Concepts

Concepts for Art of War Heroes.

In Art of War, there are many stories to be told with the assistance of Tropes to define a heroic path. While you can fill your niche with a Trope angle, what can help guide you is the list of concepts to inspire character creation. We feature two different writing styles to highlight flawed and honorable concepts. Some with a description and others filled with questions to answer to help in background design of the hero. Not all are savory or simple, but are selected to portray a type protagonist. Below is a small sample from that list (some are still in draft format. Forgive our errors).

Acrobat: Flips, tumbles, balance, agility and strength highlight the qualities of an acrobat. Circus acrobats and wandering street urchins have talents that mix well with the lifestyle of a martial artist. Acrobats can be travelers showcasing skills of gymnastics, tightrope walking, dance and graceful movements by day, and use incredible talents to access third floor windows at night.

Drunkard: What happened to you? Or at least that’s what the townsfolk ask. You have fallen on hard times or an inebriated state is the only thing that quiets the voices, or perhaps you really just like booze. Everyone knows who you, but you often go overlooked and forgotten. Alcohol takes a lot of your money, no matter how you come by it. Keep in mind, even those with vices are entitled to redemption.

Hermit: For religious, research, training, or personal reasons you have shunned interaction with society to focus on your individual pursuits or redemption. Isolation can be a path of self discovery allowing a practitioner to understand and gain wisdom from the order of the natural world. How have you spent your time alone? Was it training on a technique, running from your past, or simply to become one with nature? Why have you come down from your mountain?

Soldier: Structured routine, paid accommodations, a term of service and decent salary is a life to look forward to as a soldier. This also means becoming a conscript in war that must be willing to face death. There are many avenues into becoming a soldier: volunteer service, family tradition, alternative sentence to minor crimes. Do you continue to serve in some capacity? Have you become a mercenary using your skills to earn coin? Have you recently ended your term of service and returning to civilian life?

Warrior Monk: Some call you a Sohei for you are a warrior devout in your belief. You do everything possible to maintain an ascetic lifestyle and religious devotion while practicing the martial arts. Even though your temple or sect might frown upon aggressive action, in this world you understand that you must be the warrior so others need not face the burden.

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Art of War (pregen): An, Wolf of the Midnight Cranes #savageworlds

A Savage Worlds pregen for the South of the Wall adventure

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

An, Wolf of the Midnight Crane
As an abandoned child found in the wilderness, An was taken in by a pack of outlandish Inumimi who worshiped the moon. An never knew he was different from the Inumimi. He hunted with them, rose through the pack and became one of the guardians of a decrepit temple dedicated to ceremonies when the moon hid from the sky.
Mistaken as the single abbot watching over the dwelling of the by travelers, An took to the assumed role with ease. He eventually made his home with in the temple, leaving his place within the pack.
Over the course of a summer, word spread from merchant to Buxist on pilgrimages of the revitalized temple and hospitality given to those that seek shelter. A Buxist known as Yun, approached An challenging him to the right of property of the temple. Yun belonged to the Order of the Midnight Crane, who previously held ownership of the grounds. An humbly backed down recognizing the proper ownership. Yun requested that An stay and attend to the people as he would attend to the temple.
An studied for many years, learning the traditions of BuXia. It was now his time to explore the world beyond the temple life and set a course of discovery beyond the plains of the Tiger lands.

Race: Umvee
Clan: n/a
Trope: Youxia
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6 (+1 when using staff) , Healing d6, Knowledge (Culture) d4, Knowledge (Kemonomimi) d6, Knowledge (ritual) d4, Meditation d6, Notice d6, Riding d4, Survival d6+2, Tracking d6+2, Throwing d4
Cha: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5 (6 with staff); Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Code of Honor, Phobia (minor, agoraphobia), Vow (minor)
Edges: Linguist
Max Chi Pool: 5
Chi Techniques: Bestial Form (wolf),, Negate Chi
Gear: Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10”), 7 rations), ceremonial books, fighting staff (Str+d4+2, Reach 1)
Special Abilities:
Conditioning: They ignore their first level penalty of Fatigue and treat their second level of Fatigue as a -1 penalty.
Defensive: Once per round, as a reaction to an incoming attack made against him, a youxia can spend a point of Chi and add +10 to his Parry.

Chi Technique
Bestial Form
Cost: 1
Duration: 1 hour
Trappings: bone necklace, drinking animal blood
A hero can spend 1 Chi Point to take the form of a single animal of his size or smaller, chosen at the time of learning this Technique. During the duration, the hero can shift form as a free action any number of times. While in this animal shape he retains his mental attributes, but takes on the physical attributes of the animal as well as any special abilities.

Negate Chi
Cost: 2
Range: Spirit
This Technique acts as the dispel power for Chi Techniques.

Art of War (pregen): Silent Bell

A #savageworlds pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

Silent Bell
Born in the destitute slums of a feudal lord along the eastern coast, the one known as the “Silent Bell” did what was possible to survive. Silent Bell was taken in by an orphanage at a young age, however being unable to speak since birth caused her social issues. Only being able to put up with so much teasing, “Bell” left the orphanage to find a life as a street urchin stealing what was needed to survive. Bell found shelter and comfort with other children and kemonomimi in dire straights. An Araiguma, Tum-Tum, took a liking to the small Bell and taught her the secrets of surviving.
She did very well for herself, living a carefree life doing what she wanted, while never being under the authority of anyone. Her arrogance was answered by a hawk-eyed fruit vendor, leading to a chase through the market square on a sunny afternoon. Finding refuge over a wall, Bell sought shelter in a near by building. Upon shutting the door, she turned to find a room filled with monks sitting quietly watching her. A knock would usher several monks guiding her through a garden to a back entrance.
A month went by as Bell found herself continuously drawn to the White Lotus Temple where monks tended gardens and blended into the background as parishioners paid homage to the shrine. She felt kinship to those that held a vow of silence and worked hard to repay them. Years after being indoctrinated, Silent Bell works as an advocate for the poor and looks to use her newly acquired land to open her own temple under the banner of the White Lotus.

Race: Human
Clan: n/a
Trope: Buxist (internal)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Acrobatics d8, Fighting d6, Knowledge (ceremony) d4, Knowledge (history) d6 Healing d6, Lockpicking d6, Meditation d6,  Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6
Cha: 0; Pace: 8; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Mute* (major), Vow (minor, poverty), Beyond the Borders* (minor)
Edges: Acrobat, Fleet-Footed
Max Chi Pool: 4
Chi Techniques: Clear Vision, Detect Inner Thoughts
Gear: Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10”), 7 rations), 200 ki (money)
Special Abilities:
Trance: Spending a full turn, Buxist fall into a temporary trace where they roll a Meditation check. On a success they enter this trance for a number of rounds equal to half their Smarts die, or full Smarts die on a raise. Upon entering the trance their initiative card is always considered a Spade and they are able to ignore wound penalties until the trance ends. When the trance does end, a Buxist must spend a Chi point for each wound before incapacitation that was incurred or suffer an equal amount of Fatigue wounds. While in this trance, should a monk get to the point of incapacitation, they may spend a point of Chi to remain conscious for one additional turn.

Chi Technique
Detect Inner Thoughts
Cost: 1
This technique works as the mind reading power.

Clear Vision
Cost: 1/2/3
Duration: 3 rounds
For 1 chi point, the hero ignores any and all obscurement penalties (darkness, fog, blindness, invisibility, etc). Cover penalties for solid objects still apply as normal. The area that can be sensed is a small burst template focused on the hero.
For 2 points the character can extend this area of effect to a medium burst template and can sense all around him, negating all attackers’ Gang Up bonus against him.
For 3 points the character extends their senses to a number of allies equal to half their Notice die. They gain the senses as though they had spent 3 points so long as they remain in an area of a large template focused on the hero originating the power.

Hindrance
Beyond the Border
The hero suffers a -2 on all Common Knowledge and Notice rolls in situations recognizing ceremonies, events, honor, saving face, or analyzing styles of martial arts.

*denotes Hindrances to be found in Art of War

Art of War (pregen): Saeko

Saeko, Serpent Shinobi pregen for the South of the Wall adventure. (Savage Worlds)

PreGen for the Art of War (Savage Worlds)

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

Saeko
Saeko was raised in the Serpent lands among the foothills of Mt. Rinzai. She lived a happy and productive youth, even coming from a loving home with two older brothers and a younger sister. She has never lived in a situation of strife and never had to struggle to survive, or go without. She has been blessed with height, a strong athletic build, and is well liked.
As a member of the White Scales Scorpion Temple, Saeko was sponsored by a Serpent Clan family and given clan honors. While attending school, she excelled in physical exams much to ire of her classmates. Gaining favor and special permissions, the others didn’t take to kindly to her presence. Those that tried to confront and challenge her, quickly learned that she was more than a match for them.
As fortune had it, and to the chagrin of the Serpent Clan, upon graduation she was given approval to join the volunteer forces on the condition to challenge her abilities. This was approved by the White Scales on the condition that she sends regular reports to the White Scales on the progress south of the wall.

Race: Inumimi
Clan: Serpent
Trope: Shinobi
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Acrobatics d6, Climbing d8, Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Lockpicking d6, Mediation d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Survival d4, Taunt d4, Tracking d6,
Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 8 (1)
Hindrances: Arrogant, Coldblooded (minor), Enemy (minor), Loyal
Edges: Absorb, Dire Wolf Breed
Max Chi Pool: 5
Chi Techniques: Chi Attack (melee), Koi’s Teachings
Gear: Reinforced clothing (+1 Armor), Ninjato (Str+d6), backpack, beadroll, blanket, 10 candles, flint, grappling hook, rope (10′), signal whistle, 40 ki (money)
Special Abilities:
Guard Dogs: Inumimi gain  a +2 bonus on checks based on smell and hearing.
Bite: Str + d6 damage

Chi Technique
Chi Attack (Melee)
Cost: 1
Once per round by spending a point of chi be for an attack, the hero adds +1d6 to either the attack or damage roll.

Koi’s Teachings
Cost: 1
Duration: 3 rounds
Range: Touch
The hero selects one Wild Card or Extra. When the selected target incurs a wound or fatigue wound, the hero must forego his wild die on his next applicable roll to allow the target to receive a second soak roll, if the first one failed. The target must accept the roll of the second soak roll.

Art of War (pregen): Silver Fang

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure. (Savage Worlds)

PreGen for the Art of War (Savage Worlds)

A pregen for the South of the Wall adventure.

Silver Fang
The nekomimi samurai known as Silver Fang began as a humble servant of the Lao Family. Silver spent his youth as an attendant to Xiao Lao as he attended his studies in the morning and practiced with sword tutoring in the afternoon. It was one of these tutors that was abusive in his teachings to young Master Xaio. Only when a training session finally went too far did Silver act on instinct.
Silver never knew what happened to the tutor, but Silver earned the additional name of Fang and was sent away from the Lao family to attend an elite sword school in the capital of the Tiger Clan territory. Silver Fang spent several years honing techniques and training in the ways of a solider. Upon his graduation, the Lao Family dismissed him as a servant and began to employ Silver Fang as a personal guard to Master Xaio.
After many years of services, Silver Fang was given leave of absence to find his own way in the world. Fang decided to answer the call and join the voluntary services.

Race: Nekomimi
Trope: Samurai
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Gambling d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Knowledge (Security) d6, Meditation d6, Notice d6, Riding d6, Shooting d4
Cha: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (3)
Hindrances: Curious, Internal Blockage (major), Loyal, Quirk (snoring)
Edges: Counterattack
Max Chi Pool: 2
Chi Techniques: Scorpion Sting
Gear: Samurai Full Plate (+3 Armor), Katana (Str+d6+2, AP 2), Travel Kit (bedroll, blanket, water skin, rope (10′), 7 rations), 125 ki (money)
Special Abilities:
Lucky: Nekomimi draw one additional Benny per game session.
Stoic: If a samurai is a defender in a Test of Wills, he may use Meditation skill in place of Smarts or Spirit. They also receive a +2 on rolls to recover from the Shaken condition and to resist Fear effects.

Chi Technique
Scorpion Sting
Cost: 1
Range: Touch
The when the hero succeeds on a Touch Attack, the opponent must make a Vigor check or suffer paralysis for 1 round. A raise on the Touch Attack, the target suffers a -2 to the Vigor roll.