Here we have a Party Template that started off as as an individual characters special set of tricks, was shared with others to become a Party Template, spread to become a sort of Package Deal – and may be on the verge of becoming a new subrace.
The agent possessed subtle, if minor, magic and a mind like a naked blade. There had been many successes – but the final mission went too far, and called for one betrayal too many. The shattered oathstone left in the agents chambers was an unmistakable resignation, but that was not an option that the agents masters would accept. The agent knew far too much.
There was pursuit, swift and violent.
That had been anticipated. At the edge of the forest, the agent cast his aura about a bird of prey, and sent it fleeing into the trackless depths.
That night a sorcerous fire burned in the forest, and the agent died in a holocaust of arcane energies.
Later, across two borders, Angbokor arrived in a sizeable city – and promptly vanished into its shadows.
Today, each member of the Angbokor Guild is recruited from amongst the hunted, those who are marked for death. Each accepts a partial death – undergoing Angbokor’s ritual to cast their old self upon a beast and take an aspect of the beast upon themselves. The new rises from the ashes of the old.
The Guild supports itself through specialized thefts, espionage, and undertaking special missions for those who know how to contact them. They have few loyalties except each other.
The Angbokor Guild is picky about it’s recruits circumstances – being pursued unto death by more powerful individuals and groups without actually having done anything to truly merit that (they don’t feel that offenses such as thievery merit death) – but doesn’t demand that it’s recruits possess anything in the way of initial abilities; they’ll willingly accept level zero youngsters, and will hide and care for hunted children until they’re old enough to recruit. Unfortunately, this means that their lowest-level members are level zero.
Whether rightfully or wrongfully, the Guild sees itself as being made up of victims, and thus it’s members see their exploitation of society as only just – but that same worldview sends them to the rescue of other victims and drives them to strike back at those who abuse their power, motivations which count as the Compulsive disadvantage.
The Angbokor Guild always has enemies. When you make a habit of taking in and hiding those with troublesome knowledge, inconvenient heirs, and other victims of the powerful, that’s pretty much inevitable even without considering their habit of supporting themselves by theft and making trouble for the mighty. Finding that powerful individuals and social groups are turning their influence against you is a standard feature of life in the Angbokor Guild, and counts as the Hunted disadvantage.
United by their mystic ritual, and by powerful instinctive bonds, the members of the Angbokor Guild will go to great lengths to look after each other, to support and protect the younger members of the group, and to rescue any of the members who get caught – giving the entire group the Obligations disadvantage.
That gives the Angbokor Guild a total of ten character points to spend on it’s template – zero for accepting level zero members and ten for it’s three disadvantages. It also means that this “party template” has effectively completed it’s transition to Package Deal status, and could be treated either way.
In any case, the Angbokor Guild Template/Package Deal includes:
Shapeshift, Specialized in a particular animal form (3 CP). Each member of the guild can take on the form of the animal that his or her aura was transferred to – even long after that animals death.
Cloaking/the character “detects” as a simple animal of the type he or she can transform into. This extends to thought-detection, lie-detection, and alignment detection – all fairly useless, since they will pick up a simple animal mind – but going to this extreme means that a sizeable chunk of animalistic instincts leaks over into the character’s mind and that the ability cannot be turned off. The user will sometimes need to make will checks to resist instinctive urges, will be judged unacceptable as a priest or follower by many gods, and will be quite ruthless and primal by civilized standards. (Specialized, 3 CP).
Enthusiast, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (a 3 CP bonus)/only for Favors, only with groups that the guild has either performed services for in the past or has blackmail material on; hence using such a favor either expends a valuable resource or can draw trouble to the group (3 CP).
Specific Knowledge/the Angbokor Ritual (1 CP).
In most settings, the Angbokor are considered a mysterious and dangerous group, distrusted by the authorities, and rumored to steal children and to make pacts with dark powers – somewhat in the way that the gypsies were often seen, albeit with more justification. After all, they have a near-unique aptitude for disappearing; an Angbokor who drops into animal form can readily slip away – and is almost impossible to locate through supernormal means. Even the most rigid social system is unlikely to have much luck attempting to trace one apparently-normal crow across the countryside.
When they rescue some fleeing youngster, what story is the pursuit likely to put out? Who knows how many secrets they hold, or when one of them will take rat-form and slip past the guards and pass tracelessly through a dozen wards? Who knows how many there are, and where they might be hiding?
As a player-character group, the Angbokor are best suited for “mission impossible” or intrigue-heavy campaigns; their abilities aren’t all that valuable in a fight – but they’re very good for stealth and infiltration.