Tuesday 29 June 2021

8 Fighters, 8 Thieves

 This post is Aclas themed! 

8 Archetypes for Vayra’s Ultimate Fighter:

  1. Lion Knight

Heroes of the lost empire of Argonne, now an itinerant order of monster slayers in the Wilds.
All of them worship Ysault, the Last Empress of Argonne, who ascended to become Aspect of Crowns.  

Starting Equipment: Bronze gorget depicting a lion. Saffron robes covered in geometric patterns. A shotel. 30 rectangular gold coins looped on a knotted string. 

Benefit: You have 1MD, and have knowledge of the lost spell Sending, which once secured Argonnish dominance over the world. 

Drawback: You only speak Argosh at game start - once lingua argona of the world, now spoken by less than 3000 people. 

  1. Silver Arrow

In Atur-Ahm, there is a place called The Scar - a six mile long gap in the earth which leads right down to Hell. Atur-Ahm was founded in the mists of the past to prevent the escape of any denizens of that poisoned country.

Starting Equipment: Sturdy white robes, silver arrow earrings, high caliber rifle, 20 silver bullets, silver-plated dagger, box of black pills marked “Fiend-be-gone”.

Benefit: You can speak and read the Infernal Tongue, and you can identify different types of demon by their smell alone.

Drawback: You're not currently at the Scar, so you must have been dishonourably discharged, right? This cloud will follow you.

  1. Bar Hound 

Cilano is a horrible place to live. The prince is stupid, the goverment’s venal, the watch are vicious and the “citizen’s militia” are downright horrendous. Sometimes, you just want to get really fucking drunk and smash a barstool over a cop’s head, you know?

Starting Equipment: Factory overalls, case of six cans of red ale, reinforced chair, knuckle duster. 

Benefit: When you’re fleein’ drunk, you’re immune to fear, and can also roll damage rolls twice and choose the better result. 

Drawback: You’re an alcoholic. 

  1. Built-to-Order

You were built for war, in a very literal sense. The Daedali constructed before the War were referred to as Forged - built by hand, some by Dalus, your people’s creator, himself. You were not. Your limbs of iron and mind of brass were assembled cold and piecemeal in an Athrunnar factory. Your first memory is looking down at the rifle they placed in your hands.

Starting Equipment: Federation uniform (grey-blue), vis-rifle, dagger, detachable face-plate depicting an uncanny-valley human face, blue slip to claim a pitiable military pension. 

Benefit: You are a construct. You require Vis for Rations, but don’t need to breathe, cannot tire, and are immune to all poisons. You can go without sleeping, but due to using up fuel reserves, you need double Rations if you do so. 

Drawback: You sink like a 6’6’’ person made entirely of metal when in water. You are deeply fucked up by the things you’ve seen and done. You can't use potions or medicine.

  1. Deathless of Vizkov

You know, when you joined the New Church of Vizkov, you honestly believed the guff about Vizkov being the next Icon. Really, all that “second coming” shit really made sense at the time. Now, you’re an abomination of nature in debt to powers unknown. What can you do? 

Starting Equipment: Undead horse, plate-mail, spatha, one-shot pistol, 10 bullets, hidden and gigantic claws made from your former fingerbones. 

Benefit: You are a ghoul. You’re immune to poison and small arms fire, don’t need to breathe, and your claw attacks can cause agony on a failed save. 

Drawback: You are a ghoul. You smell of rot unless heavily perfumed, you can’t enter churches, and take double damage from fire. 

  1. Queen’s Hound

Your order was given high commission in the venerable days of the Darranish Empire to hunt down ghosts, demons, and evil spirits, and to bring the justice of the Marble Throne upon them. The collapse of the Empire and the destruction of the City of Darra has not slowed your order’s efforts - on the contrary. You are as busy as ever. 

Starting Equipment: Carbine, silver bayonet, 20 silver bullets, large and loyal dog, black coat sewn with silver wires.

Benefit:  You can immediately determine just what kind of supernatural nasty you’re looking at, and can rattle off 1d6 useful facts. 

Drawback: You’re beholden to the King of Thuun, a successor state of the Darranish Empire, for reasons mostly unknown. The current king is fucking dick. 

  1. Knight Figmenti 

Down in the Deep Kingdoms, it’s hard to find beasts of burden. Sure, there’s rothe in the eastern ends, but out in the western caverns and tunnels, no such beasts can be found. Most resort to riding weird shit - spiders in Lauroc, bats in Grimstaad, ghouls in the Revenant Empire. But the Knights Figmenti of Lastakar ride something very strange - nothing at all. 

Starting Equipment: Heavy leathers, Sturdy half-sword, Revolver, 20 Cacophony Cartridges, Beltful of copper bells. 

Benefit: By focusing for a round, you can rise into the air and zip along, as though you were riding an invisible, intangible horse. People will react appropriately to seeing this. 

Drawback: You take full damage from imaginary weapons. 

  1. Knight of Talida 

The Talida Marches are a very strange place. A part of the very holy and upright kingdom of Bydryg ruled by a dragon, of all things. Strangle-grasses, and unionised ents, and the Nocturnal Peasant’s League - but of all the strange things, perhaps the Knights are oddest.

Starting Equipment: Fluted armour, a longsword, a slightly old-fashioned horse-pistol, a tabard with the colours and pattern of your noble house, and a skyfish, a 12-foot long sturgeon capable of flight and magically synthesising its own water in it’s bizarre fan-gills. You also have a saddle for the skyfish. 

Benefit: Your mount can fly, and your fluted armour is of excellent make (+1). You know all the ins and outs of courtly intrigue.

Drawback:  Your fish will fly off if you act in a non-chivalric manner while it’s present. 


8 Archetypes for the Ultimate Thief, also by Vayra. 

  1. Hive Peon 

Under the Hollow City of Cerzen, there is a gang, the Hive, which has fought off the great powers of the Underworld to rule uncontested. The source of their power? Spirit bees, which produce Black Honey, the single most potent drug in the world.

Starting Equipment: Well-made suit, needle-like dagger, cheap pistol, 12 bullets, and a small (mundane) beehive. 

Benefit: You’re immune to damage from insects, and can speak with bees.

Drawback: Dogs and bears are automatically hostile towards you. 

  1. Star Thief 

The name is more aspirational than descriptive.

Starting Equipment: Telescope, Star-Map, Expensive and Complex Array of Lenses and Golden Batteries, Glass Dagger, Waistcoat with a constellation pattern.   

Benefit: You have 1 MD. You can learn spells by stealing them from Stars. The spells are almost always weird, situational or even totally useless. Nobody else except other Star Thieves know these spells. 

Drawback:  You are now on the shit list of the crystalline angels who orbit the world. It’s one of their prime directives to prevent the exact thing you’re doing. 

  1. Faceless 

The Faceless are equal parts a criminal empire, a cult, and a circus troupe. Some years ago, you went to Facewood Forest on the wild and dangerous island of Kar Selaa, and carved yourself a mask. Since then, you’ve been induced into this underworld nation, this culture of takers and deceivers. 

Starting Equipment: Filigreed jian, two-barreled pistol, 20 bullets, a wooden mask depicting an animal, silk clothing, supernaturally sturdy boots. 

Benefit: In a legal sense, you don’t exist. Your real name (and any record of it) has disappeared from any record, and it will never again be written down. This is due to the old, word-hating magic of Facewood. Police and excisemen have a horrendous time trying to track you. 

Drawback: You cannot have a passport, or get any kind of government document like it. You also can’t sign letters with your own name. 

  1. Duskchild 

A pervasive cult among the stateless Thussai people. Their holy city is across a militarised border, and the bastards back in Terzalac consider their devotion to a single Aspect “pagan” - so many take up the woven night and the razored crescent. Death or freedom. 

Starting Equipment: A cloak made of perfectly matte and opaque black silk (makes you invisible in darkness), a big fucking knife, a small pistol with one shot in it, a holy symbol of Avdana (half-moon), and a catechism of the same (Collected Texts of the Guider of Stars

Benefit: At night, you automatically succeed rolls to sneak or do acrobatic shit. 

Drawback: During the day, you automatically fail rolls to sneak or do acrobatic shit.  

  1. Thief-Priest 

So - the sunlit kingdoms of knights and capitalists have their clerics from Ysault and the Triumvirate, right? So - stands to reason, that the moonlit side of things, the thieves and dogs and takers, they must have priests too, eh? Why are you looking at me like that? 

Starting Equipment: A wooden mask depicting the mortal face of Torc (the Aspect of Thieves. He was a bugbear.), a gigantic cloak with a number of hidden pockets and folded sections, a pair of stilts, a holy pistol which is totally silent, 20 bullets. 

Benefit: You can request help from the Criminal Temple of Torc, who administer first and last rites to the scum of society. You can also use a cunning combination of cloaks, stilts and masks to appear to be any height or species. 

Drawback: If your identity as a Thief-Priest is discovered, you will have to become a fugitive - both from the Law, and your fellow Clerics, who now see you as a liability. 

  1. Tomb Rat 

In the old centuries, the rich and mighty of Ossylran were buried in a necropolis, called the Tomb of Kings. Now, the dry centuries have crawled by, and Ossylran is no more - but the Tomb remains. A veritable city of the dead, which stands waterless in its dead-desert valley. Its riches are many - but, be wary, for not all of its inhabitants lie still. 

Starting Equipment: Three canteens, plain and breathable linen clothes, pickaxe, a single small charge of explosives, 50ft. Rope, and an entire human skeleton (wired together.) 

Benefit: You start the game with a randomly determined magic item. You also know how to read Old Sylorian. 

Drawback: The vengeful ghost of the ancient Sylorian noble you robbed is chasing you. 

  1. Blash Boggart

Mean little spiritlings, with heads like cat skulls and long, stretched out goblin bodies. Fiery tails of burning cord and nasty little fingers, like hot nails. They’re all ruled by a cruel and stupid king - so many flee from his palace of ash, out to the chill of reality. 

Starting Equipment: A permanently lit tail which resembles a burning cord,  Metal claws, 50 burnt coins of unidentifiable metal, a jug of “flammable water”, and a wooden token resembling a skeletal cat.

Benefit: You are half the height of an average person, extremely good at climbing, and immune to fire. You can enter the Spirit World by running full tilt into a fire bigger than you. Burn your skeleton-cat token to summon another Blash Boggart, who is far less capable than you, but very up for mayhem. 

Drawback: You light everything you touch aflame, should it be flammable. Silver weapons deal double damage to you, and copper bells ring in your presence. 

  1. Clan Bandit 

In the wild western regions of Viroch, where the trees grow seventeen cubits high and the spirits rage against even the building of a road, bandits were once a ubiquitous problem from the rulers back east. They’re still ubiquitous, but a controversial act of law has made them a problem for other people - they are now protected by law, the Bandit Clans of Viroch. 

Starting Equipment: A large and mean-spirited horse, loose-fitting wool clothes, a comb-dagger, an old and rusty hunting gun, 12 bullets, a book of Bandit Rules, a book of Common Herbs. 

Benefit: You can rob people and then flee back to Viroch, and can safely assume that Viroch will take your side. You also have a massive list of cheerfully violent relatives. 

Drawback: The governments of Bydryg and Thaeldar pay 1000 Crowns per bandit head. 


  1. Now this is fantasy. Particular favourite is the Blash Boggart.

  2. these are absolutely stellar, i am proud to have inspired them in some small way

    the italic paragraphs are a great innovation for more setting-bound archetypes, and i particularly like the race-as-archetype entries and the ones with a single MD

  3. "Your fish will fly off if you act in a non-chivalric manner while it’s present." is a contender for weirdest out-of-context sentence in the OSR, I think.

    I'd love to see a table of spells from the Stars, at some point.