Astral Projections – Keira, Alliance Mounted Scout (AoR)

Alliance Scout Keira and her fenwolf Dusty keep tabs on the local Garrison. © 2017 Linda Whitson
Spying done for the moment, Keira and Dusty get in some playtime. © 2017 Linda Whitson

Design & Play Notes: Artwork, whether mine or someone else’s, is a not uncommon source of character ideas for me, and Keira was inspired by the art for my fenwolf stats.  As I worked on that picture, I realized this young woman had a cool story and it would just take a bit of talking with her to find out what that story was. I kept the name, Keira, of the human 3d model used in both pieces of art.

Over the last year or so, I have begun to favor starting PCs at 25 XP, 1 or 2 sessions’ worth, depending on the GM. I find it is a reasonable compromise between starting PCs (who usually have limited skills and none of the cooler Talents for their Specialization) and Knight Level/150 XP PCs (who have enough Talents to overload newer players). I did stats for Keira at both stages. I didn’t worry about gear costs but provided what I felt reasonable, as well as “upgrading” to better versions of some items, such as weapons, for the Knight Level version. Also, the price of the fenwolf is not included. I suggest 2,000 credits if that’s important in your game.

I opted to go into Scout (Knight Level), even though it only adds one new spec skill (Medicine) because Keira is recon, not so much fighting, and many of the talents fit better than Commando, which I also considered. Starting with the Ace career, she has access to sufficient combat and vehicle skills that Recruit wouldn’t be as useful as it is with some builds. Beast Rider and Scout also share unranked Talents–Let’s Ride and Forager–which saves some XP, especially if you buy them at the least expensive occurrence, as I did.

I also tried to make Keira’s skillset wide enough that she is useful even if the session doesn’t involve riding. And of course, she isn’t limited to the fenwolf. Depending upon the scenario/campaign and player’s preferences, she can ride–and fight–any of the classic Star Wars mounts.
For future advancement, you can continue advancing through both Beast Rider and Scout trees. From the Knight Level Build, it is only 85 more XP for a Dedication, for either spec.

For other Talents, I suggest seriously considering the Right columns of both specs. The Natural Outdoorsman (Rider) and Natural Hunter (Scout) have a nice synergy, allowing rerolls in four important skills for a Scout, mounted or not–Perception, Vigilance, Survival, and Resilience. If you prefer a more combat-oriented PC, certainly consider the Commando or even Sharpshooter spec. Having her become aware of a connection to the Force is also a possibility, by purchasing one of the universal Force specs (the least expensive option) or an F&D spec such as Pathfinder. If you opt for the latter, perhaps your GM might be willing to allow you to re-do Keira as a Beast Rider/Pathfinder or Pathfinder only.

Backstory: One of the sad facts of Imperial life is that many young people, especially on isolated, Outer Rim worlds, are more or less on their own by the time they reach adolescence. Keira (she doesn’t use, or maybe even recall, her surname) is one of them. In her case, it was a series of planet-wide misfortunes. The colony’s exports were originally a mix of agriculture and raw ores.

First the mining co-operative decided it was time to process ores locally, rather than ship the heavier raw ores off-planet. A reasonable idea but the scheme was badly designed and after several years, major aquifers had been contaminated. The planet also entered a long drought phase. Lack of water became a big problem and a number of the richer colonists and businesses left. The Empire promised assistance, on some vague timeline, but that was over a decade ago, when Keira was small. The final blow was an epidemic.

Keira’s family managed to get off-world before the Imperial quarantine was set, but they had already been exposed. The girl found herself alone on a strange planet, barely recovered herself. Keira was luckier than most in her position. She found a job on a ranch where fenwolves were used as herd and guard beasts. Withdrawn after so many losses, she spent much of her time with the wolves, training and working them. One animal, called Spacedust, or Dusty, bonded–as domestic canids often do–strongly with Keira.

A year or two ago, the Empire started building on Keira’s new homeworld. On her rides with Dusty, she sometimes went far enough to spy on their buildings–or follow their biker scouts for a lark. As she recovered emotionally, Keira started to spend a little more time exploring the nearby town and found some friends. Some of them were interested in hearing what she saw on her rides. As Keira and her new friends came to trust each other, she became part of the Rebel cell.

KEIRA (+25XP)
Human Ace

Career: Ace
Specialization: Beast Rider

Duty: Intelligence

Motivation: Self-Reliance (F&D, Savage Spirits)

Characteristics
Brawn 3
Agility 3
Intellect 2
Cunning 3
Presence 2
Willpower 2

Skills: Athletics 1, Cool 1, Mechanics 1, Perception 2, Ranged (Light) 2, Skulduggery 1 (Human Bonus), Stealth 1 (Human Bonus), Survival 2

Talents
Forager, Toughened, Outdoorsman, Beast Wrangler

Soak: 54     Defense (m/r): 0/0      Strain Threshold: 14      Wound Threshold: 15
Force Rating: 0

Equipment: Fenwolf [or other riding beast], Riding Tack, Heavy Clothing (+1 Soak), A/KT Tracker utility vest, Macrobinoculars, Commlink (handheld), 2 stimpacks, Light Blaster Pistol (Ranged [light], Damage 5, Critical 4, Medium range, Stun Setting), Combat Knife (Melee, Damage +1, Critical 3, Engaged)


KEIRA (Knight Level)
Human Ace

Career: Ace
Specializations: Beast Rider, Scout

Duty: Intelligence

Motivation: Self-Reliance (F&D, Savage Spirits)

Characteristics
Brawn 3
Agility 3
Intellect 2
Cunning 3
Presence 2
Willpower 2

Skills: Athletics 1, Coordination 0/+1 Boost, Cool 1, Mechanics 1, Medicine 1, Perception 2, Ranged (Light) 2, Skulduggery 1 (Human Bonus), Stealth 2/+1 Boost (Human Bonus), Survival 2, Vigilance 1

Talents
Forager, Toughened, Outdoorsman, Beast Wrangler, Expert Handler, Rapid Recovery, Stalker, Grit X2, Shortcut, Let’s Ride, Disorient

Soak: 5      Defense (m/r): 0/0      Strain Threshold: 14      Wound Threshold: 15
Force Rating: 0

Equipment: Fenwolf [or other riding beast], Riding Tack, Padded Armor (+2 Soak), A/KT Tracker utility vest, Scanner Goggles, Commlink (handheld), 2 stimpacks, Wilderness Survival Kit, Defender Sporting Blaster Pistol (Ranged [light], Damage 5, Critical 3, Medium range, Accurate 1, Stun Setting), Explorer’s Knife (Melee, Damage +1, Critical 3, Engaged, Vicious 1, +1 Boost to Survival checks)

 


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Linda Whitson

Linda Whitson

Contributing Writer & Copy Editor at D20 Radio
Linda Whitson is a long-time RPGer, amateur musician & artist, & an officer in the Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming club. Linda met her husband in an AD&D game and they have 2 teenagers, an anime fangirl daughter and a son who plays on his university's quidditch team. She is the Lead Mod of D20 Radio's forums and Copy Editor for the blog. Linda can be reached at GMLinda@d20radio.com
Linda Whitson

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