Monday, September 16, 2013

The Knave - a Scoundrel with Style

The Kickstarter is now live, so for the next batch of posts we wanted to try to take our postings in a slightly different direction. The blog has already presented a healthy amount of information about the game world from a historical perspective. We decided that now would be a great time to present information about the viewpoint of the characters. After all, for a game group considering Accursed, persuading the players is just as important as exciting a Game Master about the material. With that in mind, we wanted to delve into the roles that we envision most commonly fitting into an Accursed campaign. We recognize, and most gamers should too, that not every hero in the setting is going to fit into one of these roles. Some might fulfill two or more, others might represent a completely different approach. However, these represent the archetypes.

In some cases, a carefully chosen word and a well-timed smile can represent an extremely effective weapon. Not every conflict is overcome with a blade or a rifle. Instead, simply talking out the situation can persuade an opponent to adopt a more amicable solution. Of course, sometimes, this doesn't always work, which is why a veteran knave is certain to have fallback skills—including those associated with running very fast.

Ultimately, the central focus of a knave is persuading others to assist her in achieving her goals. Sometimes, this is through a simple matter of persuasion. It could be that the knave has blackmail material or a precious commodity with which to compel her target. In other instances, the knave might instead rely entirely upon deception. Effective misdirection or a well-played bit of chicanery can be enough to insure that the knave's targets provide the assistance necessary to achieve her goals.

In the end, knowing background information about a target can make all the difference in determining whether a scam or an argument is most likely to be effective. Knowing what materials are in high demand, the name of a local mob boss, or an official's particular vices can make running an operation substantially easier. A skilled knave depends as much upon her network of contacts as she does upon her own social skills. It is, after all, these contacts who provide her with the information required to keep her operations going.

Most commonly, a knave prefers to rely upon her charm and her wits rather than her martial proficiencies. In many cases, a knave's greatest successes are those situations where her opponents do not even realize that they have been victimized. By the time her manipulations are recognized, the knave has long-since fled and moved on to completing a different scheme. Sadly, this approach often works better against a Witch's banes than against an actual Witch. Angry immortals with vast resources can sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to recapture "the one that got away."

Accursed introduces a Knave Edge, for characters who have achieved a particular degree of proficiency in persuading opponents as well as understanding the criminal underworld. These characters have a knack for finding the trading partner they need in order to obtain an unusual item, no matter where they are located. Often, they also know a bit of important information about the potential partner as well; information that can often give them an edge in any negotiations.

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