Personas Against the Storm
Ryders, Scales, Crafters, HighBloods, and Villagers, these are the people that populate a Kerrenese Against the Storm campaign. This section give examples and directions on how to create them.
All stories have descriptions and settings, but without characters - and characters doing things - they are nothing but writing exercises. People or persona dramticas (who may or may not be actual people), are what make stories. When there is conflict with interesting people, there is an interesting story.
All characters in an Against the Storm campaign (or any campaign) need to have motivations and dramatic elements. After a while, simple monster bashing provided by Zhan and lovely fauna of Kerren will get old. It is the people in the Saga that will make the campaign come alive.
This Scroll will include Things needed to create Kerrenese Characters. The Codex will be example characters and groups.
Of the Warren
Of the Wings:
Ryder: Ryders and their Dragons protect, defend and work for the people of Kerren. Their main responsibility is defense. They patrol their Ward, hunting Zhan, destroying Zhan monsters, and dealing with the more dangerous Saurians and Draconians. The provide security in the Clusters by enforcing Common Law. Their dragon mounts allow them to move goods between Clusters and Wards, excavate new places and mines, and build new buildings. Ryders are a rough and tumble group knowing that they could meet death at any time. These 'wild things' play as hard as they work. Ryders are the heroes of reality, history, and the sagas of Kerren.
(Note Ryder is used to express role of dragon rider, rather than rider which could be anyone on a dragon.)]
L-COM+L-ATH+BND which means they have some specific combat and athletic skills. Most importantly, they have bonding skills that allow them to ride well and work with their Dragon, including a number of minimally metaphyical abilities. Those Ryders without Bonding have animal handling skills to ride and care for their partner.
A Ryder can shift to any of these two following Archetypes if they are promoted. An Edge or Wing Leader can demote themselves to Ryder if they desire.
Wing Leader: Dragon prides tend to fly in groups of seven. This became the basis of The Wing - a group of Ryders and Dragons. A wing leader is in charge of seven Ryders (and their dragons). He is their commander, their trainer, and their representative to the council and the people. He gets them supplies, coordinates their patrols, makes sure everything is done. It is a job of a hundred demands. Few can deal with all of these responsibilities, even with these edges. Wing leaders are the true heroes of Kerren.
L-COM+L-ATH+BND +INF 'Ward' These people have all the specific and narrow combat skills of a Ryder (as they function as one) plus administrative skills and leadership abilities.
Edge: A Wing Leader's Lieutenant is called an Edge, as the Edge flies in position furthest from the Leader. An Edge should be a Ryder's Ryder: tougher, stronger, and faster than the rest. They achieve and hold this position through their reputation and performance of Ryder activities. While traditionally, they are the Wing's trainers, they have all the responsibilities of a wing leader, yet none of the power. Their reputation is all they have, and in many cases, all they need to get things done in the Ward and to keep the Ryders in line. Many Ryders never aspire to be a Wing Leader, but Edges.
COM +ATH +BND +STA 'Edge or Ryder' They are better combatants and athletes than most Ryders. They tend to have perks giving them reputations that they can then use to 'get things done'. Ideally, they should have teaching/ training/ command skills too, but that is often too much to ask of them.
Wing Warden: Wing wardens are in charge of the care and feeding of dragons. Ideally, one wing warden would cover one wing, but the world is not always ideal. In some Wards, one warden covers three wings, supported by Scales. Dragons are touchy creatures, it takes a great deal of skill, patience, and empathy, to deal with them. Most wing wardens are female, like most Ryders are male. A wing is very protective of their wing warden, so any one that hurts her in any way has to answer to the entire wing. A senior wing warden is selected to report to the Warden and Council about the Dragons.
The Sagas seem to make wing leaders manly men, and wing wardens beautiful women, who were always a couple... much like we Americans think of the Homecoming queen/ head cheerleader and the Captain of the Varsity Football team.
ANI 'Dragon' +F-ANI 'Healing' +SOC +PER +PRF 'musical instrument' A Wing Warden does everything a scale can do and more: Skill at handling and healing dragons, social skills to deal with all the people they must deal with, and performance abilities (music can make dragons happier/ calmer, but it just seems to be expected of them to be talented musicians.
Scales: These are the wing warden's assistants and apprentices. In large Wards, one will work with each wing. There are always a few extra scales hanging around the Ward to cover the need for extra work. While they can care for dragons, their main assignment is to watch over the Dragon Eggs. (In some huge Wards in time past, there was a Scale Warden who watched over the hatchery.) Scales are often in charge of making sure the light moss in the Warren is moist. Many a young girl has become a Scale to meet a Ryder to fall in love with, much the way many girls in America become cheerleaders to meet athletic guys.
ANI 'Dragon' +SOC + PRF 'musical instrument' Scales have the ability to ride, care, and do basic first aid for a dragon. A scale can shift to Wing Warden, if they are promoted.
RyderMate: These are the lovers and mates of Ryders (and WingWardens, and others who live and work in the Ward/ Warren) who serve no other function for the Ward (though some of the mates used to be Scales and some occasionally serve that purpose.) They are the social glue of the Ward and the source of most social conflicts, as they tend to live the life of drama (Many of the sagas detail the 'soap opera' of the RyderMates.) While most are females, a few are males.
There is no single stereotype of Ryder mates. Some examples from the Sagas are: Wise and helpful women, Vain scornful harpies, Mothers of a clutch of children, Greedy social climbers, Efficient matrons, Romantic fools, and Dedicated Scales.
Councilor: Councilors are those that assist the Warden in the running of the Warren and related Clusters. They are part of the council which advises the Warden and can veto his decisions. Some take on the responsibility of actually administrating some aspect of the Warren or Cluster. Councilors can also determine who can and can not be part of yearly imprinting ceremony. Most councilors are High Blood, but a few are retired Wing Leaders.
There is no single stereotype of councilor. Some examples from the Sagas are: graying scholars full of learning, mustachioed schemers looking to further their own (and their family's) power, Grizzled Ryder veterans, inbred idiots, stingy traders who want to account for every piece of equipment, young romantic and impractical idealists, or prideful Primes. All councilor skills and abilities should have influence and status related social skills.
Warden: The Warden is the leader of a given Ward: The Warren and all the surrounding Clusters (and their outlander villages if any) and nearby Wilds. They must protect any FreeWards adjacent to the Wards. The Warden is responsible for everything and everyone within the Ward. The Warden and the Ward Council determine how to distribute all the Ward's resources (food, goods, fuel, protection). The Ryders enforce the Warden's decisions, acting as arbitrators, tax collectors, and police men. The Warden is appointed by the Ward Council
STA +INF 'Ward' or 'Credit' +CMU +L-ATH +L-COM. These men have limited combat skills from their Ryding days. They have power over the Ward and Credits, as well as a variety of leadership and administrative skills
Quiet Edge: The warden's assistant or chief advisor. This is an 'unofficial position'. The Warden's Edge is normally doing things behind the scene and seldom is publicly acknowledged. (Some of these things are sometimes ... questionable.) The reasoning for this is that the Edge can not be bribed, threatened, or manipulated.
A Ryder with some social or status related skills.
Of the Tween
Healer: Healer serves their community by healing damage done to the body and the mind. They practice art of healing on the body of the sick and injured, using herbal and chemical medicines, alignment of the body (acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic), and some advanced surgical techniques. In addition they help the mind as well as the body, helping people cope with grief, fear, or doubt. They have a role akin to the Native American Medicine Man, taking the role of teacher, councilor, priest, and therapist for their communities. They often help those who are not emotionally imbalance (traditionally hot tempered and wild Ryders). They are a practical group. 'What ever works' is a quote often applied to a Healer. This makes them contrary to the very traditional folk of Kerren. Note: retired healers, healer apprentices, or less busy healers take on the role of teacher in a given Warren or Ward.
SCI +DED+ KNW +CMU Traditional knowledge and diagnostic skills for a medic, plus knowledge and communication skills.
Sage (Saga Masters): These are individuals who have spent a great deal of time studying The Sagas and everything else they can get their hands on. They are repositories of knowledge for the people. Normally a sage has retired from some other position (usually Crafter, Traders, or Healers), so they will either change to this archetype over time or have those abilities in their backgrounds.
The stereotypical Sage is white haired, wrinkled old man, though women and younger men who are injured and unable to continue in their positions sometimes take on the role.
CFT 'Household' +STA 'Ward' + either ANI, SCI, KNW, SCI. Sages have retired from other positions and have a great deal of knowledge related skills. They to have reputations in the Ward, so make sure to have some. Do not forget elements from their previous careers.
Trader: These are the merchants of Kerren. They sell Crafter and Outlander goods in the local Wards and Clusters, and move them about by either Overland (with Outlanders) or by Dragon (hence their relationship with Wards), and sell them in other Wards and Clusters. In a society without (much) money, it is their ledgers that control the flow of credit.
BUS +INF 'Credit' +CON Their expertise is no real suprise, business, contacts, and the influence that money can bring.
Of the Cluster
Crafter: Those that make things. These are the workers of wood, leather, clay, metal, or other material. They take raw materials and make the things the people of the Ward or Cluster need and use. They live in the Clusters protected by the Ryders. While not a glamorous position, no Ward or Cluster could survive long without them.
BUS +CFT or TEC +L-INF 'Credit' Business and a variety of crafting skills. Since they have access to excess merchandise, they can live quite comfortably off trade.
Herder: Those who watch over a flock of Gips just outside the Cluster (or village for Outlanders). These herders (and their herds) are important because they allows a Ward to feed Dragons without having to give them time off to hunt.
Do not forget that Healers, Sages, and Traders round out the cluster
Prime: A Highblood that is in charge of a Free Ward, an independent Cluster or set of small Cluster outside the boundaries of the Ward. They act as the Warden for these areas and can choose to sit on the Ward Council, if they wanted to leave their holdings. The position of Prime is passed to the next deserving candidate, usually the oldest son.
Of the Outlands and Wilds
Outlander: Outlanders live in small villages rather than in a proper Cluster. (This mean that they are exposed to the potential dangers of the Zhan. Good citizens shudder and gasp at the thought). Many Clusters have a few Outlander villages around them, that are considered part of the Cluster's rule, like a Ward will have a number of Clusters under its rule. Most Outlanders are farmers who can not find enough land near the Cluster. The others are crafters, usually carpenters, who want more space.
Crafting and Athletic skills are really all they have.
Fishermen: The oceans, rivers, and lakes of Kerren team with life. Unfortunately, much of that life thinks Humans make a tasty snack. Sailors are a hardy breed here, perhaps bordering on the insane. With the presence of Dragons, Sailors only need to travel for fun or for food. Without a dragon overflight, most Fishermen will not venture into the deep here.
VHL+ATH+COM Fishermen have to be expert combatants here.
Wilder: Those who make a living by hunting and tracking in, and traveling through the forest (and other wild areas) of Kerren. They deal in deep forest goods that only those skilled in the wood (and willing to go well beyond the areas near a Cluster) can obtain. It is a lonely profession, as their travels take them away from Clusters and people frequently avoid someone so strange as to want to go away from the safety of a Cluster. Wilders will act as scouts for any traders who will bring goods between wards. Wilders frequently work with a warren and its Ryders to locate and destroy Zhan that make it to ground in the wilds.
ATH+ COM +SUR or Athletic, Combative, and Wilderness Survival skills. Some learn a bit of business to work with traders.
OutWalkers: Outwalker is a Wilder who possesses a bond to an animal other than a dragon. They receive training in bonding from the Warren, but can not live there long as the Dragon's might snack upon their beasts. They work as ground based scouts and hunters for the Warren.
Wilders with bond ability
Slayer: A driven tortured soul that travel the land slaying Zhan. After losing everything (usually a family or loved one to a Zhan), a Slayer takes The Vow. Slayers move from the Wilds to the Outlands to the Clusters and back hunting and destroying their prey. All in an attempt to fill the emptiness in their soul.
COM +ATH +SUR +PER These have skills like Wilders with an emphasis one perception and combative abilities.
NO DRAGONS AS PRIMARY CHARACTERS
We all know people will try it. It would be the equivalent of playing a very smart horse or a an intelligent and trained dog, or a very stupid human being. Unless you were a wild dragon, you would be subordonate to or under the command of another player or NPC Ryder. You would also be left out of most of the game interactions. In short, while it sounds fun, it won't be fun for very long.
Dragon Troupe: We recommend using other players to run the supporting cast of the game, this includes dragons. This allows the dragons to have a little personality without taking up GM effort. Now as an NPC, it can be a kind of fun.
Character seeds are nuggets or ideas for characters that fit the genre. Players and GMs would use them to inspire characters and NPCs. They, as examples, are a good tool to generate the right kind of feel for the setting. (DIfferent example character seeds would produce a different feel.) In this case, I am creating ones that would fit an Anime feel.
Young Potential: 'The kid is a bit green, but he has incredible potential.'
The 'Average guy': Nobody expects you to do great things, but nobody expects you to screw up either.
Shy Young Thing: Usually pretty too. She is the girl that many people want to notice them.
Wing Bully: He is rough, tough, and is not going to cut anyone any slack, be them Ryders or children.
Challenger: This ryder is the one that can not back down from a challenge. He is constantly getting into races and fights.
Grunt: He is a big lunk that is larger than normal, but traditionally is a fairly nice, fun guy.
Charmer: The character has natural charisma that they use to get their own way.
The Gulliver: This is the gloomy guy. The one that is always predicting the worst results. There is always one pessimist in any crowd. The name comes from the Sagas of the colonists who was constantly foreseeing doom and gloom .
The Scooby: Not the bravest of people, he will follow his friend into danger. However he will whine and try to avoid it at all times.
The New Guy: You are not Warren born, you were of a crafter or farmer family. This is all new and strange to you.
Wise old Councillor: This is a man of wisdom that anyone who is smart will listen to.
The Marshall: The ryder that spends more of their time making sure justice is done and laws enforced, than hunting Zhan.
Young, inexperience Warden: His father died, and the council gave him the position. They believe he will grow into it. He is not so sure.
The Girl you can't have: This girl is beautiful, but being courted by someone who is 'better' than you. This is not a player character seed.
The Flyer: This Ryder lives for two things, speed and flying. They do everything fast and flashy.
Son of the 'Big Man': The character is the heir of an important person in the Ward. Always having to meet the standards of their parents and public opinion.
Hard Ryder: The Ryder who never shows his feelings or lets on to pain or weakness.
The Lost Scale: She is pining away for someone either does not love her or does not know she loves them.
WildOne: This is what they populace think of when they think of Ryders. Wild, party animals, who live for today because tommorow they may die. The main reason most people think Ryders are this way, is that the wild one goes into the cluster, drinks, eats, diddles about, and makes a big stir that people remember.
The Harpy: The rydermate that is constantly gossiping and tries to be the 'leader' of the other people in the Warren.
The Hardened Scale: This woman is all business. She has a soft side, but nobody ever sees it. She is waiting for the right Ryder to notice her and can't be bother with the rest of you. And she is not that nice to her choosen Ryder either, until he extends a romantic interest.
Old Doctor: This aged physician gives homespun advice as well as good medical care.
The Best of the Best: This character is the best the wing, perhaps even the Ward has to offer. They have the skills that make them the thing of Sagas. However, in a campaign series, they normally die early on to let the younger heroes have a chance to shine. This kind of character is set up with several experience secondaries and the 3 trait Karma- Destined to die.
So what kind of archetypal characters do you think should be here?
Kerrenese Gifts and Flaws
Given a choice, I will only play games with a gift and flaw system (or whole point by system). For those of you that don't know this kind of system: gifts are small advantages or boons that the character can have, flaws are things which are detrimental to the character. Gifts usually have a point cost, with a PC starting with X number of points (usually way to insufficient for most people's needs). Flaws are taken to offset that cost, as the more detrimental the flaw the more points it is worth. I have grouped this Kerrenese specific gifts and flaws in categories of similar types. And if you don't get all the mechanics, no worries the descriptions are pretty vague enough that you can adapt them to your own game and taste.
Social Status: Every character in Kerren has a social rank, a default trait. Social rank is a guideline as to who and what you are in Kerren Society, but even an Outlander could rise to be a Warden. It also does not automatically convey power or abilities, those must be given by society. Every character has the campaign default (as set by the GM). To have a higher social rank is a gift, a lower one a flaw. The standard default is Warder Rank 2. Using the standard default, to be an Outlander is a 2 trait flaw (0-2) while a HighBlood would be a two trait gift (4-2). Many characters will take position sets, that grant them the INFLUENCE and Status for their positions, offset by their obligations.
Rank 7 High Warden: The warden for the entire all world.
Rank 6 High Councilor
Rank 5 Warden
Rank 4 HiBlood/ Wing Leader:
Rank 3 Well respected Warder (must be earned, can not be taken)
Rank 2 Warder
Rank 1 Cluster: Those that live in a village or town.
Rank 0 Outlander:
Rank 1 OutCast (See CHA Secondaries, this is not taken as a Rank Change)
Bonding: Every character in AtS has a Bonding level, a default trait. Bonding determines what level of bond, if any a character has to a dragon or animal. The two most common default levels for a campaign are either 0 or 2. If the default level is 2, and the character can not even be imprinted, it receives a 4 trait flaw (2-2). A character normally starts with an appropriate bond beast for their level. (Sometimes players save a few extra traits from their creation so they can improve their bonding level immediately when the opportunity presents itself. These extra traits can be listed as Karma: to be bonded.)
Rank 2 Dragon level Bond
Rank 1 Lesser level Bond, see OutWalker
Rank 0 None
Rank-1 Unable to be Bonded, Minimum allowed to be a Ryder. Can not
have BND AoE
Rank-2 Unable to be Imprinted. The character is unable to be a Ryder.
Imprinted (G1): This gift represents a dragon is imprinted upon the character, accepting it as a Ryder. This is also a default trait. If the campaign's default is that characters are not automatically imprinted or imprintable, then to be imprinted is one trait gift. (Sometimes players save one extra trait, just so they can be imprinted when the time comes. This extra trait can be listed as Karma: to be imprinted.) To be bonded, you must be imprinted and have the Bond AoE or Gift.
Learning Karma (F?): This is a flaw that automatically is applied to characters who do not have enough traits to take the 'upgraded' bonding, imprinting, or social rank (buying new traits or buying off old flaws). (An Outlander who managed to be imprinted and bonded to a dragon that is part of a Ward, would need five traits.) These become karmic flaws, expressing situations the character keeps getting into because of its inexperience. Think of them plotlines that a young character might experience in a fantasy story set in Kerren.
Difficult Ryder, Social Gaff, Homesick, Confused, Annoyance nemesis: Councilor/ Rydermate/ Prime, Dragon gets sick
Other than some regional sets, there are no body traits that are specific to this milieu. If everyone is supposed to be of a given region or type, these regional sets can be adjusted.
Pointers (S): Those born of people from the Point, the large peninsula tend to be bigger and stronger than those in other areas.
Example: PHY+2 'Large', MPY-1 'weak bond strength'
Southern Women (S): The women of the Southern Lands are said to be the most beautiful in the world.
Example: DEX+1 'Graceful' +CHA+2 'Beautiful Faces' 'Beautiful hair'
Westerners (S): Those of the Western Wards tend to have wavey chestnut hair, bright green eyes, and a certain quality, that makes them distinctive.
Example: Destinctive Feature: Westerner look DEX+1, MEN+1
Bond Familiarities (G): Characters who are imprinted, but do not have the BND AoE, can take specific bond abilities to be performed with a Metaphysical DR.
Bond Training (S) The character has received specialized training (or learned more in the basic training) in the skills and techniques of Bonding. For many bonded people, this is all the source of all their BND ranks.
Bonding levels increase by two
Crafter Born (G2/S): Those who raised you were crafters and they taught you their craft. You many not be a crafter now, but you still have memories of the time with your family.
CRAFT+2 'Craft trait' +.15x or CRAFT+1 'craft trait +TEC+1 'Trait'
Healer Trained (G2/S): You have had some notable training in the Healer's role when you were younger. It could be you had a healer parent or friend, were an apprentice Healer or Healer assistant, or was a patient quite frequently. The player must always define the reason for their experience.
SCIENCE+1 'Healing', DEDUCTION+1 'Diagnosis', COMMUNICATION+1 'Talking Out Problems' +.3x
Outland Born (G2/S): You may not be an Outlander now, being accepted as part of a Cluster or Ward, but you spent most of your life away from a Cluster or Warren. This makes you a bit odd, but good at surviving where other are afraid to go. This secondary is also very common for current Outland and Wilds folks. The player must always define the reason for their experience.
SURVIVAL+2, PERCEPTION+1, ATHLETIC+1
Saga Training (G1/S): The character has a greater than average knowledge of the Sagas. The character might of been exposed to more sagas, have a knack for memorizing them, or been drilled by a relative. The player must always define the reason for their experience. The G1 trait would be a KNW-0 Sagas familiarity.
KNOWLEDGE+2 'Sagas' +COMMUNICATION+1 'StoryTelling'
Talent (G1/S): The character has an natural talent for music and storytelling. There is no such thing as a 'professional' entertainer in Kerren society. Everyone is expected to contribute some entertainment to festivals/ events/ and long evenings equal to their talents. People with this gift or set will often be given invitations to functions they normally would not be invited to. (Sometimes the giving of gifts or promises will bribe someone to perform more often or for longer duration than they would otherwise.)
PRFORMANCE+2 +STATUS+1 'Talented'
Trader Family (G1/S): The character grew up in a Trader family. They know all about trade and credit. They may still have some credit left with their family or trader cousin. A player must always define the reason for their experience.
FLUENCE+1 Credit, BUSINESS+0 Barter, CONTACTS-0 'Traders'
Warren born (G1/ S): The character was born and live some time in a warren, but because they were not imprintable nor high blooded, they lost their place in the Warren.
BACKGROUND SKILL and Bond Rank -2
Wing Leader(G/S) See Archetype and Experience secondaries. Can only be taken with GM permission.
Zhan experience (S): At sometime past, the character has a brush with a Zhan Monster. As a gift or positive set, it expresses that you learned from the encounter and will be able to deal with future encounters. As a flaw or negative set (negative EP MOD), it expresses that you still fear the monsters (though you may hide that fear well). Characters with a negative Zhan experience have the ability to sense Zhan and Monsters in there immediate area, with a simple MPY PER DR. While this might improve their survival chances, it could lead to paralysis and fear when some is not immediately needed. Example Parts for sets
ATHLETIC+1 'Running', Fear of Zhan Bite (-2), DECEPTION+2 Hiding, Must Hide when confronted by Monster (-3), L-COMBATIVE+2 'Fighting Zhan', L-COMCOMBATIVE-2'Fighting Zhan', PERCEPTION+2 'Paranoid', Mute in presence of Zhan
Brash (G/F): A common Ryder emotional trait.
Belief in Justice and the Law (G/F): All Ryders and Highborns are supposed to enforce the common law. Certain ones dedicate themselves to justice, fairness, and equality through the law. They will pursue those who flee justice. There dedication to the people makes them quite popular. Those with this trait receive +1 status and this reputation.
Dedicated (G/F): The character is always striving to perfect itself and its skills. The character spends more time in training and practice than almost anyone else. Those who are dedicated frequently become Wing Leaders and Edges.
Insider/ Fear of Open Space/Wilds (G/F): Most people, including Outlanders, are cautions of the wild areas, because of the dangerous animals and the possibility of Zhan Monsters. Many living in Clusters and Warrens take this caution to a greater extreme. They will avoid leaving their safe places and will distrust those who do.
Romantic (G/F): Heart Bonds, Love triangles, unrequited love, affairs, and first loves are all things of the Sagas. The character has a belief in the power of love and attraction over all other things.
Reckless (G/F): A common Ryder emotional trait. Similar traits are extreme confidence and over confidence.
Skyfright/ Fear of Flying/ Heights (G/F): This trait could spell the end of a career for a Ryder or Ryder candidate.
Support of XXX (G/F): The character is dedicated to a certain faction in the Warren or Council. People will do anything to support their ideals. Remember that the Wings of the World campaigns center around human drama, as well as the fairly common Zhan threat.
The Small Fear/ Fear of Enclosed places (G/F): Warders live in Warrens, caves and living spaces carved out of cliff and mountain sides. These are the places Dragons wish to live, so must their Ryders. Some parts of the warrens are tight and confining, dark too if the light moss does not grow there. If you can not live there, you can not be a warder. If the frequency is great, the buildings of a Cluster or even small huts can cause discomfort is you remain in them long enough, and the character should seek a career as a Wilder.
'The Vow' (G2/F3): When a person has lost everything they care about to a Zhan, they are empty and lost. The void is frequently filled with anger and hatred towards the Zhan. The Vow is that the character will hunt down all Zhan monsters and kill them, or die trying, so no one else has to feel this empty. Those who have the Vow will sacrifice anything and anyone (except an innocent) to destroy a monster. Ryders may destroy Zhan in the course of their duties, but a Slayer lives only to destroy them. (This is required if the character has the Slayer Archetype.)
'Wild thing' (G3/F3): Wild thing is often used to describe Ryders. It expresses the idea that they live a dangerous life and live it to the fullest. They take life and death chances on a whim, confident to the point of overconfident, and will do anything to complete their assignment... even kill themselves. In their off hours they are rowdy, hedonistic, and nearly out of control (since they are the ones enforcing common law.. they don't bend it too much when they are off duty). This 'code of behavior' is a full time life and death occupation, hence its worth.
Zhan Hatred towards (G/F): The hatred of Zhan is an understandable emotion. Those with this trait take it to less rational extremes.
Zhan, Fear of (G/F): A very common trait, as any sane person would be fearful of powerful monsters.
Bonding: See Genre
Chirps (S): The character has a non traditional bond with a Chirp, a microsized dragon. Unlike most non-traditional bonds, the character can also be bonded with a Dragon (if they have that Bond Level). However, this does not stop the Dragon (or another Dragon) from occasionally trying to snack on its hyper little cousin.
L-Bond+2 'Empathy w/Chirp'
Dragon Speech (G3): This generalized bond ability that allows the character to NearSpeak to all Dragons.
Dragon of Interest (G1/F1): Your dragon has several 'notable' traits. The Dragon has two more notable traits that are selected or rolled for. If this is a flaw, the pair of you will continuelly have to keep proving yourself.
Empathy (G2): The character has the ability to sense the emotions of the living thing around it with a MPY+PER DR. The character can project its feelings to others, so they honestly know what the character is feeling, by taking concentration action, two points of manna, and a MPY+3 DR.
Gifted (S): The character has a natural gift with Metaphysical skills such as Bond. Many family lines are gifted as well.
Greater Beast Bond (G1-3): See Genre. The character has a non traditional bond with a non Dragon that is unusual. Most non Dragon bonds are with Pet Beasts (Dogs, Cat, Hawks) or Chirps. Sometimes bond beasts are non pet beasts. Some of these beasts are nearly wild. The cost of the non pet beast gift is based on its size and abilities (and GM's abilities and campaign).
HeartBond (G2/S): The character can have a special bond with a companion, loved one, or family member. This functions like a beast bond to the loved one (excluding the warp ability). The character must take appropriate bond traits to work bond abilities with their heartbond.
Heartbond L-BND+2 'Loved One' This will allow some of the common metaphysical talents of Kerren.
Imprinted: See Genre
Learning Karma: See Genre
Mind Blocked (F2): The character is incapable to achieving any level of mental communication with its partner. The character will have either the ANI AoE or BND but unable to use or have the following traits or basic abilities: Empathy, NearSpeak, See, Share, and Slip.
Open Talent (G4): The character has a 'Unique' talent, the thing of elder sagas. These talents are not as reliable as 'normal' bond related talents, but allow the character to do things other only dream off. Known open talents found in the Sagas are, precognition, post cognition, the ability to sense the recent dead, telekinesis (about 1 Kg), the ability to read surface thoughts, and the ability see any bond a living thing might have. Some GMs require characters have talent or talented bloodlines to take an open talent. These gifts are hugely expensive. If a normal gift costs one to three points, this costs 4 or moe.
Polybond (G2+1-5): A character may have more than one bond beast. While not common (it requires a two trait gift plus a bond level), this is a known phenomena in the Sagas. A polybond gets one beast for free, and must take every additional animal as if it was a gift (and must have a bond level that will allow them to bond with the animals chosen). A dragon ryder with a chip beast will need a G2 and G1 gift, to have a bonded dragon and chip. Remember that a Dragon considers most PetBeasts as food and Greater Beast as a threat. Such mixed bonds usually end up badly.
Chirp (G1), PetBeast (G2), Greater Beast (Cost of the greater bond beast plus one trait.), Dragon, if you want two dragons or already have a bond (G5)
Strong Bond (G1): The character has a stronger bond than most, receiving a +1 MOD to all BOND DRs.
Strong Power (S): The character has a bond power that is significantly stronger than the character's normal bond level.
Weak Bond (F1): The character has a weaker bond than most, receiving a -1 MOD to all BOND DRs.
Weak Power (S): The character has a common bond power that is significantly weaker than the character's normal bond level.
While there is always the threat of Zhan and Monsters, most of the drama in a AtS campaigns come from human drama. People have needs and desires (sometimes irrational) and relationships (which don't always make sense). Groups often form around mutual needs or desires. As groups or individuals with opposing ideals come into conflicts, the results can be far reaching, especially if those involved are wardens, councilors, or primes.
Age (G/F): The sagas are full of teenagers who have changed the world. The most famous is Onterio of FirstDown, the first dragon Ryder and eventually the first Warden and High Warden. Ryders are frequently chosen as teenagers.
Allies (G) Ryder, Warden, Councilor, Edge, Wing Warden An entire wing, a Prime, all are possible allies. They should be part of the same factions as the character.
Animal Follower (G 1-2): To have a super pet, that the character is not bonded to, requires this trait. To have a pet beast who is normal, is free in terms of traits.
Credit (G/F/S): This is the equivalent of wealth secondary.
Ex-Ryder (F3): Your mount died, but you survived. You are unwilling or unable to take on a new mount. You are able to live in the Warren, and do not have to have any real function. You must have the dragon bond level to have this flaw.
Family (G/N/F/S) Related to Highbloods, common Cluster folk, or Outlander. Many of these are found in the MEN secondaries. Sometimes individual families will have traits or A-Lv MODs that every member has. Many GMs design family sets for every family in a Cluster or Ward.
Famous/Influenceamous deed (G/F): The character has done something that has become a local story, and could some day evolve into being mentioned in a saga. People will always expect you to live up to your story. Two times the number of secondary traits is the number of reputation points the event is worth.
Female (G/N/F): Women in Kerren society have expected roles (Wing Warden, Scale, Healer, and Crafter). They are not prohibited by law from taking other roles, but only by tradition. Some women are accepted in these roles, once they prove their worth (neutral level). Some women are automatically accepted in these masculine roles (gift), while others are never truly accepted in these men's roles, no matter how well they perform (flaw).
Fostered (G/F1): Some children are 'given' or 'traded' to other families. While this is most commonly done between high blood families, crafters are now seeing the advantages of the tradition. These children adopted and grow up in their new family, with their new responsibilies. Fostering allows for diversity in the gene pool and a chance for the child to 'step up' a level in social status. Fostered children don't have to have the same regional sets as everyone else around them. If they have the gift, they still have connections to their old Ward and social groups (contacts). If they have the flaw, they have lost their connection to others and are not treated well in their new family.
Goods (G/N/F/S): If the character is to start with a metal weapon, harness, or notable item, they must have a goods gift.
Heir (G/F/S): A prime position, high blood, a wardenhood, a shop, or a given weapon.
High blood (G2/S): You are a member of one of the prestigious families that can claim having a warden or a famous Ryder ancestor. This allows them to live in the Warren, rather than living in the Cluster, even if they are not Ryders. Ryders are frequently drawn from high blooded families. However, there are many high blood families that have not contributed a Ryder in several generations. If those families were not High blood, they would of asked to leave the warren.
INFLUENCE+2 'Credit' or 'Warren', STA+2 High Blood.
Nemesis (F): Where there is human drama, there are nemesis. If you believe in a faction or group's belief, you are opposed by those who oppose the faction or group. There could be those that oppose you for who you are, or because they do not like where you came from, or that your presence makes them nervous. Find someone who you think opposes you or leave this blank/ open to allow the GM to choose the secret nemesis.
Obligation (G/F): All positions have a built in obligations. Those that do not meet their obligations do not receive their share of foods and goods from the Ward's or Cluster's stores. This secondary is used for those that have extra obligations.
Omega (F2): The character has the lowest social standing of anyone in the Warren (or social group). This is the person that everyone can kick or ignore. They have a reputation for being a screw up and useless. If a warren folk, this reputation extends through the entire ward.
Outcast (F3): A ryder who has been 'cast out' by the council, usually for some major criminal or traitorous action. Their dragon normally comes with them. They can not stay in a Warren or Ward. They roam the countryside as either brigands or knights errant, so most people are very wary of them.
Outlander (F1): You are seen as strange, being someone who actually wants to live away from a Cluster or Warren. Appropriate for anyone who wants to live in a village or an active wilder or outwalker.
Patron (G): As per ally.
*Position (S): These are sets that contain the INFLUENCE, STATUS, and obligations to a group (Wing, Council, Warren, Ward, or Family), that allow the character to do the job or position as determined by their social status. (Some will include secrets, blackmails, allies, contacts, patrons, to round them out.) Note that some characters will not have all the power they need to do their job, while others will have more power than they should. It all depends on their choice.
Some GM's automatically grant these abilities as basic abilities to those with the social ranks. That is why position sets are optional.
Reaction (G/F/S): Dragon bite, Zhan scar, Lame limbs (from falls), dueling scar.
Ryder by Vote (F2): A council member pushed the character successfully through the ryder test. The character may or may not be truly qualified to be a ryder, nor have any talent to be bonded or even imprinted, yet they can live in the Warren and be counted as a Ryder, dragon imprinted or not. The other Ryders and Warren folk tend tend to look down upon Vote Ryders. Ryders by Vote often have to work twice as hard to get equal recognition.
Sigma (F): The character has the reputation as a troublemaker. In Kerren society, the troublemaker frequently is trying to be the Alpha, the leader, but nobody (or very few) wants them to be.
Social Status (G/F/S) See Genre
Soft male (G/F/N): While it is not against the law for a male to be a wing warden, scale, or healer, it is very against tradition. A male who takes a traditionally female role is frequently looked down upon as weak and less than a real man. (While the people of Kerren do not condemn alternative lifestyles when lived quietly, such rumors will circulate around the character.) It is also assumed that they can not perform as well as a female in those role. Some men are accepted in these roles, once they prove their worth (neutral level). Some men are automatically accepted in these feminine roles (gift), while others are never truly accepted in these women's roles, no matter how well they perform (flaw).
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? Responses (7)
Interesting, almost like a chapter on character creation. Unfortunately some of the SCI +DED+ KNW +CMU jargon comes across as a bit confusing. Insert standard argument about stats in a post, and we move on.
I like the core of the idea, and truth be known I would be more likely to play one of those outsiders, or someone with a non-dragon bond rather than a Ryder.
Alot of time has gone into the sub and I think it shows.
One question: You can't read the next lines that include a full description of what those abbreviations mean?
You are very happy to play an Outsider, but Kerren is not a world for random adventuring. These are people with actual jobs and roles. Ryders do what they do because they are Ryders, not because they are that character archetype.
So if the rest of the Troupe are Ryders, your character can come along for the ride, but will be excluded when it comes to about 70% of the game. You will be excluded from various places and events. The Ryders will be on patrol, or at tourney, or a flight, and you will be nothing more than a spectator or sitting back home unable to get there.
While I'll agree with Scras that you have certainly put a lot of time into the sub, and I can certainly appreciate the effort, this one just doesnt work for me. I very rarely vote on something based on whether or not 'I' can use it or not. I try to vote on each pieces individual quality/merit, keeping the writer's interests and campaigns in mind.
However, a couple of things
1) too much like Pern (give or take some bells and whistles) and I hate Pern
2) stuff like this, CRAFT+2 'Craft trait' +.15x or CRAFT+1 'craft trait +TEC+1 'Trait' and this, INFLUENCE+2 'Credit' or 'Warren', STA+2 High Blood is mind-numbing and BEYOND annoying.
3) I have no idea what you are talking about here, and I have difficulty enjoying or even reading this piece.
I'll give it a 4, since you worked quite a bit on this and it shows, but if this was a first time poster/member, I wouldnt even ATTEMPT to read it.
Are you sure this piece would not be better served in Forum somewhere?
Strolen's Version 2.0 was supposed to include a Settings Category (with its own special sections, like the ability to organize the submissions). That did not materialize like a number of features. However, version 3.0 was to include it.
It is time to have the material in place so when Settings go lives, we will have appropriate material in place. And perhaps, enough setting material in place, Strolen will finish that section aspect.
fair enough Moon.
in retrospect, I now realize the Pern comment was needless on my part. I meant no offense of course.
I will stick by comment # 2 however (uggh! stats!)
but ok, I understand the reasoning.
I only have two words:
What features did I screw up or lose focus on to make this work? Tell me, tell me now! ;)