Mercenary Warrior

By Patrick Murray AKA Rumtap

All across Legend mercenary warriors can be found in service wherever there is money for muscle available. Some mercenary warriors may not care who their employer is or what they do; some may even switch sides at the flip of a coin! Others however can be extremely loyal servants, for at least as long as they are well fed. The chance of finding large treasure hoards can lure many a mercenary away from steady pay into the adventuring life.

Minimum Requirements
There are no minimum requirements to be a mercenary.

Character Creation Summary
A. Strength, Reflexes, Intelligence, Psychic Talent and Looks: roll 3d6 for each.
B. Health Points: roll 1d6+6
C. Basic ATTACK 12*, DEFENCE 5*
E. Basic EVASION 4
G. Initially equipped with backpack, lantern, flint & tinder, dagger, war-hammer (d10, 3) and shield or sword and shield or halberd, 1 javelin, mail hauberk (ring-mail armour), 2-20 florins.

*Attack and Defence may be modified by a mercenaries fighting style in weapons they are proficient with (see below)

Increasing In Rank
The mercenary increases in rank just as a barbarian (Dragon Warriors page 130).

Background and Languages
The mercenary uses the same background table as a mystic (Dragon Warriors page 53). A roll of nobility or gentry would indicate that the mercenary was an illegitimate child and a second roll should be made to discover the maternal grandfather’s background. A mercenary can be well travelled and when rolling for additional languages can subtract 6 from the d20 roll just like the Barbarian (Dragon Warriors page 56).

Combat Penalties for wearing armour
-2 from ATTACK and DEFENCE for wearing Plate armour.

Weapon Limitations
Mercenaries do not have the same extensive combat training as a knight or barbarian. When wielding a weapon that the mercenary warrior is proficient with they will gain the benefit of their chosen fighting style. This bonus does not apply when using other weapons.

Choosing Skills
At first rank the mercenary can chooses a fighting style, 2 weapon proficiencies and 2 other common skills. At 3rd rank the mercenary can choose another weapon proficiency or common skill. At 6th rank the mercenary can choose another skill, either common or mighty or a further weapon proficiency. Upon reaching 8th rank when characters are regarded as highly skilled the player can pick 1 skill or weapon proficiency per rank from then on.

Skills & Abilities of a Mercenary Warrior

Common Skills Mighty Skills
Weapon Proficiency Throwing Arm
Track Quick Retreat
Expert Parry Charm Deal
Carry Load Fight Dirty
Bind Wounds Weapon Craft
Find Loot Stunning Blow (aggressive only)
Appraise Item Spiked Shield (balanced only)

Shielding (defensive only)

Fighting Style
At 1st rank the mercenary chooses their fighting style. The Aggressive fighting style adds +2 to Attack. Choosing a Balanced fighting style adds +1 to Attack and +1 to Defence While the Defensive fighting style adds +2 to Defence. A mercenary can alter their fighting style at any time. It takes two months to alter a fighting style in which time the player receives no bonus. Special skills that require a specific fighting style are lost if fighting style is altered.

Weapon Proficiency
By training in the use of a particular weapon the mercenary becomes proficient and may add their fighting style bonus. Note that if a weapon can be used in melee and also thrown then this is two separate proficiencies e.g. Dagger & Throwing dagger counts as two choices. Any combat skills that a mercenary may choose can only be used when wielding a weapon they are proficient in.

This is the same as the skill available to knights and barbarians (Dragon Warriors page 63)

Expert Parry
This is the same as the skill available to knights (Dragon Warriors page 27)

Carry Load
A mercenary is used to carrying equipment on long marches. This ability increases the mercenary’s Encumbrance by 2 points

Bind Wounds
Mercenary armies see many battles and these soldiers may develop some skill in delivering first aid to the wounded. The mercenary carries bandages and wadding to apply to wounds (negligible cost and encumbrance). When another character falls unconscious a mercenary with this skill can help them to recover faster. The chance of recovery increases to a 2 on d6. Furthermore they will wake with 2 health points rather than the usual 1. This skill can be taken a second time, the chance of recovery increases to 3 on d6 and the patient will wake with 3 health points.

Find Loot
A mercenary can almost smell money. Taking this skill grants the mercenary +2 to Perception to notice items of value and their hiding places. It can be taken a 2nd time for a +4 bonus.

Appraise Item
A mercenary understands the value of good weapons and armour. This skill allows the mercenary to examine weapons, armour and shields to try and determine if and how magical they are ( +1. +2 or +3). The base chance is 5% per rank of experience. So a 3rd rank mercenary will have a 15% chance of identifying an item correctly. On a failed check the mercenary simply has no idea.

Throwing Arm
A mercenary with this skill when using a throwing weapon they are proficient with gains an extra 5 metres to each range for that weapon.

Quick Retreat
Sometimes the pay isn’t worth getting killed for. This skill allows the mercenary to make a 5 metre retreat instead of the usual 2.5 metres.

Charm Deal
You will never hear the words “won’t haggle” said about a mercenary. When in a situation of buying or selling goods or services the mercenary can try to receive a better deal by rolling under their Looks score on d20. If they succeed they will receive an improvement in price of 5% + 2% per rank. If the roll fails then they have managed to offend the other party and find the price is now 20% worse than before! Please note that this skill does not replace the players need to role-play! E.g. a 5th rank mercenary player enters into negotiations with an NPC over the price of a small job. The GM has already determined that the NPC is willing to pay between 100 and 120 florins; the mercenary makes their Charm Deal check and is successful! The GM adjusts the range for negotiation by 15% to 115 to 138 florins; the player still has to do the work to get the best deal they can!

Fight Dirty
A mercenary is not beholden to some vow of chivalry or some code of family honour like a knight or barbarian. The mercenary will do whatever they can to get any advantage they can. A mercenary that fights dirty can kick or throw sand/dirt/ash etc. into the face of an opponent within 5 metres. This action is a normal proficient missile attack. If the dirt hits the victim has impaired vision and will be at -2 attack and -4 defence for 1d4 combat rounds.

Weapon Craft
A mercenary can further train in melee weapons that they are already proficient with. This skill grants +1 to damage inflicted. E.g. short sword becomes d8, 4.

Stunning Blow (for players with Aggressive Fighting Style only)
When armed with a weapon they are proficient with the mercenary gains a bonus when they make a critical hit. Their opponent will be stunned by the blow and will be at -2 attack and -2 defence for one combat round.

Spiked Shield (for players with Balanced Fighting Style only)
A mercenary is able to make a shield bash similar to a Thane (see Ordo Draconis Vol 1 No 2). The mercenary however places a large sharp spike in the centre of their shield to increase the effectiveness of the move. When a mercenary parries a blow with their shield they can make an immediate counter-strike as a free action at -3 attack v their opponent’s full defence. The spiked shield is a d4, 3 weapon.

Shielding (for players with Defensive Fighting Style only)
This skill is the same as a Warlock’s arrow cutting ability (Dragon Warriors page 39) except that the mercenary must be using a shield to block the incoming projectiles.

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