Saturday, December 5, 2009

Structure Divine

The process. It's everything that makes what's at the end of the road worth the trip. Even as I carefully explore and define the worlds I seek to create I end up defining myself as much as I do a fictional habitat. I'm really liking this new book. The main roles portrayed by humans in the story are soldiers, police, and folks with a profound connection to the Primordial Light. Keeping it simple I tried to define the roles based on what would be fun and familiar for the actors portraying them. I particularly like the Sheepdog.


Cities of Light are places of enlightenment, peace, and community. However, like every city, there are people who live to hurt or exploit others for their own gain. Thieves, rapists, killers, pedophiles, and worse still float to the surface like un-flushed garbage in the waters of civilization. Every city of light has people who won’t sit by and watch these things happen. These people begin as petty vigilantes but are eventually reigned in by The Shepherd, an official appointed by the Senate.

Sheepdogs want only one thing, to protect their friends, family, and neighbors from criminals. Generally working in pairs, they patrol the streets and tunnels of their City looking for rogues and perverts. They are granted powers allowing them to search homes and businesses and apprehend criminals, provided they turn them over to the Senate for judgement.

Sheepdogs are trained investigators who have learned to hunt down other human beings. They use forensics, crime scene reconstruction techniques, and fingerprint comparisons to find the guilty and bring them to justice. Among their own, Sheepdogs don’t believe that this training is what makes them who they are. Most believe they were born for the calling, knowing they were different from others at a young age.

The Sheepdog’s Oath

I solemnly swear to protect the innocent, uphold the public trust, and pursue the guilty in accordance with the Law. I will avenge victims by bringing those found wanting before the Senate and the Primordial Avatar for judgement. I will uphold the highest standards of personal conduct and act as an agent of the citizenry and the Law.

Required: Inquest, Novice Level

Sheepdogs begin play with the Simple Weapon and Arcane: Firearms Fighting Styles.

Rank 1 [Officer]

  • Grim [Passive Mundane Ability]

Sheepdogs have a presence that grants them the ability to comfort victims, calm crowds, and terrify the guilty.

When using the Altruism Skill in the execution of their duties, your character gains a bonus equal to his or her Rank Modifier. He or she also garners the same bonus whenever they use their Athleticism or Close Combat skills to intimidate a suspect.

  • Sense [Ritual Mundane Ability]

Everyone throws off a vibe that colors the way others perceive them. Sheepdogs are natural readers of that vibe and can get a sense of someone through casual observation.

By making an Inquest skill check, your character can scrutinize a single individual. The very next Altruism, Athleticism, or Close Combat skill checks made against that target gain an additional die, and a bonus equal to Activation.

  • Violent [Reflexive Mundane Ability]

Sheepdogs generally prefer to resolve tense situations peacefully, but are fully prepared to lash out with violence to protect themselves, their fellow officers, or to subdue a guilty party. This capacity for violence is what sets the Sheepdog apart from the rest of the citizenry... from the sheep.

Increase the number of Fury Points your character generates at the start of a combat scene by 1.

Rank 3 [Detective]

  • Manhunter [Passive Mundane Ability]

Sheepdogs are relentless when in the pursuit of a criminal. Every moment the suspect wanders around free, they are capable of hurting someone else. Often, the Detective will not sleep, preferring to follow up leads and inspect evidence.

Your character receives a bonus to their Inquest Skill checks equal to his or her Rank Modifier.

  • Gunfighter [Reflexive Mundane Ability]

Sheepdogs are the only ones who manufacture and use firearms. A few become expert gunfighters who have the experience of countless fights under their belts. They know how to use cover, opportunity, and quick handedness to reload and use their weapons efficiently.

Any firearm in your character’s hands gains the Accurate WT and the Quick Reload WT.

Rank 5 [Sergeant]

  • Friends in Low Places [Passive Mundane Ability]

Sheepdogs often colaborate with Creeps to keep the city safe. In your character’s case, he or she has made a powerful ally and acquired a measure of Influence in the city.

Increase the number of Resource Points invested in your character’s Influence Rating by 10. Also, your character gains a Creep Contact of a Rank determined by the Storyteller.

  • Jaded [Reflexive Mundane Ability]

Your character has served the city for a long time, seen many things that broke their heart, known the taste of true terror, and faced their own death many times. He or she carries no illusions of idealism, and no mercy for the wicked. Whatever compassion they have left, is saved for victims.

When your character expends Fury Points to increase the DDP rolled against the worst sort of criminals, they may add 1D8 to that pool in addition to any other bonuses they are entitled. Damage inflicted in this way is always lethal, and your character has already prepared him or herself to explain yet another ‘death in custody’.

Unpublished Works © Arthur Walker 2005-2009

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