Two Edges, Same Blade.
“I’m on the Brute Squad.” – Fezzik
At this point I’m sure you are well aware that Fezzik was definitely not a Brute by the definitions of 7th Sea. (He was actually probably a Large Ussuran Henchman or Hero who practiced the Dobrynya School of Wrestling. Sorry off topic.)
To over simplify a bit, Brutes are filler. They are usually any NPC that does not have a name. When the Master-minding evil villian sends out small groups of people to do dastardly things it will usually be done by Brute Squads. These groups are often used as filler for the Hero’s to deal with before the main events. However it is worth noting that all NPC’s are considered Brutes unless they are Henchmen or Heros/Villains. So the kindly old woman who directed you to the City Clerks office is just as much a Brute as the nameless thugs causing trouble at the docks.
This is done to streamling events and to make for less rolling of dice overall. Instead of having to roll out 6 different attacks they are all done in one action.
When Brutes make any combat related roll they act as one. The number of dice rolled depends on the number of Brutes in the Squad and the Number kept depend on the Threat Rating. So in the earlier example of Randel, initially there were 7 Brutes. A Brute Squad is usually only 6 members so the 7th was probably just there to make sure that the Brutes would be effective even after the first one was killed. (DGMT – Dirty Game Master Tricks.) They were a Threat Rating 2 Brute Squad. This means that in the first round that they attacked they rolled 6k2 to hit Randel.
All Brutes have a Threat Rating which corresponds to how well trained the individuals in the squad are.
- Threat Rating:
1 – Peasants, untrained Militia, and Low level Grunts.
2 – Most City Guards, Green Recruits (Army), and Slightly Better Grunts.
3 – Most Milliary units, Capital City Guards, and Villiain’s Hideout Guards.
4 – Elite Military Units, Royal Guards, Villain’s Personal Entourage.
When a Brute Squad hits a Hero they Deal Damage based on the number of individuals that hit the Hero times the general damage of the Weapons they are carrying.
Hits are determined by how far over a Hero’s TN (Target Number) they scored. Getting back to Randel; Randel’s TN is 20. So the Brutes are rolling 6k2 dice to hit him. (This give the Brutes a roughly 43% chance to hit him. For anyone keeping track) With a roll of 32 at least one person has struck a blow. But for ever 5 points higher than Randels TN one more Brute gets a hit in. So for this attack 3 hits were generated.
Brutes weapon size determines damage per hit:
- Small Weapons (Knives, Belaying Pins, Broken Bottles) – 3
- Medium Weapons (Clubs, Fencing Weapons) – 6
- Large Weapons (Broadswords, Battle Axes) – 9
- Very Large Weapons (Two-handed Swords, Scythes, Mauls) – 12
- Firearms (Pistols, Muskets) – 15
The Brutes Randel was facing were using mostly fencing weapons and clubs so they had Medium Weaponry. Hopefully this explains why Randel took 18 damage from the first attack of the Brute Squad. (3 hits x 6 damage = 18 Flesh Wounds)
There is one Final, but very important use for Brutes. They can Team up with a Hero, Villain, or Henchmen instead of acting as a Brute Squad. For each Brute aiding a character they gain a bonus to their actions equal to the Brutes Threat Rating. You can gain this bonus from a number of Brutes equal to your Wits. So, a character with Wits 2 would gain +8 to their actions with the aid of 2 Threat Rating 4 Brutes.