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On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
[i]The boys (and Chris) looked at Scout Master Billy in awe and fright as he scraped from his uniform the last remnants of the Thing that the man who moved like a bobcat had made out of their parents.
“Well boys (and Chris),” he began cheerfully. His smile and laughter put the boys (and Chris) immediately at ease, as always. “It looks like things are going to be a bit different from now on, eh?”
And so they were.[/i]
In 1991, William and Michael Randall were prohibited membership in the BSA on grounds of atheism, and Scout Master Billy was outraged. When similar controversy erupted within Scout Master Billy’s own Scouting region upon rumors that a local boy had been seen reading “suspicious” books, Billy quickly offered the boy admittance into his troop, thus sweeping the matter under the rug. The young boy grew into a fine scout, and similarly what Billy thought was a single good deed grew into a precedent for oddness. Over the years local troops passed their atheists, homosexuals and outcasts onto Troop 333, and as more “weirdoes” wormed their way in, more typical scouts wormed their way out.
By 1999, Troop 333 had rather firmly entrenched itself as the local haven for young oddities, going so far as to allow in a few of the more obviously atypical cub scouts to round out the ranks. The Scouts and Scouter Billy happily embraced this role, going so far as to hold a facetious “Jumbled Jamboree” in Glasswater Forest. Scouts and parents alike flocked to the large woods cynical teenagers told scary stories about, ready for a fine weekend.
They didn’t know, of course, that they would be attacked by a savage man with most peculiar talents, or that their eyes would be opened ever-so-slightly to mysteries that probably should have given them bad dreams for a very long time. But so they were, and being good scouts, they dealt with it. While many similarly large groups of youngsters would cry, mob or starve, these kids were Boy Scouts- and they had a Scout Master who had just the right touch to keep spirits high and minds unfettered.
Troop 333 is made of bright, civic-minded and magickally-aware (and even proficient) youngsters, and as such they do more or less exactly what you would expect them to do: they travel the Midwest on Scout Master Billy’s bus, rooting out any supernatural danger and helping people out.
The group managed to secure a bit of notoriety for itself fairly early on when Scout Master Billy posted an ad for his “supernatural volunteerism brigade” in a newspaper before being promptly told to knock it off by a very stern letter from the Sleepers. Though their early rep was primarily for foolishness, it came with it the stamp of “free” which got them helping a few of the thriftier members of the underground.
At times, the sorts of work the Troop handles can get to be a bit more dangerous than is wise, and most of the scouts have had a close call here or there, with one or two deaths over the years. Still, Billy keeps his faith in his boys (and Chris), and thanks to him they keep their faith in themselves as well.
Troop 333 is entirely self-sufficient, which is good, as the average income of both children and full-time Scout Masters is sparse, at best. They hunt, pick and grow their own food, mend their own clothes and tents, and go everywhere in Scout Master Billy’s Eco-Friendly Solar Powered Bus. In the winter, they head south and save on heating expenses, and north in the summer for cooling.
Scout Master Billy:
Scout Master Billy never knew his real parents. His adoptive parents were loving, open-minded, and amazingly good at spoiling him with love and toys. Though it can’t be said that he grew up to possess the petulance or demanding nature that is typical of such spoiled children, it also can’t really be said that Billy grew up much at all. He’s never worked a normal job, never had a girlfriend, and as far as anyone can tell he actually rather likes it that way. He seems to foster this tendency in others, never expecting or helping the youngsters under his charge to grow or change, but rather to just become more comfortable with who they already are.
Personality: Cancer. He’s amazingly altruistic.
Wound Points: 60
Rage Stimulus: Intolerance. Why can’t we all just get along?
Fear Stimulus: (helplessness) Rejection. Everyone’s always liked Billy, largely because Billy always does everything he can to make sure he’s liked.
Noble Stimulus: Childhood. It’s the best thing anyone can have.
Body: 60 (Outdoorsy)
Struggle (40%), General Athletics (55%), Cast-Iron Stomach (35%)
Speed: 40 (lazy)
Drive (35%), Dodge (30%), Firearms (35%), Bow and Arrow (15%)
Mind: 40 (immature)
Conceal (25%), General Education (17%), Notice (30%), Track (30%) Outdoorsmanship (40%)
Soul: 70 (childish exuberance)
Charm (35%), Lie (25%), Best Years Of Your Lives (70%)
Best Years of Your Lives: This skill has two effects. The first, more active effect is that every time something happens which may disrupt the fragile youthful psyches of either Billy or his scouts (i.e. by requiring a stress check) Billy makes a roll. Success indicates that the smiles stay up, and no stress checks are needed.
The second, more subtle effect is that Billy and his scouts have slowly stopped aging, both in mind and in body. They are consciously aware of the passage of time, and that some of them have been pubescent for 7 years now, but it never really occurs to them to ask any more about it beyond “huh, that’s peculiar.” An obvious side-effect is that their growth is significantly retarded: any experience points they gain are reduced to 1/5th their original amount, to a minimum of one experience point.
Possessions: Eco-Friendly Solar Powered Bus, Pocket Knife, Scouting Vest, Canteen, Rifle, Bow and arrow, med kit, tents, sleeping bag, rope, poncho, canoe, oar, fishing pole
and Chris, 9-year-old activist and afterthought:
Born a girl to a mother far more activist than any child should have to put up with, Chris was taught from a young age that traditional gender roles were merely matters of “politics” and that “politics” were keeping men, womyn and others confined and miserable in their cages of sexuality. Chris didn’t really understand any of this, or why she was given G.I. Joe dolls and Barbie accessories and told to make the best of it, but she figured her mother knew best and happily went along with a childhood free of any sort of concept of gender.
Indeed, Chris’ childhood was free of many of the things Western culture takes for granted- religion, public school, media of any kind other than text books, so whenever she found herself in the real world with its many dichotomies and paradoxes she felt like a young, fascinated scientist, figuring it all out and embracing it full-heartedly.
Unfortunately, though Chris is perfectly willing to accept the world for all of its beautiful conflict it is not quite ready to accept her utter lack thereof. Chris is perfectly at ease with herself, mixing elements of boy and girl, scientist and priest, observer and participant all as she sees fit. As a result, she’s never quite at ease with others.
Personality: Gemini, of course.
Wound Points: 40
Rage Stimulus: Interruptions. Chris wants to learn.
Fear Stimulus: (isolation) Never figuring out what makes people tick.
Noble Stimulus: Friendship. It’s been difficult for her to meet people, so she’s likely to do whatever she can to those she does end up close to.
Body: 40 (little girl)
Struggle (25%), General Athletics (30%), Cast-Iron Stomach (25%)
Speed: 55 (squirrely)
Dodge (30%), Firearms (20%), Balance (40%)
Mind: 65 (astute, but young)
Ponder (40%), General Education (10%), Conceal (30%), Notice (40%)
Soul: 55 (passionately curious)
Avatar: Mystic Hermaphrodite (45%), Charm (15%), Lie (15%) Amuse Adults (25%)
Unnatural: 2F/4 H
Possessions: Standard scouting equipment, journal, camera
Whittler, who has found a nasty way of coping:
We can consider ourselves lucky that Whittler found Troop 333 before he decided to cliché his old Scouting peers full of lead. Whittler never had an easy time of things- he was clumsy, a bit foolish, and had about as much self-respect as the assembly-line workers who put aglets on shoelaces. Being thoroughly and somewhat arbitrarily loathed by his fellow man wasn’t helping much either. His mind pushed to the breaking point by constant mockery, at age 13 Whittler switched Troops, and immediately began to relax.
At least, on the outside. On the inside, Whittler’s confidence had already been so thoroughly done in by his fellow Scouts that he couldn’t stand to be around himself. He had learned to constantly analyze and criticize and demonize his every word, action and failure until he nearly drove himself mad.
As you may guess from the name, one of Whittler’s only areas of competence was his ability to carve wood. During one spell of frustration during a camp-out he stormed off to do just that in order to calm himself down. Unfortunately, in his distress he couldn’t steady his hand well enough and he sliced his finger wide open.
Whittler didn’t stop there. Grimmacing at the finger, he carved and he carved until he carved to the bone, and as he carved he nicked away a bit of failure, a bit of contempt, and a stronger, more capable Whittler grew in its place. He kept this therapy to himself for several weeks before finally unveiling it to his Scout Master, who immediately congratulated him on finding a way to handle his problems.
Now, Whittler is… not exactly what you might call well-adjusted, but he is happy and more confident, and as a result more capable as well. Though he’s still never exactly content with himself, he knows he always has the power to chip any displeasing bits of himself away.
Wound Points: 65
Rage Stimulus: Arrogance. You just gonna rub it in, is that it?
Fear Stimulus: (self) Staying a loser the rest of his life.
Noble Stimulus: The kids. Despite his issues, Whittler is now the oldest boy in the Troop at the physical age of 17, and he knows the younger Troop members look up to him as a role model.
Body: 65 (calloused)
Struggle (45%), General Athletics (35%), Endure Pain (35%)
Speed: 35 (always slightly achy)
Drive (15%), Dodge (25%), Firearms (15%), Whittling (45%)
Mind: 40 (A feeler, not a thinker)
Conceal (15%), Notice (20%), General Education (15%), Authority (25%)
Soul: 65 (Byronic)
Magick: Epideromancy (50%), Charm (15%), Lie (25%), Intimidate (45%),
Possessions: Blood-stained whittling knife, scouting gear, extra bandages, more handkerchief ties than you can shake a stick at, panflutes, etc…
”Dirky”, fantasy novel enthusiast and precocious teetotaler:
Dirky is the only member of Troop 333 who wasn’t present on their fateful Jamboree, and no one’s quite sure where they came from- including Dirky himself. He has memories of a frightening, crazy man sitting at a type writer screaming obscenities and sobbing into an ink-stained bottle, though he knows nothing more than that. He’s a friendly kid with a powerful imagination and a powerful fear of liquor.
Personality: Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars.
Obsession: None. Dirky just wants to enjoy himself, have fun, be a Scout.
Wound Points: 35
Rage Stimulus: Bullies. They won’t let Dirky relax and play and just be.
Fear Stimulus: (helplessness) Alcohol. He’s fuzzy on the details, but he remembers a dark, terrible place that he never wants to go back to, and how it used to reek of booze and sadness.
Noble Stimulus: Make-believe. The world that might be there is so much richer than the world that is there that Dirky will gladly stop just about anything to help make-believe with a friend.
Body: 35 (child)
Struggle (15%), General Athletics (15%), Youthful Boisterousness (35%)
Speed: 45 (ponderous)
Dodge (20%), Magic tricks (35%)
Mind: 60 (bookworm)
General Education (8%), Conceal (20%), Notice (20%), Fables and stories (25%) Useless Trivia (15%)
Soul: 60 (weirdly likeable)
Charm (35%), Lying (25%), Dirk Allen’s Inner Child (35%)
Dirk Allen’s Inner Child: In case you hadn’t pieced it together yet, that’s exactly what Dirky is, made manifest. As a result, somewhere… not necessarily deep inside his brain, but not that far outside it either, is everything Dirk Allen knows, which is quite a lot compared to a little boy. With a successful role, Dirky can access some pertinent bit of information from his “future” once per scene.
Possessions: Usually he seems to have whatever he might need, assuming it is the sort of thing a boy his age might happen to have on him anyway. Also, a Tiger cub-scout necklace, T-shirt and hat.
Just a little something which took much, much longer to type up than it did to think up. Oy.
This is great. This would be great vehicle for those "Reunion" games.
Ahhh... scouting. This brings back memories, and now that I think about it, it's a very UA-able idea.
Great ideas. It's this kind of stuff which keeps me checking the site.
Hotel Detective | profile | Mar 23, 07 | 9:16 am
I wrote them with the intention that they would be used as NPCs, though I initially thought of them as a PC group. Scouter Billy's childhood-preserving ability might make playing them a bit less fun, but there's no reason why that can't be nixed or nerfed.
Damn cool. Really, these would be good in a game, though I would be happier to have them deeply involved in the game as NPCs. They are so interesting, but not if you only see them at a distance. Keep them close, otherwise they'll just seem like a bunch of scouts...
pedant | profile | Mar 23, 07 | 9:51 am
That is fantastic. I actually really liked the unaging effect. It pushes them just over the edge, but still a finger's breadth from the line between Normal and OU. Subtle and strange and appropriate for their power-level.
Jepp, good stuff. I can see myself useing this for a PC group, probably the idea mainly, but good, good stuff.
Mattias | profile | Mar 28, 07 | 3:30 am
Great idea, rich with different directions! Good work.
SINselected | profile | Nov 25, 07 | 3:23 pm