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.