This is not intended as a form of “Class System” addition into Gumshoe, but rather a starting point for background creation. Each player will select one of the roles below, designed to fit into the story as it is designed, and this will begin the process of helping to flesh out the Character’s background, training, and life-events.
First, any Human race can be a member of these Roles, but some non-Humans are simply not cut out to be members. This isn’t because those Races are impossible to fit in to them, but because the core conceit of this campaign is a Spy Game, and a member of a Race known for being Filthy and Vomiting Blood wouldn’t make a convincing courtesan.
Second, this is a Spy Thriller first, and a fantasy game second. That means that not all fantasy character archetypes are going to be represented in player choices, and that some freedom has been stripped from those Characters’ lives. You did not trip and fall into these roles, you were molded into them over time by people with, perhaps, too much control over your life.
A skilled fighter, you make no effort to conceal your efficacy in battle, for that is your strength. Less a sneak and more up-front, you are nonetheless a remover of troubles and a protector to your squad mates.
You are violent, or at least can appear to be. Muscle when words won’t do, you drag the words you need to hear out of your charges, and provide much needed safety for the more soft-bodied members of your squad.
Often, you conceal your skills behind that of a major domo or advisor, or as a magistrate or attaché, but your true talent lies in the parsing and discovery of information. You do not interrogate, or coerce, but instead rely on the clues in your surroundings to provide you with answers.
You are noble, or at least able to pretend to be so. You are charming, and have learned through the years that a smile and a kind word will get you more than a knife through the ribs.
You are an enigma. You know someone in every town on the road, and each calls you by a different name. You are a legion of one, and in a way, you are no one. You wear identities the way others wear a shirt, and should one get too stained, you discard it just as easily.
You are a shadow, typically concealing your skills behind a service role such as a maid or manservant. You are an infiltration expert, however, and typically skilled in poisons and locks. When words fail, you are the knife between the ribs.
You are misdirection and misplaced trust. Similar to the face, without the pretense of nobility, you have learned to use your body to extract the words from others, because you are of so little consequence to them.