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So here’s a Merc, remade for 5e. My idea here was that over the years, we’ve had Merc archetypes of human, ork, dwarf(all in 1e and 2e), and troll(3e), but never an elf; so I decided to make this guy a pointy-ears to finish off the bunch. I was aiming for a pretty good balance of skills and such; he, like all the Archetypes, has plenty of room to grow however, and enough Essence left to plug some more stuff into him.

And yes, I use a lot of the Bonus Karma fund on skills for many of these archetypes; it’s a fantastic use for them.

Attributes: A
Resources: B
Skills: C(28/2)
Race: D
Magic: E


Body: 5(+2 Damage Resistance)
Agility: 6(8)
Reaction: 4(5)
Strength: 6(8)
Charisma: 4
Intuition: 4
Logic: 3
Willpower: 3
Edge: 1
Essence: 1.85
Initiative: 8(9)+1d6(2d6)
Armor: 15(17 with Helmet)

Physical: 8
Mental: 5
Social: 4

Condition Monitors:
Physical: 11
Stun: 10
Overflow: 7

Positive Qualities: Will to Live(2, 6 Karma)
Negative Qualities: SINner(+5 Karma), Mild Allergy(Soy, +10 Karma)

Total: +9, 34 Bonus Karma total


Synaptic Boosters(Rating 1)-.5 Essence
Muscle Replacement(Rating 2, Alphaware)-1.6 Essence
Alumunum Bone Lacing(Alphaware)-.8 Essence
Orthoskin(Rating 3)-.75 Essence
Internal Air Tank(Rating 2)-.5 Essence

Active Skills:

Athletics Skill Group: 2

Pistols: 4
Automatics: 5
Longarms: 3
Heavy Weapons: 5
Unarmed Combat: 6
Blades: 2
Etiquette: 3
Sneaking: 2
Leadership: 2
Perception: 2
Pilot Ground Craft: 2
Armorer: 2
First Aid: 1
Throwing Weapons: 1

Bonus Karma for Skills: 4(First Aid and Throwing 1), 24 (Perception, Leadership, Sneaking and Pilot Ground Craft 2), 6 more for Armorer 2
Bonus Karma Spent: 34 of 34

Knowledge/Language skills:

Military History:2
Arms Dealers:3
Military Strategy(Literature): 3(+2)

English: N
German: 3
Sperethiel: 2


Armored Jacket(with Chem Resist, Fire Resist, and Non Conductivity 2): 12 Armor
Helmet(+2 Armor)
Katana(11P, -3 AP, 1 Reach)
Combat Knife(10P, -3 AP)
Knucks(11P Unarmed Combat)
Survival Knife(9P, -1 AP)
4 Throwing Knives

Middle Lifestyle(1 month)-5,000

Beretta 201T(Smartlinked), w/ 60 rounds, 60 APDS, 60 SnS, and Concealable Holster
Ares Predator V w/ Concealable Holster, 60 rounds, 60 APDS rounds
Ruger Super Warhawk(Smartlinked), w/60 APDS rounds and concealable holster
HK-227 SMG: 730, w/ Gas Vent 3, 100 rounds, 100 gel rounds
Ares Alpha: w/ Shock Pad, 200 rounds, 100 APDS rounds, 100 gel rounds, and 10 HE Grenades
Enfield AS-7(Smartlinked) w/ 50 rounds, 50 fletchette, 50 APDS
Ruger 100(Smartlinked) w/ 50 APDS rounds
Ingram Valiant LMG w/200 rounds of belted regular ammunition, 100 rounds belted APDS
5 Flash-Bangs
5 Smoke Grenades

Fake Sin(Rating 3)
Licenses(3 at Rating 4)

Harley-Davidson Scorpion

Gas Mask
Respirator(Rating 4)
Survival Kit
100m standard rope
Climbing Gear
Medkit(Rating 4) w/ 2 Refills
Contacts(Capacity 3), w/ Smartlink, Image Link and Vision Enhancement 1
Earbuds(Capacity 3), w/ Audio Enhancement 2
Micro Transciever
Renraku Sensei Commlink
Trauma Patches(2)
Collection of military-themed books

Arms Dealer: C3 L3
S-K Security Specialist: C2 L2
UCAS Officer: C1 L1

Description: The Elf Merc’s been around the block a few times, and he’s come back each and every time, with a new experience or two to share. He can do the job loud, he can do it quiet, however the customer wants. He’s got the skills and the physical conditioning, and he knows some people about as well. He’s not too old or grizzled yet, but he did a few years here and there-no red ink on his papers, either, and he’s got more skills and experience than his appearance would lead you to believe. He may even do his jobs with some class. The reason why he looks relaxed on his Harley Scorpion with a smile on his face? He’s been through a lot and lived to tell the tale. You MAY not want to question his integrity too much, though. This is a man who can successfully tie you into a pretzel with one hand while reciting passages from ‘The Art of War.’



  1. Nice to see the old archetypes revisited for 5e. Thank you for that.

    It would seem that with 3 blades (katana, combat knife, survival knife) plus 4 throwing knives in his possession, that this merc might put a few more points in the Blades and Thrown Weapons skill (perhaps lowering Unarmed combat a point or two and making a more even spread).

    • Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I liked the old ones too and they were pretty fun to re-make.

      I had considered that, but I actually more was thinking of those as backup-the throwing weapons was more useful for chucking something like a grenade in the background, I threw on a few throwing knives simply for some nuyen spending and flavor rather than any sort of specialty(though a person could do what they want with Karma.) His Unarmed is high because it’s highly useful if stuck behind enemy lines or needing to do an infiltration mission where he really can’t have anything visual; but I figured somewhere in his past he’d have gotten at least some training in Blades, so I gave him a couple of those too to practice with(and perhaps grow more in those areas.)

      Just for a bit of background on how I came to the numbers.

        • Buzzcut
        • Posted 20/11/2013 at 19:23
        • Permalink

        I like how you provide a rational in-world explanation for the points you spend.

        I know you’re following the rulebook format (which is specifically vague so that the reader can incorporate their own identity to the generic character), but I enjoy hearing how you rationalize why the character has the skills he has. If you do more of these builds, I’d like to hear a little more in the description about why you made the choices you made. Obviously you can’t nitpick every single stat choice, but perhaps provide a roleplaying explanation for key skills, knowledges, or contacts.

        Thanks again.

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