In a time where hospitals and pharmacies are non-existent, individuals with even the most rudimentary medical knowledge are in high demand. Whether it is a midwife carrying on a tradition passed down from mother to daughter, a homeopath practicing root medicine, or just someone who self-studied out of salvaged medical books, doctors are welcome just about everywhere they go.
Medicine in the post-apocalyptic world is often a hodgepodge of science, folk remedies, and a touch of mysticism. Doctors tend to keep an open mind in terms of adopting what would under pre-war circumstances be considered quackery or new age hocus-pocus. But when you have a patient dying on the table, no sterile tools, and no antibiotics, you tend to be willing to try just about anything to keep him alive. Because of this, many Doctors do dabble in various forms of magic to enhance their abilities to heal.
Doctors travel in an effort to find lost medical records and resources. Obtaining medical equipment is often a primary concern for doctors, and so they often join up with adventurers in the hopes of finding remnants of pre-war medical equipment and supplies.
In the years after Doomsday, the machines that drove society were abandoned as humanity was incapable of keeping them running without the electricity and gasoline a national infrastructure provided. As the world starts to rebuild, some try to salvage those old machines and put them to use one more. Engineers are the primary force of resurrecting these old world technologies.
From keeping vital water filtration systems running to jury-rigging an old car, Engineers are experts at building and restoring machinery. Engineers often explore in search of spare parts or to recover old technologies that can be put to use to benefit their communities. Engineers are often recognized by their various gadgets and the presence of a robot companion.
Even though only fifty years have passed since the war, it just as well had been two hundred years. Most people alive before the war have died from the initial attacks, the subsequent rioting, or the decades of dwindling food supplies and radiation exposure. There are few alive to pass on any oral history to the current survivors. And all of those things modern civilization uses to store data, from books and newspapers to “The Cloud” were destroyed or otherwise devastated as the infrastructure that supported them fell apart. The survivors are left recreating the wheel for even the most basic of needs. This is where the Historian comes in.
Historians are obsessed with the discovery and preservation of pre-war knowledge. Many are part of larger organizations dedicated to restoring the world to its former glory, while others are solitary scholars hoping to salvage the past to benefit the future.
Historians that dabble in the Occult do so to unlock the secrets of the pre-war era. Their rituals tend toward divinations and enhancing their abilities to locate and recover lost lore.
In the months and years of the Endless Night, those individuals with the skill and the will to trek into the dying swamps and bayous of Louisiana in search of game animals were often all that stood between life and death for starving communities. Hunters are usually solitary travelers, preferring the silence of the empty wastes to the crumbling bustle of settlements. But they will sometimes join adventuring groups as either scouts or guides, or if the group is engaged in activities that will benefit the communities the hunter serves.
Despite the corruption brought on by radioactive waste, Hunters still see the wilderness as a place worth saving. They have watched as nature has evolved to survive the aftermath of mankind’s self-destruction, and feel there are lessons to be learned in that evolution. Hunters often have a stoic demeanor, accepting what the brave new world throws at them with quiet dignity. Hunters that develop mutations rarely make an effort to hide them, as they consider mutations merely the natural course of evolution. They also do not judge those with mutations, and are likely to befriend such individuals that have been marginalized by society.
Mercenaries are hired guns and sellswords who protect caravans, act as bounty hunters, serve as the front line fighters in militias, and guard valuable resources from raiders and other threats. While some mercenaries commit themselves to the defense of a community, most prefer to wander from place to place to sell their services to the highest bidder or to seek new opportunities.
Occultists are individuals who take a far from academic approach to the study of mysticism. While many individuals in Nola dabble in the Occult skill, the Occultist has immersed herself in it to the point where she has unlocked its mysteries.
When most people think of the Occult, they think of the black arts. And in Nola in particular, they think of Voodoo. But Occultists include a wide variety of individuals. The midwife that relies on hedge magic to ease childbirth, the preacher who employs faith healing to help his parishioners, and the psychic who reads tarot cards and palms are all examples of Occultists.
Occultists are often charismatic and flamboyant characters who invest a great deal of time in how people perceive them. In truth, much of their power resides in whatever mystique they can conjure in their intended audience.
Scavengers abound in the ruins of Nola. Scrounging around the fallen and decayed buildings of the city like so many vultures over the corpse of an antelope, scavengers plunder whatever valuables can be salvaged for resale or personal use. In many ways, they serve a valuable role in the newly emerging civilization by reclaiming valuable relics from the past that can be reused in the here and now. But they also tend to be selfish and self-serving, often relying on deception to inflate the value of their efforts or to misdirect rivals away from prime scavenging areas.
Scavenging is dangerous business. Collapsing buildings, forgotten traps and alarm systems, feral and mutated animals, and other scavengers are everyday dangers. Because of this, scavengers need to develop exceptional senses and reflexes, and learn how to not attract too much attention. Scavengers like to join groups with strong fighter types. All the better for them to sneak off and find the loot while their companions deal with the immediate threat.
In the years leading up to World War III, small cells of isolationists took refuge in the rugged mountains of the west and the deep wilds of the South. These cells, convinced their governments were conspiring against them, began preparing for war with their own country. When Doomsday came, they weren’t even surprised. And ironically, they were the best prepared for the Endless Night that followed.
As the new age dawns, the descendents of those militant isolationists have emerged from their hidden bunkers and remote cells to see what is left. These Survivalists see an opportunity to mold a world in their images, and use their extensive skills to grasp opportunities that present themselves.
Survivalists tend to be slightly paranoid and are often picky about who they will work with. Survivalists and Historians are often at odds, as the Historians seek to reclaim the very remnants of the world that the Survivalists fought against.
Survivalists are skilled in hand-to-hand combat and striking from stealth, often taking their inspiration from legendary subcultures like the Navy seals or ninjas. Some even go so far as to adopt personas that emulate these subcultures.
As civilization attempts to reestablish itself, there are those that wouldn’t mind just letting it rot away. Tribals are often xenophobic barbarians that cling to their own small bands of family and associates. Many become raiders, terrorizing settlements and ransacking caravans for supplies. Other retreat deep into the bayous to avoid outsiders entirely, attacking any strangers that dare to step foot into their territories. Some, however, develop a curiosity regarding the communities that spring up in the post-apocalyptic age and seek to make a name for themselves among the civilized folks before returning to their tribes.
Those Tribals that decide to become involved in the affairs of nearby communities tend to be young and rebellious in regards to the teachings of their tribal elders. They feel adventuring among the city dwellers will give them the chance to prove their worth to the tribe or disprove things the elders have taught them. Often, they take up adventuring after having a positive or intriguing encounter with outsider whose actions contradicted what the elders claimed should be expected.
Despite their independent streaks, Tribal dislike being alone after the long years of having the security of the tribe. Those that leave their tribes readily join adventuring groups that seem sociable, and can become fiercely loyal to their new “tribe.”