April 7, 2011

Hari Ragat: Roles

One of the great strengths of D&D is how it offers a simple, easily learned set of roles for players to choose from.  Wanna bash things? Be a fighter.  Wanna sneak around? Be a thief. As the game complexified from the ground up, with players searching for more things to do outside the scope of the dungeon, the available roles expanded to take 'face' roles like the bard.  How to do something similar for Hari Ragat?

Main Roles

In Vivid, the following can be taken as Traits and delineate player character roles central to the game:

Orang Dakila
Orang Dakila is a catchall Trait indicating the character's membership in the aristocratic warrior class. It covers all things a Vijadesan warrior aristocrat may want to do, from wielding a kampilan to wooing maidens to helming a caracoa through a sea battle. However, you can only take this Trait at a maximum rating of 2. If you want to be better at a specific aspect of being Orang Dakila, you take it as a separate Trait.

Warrior indicates possession of the typical Vijadesan warrior skills and disciplines -- athletics, proficiency with spear, shield, blade, unarmed combat and athletics. It's mainly used in combat with human foes.

Hunter indicates specialization in the skills of hunting, tracking, wilderness travel and general survival on land. It's used in finding wild beasts and monsters in the wilderness, and can be used in combat vs. beasts and monsters.  It can also indicate proficiency with the bow, which is primarily a hunting weapon among the Vijadesans.

Aside: how to differentiate between hunter and warrior in combat? I'm thinking it's a question of what weapon you want to use.  If you're using a weapon like a bow, spear, javelin or sling, hunter is better; but if you're using a blade, or fighting unarmed, warrior is better.  The rule in Vivid is to use the Trait most specific to the action.

Mariner indicates specialization in the skills of being a seafarer -- sailing and small-craft handling, fishing and survival on the sea or along coastal areas, and navigation.

Aristocrat indicates specialization in the arts of being a courtly noble -- etiquette, diplomacy, understanding and being able to participate in the complex and turbulent Vijadesan political arena where clan feuds and loyalties spark with the touchy Vijadesan pride and sense of honor.

Secondary Roles

Aside from the central roles above, players may also take some secondary roles that allow them to engage other aspects of the game or try different approaches to interaction.  Some suggestions for these include:

The Vijadesans play a vigorous kickball game called sipa, wherein players compete to keep a woven rattan ball in the air.  Aggressive and competitive by nature, Vijadesans set much store by prowess in this sport and it often features in the courtship trials of Orang Dakila maidens.

The character is a specialist in raising, training and matching fighting cocks. Cockfighting is not only a very popular pastime among the Vijadesans, it is also an important means of divination. Winning a cockfight can help settle a dispute, prove one's power or favor with the spirits, and even dissuade a potential foe from attacking.  It's also a way of gaining -- or losing -- wealth.

All Vijadesans learn some basic crafts, but taking one as a specialty allows the creation of items of quality. Such items are treasured as gifts and can help increase one's reputation or build up good relationships with another character.

Vijadesans sing about everything, but a character specializing with this Trait is capable of composing and reciting poetry with true artistry and flair.  Again, this is a skill typically used to impress other characters, specially when visiting the court of another ruler.

A trader knows the value of things and how to haggle, has an inside line to procuring treasured items like ceramics, silks, brassware and jewelry, which in turn can be given away to build up relationships.

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