level two – but most people start as trainees anyway.

   As noted, this particular template is rapidly turning into a package deal – from whence it may turn into a standard piece of training, and perhaps, eventually, into a common first level build – to spawn new builds, groups, and party templates of it’s own. In Eclipse, things can be built in a lot of ways, and templates, package deals, and “classes” can all evolve over time. 

For those wanting to build things of their own, the character-point rules are to be found in Eclipse: The Codex Persona – available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

The Forest Stalkers

   Here we have another sample Party Template – in this case a template suitable for a rather low-level group. 

   The Forest Stalkers are a relatively new party of adventurers, and have focused on their attempts to clear the orcs out of an area of forested hills that they – eventually – hope to turn into a new holding. While they’re aware that actually giving themselves a name and purpose may draw more unwanted attention than it’s worth – “Oh, it was just some low-level adventurers” is a lot less noticeable than “It was the Forest Stalkers again!” – they think that establishing a clear presence and a claim to having an established stake in the area may be valuable later on.

  • The lowest-level member of the Forest Stalkers is level three. To be fair, all six of them are level three.
  • They haven’t attracted all that much notice yet, and they haven’t made any major enemies – a few low-level adventurer raids on orc outposts are pretty much expected, both by the rest of the world and by the orcs (and their possible secret masters) – but there was that fiasco in town with the Barbarian, the Druid’s pet Leopard, the innkeeper’s dogs, and the fire. I’ll call that a version of “Accursed”; they’ll lose various chances at patronage or jobs, will be distrusted in several of the towns near the scene, and will be topics of gossip until they manage to live the incident down or some other group does something spectacularly stupid.
  • Hopefully they’ll acquire some mighty enemies, be cursed by some great power of the darkness, or otherwise acquire a few more dignified heroic disadvantages to substitute for that one shortly.

   That gives the Forest Stalkers a total of six character points – three for a lowest level of three and three for their disadvantage – to spend. That’s not going to be much of a template, but – at level three – every little bit helps.

   In the interests of early survival, they decide to concentrate on combat training with each other, learning to cover each other and work together.

   The Forest Stalkers gain:

  • The Legionary ability – providing them with bonuses to their AC, Attacks, and Reflex Saves as long as they’re working together. Unlike the basic version, however, they haven’t trained in more general tactics, but only with each other, so it’s Corrupted/only works with other party members, not with anyone who has the Legionary ability (4 CP).
  • A +3 Speciality in Knowledge related to the Relldine Hills, where they’re currently operating. That’s a slight stretch on the skill speciality rules – normally they’re related to a particular skill, not to a subgroup – but it certainly seems reasonable enough. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even be able to find the enchanted spring (1 CP).
  • A Specific Knowledge – in this case, knowing about dozen or so abandoned but well-concealed dwarven strongpoints and guardposts scattered about the Relldine Hills. If they get separated, or are being chased by a stronger group they can’t outrun, they’ll all know where to meet or where to head to best make a stand (1 CP).
  • They’re working on learning how to sidestep so as to avoid interfering with each other’s movement – allowing them to charge past each other and such – but haven’t quite got it down yet. Perhaps in a level or two they’ll have the points to afford to buy it (Immunity to blocking each other’s movement [Common, Minor, Major, 6 CP base], Specialized/only works on solid and relatively open ground, net cost 3 CP).

   Now that template is likely to change as the party evolves – but it also offers them a strong initial identity, the Legionary ability will be quite helpful in surviving at low levels since it provides a boost to their attacks, armor class, and reflex saves while they’re fighting as a group, and the knowledges offer them a decent chance of recovering from a defeat. All in all, quite suitable for a low-level party. Who knows? Perhaps one day the template they’re developing will be turned into a formal training program and become the basis for a “Relldine Hills Ranger” package deal – and a part of the setting’s history.

For those wanting to build things of their own, the character-point rules are to be found in Eclipse: The Codex Persona – available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

The Knights of Yggdrasil

   Here we have a sample Party Template, just in case there’s any confusion about how to make and use one.

   The Knights of Yggdrasil are from the myriad realms of the Federation-Apocalypse campaign setting, where a sizeable subset of the mythic dimensions are linked by a particular theme – the World Tree, with it’s roots and branches which extend into many dimensions. Of course, evil creatures and dark spirits also attempt to transverse the great Tree of Worlds – and the Knights are a group of adventurers who have sworn themselves to trying to stop them.

  • The lowest level Knight of Yggdrasil is level eight.
  • As a group with a particular oath-sworn purpose, they pretty obviously have the Obligations disadvantage.
  • The group has battled the spawn of Nidhogg, the Death Dragon – a cosmic force of entropy, death, and darkness – several times, and has earned the enmity of enough of them that they are often the target of plots, schemes, and attacks. That’s the Hunted Disadvantage.
  • Unfortunately, if someone was to ritually sacrifice a Knight of Yggdrasil to Nidhogg, they would be rewarded with a substantial boost to whatever negative-energy channeling abilities they might have (presumably a package deal) – making the members of the group quite Valuable (their third disadvantage).

   That gives the Knights 18 Character Points (eight for their lowest level member being level eight plus ten for having maximum of three disadvantages) to spend.

   As Initiates of Yggdrasil, the knights all gain:

  • Enthusiast with Adaption, Specialized/only changes when entering a dimension, Corrupted/only to pick up one skill point in a local language (or, in the Federation-Apocalypse setting, a level one local Identity) (2 CP).
  • Occult Sense/can detect dimensional disturbances and the normally-unseen paths of Yggdrasil, Specialized/requires a concentration check, rather than acting as a sense – unless the game master simply wants to have them notice some disturbance they must then deal with (3 CP).
  • 1d6 Mana with the Reality Editing option, Specialized/can only be used to open the Yggdrasil portals they sense, Corrupted/even that requires a minute or so and a concentration check (2 CP). Technically this is simply a magical gift – allowing the Knights to draw on a tiny bit of the Energies of Yggdrasil – but Mana is the simplest way to represent it in the setting.
  • Favored Foe, Specialized/only against Nidhogg and its Minions (3 CP).
  • One Druidic Spellcasting Level (8 CP), thanks to their regular visits to the spirit-realms of Yggdrasil.

   All in all, this means that the Knights will pick up the local language – however temporarily – within a few hours of their arrival in a new dimension, can sense the presence of creatures alien to the dimension and the locations of Yggdrasil-related dimensional portals, can pass through those portals (thus allowing them to leave after an adventure), and all know at least a little basic spirit magic and how to fight their worst enemies – advantages which every one of them is certain to need in their job.

   Should every party have a template? Certainly not! Not only are there some fairly specific requirements for such a thing, but they really ought to have some strong identity and purpose. The “Bunch of Guys who Blow Things Up” party – despite their group-linked Hunteds, Poor Reputation, terrible Unluck, and Compulsive need to set fire to things (four disadvantages, one more than would actually yield points) – can’t simply declare that their party template grants Inherent Spell/Fireball with +4 Bonus Uses (at a net cost of 12 CP) to every member of the party. Now, if they want to become known as the Inferno Legion, destroyers in the service of the great Lord of Flames, perhaps something can be arranged – but it’s always up to the game master.

For those wanting to build things of their own, the character-point rules are to be found in Eclipse: The Codex Persona – available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.