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 conclude with the Ally.
Allies are the most varied of the Roles. Men, women, even children from all walks of life find themselves in the employment of a Barrister as informants, investigators and of course blackmailers and exertors of political pressure.
This freedom in your character choice can be somewhat intimidating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the period. The other 3 roles have a kind of set background whereas Allies can be anyone at all.
It may sound somewhat odd but it may help if you first take a look at the 3 Professions Tables in the Defendant and make your choice of Character profession based on them.
Allies have true freedom with their Statistics. Whatever is appropritate for the concept can be chosen. Good Ats, Merits and Flaws also have this freedom.
The special ability of the Allies is potentially very potent indeed. During a Trial one Ally on each side can "Prime a Surprise." This effectively gives them an additional investigative action that allows them to call in a surprise witness that could blow the Opposition's Case out of the water!
Here are a few examples of Allies. As the other roles have a bias towards gentlemen I have made all these examples women and children. You can have male, even gentleman Allies though. An MP for example could put political pressure on the Judge.
Miss Eliza Drinkwater
Concept: Headstrong Grifter
Good At: Grifiting, Researching Marks
Merit: I've Heard That One Before
Flaw: Easily Undermined
Countess Georgina LeBeck
Concept: Saviour of Young Girls
Good At: Manipulating Her Charges, Self Defence
Merit: Water Tight Private Life
Flaw: Secret Felony (Sodomy)
Mrs Hilda Potts
Concept: Highway Woman
Good At: Stand and Deliver, Pistol Sharpshooting
Merit: I Can Handle Myself
Master Harry Peck
Concept: Mercenary Bootblack
Good At: Casual Conversation, Foul Language
Merit: Acid Tongue
Flaw: Easily Distracted
Miss Daisy Miles
Concept: Snitching Pickpocket
Good At: Putting on an Innocent Face, Pickpocketing
Flaw: Secret Felony (Pickpocketing)