Monday, January 15, 2018

20 Bizarrely Overspecialized Mercenary Companies

One of The Climbing Goats scaling a cliff. [3]

[1] Ghoul Hunters. All of them are elves or half elves. One of them is a battle-scarred cleric who can cast Paralyze Ghoul once per day instead of Turn Undead.

[2] Grass-Skirts. Bunch of not!Maori warrior dudes. Fight very well on tropical islands and vs other tribes and spirit totems. No armor, weapons are made of wood and shatter against plate.

[3] The Climbing Goats. Group of mercenaries who can climb up mountains extremely well. They put chalk all up and down their back so they can pat each other on the back; chalking up their hands as they go to keep up the pace.

[4] Alleycats. Group of pickpockets and thieves who intentionally recruit the smallest young urchins, starve them and stunt their growth. They are extremely weak and prone to fainting, but are so lightweight they don't trigger pressure plates and can slip through some iron gates. Their leader can literally transform into a cat.

[5] Shell-Smashers. Mercenary group that uses huge two person warpicks and hammers to smash open the shells of giant turtles. After a few local nobles requested feasts of turtle soup, they're running out of quarry. Have 1d4 giant snapping turtle eggs they will release into the wild someday, to increase the demand for their services.

[6] Pre-Adventurer Guild. Go into dungeons and draw a map, mark on the walls locations of secret doors and traps, learn monster schedules and deliver it to groups who want to delve that dungeon. Considered extremely unsporting to actually use their service.

[7] Contortionist Assassins. Trained to kill people by jumping out of small chests, cakes, false bottoms on carts and the like. Useless outside of the first surprise round. Sell a 'pocket assassin'; killer in a convenient carrying case.

[8] Discouraged Steel. They know a secret ritual to hop inside a magic item and make it worse or even turn it to a cursed item. Makes swords limp and depressed. They have no idea how to use this to make weapons better though.

[9] Drider Diggers. Specialize in the capture, domestication, and selling of demihuman spider people to make clothes and fabrics for the surface dwellers. One of them is a drow spy that will sell them out the next time they go just a bit too deep.

[10] Sky-Fenders. Longbowmen, crossbow users, and handgonners specialize in shooting flying monsters out of the sky. Wear leather hoods. Don't even carry melee weapons.

[11] Spore Suckers. Group that can go into the rust forest, a place that destroys metal armor and equipment, have all sorts of plant and animal made equipment. Use huge dehydrated mushrooms as one handed clubs.

[12] Statue Reclaimers. Mercenary group that specializes in breaking down statues into chunks, moving them, and putting them back together again. Uses hammers and chisels vs heavily armored foes.

[13] Lion Tamers. Carry around whips, chairs, and big hoops with flammable oil coated on them. They can get lions and other big cats to do a little stunt for a while, just long enough for their friends to get down looting the area first. The training reverts as soon as they stop putting on the show.

[14] Cloth Historians. Study the clothing patterns and attire of ancient cultures and peoples. Use this knowledge to trick ghosts and undead sentries of some dungeons, sneaking right past and acting like a normal citizen would.

[15] The Blind Bastards. Group of fighters who are all blind, relying on other senses to fight. They are very bad compared to most fighters, but against invisible creatures or gorgons they fare far better then most men who have to improvise on the spot. Led by a one eyed man; he keeps this a secret from the others.

[16] Fool's Errand. Group of sticklers and humorless straight-men who hunt down killer jesters, fools, and clowns. Immune to spells that force them to laugh, and all other zany antics.

[17] The Peddlers. The mercenaries spend most of their time peddling trinkets and small goods to innocent townspeople as a scam. They all fight with daggers, garrote wire, wrist crossbows, blackjacks, and other easily concealed weapons.

[18] Typesetters. The only faction in the world to have a working printing press. They use it in the service of the highest bidder; hundreds of political pamphlets being made over night, copies of your cursed spellbook, maps to better prepare a resistance movement, you name it.

[19] The Melting Women. Group of all female assassins and blades for higher. Specific initiation rights that only work on women let members melt into a flesh-colored puddle they can barely control. If two puddles mix the reformed girls accidentally swap some details and memories. They have a very strong suspicion that their employers have weird fetishes about this.

[20] Wedding Warriors. Group of bad ass men and women who specifically kill creatures that go after married couples or firstborn children. They shack up with you, then kill the beast when it comes for you both. The marriage is still legally binding and permanent.

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