Rogues: Connection

This is the first entry in my series about companion mechanics for generating fantasy characters. I’ll write more about the project itself, later. For now, I’d like to get this stuff out of my brain and into the ether.

source: https://imgur.com/gallery/uKuYK

The defining characteristic of Rogues are their Connections. For many rogues, this is the Underworld- a loosely defined chain of smugglers, thieves, bandits, and spies that trade information and contraband in shadowy webs. For some rogues, their connections are to fellow heretics, as they hide from unaccepting eyes. Some rogues are revolutionaries, fighting to overthrow the established order in some capacity and remake the society in which they live. Some rogues, almost paradoxically, are members of extralegal or semi-legal enforcement agencies- think witch hunters, bounty hunters, and the like.

So when you make a Rogue, choose one Association and one History. You will also choose one Mission, secretly. You start the game at Rank 1 and Reputation 1- low but with many opportunities to rise.

Association

  • Criminal– Making money outside of the law
  • Heretical– Beliefs outside of the norm
  • Revolutionary– A better world is possible
  • Espionage– Agents on the line of the law
  • Protectors– Keeping the realm safe

When you select an association, name it and identify your primary contact (your handler, immediate superior, boss, or some combination). Name its ultimate purpose and a few signs to identify your peers by.

History

  • Neonate– You are brand new in the organization.
  • Disgraced– You’re well known in local circles, but not necessarily for a good reason. Write this event down. Your rank is 2 but your reputation is -1.
  • Rival– You accidentally made a few bad moves and gained a rival out of your league. Name them. Your reputation starts at 2.

Mission

Completion of a mission increases your Rank or your Reputation. Failing a mission may or may not cause your Rank or Reputation to decrease.

The following is a list of suggestions for missions:

  • Smuggle– get an object from point A to point B
  • Steal– take something important from someone and bring it back safely
  • Sabotage– break or destroy something without being caught
  • Blackmail– gather evidence of a wrongdoing or embarrassment and then return with proof
  • Assault– Harm (but do not kill!) a target
  • Murder– Kill a target, and present evidence
  • Silence– Prevent the spread of information at its source
  • Rescue– Save someone from a bad situation
  • Escort– help a person get from one place to another

Postscript

I am trying to be better about attributing source to the images I borrow, but I just browse Pinterest for them and half the time there’s not any actual attribution, just a link to some hosting site (like the image here).

I also don’t know how I feel about having ‘rogues’ be ‘heretics,’ given the real-life effects of inquisitors and witch-burners and the like. And doubly so given that I prefer for my fantasy games to be polytheistic- but I wanted the rogue class to be able to have secret religious societies, typical fantastical ‘evil cults’ and the like and I couldn’t think of anything else.

Similarly, with the name of ‘espionage,’ although at least with that one I’m sure it’s not problematic.

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