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  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 6: The Club Kid

    The city’s a nightmare, the streets are filled with, gangs pushers and every variety of filth. Why bother with any of that? Night or day you can slip away into the clubs. There’s always a party somewhere, places where the music drowns out the horrors of the outside and smells of sweat, smoke and alcohol mix in the air as you ride the sea of bodies around you, ebbing to the beat of the music.

    Every district of Tiergarten has at least one or two night clubs or more. With the insanity of modern living some never bother to close, it’s always someone’s Friday and it’s five o’clock somewhere. These social hot spots rise and fall in the blink of an eye. Clubs that were the place to be seen last night may be gone by tomorrow. Themes vary from the predictable to the outrageous. Like the short lived 6th Circle that literally light a fire under patrons that sat too long and roasting Go-Gos.

    The Concert Kid knows all the best best clubs, even before they open, who the bands are and how to get in without waiting in some stupid line. They don’t necessarily know people but they know how to talk to people and what it takes to stay on the razor’s edge of popularity. Unfortunately for them few of these skills matter to the unspeakable things that lurk in the Unseen World.

    We begin with the Characteristics of a Club Kid. Acrobatics, Dodge, Fasting, Bargain Finding, Herbalism, Street Smarts, Chemistry with the Specialty: Recreational, Disguise, Distraction, Art: Dancing, Etiquette with the Specialty: Club Scene and Fashion. Unlike some of our other Unconventional Combatants the Club Kid actually has a few Combat Skills just to support their Dancing and overall style. From the Club Kid’s Skill selections there are two Boons that pop up:

    Mind Over Body – Mundane
    You’ve been bruised, you’ve been cut, maybe even stabbed or shot, doesn’t matter, you found a way to press on. The character is able to ignore some of the pain from Wounds and
    Using Mind Over Body: The character reduces the Ego cost for Rolls made using a Wounded Characteristic Tree by an amount equal to the number of Survival Skills and Specialties they possess.

    Thick Skinned – Mundane
    Insults, social barbs and the grating of others has hardened the character. For them it’s easy to shut out others, ignore mental anguish and simple move on.
    Using Thick Skinned: The character gains a bonus equal to the number of Cultural Skills and Specialties they possess to Defend using their Mental Tree.

    The Club Kid could also easily pick up the Expression Traits Area of Influence: Club Scene, Beauty and First Impressions. Before looking at Lucid Realms for the Club Kid there are also some easy Supernatural Characteristic choices for the Character so we add Battery, Drug Resistant and Combat Reflexes.

    Any of the Four Outer Realms could fit for a Club Kid. Because our Club Kid is a bit of an escapist and possibly an addict the Slumber seems like a solid fit as a form of wish fulfillment. However, the idea of just ignoring wounds and pain and just getting back to the party leads more to the Grave’s Cold One Abilities or the Verdant’s ability to heal. Since our Club Kid isn’t as dark and icky as those Razor Girls we opt for the Verdant to let out our wild side. The first few Boons play directly into the ability to keep parting no mattre what.

    Hearty – Supernatural
    The character’s constitution is unnaturally strong, allowing them to shrug off the ill effects of many weaker toxins.

    Second Wind – Supernatural
    When exhaustion sets in and most people can barely stand, some dig deep and fight past the fatigue.

    Healing Factor – Dark, Verdant
    Most people are locked into the painfully slow routine of natural recovery; but unlike most people, there are those who can push past that limitation with paranormal efficiency.

    Poison Tamer – Slumber, Verdant
    Drug tolerance only goes so far. The character is able to shrug off more potent drugs and toxins.

    Accelerated Recovery – Verdant
    Wounds that would put a normal person out of commission for weeks or even months fade in a matter of days for the Verdant Lucid.

    Scavenger – Verdant
    Like many animals, the Verdant Lucid can survive on the worst of foods without ill effect.

    Eat that thing in the fridge that turned green, snort something that looks interesting and then party for another thirty six hours. The Club Kid now calls that how to start a four day weekend. The next set of Boons build on the premise of never stopping the party.

    Boosted Healing – Verdant
    Through their connection with the Verdant, the character’s healing factor quickly exceeds other Lucids.

    Controlled Healing – Verdant
    As their link to the Verdant grows, the character learns how to tap into the stream of life energy from the Realm.

    Expanded Healing – Verdant
    The Verdant Lucid is bound to a wellspring of life. Tapping into it rejuvenates more than just the body.

    Sleep is for the weak and falling down three flights of stairs is just making sure we don’t get tired. Party On!

    Healer’s Touch- Verdant
    The powers of the Verdant are not limited merely to preserving the character’s own life. With a simple touch, the Verdant Lucid is able to heal others.

    River of Life – Verdant
    The character is able to heal all those around them by opening a Gateway into the Verdant within themselves.

    By adding Healer’s Touch and River of Life the Club Kid has literally become the life of the party keeping their mates going. The Club Kid cold easily evolve into a kind of Cult of personality selecting the Faction Boon. However, we’re going to take the Character’s influence in a different direction:

    Dominating Howl – Verdant
    With the sheer power of their voice, the Verdant Lucid is able to demand respect.

    The Club Kid doesn’t have followers but anyone on the scene should respect them. The last three Boons we take for our Club Kid allow them play on their dancing skills in actual Combat:

    Distracting Speaker: Dance
    Not everyone is a fighter. Some people have to talk their way out of tricky situations.
    The character may use their Fast Talk, Subterfuge, or other appropriate skill as a supporting characteristic for Defense. The characteristic is chosen when this boon is selected.

    Distracting Strike – Supernatural
    The character’s skill at distracting foes in combat is reinforced with a swift kick.
    The character may use their skill for the Distracting Speaker boon as a supporting characteristic for attack rolls.

    Lucky Shot – Supernatural
    No one can predict the flow of combat, but sometimes what should be a negligible blow is instead crippling.
    Players should describe how the Lucky Shot inflicts it’s Wounds after attacking. Because this is a matter of Fortune it may be unrelated to their attack involving the environment or other outside factor.

    While the Distracting Speaker Boon was intended for people that can either steam opponents up or talk them down out Club Kid is partly defined by their ability to dance. It doesn’t seem to far of a cinematic stretch to allow this Supporting Characteristic, even if it is a bit flashy. With the addition of the Distracting Strike our Club Kid may dance their way to victory. While the Club Kid really doesn’t have any offensive talents we add the Lucky Shot Boon as they duck, dive and avoid their foes there’s no real telling what could happen.

  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 5: The Doctor

    Modern living is dangerous, even deadly every major city across the globe has a body count that seems to grow daily. For a Lucid the difficulty and danger of modern life has been turned up to eleven.

    Medical science like so many other technologies was crippled by the Purge. Next to data centers and libraries, hospitals and labs were one of the highest targets for Reclaimer attacks. Since the fall of the church medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds. Or perhaps recovered by leaps and bounds as it’s still impossible to say what the state of medicine was before the Purge with complete accuracy.

    Even so, cutting edge medicine today is capable amazing feats, from regrowing limbs and organs to critical surgeries conducted by pumping machine assemblers into the blood stream. Of course that level of technology is reserved only for the super-rich. Our Doctor may have floated in the clouds before their Elucidation or worked eighteen hour days in a public ER, either way they’re in the mire with everyone else now.

    Beginning with core Characteristics for the Doctor we add the following Skills and Traits: Education, Perception and the Specialty Fine Details, Long Shot, Biology, Chemistry and the Specialty Drugs, Genetics, Logic & Math, Medical, Meditation, Debate and Subterfuge.

    These Characteristics give the Doctor an understanding of not just basic medicine but how the human body reacts to drugs and other stimulus, genetic complications and tools to help them spot complications. Additionally, the Doctor has some social skills for dealing with patients and Meditation to help them focus in high pressure situations. The core Medical Skill can be a game changer in a combat situation as it modifies the effectiveness of Slap Patches and Medifoam. With only these tools and the possible addition of a medical kit the Doctor is able to serve at least once critical function in combat. However, that’s simply mundane Skill. What many would consider the obvious choice for a Doctor character are healing powers and that would take us into the Verdant. While a viable option for any Character it is the classic choice and the Doctor deals with death and disease every day so instead out Unconventional Combatant shall be walking the Grave path. Looking at the Boons available to the Grave Lucid one quickly bubbles up to the surface.

    Wither and Rot – Grave
    Infusing the target with the necrotic force of the Grave, the character causes their victim to rot from the inside.
    Using Wither and Rot: One target touched by the character suffers a Wound.

    Requiring the Medical Skill and the Nail The Coffin Closed Ability this Boon sets a tone for the Doctor. So lets look at some other sickness and rot styled Boons.

    Debilitating Touch – Grave
    Through its link with the Grave, the character’s body has become a hive of disease and pestilence. The character’s very touch can ravage the bodies of the living.

    This is another easy selection for our plague ridden Doctor although it has a few other Requirements.

    Hearty – Supernatural
    The character’s constitution is unnaturally strong, allowing them to shrug off the ill effects of many weaker toxins.
    Using Hearty: The character may ignore a number of doses of Negligible drugs or toxins equal to their Constitution attribute.

    Flesh Eater – Grave Verdant
    The character is a predator, sustained by the flesh of recent kills.

    Drug resistance is a natural fit for any Doctor but the Flesh Eater Boon plays into the concept that something has gone wrong. What did they have to do to survive? It also opens up some additional interesting Boons for the Character along with Debilitating Touch.

    Predator and Prey – Grave, Verdant
    Animals see the Lucid for what they are. The character will not be attacked by them unless provoked, and sometimes not even then.
    Wild animals will never attack the character unless forced to, always choosing to flee if threatened.

    Sickening Breath – Grave
    The foulest stench of death lingers on the lips of the Grave Lucid.
    Using Sickening Breath: The character may use their Debilitating Touch boon at range.

    Closing the Coffin – Grave
    Those who suffer serious wounds in the presence of the Grave Lucid may soon learn recovery is not an option.

    Prolong the Pain
    As their body takes to disease, the Grave Lucid learns ways to prolong the suffering of others, keeping them from rest.
    Using Prolong the Pain: The character can prevent a target from dying. While using this boon, the target cannot heal by natural means.

    Sickening Breath allows the Doctor to cripple targets from a distance while Closing the Coffin and Prolong the Pain make it easier to dispatch foes or save other, no matter how much it may hurt. These Boons allow the Grave Lucid to intervene on death. Continuing down this path opens a series of devastating Boons.

    Withering Touch – Grave
    The powers of the Grave are varied, but there is one that cannot be escaped. By touching their victim, the character steals a fragment of life force, causing the target to age uncontrollably.

    Aging Curse – Grave
    The Withering Touch grows in potency; victims age much faster with each passing day.
    Using Aging Curse: Each night that passes, victims of the character’s Withering Touch age progressively faster. Each night, add 1 additional year to the aging effect. So, on the second night of the effect, the target ages 2 years, and on the third they will age 3. Allowing victims to age for 10 days under the Aging Curse will take 55 years from their lives.

    No Waiting – Grave
    The Lucid’s Withering Touch acts in seconds, not days.
    Using No Waiting: The victim ages a year (or a night’s worth of years) each turn instead of each night.

    The Doctor no longer needs to clumsily fail away at foes until one of them keels over. With a single touch the Character forces the target to shrivel, decay and fade away. No armor in the world can protect you from the suffering this Doctor may inflict.

    However, while these Boons bypass mundane defenses some Players may want to take advantage of the Character’s potent Nail The Coffin Closed Ability and medical training. While they could add traditional combat skills to supplement their supernatural abilities Nail The Coffin Closed makes up a large difference there. With their focus on the Intelligence Tree though the Internal Style representing martial arts such as Tia Chi both fits the Doctor concept for general heath and adds to their offensive capabilities. With that the Character may also pick up:

    Lingering Strike: (Various) – Grave
    Knowing how to hit is only as important as knowing where to hit. The character is an expert at striking a foe where it will hurt the most.
    Using Lingering Strike: When selecting this boon, the character chooses a type of attack (Firearms, Melee, Unarmed, etc). The target of a successful attack of the chosen type from the character suffers 1 Wound regardless of damage.

    Bleeder: (Various) – Mundane
    In a fight, slowing a foe down is just as critical as anything else. The character has a knack for leaving wounds that bleed or cause intense pain to their foes.

    These two Boons capitalize on the health draining effects of the Weathering Touch and the Character’s medical training.

    In the next Unconventional Combatant we’ll look at the Concert Kid.

  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 4: The Delusional Rocker

    Enough trudging though dark alleys. Time to stand in the light, the limelight. The divide between rich and poor is vast and the methods of overcoming that gap seem to be evaporating daily. While the have nots may lack basic educations and health services something they will always have access to is entertainment and music still remains a powerful source of inspiration for millions.

    With the constant bombardment of media musicians rise and fall in the blinking of an eye. However, no matter where they are in their career there is always a place for them. Most musicians though are just like everyone else, struggling to get by, playing bars and nightclubs that cater to their subgenre of music. Here is where we find our Rocker.

    As entertainers there are some essential Characteristics that allow them to perform: Perception, Area Knowledge: Their Music Scene, Street Smarts, Distraction, Maintenance: Musical Equipment, Fashion, Wit: Stage Performance, Area of Influence, First Impressions and most importantly Art: Singing or Instrument of Choice. Depending on the style of the musician and their personality other Characteristics a Rocker might want include: Contact: Their Agent, Battery, Drug Resistance, and Disguise.

    These core skills give the Rocker what they need for a unique look and the training or talent to perform but also the knowledge of where to perform and at least some recognition for their talents. Like other Unconventional Combatants these skills don’t lend themselves to dealing with the harshness of the Unseen World that a Lucid must survive in. Our Rocker is driven though seeking to perfect their craft and put on the best show. For those reasons we select the Slumber as their Realm. We begin the Rocker’s Lucid Boons in a rather self centered fashion picking up the Specialty: Audience Moods for Perception and adding the following Boons:

    Slumbering Fortitude – Slumber
    The character taps into the Slumber, supernaturally enhancing their constitution.

    Inner Force – Slumber
    The Slumbering Lucid is capable of pushing on beyond exhaustion. When using this boon, the character’s body glows with the forces of the Slumber.

    Slumbering Awareness – Slumber
    The character taps into the Slumber, drawing out supernatural senses.

    Dreams Made Real: Audience Moods – Sluber
    Focusing their mind, the Slumbering Lucid is able to exceed the limits of the waking world.

    Fantastic: Audience Moods – Slumber
    With the will and vision of the Slumbering world, the character transcends the limits of the flesh.

    These Boons allow the Rocker to keep going and push themselves harder in a concert, give them a better ear for music and gauge audience reactions so that they may adjust quickly. This also opens up several other Boon choices for the Rocker. Obsessed with their music why not let them see the sounds?

    Stacked Senses – Slumber
    Some Slumbering Lucids exhibit the ability to overlay their senses, seeing something they smell or hear, tasting something they can see.

    Yes while there are any number of uses for Stacked Senses for the Rocker it is the ultimate sensory trip as they perform. We follow that up with the following:

    Recreate Experience – Slumber
    With little effort, the character may recreate the sight, smell, taste, sound, or sensation of something they have experienced, sharing it with others.

    Fundamental to music is storytelling and the Rocker can now recreate their experiences for others. But why stop at just their own experiences?

    Dream Reader – Slumber
    Dipping into the minds of others, the Slumbering Lucid can pluck dreams from their subconscious.
    The character may experience a subject’s dream by touching them.

    What does this mean for our sensation junkie? So far their abilities have been solely focused on a personal level? Why not share their experiences with the world? Isn’t that the point of it all?

    Craft Image – Slumber
    The Slumbering Lucid is able to create a static illusion.

    Animate Image – Slumber
    The Lucid’s illusions incorporate all of the senses and now move according to their master’s will.

    Living Image – Slumber
    From dream to reality, illusions crafted by the Slumbering Lucid are capable of convincing even the most stoic of skeptics. These images are so convincing that those interacting with it may damage their psyches.

    These final three Boons allow the Rocker to share their visions with the world, for better or worse. This might mean the greatest stage show of their lives or an illusory grenade while running from the Keepers.

    To increase the Rockers physical abilities consider adding Slumbering Might and Slumbering Speed. Why can’t our Delusional Rock Star see themselves as an embodiment of physical perfection?

    Out next Unconventional Combatant examines one of the last people a PC wants to see: The Doctor.

  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 3: The Occultist

    While the Horror Show Blogger wanted to expose the supernatural terrors of the hidden places. The Occultist seeks understanding. There are any number of reasons to seek hidden mysteries from simple curiosity to personal power or searching for some cure science has yet to offer.  To prevent limiting any moral judgement this week’s Unconventional Combatant is an Occultist of natural talent, born with a link to the Supernatural it was only a natural progression until they dove too deeply drifting into the Lucid Realms.

    Perhaps a Traveler or born from a supposed line of witches there are several Supernatural Boons the Occultist may have tapped into before their Elucidation. For our Occultist lets begin with a classic Supernatural Trait and it’s corresponding Boons:

    Reading – Supernatural
    Through various methods of divination, the character is able to gain insight into the futures of others. When selecting this trait, the player should select the character’s form of Reading, such as Astrology, Tarot Cards, Runes, or Tea Leaves. The character must study the subject to reveals elements of the subject’s future, such as Windfall, Loss, Journey, or Danger.

    Bane – Supernatural
    Looking into the subject’s future, the fortune reader may implant a Bane.
    Using Bane: The character chooses 1 element of the subject’s future when they perform a Reading. When the subject encounters this element, the GM may use the character’s Reading trait as a penalty.

    Blessing – Supernatural
    Looking into the subject’s future, the fortune reader may implant a Blessing.
    Using Blessing: The character chooses 1 element of the subject’s future when they perform a Reading. When the subject encounters this element, the GM may use the character’s Reading trait as a free supporting characteristic once during the event.

    For our Occultist fortune telling was just a gateway drug. Working to understand the mysteries they were born into there are several skills that fit the concept: Astrology, Religion, Spectrology, Astronomy, Distraction, Sleight of Hand and of course Occult. Due to their trove of Mystic Skills one Boon stands out as a natural addition.

    Fearless – Mundane
    Having looked into the mysteries others choose to forget your character has hardened themselves from more mundane threats. The character is not easily shaken or cowed.
    Using Fearless: The character gains a bonus equal to the number of Mystical Skills and Specialties they possess to Resist Intimidation or negate penalties from Fear such as from Black Aura. When suffering from Fear this Boon can only offset penalties.

    The question that remains is how did the Occultist evolve from being a natural psychic or mystic to having a link to the Lucid Realms. Each of the Four Outer Realms have Gateways that seem fitting for the concept and Boons that would work well for an Occultist. However, let us say they pushed too far into the unknown and were caught barely surviving.Yes, our Occultist is bound to the Grave. As an inquisitive sort we add the Skill Necrology to their Skill selection to help them understand what has become of them along with the ESP Trait. This opens up several interesting possibilities for our Occultist. Possible Boons include:

    Grasp of the Supernatural – Supernatural
    By exerting their will, the character can manipulate small objects at range without great effort.

    Blind Sight – Dark, Grave
    Many cultures have legends of sight without sight, and the blind who walk unaided. To some Lucid, these are not legend but fact.

    Ghost Sight – Dark, Grave
    Similar to Aura Sight, there are those who are naturally receptive to the spirit world. The character is able to see into the overlapping places of the Earth.

    Clairvoyance – Grave, Slumber
    By touching an object or person, the clairvoyant may feel the resonance and sometimes the history of the subject.

    These three Boons expand on the original fortune teller/mystic ideal adding some classic abilities to their repertoire. However, an Occultist is one that unearths hidden knowledge it’s time for that understanding to take shape.

    Pull of the Grave – Grave
    The forces of the Grave draw all things to it, and the Grave Lucid has learned to control and manipulate these needy energies.

    Mark of Thanatos – Dark, Grave
    Power corrupts, and the powers of death are no exception. The character’s dark art has become part of their very essence. When the Lucid chooses, they can create a powerful field of necrotic energy around them.

    Visions of the End – Grave
    Death courts the Grave Lucid’s every action. When called upon, the character may curse a victim with a vision of their death. Only the victim knows what their end will be, and this fades after a few moments. However, they will be plagued by nightmares for years to come, as fragments of the memory tease them with dark knowledge.

    With the addition of these Boons the Occultist is able to bring even the hardest men to their knees and drain away the very life energies of those around them.

    To increase the Occultist’s ability to manipulate life energies the Boons Leech, Pain Leech, Wound Eater and Feasting of Life grant the Occultist bonuses as others around them suffer. Other Boon choices may include Passive Reader, and Lingering thought adding a telepathic dimension to their Lucid powers.

    Next Unconventional Combatant we get in the pit and jam with the Delusional Rocker.

  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 2: The Inspirational Writer

    While print media is all but a dead art form the journalist and writer lives on in the news sites and blogs. Information is not the problem in the Megapolitian future, finding accurate information is. The writer concept may be a blogger or formally published journalist even a fiction author. It may be important to point out that while the Player Characters may see the forces of the Supernatural daily, these forces never seems to make it to respected news sources.

    On the streets where reporters don’t bother to go people have a term for the weird things that can’t be explained. To them it’s the Horror Show, or the play you never want to be apart of. For this weeks Unconventional Combatant we’re going to look a Horror Show Blogger, someone who seeks out these urban mysteries and tries to report the truth.

    What are the essential Characteristics for our Inspirational Writer? To begin there is Writing, a variant of the broad Art skill. This defines how well they will be able to convey what they find. However, that’s hardly the only skill our investigator will need. Skills that quickly come to mind are Education, Stealth, Movement: Running, Perception, Tracking, Historical Study: Local Legends, Occult, Religion, Street Smarts, Computers, and Maintenance: Computers. This may seem like a rather scattered set of skills but they serve three essential needs.

    Filtering rumors: Education, Historical Study: Local Legends, Occult, and Religion
    Following Leads: Movement: Running, Perception, and Tracking
    Fast reporting: Stealth, Street Smarts, Computer, Maintenance: Computers

    While hardly a skill set for someone on the front line of a battle the Writer’s skills can be critical to information gathering. Additionally, there are some Boons that their skills lend themselves to.

    Dart – Mundane
    Being able to move quickly in tight situations is frequently crucial to survival. When taking a free movement, the character may move 2 meters instead of the normal 1.

    Computer Whisperer – Supernatural
    The character enters a trance-like state while using any computer interface, allowing them to interact faster than even the most skilled coders.

    Jury Rig – Supernatural
    The character is able, through rough alterations and what some might call force of will, take a broken device and bring it back to working order.

    Rush Job – Supernatural
    The character is no longer a mechanic they are a miracle worker.
    The character can reduce the time needed to Jury Rig a device from hours to minutes. A Rush Job lasts for a number of minutes equal to the character’s Maintenance skill instead of hours.

    Strangely while the focused on journalism our intrepid Writer seems to share several Boons in common with Hacker or Engineer. These Boons allow the the Character to spend less time worrying about moving out of the way and if their equipment is working than actually working on a story. At the same time there is a host of other events where these Boons may come in handy.

    To return to the core concept not just the tools that facilitate that idea this is a Character looking to shine a light on the hidden things of the city. For this reason we select the Slumber for the Character’s Realm, even though the Dark are masters of uncovering secrets. The Slumber allows the Writer to convey concepts and motivate others. This seems to fit closely with the Horror Show Blog ideal of spreading the word on what’s really going on.

    Muse – Slumber
    The Slumbering Lucid walks between the fabric of dreams. Their presence can often inspire others to greater heights.

    Inspirational Presence – Slumber
    The Slumbering Realm flows through the Lucid, inspiring others as they work.

    Valiance – Slumber
    The forces of the Slumber drive those close to the Lucid to fight on in the face of tremendous odds.
    The character may grant a Valiance trait as a supporting characteristic for any roll made by a single target.

    Personal Valor – Slumber
    The forces of the Slumber grant the Lucid the ability to fight on in the face of tremendous odds in the same way they may normally inspire others.

    Valiant Aura – Slumber
    All the allies of a Slumbering Lucid may tap into the fabric of Dreams.

    This chain of Boons allows our Writer to begin by aiding other those through his words but as their connection to the Supernatural grows the Character’s very presence is enough to elevate those around them. Their conviction to the Realm of Dreams and Aspirations drives them forward allowing them to compensate for a lack of any formal combat training.

    Other Boons to bolster the Writer’s presence might include Dragon Aura to take the intangible influence of the Slumber shaping it into a blinding corona around the Character and Slumbering Dragon bending reality around the Character as they tap into the Slumber to overcome any obstacle.

    Next Unconventional Combatant we stop dabbling and delve into the Occultist.

  • The Unconventional Combatant Part 1: The Psychiatrist

    Not all Character concepts are in the trenches fighters. The Unconventional Combatant will look at character concepts that don’t necessarily lend themselves to battle and how the world of Fractured Kingdom allows them to both excel and thrive in a high action setting.

    To begin this series we’re going to start with a role that’s often overlooked as being too unconventional in many role -playing settings but in a world of conspiracy and hidden secrets can be a vital part of any Lucid Coven: The Psychiatrist.

    At the heart of the Psychiatrist role is an ability to bring to light feelings, fears or memories that a subject may not have been aware they had. Because we want to keep the Character’s Supernatural abilites closely as tied to this idea as possible we’ll be looking at the Dark Realm. Before we get into powers lets look at what the skill set of a Psychiatrist may look like.

    Ironically, the series begins with a Skill not listed in the core rules. However, it’s no effort to add a Psychology skill to the Intelligence Tree. Other key skills for a Psychiatrist may include: Law, Logic & Math, Medical, Debate, Etiquette, Subterfuge, Intuition, and Perception. Most of these skills come from either the Intelligence Tree or Expression Tree. Five of them being Science Skills (The importance of this will become apparent later.) These skills should give you a rounded view of the Psychiatrist’s strengths, namely analytical conversation. Now lets take a look at some Boons purely based on these Skills.

    Distracting Speaker: (Various) – Mundane
    Not everyone is a fighter. Some people have to talk their way out of tricky situations.
    The character may use their Fast Talk, Subterfuge, or other appropriate skill as a supporting characteristic for Defense.

    Awareness – Supranational
    There are some who are attuned to sensations and perceptions beyond the scope or comprehension of most people. Some can just sense things which even trained and seasoned warriors miss. Those who are Aware are seldom surprised by anything.

    Opening – Supernatural
    Calculating the best time to strike, the character is able to throw their foes off guard.

    Based purely on the core skills of the Psychiatrist the Character gains bonuses in battle based purely on their ability to quickly evaluate what’s going on and their speaking skills. Additionally, because the Character is heavily invested in Science Skills another solid choice for them is:

    Combat Analyst – Mundane
    While the character may not be much of a fighter, that doesn’t mean they don’t understand what’s going on. The character is able to pick up on patterns and adapt accordingly.
    Using Combat Analyst: The character gains a bonus equal to the number of Science Skills and Specialties they possess to Initiative.

    Lastly, while we focus on skills on Dark Boon comes quickly to the top of the list:

    Pluck the Secret – Dark
    Dark Lucids have a disturbing ability to not only know when others are lying to them but also to be able to rip the truth from them. When using this boon, the character’s face becomes distorted and nightmarish.

    How much time could be saved on the couch if every shrink knew when you weren’t being totally honest? This leads us to the path we’re going to take for our Psychiatrist, reading thoughts and fears. To do this we’ll need to add an additional Trait:

    ESP – Dark, Grave, Slumber
    Short for Extra Sensory Perception, also known as Second Sight, this trait encompasses many forms of paranormal perception which only a select few may possess. There are many different forms of ESP, though few ever develop more than one or two abilities.

    ESP opens up multiple Boon options for a Dark Character from Aura Sight to Remote Viewing. However to stick with out theme we begin with the following:

    Empathy – Dark
    The Empath may pick up on the emotional states of those around them.
    Using Empathy: The character may use their ESP Trait as a supporting characteristic for:
    1) Etiquette, Intimidation, Debate, and Animal Handling under any circumstances,
    2) Street Smarts when dealing with people, and
    3) Intuition when dealing with people.

    This Boon give the Psychiatrist multiple bonuses in their field of expertise and starts them on a very interesting path.

    Thought Reader – Dark
    As the character’s knowledge expands, they learn more than to sense the basic emotions of a victim. The Dark Lucid can actually delve into the subject’s mind, reading their thoughts.

    Nightmare Sense – Dark
    The Lucid’s telepathic abilities are a gift from the Dark Realm, a tool to unlock knowledge of the hidden places of the mind. In no other ability is this clearer than their uncanny skill at learning the fears of others.

    Both of these Boons build from the Psychiatrist concept but for the Dark Lucid it doesn’t end there. Following this chain of Boons Nightmare Sense opens up the following additional Boons:

    Craft Nightmare – Dark
    The Lucid’s knowledge of fear and terror are unsurpassed. Aided by their link to the Dark Realm, the Lucid is able to project horrifying images, striking terror into those around them.

    Manifest Nightmare – Dark
    The powers of the Dark are at the character’s disposal. No longer merely creating images to frighten their foes, the Lucid is able to pull the stuff of nightmares into the Unbound World. These beasts take on a life of their own, serving their summoner before the Dark Realm calls them back.

    Yes, out Psychologist has gone from being able to survive in a punch up due to their ability to assess the situation to plucking their assailants worst fears from their minds and bringing them to life. It may be cruel, but the Dark makes no moral judgement.

    To round out our Psychiatrists abilities other solid Boon Choices include Telepathy and Hive mind allowing quick mental communication between Coven Members and Passive Reader allowing them to scan the surface thoughts of everyone around them providing a defensive bonus.

    Next time we’ll pen an article on the Inspirational Writer.