Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Proppian Player's Guide (Oct 20 DRAFT)

Here is the next installment of the Proppian Player's Guide.

Spending the last two weeks in a cabin in the Finger Lakes has continued to inspire the development of the guide, as has The Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe and a few fairy tales I've had my head planted within. We've experienced autumn and winter in the same week, and it's been memorable -- lots of hauling wood and fire-stoking, interspersed with storytelling and lots of writing.

The result in this guide is more depth in the NPC classes, and at the request of some upcoming players to the realm, more information on the key nations of the region that they'll begin in. These nations will be fleshed out in much more detail in the Proppian Storyteller's Guide, since it's information that shouldn't be well known by the players, since the idea is to have them learn it in-game. However, to get my new players in the right frame of mind to create their characters, it helps to have some basis for their made up reality.

New NPC classes include:

Acrobat: Sneaking about the urban landscape under cover of darkness, the acrobat balances tight rope walking with weapon finesse to provide an athletic character class.

Friar: Traveling the world to preach their own interpretation of the gospel, friars know much of the world and contemplate the afterlife often. Others may see them as overly dogmatic, but they insist they are faithful to their faith, and this keeps them going as they journey from hamlet to township, making observations that they tie back to ancient parables in homilies delivered to all who will listen.

Hunter: Wandering the forest in search of food, hunters have learned where to aim, how to stand, and when to attack their prey. This makes them formidable foes in woods, cities, and dungeons, wherever they may roam.

Jongleur: The ballads sung by wandering minstrels don’t do their adventuring lives justice. In their long-winded tales, they tend to dance around the central theme as well as they dance rings around the local nobility and robber barons alike with their wordplay and wit.

Merchant: Nearly every society requires commerce to thrive, and who but merchants ensure that commerce is successful. Found in almost every settlement, merchants live for one of two things: to see the community prosper through their individual actions, or to see themselves prosper as the expenses of the community grow.

Scholar: Living physically sheltered lives in cloisters and monasteries, these true monks known as scholars receive exemplar educations. Others call them bookish, but when the need for ancient knowledge or other long-dead lore arises, they are often the only ones able to provide the proper perspective for the situation.

Shepherd: Astute animal handlers with aptitude for deep thinking and spending long periods of time in concentration, shepherds are known for their no-nonsense understanding of the ways of the world.

Tinker: Toiling away in their laboratories, tinkers develop new devices to solve society’s problems. Some of these improvements are seen on the battlefield, others in the healer’s tent, and still others remain in their labs, to one day be discovered by some courageous adventurer.

Get the latest version of the fairy-tale-oriented, Medieval guide here. Remember that this guide is still under development, to be released by the end of this year.

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