Arcanum 1780: A New World
The following Lenses are approved for adding to Character Templates as part or whole of the improvement points available for each template.
You had intensive training ion a very peculiar set of skills: you jump out of perfectly good airships! Not for the feint of heart, nor for the lazy – Airborne training requires a sense of bravery and a lot of physical conditioning. Note that these traits are already built into the Drop Marine template, this lens is for other templates that have gone through the training.
Advantages: Fearlessness 2 4, Perk – Upside-down (Knife) 1
Skills: Airshipman (IQ/E) IQ+1 2; Climbing (DX/A) DX 2; Jumping (DX/E) DX+1 2; Knot-Tying (DX/E) DX+1 2; Navigation (Land) (IQ/A) IQ 2; Parachute (DX/E) DX+2 4; Piloting (Glider) (DX/A) DX 2;
Techniques: Rope-Up (A) Climbing (Default+2) 4
Your strength and ability to take a hit has played a key role in your life-choices. You are strong and tough and realize how dangerous you are with just a glance. This lens, as written, is meant for templates that lean towards combat (Street Criminal, Soldier, Iroquois Warrior, Sailor, etc.), and includes no combat skills of its own.
Advantages: ST+1 10, High Pain Threshold 10 Hard to Subdue 2 4; Perk-Fearsome Stare 1
Disadvantages: Add Bully to template choices. Low Appearance & Overweight are common.
Skills: None included, but it would be a waste not to invest in Brawling at the minimum – styles such as Bare-Knuckle Boxing and Wrestling lend themselves well to Brutes; add Intimation to templates choices of secondary skills if it isn’t there already.
Dawn Duelist 20
The steel in yours eyes is nearly as deadly as the steel in your hands, but not quite! A Dawn Duelist can make a decent living as a professional Second in duels and even more from bribes to not fight foppish posers. Some sort of Code of Honor is typical, and Enemies are not uncommon as Disadvantage choices.
Advantages: Reputation 2 (Duelists only, all the time) 3, Perk-Fearsome Stare 1
Skills: Guns (Pistol) (E) DX+1 2-11; Intimidation (A) Will+0 2-10 Rapier (A) DX+1 4-11, Saber (A) DX+1 4-11; Smallsword (A) DX+1 4-11
Notes: the true professional duelist often uses his fearsome reputation and cold stare to convince his opponent he should yield, thus winning before the duel even begins. If his opponent insists on a fight, he has the skill to use any of the most common dueling weapons.
Financial Background 25
You have a background in high finance, the secret art of stocks and trade. Not all brokers are Noble, but the ones who aren’t tend to come from strong merchant families. Wealth and Education are a strong part of this character’s life.
Advantages: Business Acumen 1 10.
Skills: Accounting (H) IQ+1 4†; Administration (A) IQ+1 2†; Economics (H) IQ-1 1†; Finance (H) IQ 2†; Gambling (A) IQ 2†; Market Analysis (H) IQ-1 1†; Merchant (A) IQ 1†; Propaganda (A) IQ 1†; Savoir-Faire (High Society) (E) IQ 1.
† Includes +1 for Business Acumen bonus.
Highly Educated 25
An institute of higher learning was a key part of your past, and your skill & hard work there has set left it’s mark on you. This lens is best suited for a template with an academic bent (Such as Apprentice, Diplomat, Jesuit Researcher, Natural Philosopher, Spy or Surveyor) and consider dumping extra points into any knowledge-based Primary Skill and Reputation (Expert in the Field/by Academics) [3/level].
Advantages: IQ+1 20
Skills: Research (A) IQ 2; Teaching (A) IQ-1 1; Writing (A) IQ (A) IQ 2.
Minor Mage 20
Whether an novice of limited power or one who’s talent with the craft was only recently discovered, this lens represents someone who isn’t in the same league Real Caster, but has talent none the less. If you want to create a young mage just learning his craft, consider adding this lens to the Apprentice template.
Advantages: Magery 0 5; • 3 points chosen from Ritual Mastery [1/level], Equipment Bond [1/item], or Signature Gear [Varies].
Skills: Thaumatology (VH) (IQ-1) 4; Choose two Path skills at (IQ-1) 4 each.
Notes: If the character has IQ 14 or higher, modify the lens so Path skills are no higher than 12, reducing the cost of the lens.
Noble Lens [20+]
Born into a life of privilege, Nobles are above many of the concerns of the common rabble, though the intrigues and politics of Peerage is often it’s own burden. Spies, Diplomats and Military Officers mesh well with the Nobility lens – Wealth is highly recommended for any left over points, and Independent Income is great for a Trust.
Advantages: Status 3 15; Rank (Noble) 1 or more [5/level]
Disadvantages: Duty (Crown & Country) (9) [-5]
Skills: Savoir- Faire (High Society) (E) IQ 1-10 and 4 points in any of Connoisseur (any) (IQ/A); Dancing (DX/A); Diplomacy (IQ/H); Heraldry (IQ/A); Leadership (IQ/A); Poetry (IQ/A); Politics (IQ/A) and further Savoir Faire (High Society).
You spent much of your youth working on board a ship, and while you may have moved on professionally, the skills of the sea are still with you. The Perks Naval Training, Old Salt and Sure-Footed (Shallow water and/or Nautical) all go great with this lens.
Skills: Boating (Unpowered) (A) DX 2; Climbing (A) DX-1 1; Fishing (E) Per+1 2; Knot-Tying (E) DX 1; Navigation (Sea) (A) IQ 2; Seamanship (E) IQ+1 2; Savior-Faire (Ports/Ships) (E) IQ 1; Swimming (E) HT+1 2; Weather Sense (A) IQ 2
Notes: This lens is meant to be added to a non-nautical template, representing a character who has learned to handle him/herself on at sea as a secondary aspect – it would be redundant to add this to the Sailor or Buccaneer templates.
You are a professional wanderer – anything from traveling Tinker to a Circuit Lawyer – your career path has you roaming town-to-town plying your trade and gathering gossip. While many rural towns look at strangers with suspicion, they tend to welcome Tramps as long-awaited sources of news and new goods – until suspicious things start happening.
Advantages: Claim to Hospitality (Professional/Varies) 5; Contacts (Any other professional tramp or resident of your circuit; Skill 12, usually reliable) 5. A Reputation is common.
Disadvantages: Add Compulsive Behavior (Wanderlust) [-5], Secret (Criminal Past) [-10] to Disadvantage choices, A Reputation is common,as is low Wealth.
Skills: Area Knowledge (Circuit) (E) IQ+1 2; Current Events (Regional) (E) IQ+1 2; Merchant (A) IQ 2; • 2 points in any of Riding (Horse) (DX/A), Teamster (IQ/A) or Hiking (HT/A); • 2 more from Survival (any that fits route) (PER/A); Fast-Talk (IQ/A); Musical Instrument (IQ/H); Performance (any) (IQ/A); Connoisseur (any) (IQ/A) or raise Area Knowledge or Current Affairs.
Though never your true vocation, your past includes a bit of military training – perhaps you were in the militia, or went to a military academy, perhaps you volunteered for a four year tour before starting your current career path – you’re no longer a soldier, but the skills are still there.
Advantages: 10 points between raising ST, HT both [10/+1], HP [2/level], FP [3/level] or the advantages Born Soldier [5/level], Fit 5, Fearlessness [2/level], or High Pain Threshold 10
Disadvantages: Add Code of Honor (soldier’s) [-10], Fanaticism (Crown & Country) [-15], Flashbacks (Mild) [-5], Intolerance (Enemy Nation) [-5 or -10], Nightmares [-5], Post Combat Shakes [-5], and Sense of Duty (Comrades) [-5] to templates choices if they aren’t there already.
Skills: Armoury (Firearms) (A) at IQ-1 1; Guns (Musket) (E) at DX 1; Hiking (A) at HT 2; Savior-Faire (Military) (E) at IQ 1; Soldier (A) At IQ 2; Spear (A) at DX-1 1; and Tactics (H) at IQ-1 2; ~ If the characters template already has any of these skills at equal or higher rates, put the excess into raising any listed skill or other combat skill.
Notes: This lens is supposed to represent a character that has a non-military template (like Natural Philosopher, Surveyor, Jesuit Researcher, etc.) but wants a military background as part of their origin – it should represent a character that served in the past, but military life is behind him.
In addition, most of the occupational Lenses on pages 4-5 of Action: Heroes can easily be adapted to the Arcanum campaign setting – just ignore anything too obviously high-tech for the setting.