Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Henchman Life

Don't feel like you're successful enough to marry your sweetheart?” or “Tired of being a wimp?” These are the questions asked in a hundred ads in tabloid newspapers and pulp magazines in the City. Then they provide the solution: Train to be a professional adventurer! Which is to say: a henchman, a hireling.

Fleischschild’s Institute provides minimal training in outfitting and provisioning of an expedition into the subterranean depths, a couple of lectures from burnout delvers with nervous conditions on typical hazards, and an exploitative short film masquerading as a cautionary docudrama; and the gullible and desperate are turned loose find work. They mill about the entrances of outfitting shops and loiter in adventurers’ saloons waiting for their big chance.

A few get it and rise up the ranks to lead their own delves and make headlines. Most die without anybody knowing more than their first name.

Here are some of the common types encountered:
  1. Cornfed farmboy: He’s got enthusiasm and muscles, but not a lot of smarts, and a misplaced chivalry that will get him killed by any monster with a feminine form.
  2. Specks: Not necessarily smart in the way you need underground, but guaranteed to have a head full of pulp magazine and comic book nonsense...Which can be useful at times, true.
  3. Rosie: It doesn’t matter what her name is, if she could beat you at arm-wrestling she’s Rosie. Good to have around, but always out to prove she can do as well as man does--which can cause problems.
  4. Choirboy: He keeps his rosary in hand and prays a lot--mostly to no noticeable effect. Divine intervention is great to have, but hard to come by.
  5. Crazy Jane: She might be plain or a real looker, but either way she’s got a crazy look in her eye and a matching berserker streak. Comes in two varieties: gun crazy and blade crazy. Good to have around until she inevitably decides to make for the gates of warrior heaven and take you with her in her blaze of glory.
  6. The Twitch: Twitches are always trouble. They’ve got some experience, but it only gave them bad case of shellshock. In the moment you need ‘em most they either start crying for mama or get the thousand yard stare.


The Angry Lurker said...

I'm a specks and where do I apply?

satyre said...

Fleischschild's Institute. Priceless!

So very yoinked. Though I hear there's a rival correspondence course set up near Scholo by a Dr. Kanonenfutter...

Captcha= firedish. Quite.

Stefan Poag said...

The delvers here in Detroit seem only interested in tearing the copper pipe out of empty homes and stealing AC units. A school like this could encourage them to turn their attention to more productive pursuits... like finding the trap the old fashioned way or distracting the monster long enough for the rest of the party to get away.

Harald said...

@ Satyre:
I can definitely see rivalling crews having altercations over looting-rights.


2eDM said...

Rosie sounds like a trap-springer waiting to happen.

Chris C. said...

"Comes in two varieties: gun crazy and blade crazy."

Oh yeah, marry me, baby! (Either one, I don't care).

Oops, does that make me a corn-fed farm boy?

Trey said...

@Angry Lurker - Oops. I forgot to reproduce the address for correspondence! Ah, well.

@Saytre - Nice. :)

@Limpey - To bad monies for that weren't included in the stimulus package. ;)

@Harald = Love that pic! Thanks for the linke.

2eDM - She maybe thinking the say thing about you...

@Bard - Well, I don't know about the cornfed part... ;)

Nate said...

I really like these archetypes. I'm going to have save them for later to use in a game.

Unknown said...

Hee hee! Ready made Risus cliches and a great of henchman stereotypes that veer off from the norm. Already thinking of using some in my next game.

Trey said...

@Nate - Glad you liked 'em.

@Risus - If you use them, I'd love to hear about it.

Needles said...

These arch types their adventure leads waiting to happen! Very Nice!

Trey said...

Thanks, Needles.