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Old 06-03-2022, 11:13 PM   #1
Michael Thayne
 
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Join Date: May 2010
Default Cowardly cleric NPC

A common problem in RPGs with designated healing classes is that sometimes no one wants to play the healer. Several solutions to this problem exist, including issuing the party with a less-powerful sidekick who can heal. But what if instead they happen upon an NPC who's technically built to player character specs, but has disadvantage choices that make him totally unsuited for delving? I might actually use this character in conjunction with I Smell A Rat, so feedback is appreciated.
Father Pusillanimo
248-point Human Cleric
Father Pusillanimo doesn't seem to have a regular temple posting. Instead, he's the kind of guy that, as the cliche goes, you're likely to meet in an inn. He's very friendly, and he'd be very interested in joining your adventuring party... but what's that? There are rats involved? Unfortunately he has a phobia of rats. Oh, it turns out all the rats are gone, apparently killed by giant spiders? He has a phobia of spiders too. Maybe he could hang back at camp and provide healing for a half-share of the treasure?

ST 12 [20]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 14 [80]; HT 12 [20].

Advantages
Clerical Investment [5]
Energy Reserve 5 (Holy) [15]
Faith Healing [33]
Power Investiture 3 [30]

Disadvantages and Quirks
Chummy [-5]
Combat Paralysis [-15]
Cowardice (12) [-10]
Post-Combat Shakes (6) [-10]
Vow (No Edged Weapons) [-10]

Avoids combat on the grounds that “the gods abhor bloodshed”. [-1]
Hems and haws when asked for advice. [-1]
Pretends to have specific phobias to avoid admitting he’s afraid of everything. [-1]
Talks with his hands—loudly. [-1]
Willing to strike unusual deals with delvers for healing services in defiance of temple policy. [-1]

Skills
Axe/Mace-14 [8]
Diagnosis-12 [1]
Esoteric Medicine-14 [4]
Exorcism-14 [4]
First Aid-14 [1]
Gesture-14 [1]
Hidden Lore (Spirits)-13 [1]
Meditation-12 [1]
Observation-13 [1]
Occultism-13 [1]
Public Speaking-13 [1]
Religious Ritual-12 [1]
Research-13 [1]
Savoir-Faire-14 [1]
Shield-14 [4]
Surgery-12 [2]
Teaching-13 [1]
Theology-12 [1]
Throwing-13 [4]
Writing-13 [1]

Spells
Awaken, Cleansing, Great Healing, Healing Slumber, Lend Energy, Lend Vitality, Major Healing, Minor Healing, Neutralize Poison, Recover Energy, Relieve Paralysis, Restoration, Restore Hearing, Restore Sight, Restore Speech, Share Vitality, Stone to Flesh, Stop Bleeding, Stop Paralysis, and Stop Spasm.

Equipment
$2,000, 83.26 lbs. (Medium Encumbrance)
Canteen, Full. 1 quart water. $10, 3 lbs.
Clothing. $0, 2 lbs.
Coins. 13 copper. $13, 0.26 lb.
Healer’s Kit. $200, 10 lbs.
Holy Water x4. $30, 4 lbs.
Mace. 1d+5 cr (Reach 1). $50, 5 lbs.
Medium Shield. DB 2; 1d-1 cr (bash). $60, 15 lbs.
Personal Basics. $5, 1 lb.
Potion Belt. Holds holy water. $60, 1 lb.
Rations, 6 meals. $12, 3 lbs.
Light Mail Suit. $1500, 36 lbs.
Small Backpack. Holds coins, healer’s kit, personal basics, rations. $60, 3 lbs.
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Last edited by Michael Thayne; 06-06-2022 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 06-04-2022, 03:02 AM   #2
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
A common problem in RPGs with designated healing classes is that sometimes no one wants to play the healer. Several solutions to this problem exist, including issuing the party with a less-powerful sidekick who can heal. But what if instead they happen upon an NPC who's technically built to player character specs, but has disadvantage choices that make him totally unsuited for delving? I might actually use this character in conjunction with I Smell A Rat, so feedback is appreciated.

Vow (No Edged Weapons) [-10]
First, I like the character idea, I mean Im flat stealing it I like it so much. Reading this gave me a great idea for one of my campaigns that has been sort of lacking an NPC with some interesting flavor.

Your idea works with some minor tweaks as an NPC healer 'non-participant'... "I'll just wait here and you come back to me with your healing needs."

A couple changes I would/will make to make the character a little more viable as an NPC or even a PC (I don't really do the "Delving" trope):

This I would do regardless - Lower DX by one (just to recoup some points)
This I would do regardless - Drop Lazy
This I would do regardless - Cowardice at the normal -10 for a control roll of 12. Anything more would be debilitating to the point he would have a reputation that was fairly well known at this point in his life, and he would honestly be useless in all stress situations including being left at camp in an unfamiliar place

I think your vow is to many points for too little restriction.

For Vow -5 I would say can not touch edged weapons, meaning not even to pick one up and hand it to someone.

There are far too many effective alternative weapons and to be frank its not even out of trope for a non-combat PC to not use edged weapons. A 10 point disad requires a little more than restricting himself to one class of weapon. I'm not even sure that would constitute a 5pt disad, in this setting there are surely people that go their entire life without using an edge for anything more than cutting their meat to eat it. In fact he would be at a bit of a disadvantage with certain healing rolls if he can't even use a knife (though I am perversely ok with this as I think it would add fun moments).

-10 would be like can not touch a metal weapon, even to pick it up or hand it to someone. This would limit him a great deal in defending himself but gives one small out for wood clubs, staves, and stone.
This would allow him to use stone edges for surgery (Obsidian is insane sharp but not ideal for cooking prep, which probably has him always trying to foist off the food prep to someone with a proper knife).

-----------------------------------------------------------
These are my personal tweaks for how I will use him ...
Change Hem and Haw quirk to a Carousing quirk. He likes to find groups to tell his stories, he's always trying to invite himself to parties and events.

I would add a Compulsive lying about his adventurers, his metal/edge issues, and value/contribution to his group(s) -5.
I would add a Delusion that people don't realize/recognize his cowardice, he's soooo good at covering it up -5. (or drop this one if it seems crunchy, I have a vision in mind for how I will play this character as a GM, a player would deserve some kind of credit for this I'm just not sure how it would manifest as a specific disad).

I would add the Skills: Carousing [2], Fast Talk [2] and Cooking [1] (cooking gives him another reason to be behind at the camp), if you use the -10 vow then add skills for making flint edges.

He can often be found in taverns and talking his way into lower status events, regaling people with stories of his adventures and making promises/signing his X without really thinking through the consequences. He might even be generous with his healing to the less fortunate, at least minor ills (could swap Charitable with his healing CR12 for -5 instead of Unfit).

He talks a great game, and he has skills and abilities, but he never seems to run with the same crew for long and its always something other than him being the reason he had to move on (Blames his religion, disagreements over treasure/treatment/behavior, the group wanted to go north and he's not fond of the cold, etc). He's inclined to give away his healing anyway just to relieve peoples suffering, this is the best way he has found to make some money doing it since he's horrible at holding out when the person is standing in front of him.

Oh, how he misses being on the road where he can bring the glory of ?????? to the masses and the thrill of not knowing whats around the next bend. You seem like a great group of fellows, maybe you could use my services?
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Old 06-04-2022, 09:06 AM   #3
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
I think your vow is to many points for too little restriction.
While I respect your interpretation and it's certainly a valid table choice (long live rule zero!), the writeup of Vow in Adventurers (p. 67) includes "no edged weapons" as a canonical example of a -10 point vow. It's included on the Cleric template, and it is on the sample character, Francesco Zombani. So it is definitely RAW.
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Old 06-04-2022, 10:00 AM   #4
zoncxs
 
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Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

I would keep cowardice, but at the -10 level.

Add post combat shakes or combat paralysis. IDHMBWM so I don't know if those are in DFRPG.
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Old 06-04-2022, 10:37 AM   #5
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
While I respect your interpretation and it's certainly a valid table choice (long live rule zero!), the writeup of Vow in Adventurers (p. 67) includes "no edged weapons" as a canonical example of a -10 point vow. It's included on the Cleric template, and it is on the sample character, Francesco Zombani. So it is definitely RAW.
You are correct (its one of those DFRPG vs GURPS headspace things).

That said I would still make the changes dropping Lazy and putting Cowardice to a standard -10 paying with a point of DX.


*I* will still add that compulsive lying about his adventuring and pick up those skills in Carousing, Fast Talk and Cooking.

You actually got me excited about playing this character, I have a partial story written for him to work him into an existing campaign. No matter how you end up using him, I appreciate the you being my muse for a day :)
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Old 06-04-2022, 10:55 AM   #6
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

I did consider Combat Paralysis and Post-Combat Shakes, though I decided I like Laziness because I thought it fit well with the idea that he might negotiate for a half-share of treasure. Post-Combat Shakes and Cowardice also seemed a bit redundant. But maybe I could drop Cowardice to (12) and remove Unfit to make room for Post-Combat Shakes? Hmmm.
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Old 06-04-2022, 11:46 AM   #7
zoncxs
 
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Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

I like the idea of all three disadvantages together. You have someone who is cowardice with combat paralysis and post combat shakes. That means they will do what they can to not fight, even run away, and IF they have to fight they freeze up, and IF they do survive they are a wreck after the fight. Kinda leans into the "Now I see why he is a coward".
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Old 06-06-2022, 09:22 PM   #8
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Cowardly cleric NPC

I have edited the disadvantages. Previously they were:

Chummy [-5]
Cowardice (6) [-20]
Laziness [-10]
Unfit [-5]
Vow (No Edged Weapons) [-10]

I also considered Cowardice (9) [-15] and Post-Combat Shakes (12) [-5], but I as I think about it I kind of like the idea of Post-Combat Shakes being the bigger problem.
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