The RPG Blog Carnival always hints at some nice inspiration topics to pump some creativity from writers and creators all around the world. June brings us «Organizations» all the way from the imaginarium of The Expanding Frontier. They invited everyone to participate by asking some essential questions:
- What makes the organization unique?
- How does it stand out in your world?
- How do the player characters interact with the organization, if at all?
One of my most recently-started campaigns features the Argentum, an official but secretive cabal part of the Church of the Silver Flame. This article will not be about that, though, but it’s slightly related. Let’s learn a little about Eberron’s recent history before I introduce you to the Silver Arrows.
When the Last War was in its zenith, there was no shortage of brave individuals joining their towns’ armies to defend their homes. Thrane was particularly torn apart during the war, as the towers of the Valiant and the Vigilant were fighting against each other instead of protecting the Kingdom of Galifar from outsiders. The Church of the Silver Flame had less than a century as the governing body of Thrane, and all-out war was the first challenge it had to face. Lavira Tagor was Keeper of the Flame, and conflict was all around and ever growing. A few years later, the Mourning happened. Things would never be the same: morality was hard to find, and war veterans as well as refugees resorted to crime to survive.
But a few citizens wouldn’t have it that way.
One vigilante surfaced one night among the gargoyles adorning the Cathedral of the Silver Flame. No one recognized him then, and no one has until these days. Stories and rumours abound, though: he may have suffered personally at the hands of criminals and be bent on revenge; he might have lost loved ones to knives in a dark alleyway; he could be atoning for the time he himself spent on the wrong side of the law. Whatever the cause, the vigilante had a burning desire to solve crimes and bring criminals to justice.
Then came the followers.
The Valiant Vigilantes took their name from the towers near the frontier. They may combine magical and mundane investigative techniques to assess crime scenes, being adept at finding out the «word on the street» about a crime, analyzing clues, and identifying likely suspects. Once they’re on the trail, they relentlessly tail, apprehend, and interrogate a suspect until the truth comes out. One vigilante could work for the local ruler or the city guard, but another might be an independent detective-for-hire. A third might even take to the streets by night to stop crimes in progress or keep would-be criminals from striking in the first place.
In this last group is that we find the Silver Arrows.
Even if the Church of the Silver Flame has never officially sanctioned them, most common folk thnk they are part of the hierarchy. As NPCs, one of its members may show up just in time to save the player characters from becoming crime victims themselves. However, if they break the law in their hometown, the heroes may find themselves under his unwelcome scrutiny.
The Church of the Silver Flame has a very well-known tradition regarding the use of longbows as a prefered weapon. Scholars suggest that the arrows represent shafts of firelight and sunlight piercing darkness; others just think their use enables champions of the Church to battle evil without exposing themselves to it. In the end, the use of the longbow might be a matter of common sense and pragmatism over symbolism. After all, followers of the Silver Flame believe in honor in battle, but here is no need to be overtly stupid about it.
Variant Archetype: Divine Arrow
Silver Arrows usually belong to a martial tradition that resembles that of the Arcane Archers. This variant draws on the divine power of the Silver Flame instead of the arcane elven traditions of old. By choosing this archetype, you:
- Replace the benefits of Arcane Archer Lore with proficiency in either History or Religion and learning the thaumaturgy cantrip.
- Forego the Enfeebling Arrow option from the Arcane Shot feature and gain the Argent Arrow option: You weave the power of the Silver Flame into your arrow. The creature hit by the arrow takes an extra 2d6 radiant damage and it must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn. The radiant damage increases to 4d6 when you reach 18th level in this class.
- Add silvered to the qualities of your arrows for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage with the Magic Arrow feature.
Strictly speaking, the Silver Arrow is slightly better than the Arcane Acher, as he gets an additional benefit along with all those substitution features; I still think it’s a nice fit idea, since that additional benefit is particular themed around the Church’s beliefs.
Have you been part of a vigilante organization? In your campaign, I mean! Don’t be so Batman, and tell us everything about it in the comments!