Saturday, March 1, 2014

The King is Dead: Bestiary - Lady's Maid

What do you think of this format for a bestiary entry?

from the “Servants” section

Lady’s Maid

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6.
Skills: Gambling d4, Healing d4, Intimidation d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Profession) d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4.
Charisma: +0 (+2)  Pace:Parry:Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Anemic, Outsider
Edges: Attractive
Equipment: Her mistress’ cast-off clothes, sewing kit, Sathanic Bible or popular novel.

Lady’s maids occupy an unusual and awkward position in the household.  They clean their ladies’ rooms, mend their dresses, and help to dress them and do their hair.  Lady’s maids are outside of the hierarchy of household servants and are accorded much free time when not performing their duties; however, they must be prepared to assist their ladies at any time of the day or night and so must keep late hours (especially when in the city).  Like butlers and valets, lady's maids are referred to by their last names.  Lady’s maids are often rewarded with their ladies’ cast-off clothes; they are allowed to wear the plainer ones and may sell or donate the rest.  Ladies’ maids are often assumed to be their mistresses’ confidants, but the truth is that most aristocrats see them as being as disposable as any servant.  Due to her access to a lady’s chamber and separation from the rest of the household staff, having a lady’s maid as your ally can prove very advantageous when arranging a rendezvous, burglary, or assassination.


Greta Harkness
Seasoned
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6.
Skills: Gambling d4, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4, Knowledge (Profession) d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d6, Taunt d6.
Charisma: +0 (+2)  Pace: 6  Parry: 2  Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Cautious, Code of Honor, Outsider
Edges: Attractive
Equipment: Her mistress’ cast-off clothes, sewing kit, Sathanic Bible or popular novel.
Motivation: Escape this life of drudgery and despair.

Harkness is the lady's maid to Grafin Millarca zu Wolfenbach von Rickard, a minor noblewoman whose husband prefers hunting on his estates and leaves her to spend her life enjoying society in Hammerstadt.  Grafin Millarca is callous and whimsical; she alternates between treating Harkness as a cherished pet and beating her like a dog.  Harkness has recently begun reading the scandalous "thrilling novels" published by the Sorority of Belquis' Minerva Press; their tales of vampire-slaying madwomen and charismatic anarchists have sparked a simmering fire of resentment in Harkness' mind.

Plot Seeds
  • Grafin Millarca has started an affair with a vampire officer or politician that the player characters are pursuing; befriending Harkness may allow them access to assassinate or poison the vampire.
  • Harkness has submitted a manuscript to Minerva Press; the work is a thinly-veiled roman à clef about her employer's affairs. Publishing the novel may provoke an advantageous scandal, but it may also expose the lady's maid to danger.


2 comments:

  1. Overall, the stat blocks look good. I like the plot seeds for Greta. In fact, I really like the second plot seed.

    Two criticisms: One thing I'd remove is the " Seasoned" rank for Greta. NPCs don't need ranks. It just takes up an unnecessary line in your book.

    My second criticism may not need consideration until you start editing, but here it is now. The description for your generic Lady's Maid is way longer than it needs to be. It's longer than Greta's description even. I'd say three sentences for a generic human NPC stat block is all you need. The line about cast-off clothing is especially unnecessary, because you already put it in the equipment section (where it belongs).

    Hope that's helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting points, and I'll take them under advisement..

    The way NPCs in Savage Worlds disobey the character creation and advancement guidelines for PCs just bugs me. I know it simplifies the GM's job, but it still feels like cheating. (Have you ever read the stats for the prominent NPCs in Pirates of the Spanish Main? They're insane! A PC would have to be double-Legendary to match Captain Blackheart!) That said, I'll drop it if it overcomplicates the writing process too much (which it probably will).

    ReplyDelete

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