Dangerous Deserter
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Basic Information

The Dangerous Deserter is a character who has deserted from some kind of military - and in addition to whatever deeds he might have committed during the process of desertion, it is the desperation of his situation that drive him toward deeds of villainy - after all, there is now a whole army out for his head, and thus he will always have to move on, scrounge whatever he needs to survive, and leave as few witnesses as possible.

This can also apply fairly well to "broken men" - the survivors of a destroyed army who have not been taken prisoner and persist as fugitives in the battle area. These sort of people can consist of - or coalesce into - quite large units and may require significant effort to eradicate. In some eras, these may include those prisoners not worth a ransom who have simply been disarmed and chased away by their captors. Broken men may be attempting to get home - or might equally well settle into banditry. Carelessly discharged troops from the winning side may take a very similar role.

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Game and Story Use

  • To make the appearance of a Dangerous Deserter really effective in your story, focus on the sheer desperation on his part. Consider what lengths he will go to in order to avoid getting caught, and make him act accordingly.
    • Hostage situations are one likely possibility - and the longer it draws out, the more desperate the deserter will get.
  • A conflict area in the immediate aftermath of a war could be full of these sort of people - especially when the war ended in a badly organised way … remnants of defeated armies, deserters, discontented veterans and displaced civilians all milling about in an area in which the infrastructure and governmental machinery has been comprehensively destroyed.
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