Roles are assigned at Character Creation. They are nowhere near as restrictive as the Classes of D&D or the Splats of WoD but they do have an influence on the shape of your Character however subtle it may be.
This series of articles takes a look at each of the 4 Roles and how they influence Character Creation.
We continue with the Barrister.
Playing a Barrister is a Role of great power. You pretty much dominate play during the Trial Phase (though other roles get to play their part too.) You are also the swave charming hero or cold calculating villain at the centre of play. Either way you are fighting for your form of justice with words alone and there is something admirable about that.
Barrister is undoubtably the most attractive of the 4 roles. However it has it's drawbacks.
1) The Character cannot be female: sorry ladies, sexist time!
2) A great burden of responsibility is placed on the Character. If you're the sort who shies away from party leader don't pick this role.
3) There can only be one! If your team has someone who also has a claim to the Role allow the Games Master to decide between you. Don't worry if you get passed over. Thief Takers, Allies and yes even Attorneys can make for just as interesting a character.
Statistics are a bit more free than the previous 3 roles but you will definately need a strong Investigation. Jibe can be cool for the sarcy buggers, Violence for military gentlemen, Authority for the smartarses and Charm for the swave. Only the most level headed Barristers have high Composure and some say level headed and Barrister are contradictory terms.
Below are some sample stat blocks. Feel free to flesh them out into full PCs or NPCs for your games.
Mr Obidiah Hethlewake
Concept: Bold as brass Yorkshirman
Good At: Standing His Ground, Ecky Thump
Mr Marvin Keel
Concept: Hopeless Fop
Good At: Seduction, Insults
Merit: I've Heard That one Before
Flaw: Dubious Morality
Sir Rodger Kindair
Concept: Man of Honour
Good At: Duelling, Upon my Word Sir
Merit: I Can Handle Myself
Flaw: Easily Distracted
Mr Edwin Kirk
Concept: Hopeless Nerd
Good At: Obscure Legal Facts, Quoting Inconvienent Scripture
Mr Arnold Gnoll
Concept: Secretive Schemer
Good At: Cover Ups, Conspiricy
Merit: Water Tight Private Life
Flaw: Frenzied Fighter