The King is Dead: A New Approach to Thralls and Moroi

Joanthan Harker vs. a thrall
(I couldn't find a photo so I had to use Mike Mignola art. Oh no!)

Playtesting The King is Dead gives me an opportunity to play around with the power levels of opponents. I’ve been concerned for some time that setting misses variety in its antagonists, so I need to experiment and see what options work.
 
After years of resistance to the idea, I’ve finally accepted the Savage Worlds dictum that opponents shouldn’t be “designed.” Building them with the same rules as player characters is a sucker’s game in an RPG system as swingy and wild as Savage Worlds. Previous versions of thralls/moroi were built around the idea of taking basic human archetypes and applying specific bonuses, but that resulted in only limited noticeable differences between normal humans and thralls. With the characters below, I’m beginning with the assumption that drinking vampire blood makes them notably stronger, faster, whatever than regular people.
 
Thralls are human servants of vampires given enhanced physical abilities by drinking the blood of their masters.

Thrall (Brute)
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d6, Riding d8 or Streetwise d8 or Survival d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d6, Throwing d8
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5 or 6; Toughness: 8
Hindrances: Habit [Major; blood addict], Vow [Major; to vampire master], Mean or Outsider
Edges: Berserker, Brawny, Combat Reflexes
Gear: Cavalry saber (Str+d6) or Basket-hilt broadsword (Str+d8, Parry +1), brace of flintlock pistols (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1).
Special Abilities:
  • Slow Regeneration
The brutish thrall may be a Kazar horseman, a rogue Keltisch gillie, or simply a Gothic thug plucked from the gutters. In any case, the brutish thrall attends his dhampir or vampire as a bodyguard and enforcer.

Thrall (Bravo)
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Riding d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Throwing d8
Charisma: 0 or -4; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7
Hindrances: Habit [Major; blood addict], Vow [Major; to vampire master], Bloodthirsty [allow a Streetwise roll; on a success, the bravo’s vile reputation is known to the character]
Edges: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Quick
Gear: rapier (Str+d4, Parry +1), brace of flintlock pistols (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1) or set of throwing daggers (Range 3/6/12, Str +d4, RoF 1).
Special Abilities:
  • Slow Regeneration
The bravo thrall may be a fallen gentleman, a foreign duelist, or a hardened criminal; regardless of origin, the bravo is a trained fencer with more courtly grace than a brute. Bravo thralls act as their master’s troubleshooters as often as they do bodyguards.

Moroi
A lifetime of drinking the blood of vampires and enacting their will changes a person. Inevitably, some of the pure, demonic evil of Sathaniel corrupts them, leading those thralls to become moroi – living vampires with abilities far beyond common thralls. Moroi may slake their thirst with the blood of humans, but must drink from a vampire at least once a month.

Moroi (Beast)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Riding d8 or Streetwise d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Survival d10, Throwing d8
Charisma: -4; Pace: 8; Parry: 7 or 8; Toughness: 9
Hindrances: Habit [Major; blood addict], Vow [Major; to vampire master], Mean or Outsider, Ugly (bestial features)
Edges: Alertness, Berserker, Brawny, Combat Reflexes, Fleet Footed, Quick
Gear: Cavalry saber (Str+d6) or Basket-hilt broadsword (Str+d8, Parry +1), brace of flintlock pistols (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1).
Special Abilities:
  • Bite: When the moroi has a victim grappled, it may bite for Str+d4 damage.
  • Slow Regeneration
  • Weakness [Sunlight]: The moroi is a -2 on all physical actions taken in direct sunlight.
The bestial moroi is a predator in form and deed. Its teeth have grown into sharp, vampiric canines and its senses have grown more feral. The bestial moroi may lead packs of lesser thralls or act as an independent agent for its master or a government agency.

Moroi (Viper)
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, Investigation d6, Notice d8, Riding d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Throwing d10
Charisma: 0 or -4; Pace: 8; Parry: 8; Toughness: 8
Hindrances: Habit [Major; blood addict], Vow [Major; to vampire master], Bloodthirsty [allow a Streetwise roll; on a success, the viper’s deadly reputation is known to the character]
Edges: Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Level Headed, Fleet Footed, Quick
Gear: rapier (Str+d4, Parry +1), brace of flintlock pistols (Range 5/10/20, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1) or set of throwing daggers (Range 3/6/12, Str +d4, RoF 1).
Special Abilities:
  • Bite: When the moroi has a victim grappled, it may bite for Str+d4 damage.
  • Slow Regeneration
  • Weakness [Sunlight]: The moroi is a -2 on all physical actions taken in direct sunlight.
The viper moroi is as fast as a serpent’s strike. Vipers are more often found in the employ of the secret police or military intelligence than they are the private households of vampire lords.

Ian Hendry as Kerro in Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter
(totally a viper moroi in TKiD -- and unlikely to go down in one shot)



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