This section lists several cultural, professional, and racial Templates GMs might find useful in their Viking-themed Fantasy Hero campaigns. Many of these Templates can be used in conjunction with the various Templates offered in Fantasy Hero.
Psychological Complication: Touchy Honor
By Norse custom any insult (either by accident or on purpose) needed to be paid for. Payment could either be in money (“geld” or “gild”) or in blood. The choice was up to the victim. If compensation was denied, then the Norseman was socially pressured to seek vengeance in blood—if he didn’t, then his reputation would be smeared and others would feel free to insult him (and his family) as well. This Complication should be taken for any Berserk or Trollblood. Warriors and chieftains should also consider taking this Complication.
15 Psychological Complication: Protective Of Honor (Common, Strong)
Berserks (from the Norse word berserkr (plural berserkir), meaning “bear shirt”) are men who work themselves into a frothing rage before battle. They are known to howl, bite their shields, wear little to no armor (as noted, they wore a tunic or robe of bear skins), and to fight with no regard for personal safety or enemy numbers. Once in their trance-like state, a berserk possesses enhanced strength and is virtually immune to fire and edged weapons (although not clubs or wooden weapons.) It is possible for berserks to also be able to blunt enemy weapons with a glance (see the entry for Viking Platform Magic for more.)
The Berserk Fury power can be used for more than just combat. A Norseman who needs to engage in long-term strenuous labor could enter a berserk state, performing physical deeds far beyond those of normal men. Game Masters should also decide how a berserk enters the berserkergang (“going berserk”) state. It could require an EGO Roll, the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or other substances, or a pre-battle ritual. Game Masters could also make berserkergang dependent upon the Enraged Complication. Once the warrior goes Berserk in battle, then his Berserk Fury power activates.
Cost Ability 2 WF: Common Melee Weapons Berserk Fury 4 1) As Strong As A Bear: +15 STR; Side Effects (automatically suffers -5 STR and -5 CON for 24 hours after Continuing Charge ends; -2), Extra Time (Full Phase, Only to Activate, -¼), Costs Half Endurance (-¼), 1 Continuing Charge lasting 6 Hours (-0), END 1 6 2) Iron Will Not Bite Him: Resistant Protection (8 PD); Linked (STR; -½), Only Works Against Edged Weapons Of Iron And Steel (-½) 6 3) Fire Will Not Burn Him: Resistant Protection (8 ED); Linked (STR; -½), Only Works Against Natural Fire And Flame (-½) 7 4) Berserk Howl: +15 PRE; Only To Cause Fear and/or Intimidate (-1), Incantations (must howl, scream, bite shield, and so on; -¼) Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 25 Complications Value Complication 25 Enraged: combat (Common), go 14-, recover 11- Total Cost Of Package Complications: 25
This template represents the basic skills needed for any decent Norseman farmer. The Norse were known to be very family orientated, and insulting any one family member would gain the enmity of the entire clan (see the “Touchy Honor” entry above.)
Cost Ability 2 Animal Handler (Bovines) 11- 2 PS: Farming 11- 2 PS: Fishing 11- 2 PS: [choice of craft skill] 11- 3 Hunting: Tracking 11- 1 WF: Axes, Maces, Hammers, and Picks Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 12 Complications Value Complication 15 Psychological Complication: Loyal To/Protective Of Family (Common; Strong) Total Cost Of Package Complications: 15
A ‘leech’ is a healer. In Norse society they tend to be women and are highly-skilled in the use of herbal remedies. If given time and the right combination of herbs, they can cure almost any physical ills. Game Masters may wish to alter the Herbs Of Healing power to make it more restrictive (as it stands it’s 200 Active Points) by either reducing the number of Characteristics affected, or by reducing the mobility of the power (it might require the target to bathe in an OAF Bulky cauldron or to spend time in an immobile sauna.) Mention is also made of the Herbs of Life, which can re-attach limbs (including eyes) if used within three days of the limb being lost. However, said Herbs of Life are very, very rare.
Cost Ability 2 AK: local wilderness 11- 2 PS: Leech (Healer) 11- 5 Paramedics 12- 2 Survival (Temperate/Subtropical) 11- 1 WF: Blades (knives) 1 Positive Reputation: healer/leech (local Viking community) 8-, +1/+1d6 33 Herbs Of Healing: Healing all Characteristics 4d6, All Characteristics Simultaneously (+4); Extra Time (1 Minute preparation time, Character May Take No Other Actions; -1 ¾), OAF Expendable (Very Difficult to obtain new Focus; various herbs; -1 ½), Concentration, throughout (0 DCV; -1), Requires A Roll (11- roll; actual roll is based on character's Paramedics Roll; -½), 12 Charges (-¼),  Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 46 Complications Value Complication None Total Cost Of Package Complications: 0 Options Cost Option 7 Herbs Of Life: Healing BODY 6d6, Can Heal Limbs; 1 Charge (-2), OAF Expendable (Extremely Difficult to obtain new Focus; Herbs of Life; -2), Extra Time (1 Minute, Character May Take No Other Actions, preparation time; -1 3/4), Concentration, throughout (0 DCV; -1), Only Works On Limbs Lost Within The Last Three Days (-1), Requires A Roll (11- roll; actual roll is based on character's Paramedics Roll; -1/2)
A rogue is any man turned out and made an outlaw. He might be a thief, a murderer (who has yet to be caught and avenged by the slain man’s family), a beggar (in which case he might have a Physical Complication reflecting a past injury), a homeless vagabond, or the like. Norse hospitality was such that a beggar or vagabond could get room and board for a few days at any farm, but it was illegal to knowingly shelter an outlaw. May outlaws liked to worm their way into the households of chieftains, spreading rumors about the words and deeds of others (especially rivals) and seducing female members of the house.
Cost Ability 2 AK: [local region] 11- 3 Charm 11- 1 High Society 8- 3 Persuasion 11- 1 WF: Axes Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 10 Complications Value Complication 10 Hunted: Bloodfeud Enemies Frequently (As Pow; Limited Geographical Area; Harshly Punish) 5 Negative Reputation: criminal, Infrequently Total Cost Of Package Complications: 15
Shamans tended to be women, as male shamans are looked down on for fighting with magic and not risking their lives in proper battle. A shaman enters into a trance by invoking the favor of Freyja, the goddess of battle frenzy, magic, and passion. Once in their trance, the shaman can cast her soul forth and look around the world. By entering the land of the dead and looking back at the land of the living she can experience visions that will tell her what she needs to know (provided she can properly interpret them. For more information on the powers of a shaman, see the section on Platform Magic.
Cost Ability 3 Conversation 11- 3 Any Skill from the following list: Oratory, Persuasion 3 Scholar 1 1) KS: Ancient Runes 8- 1 2) KS: Herbs And Herb Lore 11- 2 3) KS: Holy Rituals and Trances 11- 1 4) KS: Modern Runes 11- 1 5) KS: Omens 11- 1 6) KS: Theology 11- 1 7) KS: [character's choice] 11- 1 8) KS: [character's choice] 11- Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 18 Complications Value Complication 5 Distinctive Features: Shaman (furs, paint, equipment, and so on) (Easily Concealed; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 5 Negative Reputation: male shaman, Infrequently Notes: Take only if character is a male. Total Cost Of Package Complications: 5 (or 10)
A skald is a poet and singer, similar to an Irish Ollav or Welsh bard. They compose verse (such as the sagas) and tend to be welcomed where ever they go (especially by the nobility, who like having their exploits sung about.) Skalds are among the few literate people in the Norse world, knowing how to read and write symbols of the Runic alphabet. Skalds can also ‘read’ miscarved runes and know which ones will be dangerous to use or touch. Some can even carve magic runes themselves, using them to cast spells. See the section on Rune Carving for more.
Cost Ability 1 KS: Ancient Runes 8- 2 KS: Modern Runes 11- 1 Language: Ancient And Modern Runes (literate) 3 Oratory 11- 3 PS: Poetic Improvisation 11- 3 PS: Rune-Carving 11- Notes: If carving Magic Runes, make this a Power Skill 3 PS: Singing 11- 3 PS: Storytelling 11- 6 Any two Skills from the following list: Charm, Conversation, High Society, Persuasion 1 Positive Reputation: Poet/Skald (local Viking community) 8-, +1/+1d6 3 Spot Miscarved Runes: Detect Miscarved Runes 11- (Sight Group) Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 29 Complications Value Complication 5 Rivalry: Professional (fellow poet/skald; Rival is As Powerful; Seeks to Outdo, Embarrass, or Humiliate Rival; Rival Aware of Rivalry) Total Cost Of Package Complications: 5
A trollblood is said to be just that, a man with trollish parentage. One of his parents may have spent time in a troll mound, or one may have seduced/captured and enslaved by a troll. While somewhat distrusted due to their appearance (trollbloods are universally tall—even for a Norseman) with gray hair and homely features, they were also respected for their great strength and fighting skills. However, trollbloods are known to be fiercely competitive—there is a story of one who became so embroiled in a ball game he killed one of his sons and a nurse that tried to protect a second son.
It might be possible for a woman to be trollblooded,. While the original sourcebook doesn’t say either way, GMs can decide for themselves if such a thing is possible.
Cost Ability 3 Unpleasant To Look At: +1/+1d6 Striking Appearance (vs. all characters) 7 Troll's Strength: +10 STR; Only At Night (-½), END 2 8 Troll's Toughness: Resistant Protection (8 PD); Only Works Against Edged Weapons Of Iron And Steel (-½) 4 Troll's Toughness: LS (Safe in Intense Cold; Safe in Intense Heat) 5 Troll's Eyes: Nightvision Total Cost Of Package Abilities: 29 Complications Value Complication 15 Distinctive Features: Great Height (even for a Viking), Ugly Face And Features, Wolf-Grey Hair (Concealable; Always Noticed and Causes Major Reaction [fear]; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses) 20 Physical Complication: Troll's Eyes; suffers -2 to all Sight PER Rolls in sunlight (may suffer minuses to other CHAR Rolls as well) (Frequently; Greatly Impairing) 15 Psychological Complication: Fierce Temper/Keen Competitor/[similar personality issue] (Common; Strong) Total Cost Of Package Complications: 50