Supporting Cast

Tiam, Mage-Hunter

By Brandon Cope

Art by andi jones

[Notes: Although Mages would normally be considered a Small group, since Tiam interacts (ahem) with them on a regular basis, I counted them as a Large group for the Reputation. Ditto with nobility for his +2 Rep. It is assumed that mages in Tiam's region are (currently) not very cooperative or organized, so they were worth a base -30 points as an Enemy.]

ST: 12 [20] IQ: 13 [30] Speed: 6.5
DX: 14 [45] HT: 12 [20] Move: 6
Damage Swing: 1d+2 Thrust: 1d-1
Dodge: 6 Block: n/a Parry: 8 (broadsword), 7 (knife)

Chain mail vest over heavy leather; medium encumbrance.

Advantages: Combat Reflexes [15]; Intuition [10]; Literacy [10]; Magic Resistance +5 [10]; Rapid Healing [5]; Reputation +2 (as mage hunter, with nobility) [5]; Strong Will +1 [2].

Disadvantages: Enemy: Mages (6-) [-15]; Reputation -4 (with Mages, 10-) [-5]; Secret [-10]; Stubborn [-5]; Unattractive [-5].

Quirks: Won't kill mages who aren't a problem, Prefers to sleep outdoors, Wears flashy colors, Likes to keep moving, Satirical when irritated.

Skills: Area Knowledge-15 [4]; Brawling-15 [2]; Broadsword-15 [4]; Carousing-12 [2]; Crossbow-16 [4]; Detect Lies-13 [4]; Disguise-14 [4]; Fast Draw (Bolt)-15 [1]; Fast Draw (Knife)-15 [1]; Fast Draw (Sword)-15 [1]; Interrogation-14 [4]; Knife-15 [2]; Lockpicking-14 [4]; Poisons-13 [2]; Riding (Horse)-14 [2]; Shadowing-15 [6]; Stealth-15 [4]; Streetwise-14 [4]; Survival (Forest)-14 [4]; Survival (Mountains)-14 [4]; Thaumatology-12 [2]; Traps-14 [4].

Weapons: Thrusting broadsword (1d+4 cut, 1d-2 imp); crossbow (ST 12) with 20 bolts (1d+3 imp, 1/2 Dam 240); two large knives (1d cut, 1d-1 imp).


Contemporary: Tiam could still hunt mages, or perhaps psis or Supers. Change his Crossbow skill to Guns (Rifle), Riding to Driving and drop all Fast Draw skills except for Knife. Add Computer Ops-15. Replace Magic Resistance with Psi Resistance if he hunts psis.

Near Future: As Contemporary, though Tiam might suffer Cyber Rejection and hunt down cyborgs. Replace Lockpicking with Electronic Ops (Security).

Space: As Near Future, but replace Guns with Beam Weapons.

Supporting Cast: Tiam, Mage-Hunter Appearance: 6'3", 220 lbs, shoulder-length blonde hair, steel gray eyes, lightly tanned skin, 34 years old.

Tiam is something of an enigma, an efficient mage hunter who secretly wishes to be a mage. In his early childhood, Tiam dreamed of becoming a wizard and often sat outside the Wizard's Guild in hope of talking to one of them. One day, an elderly wizard, who was looking for a new apprentice, stopped to talk to him. It took only a few seconds, however, for the mage to discover Tiam's lack of magical ability. He told this to Tiam as tactfully as possible, but the result was still devastating, and it was several years before Tiam eventually accepted his fate.

Ultimately, Tiam turned to soldiering and due to his magical resistance was trained to deal with war mages of opposing armies. When he left the military, Tiam was capable of dealing with all but the most powerful mages. Since that fateful conversation so many years ago, wizards had grown into great disfavor in the kingdom, as several tried to take power from the local nobility. Nobles sought to protect themselves from spell-casting assassins (either real or imagined) and Tiam found himself receiving a multitude of requests to rid nobles of troublesome wizards before they become larger problems. Since the king had made most mages persona non grata though his edicts, there was nothing illegal about it.

Tiam, unlike other mage-hunters, makes sure his targets are actually a clear threat. Also, he has still not given up his dream to use magic, so he will spare a mage if he feels the individual can help him to achieve this goal. He won't reveal his motivation for such questioning, as he fears that if his secret were revealed it would destroy his career.


"The best thing to put between a wizard's head and shoulders is my sword blade."

"Magic is inherently unreliable and untrustworthy; therefore, only the most reliable and trustworthy of men should be allowed to practice it. It is my job to ensure that happens."

Adventure Seeds

A PC mage native to Tiam's kingdom (or perhaps just passing through, if he is well known) is targeted by a local noble who fears that the mage is after his lands (either for himself or another noble). The noble sends word to Tiam to rid him of the mage, for a hefty fee. Assuming the wizard is innocent, can he prove it to Tiam before it's too late?

Tiam discovers that he might be able to gain Magical Aptitude from an ancient wizard who lives deep inside an overgrown and desolate valley, frequented by dangerous beasts. Tiam isn't a fool, so he looks for a party he can steer that way with manufactured legends of a deserted city filled with gold. Above all else, he will not let the party find out his identity.

Article publication date: December 10, 1999

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