"Oh cool... So you're STILL working on this?" -- A guy at GenCon

"If I see Drah-koo-lah, I will. kick. him. in. the eye!!!" -- My 4 (almost 5) year old daughter. She GETS it!

"Meatpie Forever!" -- A playtester at GenCon 2013

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified...

Gloria Gaynor FTMFW!

The Survivor’s life has been shaped by tragedy and misfortune. These individuals are pariahs among their own kind, possessing an oddness about themselves formed by their encounters with the most primal and ancient of horrors.

You Got Something Against Beyonce?

(No, not really)

The Survivor has sparse (yet prominent) representation in Gothic horror. I mean, she's there in the biggest of the big influences (Mina Murray in Dracula). But you don't see her much anywhere else. There always seems to be someone that's victimized by the guy in the black and red cape. But they aren't always as super-charged as Mina was in the end of Bram Stoker's Dracula. And this Survivor is really freaking super-charged.

Okay, Make Me Care

The Survivor is a class (perhaps the only class) I gave considerable thought to pulling out of Transylvanian Adventures for good. It just wasn't inspiring me. And if it wasn't inspiring me, then how could I share it with all of you. But that isn't the case anymore. With the last great Class War in TA/TG, some roles opened up and some concepts were spread out a bit (some from the Half-Breed) that really made the Survivor shine.

So, irony of ironies, the Survivor did just what it was designed to do: Survive!

  • The Survivor can pick up most weapons and whack the unliving crap out of anything that goes bump in the night. In fact, her weapon training is rivaled only by the Hunter.
  • The Survivor is really, really hard to scare. In fact, the Survivor might admire the rainbow-colored reflections off the eyes of a newly risen Cthulhu. Or take a Man-Bat for a pet. The Survivor has seen the worst and is stone cold.
  • In line with that, the Survivor is resistant to mortal threats. She won't freak out. Or panic. Or tell you anything. The Survivor would sit beneath a Chinese Water Torture device for 90 days like it was a 3 month spa treatment. She'd take bamboo under the fingernails like a manicure. The Survivor knows there are far worse things out there than mere mortals can dream of. And if she shared her dreams with you...
  • Much like the slasher in a Slasher Flick, the Survivor just won't stay down. Life is done with her. But death don't want her. Eyes pop open. She sits up. Survivors can be really cool like that.
  • What's more, a Survivor is like a Monster-Sniffing Bloodhound. You want to know if a vampire has been down in the servant's quarters. The Survivor can tell you his street address. Want to know if a Werewolf was what killed all the chickens? The Survivor can tell you his cell phone number just by walking around the chicken coup.
  • The Survivor is really unhappy with supernatural creatures. When she "hulks up" on one, they become a bug on her windshield of vengeance. She may not be as good a fighter as the Hunter, Charger or Redeemable. But she's easily the class most likely to break a Dragon's femur with a garden hoe.

Where to Go From Here

The Survivor may not seem to be loaded down with abilities and such. But she's kind of a killing machine with monster radar and a "Get Out of Hell Free" card. She doesn't need a whole lot of zazzle to be awesome.

The Survivor could be made even more of a killing machine. Or could take any of her supernatural abilities in directions to make her kind of this inhuman walking dead type person. Like Michael Myers in Halloween. Or she could be upgraded such that she works sort of like a Psychic Detective.


The inspiration for the Survivor came from the same fictional character in two separate publications. The character: Mina Murray-Harker. The first publication is obviously Bram Stoker's Dracula. That's where the Survivor gets her "bloodhound" senses. The second? Mina Harker in Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic. Not the movie. Please erase that from your mind. But the comic... this character class has all the toughness of Mina in that comic. And then some.

Other Uses

If using the Transylvanian Adventures rules and classes outside of the setting or genre, the Survivor might be a good fit as a type of demi-human. Something like a Half-Orc. Or a weirder race even. The Survivor could easily be a fantasy class of monster-fighters like an Avenger or Witch Hunter.

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