The setting of “Their Finest Hour” has the same abundance of riches as Victoriana, specifically a never ending supply of fantasy tropes and the historic events of World War II on which to build adventures. This sea of possibilities could drown some parties, but Associations throw out the life preserver of campaign themes. Associations bring characters together, introduce adventure hooks, and define campaign frames making everything clearer, sharper, and more specific. Here are a couple examples of the Associations possible for Their Finest Hour:
The Community of Invisible Mysteries
Facing the growing threat of Nazi occult research, the Guild in England devoted all of its manpower, and facilities to the war effort. As patriotic magicians volunteered, and many more conscripted, Britain’s magical resources grew thin at the home front. Every day, bomb blasts disturb ancient spirits, bloodshed feeds dark powers, and sinister hands weave deadly spells. Concerned by the potential of magic going unchecked in Britain, Theosophist and Goetic Magnetist Dion Fortune founded “the Community of Invisible Mysteries” to hold back the darkness.
Fortune leads her flock from their temple in Bayswater, enthusiastically seeking out evil through meditation and prayer. Although some conjurers, rune scribes, and magnetists devote their magic to the Community’s goals, most members lack formal magical training or ability; Many follow Fortune in hope of gaining it.
Most authorities see the Community as amateur mystics exploiting the war to stir up publicity for their cult, but the police in the street look the other way, happy someone else deals with the nastier side of magic in this time of national crisis.
The Community charges nothing for their services, relying instead on contributions from grateful citizens and the donations of wealthy benefactors. Their desire for justice, knowledge, and kindness are all they believe they need to confront ghosts, curses, demons, necromancers, and worse.
Skills: Any Magical Skill, History, Lore, Research, Theology,
Privileges: Blackguard, Friend of the Library,
Retrievals and Removals ltd.
The chaos of daily bombings, wartime rationing, and a police force dwindled by conscription creates a very healthy economy of crime. During a Black Out (the shutting off of all lights to make a harder target for bombers), all the pickpockets, burglars, and other predators found the streets a perfect playground for their work. The security of a building is null and void once a bomb falls upon it, allowing amateur “rescue teams” to save goods and valuables. Those same goods and valuables fetch a pretty penny, sold to a public starved of creature comforts now rationed. Homemakers (limited to eight ounces of sugar, two ounces of butter, and a single egg per person a week) gratefully bought essentials from the black market.
Despite its professional title, Retrievals and Removals ltd. has no offices, or shareholders, just a lorry, a warehouse owned by a brother-in-law, and a group of cunning lawbreakers, ready to make lots of money. From the hard dealing spiv selling in the ally, the lookout watching for the bobbies, and their innocent seeming plant in the crowd, to the second story cat burglar, the professional safe cracker, and the street mucker ready for it to get rough, Retrievals and Removals has the experts to handle any opportunity.
It’s a dangerous business avoiding police and honest citizens, while crawling though crumbling buildings and craters, but each night the brave men and women of Retrievals and Removals ltd. go out and make easy money the hard way.
Skills: Appraisal, Bull, Haggle, Hide and Sneak, Pick Pocks, Streetwise
Privileges: Ear of the Street, Local Hero, Street Informant,
I was going to just do one post of Associations, but these were really fun to make, and I have at least another two weeks worth of ideas. I’ll try to do just one more post and then we’ll move on to races and classes.