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Characters / Scum and Villainy

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This is the list of character- and crew-specific tropes found in Scum and Villainy.


Tropes common to all playbooks:

  • Badass Crew: Unlike in Blades, where gang allegiance was the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits' unifying trait, in SaV, it's instead the fact that they all fly on the same ship.
  • Cast Speciation: Playbook speciation is stronger than in Blades because each one now has a Starting Ability, which they get for free at character creation and which cannot be taken as Veteran advancements by other playbooks.
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  • Psychic Powers: Everyone can tap into the Way with the Attune action, but the Mystic playbook in particular specializes in it.

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    The Mechanic 
A gearhead and hacker.

  • The Cracker: Specializes in breaking into digital systems and extracting information from them.
  • The Engineer: Also specializes in all kinds of mechanical work and repairs.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Like the Leech in Blades, the Mechanic tends to craft an array of crazy inventions, including their playbook item, a small drone.
  • The Heart: The "Mechanic's Heart" gives them potency in social interactions when they are speaking earnestly.
  • Machine Empathy: With the "Construct Whisperer" ability, they can actually talk with machines to slightly alter their functionalities.
  • Mr. Fixit: The "Bailing Wire and Mech-Tape" ability lets the Mechanic keep the ship running at a much lesser expense.
  • Wrench Wench: If female.

    The Muscle 
A dangerous and intimidating fighter.

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Mystic Ammunition special item lets them shoot Way creatures that are Immune to Bullets otherwise.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Even without any guns, the Muscle is a formidable enemy, thanks to having access to a custom martial arts style as a playbook "item".
  • The Big Guy: Muscles get XP for resolving challenges with violence and threats.
  • The Dreaded: The "Scary" ability gives the Muscle bonuses on intimidation rolls.
  • I Call It "Vera": Each special weapon a Muscle owns is given a name. In fact, the very first item on that list, a custom Sniper Rifle, is called "Vera", and its full description in one big Shout-Out to the original quote by Jayne from Firefly. In case there are more than one Muscle on the team, the book offers a shortlist of names for them to differentiate each others' guns.
  • Kill It with Fire: A custom flamethrower is one of their special weapons.
  • Made of Iron: Like the Cutter from Blades, the "Battleborn" ability lets Muscles shrug off combat damage as if they were wearing armor (and stacks with actual armor).
  • One-Man Army: The starting ability "Unstoppable" lets a Muscle fight an entire gang of up to six people on equal footing.

    The Mystic 
A galactic wanderer in touch with the Way.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: With the "Psy-Blade" ability, any melee weapon a Mystic wields can cut through most materials like butter. Combine it with an lightblade (which is one option for their special Precursor Artifact item), and you have the full Jedi Knight package.
  • Attack Reflector: You can block blaster bolts with the "Way Shield" special ability, and can even spend stress to redirect the attack.
  • Compelling Voice: With the "Psy-Dancing" ability, Mystics can sway people even in the face of contrary evidence.
  • Mind over Matter: The "Kinetics" ability lets a Mystic throw table-sized objects with "dangerous force"
  • Super Speed: The "Kinetics" ability also lets a Mystic move at superhuman speed.
  • Wizards from Outer Space: The Mystic is the most magical playbook, using the Way to perform superhuman feats.

    The Pilot 
A ship-handling wizard and danger addict.

  • Ace Pilot: This is literally the name of their starting ability, which allows them to be extra effective at the steering wheel.
  • Cigar Chomper: "Victory cigars" are listed on the Pilot's special items list, presumably for lighting them up smugly after a successful score.
  • Culture Clash: Defied with the "Traveler" special ability, which lets the Pilot be well-versed with a variety of alien cultures.
  • Explosive Overclocking: The "Exceed Specs" ability lets a pilot break a part of the ship for a bonus to an action roll.
  • Functional Addict: With with "Hedonist" ability, a Pilot can mitigate the results of an Indulge Vice roll up or down to avoid the nastier side effects of overindulgence.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: One of the Pilot's special items.
  • Robot Buddy: The Pilot has a small Urbot as a companion.
  • Shout-Out: One special ability is named "Leaf on the Wind" after Wash's Famous Last Words from Serenity.
  • Super Reflexes: The way the "Ace Pilot" ability is worded, it gives the Pilot a bonus to all speed-related actions, not just in the cockpit.

    The Scoundrel 
A scrappy and lucky survivor.

  • Abnormal Ammo: Like the Muscle, the Scoundrel has access to mystic ammo and their blasters can actually fire it.
  • Back Stab: The "Shoot First" ability gives Scoundrel a bonus die on attacks from hiding and traps.
  • Badass Longcoat: A stylish coat is the sign of a true Scoundrel, and so is included among their special items.
  • Expy: Of Han Solo and Mal Reynolds.
  • The Gambler: While not explicitly themed after games of chance, the Scoundrel playbook is centered on various Luck Manipulation Mechanics, particularly the Gambits, while their special items list includes loaded dice and trick cards.
  • Guns Akimbo: A pair of custom blasters is part of their special items list.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: The Scoundrel's "I Know A Guy" ability makes it easy to find jobs... not the good jobs, but hey.
  • Never Tell Me the Odds!: Literally the name of the Scoundrel's special ability that lets them generate extra Gambits for the crew in desperate situations.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: The "Tenacious" ability lets the Scoundrel ignore some of the negative effects of bodily harm.
  • Super Reflexes: With the "Shoot First" ability, the Scoundrel always acts first in any situation (unless the other person also took this ability).
  • Venturous Smuggler: As an expy of both Han Solo and Mal Reynolds, the Scoundrel naturally tends towards this archetype.

    The Speaker 
A respectable person on the take.

  • Expy: Of Lando Calrissian and Inara.
  • Holding the Floor: The "Disarming" special ability lets you spend a gambit to make everyone stop threatening and attacking for as long as you are speaking.
  • Knows a Guy Who Knows a Guy: In addition to your influential contacts, the "Old Friends" special ability lets you establish a new contact whenever you land in a new location.
  • The Face: This playbook is specifically geared towards social interactions with respectable folks.
  • Living Lie Detector: The "Player" ability allows them to instantly recognize whenever someone is lying to them.
  • Mentor Archetype: The "Heart to Heart" special ability helps you clear stress if you give a teammate advice and they follow it.
  • The Social Expert: Speakers specialize in building and maintaining a web of social connections.
  • The Team Benefactor: The Speaker's starting ability, "Air of Respectability", gives them a free downtime action to acquire assets for the crew or to deal with the heat it takes on the job.

    The Stitch 
A spacefaring healer or scientist.

  • Adventurer Archaeologist: The "Dr Strange" ability lets you safely handle Precursor technology as well as study artifacts.
  • Combat Medic: The eponymous ability gives them bonuses when treating people in the heat of combat.
  • Cunning Linguist: With the "Book Learning" ability, the Stitch speaks several languages and is generally much better educated than the rest.
  • Honor Before Reason: The "Moral Compass" special ability lets you get experience if you do the right thing at a cost to yourself.
  • I Ain't Got Time to Bleed: The "Under Pressure" ability gives you extra gambits whenever someone in the crew suffers level 2 or greater harm.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: Literally the name of their starting ability, although in a subversion, it actually lets them substitute their Doctor action rating for any other rating they need by spending 2 stress and explaining how exactly their medical career taught them to deal with this sort of thing.
  • Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Included on their special items list.
  • The Medic: Their overall role in the crew. While anyone can use the Doctor rating, the Stitch is just better at it.



Tropes common to more than one crew and ship type:

  • Cool Starship: Each crew gets a freighter-sized spaceship from the get-go, with the kind of ship you choose determining the type of your crew: the Stardancer specializes in smuggling jobs, Cerberus is ideal for bounty hunters, and Firedrake is actually a small military corvette re-purposed for guerilla resistance. Basically, by choosing your ship, you decide whether you want to play Firefly, Cowboy Bebop or Star Wars, respectively.

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Illicit merchants, smugglers, and blockade runners.

  • Move Along, Nothing to See Here: The "Just Passing Through" special ability means it's easy to pass yourself off as ordinary citizens as long as your heat is low. It goes so far that even factions at war with you have a hard time tracking you down.
  • Running the Blockade: One of the suggested job types for this crew.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: The "Home Cooking" special ability lets the crew eat together to reduce stress.
  • Venturous Smuggler: An entire crew of them.

Bounty hunters and extraction specialists.

  • Bounty Hunter: This is the natural tendency of the Cerberus crew.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The "Play Both Sides" special ability lets you make an ally out of a captured bounty target by releasing them.
  • Powered Armor: The "Loaded for Bear" special ability provides the entire crew with distinct body armor that both counts as heavy for the purpose of reducing harm and increases their loadout capacity.
  • Stun Guns: With the "Stun Weapons" crew upgrade, the Cerberus crew can bring their targets in alive.

Rebels and Hegemonic criminals.

  • Calling Card: With the "Spark of Rebellion" special ability, the Firedrakes can choose to take extra heat for a score by leaving behind distinct symbols of the resistance, which also gives them nice bonuses to indulging their vices.
  • Home Base: The "Secret Base" upgrade is exactly this.
  • La Résistance: The Firedrake crew are a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits opposing the Hegemony and/or defending the people it oppresses.
  • Voice of the Resistance: The special ability "Sympathizers" and the crew upgrade "Popular Support" let you regularly find sympathizers who support your cause, even among enemy factions.


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