Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Muscle 13, Aim 13, Fitness 13
- Alignments: Any Neutral
- Starting Cash: by class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: Spear and Shortsword
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Martial
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Haggling, Survival
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Appraising, Armorer, Blind-Fighting, Bowyer/Fletcher, Bureaucracy, Carpentry, Cooking, Direction Sense, Disguise, Endurance, Fire-building, Gaming, Haggling, Hunting, Information Gathering, Intimidation, Jumping, Land-based Riding, Literacy, Looting, Running, Tracking, Weaponsmithing, Weather Sense
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: Mercenaries are professional warriors. They do not fight out of loyalty, or duty, or even to defend their nation. They fight for money, pure and simple. And the more money involved, the harder they fight. For most of these adventurers, it isn’t might that makes right-it’s the weight of their employer’s purse.
Mercenary player characters lose little of their mercenary tendencies. They still look for monetary compensation for their skills, and some even consider themselves hired warriors attached to an adventuring party, as opposed to a full-share member of the group.
Description: Mercenaries are a diverse group and have no one “look”, save that they tend to wear the best armor they can afford (or loot from a fallen foe) and tend to be better armed than most people.
Role-Playing: Mercenaries leave their homes to fight for others in exchange for money or other compensation. Some may have originally taken up the role to escape former lives, others because their people have turned to less violent pursuits and the call of battle still rings in their blood. Now they fight for cash. Many races consider mercenaries to be traitors to their own kind, for they have decided to use their abilities not in service to their people but to fill their own purses.
Some mercenaries hire into military forces and are assigned to defend specific areas or wage war in the name of their employers. Others take on more personal jobs as bodyguards, enforcers, or extra muscle. In all cases, mercenaries consider themselves as professional soldiers-not as assassins or hired killers.
Mercenaries might be hired by villages to clear out marauding monsters, or by towns and cities to guard trade routes, but they are never really accepted in these places. Instead, they are feared, avoided, and relegated to specific areas as part of the terms of their employment. Most people consider mercenaries to be a necessary evil, They may buy their loyalty, but they never trust them completely, keeping one eye on them and one hand on their own swords.
Every mercenary has his or her own scruples, with set lines they will not cross no matter how much money is involved. Some will only fight for just causes or against equals, others will not attack innocents, and a few will not battle members of their own race. While some sages claim every mercenary has a price, most of these characters in fact display specific compunctions.
Player character mercenaries are usually just be coming off a job that turned out well but produced no cash, or one that went terribly and in the end all fees were held back. Maybe they even decided not to finish a job because it went against their own particular code of honor, and are now looking for other work. A mercenary might join an adventuring party for any number of reasons, but the bottom line (at least at first) will be “what’s in it for the mercenary.”
- Because of the nature of their business, mercenaries begin the game with one weapon (player’s choice from among those he is proficient with) for free.
- Due to his or her continual exposure to warfare, the Mercenary receives two extra weapon proficiency slots upon reaching second level. In addition, the mercenary may specialize in a weapon regardless of class, and must use these additional slots to do so if he has not already.
- Mercenaries have the ability to earn money by selling their services. In any situation in which swords are being hired, the reaction roll of the potential employer is adjusted by +2 in the mercenary’s favor. Naturally, employment will not be available all the time, and some jobs will conflict with the current goals of the mercenary’s party.
- Mercenaries are rarely without funds. They are either employed, have recently been hired, or have just completed a job and been paid. Characters may choose the form this wealth takes from the following: they receive a normal riding beast with accouterments for riding, their lodgings are paid up for a month, or they have bought into one share of a local merchant’s goods headed out on a caravan. In the latter case, after four weeks they may have nothing (50%) or they may realize 10d6 gold pieces from their investment (50%). Each time the mercenary completes a quest for an employer he receives one of these rewards or a commensurate amount (in addition to any payment agreed upon by the party).
- Mercenaries suffer a reaction penalty of -2 whenever common people encounter them; few trust them and most fear them. Any party with a mercenary as a member has a penalty of -1.
- Mercenaries are expected to be well armed. The mercenary must spend all of his starting gold save 1-6 gold pieces. Gold that is not spent on equipment is lost (but see above).
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