Thursday, January 19, 2017

Painters of the New Cordovan School including New Boons and Flaws for H+I

Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra, Joseph Sold by his Brothers, c.1660.

When I quickly glanced at the title Painters of the New Kordovan School I thought the post would give me fluff and NPCs for some fictional Spanish Painting School. Which it sort of does and mostly doesn't. But I kind of liked the idea of a wandering band of Spanish-style Painters who might know and like or even be rivals with someone like Velasquez or that Savedra guy. So I decided to convert the group to a possible Early Modern setting and to the Honor+Intrigue system.

History Is Cool

Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra was an actual painter from Cordova and there was a painting circle with his name. So a a group of painters calling themselves the New Cordovan School makes historical fictional sense, which is kind of cool.

A Few Caveats

First, I don't have the Conan rules. I think I have a published Adventure written for the old TSR Conan system buried in a box somewhere. A friend of mine wrote it and he gave me a copy. The adventure actually looked kind of cool as I recall, but it's been decades since I read it. So I'm totally winging the stats for what I'm converting to H+I from. 

Second, in converting these characters I’m not going to be concerned with making points come out exactly even with H+I starting heroes nor Villains or even with Retainers of levels 1, 2, or 3. Essentially treat these characters as either Heroes/Villains or Retainers with a flexible number of points and boons. You could certainly get characters like this with a bit of tweaking or in some cases the acquisition and expenditure of  Advancement Points, but I'm not going to worry about any of that. Just think of these characters as being a bit special. 

For conversion purposes: 

  • Might is based on Prowess and Endurance.
  • Daring is eyeballed based on the character type and background, whether they end up with an H+I martial career, and how much fighting seems to be a focus for them. 
  • Savvy is based on Knowledge and Perception.
  • Flair is based on Insight, character fluff, and designer judgement.
  • Brawl and Melee are based on Fighting and any the level of weapon skills listed. 
  • Ranged is based on the level of ranged weapon skills listed.
  • Defense is based on Fighting and what seems appropriate to the character.

Several characters have an Acrobatics 2 skill listed. I’m skeptical that they are supposed to be professional acrobats and suspect this is supposed to indicate they are dexterous and capable of the sort of swashbuckling actions that might look like acrobatics to we normal people who live in the real world, but that in H+I is probably covered by the system assumptions that Heroes can do cool and heroic things particularly if they have an above average Daring or Flair. 

For each character I'll provide some designer commentary on how I made my decisions. I dare you to disagree with my decisions. :-)
Volmercer / Zingara Artisan (name change: Victoriano)

Gambler, Miserly
Prowess 1
Acrobatics 2, Movement 5, Strength 5
Endurance 0
Damage 6, Magic Endurance 2
Fighting 0
Rapier 5, Dirk 4
Knowledge 1
Reading/Writing 4, Survival 2, Carpentry 4, Artisan (Painter) 5
Perception 0
Medicine 4
Insight 0
Hypnotism 2, Personal Magnetism 4, Minstrel 2
Rapier, Steel Helmet, Bronze Cuirass

Zingara is a Spain analog so I’ll change the name to fit the location. A quick Google search for “Spanish names starting with V” gives me several names to choose from. For now I’ll use Victoriano. 

I assumed Gambler and Miserly are both flaws. Two flaws seems to fit the other three characters so that seems like a good assumption. Gambler is already covered in H+I as the Flaw: Vice (gambling addiction). Miserly is not an existing flaw, so I created a new flaw based on the existing flaw of Spendthrift as a model. 

For careers I use the closest H+I analogue, so Carpenter 4 becomes Craftsman (Carpenter) 2. Prowess 1, Strength 5, and Damage 6 lead me to figure he should have an above average Might 1. Knowledge 2 leads me to Savvy 1. Most of the other listings are managed as careers, but Personal Magnetism and Hypnotism I cover by giving him a high Flair including the Boon: Beguiling and the Charlatan career. Given his primary career is painter not soldier and the setting is 17th C Spain and not Zamora, I delete the armor but keep the rapier. I might have given him a specialization with Rapier since it is higher than the score for Dirk, but I’m satisfied with a general melee of 2 for a painter. Given the large number of careers, I assume his Survival 2 skill is covered by one or more of the various careers.

Might 1           Daring 0          Savvy 1           Flair     3
Brawl 0           Melee 2           Ranged 0         Defense 1
Carpenter 2    Painter 3          Physician 2      Charlatan 1      Minstrel 1
Boons: Beguiling, Jack of All Trades (this justifies a 5th career)
Flaws: Miserly (New), Vice (gambling addiction)

Albena / Brythunian Low Noble
Weakness to Drink, Fear of Animals
Prowess 1
Movement 12, Animal Reflexes 2, Throwing 2, Acrobatics 2
Endurance 1
Stamina 5, Damage 7, Will 2
Fighting 1
Broadsword 4, Dirk 4, Two-Handed Fighting (Sword & Dirk) 2
Knowledge 0
Artisan (Painter) 4, Reading/Writing 2
Perception 0
Picking Pockets 2, Observation 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 4
Broadsword, Dirk, 5 gold coins

Brythunia is based on a purported Anglo/Saxon homeland. Looking at female Saxon names I see Aeaba, Aeleva, and Adelburga and decide that Albena sounds close enough for now and leave her name unchanged.

Weakness to Drink is the Flaw: Drunkard and Fear of Animals is Phobia (Animals) though since no specific animal is specified I’d lower the Fear Rating from 3 to 1. Animal Reflexes I treated as the Boon: Speed which gives a bonus die to initiative. 

The character has Fighting 1, so I assume a minimum of 1 in Brawl and Defense and raise Melee to 2 based on the weapon skills listed. Throwing 2 I convert as Ranged 1. Prowess 1 and Endurance 1 I convert as Might 2. She seems like a fighter and since she is a noble I set her Daring and Flair each to 1. Flair 1 can also cover her Will 2 ability. Her description of Beguiling is covered by her above average Flair and the Temptress career.

Might 2           Daring 1          Savvy 0           Flair     1
Brawl 1           Melee 2           Ranged 1         Defense 1
Noble 1          Temptress 1     Soldier 1          Thief 1             Painter 2
Boons: Animal Senses (New), Speed
Flaws: Drunkard, Phobia (All Animals, Fear Rating=1)

Decualuis / Zamoran Artisan (Name change to: Domingo)

Taciturn, Tone Deaf
Prowess 1
Animal Reflexes 3, Movement 4, Strength 3, Swimming 2
Endurance 0
Damage 7
Fighting 0
Saber 5, Short Bow 4
Knowledge 2
Blacksmith 4, Reading/Writing 4, Goldsmith 6, Artisan (Painter) 6
Perception 0
Observation 4, Picking Pockets 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 2
Saber, Cloak, Bronze Cuirass

H+I has a Taciturn flaw and Tone Deaf I’ll use as a special case of the Flaw: Poor Hearing. 

Prowess 1 converts to Might 1. The character has Fighting 1, so I assume a minimum of 1 in Brawl and Defense and raise Melee to 2 based on the weapon skills listed. Bow 4 converts to Ranged 2. And by a similar rationale for that of Volmercer , I remove the armor.

Might 1           Daring 0          Savvy 2           Flair     0
Brawl 0           Melee 2           Ranged 2         Defense 0
Thief 1            Painter 3          Craftsman (Blacksmith 2, Goldsmith 3)
Boon: Animal Senses, Artistic (Bonus Die to Painter)
Flaws: Poor Hearing (Tone Deaf), Taciturn

Borerius / Argosean Warrior
Night Blind, Glutton
Prowess 1
Strength 10, Movement 3
Endurance 1
Damage 8, Poison Endurance 4
Fighting 1
Brawling 4, Spear 4, Cinequesda 3, Throwing Dirk 3
Knowledge 0
Survival 4, Artisan (Painter) 3
Perception 0
Directional Sense 4, Observation 2
Insight 0
Animal Senses 4
Spear, Throwing Dirk, Chainmail Shirt

Argos is sort of a mix of the Peloponnese and lower Italy e.g. Naples. Borerius sounds like Boreas the north wind, so I decide that is close enough and leave it unchanged as well.

Night Blind is covered by H+I’s Poor Vision. Gluttony is Vice (Gluttony).

Prowess 1 and Endurance 1 would translate to Might 1 or 2, but since he also has Strength 10 and Damage 8 I decide on Might 4. Fighting 1 and the listed combat skills converts to Melee 2 and Brawling 4 converts to Brawl 2. Argos is not a barbarian land so I interpret Warrior as Mercenary and give him an above average Daring 1. For careers I gave him Mercenary 3 and Painter 1 (I rounded his score down) and since he is listed as a Warrior which I convert to Mercenary, I let him keep a good set of armor but I change the armor from chainmail to 1d6 heavy armor i.e. a Back & Breastplate and given the early modern setting I’d also give him a broadsword instead of a spear. Survival 4 is subsumed under the Mercenary career since Mercenaries are out of doors on campaign and travel a fair amount. Poison Endurance sounds like the Boon: Poison Resistance, so I give that boon to Borerius. I rounded down for

Might 4           Daring 1          Savvy 0           Flair     0
Brawl 2           Melee 2           Ranged 0         Defense 0
Mercenary 3      Painter 3       Craftsman (Blacksmith 2, Goldsmith 3)
Boons: Animal Senses (New), Directional Sense (New), Poison Resistance
Flaws: Poor Vision (Night Blind), Glutton (New)

New Flaws

You cannot resist any change to eat or to overeat. Roll a Penalty Die to whenever you try to resist the temptation of food.

Another option for Glutton would be to use Vice (Gluttony) but this would a glutton as having a food addiction and would impose a Penalty Die if the character doesn’t (preemptively) eat a lot that day. Instead I chose to treat Glutton like Greed and impose a Penalty Die to resist eating food whenever it is available.

You are the stereotypical skinflint or miser. You never want to spend money, always look for the cheapest alternative, and hate to spend anymore than you absolutely have to. There will be times when this gives you a Penalty Die (like showing up to an important social function wearing tattered clothing, minor intestinal distress from bad food, or catching a cold from too little food or lack of heat in winter). There will be other times where it creates serious problems (like dysentery or plague from tainted food or living in dirty, flea and rat infested lodgings, or when your nobility is called into question) in which case the GM will award you a Fortune Point. Nobles are expected to be generous and to appear unconcerned about money so displays of miserliness may bring disrepute including a loss of status and social rank or even questioning of one’s ancestry.

Fear of Animals
This could be treated as a phobia flaw, but instead I treat it as the opposite of Beast Friend. So, whenever dealing with a specific animal you have incur a Penalty Die.

Albena's phobia is nonspecfic so I lowered the Terror rating from 3 down to 1.

New Boons

Animal Senses
Similar to and a combination of Keen Eyesight, Keen Hearing, and Keen Scent butm since it applies to all three senses, instead of a Bonus Die it adds +1 to perception when sight, hearing, or smell are involved.

Directional Sense
Bonus Die for any rolls to determine direction or to avoid becoming lost.