Villains aren’t the only guys who can get away with an entourage. The Young Master is a relatively obscure archetype that shares part of it’s features with the Farmboy but with a different twist. Rather than being a Country Mouse that sets off on a journey for fame and glory, the Young Master is usually a child born to a position of priveledge who, on a whim, or by fate is tasked to go on a voyage of discovery. As implied by his name, the Young Master is accompanied on his journey by an entourage, which could be as little as a single retainer, or perhaps even three or more servants/bodyguards/maids.
The Young Master – Is admittedly a more common trope in Anime stories, rather than western ones, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have potential for games revolving around this trope. When handled well, the Young Master is further defined by his entourage, learning from them, and transforming into a truly admirable individual by their efforts.
His entourage is an interesting mechanic as it is composed of NPCs (or the occasional PC, if this has been arranged between players,) most of which would have either very specialised skills, an experience to assist the Young Master. What they shouldn’t have however is sheer charisma. The Young Master excels in making people feel at ease, and to make people trust him. Whether it’s his disarming demeanour, his noble bearing, or just because he or she looks so damn cute , the Young Master inspires loyalty in both friends and servants.
How to use the Young Master in a campaign:
- Well-Rounded - The Young Master is a product of his education at the hands of his entourage. While not necessarily the most optimized character, the Young Master will show some basic aptitude with the skills that his entourage might teach him. Whether it be a grasp of tactics, politics, geography or even cooking and cleaning. It’s rare for a Young Master to be taught skills such as deception, treachery and stealth, however.
- Diplomacy – Is the Young Master’s strong point. Unless this archetype is subverted (see Wild Arm’s Jane Maxwell), it often falls to the Young Master to take up the job of soothing over conflicts and working out peaceful solutions. Combat is usually not the Young Master’s Strong Point
- Heir Apparent - Whether it’s a title of nobility or a multinational corporation, the Young Master knows that his responsibilities extend far beyond what are normally expected from others. As such the Young Master draws upon his sense of responsibility to do what is right, and this serves for an interesting justification for going above and beyond the line of duty.
The Young Master’s Resources:
- Entourage - The Young Master is often surrounded by at least one, but as many as three or more servants to aid him in his quest. While this might be a bit of a load for the GM side of the equation, this also helps in giving the Young Master’s Player a whole bunch of plot hooks related to people that matter to the character. Some examples of the entourage include:
- The Maid / Butler - Mostly for domestic chores, but occasionally morphs into the Combat Maid, Combat Butler archetype by mixing with the Bodyguard.
- The Bodyguard - Combat arm of the Young Master, often uncouth and rude, but will willingly sacrifice his life for the Young Master
- The Tactician / The Teacher - Occasionally arrogant and eccentric, but thoroughly capable, the Tactician / Teacher is a great source of background information or the occasional odd trivia for the Young Master.
- The Ninja / Spy - This is the silent brooding one who disappears the night before an important battle to wreak havok against the enemy. Handles the things that the Young Master should never have to concern himself with (or even be aware of.)
- The Mascot / The Cheerleader – Has no real actual value aside from perhaps being the confidante of the Young Master, may occasionally be an intelligent animal, or a bubbly teenager that tries to be useful for the character’s sake.
- The Groupie / The Bard – This optional addition to the entourage is one enraptured by the concept of what the Young Master could be, obsessing over his image, his legacy and the nitty gritty details of the master’s adventures. Occasionally useful for sowing the seeds of a reputation.
- Corporate Sponsorship – If anything the Young Master has a very large trust fund. Money is a minor trifle for the Young Master, and as such, getting a yacht, a private plane or even a new hideout is entirely possible for a party with this archetype as a member.
- Richie Rich is one of the easier Western examples of this trope, with Dollar the dog, Cadbury the butler and Irona the Robot Maid serving as his entourage.
- Jane Maxwell from Wild ARMS, with Magdalen Harts as her combat butler.
- The Hero / Tir McDohl from Suikoden 1 was definitely under this, starting the game with 3 very loyal retainers in the form of Gremio, Cleo and Pahn.
- Hayate Yagami from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A’s counts for an interesting version of the Young Master as her entourage, the Wolkenritter (“Cloud Knights”, composed of Signum, Shamal, Vita and Zafira,) resorted villainous means in order to protect her.
- Sir Integra Wingates Hellsing from the Hellsing anime certainly counts for this, given that she has Alucard, Seras Victoria and Walter the Combat Butler of doom as her entourage.