“This trotter is hardly a decent replacement for my lovely hand, master.” “Exactly, but it serves a useful purpose. The next time you pry too deeply into things that don’t concern you perhaps you’ll think twice.”
“But how can I make tea? Scratch your back? Perform my necessary duties?”
“I’d try favoring the left hand from now on when doing those, rotsmell. We can’t all enjoy good luck, can we?”
A pig’s trotter, in place of my lovely hand. Curse you, master. Perhaps the time has come for the pupil to teach the master a harsh lesson of his own…
Some people have all the luck.
It isn’t fair. But who said life was fair? It seems that whatever some people do, they have a lucky blessing, a bit of blind luck, or just plain good fortune, as though a guardian angel were giving them an extra hand.
The following article gives you an optional reward, crunchy piece of blind luck or background oddness to slip into the folds between more normal treasures. The least guardian angels listed here are very petty in their effects—they may be outsiders sent by benevolent gods into the world to strike randomly, be acts of kindness drifting about like sheets caught in strong gales, or be creatures of whim and happiness sent as rewards. Such creatures could form part of an adventure, a setting, or a whole campaign.
All least guardian angels should be handled with care; they are living things, and people may try to keep them, overpower them, and imprison them in fancy bottles. They don’t like that. Some guardian angels are incredibly powerful. These aren’t since they are little more than pieces of good luck or a nice feeling floating about on ethereal winds.
If you like playing strictly by the rules, little guardian angels are permanently invisible outsiders who are affected by anything an outsider can be. If you like to play even more strictly by the book, they can be standard weaker angels with an unusual ability, or abilities that last a certain lengths of time or cease after a certain situation occurs, or an act is performed by their beneficiary. If, like me, you like to play your games a little more raggedy at the edges, then guardian angels come in all shapes and sizes, a tiny fraction of which are suggested in the second half of this article. Capturing them or forcing them to work causes them to quickly wither and die.
Guardian angels are linked by some standard characteristics; they have a way of blessing, benefiting, or aiding their chosen character. Secondly, they often have an identifiable form or effect when around, and finally a (nearly always finite) duration in terms of remaining with the characters. They are in truth easily offended, bored, or drawn back on some other mission to help those more worthy of their aid. Perhaps they are nothing more than the thoughts of more powerful angels given the briefest of lives, and they die when they have served.
Appearance (or perhaps more correctly form) is a tricky one to judge; such creatures don’t always manifest when they help. Sometimes they manifest at times of happiness, others when there is sadness. Some might appear when a black dog stands in a green doorway within a hundred miles, and still fewer show up only when it rains black rain. They are, in short, fickle, and whilst a form is given, the being is not always as rigid as described, it might change every time, or it may not do much of anything at all.
In some cases, their benevolent effects have an additional consequence of irritating the companions of those they benefit. Some philosophers have gone as far as to say that such blessings are actually curses—that the angels are actually little imps playfully sowing the seeds of disconnect that slowly fester.
As ever, have fun with these, don’t take them too seriously, and don’t use them too much—too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and make people jealous. After all, some people have all the luck.
As is only right and proper for YWH, the tables use d12s.
Little Guardian Angel Boons, Beneficiaries, and Effects
Something nice happens to the character roughly once a day. This can be a very trivial thing—such as a stranger smiling—or it can be a little bigger; perhaps luck on a scale of performing your song in front of one of the wealthier local merchants who just happens to be passing and who is by good fortune looking for a bard that day.
At the GM’s choice, something trivial that the character does every day or so succeeds—a minor skill check, cleaning armor, boiling an egg perfectly—whatever the GM chooses.
Cats sit on the character’s lap.
Children stop crying and smile when the character appears.
Birdsong seems louder and more beautiful when the character is nearby.
Laughter seems to follow the character everywhere. He or she enters a tavern and the locals are finishing a hilarious joke, enters a court as the lord is making merry, or walks into a sewer just as the cleaners are leaving after having found a purse of coin.
On a random day of the week, the character operates as though he or she had 1 more point of Charisma when interacting verbally with any skill (Perform included).
The character’s food or drink always tastes
that little bit nicer than everyone else’s. Whenever someone performs a service for the PCs—laundry, repairing armor, producing a portrait—the character’s is always that little tiny bit better for no apparent reason.
The character’s clothes seem to be neater and cleaner than anyone else’s, and the character is better groomed no matter what pursuit he or she has been engaged in.
People almost always pick the character out for the most praise.
Whenever people speak about the PCs as a group, they mention the character first or most prominently.
Least Guardian Angel Forms
A large grinning spectral cat appears only at the moment of its boon.
A smell of milk and honey emanates from the angel.
A grating sound, like nails scratching down a blackboard, or a smell of burnt meat accompanies the angel.
A sudden chink of beautiful light that is gone moments later indicates the presence of the angel.
This angel takes on the fleeting manifestation of a revolting, distended ape-like creature with too long arms and legs, and it swings somewhere behind the characters.
A sudden quieting of noise happens when the angel appears.
A breeze with the smell of nectar and the scent of decayed vegetation occurs.
A distant calling group of squabbling magpies heralds the angel.
A nearby sob sounds out when the angel appears.
A twisted, shadowy figure the width of a mouse but the length of a horse slips behind the character.
A crow whose call is just a little too much like human words flies overhead.
A smell of baking bread accompanies the angel.
Until the boon happens thrice
Until the boon happens thrice in a given day
Until ten years next Tuesday
A month of Sundays
Until the character mentions the angel to a stranger
A hundred years and a day
Of course, where there is an angel, there always seems to be a devil close by…