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Repost from the old forum: Arcane Background: Loyal Servant (for light-hearted games)

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  • Repost from the old forum: Arcane Background: Loyal Servant (for light-hearted games)

    This AB is meant to be fair and work within the SW rules but it is also intended for more light-hearted games.


    Arcane Background: Loyal Servant
    Arcane Skill: Efficiency (Spirit)
    Starting Power Points: 10
    Starting Powers: 3 powers plus Legerdemain (4 powers if you're not using the Fantasy Companion)
    This is an unusual arcane background in that it doesn’t actually provide supernatural powers. Your “powers” aren’t really powers at all in the normal sense. Rather, you have a very dedicated, hyper-vigilant servant who carries out certain tasks for you with seemingly supernatural efficiency. Your loyal-to-the-death servant is always on hand to bat away incoming attacks, leap in front of you to protect you, or attack those who’d be so crass as to target you.

    The servant doesn’t really have (or need) stats of his own; he is merely the trapping of your powers. You can roleplay him as a minor character, however, and have him perform mundane tasks that any normal person would be capable of carrying out; despite being "only a trapping" he is still your servant. There are limits as to what the servant can do, however. He can't perform any action that would require a Trait roll. He can help you get dressed, or fetch your tea, or prepare supper, but he can't make his own Notice or Fighting roll. For that, you'll have to use one of your powers to represent the servant's actions. For example, he can't make a Notice check of his own, but you can use Boost Trait to boost your own Notice check or that of one of your allies -- the increase in the Notice die type reflects his assistance on the Notice roll.

    If the servant is attacked directly, he has a Parry and a Toughness equal to half your Spirit die plus 2. Like an Extra he is Incapacitated after taking a single Wound, but cannot be killed—he somehow manages to survive in even the most unlikely of circumstances. He immediately awakens at full health at the end of a battle in which he is Incapacitated, and can be restored to full health in combat with a single Healing roll.

    I’ve Failed You!: As faithful and efficient as your servant is, there are times when even his efforts come up short. When a Loyal Servant’s master rolls a 1 on his Efficiency die (regardless of his Wild Die), his servant has failed him. The servant, distraught, lapses into self-loathing and melancholy, inconsolable in his grief for having failed his master; the master can use none of his powers until his servant is cheered up again. The master must succeed on a Persuasion check at -2 in order to assure his servant of his continued employment in order to use his powers again. If the Loyalty roll was a Critical Failure, the Persuasion check is made at -4.

    Soul Drain: You cannot take the Soul Drain edge with this Arcane Background.

    Suggested Trappings
    Armor: The servant leaps in front of his master, bravely taking the injury instead.
    Beast Friend: The servant risks life and limb to tame the wild beast.
    Bolt: The servant makes ranged attacks at the master’s enemies.
    Boost/Lower Trait: The servant helps lift a heavy weight (Strength), pulls you out of the way of danger (Agility), or helps figure out a riddle (Smarts), and so on.
    Deflection: The servant bats away incoming attacks, or runs interference in order to make you harder to hit.
    Entangle: The servant grapples your opponent.
    Speak Language: The servant is a polyglot, able to communicate in almost any language.
    Speed: The servant picks you up and carries you at great speed across the battlefield.
    'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

    The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!

  • #2
    This looks like fun. It might be difficult to explain Summon Ally or Shape Change (while still using other power) but that is what creative role play is about.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.


    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      Summon Ally: the servant calls up a friend of his, who arrives in 2d6x10 minutes, blaming "traffic" for the delay.
      Shape Change: the servant whips out the ol' two-person horse costume and the both of you do your best at mimicry.

      I jest. This is a pretty neat idea, but it can benefit from a dedicated power list to avoid the weirdness above.

  • #3
    Not all powers are really appropriate, but on the other side of that coin this AB kind of falls apart if you overthink things. How a given power might be explainable as the servant's actions is best left to the player and the GM.
    'But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: 'we're all mad here.'

    The Order of the Dice... OF DOOM!


    • #4
      I see this working much better if the servant was a type of "guardian angel" or ancestor spirit that legitimately had some supernatural powers that it uses on the chatacter's behalf. Which is how I ran the concept a few years back for a dark fantasy game.


      • #5
        Having seen Black Butler, I reject the idea that this AB cannot include Soul Drain. That said, excellent idea!


        • #6
          I like it. However, my players loves to acquire Allies with full stats, for this kind of "servants". I build them like a standard extra (so, reducing skill points and / or Attributes, I can give more Edges), at the price of a single Edge. Also, I like if the hero uses an advancement to "boost" his servant. This way, the player will actually have (and play) 2 characters, with lower stats compared to the players using a single character. Still, they are very useful in game (SW isn't so punishing if you have characters with different level of power in the same game), and lovable to interact with.
          Also, it's pretty easy to price extra Wound levels, and the Wild Dice addition (1 edge each): so, in the long run, the servant could turn in a full-fledged hero, and (maybe) become the main character in place of the "original" hero.
          "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance

          Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY