If I saw an archetype called "The Nun"...
- ...I'd think it was absolutely fine
- ...I'd think it was wrong for Feng
- ...my reaction would depend on the rules content
- ...I'd have no feelings on the issue whatsoever
I'm currently working on a few submissions for Queex's web-supplement Feng GM's Guide (coming soon to a computer near you!) and, while he's very happy with most of my work, we're disagreeing about one of the archetypes I want to include, The Nun.
Queex is worried that, because an order of nuns has a certain presence in our own game, the inclusion of the archetype will seem like an in-joke, and be off-putting to anyone else who reads the book. He's also concerned that it's a little narrow in focus compared with most of the existing archetypes.
My argument is that there's a long tradition in cinema and television of portraying nuns as sinister or mysterious or involved in weird clandestine goings on, something that could easily be appropriated by any Feng player or GM. I'm also very confident that the unique schticks I've come up with for the archetype are interesting and meaningful enough that it turns the template into a very viable character option, and not a cheap gag.
We've decided that the best way to adjudicate the argument is to throw it open to you, the Feng-playing public. So, if you were to open a new supplement and see "The Nun" among the archetypes, how would you feel? Intrigued? Amused? Annoyed? Nonplussed? Utterly ambivalent? Please tell us!
Crusading priest types already fit under the Magic Cop archetype, so I would say the more supernaturally-inclined nuns would do so too. The Magic Cop archetype even allows you to substitute Info/Your Specific Religion for Occult and Police. Maybe even full on Sorcerer if you want to take things in that direction.
More "modern day" nuns that don't do supernatural stuff would really depend on the nun in question. An Eda (Black Lagoon) style nun with a gun or an ex-Sister of Mercy from Glimpse of the Abyss would be a Killer, while a nun who is more Kung Fu oriented than her fellow sisters would be a Martial Artist or a Ninja.
I would vote for the 3rd option; I would also like to know more about Queex's project.
I don't know how much I'm allowed to say, and Queex can always add more info himself, but in snippet form:
It's called Out For Blood, and it's a Feng GM guide. It contains lots of new crunchy stuff for GMS and players alike, and a whole host of essays and resources designed to ease and enrich the life of a Feng GM.
I've read the first draft and, for my money, it's easily in the same league as the published paper material, both in terms of quality of content and quality of writing.
[color=darkblue]I have to agree with Bingham; I'm not sure "nun" itself qualifies as an archetype in my mind. I would consider nun to be the day to day career of another archetype, the way I'd consider construction worker or gas station attendant to be a career of the Everyman Hero archetype.
But then again, I don't recall too many nuns being prominent action movie roles. I can think of about 3 nuns off the top of my head from movies, and only one of which was at all interesting (the nun in Two Mules for Sister Sarah.) So maybe it's just my limited exposure to many nun-erific films that's giving me my misgivings.
Hmmm. "What do we do with a problem like Maria?", indeed.
Throw me in with the "existing archetype" people. Magic Cop springs most readily to mind, but I could see Everywoman Hero, Medic, Spy (Geena Davis in Hudson Hawk?), Killer (Evangeline comic?), etc.
Ugh... now I have this horrible idea in my head, how do you convert "The Sound of Music" to Feng Shui? Obviously, Christopher Plummer is Ex-Special Forces with a lot of Scrappy Kids, but Maria is... Everywoman Hero, I suppose. Huh. Maybe I should work on a "Two-Fisted Governess" archetype.
Fortunately, this led to an idea that did not hurt my brain: Pushing Daisies adapted to Feng Shui. Ned is some kind of Sorcerer or Magic Cop, Emerson Cod is a Private Investigator or Maverick Cop, Olive is a Scrappy Kid or Spy, and Chuck is... a really hot Zombie Beekeeper.
I'm also in the 'existing archetype' camp.
I had a combat-based convent in my game (The Sisters of Peace, natch); in addition to the rank-and-file mook nuns (who all had guns under their habits), the named GMCs were Mother Goose (Martial Artist, Drunken Master style, prone to bawdy versions of hymns), Mother Load (shotgun-wielding munitions expert, meek until riled, then she goes a bit hyper), Mother Nature (rather severe and dour Old Master, with a range of animal-based Fu styles). They were, of course, led by Mother Superior Firepower--Killer with twin Sig.Weapon SMGs and maxed-out Lightning Reload, 10K Bullets and Both Guns Blazing.
Shame is for the weak.
As the Nun didn't make the final OFB cut, I thought I'd post her here for you all to critique/mock/chav. Honest feedback is sincerely appreciated
They live among us, but they are not like us. Throughout all of history, mysterious groups of women have cloistered themselves away from the general population. Their methods are inscrutable; their purpose ineffable. Some use their warrior training and vast resources for good; others, for unspeakable evil. You are one of these clandestine warrior women, relatively new to your convent and eager to make your mark upon the world. Will you use your powers for good or for ill? And which side will you fall upon when you find yourself embroiled not just in the secret war between nuns, but the Secret War that rages across time?
Add 5 to your primary attributes, adding no more than 3 to any one attribute.
Deceit +3 (8)
Driving +5 (10)
Guns +8 (=14)
Info/Nun Stuff +10 (=15)
Info/Your Choice +3 (8)
Martial Arts +3 (8) [max 12]
One non-combat skill as a personal specialty +5 (10)
Add 6 skill bonuses. The maximum for all skills is 13 unless otherwise stated
Schticks: 1 gun schtick or 2 driving schticks.
I Wasn’t Always a Nun: You may begin the game with one unique schtick from another archetype. The GM has the right to veto any choice of schtick that is more hideously overpowered than is strictly polite, and you may not pick unique schticks that are really stat schticks in disguise.
Nun Shall Pass: As long as you are wearing your full habit and wimple, anyone you meet must make a successful Perception, Detective or Police roll with a difficulty equal to your Info/Nun Stuff AV to be able to subsequently recall any details about your appearance beyond simply, “she looked like a nun.” This schtick does not work on people who are closely acquainted with you, or on other nuns.
Weapons: 1 weapon of appropriate juncture
Wealth Level: Rich
I really like it. I think I might use the idea for a time misplaced bunch of warrior nuns, perhaps who have set up shop in the contemp. era or netherworld. They could make good allies, though I do also like the idea of a bunch of inconspicuous nuns suddenly sporting AK-47's though. I think I'd use them as GMC's unless a character comes up with the idea of playing a Nun...
Nuns with guns are funny too. As is the word wimple.
Pretty sure that wealth level is supposed to be "poor", not "rich". Nuns don't really strike me as being all that wealthy, unless their convent is some kind of front.
Nope, they definitely and deliberately have the Rich wealth level.
Interesting, though, I agree with the other comments that this seems more like a Netherworld faction than an archetype.
I think "Renegade Nun On The Run" would be a legit archetype. (It worked in Macho Women with Guns!)
Also I'd like to see Street Preacher as the male version. Although sometimes I feel like making every "the same except reskinned and with one unique schtick" character type into a whole archetype is a little lame and page-count-chewing.