What do you find compelling


I am trying to put together a quick-start guide for my upcoming RPG project. I want to have some pre-gen characters to help people practice the rule system. I want to highlight how fun some non-combat action sequences can be. To this end I want to see what allure some of the Non-combat characters have. Can you respond with your favourite character, criticisms, ideas, or any other feedback?

The quick-start characters all excel at one of the eight action paradigms. Players may select any combinations of these characters to make up a group. Groups don’t need to be balanced. If two players want to play the same character you can have them play rock/paper/scissors/lizard/spock to resolve the issue. They can make up their own characters later. The characters are presented with a specific gender (normally male), but that can be easily switched in the narrative. The switch may have social interest and add an element to the back-story but will not alter the opportunities going forwards.

Mandrigal: A knight. Hand-to-Hand Combat/Charming
Milos: An athlete. Chasing/Hand-to-hand Combat
Froebel: A professor. Solving/Ranged Combat
Caedric: A moose-rider. Mounted Combat/Hand-to-hand Combat
Einar: An archer. Ranged Combat/Chasing

Vasser: A hunter. Travelling/Ranged Combat
Curhei: A crone or princess. Charming/Travelling
Wohne: A detective. Sneaking/Solving

Mandrigal, Knight of the Leaf – Expert Swordsman (level 24):
At the age of twelve Mandrigal was selected to serve as a King’s soldier: an honour bestowed on young men who perform well at the local military faires. His appointment was only the first of many accolades. By fifteen he had been selected to the Acadamie Gallante in Karchene. Not only did he graduate the academy within two years, but his uncanny prowess with the blade earned him an appointment to the Royal Guard.
His mother had always told tales of the Queen’s seventh guard – the dozen personal protectors of the Queen and her family. In fact, she had even claimed that his great grandfather was one of the founding protectors – known as Bellaytin’s shield. He learned later that this was not true when he first saw a real badge of Bellaytin. A far cry from the rusty hunk of tin his mother keeps, a true badge of Bellaytin is fashioned with detailed silver and gold and is held by each of the heirs of the nine noble houses of Berwick. Before he had learned of her lie, he had already made it known that he wanted to be part of the Queen’s elite with eventual designs on becoming part of the “Seventh Prime” – a name as ridiculous and obtuse as the group themselves.
Getting his wish was something for which he has never forgiven his mother. The seventh guard was full of ceremony and old rituals – the least modern of all the Royal guard. Schooled in archaic weapons and old languages, admission in the “Seventh” was a dead-end for his career. The queen had died years before he became a Surnyte; so he spent time following the princes and princesses. Amidst the oaths and ceremonies, he managed to forge a few close friendships with those in the “Seventh”. Unlike the other royal guard – the fabulous “Lancers of Maredebruk” or the “Thorns of the Sky” -- those assigned to the purgatory of the “Seventh” would often relinquish their role to find their fortune in secular pursuits, among foreign mercenaries, traders, and lords. One-by-one his friends would leave and not return. Twelve years after his “elevation” to the Seventh, Mandrigal became a free man. Not yet thirty name-days old, he longed for days not spent in prayer, or practicing with old weapons.
He was still a “Knyght” – a full member of the gallantry. No longer a “Surnyte”; no longer the voice of law; but, still bound to uphold his oaths. If he broke any of his oaths he would forfeit his life. A Knight could easily obtain a position as captain of a city guard or as military tutor to a wealthy family. He was still one of the best true fencers in the kingdom, a nostalgic and oft-useful skill. Spears and spear-casters may dominate warfare, but in a personal conflict or close-quarters fighting, the leaf-sword is incredibly versatile.
Thoughts of war and conflict have lost their allure. It is women who interest Mandrigal now – his sole, consuming, desire is to find a wife. A knight cannot marry a low-ling, nor can he lie with any woman except his true wife. He needs fame or fortune or family to marry – and those long years in the Seventh did nothing for his prospects. Either that or leave the kingdom, his vows, and the fanciful ideas of youth long behind him. Start over in a new land and make whatever life he chooses. He wishes that they taught Geography at the Academie instead of ethics, dialectic, and etiquette.

Tactics: Mandrigal is an expert at swordfighting. His sword (called a treffler) is his best way of solving problems. Simply put, he should load his sword and shield into his action queue and engage hand-to-hand. He is well equipped with armour and weapons so his superior skill and speed should overcome most opponents who engage him hand-to-hand.
Do not let his excellent fighting skill get you into trouble though. His skills make him ideally suited to fighting within a palace or city. Opponents may recognize his talent and attack him on a different front. Mandrigal should always keep close watch of his surroundings.
He is susceptible to ranged attacks, mounted attacks, group attacks, grappling attacks, and sneak attacks. When confronted by these situations he should try to protect himself with cover, find ways of protecting his flank, or focus on moving and dodging until he can execute his kind of fight. Don’t be afraid to load “Insight” or “Footwork” into his action queue when confronted with these scenarios. He can use these skills to notice (Insight-see) or avoid (Footwork-dodge) dangers others than an incoming blow.

Milos – Elite Athlete (level 24):
Natural talent and the love of sport have driven Milos’ life forwards. Summers were spent in the surf playing oarball; Winter was wrestling season; Spring was for running; and Fall was harvest festival with faires and dances and everything a young boy could want. Sport elevated him from his life. His father was a grim man: a butcher with little love and care to show his sons. Milos was his seventh boy, and although all of them were strong and fit Milos was on another level. He would fight and box, run and throw, and trail on the heels of his older siblings. When he was twelve he would dazzle them with his skill and talent – almost keeping pace with the grown men. Once he gained size and strength he became unstoppable, eventually towering a head over any of his siblings – head and shoulders over the rest of town.
In the fall he would travel abroad to compete and has seen more foreign lands than any butcher’s son ought. He learned to compete in running, wrestling, rock-throwing; but his truest love was Rott’s Oarball. He hadn’t dreamed of all the variations of the game when he was growing up outside of Pont de Mare. After winning all the local tournaments his team began travelling abroad. Even in wartime athletes can pass as honored guests to compete. The competitions were fierce and brutal with rules that favoured the home team, but even so his teams would often return with trophies, cups, and laurels. The most significant was the Silver Plate of Sessian. It was a challenge trophy held by the best Oarball team in all of Millesia and his teams had won it twice and defended it over ten times.
Recently though, an injured knee had kept him from playing and he had watch the challenge plate pass to some foreign team with unkempt hair. The game had been awful. One of the worst displays of skill he had ever seen. After that the rest of team travelled out of Karchene over two weeks ago without him. Losing a spot on the team didn’t bother him but the patronage contract of Lord Darlonne of Berwick had come to an end months before so his money was quickly running dry. The team promoters had left with the team and he had never re-negotiated a contract before.
His life stretched before him and for the first time he realized that being an athlete had no practical use. He had never needed money before – meals were provided by patrons and hosts, and his training stipend was adequate for any of his other needs. It had taken him longer than it used to heal his wound. The only hope in his mind was to travel to Berwick to negotiate a new patronage with the Lord Darlonne himself. However, when he got there the Lord was not in town.

Tactics: Milos’ advantage is the ability to move. He can go where others can’t and get there sooner. His superior conditioning allows him to wear down a single opponent, or keep distance from a group. While Milos may lack insight and overt strategy his speed and determination allow him to thwart plans head-on. With brute force and talent he can out-run a trap, knock down obstacles, and crush opponents with overwhelming physical strength. When at his best he relies on instinct and does not allow opponents to prepare for his attack. In order to keep these advantages, it is best to keep Milos lightly armoured.

Froebel, School Teacher, (Level 24)
“There are three aspects of the Wyr… Beast-man, Thinking-man, and Spirit-man. We are born into the world as beasts – tethered to our flesh and desire – we know nothing more than our own gratification. Instruction leads to understanding and we become creatures of thought – able to conceive a world of morality where we can act to the immediate benefit of others and eventual benefit of self. This world of the social compact becomes the second level of our journey – the second rung of the spiral ladder known to the Gemmen as the “Gyre”. The third rung is the rung of Spirit; when morality no longer distinguishes self from truth. The logic that fashioned self-interest becomes a logic of interest alone. This is why spirit is represented with the symbol of “Vah” or vapour. The body and the mind vanish into the spirit – it is a change of state; just like the change of state of water from solid, to liquid, to gas. Solids are separate; liquids mix; but gases are without form or boundary.” The lecturer pauses to gather some learning aids.
Froebel seizes the opportunity. He shuffles in his seat and writes a note beside his absent-minded drawing. His mind has already formulated the direction the dissertation will take. The legend of Sirrondar will be explained from a psychological-allegorical point of view. Using the spiral staircase – the Gyre -- as a guide, Yarmedes will trace the events in the story from the generally physical challenges of the early cantos to the clues and riddles of the middle ones, and finally summing up the great sacrifice as an act of “vah” or Spirit. Where the story seems to deviate from the pattern he expects he will find a “spiral within a spiral” argument… that or the “Great Wheel” corollary. Each story will comprise one turn of the wheel… one ascension in body, one ascension of mind, and one ascension of spirit. This will return the body to the same point only transformed. That is why the hero always goes home at the end of each cycle. They return, but not really. Time has changed them.
Froebel doesn’t think much of the “great chain of being” arguments… or those that make them. Most of them possess oratory skills but are prone to what he would call logical labiality -- the tendency to slide off a logical set of arguments onto a metaphorical one thus jumping the second rung (Thought) of their own sacred metaphor. Charlatans, priests, and leaders all skip ahead to Spirit – eager to take the row above others, to claim divine supremacy ignorant to their own assertions that the seventh rung of Spirit rests on the seventh rung of Thought which rests on the seventh rung of Body. He agreed with the philosophies of the Kheman Mystics; he just wasn’t sure he “believed” in them. More importantly, he was fairly convinced that they offered little insight to Literary criticism, and fairly certain that they weren’t intended to.
His mind wandered to three thoughts in quick succession. “Give a man a hammer and the whole world begins to look like nails. That is a single rung of the ladder isn’t it… a mind stuck in a low spiral? Wait…I just did it to myself! So much for my great chain of thinking!” The thoughts are followed with an audible “Harumpf!” His odd vocalization attracts the attention of the whole auditorium. Seated to the immediate right of the guest speaker Froebel is in a place of great prominence. The students fill the hall in front of him. Froebel squirms.
Mercifully, the lecturer begins to prattle on again. Froebel looks down at the spiral ladder in his note book, beside which he has written a single word… “evolution”. Oblivious to this irony, he turns the page and engages his mind on something he can solve. He begins to summarize his observations and calculations of the “lodestone problem.”
Tactics: Froebel is not trained for battle. However, his keen intellect allows him to make the most of any situation. He quickly recognizes patterns and opportunities. Froebel should always be studying before acting. This allows him to prepare for any action by taking advantage of a situation (the study skill allows him to add a special die to any action). Froebel’s player must be able to reach into the narrative and pull out opportunities. If they do so, Froebel can be a devastating combat character… surprising opponents with traps or otherwise leveraging physics to his advantage.

Caedric – Moose Rider (level 24):
Foreigners aren’t well received around these parts. Fortunately for Caedric, he’s been making this journey regularly for the past five years and he is almost starting to feel like a local. He knows the clothes and customs of his Northern cousins. A few of them, dare he say it, have become his friends. Mostly it is business. He leaves his homeland in the lower lakes; navigates the first leg of the journey by boat, but then disembarks at the Callow ford. This is where he drops into the Tinderwood and navigates down the Salton Gorge. Crossing into Berwick is easy from there. A short swim across the Swiftbeak and he is safely beyond Pender’s Falls. By this time his had made the Willow Wood and can traverse to almost anywhere in Berwick or beyond. Imragen, his moose, makes short work of this terrain – a hellish journey for others – but for his moose, the steep hills, wide rivers, thick bush, and small lakes, are a panoply of pastoral pleasure. In the summer months the insects are maddening, and sometimes dangerous. Preparation is key. There are many dangers in the Willow Wood – snakes, wolves, bears, and koshke. But each of these has a remedy. Imragen is massive -- over 9ft tall -- and can either out-run, out-swim, or out-fight these dangers. The lowland-troglodytes (Khoshke) venerate the moose and treat a moose-rider as some kind of shaman. They have never troubled Caedric, but he wouldn’t want to push the theory too far and has always kept a distance from them. Similarly he keeps a respectful distance from Vulyaeger’s (Wessin Hunters) who will travel these routes. He has on a few occasions broken bread with a Western hunter or two -- and swapped ghost tales over the ward-fire. It seems like the only humans who don’t venture into the Willow Woods are the ones who claim to “own” them… the people of Berwick.
At the very last part of his journey he has to leave Imgragen behind. Three families form a village to the East of town. The approach to the village is either up a steep incline or bordered by lake and dense forest so it provides a perfect vantage of the distant town. The villagers are descendants of his people – thrilled with the opportunity to see a Moose and rider, the legendary protectors of his people since the dawn of their history.
Not so much legend in trading herbs for ground glass and metals. Not so much legend in carrying correspondence between school teachers. Not so much legend for memorizing current history and events and re-telling them at both ends. “A peace process between peoples whose leaders fail to understand their own common good” said Gerriac. “A glowing brand against ignorance” said Froebel during one of their talks. In an effort to become a good ambassador of his people Caedric would sample spirits as part of his lessons with the Berwick scholar. Far less dour, and much younger, than Gerriac, Froebel would take pleasure in wine and drink… often punctuating lessons about geography, science, or all manner of things with drink. Froebel was easily Caedric’s best and only friend; he just wasn’t sure that the teacher knew it.
“A nice journey” thinks Caedric who rather likes the long nights under the stars in spite of the snakes, and bears, and wolves. Caedric though has done the math. No matter how careful and prepared he is for the journey, eventually snakes, wolves, bears, or wasps will triumph in the end. A less than legendary end.
The danger he was about to face came from a math he hadn’t done, something that wasn’t in any of his equations. A math that was about to put him on a path to something that was certainly no less than legendary…
Tactics: Caedric is part of a tandem – rider and mount. In their element they are a devastating combination. Imragen possesses incredible strength. When Caedric is able to direct Imragen to action the results are spectacular. Caedric must focus on keeping Imragen’s action queue loaded with appropriate actions. While doing so it is Caedric’s duty to keep both of them safe. They are susceptible to attacks of Mind (distractions) and Spirit (spook the mount), because these can disrupt the all-important communication between rider and mount.

Einarr – Milesian Archer -- Archer (level 24):
At an early age Einarr earned the nickname “the Stork”. Tall and thin he often seemed awkward. Quick but not agile; he was great at climbing but not so much at jumping or running. When first learning archery as a young boy he was certainly average. The short and powerful Milesian Horse-bow was ill-suited to his frame. In his teen years he tried the longer target bow and found increasing success even with the bows he had fashioned himself. He got a job setting up and tearing down archery ranges for the soldiers and knights stationed in town. This gave him the opportunity to practice early and late.
One early morning changed his life forever. While practicing early in the morning he was joined by a knight, who rather than taking over the range for himself shot beside the young peasant. The knight insisted that the boy shoot beside him, but would let him gather the arrows. Most dismissed the target bow as a curiosity for the Faire, but Mandrigal thought it was similar to a devastating weapon from the annals of history. Mandrigal had studied the Dannai-recurve bow as part of his training; and thought not only was it similar to the target bow, but it also had the penetrating power required in warfare. Mandrigal would keep up a grudging practice with the weapon. After a round where the young peasant boy out-shot the trained knight; the knight did something unexpected. At first Einarr thought that the knight had left the bow behind as an accident; perhaps he was angered by the presumption of the boy to beat him. When he saw that the knight had carved “Einarr” into the wooden handle of the bow; he knew it was a gift … and he knew why the Knight asked him if he could read his own name.
A single act of kindness and charity had changed Einarr’s life forever. After only a few short years, Einarr was peerless in speed and accuracy with the weapon. Well, not exactly that weapon. Using the Dannai bow as a template, Einarr began to modify the design with good results. He grew into his frame and made stronger bows.
His living was made on hunting expeditions. Not in the way that you would think. Rich and important people would often hunt, but would recruit archers to serve as protection in case their quarry did not fall. He was the backup shot. Those mornings would come and he would add two arrows from the important lord’s armoury into his quiver. He was hired in silence, often directly by the lord, and shadowed the group from a distance. When the bivouac would break he would find a tree above and behind the lord master and ensure a good kill.

That is how today’s hunt began, but certainly not how it ended…

Tactics: Einarr is deadly accurate. He can force opponents to keep covered. He is most deadly when striking from a good vantage point. He should use his climbing skills to get to good positions, but always ensure that he can exit in many directions. A shield wall or cover can eliminate his advantage.

Town of Berwick
It is a week’s journey to the farthest place you have ever been. It shouldn’t really take that long as the crow flies, but the Eastern road from Berwick curves around a large hill and skirts the edge of the White Wood. Mostly it crosses lowlands and dry swamps, making the road dangerous for carriages in the spring thaw. In several places large stone bridges span tributaries that connect the waters of the Lakelands. These bridges are old but sturdy – fashioned from stone brought down the river Tamm from quarries in Eastbrook and beyond. This is the road to Karshene – a fabulous city at the heart of the Kingdom of Millesi.
Along this route there are a number of villages – eight perhaps, with names like Rockwall and Pender’s Falls. The villagers keep sheep, cows, and pigs; grow corn, wheat, and vegetables; fish in the streams and lakes; and take timber from the Ashenwood forest to build their homes and buildings. They are a hard-working and industrious sort, living a rough, but free life. They owe allegiance to the King – and dutifully swear their loyalty once a year, pay their taxes, and offer their sons in service. Deeply superstitious and fearful they follow the acerbic ways of the Gemmenites. Most peculiar is the winter ritual – a two month period of prayer and penance to beseech the return of spring. Known as Ragnar’s watch this time is used to thwart the icy cataclysm at the end of the world. No laughter or talking, few candles, and no eating or drinking once the sun has gone down. Witchery and sorcery are particularly forbidden and woadish food is shunned. Since Woad food is whatever the Elfkin eat, and no-one is particularly clear on just what an Elfkin is, therefore they have absolutely no idea what might be Woadmettan (woad-food). Nevertheless, every season one or two townspeople are brought up on charges of creating Woad-food, consorting with Spirits, practicing witchery, or speaking in black-tongue. Since trials involve parading witness through to swear oaths, they become more of a contest of social influence than truth. Every year some folk are put to death the serve the piety of the many. On most occasions a few days in the stocks, prominent in every village, restores the faith of a transgressor who has plead and cried innocent moderately well.
Priests, oddly, are the most likely to practice sorceries – their position and influence allowing them to pass their skills off as heavenly blessings rather than heathen occultisms. While priests have little to fear from the common man the political machinations of the various Gemmenite orders is a constant source of danger. While commoners may be put to death for practicing or benefiting from witchery, priests are tortured for heresy. It is not uncommon for entire orders of priests to be washed aside in the changing of a religious tenet. The common man, then, does a lot of agreeing, nodding and condemning and very little speaking about their own beliefs.
Animals are kept within the walls of villages. The forest is full of dangers. Wolves mostly – not the timid kind that you know about – these are the big, bad wolves that used to live in the old places of our own world. Darker, stronger, bigger, and far more violent than the modern kind, the old dire wolf is the wolf of this story. In the deep forests too, are the Khoshke. These semi-feral humanoids use crude axes and spears and tend to gravitate to the outskirts of any settled area. Hardened and savaged by occupying the same territories as wolves and bears they are fearsome to encounter. Although they speak their own language, fashion tools, and have a society they are considered monsters by the people of Millesi. Vulyaegers from the lands to the West will hazard the deep forests and occasionally emerge from them to seek respite or trade in the cities. Such strangers are always greeted with distrust if not outright hostility (so long as they are suitably outnumbered).
Townsfolk consider themselves more civilized than the people of the village, although they share the same superstitions. Having more access to the trade routes of both the River Tamm and the old stone road, they are more likely to encounter different folk and different ways. Strangers from other places are viewed with distrust, but are treated well so long as they don’t work witchery, engage in revelry during Ragnar’s watch, or show disrespect to a priest. There are professions in the town of Berwick, lawyers, scribes, doctors, surgeons, barbers, smiths, and merchants. Merchants trade with people in other cities or sell goods on behalf of other merchants. In medieval law it is illegal to engage in mercantilism – selling a good for more than what you bought it for without adding value to it. If you bought something in one city and brought it to another, you have added the value of transport and may increase the price of the object. When prices are too high or the profits too large merchants are brought before the courts. Navigating back room deals, appeasing the guild of merchants, and making powerful friends are all essential skills in business.
Berwick is large enough to house a Lord and a full garrison of soldiers. The soldiers are used to keep peace in the town and are under the direct command of Lord Darllone. Son of some disinherited or fallen Duke, Jawein the Second – Lord Darllone, has not taken Berwick as his epithet. Whether this was a sign of ambition or resentment was hotly speculated in the years after he came. Now some twelve years later the topic has lost its lustre. Jawein is without a wife, a child, and at nearly forty years of age has been a relatively unremarkable master of the town. Three times he had mustered soldiers for a campaign – a crusade to prove his worth in the East; and three times he had returned the following season with a handful of men and little in the way of silver. While each family must present one son to the king for military service, a second son must be coerced with promises of rank, stature, riches, or conquest. So far the Lord of Berwick, clinging to an older name, has been largely unable to deliver on those promises.
Although the order of the town is kept by the King’s regular soldiers (those sons conscripted into service) the administration of Justice is performed by the mayor who uses his own lawyers and investigators to determine the guilt of those brought before him and seek out criminals who operate in less overt ways. Known as hawkers, these people often come into conflict with the Enred – groups of criminals who employ dangerous men to maintain their control of their trade. Trials involving priests are overseen by the Church, and trials involving soldiers are brought to the royal court at Karshene – where the Second Princess of Millesi resides. In Karshene the most accomplished soldiers can fulfil their ambitions as the Queen’s Royal guard has a full time regiment of Knights protecting the Princess. As Berwick is in the deme of Karshene, the knights can conscript from the town or the outlying villages. It is the dream of many boys to become a Millesian Knight through early conscription yet it rarely happens. Training a candidate to knight status is an expensive and time consuming process. Often it is easier to recruit from soldiers in the King’s regular service as they have already some training and demonstrated some talent. Besides, only two standards of full Knights (13 knights per standard) occupy Karshene. Nevertheless, every so often a young boy is brought into the “Academie Gallante” at Karshene. It has not happened for a handful of years.
Being on the trade route makes Berwick a great place to receive news and hear rumours. To the East it is known that large parcels of land are being liberated from dreadful Kingdom of Vahanner. Far to the West the mighty empire of Rin, in league with Elfkin sorcerers, and river giants are invading the Lake kingdoms – the land of your ancestors. Once in a long while foreigners from these far off places will arrive. Peasants, soldiers, nobles, and merchants from the defeated kingdoms land in the taverns and docks of Berwick. Some seek to start a new life, others to rally support and promise great riches await those who will help them return to their mother-land. They bring tales of Wizards and mystics, stories of other kingdoms, and children’s tales. By in large the visitors to Berwick are from other cities, villages, and towns of Millesi. Places like Laushaine, Meerwold, Eastbrook, Pont’deMare, and Amardine are commonly heard of, though few people know anything about them. In a hard, busy life, they are just names. They won’t be important to you …

Millesian Knight: (2/2/2) “I’ll die for a principle before I live for nothing”. Knights trace their code of honour and ethics back to the time of the First King. Steeped in tradition, honour, and fealty the life of a Knight is pledged to the King. In Karshene, the ancient ways are very strong – with all ceremonies being held in the old tongue. This is a tradition that has mostly fallen out of use in the rest of the kingdom.
Magisters’s Judge: (2/2/2) Highly educated and capable of great discernment, the magister’s judges are entrusted with the interpretation and execution of law. Judges, so that they remain uninfluenced by the political power of the guilds and merchants, are regularly re-assigned to distant towns. These appointments, however, are plagued with corruption and interference.
Wessin Vulyaegr (Vul-yay-gur): (2/2/2) Dwelling in the dark woods and dangerous forests, the Vulyaegr is a rugged and independent character. Often eking out a living as a hunter or trapper, many folk say that the Vulyaegr used to belong to a proud and ancient kingdom that has long since faded.
Valerian Wizard (2/2/2): (Note I am going to rename these guys. I guess the name Valeria must have stuck in my mind reading GRRM many years ago. It is so much back in the public image that I don't want to borrow the name any more. I have re-read GRRM recently 'cause Game of Thrones Rocks!) Strange and frail, the Valerian wizards live on the edge of sanity and society. Devoted to their dark arts and practices, they seldom interact with decent folk. Few know where Valeria is, but most can tell tales of their infamous sons and daughters. Their powers are the subject of many local legends: controlling Witch-fire, moving objects with their thoughts, summoning mists, causing disease, and controlling animals are the commonly told stories. There are caves and gathering spots beyond the borders of the city – places where good folk do not go – where these outcasts gather.
Physically they normally appear gaunt, haggard, and unkempt. Their disposition is nervous, distracted, and sullen all at the same time. Although they practice witchery and other wickedness, they are considered by many too dangerous to approach. Thus, them and their gatherings are left to their depravity by soldiers.
Kheman Mystic: (2/1/1) Adhering to the philosophy that the study of the natural world, uncontaminated by magic, is the gateway to enlightenment and understanding, Kheman mystics are employed as scientists, doctors, engineers, builders, teachers, and politicians. They have insight into magic, but will not engage in its practice.
Enred Expert: (2/1/1) Meaning “network” in the old tongue, the term Enred is used to refer to both criminal organizations and secret societies who involve themselves in all manner of activities. Enred experts have been used appropriately to protect the interests of others and protect priests from persecution. However, these people have often been involved in less suitable actions: espionage, blackmail, kidnappings, and murder.
Magister’s Hawker (Investigator): (1/2/1) Exposing the members of Enred networks and bringing them to justice, where appropriate, is the job of the Hawker. While soldiers are used to police the towns, the investigation of any crime falls upon the hawker. Hawkers are also used to pursue criminals who have fled justice. They co-ordinate with judges and execute Royal Warrants.
King’s Regular Soldier: (1/0/1) Soldiers are trained for war. They build bivouacs, march, eat, and fight. As part of the King’s regular army they have more opportunity and access to training than a common mercenary. Soldiers given to the King to fulfil the family obligation are sworn to a sixteen year service career, usually starting at between ages 9 and 14. Soldiers may also enlist into the regular army for periods of 2 years or more.
Enred Thug: (1/0/1) Serving as muscle for the “Networks” thugs engage in brawling, intimidation, and generally causing mayhem.
Mercenary Foot-Soldier: (0/0/1) There is always need for mercenaries. Sometimes they are used to fight a battle, protect a garrison, hunt down a criminal, or patrol an area. Mercenaries will sometimes group together to form units and petition for work. The size of these groups can vary from a handful of men to large mercenary cohorts like the “Red Dogs”. The Dogs are an organized group of over a hundred men (and a few women) with a reputation for being fiercely loyal to the job they are paid to do.

Types of Action
This game of fantasy adventure is designed around actions. Rules inject consequence and uncertainty. They focus on the key areas of tension and excitement in the fantasy genre.

Hand to Hand Combat:
Characters place their actions in their action queue so that they can manoeuvre themselves into a position to strike at an opponent. Although most attacks are designed to injure or kill; a skilled opponent must often be fatigued, distracted, or knocked off balance before fatal blows can succeed. Common battle tactics include the use of numbers attack to a foe from many angles, placing a foe in dangerous or unstable terrain, or a blitz assault that overwhelms their defence.

Ranged Combat:
Relying on ranged weapons, characters can eliminate threats from a distance. Missile combat is made exciting by the use of cover and mobility. Powerful ranged combatants can pin down opponents and force them into cover. Eliminating their ability to take actions in open areas allows allies to seize strategic positions and objectives.

Being able to quickly move through terrain, over obstacles, and around barriers is an exciting and game-changing skill. Whether mounted or on foot a chase can be a thrilling episode. The ability to change directions quickly and unexpectedly can allow a nimble creature to evade a faster one; so can an ability to work well in different terrain, or negotiate obstacles effectively.

Mounted/Vehicle Combat:
The essence of mounted combat is embedded tension. The rider devotes energy to controlling the mount; who is given a separate action queue. Not only do you have the drama of the conflict around the pair but also the contest of spirit between them. A powerful, highly-spirited mount may be devastating in the right hands, but uncontrollable to many. Directing or commanding the creature by loading their action queue quickly is as essential as the action rolls of the creature itself.

Sneaking is a powerful skill. It is useful for getting in and out of dangerous places, and can be devastating in combat. As most hand-to-hand combat relies upon weakening an opponent’s ability to resist your actions, a skill that allows you to attack unhindered by a defence is immeasurably powerful. The key action elements of sneaking are using obstacles and timing your movements to coincide with opportunities presented by your opponents.

Tricking, convincing, and manipulating characters to work to your ends is effective. This kind of trickery can be worked into any kind of episode, whether negotiating a contract, or facing an adversary in battle. Charming allows you to alter the beliefs and tactics of your opponent. Successful charms allow you to alter the actions that a character is taking, unloading effective attacks, defences, or skills in favour of other actions that may be less effective.

Acquiring clues and information helps to put motives into context. Knowledge is power. Characters able to solve problems are able to out-smart opponents. Solving is not limited to gathering information and investigating, but includes the use of battle tactics and strategy. A studious character is able to garner a greater advantage from the narrative from one who is not disposed to: making the most of loose floorboards, uneven terrain, even the position of the sun.

The skills used while travelling allow characters to overcome the hazards of terrain, weather, and unfamiliar fauna. Fast and efficient navigation allows for groups to travel from one location to another without reducing their resources, will, and health. Characters versed in these utility skills will take the centre of the action during a journey – and are better able to preserve their skills for action along-the-way.