Welcome to another installment of “Let’s Read Hell’s Rebels!” You can find links to the whole series in its project page. This time we’ll take a more detailed look into the friendly NPCs the group has met by the end of Part 1. Let’s look at them in order of appearance and discuss how we should convert them to GURPS.
The heir and sole survivor of what was possibly Kintargo’s nicest noble family. His parents belonged to the Sacred Order of Archivists ever since before he was born, and after a youth spent looking for a cause Rexus had finally decided to join them upon returning home from his studies abroad. Instead he found his home in flames with everyone who was inside dead, and regretfully fled into the night. He’s having some trouble adjusting to life as a destitute outcast, not just because he misses the luxury of a noble lifestyle but because his he has what sounds like a chronic respiratory disease that demands regular treatment with expensive alchemical drugs.
With the death of his parents, Rexus is more determined than ever to see Kintargo free, both from Thrune’s government and from Chelish rule in general. However, he will not compromise his principles to do it, and will leave a rebellion that turns too bloody or exclusionary.
An interesting bit: Rexus is transgender! This will probably never come up in play or be noticeable to the PCs (this is a world with well-developed polymorph magic), but it’s nice to see it on the page nevertheless.
Rexus’ original stats have him as a Neutral Good Human Aristocrat 2/Sorcerer 1. Despite being higher-level than the PCs to start, he’s more of a support character whose main function is to translate some important documents the party finds in Part 1 of the adventure. His low Constitution score and mostly noncombat spell selection make him unsuitable for adventuring.
The best way to stat Rexus up in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy would be to make him a Scholar (from DF 4) with the necessary linguistic and research skills to fulfill his dramatic role, and perhaps a few Knowledge spells to round him out. His poor health might be represented by lower than average HT and/or disadvantages such as Very Unfit and Chronic Pain, perhaps with a Mitigator to represent those alchemical treatments. He would still provide valuable skills, but wouldn’t be someone you would want to take with you to the front lines.
After Rexus has fulfilled his function in Adventure 1, the GM is entirely free to run him as they see fit. His permanence in the rebellion depends entirely on how well the PCs treat him and how well their own morals match his. Our hypotethical party shouldn’t have a problem in this area, which means he would continue to lend them his vital scholarly skills. I mean, who else would you task with translating those encrypted Celestial writings? Merisiel?
PCs who get along specially well with Rexus could purchase him as an Ally, in which case the GM might want to stat him up so he’s a bit more survivable in the field. Buying him as a Contact would be sort of redundant, however, since as a member of the resistance he’s already always around and has a defined skillset.
Laria is a halfling, and was born a slave in Cheliax. Her owners were unusually cruel even by Chelish slave-holder standards, and when one of them killed her parents and brother she beat the guy to death with her bare hands and escaped to join the Bellflower Network. A few years later she ended up as a coordinator for them in Kintargo while running a very well-regarded coffee-house as a front. She worked not just with Bellflower agents but with smugglers, criminals, and rebels of all sorts - anyone working to undermine Chelish rule in Kintargo.
Needless to say, Barzilai’s rise to power has left her without an much of a network to coordinate. She’s been keeping her head down but by the time the PCs meet her has grown conviced something must be done to improve the situation. Where Rexus is idealistic, Laria is cynical: she wants a free Kintargo as much as he does, but is less picky about which methods are acceptable to reach that outcome.
Laria provides the PCs with a temporary hideout in Adventure 1, and if they treat her well can continue to give them logistical support and access to a network of smugglers.
Laria’s original stats have her as a Chaotic Good Halfling Brawler 2/Rogue 1. Brawlers are kinda like monks, only they replace the philosophy and chi powers with the fighter’s large amount of bonus feats and with the ability to switch them around mid-fight.
Despite this, Laria’s main contribution to the cause are her social skills and her useful position in both polite society and the underworld. Therefore, it makes sense to stat her up in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy using the Agent template from DF 15, with plenty of Savoir-Faire, Current Affairs (Kintargo), Streetwise and Contacts. The lower-point template would prevent her from overshadowing Lem from our hypothetical party, and those points would go into areas where an active DF PC might be reluctant to invest in. For actual parties who lack a bard or other specialist “social” character the GM can bump her up to a full 250 points of halfling crime boss.
As with Rexus, Laria could make an interesting Ally for a PC who gets along with her especially well, particularly if that PC’s party lacks strong social skills. As she is not a formal member of the Silver Ravens and has her own operation going on, it could also make sense to acquire her as a Contact. Laria can also be the “face” of a larger Contact Group representing her own network of smugglers.