Monday, October 3, 2011

Archetypes Part 4: Cyran Patriot

This is the last of the archetypes that is absolutely core to the campaign.  When I say Patriot, I mean commoner who is devoted to the nation.  This was the role for servants, guardsmen, or teachers dedicate dto the prince.

Archetype: Cyran Patriot
Race: Human, Half-Elf, Elf, Changeling, Gnome, Dwarf, Half-Orc, Shifter
Class: Any Martial, Arcane, Divine, or Shadow class.
Religion: Sovereign Host (most common); Dark Six, Silver Flame, Spirits of the Past, Blood of Vol (less common) 
Hook: You are a citizen of Cyre and have distinguished yourself through exemplary training, skill, and/or service.  You have been chosen to serve and advise Crown Prince Oargev, accompanying him on missions of state.
Benefits: You gain Beneath Notice, Beneath Contempt, and one other background benefit of your choice:
     Beneath Notice, Beneath Contempt: Nobility will pay little attention to you.  You aren't worth capturing and you don’t tend to be worth pursuing unless you have made a serious affront to their power.  Your lack of status can frequently be a hindrance, but in many situations, you will be able to turn it to your advantage.
And one of the following:
Prodigious Family: Your family is huge and has spread across Khorvaire. You may ask the DM if any of your family happens to be nearby. If it is appropriate, the DM will allow you to roll a D20 and add your level. There is a chance that a family member will stumble across you or be handily available to help. The better your check, the better the quality of help you will receive from the family member.
Merchant Background: You may buy one magic item of up to your level+3 each level. You must still have the funds to afford this magic item. You may use this connection to arrange an ally to purchase the item instead. Alternatively, you can use your one connection per level to sell a magic item of your level or lower as if it were one level higher, receiving extra money for the sale.
Friends in Low Places: You know a guy. No matter where you are, if it is big enough to be called a town, you know a guy. Once per level, make a Streetwise check to see how well placed the guy you know is. The higher the check, the more aid your connections can grant you.

Commentary:  As far as choices offered, this archetype looks a lot like the Noble.  This is on purpose, as I would like for Cyrans to be Cyrans, wherever you go.  I still hadn't included Primal classes as an option, even though this was the first archetype I was tempted to do so.  I decided not because, ultimately, I decided that, in order to clearly differentiate Cyre from other nations, I wanted them to be the nation that had most broken away from the Druidic traditions, that had most lost touch with the primal world.  Of course, knowing about the impending Mourning helped me make this decision, seeing it as the ultimate break with nature for the entire country.  Also, playing on the classic technology vs. nature theme, House Cannith is based in Cyre, putting it squarely in the camp of (magical) technology.  This is an example of how my choices on these archetypes are trying to paint the world-view I want painted without making the players' characters for them. 
     Coming up with benefits for being a commoner was hard, and I am not super happy with all of the ones I developed.  Prodigious Family was inspired by the Guardians of Order Song of Ice and Fire RPG's benefit for being a Frey.  I honestly still haven't really figured out the DM mechanics, though if I had a player using them, it would not just be DM fiat-I'd develop something.  I am using a rather strict version of the parcel system, so I thought a benefit that messed with that a little bit, letting you save up to buy a normally unattainable magic item (with much difficulty, I realize) or to get a little extra cash seemed like a very real boon.  Friends in Low Places was basically a more limited version of Impressive Connections, but more limited on the type of help granted (though, the DCs of getting any help are lower.)
     This archetype rounded out my party.  I tried to run this campaign as a PbP a year or so before I actually ran it at the tabletop, and that petered out quickly, but one of my PCs was a Changeling who was part of an ancient organization who had always served the Kings of Galifar and ensured smooth transitions of power from King to Heir.  They failed for the first time and the Last War began.  My developing role-player who has started to favor rather ruthless characters showed interest in playing the Prince's "fixer," willing to do that which the Prince was unwilling.  I shared the on-line changeling's idea with him, and he took it and ran.  Now we have Art, who has a number of aliases around the castle and Metrol who ritually reveals who he is and what his purpose is to Oargev on his 18th birthday.  Of course, we start the campaign on that day, which led to some nice RP between Art (usually called Marten) and Oargev.  Art started out as a Changeling Assassin, using the Essentials Assassin from Heroes of Shadow.  After a couple of sessions, he changed over to the Essentials Rogue.  More on that decision later.  While his main cover is that of a disenfranchised lord, I decided that was fine because, ultimately, he has no real standing or family backing him up.  He selected Friends in Low Places to represent the network of informants and allies his father, Queen Dannel's secret bodyguard, has built up and shared.


  1. I would enjoy playing one of these, too!

  2. I'm glad. I am a little concerned with a commoner in the party who knows a guy and a noble with impressive connections, the party will never truly be in unfamiliar territory.