Character Types

Races, Classes and Professions are fairly defined in Alera Nova, but individual characters have room to either exemplify or deviate from those molds increasingly as they grow and mature. The below sections detail the basics, though, and give you an idea of what each character type offers to those players who pick it and thus what characters of that type will tend to be good at.

Chapter Contents:

  • Races and Classes
    • Alerans
      • Nobilis
      • Paganus
      • Urbanus
    • Canim
      • Makers
      • Ritualists
      • Warriors
    • Marat
      • Brighteye
      • Sharptooth
      • Strongback
      • Swiftclaw
  • Professions
    • Warriors
      • Soldier
      • Duelist
      • Hunter
    • Rogues
      • Burglar
      • Thug
      • Courtesan
    • Townsfolk
      • Scholar
      • Politician
      • Peasant
      • Artisan

Races and Classes

The following ten racial classes were covered to a degree in the previous chapter, Character Creation. Where their basic traits were covered there, the details will be covered here. As well as the physiological, psychological, philosophical, and sociopolitical details, the essential mechanical elements are discussed as well.

Alerans

This is the basic human race of Alera. They are descended from Roman stock, but sufficient time has passed that they have the full range of physical characteristics and temperaments associated with humanity.

Nobilis

Those descended from the noble families of old. They generally have the easiest access to the corridors of power,from the Academy and the Officer Corps in the Legions, to the Senate Chamber or the gathering chambers of organizations like the Dianic League. Because they spend their time on intellectual, political and social pursuits, however, they are often less hardy than others with a humbler background.

Starting Skills:
  • High Society
  • Verbal Fencing
  • Wealth
  • Academics
  • Verbal Armor (w/ Verbal Fencing)

Other Starting Traits:

Nobilis characters start play with 1 level each of 4 disciplines of Furycrafting and one Application for each of those disciplines. They may learn all Furycrafting without any limits whatsoever except the inherent limits of class and profession, and the prerequisites of a given Furycraft.

Paganus

Those whose lives are spent in the country, in steadholts and barns and in fields in the far parts of Alera. They work day-in and day-out at back-breaking tasks and in sweaty, dirty sorts of jobs that ultimately keep the Empire together. While they rarely see the inside of places like the Senate Chamber or the Academy, many do go on to have a lengthy and productive career as enlisted men in the Legions or in similarly rewarding positions.

Starting skills:
  • Endurance
  • Animal Handling
  • Streetwise
  • Swordfighting
  • Archery

Other Starting Traits:

Paganus characters begin play with two levels each of 2 disciplines of Furycraft and 5 Applications total split between those two disciplines. They may only ever learn any additional disciplines of Furycraft up to one level below that at which they’ve raised their first two.

Urbanus

Finally, those who live in the main cities of Alera but are not descended from nobility are the Urbanus. They are disproportionately drawn to mercantile, academic and service jobs, being relegated to serving the hordes in the cities and gleaning from them what profit and promise they can.

Starting skills:
  • Streetwise
  • High Society
  • Light Weapons
  • Verbal Fencing
  • Verbal Armor (w/ Verbal Fencing)

Other Starting Traits:

Urbanus characters begin play with one level each in 2 varieties of Furycraft, two levels of 1 other variety, and 4 Applications split between those varieties. They may not ever learn any additional varieties of Furycraft above the level to which they’ve learned the highest of these first three.

Canim

These giant wolf warriors stand about seven or eight feet tall, fully grown, and are covered in thick fur that ranges from blond to inky black. Their red eyes can see in low light, and they are accustomed to the darkness. The three classes of Canim society are -

Makers

The chief architects and craftsmen of Canim society, the Makers build the stone fortifications of the Canim and the siege weapons that knock them down. They forge the arms and armor, and are trained in ancient techniques that make them absolutely essential to the success of the Canim war machine.

Starting Skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Endurance
  • Animal Handling
  • Archery
  • Heavy Weapons

Other Starting Traits:

Makers start play with one level of Furious Strength (raising their Strength by 1), and the Repair skill.

Ritualists

The holy men and shamans of Canim society, they also served the role of augur and wise man in latter days. They were once famed for their abilities to bless crops and ward pups against disease, though their magical talents have more recently been focused on making war and causing disease among their enemies.

Starting skills:
  • Rituals of War
  • Rituals of Peace
  • Academics
  • Light Weapons
  • Verbal Fencing

Other starting traits:

Ritualists start play with 2 levels of Rituals, in either 1 each in War and Peace, or two levels of one of those. They also possess the bonus skill Blood Sorcery, enabling them to use blood (their own or otherwise) to furl their rituals.

Warriors

The pinnacle of many generations of evolution, the Canim warrior is a sight to behold. Standing seven feet tall at the shoulder and nearly as wide, a warrior in full battle-rage bearing down on a man is like unto death incarnate. They fancy themselves at once the leaders of and servants to Canim society as a whole, taking their cues from the other castes but ever dedicated to their war games and gadara bonds just the same. They are proud, fierce, and stubborn in their pursuit of glory and honor.

Starting Skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Furious Strength
  • Heavy Weapons (w/ Swordfighting)
  • Dual Weapon Fighting (w/ Swordfighting)
  • Titan’s Grip (w/ Heavy Weapons and Dual Weapon Fighting)

Bonus starting traits:

Warriors start play with 1 level of Furious Strength (increasing their Strength by 1), and the ability to learn up to 2 more levels in that Skill as a normal Class skill.

Marat

The barbarian totem-warriors of the north were once the scourge of Alera, but are now one of its closest allies. The alliance was cemented with the marriage of FIrst Lord Tavarus Magnus to Kitai, daughter of Doroga who was himself chieftan of the Gargant clan. Her clan, the Aleran clan, has grown many fold in the past generation, and the rest of her kind have migrated throughout Alera so that their tall, pale forms can be seen darkening the horizon as far south as Mt. Kalus and as far north as the old Shieldwall. The clans are normally separated by their chosen totem (or chala), but they have been groups into four main classes below.

Brighteye

Finally, the least common kind of Marat are those whose Chala are known for cleverness, cunning or intelligence. This is not because the Marat do not value those traits as a people, but because until recently it never occurred to the Marat to bond with humanoid Chala, and that is the most common sort of Brighteye Chala today. Aleran Clan in particular has grown by leaps and bounds, being not entirely uncommon even though theirs is the most solitary and isolated of clans, spread throughout Alera herself and having no internal structure therefore. A few other, similar clans – Iceman, Canim, even a rumored Vord chala – exist, but they are less common, the last being mere rumor and hearsay. Finally, a minority of Brighteye, but still a substantial number, have Chala who are not humanoid but are still known for cunning or intelligence. Dolphin clan and Fox clan are the two best known examples of this. They, like their other brethren, share physical and psychological traits with their Chala, though unlike other Chala are able to learn entirely new skills through their Chala bond, instead of just borrow power or share burdens from time to time.

Starting Skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Archery
  • Combat Sense
  • Animal Handling

Bonus starting traits:

Brighteye start with a Clever Chala, which is a special animal companion with certain characteristics described in a subsequent chapter.

Sharptooth

Those Marat who choose a Chala known for fierceness and lethality, such as Wolf, Herdbane, Slive or Grass Lion, are known as Sharptooth Marat. They, like their Chala, tend to be ever teetering on the edge of losing control to the anger seething within them, or to be consumed by a bloodlust that seems to have no end. As well, they are as fierce and deadly fighters as one might expect, meaning that although these barbarians can be hard to control on the battlefield they are doubtless still an asset on that same field.

Starting Skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Archery
  • Combat Sense
  • Dual Weapon Fighting

Bonus starting traits:

Sharptooth start with a Ferocious Chala, described in a subsequent chapter.

Strongback

The clans whose Chala is known for brute force, size or endurance are known as Strongback chala. Among these are clans like Gargant, Leviathan, and Ox. Like others of their kind, they share attributes with their Chala, borrowing their strength and size, aspects of their physical appearance or even their temperament. This makes them surprisingly serene most times, but terrible when finally roused to anger, as one would expect when one is like a creature whose main protection is strength and bulk.

Starting skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Heavy Weapons
  • Endurance

Bonus starting traits:

Strongback start with a Tenacious Chala, described in a subsequent chapter.

Swiftclaw

The clans who join with chala known for speed or agility, such as horse or falcon or dolphin, are known collectively as Swiftclaw Marat. They all share attributes with their chala, so that horse clan marat grow long hair like unto a mane, while dolphin clan marat love the water and falcon clan marat love high places.

Starting skills:
  • Swordfighting
  • Archery
  • Light Armor
  • Combat Sense
  • Dirty Tricks

Bonus starting traits:

Swiftclaw begin play with a Quick Chala, described in a subsequent chapter.

Professions

The details given in the last chapter focused primarily on a character having a certain Profession at character generation. This chapter focuses on all other points in the chronicle. on how a character might become a member of that profession in play and what they can learn once there. The professions are broken down into three general types, we well, each of which is discussed below.

Warriors

Soldier

Most commonly seen in service to the Legions, the soldier is the mainstay of organized war on Alera. They are trained in formation fighting and close-in group fighting, so although they are not the most dangerous warriors in a one-on-one battle, they can be very dangerous when they fight as groups together or in very crowded or cramped conditions. Their skills are a mix of offensive abilities that focus on swordplay and group tactics, and defensive maneuvers and tactics that take advantage of the heavier arms and armor that are frequently part of the Legions’ arsenal.

Profession Skill List, basic:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Shield Use
  • Endurance
  • Formation Fighting
  • Combat Sense
  • Archery
  • Combat Medicine
  • Logistics

Profession Skill list, advanced:
  • Leadership (w/ Logistics)
  • Shield Bash (w/ Shield Use)
  • Artillery (w/ Archery 2)
  • Legion March (w/ Endurance)
  • Testudo (w/ Formation Fighting)

Duelist

Swords-for-hire, bodyguards, heroes-in-training and most amateur swordfighters start in this profession and branch out later. While the training of the soldier is focused on group and formation fighting, de-emphasizing personal skill in favor of group utility and effectiveness, the duelist is the opposite. He lives and dies at the keen edge of his blade, and his techniques are focused on defeating individual enemies in open combat with only perhaps a few other allies helping him. This makes the duelist more dangerous in a streetfight or a recognized duel (hence the name), but less dangerous on the battlefield where cramped conditions and constant dangers make his risky, acrobatic maneuvers difficult and perhaps deadly.

Profession Skill list, basic:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Acrobatics
  • Combat Sense
  • Streetwise
  • High Society
  • Footwork Focus
  • Defensive Focus
  • Offensive Focus

Profession skill list, Advanced:
  • Read Combatant (w/ Combat Sense)
  • Aegis of Fame (w/ Streetwise 2 or High Society 2)
  • Fluid Stances (w/ 2 of: Matched Moves, Focused Defense and Precise Strikes)
  • Dual Weapon Fighting (w/ Swordfighting 2)
  • Armor Optimization (w/ Light Armor)

Hunter

In the legions, cavalry and scouts are organized into alae, or wings. The Canim military have analogous positions, and most steadholts have at least a few men in them who specialize in hunting and archery. These are the Hunters,. Though they often train somewhat in the use of a sword their true specialty is archery and bowmanship, often with a secondary focus on mounted combat and skirmishing tactics. Some are professional soldiers while, more than any other type of warrior, many are found outside of the military among the civilian population.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Combat Sense
  • Nature Sense
  • Tracking
  • Endurance
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Animal Handling
  • Stealth
  • Archery

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Trick Shot (w/ Archery 2)
  • Ambush Awareness (w/ Combat Sense and Nature Sense)
  • Dual Weapon Fighting (w/ Swordfighting 2)
  • Veiled Passage (w. Wilderness Survival 2)
  • Anatomy (w/ Animal Handling 2)

Rogues

Burglar

Some people make things, some people buy things, and some people take things without asking. The burglar is a member of that third category. They specialize in breaking into locked houses or rooms and making off with the contents therein. Particularly crafty or nimble members of the craft are called cat burglars, even. They almost always work alone, but they do have many underworld contacts – especially a fence, who buys and then resells their stolen property – that they utilize to turn their specialty into a lifestyle.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Streetwise
  • Acrobatics
  • Stealth
  • Pick Pockets
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Poison Use
  • Breaking & Entering
  • Thrown Weapon

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Read Combatant (w/ Combat Sense)
  • Backstab (w/ Dirty Tricks 2)
  • Dual Weapon Fighting (w/ Swordfighting 2)
  • Hail of Blades (Thrown Weapon 2)
  • Lost in a Crowd (Stealth 2)

Thug

While burglars steal with style and grace like a cat, thugs make their business being tough, mean, and underhanded. They are no match for a Soldier or especially a Duelist in a stand-up fight, but that’s never the way they prefer to fight. Thugs prefer to fight in overwhelming numbers, or from surprise, or to strike from the shadows, or to in some other way slant the odds in their favor. More than anything else, they are experts in that – in slanting the odds, making the most of unfavorable circumstances, and getting out of tough scrapes still breathing.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Streetwise
  • Stealth
  • Pick Pockets
  • Acrobatics
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Black Market
  • Never Alone
  • Escape

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Illicit Income (w/ Black Market)
  • Eyes and Ears (w/ Never Alone 2)
  • Blackjack (w/ Dirty Tricks 2)
  • Ambush Awareness (w/ Streetwise and Combat Sense)
  • Contraband (w/ Black Market)

Courtesan

Thugs and Burglars do their underhanded business on the street; not so with the courtesan. These professionals are experts in the theft of information rather than belongings, of tricking their target into revealing some important fact and then using that in the most effective way. They are far from masters in the shadows or on the battlefield, but in a high society function or a smoky bedroom, they are at their very best.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Streetwise
  • High Society
  • Stealth
  • Verbal Fencing
  • Pick Pockets
  • Striking Presence
  • Disguise Intentions
  • Light Weapons
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Social Awareness

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Disguise (w/ Disguise Intentions and 1 of Stealth or Dirty Tricks)
  • Patronage (w/ High Society 2)
  • Cold Approach (w/ Social Awareness)
  • History (w/ High Society 2)
  • Verbal Armor (w/ Verbal Fencing 2)

Townsfolk

Scholar

The quest for knowledge consumes the time of many on Alera. They study Furycraft, history, war, economy, art, philosophy, law, literature, and any number of other subjects. Unquestionably, their most prominent locale is in the Academia Nova, Alera’s most prominent university located in the new capital city of Appia, just south of old Alera Imperia.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • High Society
  • Verbal Fencing
  • Academics
  • Light Weapons
  • Apprentice Furycraft
  • Apprentice Furycraft
  • Expertise
  • Wealth
  • Library
  • Academic Contacts

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Deference (w/ Expertise)
  • History (w/ Academics)
  • Verbal Armor (w/ Verbal Fencing)

Note about Furycraft

The Scholar Profession, among other things, teaches how to use new types of Furycraft. It does not teach application, only the base variety, and only that to the base level. Past that point it is up to the character to meet the pre-requisites for growth in that variety. The fact it teaches that is also why it has so few advanced skills, since growth beyond Apprentice is normal and expected in those new varieties of Furycraft.

Politician

Much as the soldier does, the politician works best in groups. Unlike the soldier, though, the politician does not work within groups on the battlefield – rather, their chosen arena is the public square, the ballot box, the Senate chambers. They specialize in Persuasion, the art of making people bend to your will through rhetoric and coercion. This makes them naturally good leaders, and leads them to mix with many different kinds of people, thereby building social networks like no other.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Streetwise
  • High Society
  • Verbal Fencing
  • Light Weapons
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Wealth
  • Rhetoric
  • Leadership
  • Social Network
  • Academics

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Lawyer (w/ Academics)
  • Verbal Armor (w/ Verbal Fencing)
  • Respected (w/ Rhetoric)
  • Ambush Awareness (w/ Streetwise and High Society)
  • Plausible Deniability (w/ Social Network)

Peasant

Many of the people in Aleran society don’t fit in a neat classification; they don’t have a defined role in society. Instead, they float from place to place or role to role, surviving the hardships and troubles as best they can and remaining as free as they can manage. These people are peasants. Though they are generally treated with the least respect, they are without a doubt the most numerous, and although their clamoring is maligned by a few it is undeniably powerful when directed toward a particular end. Specialists in nothing more than staying alive, they have turned scrounging for their next meal or going unnoticed by dangerous men into practically an art form.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Endurance
  • Animal Handling
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Streetwise
  • Awareness
  • Stealth
  • Dirty Tricks
  • Scrounge
  • Improvise

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Ambush Awareness (w/ Awareness)
  • Blackjack (w/ Dirty Tricks)
  • Faceless (w/ Stealth)
  • Self-Reliance (w/ Scrounge)
  • Initiative (w/ Awareness 2)

Artisan

Builders of things, artisans are what create the monuments, siege engines, weaponry and everyday tools or goods that keep society functioning. There is a wide variety within the profession, as a single person may be called upon in a steadholt to be blacksmith, stonemason, woodcarver and engineer at one time or another. Even more common amongst the Canim – almost all Makers are also Artisans at one point or another – the Artisan is still an invaluable, indispensable part of Aleran society, even though their work is almost universally less glamorous than the Courtesan or the Soldier.

Profession Skill list, Basic:
  • Endurance
  • Animal Handling
  • Streetwise
  • Swordfighting
  • Light Armor
  • Heavy Armor
  • Archery
  • Fieldcraft
  • Forge
  • Engineering

Profession Skill list, Advanced:
  • Swordsmithing (w/ Forge)
  • Armorsmithing (w/ Forge or Fieldcraft)
  • Enchant Item (w/ Fieldcraft 2, Forge 2 or Engineering 2)
  • Siege Engineering (w/ Engineering)
  • Bowyer/Fletcher (w/ Fieldcraft)

Character Types

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