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Arena Fighter

You learned to fight in the arena. Most likely enslaved in a powerful and corrupt society that forces its least fortunate people to battle one another for the amusement of the elite, you scraped by, one battle after another, one victory after another, constantly battling people you have no quarrel with. Eventually your skills reached a point where you had little to fear from the rabble, your masters valued you too much to test your skill against a proper challenger, and your master herself began to fear that she could not control you for much longer. She granted you your freedom because she knew her guards would not be able to stop you from killing her once you realized you could have more and do more than fight for the sick pleasure of others.

Alternatively, you might have become an arena fighter of your own choice, for a variety of other reasons. You might have owed money, or you craved the adoration of the audience, or you idolized arena fighters when you were young and set out to become one. Perhaps you needed coin to start your personal business, but the only way to get it was to participate in blood sports. Even after you no longer needed to fight, you may have come back out of retirement for a prize championship worth a heavy purse, or to However you came to it, you learned to revel in the cheers from the stands, how to fight dirty to stay alive, how to use even the most exotic weapons, and how to mercilessly kill your opponents. Your greatest memories are a red blur of exhaustion, pain, triumph, and desperation.

Proficiencies

Skills Deception, Intimidation
Tools: Herbalism kit, chariot or other land or sea vehicle
Equipment: bedroll, chain, leather armor, rope (50’), peasant’s outfit, short sword

Feature: Hero of the People

Because of the time spent in front of the crowds, fighting for your life for their entertainment, a large number of people have come to identify with you and support you as though you are one of their own kin. Even the day you were released from service to your former master, with nothing but a simple knife and a tattered peasant’s outfit, you were a darling of the masses. The crowds of people in the cities see your scars, and your unmistakable movements, and they remember you.

They remember cheering you on and gasping on those rare occasions where you went down, and many of them wanted to be you or be with you. Because of this, people in your home city want to help you when they can. If you’re hungry, you can find someone willing to buy you a meal and hear your stories. If you need information, people are more willing to talk to you, because they see you as one of them—someone who started from humble beginnings and made your way in the world.

Suggested Characteristics

Arena fighters know how to fight, but they also know how to play the crowd. You know that your mortal struggle in the sand was for entertainment, and part of survival means capturing the adoration of the fans in the arena.

Should you fall in battle, your fate is in the hands of the master of ceremonies, and they typically look to the crowd’s reaction to determine whether to spare your life or take it. When the crowd is against you, the odds of leaving the arena alive are very low.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I’ll do whatever it takes to win, even cheat, because winning means survival.
2 I don’t back down from a fight—that’s a sign of weakness.
3 Everybody meets their match sooner or later.
4 I can always find work, whether I need to move bricks or defend a farmstead.
5 I regret every person I was forced to kill in the arena and will take revenge against those responsible eventually.
6 I’m tight with my money because I know the real price of it.
7 I’m pleasant enough, at least until you try pushing me around and taking advantage of me.
8 Live free, because you never know if tomorrow will be the day they cut you down.
d6 Ideal
1

1 Greed. I do what I have to do to get money. You can’t live without it.

2 Honor. Those who stand by my side in battle are my brothers, and I will do anything for them.
3 Subterfuge. Sometimes the only way to win is to fight dirty.
4 Survival. Every day tries to kill you, but the determined and the competent learn how to stay alive.
5 Bravery. I will stand up to that which threatens me and I will not flinch from danger.
6 Reverent. I give the gods their due, for I will be meeting them soon enough.
d6 Bond
1 My friend died from treachery in the arena and I’ll not rest until I’ve settled the score.
2 My former master is an ignoble coward, but his discipline made me what I am.
3 My blade is my life. I’ll fall if I lose it or break it.
4 My family sold me into slavery, and for that they will pay.
5 I love the crowd. Their cheers sustain my soul.
6 I owe a sum of money to a wealthy noble, and I cannot rest until she’s been paid back.
d6 Flaw
1 I am easily moved to violence.
2 I’ll put myself and others in danger if it earns me some coin.
3 The only way to live with what I’ve done is to wallow in alcohol and the pleasures of the flesh.
4 I often succumb to the “better part of valor,” and run away.
5 I don’t pay attention to finer details. Just point me in a direction and I’ll hack it up.
6 People who know me best don’t trust me because I’m always just out for myself.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlemasters & Berserkers © 2021, Legendary Games; Author Darrin Drader.

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