The launch of Wyrd Street’s Indie Go Go campaign is now just a few days away, and I’m continuing my look at the game’s Iconic Characters. Today, we’ll be doing a deep-dive on Lo Karlsson, the Drifter.
The elder brother of Ji Wensdottir, Lo has a cocky attitude that can make him seem a bit childish, but the reality is he had to grow up fast. With an ailing father, an overworked mother, and a young sister he feels he must protect, Lo sees it as his responsibility to always put on a brave face — or, in his case, a confident smirk.
When it comes to the adventuring life, Lo has taken up the ways of the Drifter.
Along with Street Preacher, Drifter is one of the very first class concepts I had for Wyrd Street. The original concept for Wyrd Street’s classes was for each to be a run-down version of traditional RPG classes, and Drifters are the rangers of the setting.
As a long-time city-dweller and lover of the natural world, I’ve never agreed with the idea of cities as an opposition to or interruption of nature. There’s still lots of nature in the city; it’s just a bit different. Drifters understand this; they are the rangers of the urban jungle. They know the secret paths through alleyways and across rooftops, and they find allies in the stray animals and so-called “vermin” of the slums.
Mechanically, Drifters are primarily a damage class, but as you’d expect from a ranger, they have a lot of versatility. They’re equally adept with both melee and ranged weapons, and they can even get bonuses for using both in equal measure. And while they’re not well suited to being a primary tank or healer, they do have access to a decent set of tools to bolster their survivability or that of their teammates.
One of my favourite examples is their ability to acquire Back Alley Cures, “healing potions” of questionable provenance and uncertain results. Every time you drink one, you must roll a die to determine its results and hope for the best.
Drifters are also Wyrd Street’s premier pet class. While the options have been shored up a bit in recent years, when I first started work on Wyrd Street I was very frustrated by the lack of good pet class options in Fifth Edition, so I worked hard to make it a robust option in Wyrd Street.
To that end, Drifters have access to combat pets that are both powerful and plentiful. They can befriend resilient stray hounds or clever raccoons to aid them in battle. As they level, they can continue adding more allies and become master of a pack of as many as three three creatures.
Don’t worry, though — there’s also an option to play without pets if you don’t enjoy that playstyle.
Self-reliant and capable, the Drifter is the class that best represents Lo Karlsson. However, his backstory doesn’t strongly tie him to a specific playstyle, so he’s one of the easier characters to convert to a variety of other classes: Brawler, Scoundrel, Vigilante… I could even see his ready charm and cocky attitude fitting well with the Fortune Teller class.
Lo is the last character I commissioned artwork for prior to the launch of our crowdfunding campaign. I’m now ready to publicly reveal his artwork for the first time. Looks like he even brought a few friends: