A squad leader who always tries to help others and watch out for his team, but has a tough time wrapping his head around the otherworldly craziness. A sharpshooter and scout who views every trip through a portal as a fascinating opportunity to learn something new, as well as a dire threat. An aged scholar who can still mix it up with the best of them, who has saved the team with her brains more often than anyone else’s bullets. A psychic warrior from another world, hunted by her enemy but determined to help these strange otherworlders in their quest. Meet the Party strives to create ready-to-play characters for a variety of systems and settings, both for your use and to inspire you in making characters of your own. This time, by request of you our readers, we’re going to meet some characters from the Savage Worlds!
Savage Worlds is one of those ‘universal systems’, meaning that you can more or less do anything with it so long as the GM and players settle on what they want to do with it. In a recent Twitter poll @HungryHalfling Savage Worlds just barely squeezed out a win for ‘next system Meet the Party addresses’, but that still left me with a lot of leeway. I was considering a few options (several of which you’ll still see going forward) when Leslie asked what system I’d consider using for something akin to Stargate/SG-1. The rest involves a mental light bulb turning on and me flicking through the more modern parts of the book. Now, Savage Worlds has a LOT of setting books, as well as several companion books like the Science Fiction one, but for this outing I decided to restrict myself to the SW Deluxe Explorer’s Edition. So let’s see what I managed to put together.
Several years ago Humanity learned that it was not alone in the universe. Rather than aliens arriving in orbit, however, humans from another world stumbled through a portal that had appeared just outside Cairo. This quickly stopped being an isolated incident as portals began opening all over the world, some happening apparently by accident and some being created by civilizations from other planets. Scientists concluded after some time that both the natural and the created portals were possible due to what they termed the Multiverse Convergence Effect. For some reason both our universe and multiple other parallel dimensions were beginning to, as one Dr. Amlee put it, ‘go runny at the edges’.
This offered many opportunities to the people of Earth, but as more than one band of multiversal refugees could attest to also offered new threats. The United Nations created the Convergence Exploration Group, a multinational military, diplomatic, and scientific organization, to explore every new portal, learn what they can about the new worlds opening up, and seal portals that brought threats to Earth’s doorstep. Among the CEG’s various teams is Explorer Squad 11 . . .
Michasa Argenziano, the Skeptic Squad Leader
- Charismatic (Free Edge)
- Shooting d6, Fighting d6
- Taunt d6, Streetwise d4+2, Notice d4, Healing d4, Knowledge (Battle) d6
- Intimidation d8, Persuasion d8+2
Just a little note, here: the Toughness above varies because of the nature of the Kevlar Vest listed below, which provides more protection against bullets. Someone’s trying to stab Michasa, he applies Toughness 8. Someone tries to shoot him with a pistol, he applies Toughness 10. Carry on!
Edges: Charismatic, Luck, Command, Common Bond
Hindrances: Heroic, Doubting Thomas, Loyal
Gear: M-16, Glock, Kevlar Vest, Camouflage Fatigues, Hiking Boots, Backpack
Michasa Argenziano is a solid fighter and the dedicated social and leadership member of the squad. Charismatic gives him a Charisma score of 2, which is added to his already good Persuasion and Streetwise rolls. Luck gives him another Benny, while Common Bond allows him to grant his Bennies to his fellow characters, a particularly useful ability for when someone really needs a roll to succeed. Command let’s him help his allies avoid and recover from the Shaken status effect. He’s also the toughest character to hurt thanks to his Vigor, and the hardest to Shake thanks to his Spirit. However, he does have a hero complex, refuses to turn on anyone who he considers an ally, and is vulnerable to being spooked by supernaturally scary things.
Noah Burton, the Sharpshooting Scout
- Alertness (Free Edge)
- Shooting d10, Fighting d8, Stealth d10
- Tracking d6, Survival d6, Notice d6+2
Edges: Alertness, Fleet-Footed, Danger Sense, Marksman
Hindrances: Curious, Cautious, Loyal
Gear: Barret, Glock, Kevlar Vest, Camouflage Fatigues, Hiking Boots, Backpack
Noah Burton has a sharp pair of eyes and a steady hand with a gun, both of which will help keep himself and his squad alive. Alertness gives him a bonus to all of his Notice checks, while Fleet-Footed increases his Pace to 8 and his running die to a d10 making him the quickest member of the squad. His Danger Sense gives him a chance to Notice surprise attacks and other otherwise unforeseen dangers. Marksman gives him a bonus to damage with his Shooting rolls if he doesn’t move the turn he opens fire; this is what makes the Barret .50 truly deadly, and makes Fleet-Footed’s ability to get him into place faster a vital skill. He’s a little too curious for his own good, though, and yet at the same time overly cautious. Once something catches his eye it’ll probably take some time before he can tear himself away.
Susanne Amlee, the Omnidisciplinary Scientist
- Scholar (Free Edge)
- Shooting d6, Driving d6
- Knowledge (Science) d10+2, Knowledge (History) d8+2, Investigation d8+2, (Knowledge) Languages d8, Streetwise d8+2, Notice d6, Repair d4
Edges: Scholar, Investigator, Linguist
Hindrances: Elderly, Hard of Hearing (Minor), Bad Eyes (Minor)
Gear: Glock, Kevlar Vest, Laptop, Camouflage Fatigues, Hiking Boots, Backpack
Susanne Amlee is the brains of the operation, plain and simple. Scholar and Investigator both boost her already good Knowledge, Investigation, and Streetwise checks. Linguist provides her with more languages and lets her attempt to communicate in new ones if she has some time to listen to them, a very useful skill when you’re hopping around the multiverse. Being Elderly comes with a cost, though, even if it gave her more skill points for her Smarts. Her Strength and Vigor are both low, and as a result she’s physically the weakest of the squad. Her hearing also isn’t what it used to be, and losing her glasses can cause all kinds of trouble.
Kyra, the Psychic from Another World
- Arcane Background: Psionics (Free Edge)
- Fighting d8, Lockpicking d6, Stealth d6
- Psionics d10, Notice d6, Survival d6
- Climbing d4
Edges: Arcane Background: Psionics, Mentalist, Martial Artist, New Power
Hindrances: Enemy (Major), Outsider, Quirk
Gear: Staff, Kevlar Vest, Camouflage Fatigues, Hiking Boots
Power Points: 10
Powers: Confusion, Mind Reading, Bolt, Telekinesis
Kyra is going to be a nasty surprise for many of the squad’s foes, bringing the power of psionics to the fight. Confusion lets her Shake enemies to cost them their actions, while Mind Reading can get information even Susanne can’t reach. Bolt lets her strike multiple targets for moderate damage or a single one with a particularly nasty blow, while Telekinesis lets her move objects (including a weapon). Mentalist grants her a +2 on opposed Psionics rolls, while Martial Artist means she’s never unarmed and gets a damage bonus to Fighting checks. She’s picked up some interesting skills to help her survive as well. Unfortunately she made some personal enemies before she wound up on Earth, who bring trouble the squad’s way every few jumps. She’s an Outsider pretty much everywhere she goes, which gives her a Charisma penalty and makes social interactions difficult. Her Quirk of (usually accurately) finishing other people’s sentences definitely doesn’t help with that, cluing people in to the fact that she’s psychic.
All of these characters have been given 20 XP, granting them four extra Advances past character creation and elevating them to the ‘Seasoned’ rank. Not all of them took advantage of their new rank to grab a Seasoned Edge, but overall we have a party that’s definitely been through a few adventures together. As this is a military themed setting we don’t have to worry about what their gear costs, as it’s assigned to them by the CEG, who isn’t going to let them go out on a mission without their stuff. If you’re flipping through the book’s gear section you might notice some of them (particularly Noah) are carrying too much Weight, but the book also says not to worry about Encumbrance. Unless, of course it’s dramatically appropriate. Noah having to leave behind the Barret so he can carry a wounded Susanne, for instance.
Who They Are
Michasa Argenziano was one of the first soldiers to go through a portal, months before the CEG and the Explorer Squads were formally created. He did that because the unarmed people pouring through it were bloodied and screaming, with their attackers hot on their heels. He got lucky: the world on the other side was low-tech enough for his rifle to be an almost magical threat, and his commanders decided to give him a medal instead of a court martial. When the Explorer Squads were created his ‘fame’ got him command of one, and he’s been marching across the multiverse ever since. He still can’t quite wrap his head around the worlds where something the scientists wring their hands over and just call ‘magic’ exists. The portal thing is scientific, he’s smashed enough convergence devices over the years. But even as the universe tries to baffle him he keeps suiting up to go explore and save it.
Noah Burton jumped at the call when the Convergence Exploration Group started recruiting. He’d gone into soldiering to pay for college, although that never panned out, but this seemed the perfect opportunity to expand his horizons and learn new things. New worlds? New people, and new mysteries (how did humans wind up across the multiverse)? He wouldn’t miss this for the world. Of course he didn’t qualify as special forces because of his boundless enthusiasm for travel. He can be on the quiet and careful side as well, but while that might cause problems now and again few complain when that caution delivers a bullet that saves their lives in the nick of time.
Susanne Amlee was a strong proponent of parallel dimension theory, but it didn’t much pay the bills or get grant money, so she took her genius elsewhere until a portal popped open in Egypt. Some of her former fellow professors still tell stories of her running, surprisingly quick for a woman her age, out of a classroom laughing the entire way when the news broke. She’s had to pick up a few skills she doesn’t much care for (she’d never even held a gun before joining the CEG), and the more ‘exciting’ trips aren’t exactly easy on the bones (“Of course they wouldn’t show up when I was young, spry, and reckless”) but she’s determined to make up for lost time. She’s learning something new every day, whether it’s about the Convergence Effect, a language on a new planet, or how a society developed in an entirely different environment.
Kyra came to Earth through a portal in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture and she did it on the run, fleeing from the Empire that had conquered her world and then chased her through several others. The CEG had managed to predict the portal, however, and Explorer Squad 11 was waiting to see what came out. When the Imperials began trying to sack Sendai and grab Kyra in the bargain, ES-11 leapt into action. Kyra asked for asylum when the smoke cleared, and further offered her services to her saviors. Partially this is to pay the debt she feels she owes them, partially because it keeps her in the fight against the Empire whenever they cross paths, and partially because it gives her a home. She hasn’t really fit in anywhere since her world fell, and she doesn’t fit in with the Earth’s civilian population, but ES-11 feels like family now.
How They Interact
Michasa and Burton might have come from different militaries, but the squad leader recognizes in the sharpshooter a kindred spirit with the same sense of duty and obligation to one’s comrades. Burton’s eagerness for each new portal can be a little troubling, and his abundance of caution if he ever catches a whiff of a trap can cost them the initiative, but Michasa still thinks of Burton as his partner. Amlee was not, originally, a welcome addition to ES-11. An aged professor on expeditions that could be dangerous sounded like a recipe for disaster to the squad leader, who saw himself always having to rescue the woman. He’s had to now and again, sure, but she’s long since saved him many more times by figuring out what weirdness they’ve wandered into. Kyra isn’t even from Earth, and the mind tricks still weird Michasa out on occasion. She’s fighting for a noble cause, though, and pulls her weight on the squad. If staying with ES-11 is what she needs, then that’s what she’ll get.
Noah likes Michasa as a superior officer. The man takes care of his squad, always does the right thing, and isn’t afraid to get in the mess himself. Pretty much everything a grunt could ask for. His hero complex is a little frightening, though, and Noah genuinely doesn’t understand how Michasa can’t be fascinated by some of the things they’ve seen. The mages on Acadia were awesome! Susanne knows pretty much everything about everything, or so it seems to Noah. He doesn’t pretend to understand half the things she’s always chattering about, but he’s always willing to listen. There’s always a new and interesting fact to discover amongst all the technobabble, and besides that Noah has a new rule: When Things Get Weird, Do Whatever Susanne Says. Kyra’s been to more worlds than any of them, thanks to her time on the run from the Empire. Noah tries to get some stories out of her now and again, and plys her with stories of his own and some crash courses in Earth cultures.
Susanne smelled the distaste on Michasa the moment they met; he didn’t want her on his team, plain and simple, and only didn’t say anything to her face because he was under orders. He was, in Susanne’s opinion, not much more than a trained gorilla. They got that out of the way in a screaming match a few missions later, standing over a glowing crystal ‘thingbobby’ that nearly killed the entire planet until they figured out how to stop it. That’ll form a bond between anyone, and she actually likes the squad leader now. Noah is a darling young man, and much smarter than he gives himself credit for. Not once has he ever sneered at anything she’s said, and Susanne is trying to plant the idea of going back to school in his head even while he trains her with a pistol. Kyra would be a fascinating specimen if the poor thing wasn’t, you know, a living person with hopes and dreams and tragedies. Susanne does hope to learn more about psionics some day, maybe see if there’s a latent psychic population on Earth, but for now she quietly asks around for a portal back to Kyra’s world.
Kyra is grateful to Michasa, who did not hesitate for a moment when she asked for his help, nor allowed those who wish to control the multiversal refugee population to dictate her fate. The man has an unfortunate blind spot when it comes to the mystical aspects of the multiverse, but she knows he makes an effort to not be bothered by her abilities and is always willing to lose to her in a sparring match. Noah is a friendly sort, reminding her of the brother she has not seen in years. He can be a little on the nosy side, but has done much to share his planet’s culture with her. The ‘fantasy’ and ‘science fiction’ novels he has given her are perhaps her favorite, particularly because they get so many things right at the same time they get so many things wrong. Susanne is a wise woman, and would have been an honored elder on Kyra’s world, afforded the highest respect. To see her involved in the running and the fighting and the panicked yelling that comes with many missions is a little jarring, but it would be the height of rudeness to suggest that such an elder shouldn’t be doing what they want. Kyra does as her world would expect, and watches out for Susanne at every opportunity.
What will Explorer Squad 11 run into on their next portal trip? Highly advanced aliens? Savages with spears and spells? A quaint Victorian society built on rock islands floating above a gas giant? The armies of the Empire? Themselves? It’s a big multiverse out there, so what happens to Michasa, Noah, Susanne, and Kyra is up to you (and your dice) to determine!
What Meet the Party does next might also be up to you to determine! Savage Worlds won the recent Twitter poll, but the world of CEG and ES-11 certainly isn’t the only place the system could take us. There’s more Savage Worlds in our future. Several other games came close as well, several other ideas were suggested, and the idea for this party came from the ever-helpful Leslie. So if you want to see ready-to-play characters for any given system or setting, let us know @HungryHalfling, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or here in the comments! And remember, Patreon supporters get first dibs!