When creating your character you have the option to choose a background. A background represents the sum of your experiences before you joined the caravan and is not something you can change later, even if you rewrite your character. Many backgrounds represent a profession while others may consist of ideals or major events in your character’s life. Some players may choose a background that helps to define or even sum up their character’s history, while others may find it as a useful tool to ground their character in the world around them. You may even choose to forgo the background altogether instead focusing on what your character will become instead of where they came from.
If you do not choose any background you gain an additional 4 XP during character creation. Some backgrounds work better with specific paths and races while others may not mesh well at all. Backgrounds are meant to be part of your character’s history, not a means to obtain a skill or “min-max” your character. With that said, we do reserve the right to deny a character’s background if it goes against the spirit of the game. You will have the option to choose a different one or take the 4 XP. Your Background Skill is a Legendary Skill and may only be used once per event.
“Ebon Orchid is great for everything! ...except eating. Never. Eat. It.”
Apothecaries specialize in the sale of herbs and potions. Most apothecaries can treat simple ailments and pains but may also specialize in the acquisition of rare substances or black market trades. Most apothecaries have studied abroad with medicine men or witch doctors, but without dabbling in hoodoo or spiritualism. They prefer facts and results over hokey religions.
Miracle Cure: You are able to cure yourself or someone else of any ails one would normally receive from starvation, thirst, or being exposed to the elements. You may only use this skill at the end of an event to ignore the negative effects from not collecting the necessary Water, Food, or Clothing commodities.
“20 sovereigns on the dumb looking one!”
Fighting clubs are all the rage in Amaran Society, from the gentlemen's duel, to organized pit fights, to the grand spectacle of gladiatorial combat. Regulated Carnage is a great way to earn some quick sovereigns and arena fighters know where to go and who to talk to. Many retired fighters spend their earnings on a ticket to Ki’mara to escape adoring fans or heavy debt, while others seek to redeem their losses and make themselves a new name.
Pit Scars: When you use this skill you can ignore pain from any number of sources for the duration of 1 hour.
“You call me a prude, and admit your impudence to me”
Barons are members of an elitist caste of nobles that cling to their medieval title that is nothing more than the remnant of a bygone age. They are often self-centered and only looking after themselves which has benefited them with certain longevity in the deadly lands of Ki’mara. Barons often employ serfs at the cost of their family estate and are among the few who still believe in this often “barbaric” exchange of services.
Contract Holder: You only need to provide half as many food or water provisions (rounded up) for any pallidus in your service.
Big Game Hunter
“There I was hearing a rattling from the thicket. I turned to see beaded yellow eyes, and fired at the devil beast!”
Ki’mara is rich in exotic game and dangerous animals that can terrify the toughest warriors. This deadly land is a paradise to the big game hunter. Dragons make an excellent trophy and there much sought after oil is only a bonus. Big game hunters are warriors who specialize in ranged combat using bows, crossbows and firearms.
Gun Nut: Ammunition costs 50% less when purchased from NPCs.
“As you see class, Iridium is the true heavy metal. Now turn to page 5.”
A chemist specializes in a kind of alchemy that is still new to most Amarans. They do not dabble in herbs but instead prefer the company of strange micro-flying devices and bubbling chemicals. Many chemists are employed by parliament to create bombs and gels for military application.
Chemical Emulsion: You are able to combine two potions that cannot normally be combined. This creates a single mixture with both effects.
“A penny for your thoughts, a sovereign for your secrets.”
Skilled, well-educated and well-respected, a professional courtesan is no simple floozy. While they do frequently act as escorts, they are nonetheless treated with a great deal of deference from nearly everyone. Speaking disrespectfully of a courtesan can be a social death sentence in some cultures. A proper courtesan is able to engage their customers on a philosophical and emotional level when necessary, and is properly versed in social etiquettes of many cultures. They often and inadvertently obtain knowledge which can get them in or out of trouble depending on how big the secret is.
Courtly Grace: You can convince a target to treat you as a trusted friend for up to 30 minutes. To use this skill you must initiate a conversation with them that lasts for at least 1 minute. While under the effects of this mental skill they should be honest with you as though you were their best friend and seek to gain your adoration. Buying you drinks, giving you sovereigns, and being honest about questions you may ask are a few examples of how this skill should be role-played. You cannot use this skill to force someone to answer any questions truthfully, but they must be honest about not being able to give you an answer. This skill can be defended against as though it were a mental attack but is not considered a hostile action.
“I’ve deduced that he didn’t die from the incurable cough. It seems that what he actually had was a case of... Murder!”
Familiar with the underworld and complex crimes, a detective is no simple constable and not someone you want on your tailcoat. Detectives are highly intelligent, and prefer to work through infiltration or old fashioned investigation techniques and science instead of magic. Most detectives abstain from divination or other vague forms of crime solving.
Solid Lead: When using this skill you may choose one of the following options. You are able to detect a poison that is normally undetectable to you, translate a single page you couldn't normally read (which may include a spell), or “find a clue” (a storyteller must be present).
“Our new project will completely eclipse all the rest.”
The Imperial Core regulates all manner of invention and scientific discovery. Their most prominent members are called Engineers, a position that requires much education and a license from parliament to achieve. Engineers of the core are treated like nobility in Amara and many carry egos to match. They are able to work on any project they wish and regularly improve existing devices. Much of their work is kept secret and far from the public eye.
Scientific Measures: A single device that you have a hand in making will have an additional 50% number of uses before it breaks down. This effect does not stack with other uses of Scientific Measures.
“With some silvery adhesive and a few hairpins we’re on our way.”
Inevitably devices break down and a mechanic gets them working again in no time. Also known to call themselves “gadgeteers,” these specialized craftsmen work on repairing and reusing inventions. Primarily found in the most civilized parts of the world these individuals have become essential to any caravan on a long journey. Gadget mechanics never stray far from a tool set and look at new devices as a chance to challenge them.
Gearhead: You are able to fully repair a device after roleplaying fixing it for 2 minutes. You must have a working knowledge of the device and the blueprints used to create it. If it is augmented you are able to restore these functions. You do not need any components to perform this skill.
“These scrolls are your tools, memorize them.”
Originally the term “Gaslight Mage” referred to a person who helped create the streetlights in the Amaran capitol. Since then it has come to encompass any mage who uses magic to improve the quality of living. A gaslight mage may use fire magic to weld, ice magic for refrigeration, or even shadow magic to repair devices without taking them apart. All gaslight mages tend to learn many spells instead of specializing like traditional Magus.
Mundus Incantum: When you use this skill you may build a single device as though you had Build Invention. Any device that is created with this skill receives an additional 25% charges or duration.
“I have a PhD from the most exclusive school of prestidigitation.”
Also called an Arch Mage these individuals have spent countless years chasing after arcane perfection and merely studying magic instead of applying it. All magi are members of the Arcane Union and actively teach others how to perform at a higher potential. A Magus dedicates their life to the study of magic and prefers it that way.
Thunder Call: A the beginning of every event you start with a randomly charged helatite stone. You gain an additional random stone for every tier you have attained in mage after novice.
“Gaze deep into my crystal ball! Your uncle will reveal his fortune to you as soon as you reveal sovereigns to me... I mean him!”
Most commoners see mediums as little more than civilized witch doctors, or gypsies that prey on the gullible. In truth, a medium knows many things and often deals in secrets of the dead, removes poltergeists, finds lost items and occasionally even deals in potions that can sway the feelings of others. Mediums tend to travel, since their voodoo often backfires once the medium is no longer involved; No matter how much they warn the customer or give them specific instruction on how a particular hoodoo is used!
Fear The Voices: You are able to learn the identity of a single spirit in your presence and speak with them as though they were alive for a duration of 10 minutes. This skill may be used on any spirit regardless of their strength and will cause them to temporarily stop attacking you while under the effects of this skill.
“I’m not losing anyone on my watch. I need a healing salve. Now!”
For as long as there has been war there will be people who can save lives when death is all around. While maintaining a full regiment of military training, these individuals are taught battlefield medicine and surgery and know how to perform life saving procedures during combat. Medics usually carry a medical kit with them and may even be trained in the use of armor or shields as well as melee weapons.
Resuscitate: You may heal a target for 1 point of damage who has been dead (beyond dying) for no more than 10 minutes. You must role play this skill for 1 minute for it to be successful and cannot be interrupted or else the skill will fail.
“Need help? Well you’re in luck. I need sovereigns.”
Ex-soldiers often turn to mercenary work after they have finished their active duty but many more are self-taught warriors or aspiring sell swords. Most mercenaries in Amara only know simple bodyguard work while others are full blown merchants of death. With mercenary work moving to Ki’mara in recent years, guilds have begun to specialize in “relocating” indigenous peoples.
Company Request: You are able to use this skill to immediately obtain any item valued at less than 10 sovereigns from Logistics. This may include items from the black market list.
“Oh masters above, thine divine right and fury be sated to know that your word is true among your flock.”
Bringers of faith to the heathens of the ancient continent and shepherd to those who have strayed from the path, the missionary is not out of place in foreign lands. Often seen as the most resilient of the church, these individuals are commended for their faith and courage, though one could find their death quickly if they act too brash.
Preach: You can spread the word of your pantheon to gain piety. When you roleplay this skill for 5 minutes you regain 50% of your piety.
“Nothing is more important than our own deliverance from ignorance.”
For as long as people seek knowledge there will be a need for teachers. A professor travels the world seeking to learn and share knowledge with any who seek it. They are professional tutors, members of small councils, and enthusiasts of literature and written word. Professors often take up the cause of free speakers, newspapers, and seek to do their own research. A professor in Ki’mara may be part of an expedition searching for artifacts or a librarian kept on retainer for the company. They come in handy when interacting with indigenous cultures, and are usually capable of translating ancient scripts.
Great Teacher: You are able to teach skills to more than one person at a time. Additionally you may assist others in teaching their skills to a group. You may use this skill in conjunction with manuscripts.
“People throw out treasure every day; it’s just a matter of seeing it from the right point of view.”
Often considered a garbage connoisseur, the salvager knows that the value of everything is in the eye of the beholder. From the junk markets of Araban to the Ki’mara coast, a salvager is about finding things that tossed out and making a fair profit in the process.
Salvage Everything: When you use this skill you are able to destroy a single invention and obtain all of the components used to create the device. You must roleplay this skill for 1 minutes. You cannot use this ability on unique devices, but may be able to use it on plot devices (speak with the narrator).
“Like I said last time! It still looks clear!”
Scouts draw upon a combination of fleet-footedness, wits, and knowledge to safely navigate the wilderness of Ki’mara. They are well equipped to traverse dangerous places and blaze trails for caravans. Some Scouts are trackers or hunters, while others act as outriders for the military. They may also be outcasts from civilized societies who have learned to survive on their own in the wilderness.
Trailblazer: You may use this skill at logistics to learn the location of one landmark and interact with it immediately.
“Why anyone who has experienced the salt and sun of the sea would ever wish to travel ashore is beyond me.”
From the dreaded Odun pirates to a Harena merchant vessel, a crew is only as good as their captain. The ship captain represents a class of respected and feared individuals that brave the Vast and Trekless Ocean and see no danger beyond their triumph. However, the sea is cruel mistress and many captains find themselves the victim of pirates, storms, and sea monsters only to end up landed for a time before they can afford a new ship. A captain among the caravans is an odd sight, but the adventure and mystery of Ki’mara is enough to entice them to try their hand at fortune and glory in this strange land before earning an honest pay.
Fisherman’s Folly: You are able to treat Water Commodities as food, but are twice as likely to get sick if you fail to collect what you need from either. You also need 1 less water commodity to survive overall.
“Turn that way. Ok, now back round an’ show the good gentleman yer teeth. Now recite your her’tage...”
These individuals specialize in the purchase and sale of Pallidus elves. Slavers are the few members of society that may own more than one Pallidus at a time but they may still only have one as a personal servant. Many slavers act on the behest of a wealthy individual or sponsor. Slavers hold open market sales as well as private arrangements depending on the stock that they have available to them.
Purchasing Contract: You have a contract that allows you to purchase Pallidus elves at reduced values. You have a benefactor who provides 75% of the cost for any elves sold by free dealers (NPC slavers).
“Give me a hammer and I’ll give you civilization.”
This profession encompasses Blacksmiths and specialists including Gunsmiths, Weapon Makers, and Armor smiths. Smiths can be found in every town as they provide the basic necessities for civilized life. Most were born into the profession and are content with the company of their hammer and tongs.
Forge Ingenuity: You are able to expend 50% less materials (rounded up) when crafting a single item each event.
“Get in line you maggots!”
Soldiers have a direct connection to a militant organization or government and have received a formal military training. They favor universally available melee weapons above firearms and especially disdain from using magic. A soldier’s livelihood does not necessarily rely on their battle prowess but instead their ability to work well as a unit and recognize their chain of command. Soldiers can be dogmatic at times but also tend to have a natural sense of justice and honor.
Military Doctrine: When using this skill you are able to predict the actions and movements of a known enemy. You may speak with a storyteller to gain insight on an enemy group which may include their goals, combat techniques, or even the time and place of an attack.
“A speedy delivery? A lost item found? Love spells? Sounds like my kind of job.”
The magical equivalents to a sell sword, most sorcerers set up shop and sell their powers in small towns or hamlets. Their services are usually kept mundane and the work pays well enough that they have time to take up other hobbies or participate in local affairs. Sorcerers tend to be considered lazy among most mages but they do enjoy a much more lavish lifestyle and above average comforts.
Coin Mage: You receive a payment from one of the mundane jobs that you recently performed. When you use this skill go to logistics to gain a random amount of sovereigns based on your level.
“Ready! Aim! Fire!”
Now a cornerstone of the Amaran Army, these soldiers combine traditional military training with firearms to deadly effect. Most steam soldiers wear lighter armor which allows them to retain mobility while retaining protection against most melee weapons. Being unable to face another army head on with their standard munitions, the steam soldier usually specializes in hit and run tactics, artillery, or second rank marching formations. In some ways they represent the fragile innovations that they protect, in hopes of future progress.
Ammo Cache: When you use this skill go to logistics to obtain extra ammunition (including special ammunition) for a weapon you own and equal to your level.
“We will have your insides all sorted out in no time.”
The ancient continent is a dangerous place. People get wounded in raids, infections, and disease is rampant. It would seem that surgeons became necessary to the survival of the caravans as time progressed and medicine became less a mystical art and more a hard science. Surgeons are not meant for the new world, but a few have braved the shores in hopes they can do some good and save some lives.
Miracle Worker: When you use this skill you are able to reattach a severed limb, or replace a missing organ even if it does not belong to the person you are attaching it too. They immediately regain the ability to use the body part as though it were their own. This skill takes 5 minutes of roleplay to complete.
" A word, good sir? We are but poor, lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?"
These are your average everyday thieves or muggers. These are the men standing in the midst of the night stopping travelers to shake them down. A highwayman is at home on the Ki'mara frontier, able to live off the land and as an expert at removing valuables from those too careless to keep them safe.
Non Official Toll Collector: This skill works like Sneak Thief except that it always recovers a magical trinket or equivalent item.
“The Contract will be fulfilled to your specifications. Thank you for your business.”
Killing is a business, and business is good. Clients pay for the removal of various types & numbers of targets. You provide that service by any means.
Contacts: You are able to gain general information about one target. To use this skill go to logistics or speak with a storyteller. You may attain the following information about any NPC or PC character: Hit Points, Level and Paths, Background, Affiliations, or Relatives.
“I have the capital that is sorely needed, let’s make a deal...”
There is no banking system on the frontier but there is a high demand for coin. You provide a much needed service. although you lend money you keep a watchful eye on your “investment”
The Price Is Right: you can make an investment and receive 150% of your original investment. You can invest a maximum of 500 SV. To use this skill, go to logistics at any time during an event.
You own an airship and steal the lighting from the heavens. Always on the lookout for the sky marshals you deal in the lucrative market of raw lighting. Airship owners who collect raw lighting before it strikes the ground. It is sold on the black market to master minds for major inventions and other non parliament sanctioned activity's.
Lightning Chaser: You can go to Logistics and you will be informed [[of the general location of where lightning has left helatite.
“How can we ever repay this kindness? Ah, don't mention it. Seriously, don't mention it...”
Most outlaws aspire to the role of mob boss but few ever reach it. These criminal masterminds keep their eyes on the big picture and always have larger than life goals.
Procure: As a resourceful leader, you can manage to “find” things from the armory that won’t be missed. You may obtain one randomly chosen weapon or piece of armor per event. This item is made of a rare material or has other unique benefits.
“Let me check the books....”
Wherever their are ill gotten gains you will find a money launderer. Experts at turning criminal profits into legitimate currency, these individuals are masters at forging numbers, smuggling, and assisting other vagabonds with their crimes. Money Launderers are among the toughest thieves to catch and often front or run a legal money changing business. Only the best detectives and do-gooders can snoop out these crooks.
Cook the Books: When playing the land game you may choose a single land and have it produce goods using d6's instead of d4's.
“Fit and hide this in that? No Problem!"
Sometimes luck is more important than skill, but it never hurts to have both. Smugglers know all the trade routes to and from the caravan and how best to avoid both Amaran soldiers and natives of Ki'mara.
Conceal Contraband: You may use this skill to completely conceal any object (including a chest) inside a room or area. This skill defends against any skill that would reveal the item for 1 hour and even works while your unconscious.
Dune Strider (Harena)
“When you see the fig season, then you can announce the muddy season.”
History records their abilities and methods; they are masters of trade covering vast territories. Striders have the ability to successfully bring goods to market more than any other race, with all that entails. They have the ability to evaluate goods and to identify who would want them, knowledge of trade routes and fares and skill at negotiating prices.
Hidden Assets: Deeds cost half as much to purchase. Additionally you may obtain one land upgrade for free each event.
Sand Stalker (Balicai)
“Who is given and refuses will seek and not be given.”
Take what others have and melt back to the sands. While anyone or group can raid for profit you know how to be one step ahead of retribution by claiming the nearly uninhabitable places of the world.
Professional Raider: Once per event when you attack a camp or similar tribal settlement you may call, “Sand Stalker” to deal an additional 1 damage with all of your attacks. This effect lasts until the end of a battle.
“You like yes? You buy my silk? Good, Good.”
Most arachnis can only produce a silk that is sticky and unfit for anything but building a forest home or wrapping their meals. You are an uncommon spider capable of turning your silk into sovereigns. It is stronger and able to be weaved into cloth for a number of purposes. The Odun favor spider silk for their sails while others wear them as garments or layer it to form blankets.
Spinner: You gain 1 Crate of Arachnis Silk every game.
“Good choice sir, excellent form, now about that labor acquisition?”
You are no mere butler, you are the ultimate butler. You’re capable of administering holdings, from households to kingdoms, and your wisdom covers the needs of these estates. You have been bred for business and have a formal education in many mundane skills. You have the knowledge to maintain buildings and the social skills to coordinate labor, resolve disputes, keep those who must be paid satisfied, and so on. A skilled valet can even evaluate the state of another’s holding based on personal experience and theoretical knowledge.
Master of the Estate: You are able to generate an extra 20% production from any lands that you help maintain. Additionally, your master gains 2-8 bonus Sovereigns a month equal to your level.