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Basic Information

A gamekeeper is a person who manages an area of countryside, forest, or wilderness, to ensure there is enough game available for hunting purposes. Gamekeepers are often in the employ of landowners, typically higher nobility, who expect to be doing the hunting. In addition to their duties of providing habitat and food during times of scarcity, a gamekeeper may also act as a guard against poaching and natural predation. Will often overlap with the role of huntsman in earlier periods.

A gamekeeper can also be used to refer to someone who keeps game, such as rabbit, grouse or pheasant, as a source of income and food.


Game and Story Use

  • Gamekeepers, who keep game for food and income, can be used as NPCs in the standard melange of townsfolk inhabiting a town or populating a market, adding some flavour otherwise overdone professions.
  • Gamekeepers as conservationists can be used to hassle the adventuring party wandering through the King's Wood, or can act as guides through a difficult or unfamiliar territory, or informants if trying to track down an enemy that may have been caught poaching previously.
  • A reasonable background for an outdoorsman character.
  • Some of the earliest sniper units (e.g. The Lovatt Scouts) were raised from gamekeepers.
  • Gamekeepers turning up dead can be the opening to various cases - whether the result of poaching or of other goings on in the forest.
  • Those that survive finding interesting things in the forest can also provide useful leads.
  • Conversely, people can end up dead in forest, shot or trapped by keepers, possibly as a result of being (mistaken for) poachers.
  • The poacher turned gamekeeper is an old trope.
  • Now consider what the gamekeeper to an old school vampire aristocrat looks like … and what he does. Possibly quite hard to tell from local police given that the game he is keeping is more likely to be peasant that pheasant. Similar subversions may apply to other unusual forms of game.
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