Template: Armiger (Flier)

In The Land of the True Game, armigers have the talent of flight. The word “armiger” evolved from “ayr-man.” They are a common game piece, and respectable demensnes will employ dozens of them. During battle they are deployed as an air force, scouting enemy positions, firing arrows from above and throwing fire bottles of naphtha (“Greek fire”), although a burly armiger might instead drop a boulder. Due to the physical demands of flight and their use of mundane (non-magical) weapons, they tend to be physically fit. Some armigers are trained to locate and signal enemy positions with hand-gestures, but in well-staffed armies a demon might instead locate and read the armiger’s mind.

Armiger Template

177 points

Attributes: ST 10 [0]; DX 14 [80]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 12 [20].
Secondary Characteristics: Dam 1d-2/1d; BL 20 lbs.; HP 10 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 12 [0]; Basic Speed 7.00 [10]; Basic Move 7 [0].
Advantages: Flight (True Game ESP -20%; Stability Rating 4, +10%; Requires IQ Roll, -10%) [32] and Status 1 (Gamesman) [5]. ⬤ 25 points chosen from among 3D Spatial Sense [10], Acute Vision [2/level], Combat Reflexes [15], Danger Sense [15], Fit [5] or Very Fit [15], Heroic Archer [20], High Pain Threshold [10], Night Vision 1-5 [1/level], Peripheral Vision [15], Weapon Bond [1], or Weapon Master (Bow or Crossbow) [20].
Disadvantages: -15 points chosen from among Bloodlust [-10*], Callous [-5], Greed [-15*], Honesty [-10*], Overconfidence [-5*], Sense of Duty (Adventuring Companions) [-5], or Skinny [-5]. ⬤ Another -35 points chosen from among the previous traits or Code of Honor (Gamesman’s) [-10], Dependent (50%, loved one [thalan], 6 or less) [-5] or Dependent (50%, friend, 9 or less) [-5], Duty (a demensne, 6 or less) [-2] or Duty (a belligerent demensne, 6 or less, extremely hazardous) [-7], Intolerance (Pawns) [-5], Loner [-5*], No Sense of Humor [-10], Paranoia [-10], Phobia (Crowds) [-15*], Social Stigma (Heretic, Disowned, or Outcast) [-5]
Primary Skills: Levitation (Psionic Power Skill) IQ+4 [20]-14 ⬤ And choose one package from:

  1. Archery: Fast-Draw (Arrow) DX+0 [1]-14 and either Bow DX+5 [16]-18 or Crossbow DX+5 [16]-19;
  2. Knife-Thrower: Fast-Draw (Throwing Knife) DX+0 [1]-14 and Thrown Weapon (Knife) DX+5 [16]-19

Secondary Skills: Throwing DX+0 [2]-14 and either Brawling DX+0 [1]-14 or Knife DX+0 [1]-14. ⬤ Choose two from among: Aerobatics DX+0 [4]-14, Flight HT+1 [4]-13, Gesture IQ+2 [4]-12, or Observation Per+1 [4]-11
Background Skills: Module: Educated [7].

Lenses

Brute (+35 points): Add ST+4 [40], replace primary skills [-17] with Dropping DX+4 [12]-18.

Scout (+30 points): Add Per+2 [10], Tracking IQ+2 [8]-12, Stealth SX+1 [4]-15, and an additional +4 points of Observation (Per/Average). ⬤ Add an additional +4 points to Acute Vision and/or Night Vision.

Speedy (+35 points): Enhanced Move (Air) [20] and Enhanced Dodge [15].

Surveyor (+16 points): Add both Cartography IQ+2 [8]-12 and Navigation (Air) IQ+2 [8].

The modules Combat Veteran (+30 points) and/or Minor Heretic (+4 points) can also be stacked.

Notes:

  • Per GURPS Psionic Powers, “Levitation” is the mental skill of using your power to launch yourself into the air. It needs a further “maintenance” roll every 5 minutes of flight. Note that this is distinct from the confusingly-named “Flight” skill, which is a HT-based skill representing endurance — think of “flight” as the hiking skill of the sky, while “levitation” is the skill of starting your engines and keeping them running. There is no real equivalent of “piloting” but this could be a DX-based roll on “Levitation” depending on GM judgement.
  • Also per GURPS Psionic Powers, the Stability Rating modifier on Flight allows you to avoid crashes as a vehicle would (see the GURPS Basic Set rules about Control Rolls).
  • If you add power-holding (in this setting, a.k.a. sorcery) to this template, the official name of the game piece changes from Armiger to Afrit in The Index.
  • It is forbidden for armigers to carry messages, as that is the given job of heralds or negotiators. Yet armigers often do things that are forbidden.
  • Armigers don’t always fly everywhere. An armiger’s flight requires heat/power, so armigers do also ride on horseback and in wagons just like everyone else when they are with a party of travelers.
  • The Armiger might really come into their own when deployed against a massed group. If the Armiger doesn’t care who they hit, they could aim at a massed group of enemies and likely receive a much more favorable to hit modifier, yet they would still have the same (+0) to hit modifier against any return fire.
    • For instance, consider an Armiger attacking a massed group of 7 enemies. If the enemies are in a shoulder-to-shoulder clump, the group is three hexes across (6 yards).
    • the Armiger would get a +2 size modifier bonus to hit the group with a thrown rock, knife, or arrow. I’m not 100% sure of the rules here but I’d probably treat this via the “Hitting the Wrong Target” rules on p. B389. On a success, randomly identify a hex in the group, then roll again at a flat 9 or less to hit someone in there.
    • If using an area effect or explosive weapon like a fire bottle, the Armiger could aim at the ground in the entire group of hexes, for a total of +9 to hit as a size modifier (+4 to hit one hex, +2 for the width of the group of hexes, +3 because this is a boxy shape).
    • In all of the above, if someone fired back the Armiger’s own size modifier would remain +0.
    • However, this combat situation doesn’t come up much in roleplaying as I rarely care to carefully model one player attacking a mass of NPCs.
  • Armigers have no ability to breathe or stay warm at high altitude, so the height that they can fly is limited. Clarification: the Scout lens is intended for following people around and watching them, not for exploring the wilderness.
    • I’m intuiting from the threads on the GURPS Forum that following people from the air involves seeing them at a distance and rolling against Stealth to make no sound.
    • Armigers can also land and use tracking. Technically, you don’t even need to touch down as you can track by sight, but to track a party on the ground you’d probably need to get right next to the signs you are trying to read (hoofprints, etc.)
  • Dropping rocks (The Brute lens) is quite lethal if you can connect. For example, as a surprise attack on a stationary target. You could pick up a 39 lb. (26 HP) rock without any encumbrance penalty (that’s a spherical piece of granite about 5″ in diameter), hover at 3.5 man-heights above a stationary enemy (7 yards distance) and drop. If your victim is standing on the ground, you’d be at about the height of a 2-story building’s roof.
    • You’d have a -3 to hit penalty for that distance, but I’d wait one second for the +1 Acc. So that’s an effective skill of 16, a 99% chance to hit.
    • If the intended victim is sitting or standing up, the GM could add a -2 for posture (relative to you they are lying down) but that’s still an effective skill of 14, a 91% chance to hit.
    • If the target is looking down at the ground (or something), they are likely not going to notice you. If they don’t notice you they get no defense.
    • From that height, a falling 39 lb. rock will reach 12 yards/second in velocity and do an impressive 3d cr damage.
    • At a greater height, it looks like the rock would take a few seconds to hit the target, and that would be bad as the victim might be more likely to notice it approaching? Not sure how that would work. But at this height the rock will hit in less than one second.
  • An asterisk (*) next to a cost means that a self-control number is required. This assumes a number of 12.
  • This is an adventuring-skills-light template, as is true for all of the templates in this campaign. See the discussion of why this template is skills-light.

(Image coda: Saint Michael Overwhelming The Demon by Raphael, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

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