The King is Dead

Friday, May 29, 2015

The King is Dead: Bloodcoats

Outlander

Malleus is an occupied country, trampled beneath the boots of a hostile army – an army made of its own citizens. Dressed in blood-red coats, the soldiers of King Wilhelm the Undying eagerly turn whip and rifle on their fellow humans in order to preserve the privilege of the vampires.

While the Mallean army is ready to defend the island from continental invasion or be deployed abroad in the name of colonial adventurism, its most basic purpose is to protect the haves from the have-nots. As the vampire aristocracy consider themselves shepherds of the people, so is the army (like the church) their sheepdogs. The bloodcoats watch over the common folk, keeping them peaceful and herding them where need be. 

Every significant city and town is home to a garrison of bloodcoats that arrests suspected traitors, puts down riots, and patrols the countryside for bandits and rebels. They are not a police force; they have no writ to investigate murders or retrieve stolen property (unless said crimes victimize nobility). While magistrates may call upon the military to enforce civil law (such as public floggings of thieves), there is no hope in appealing to soldiers to protect the weak and helpless.

Given the cruelty the military are trained to inflict on their fellow citizens, it may seem surprising that any commoners enlist. Joining the military is in truth a seductive opportunity for many Malleans. It is, literally, a promotion from prey to predator. Soldiers are lauded by the church and the nobility, given comforts denied most of the citizenry, and enjoy the power of life and death over their fellow humans. Those who impress the vampires and dhampyres that form the upper ranks of the military may even become moroi – gaining supernatural power by drinking the blood of their vampire patrons.

The daily life of bloodcoats is comfortable. Officers are quartered in the homes of wealthy citizens – usually merchants and tradesmen rather than aristocracy, but some nobles occasionally host high-ranking officers – while the enlisted men are usually quartered in barracks at the fort. In those towns and villages that have no fortifications, the enlisted men are also quartered on the populace; this has become increasingly common in the colonies and in Lochland. Rations are allotted to soldiers first when the winter famines come, and their tavern tabs are paid by government stipend.

Such soft living means that bloodcoats are often reluctant to risk their lives performing their duties. It is rare that their sharpshooting is equal to an experienced Wild Huntsman’s and few have the swordsmanship of the Bloodstained Blade. Graft and bribery run rampant through the military, leading to the dereliction of even basic duties. As long as bandits target commoners and don’t engage in sedition, soldiers turn a blind eye (especially when they also receive a greased palm). They may be sheepdogs, but they are mangy curs more often than not.

Bloodcoat Infantryman 
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d4, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d4, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d4, Survival d4, Taunt d4
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5 (6 when wielding bayonet in melee); Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Mean
Edges: Combat Reflexes
Gear: Brown Bess (Range 10/20/40, Damage 2d8, RoF 1, 2 actions to reload) with bayonet (Str+d6, Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands), uniform, 2d8-1 reichsmarks.

Bloodcoat Non-Commissioned Officer 
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d4, Notice d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Survival d4, Taunt d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Greedy, Mean
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command
Gear: Flintlock pistol (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1, 2 actions to reload), saber (Str+d6), uniform, 2d10-1 reichsmarks.

Bloodcoat Commissioned Officer 
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Battle) d6, Notice d6, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d4, Streetwise d6, Survival d4, Taunt d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5 or 6; Toughness: 6
Hindrances: Arrogant or Greedy, Mean
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command, Steady Hands
Gear: Flintlock pistol (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1, 2 actions to reload), rapier (Str+d4, +1 Parry; if infantry officer) or saber (Str+d6; if cavalry officer), uniform, war horse, 2d20 reichsmarks. 

Turn (duh)

 

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