I’ve been working on this sub-setting for a while. It’s intended to create an adventurer’s guild sort of concept from traditional fantasy games, but with a twist. It sort of turns adventuring into a pyramid scheme. So basically here’s how it works. You start as an apprentice with a team of other apprentices that are lead by a journeyman. When you complete an adventure (called prospecting in the culture), you give 20% of what you make on the job to the journeyman. He in turn passes his 20% to the Master, and so on up the ladder. The basic idea is the Master is finding jobs for the Journeyman and his apprentices.
The second part of it is that it is supposed to feel like a very rough and tumble crowd. It isn’t something that someone leaves their village to do because it’s glorious, but they end up doing it because they’ve got no other option. These are characters who on some level are very independent and have abandoned what society expects of them. Leaguesmen are drunkards, murderers, thieves, ne’er do wells, tomb robbers, assassins, and bounty hunters. They’re also heroes who always seem to be there at the right time to save the day. The entire thing is falls some where between adventurers and organized crime.
I’ve made it a sub-setting on its own, but I also think it could easily be added into the Outcast sub-setting. The only reason I went with its own sub-setting was because it felt sort of like a unique sub-culture. Any feedback you can provide about the mechanics and the idea in general would be appreciated.
I’ve also added a bit of fiction to sort of give a feel for them. Thanks for any feedback. Where I would like people to look is at the time for the various lifepaths and so forth. They time for them is rather short, but life in the League is short and dangerous.
League and Prospectors and Moneylenders
Where to start with the League? Everyone knows that if you want shit done, you turn to the League. If you want your job done right, you don’t fuck around with two-bit independents; you turn to the best. The League.
But you want to know what the League is. Well let’s start at the bottom, because that’s where you’ll start. The League is best described as a loose association of prospectors who provide mutual support to one another. It’s a brotherhood of people with common interests.
What does that really mean? Well that’s a bit complex. The League provides the best ventures, and pay above what you will find for independent prospecting. They’ve got the resources and connections to fence those artifacts you’ll “recover” from the ruins. The League expects something in return. Whatever you bring back from the venture, you tithe ten percent to your Journeyman, and the journeyman does the same to his Master. What’s left after that is your take. That tithe guarantees a master has the resources to track down potential ventures, and maybe even a sponsor or two.
Now you’re all apprentices and what you have to do is listen to your Journeyman. That means me. If you want to be in the League, and get the best work, then you do what I say. There’s a lot to learn if you are going to call yourself the League’s man, and you don’t have much time to learn it. You don’t have the advantages I had. So pay attention.
You are probably thinking, “Why to have to pay attention to this roĵ, because I can find jobs on my own.”
You could, but the League doesn’t tell you what to do, then take your hard earned coin. They make sure that you come out of this alive. A master wants live men, not dead men. They pay more for one thing, and it means they can get more journeymen, which brings more apprentices, which brings more gold. Your Master makes sure you have what you need to succeed and not get killed.
We Journeyman do what our Masters tell us, but don’t go thinking that we can’t find our own ventures. The masters encourage it in fact. They want their Journeyman to be resourceful and creative. Anything that brings in more gold is good for the League. Some guilds are always creating their own ventures, but regardless those Guildsmen always pay their tithe. It’s our duty.
This all means the League protects you, mainly by allowing you to protect yourself. Like the Bishop’s men, you can carry a weapon in St. Bishop’s. It means have authority, because you make your own authority. You are League’s Men.
That doesn’t mean that you have the run of the Diocese. Just because you have a blade on your hip, you are still loyal to the Bishop. All League’s men swear an oath to never oppose the Diocesan Council, it’s the only way we can operate openly. In theory, the Bishop can call upon us, but it has only happened twice in 150 years.
Now I’ve told you all about how our relationship and the woman who I apprenticed to, but I haven’t told you who the masters answer report too. See there are those League’s men who are looking at the big picture. They’re called Doyen. They’ve been in the business for decades. They’ve built a network of masters and guilds that are constantly working on multiple ventures at the same time. Those Doyen pay their tithe to the Old Man. The Old Man? I’ve never met him. I don’t even know his real name. All I know is that when the Old Man calls upon you, you answer. If the Old Man needs something done, the League could very well depend on it.
Now you may be wondering if the we are all united in Brotherhood, that means we always get along. Well, that just isn’t the case. This is business after all. If you don’t take advantage of business opportunities, then them’s the breaks. This means that masters and journeyman may have rivals. Usually, they are friendly rivalries, but sometimes these rivalries turn to violence. I mean you’ve all seen, “The Guild of Sorrow”. That’s pretty much how it can be. But, just like that play, in the end we come together to stand against those who would attack the League. That’s because no one fucks with the League. We stick up for our own.
Do what I say, and pay attention. Be smart and stay alive, and you might be a journeyman in charge of your own guild some day. The window on this venture is closing quickly, and we won’t get the salvage if we don’t act.
So, are you in? Are you canal diving independent, swimming in shit and muck? Or, are you League’s Men? Will you call me Brother?
Heh… I thought you would. The oath? We’ll get to that later. For now, let’s get to the job at hand.
We’re after some Pigsteel Chests. Old fucking things. Built like vaults. Near impossible to get into, or at least that’s what they say. But forget the traps and puzzles on those things. That’s the least of our worries. These things are located in Avalonian Slaver Camp on Lookout Island. We’ve got a map, as if that’s much help. It’s old, and half the scribbles on it are in Old Tongue. Hell, the chest’s are right in the middle of the Commandant’s Fortress. All we have to do get by magical alarms, Nythian Eunuchs, and a pack of trained Tellasian wargs. It’s going to as tough as taking a noblewoman’s maidenhead.
The only advantage we have is the slavers… well they don’t even know the chests are there. They will though, and soon. So we gotta move. We have three days at best before they find them.
Name Time Res Stat Leads
League Apprentice 3 yrs 5 +1 M/P Any but Noble and Noble Court
Skills: 7 pts: Survival, Drinking, Gambling, Loot-wise, Ruins-wise, Tavern-wise, Appropriate Weapons.
Traits: 2 pts: Stormcrow, Daring, Reckless, Alert, Unctuous, Skinflint, Missing Limb, Missing Eye, Maimed.
Requires: Any Slavery and Servitude, Arcane Devotee, Archer, Bandit, Bastard, City Wife, Coin Clipper, Conscript, Cloistered Nun, Crossbowman, Desperate Killer, Failed Acolyte, Foot Soldier, Hostage, Hunter, Itinerate Monk, Itinerate Performer, Itinerate Priest, Kid, Landsman, Lazy Stayabout, Marine, Neophyte Sorcerer, Outlaw, Religious Acolyte, Runner, Scout, Sailor, Strider, Temple Acolyte, Thug, Urchin, Vagrant, Village Wife, Village Priest, Weather Witch, and Young Lady.
League Journeymen 5 yrs 20 +1 M,P Any
Skills: 7 pts: Appraisal, Oath-wise, Foreign Languages, Haggling, Intimidation, Command, Tactics, Instruction
Traits: 2 pts: Oathbound, Cool-Headed, Brave, Brash, Fortitude, Hardhearted.
Requires: League Apprentice
League Master 8 yrs 25 +1 M Any but Noble
Skills: 8 pts: Inconspicuous, Rumor-wise, Observation, Falsehood, Persuasion, Read, Write, Extortion.
Traits: 2 pts: Glib, Aches and Pains, No-Nonsense, Charismatic, Arrogant.
Requires: League Journeyman
Doyen 10 yrs 40 +1 M Any
Skills: 6 pts: Accounting, Administration, Soothing Platitudes, Hidden Cache-wise, Rule of Law
Traits: 1 pts: Connected,
Requires: League Master
The Old Man 2-10 yrs 60 +1 M Any but Noble
Skills: 2 pts: General
Traits: 2 pts: The Old Man
Requires: Doyen and permission from the gamemaster.
League Apostate 2 yrs 3 - Outcast, City, Village, Peasant, Seafaring, Soldier
Skills: 4 pts: Inconspicuous, Authority-wise, Road-wise, Ugly Truth.
Traits: 1 pts: Oathbreaker, Desperate, Outlaw, Cold-Blooded.
Requires: League Journeyman
Retired 2 yrs 30 - City, Religious, Noble, Noble Court, Peasant, Village
Skills: 1 pts: Tall Tale-wise, 2 pts: general
Traits: 2 pts: Reluctant, Grizzled, Potbelly, Thousand Yard Stare, Night Terrors, Flashbacks, Maimed,
Requirements: League Journeymen, Must be fifth or later Lifepath and can only be taken once.
Upon achieving Journeyman status, the apprentice is brought into the League and swears the Oath of the Brotherhood. The oath is considered a sacred bond, handed down from the masters. The oath states the rules and expectations of a how Leaguesmen interact and compete against one another. Leaguesmen are expected to defend the league, and one another. This also includes the customs such as hospitality, dueling rights, and other aspects of the oath. All Oathbound receive a 1D affiliation with the League and its members.
All Leaguesmen are expected to follow the Oath. Those who betray the brotherhood are tried by a jury of their peers, and if found guilty, the punishment is exile or death by drowning. The apostate must have one Belief that revolves around why they betrayed the League. He also gains 1D infamous reputation as an untrustworthy oathbreaker among his peers.
The life of a Leaguesmen is a hard and brutal one. Few Leaguesmen live to see the big score that allows them to retire. Those that do have seen many of their best friends brutally killed. The retired Leaguesman looks on their time rather bitterly, and he knows the life is dangerous and doesn’t want to be involved anymore. The character receives a forth Belief that focuses on how he doesn’t want to get involved in League business.
Skinflint Char 1 pt
Tragedy and heartache seem to follow Leaguesmen. After all, they wander the land stirring up trouble, it shouldn’t be a surprise that it follows them into picturesque, peasant villages. If it isn’t their drinking and whoring; it’s the bandits looking to pay them back. This unfortunate fact gives people pause when a Leaguesmen comes into town. They are rarely welcome and find many doors shut to them. That is until the town needs their unique skills, and the Leaguesman becomes the hero. This trait provides a 1D Reputation as a troublemaker and bringer of bad fortune. On the flipside, the character is also seen as exceptionally skilled and not to be trifled with.