Scouts

The Scouts are what remains of the Old World's Boy Scout and Girl Scout associations. From what can be gathered, there was a large international Jamboree (a scout camp) in Spain around the time the war rages and/or when the bombs fell. 40,000 of the world's most dedicated scouts were stranded far from home, with all their camping and survival gear. Some of the scout troops were only interested in finding their way home, but most resolved to do as much good as they could to help the world recover from whatever had occurred.

The Scouts spread out from Barcelona, stopping to help whatever survivors they came across; helping them find shelter or teaching them the skills they'd need to survive. Some scout troops took to recruiting those who were inclined to follow the teachings of Baden-Powell, keeping the scouting tradition alive despite 40 years of devastation. As time went on, scouts either settled down in settlements (serving as foragers, hunters, and militia) or embraced a lifestyle of constant wandering (rarely staying more than a few months in any one place).

Today, Scouts still travel from settlement to settlement; alone or in small groups. They bring news from far away places, tell stories from the olden days, and teach survival skills to those who want to learn. They help organize construction projects; building bridges, clearing roads, and otherwise work aimed at restoring a global community. They help forage when crops fail, provide medical aid when disease breaks out, and stand and fight when peaceful settlements are attacked.

tl;dr: Paladin-Bards with a Ranger's skillset.

Code of Honor (Scout's)

The Scout movement is characterized by their creed more than anything else. In most troops, a new member isn't considered a Scout until they can recite all ten commandments of the Scout's Law by heart, and the initiation ritual involves solemnly swearing to uphold that law for the rest of their lives. A Scout who flouts the laws will quickly find themselves disowned by the rest of the Scouts, and that villages they come to have already been warned about a pretender scout.

The Scout's Law is as follows:

  • A Scout's honor is to be trusted. (Never break a promise. Scouts who follow this law to it's natural extreme also picks up Truthfulness)
  • A Scout is loyal. (Never betray a friend or an employer)
  • A Scout's duty is to be useful and help others. (Some troops codify this as do at least one good deed each day.)
  • A Scout is a friend to all, and a brother/sister to every Scout no matter what. (But note that failing to live up to this code means you no longer qualify as a Scout.)
  • A Scout is Courteous. (Be polite, respectful and considerate)
  • A Scout is a friend to animals. (Note that you can still hunt, but never for sport, and you must make every effort to be quick and painless)
  • A Scout obeys Orders from his superiors. (Senior Scouts, Troop Leaders, etc. They've earned that position through dedication and experience, so if they give an order, it's usually the best thing to do.)
  • A Scout smiles and whistles. (Do your duty cheerfully; never begrudgingly.)
  • A Scout is thrifty. (Use only what you absolutely need, and save the rest for people who need it more than you.)
  • A Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed. (Some troops interpret this as don't do magic, but the original intent is closer to don't swear or be evil.)

Playing a Scout

The Hunter template is the most appropriate for a typical scout. In fact, it has options built in specifically to fit with playing a scout. If you want to play one of the other templates, an alternative is to take the 50 point Scout lens and replace some of your template's disadvantages with Code of Honor (Scout's) [-10] and perhaps some of the other disadvantages described below. If you are building your character from scratch, see below for advice and notes about specific traits.

Advantages

Allies: Perhaps you've volunteered to train up a cub scout, or maybe you're even in charge of a whole troop (ranging from 3-20) of scouts. An experienced scout is typically built on 50-75% of a character's point total, while a cub scout could easily be as low as 25%. If you're responsible for your allies, you can also buy them as Dependents to reduce the cost of this advantage, though this will mean that they occasionally get into trouble and need your help. Since scouts tend to spend a lot of time helping others, they should typically have a low Frequency of Appearance.

Claim to Hospitality (Scouts): [5] Scouts tend to look out for each other. This advantage can get you into places where most strangers won't be allowed in, and can get you a roof (or at least tent) over your head at night.

Contact Group: [10] As a Contact group, scouts count as Somewhat Reliable and can provide small favors and information within the domain of "Scout Skills" at an effective skill of 12. You can quite often find a nearby scout who might be able to help (a roll of 12 or less means there's a passing scout available). Scout Skills covers most wilderness skills and a bit of cultural knowledge skills to boot.

Favor: It's relatively easy for a scout to end up with a favor or two. That village you saved from a blight, the guy you saved from that mutated bear, or the trading post you built that rope bridge for might feel they owe you one. Note that in order to take this advantage, you must provide a description of who owes you a favor and why online.

Patron: The scouts as a whole have a base value of 10 points as a patron; they're available no more than Quite Often (12 or less). You can buy it at a lower Frequency of Appearance if you want. This is basically a supercharged version of Claim to Hospitality advantage above. It's typically appropriate for veteran scouts; the ones who have earned the respect of most of the other scouts in the area. You may want to pair this with a reputation within the scouts.

Reputation: Scouts are known throughout the region as good people, and showing up in a village with a rose knot fastened scarf around your neck and a fleur-de-lis on your arm will likely mean you are well received. However, this occupational advantage is covered by the Claim to Hospitality advantage about; a reputation should be related to your own actions, not those of the organization you represent. A reputation within the scouts has a x1/3 cost, while a reputation in the region has a x1/2 cost.

Talents: Outdoorsman and Animal Friend are both appropriate for scouts. Note also that Outdoorsman comes with a reaction bonus among explores, which does include most scouts.

Appropriate Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Scout's) [-10] is an obvious one. It's pretty much obligatory (though a Secret related to pretending to live by the code could work as an alternative) for scouts due to the organization's self policing. Charitable, Honesty, Pacifism (pretty much any), Selfless, Sense of Duty (Scouts, Humanity, or All Living Things) [-10, -15 or -20], Truthfulness, and Vow(Vegetarianism, Own no more than you can carry on your back, or Never refuse a request for aid) [-5, -10, or -15] are all variations on the same theme, depending on which parts of the code you take most seriously.

The Scouts' willingness to take a stand for what they consider right can easily earn them Enemies. A typical wasteland gang is a medium sized group (-20 base points), while a larger group like the Blitzers would be -30 base points. Such enemies tend not to muck around; they are usually Hunters. On the other hand, their Frequency of Appearance tends to be very low (9- or less).

Skills

Scouts can have all manner of skills. While the movement started as wilderness survivalists, being a scout is more about mentality than about skillset.

That being said, the "typical" scout has a mix of wilderness survival skills and social skills. They tend to be teachers, news sources, and storytellers, as well as foragers and survivalists.

The "bard" aspect of the scouts can be played up by focusing on skills like Public Speaking, Current Affairs, Teaching, and Leadership.

The "paladin" aspect can be played up by focusing on weapon skills, Armory, First Aid, and Tactics. For a slightly more untraditional focus, consider Camouflage, Engineer (Rope and Wood), Intimidate, Stealth, and Traps to fight with smarts instead of brawn.

The "ranger" aspect can be played up with skills like Climbing, Hazardous Materials (Biological, Chemical, Mystical, or Radioactive), Hiking, Jumping, Navigation, Survival, and Tracking.

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