Wyrd Street Tease: Burning Grin, the Scoundrel

As summer marches on and progress continues on completing the game, we come to our penultimate deep-dive on one of Wyrd Street’s Iconic Characters.

A title banner for Wyrd Street, an upcoming tabletop RPG by Tyler F.M. Edwards.Known informally in my own mind as “Lakota Batman,” the Plainsfolk orphan Burning Grin has endured a hard life. Following the murder of his parents, he grew up on the streets of Morhold, enduring trials that forged him into a true survivor.

Now that he’s an adult, he has come to find a home for himself in the city that once took everything from him. The people of Wyrd Street have welcomed him as one of their own; he has found a friend in the blacksmith and fellow Plainsfolk Sings to Iron, and a lover in the Tiahnese renegade Bing Li.

The fires of mythical beasts still run hot in the veins of the Plainsfolk, and Burning Grin earns his name from the subtle flames that flicker across his teeth. To his friends, that smile holds warmth and fellowship. For those who would exploit the innocent, that blazing grin is a source of terror, and sometimes the last thing they see.

As I have said before elsewhere, all of Wyrd Street’s classes started as “discount” versions of traditional fantasy classes, and they’re named accordingly. Quack instead of Alchemist, Street Preacher instead of Priest. But here’s a fun fact: I gave very serious thought to keeping the rogue-equivalent as just “Rogue,” and to be honest I’m still not sure that isn’t the way I should have gone. When you think about it, rogue is the one traditional fantasy archetype that can be translated to Wyrd Street’s setting with no changes and not feel out of place.

Thus, it is perhaps not surprising that Scoundrels are pretty much what you’d expect from the archetype. They’re good at sneaking, stabbing, and getting into places where they’re not supposed to be.

That’s not to say they’re entirely vanilla. As I said in my deep-dive on the focus mechanic, Scoundrels have a unique relationship with focus, with rapid regeneration but a low cap, encouraging them to use their most powerful abilities early and often.

Unlike rogues in many other games, Scoundrels are not limited to being purely glass cannons. They can certainly go that route, but they can also be built as capable tanks.

Lacking a high health pool or access to strong armour, Scoundrels instead rely on active abilities to avoid or mitigate damage. By choosing Polearm Expert and Riposte at level one, a Scoundrel can get an early start on surviving enemies, with both abilities allowing the Scoundrel to reduce the damage of incoming attacks. Their mitigation only grows with time, and by late game, they can withstand a truly incredible amount of punishment.

If you want do want to instead go the glass cannon route, Scoundrels excel at “death by a thousand cuts” assaults. This is exemplified by their level one ability Flurry, which allows them to make three Strikes with their weapon as a single action.

And of course, you don’t have to go all the way to one extreme or the other. You can choose a mix of offensive and defensive abilities to create a Scoundrel who is both deadly and resilient.

One other unique feature of Scoundrels makes them stand out. They are the only class with a single choice of ability at level ten. My first ability concept was both so perfect for their flavour and so powerful I knew nothing could ever compete with it.

Relentless Frenzy puts the Scoundrel under the effects of a virtually permanent version of the Frenzy Boon, granting them an extra action or response every round.

Quicker than thought, bold as flame, the Scoundrel is the ideal class for Burning Grin.

Wyrd Street is scheduled to release later this year.

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