The West – Part VII

Hulloes, 🙂


Saints represent both a character’s knowlege of their various patron saints as well as the quasi-contagious religious fervor with which they invoke their protection or cursing. Depending on the Secrets used, saints can be called upon to create Effects or Negative Effects, applying to the invoker, a target or a multitude.

Every Mexican character may begin with one patron saint. A character may gain a new patron saint each time they improve their Pray (R) Ability, and they may gain additional patron saints through the purchase of Secret of Saints.

The use of saints is not really magical. Rather, characters are driven to extraordinary performance through their own religious fervor or are hampered by their own superstitious fear of the depth of conviction in a cursing voice.

Mexican Abilities

Carousing (V) – being a party animal, holding down one’s licquor.

Mariachi (I) – artistic musical performance. This is an artistic Ability.

Pandilla (I) – usable to aid any other skill for any other Mexican character.

Pray (R) – use a quiet and introspective moment to recover Instinct or Reason box of harm on yourself, of level equal to or lesser than the Ability check success level. Can also be chained into any Ability check, as long as a character knows an applicable patron saint.

Smuggling (R) – hiding small items on your person, opposable with Search (R).

Saint Secrets

Blessing – The character is fervorous enough to call on their patron saints for protection. The character can use Pray (R) to generate an Effect usable as per a specific known patron saint. This Effect is freely transferable to any one other character.
Cost: Cost of Effect.

Cursing – The character’s depth of religious fervor is enough to inflict fear into those who hear them. The character can use Pray (R) to impose a Negative Effect on a target, usable as per a specific known patron saint. The victim may oppose with Resist (R). The level of the Negative Effect is the margin of success.
Cost: Cost of Effect.

Rituals – The character is fervorous enough and credible enough to simultaneously bless or curse many people at once. When the character uses Orate (R) to conduct a ritual for an audience, anyone in the audience may spend a point of Instinct to create an Effect usable as per the specific known patron saint being invoked. This cost must be repaid whenever Instinct is refreshed, as per normal Effect rules. The character can also use Orate (R) to impose a Negative Effect on everyone in the audience.
Cost: For the Negative Effect part, 1 Reason for a small group of targets (around 5), 3 Reason for a large group of targets (around 25), 6 Reason for a crowd of targets (around 100), or 10 Reason for a horde of targets (unlimited). These costs must be repaid whenever Reason is refreshed, as per normal Negative Effect rules. 1 Reason for the Effect part.
Requirement: Secret of Blessing for the Effect part, Secret of Cursing for the Negative Effect part.

Saints – The character knows about three additional patron saints.

Mexican Secrets

Hiding in Plain Sight – The character is discreet and adept at blending with their environment. The character automatically succeeds at Stealth (I) against anyone that enters the scene later than the character.
Cost: 1 Reason for a +1 margin of success, 3 Reason for a +2 margin of success, 6 Reason for a +3 margin of success. This cost only applies once per scene. The same margin of success applies to all newcomers.

Mexican Standoff – The character is adept at negotiating complicated or deadlocked situations. Whenever the character finds themselves in a conflict with more than two sides, the character can force the remaining sides to resolve the conflict between themselves. The winner of that resolution must then face the character to determine the final winner. If several characters wish to trigger this Secret for the same conflict, those characters must roll a React (I) Ability check. Only the character with the highest result is allowed to trigger the Secret.
Cost: 1 Instinct per side above two in the original conflict.

Siesta – The character can leave any scene at any time, leaving any pending conflict unresolved. This Secret can only be used once per day, and only during an appropriate hour of the day.
Cost: 1 Instinct + 1 Reason + 1 Vigor and the character leaves the scene.

Mexican Keys

Faith – The character’s faith is an important part of his identity.
1xp: Defend your faith to others.
2xp: Bless another character.
5xp: Defend the faith despite personal danger.
Buyoff: Deny one’s faith in another character’s presence.

Siesta – The character lives his life by his sleeping habits.
1xp: The character leaves a scene in the middle of a conflict.
3xp: The character actually brings hardship to themselves by leaving a scene in the middle of a conflict.
Buyoff: Resolve a conflict during siesta hours.
Special: This Key does not require the Secret of Siesta, although its absence does make it considerably harder to gain xp from it.

Sinner – The character does not believe to be worthy of his faith.
1xp: The character confesses their sins to a figure of religious authority, regardless of the figure’s denomination.
2xp: The character refuses a blessing or ritual blessing.
5xp: The character suffers or sacrifices to attone for their sins.
Buyoff: Accept one’s condition as a sinner and embrace the faith.

Complete List of Saints

St.Adrian: Patron Saint of soldiers and butchers, he was a pagan officer who converted to Christianity and suffered horrible tortures before his death.
Usable: Any fighting skill when Harmed in Vigor.

St.Agnes: A great Christian symbol of virginity and innocence.
Usable: Resist against seduction.

St.Aidan: An Irish saint (also known as Maedoc) known for his miraculous fasts and prayers, Aidan is also known for his kindness and love of animals.
Usable: Animal Ken with wild animals.

St.Alexis: Patron Saint of beggars, Alexis was famous for his vows of extreme poverty, living anonymously for seventeen years as a beggar in his own home.
Usable: Haggling when begging.

St.Andrew: Patron Saint of Scotland, Russia and fishermen, Andrew was one of the twelve apostles.
Usable: Survival when fishing.

St.Anthony: Patron Saint of skin disease, domestic animals and basket makers, Anthony was renowned for his acetism and devotion to God.
Usable: Animal Ken with domestic animals.

St.Anthony of Padua: Patron Saint of the poor, Portugal, lost articles and harvest, Anthony of Padua was known for his fiery sermons and ability to make converts.
Usable: Orate when preaching.

St.Arnulf: Of noble birth, Arnulf was a warrior and was very influential in affairs of state in the early 600’s.
Usable: Sway when dealing with authority.

St.Barbara: Patron Saint of gunners, miners, builders and artillery. Betrayed by her own father, she became a virgin martyr for her faith.
Usable: Dinamite.

St.Bathildis: Also known as Bathild; she was a slave girl given to the mayor of the imperial palace under King Clovis of France. In 649 he married her; after his death she ruled as regent, enacting many great works.
Usable: Savoir-Faire when captive.

St.Boniface: A successful teacher and preacher known for the destruction of the Oak of Thor, an object of pagan worship.
Usable: Resist against curses.

St.Catherine: Patron of philosophers, preachers, students, librarians, and maidens, Catherine is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is known for her faith and conversions.
Usable: Any skill except Sway when attempting to convert someone.

St.Cecilia: Patron Saint of music, she was forced into marriage but converted her husband. Condemned for her faith, she was miraculously saved from her sentence of death-by-suffocation.
Usable: Artistic when performing with musical instruments.

St.Charity: One of the ten daughters of Wisdom, when the ancient Romans put her in a furnace, she emerged unscathed.
Usable: Any skill when dealing with fire.

St.Christopher: Patron Saint of travellers and pilgrims, who carried travellers across rivers. He survived many tortures and attacks for the sake of Christ.
Usable: Any skill when travelling.

St.Colman of Cloyne: Patron of Cloyne, Ireland, Colman was a poet and later the royal bard of Cashel.
Usable: Artistic when writing or reciting poetry.

St.Crispin: Patron Saint (along with his brother Crispinian) of cobblers, leatherworkers, and shoemakers. Crispin was a shoemaker by trade who made many converts.
Usable: Accupuncture.

St.Cyprian: A sorceror and black magician who attempted to win the love of a Christian girl through magical means. Her faith was stronger than his magic; he renounced his evil ways and converted.
Usable: Networking when dealing with craftsmen.

St.Damian: Patron Saint of barbers and physicians, Damian was twin brother to Cosmas; the two performed many miracles both before and after their deaths.
Usable: Orate when ritual cursing.

St.Devota: Patron of Monaco and Corsica, Devota was a young Christian girl who was racked to death for her faith.
Usable: Endure or Resist against torture.

St.Dismas: Patron of thieves and condemned criminals, Dismas is thought to  be the thief crucified with Christ.
Usable: Networking when dealing with outlaws.

St.Dominic: Patron Saint of astronomers and founder of the Dominican order, Dominic also travelled widely in Spain.
Usable: Any skill when navigating.

St.Drogo: Patron Saint of shepherds, he was a pilgrim, shepherd and hermit himself.
Usable: Networking when dealing with ranchers.

St.Emydius: Patron against earthquakes, Emydius was a pagan knight who converted to Christianity and then successfully converted others.
Usable: Any skill when dealing with a natural disaster.

St.Erasmus: Patron Saint of sailors, and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, he is also known as St. Elmo, and was saved by an angel from being burned alive.
Usable: Any skill while swimming or diving.

St.Francis: A wealthy noble who experienced visions, renounced his wealth, and became the most influential Christian teacher of his time.
Usable: Sway when interacting with rich or wealthy people.

St.Gabriel: God’s angel, who brought the message of the birth of Christ to Mary.
Usable: React against stealth.

St.George: Patron Saint of Knighthood and Crusaders. Famous for saving a maiden while killing a dragon with his lance.
Usable: Firearms when on horseback.

St.Gertrude o’Nivelles: Patron Saint of travellers and gardeners, she is known for her hospitality and visions.
Usable: Herbalism.

St.Godehard: A strict disciplinarian who travelled extensively to reform several monasteries. He rose steadily through the church ranks due to his discipline and drive.
Usable: Survival in extreme weather.

St.Godfrey: Raised in an Abbey, his strict discipline and insistence on clerical celibacy was very controversial.
Usable: Sway to avoid combat.

St.Gregory Thaumaturg: Patron Saint of desperate situations, earthquakes and floods.
Usable: Any skill when drunk.

St.Hubert: Patron Saint of hunters for his vision of a crucifix between the horns of a stag.
Usable: Firearms when in the woods.

St.Illtyd: A warrior and later monk who was charged for a time with guarding the Holy Grail. Some say Sir Galahad is modelled upon him.
Usable: Riding while on a quest.

St.James: Patron of Spain, and the first apostle to be martyred, by Herod Agrippa.
Usable: Networking when dealing with mexicans.

St.Januarius: A bishop thrown to the wild beasts by Diocletian; the beasts refused to attack. Januarius’s blood is contained in a vial that is said to liquefy on his feast days.
Usable: Animal Ken to avoid combat.

St.John of Bridlington: Patron Saint of women in difficult labor, he was also known as John Thwing and was famous for his piety and honesty.
Usable: Any skill when pregnant.

St.Joseph: The husband of Mary and ‘father’ of Jesus, Joseph is also the Patron Saint of carpenters, woodworkers, travellers, and house hunting.
Usable: Networking when dealing with townsfolk.

St.Jude: Patron Saint of hopeless situations, and one of the twelve apostles.
Usable: Any skill when Broken.

St.Kessog: Son of a king of Ireland, he was known for his ability to gain converts and his miraculous powers.
Usable: Sway when attempting to convert someone.

St.Lazarus: A friend of Jesus, raised from the dead after four days in the tomb.
Usable: Any skill when buried alive.

St.Lucy: “Santa Lucia,” famous for having her eyes torn out and then miraculously restoring them; her name means “light”.
Usable: Any skill in the absence of light.

St.Luke: Patron Saint of physicians and painters, author of the third gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. He was himself a physician.
Usable: Any social skill when dealing with doctors.

St.Mark: Patron Saint of notaries, writers, Egypt, and Venice, and one of the apostles, he once was threatened with capture but wriggled out of his cloak and fled naked down the street.
Usable: Any skill when attempting to escape captivity.

St.Martin of Tours: Patron Saint of soldiers, horsemen, and geese.
Usable: Carousing in a party.

St.Matthew: Patron Saint of bankers and bookkeepers, one of the apostles and author of the first gospel.
Usable: Search involving any written stuff.

St.Maurice: Patron Saint of swordsmiths, soldiers, armies, Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia, Maurice was a Christian legionnaire who refused to sacrifice to the gods and was killed along with his legion.
Usable: Bladework.

St.Michael: Patron Saint of battle, Brussels, and Germany, and one of the three captains of the heavenly host.
Usable: Any fighting skill when on holy ground.

St.Patrick: Patron of Ireland, he converted most of the Irish chieftains and Druids by miraculous means.
Usable: Any skill when attempting to convert an Indian.

St.Paul: Patron of Malta and Greece, he was an apostle who performed many miracles.
Usable: Any skill for any written interaction.

St.Peter: Patron Saint of fishermen, and an apostle; known for ignoring danger, he was saved from prison by an angel.
Usable: Any skill when attempting to gain unlawful entry or access.

St.Raphael: Patron Saint of the blind, of travellers and safe journeys, and of eye disease; Raphael is one of the three archangels.
Usable: Any skill when blind(ed).

St.Roch: Patron Saint against plague, and of prisoners, he worked to help plague victims and himself recovered from the disease. He was imprisoned as a spy and died in prison.
Usable: Any social skill when interacting with sick people.

St.Sabas the Goth: A Goth converted to Christianity, he proclaimed his faith during a persecution but was left unharmed. He survived many tortures and was drowned after refusing an offer to go free.
Usable: Any skill when drowning.

St.Sebastian: Patron Saint of archers, athletes and soldiers, he was shot with arrows as execution, but survived.
Usable: Endure against arrow shots.

St.Thomas the Apostle: He was the apostle who did not believe in the resurrection of Christ until he had seen it with his own eyes, from which we get the phrase “doubting Thomas”.
Usable: Resist against deceit.

St.Valentine: Patron Saint of lovers, he was a clergyman in Rome, noted for his piety and healing skills.
Usable: Savoir-Faire for romantic purposes.

St.Zita: Patron Saint of servants, she was known for her patience, zeal, and holiness. She was a servant in the same household for 46 years.
Usable: Hard Work when asked for help.

Credits: The description of the saints, along with inspiration for their useability, was drawn from the list of saints in the game Darklands, published by MicroProse in 1992.

Creating New Saints

If the group desires to create a new saint, here’s the guidelines we followed. A saint should be useable in one of three types of situations:

  • With one skill, in a specific situation, much like Secret of Specialization might be used.
  • With any skill, in a very specific and rare or dire situation.
  • With a skill from a different culture, in any situation.

What’s Next

Next up, a table of contents, and then I’ll be done…


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