Posts Tagged ‘ Character Classes ’

Gnomes, Shadows, and Stealth

The Gnomes, seldom seen above ground during the day, dwell mostly deep within the earth, within caverns and tunnels carved by forces both natural and unnatural. In their subterranean world, lit only by magic, fire, or the caps of giant phosphorescent mushrooms, Gnomes live in small communities most often ruled by jarl, a chief chosen from among the families of the tribe. War-like and territorial, Gnomes guard their cavern-halls against the predations of monsters, especially the cruel and cowardly kobolds. Segojan Earthcaller sang the first Gnomes into existence, shaping clay and into living creatures by the power of his voice. Segojan’s brother Baravar Cloakshadow taught the Gnomes the arts of illusion and stealth, and Gaerdal Ironhand taught them the arts of war. Gnomes are a secretive race who often have flexible notions about the importance of honesty, especially when dealing with those who are not Gnomes.

Gnome Class Abilities

Establish Cavern Hall: At tenth level, a Gnome who chooses to build and dedicate a cavern hall to his clan may attract a body of loyal followers who swear fealty to the character.

Experience Bonus for Intelligence: Intelligence is the Prime Attribute for Gnome, which means a Gnome with Intelligence of 15 or higher receives an additional 5% experience.

Infravision: Gnomes have infravision in addition to normal sight and can see 60′ in the dark. Infravision is the ability to see heat (and the lack of heat). Normal and magical light makes infravision useless.

Keen Detection: Gnomes are good at spotting unsafe cave features, slanting passages, depth underground, and direction underground. See adjacent table for the chance of success.

Saving Throws: Gnomes are preternaturally alert. They gain a +2 bonus on saving throws versus illusions and traps. Also, when surprised, a Gnome may attempt a saving throw. If successful, he isn’t surprised after all.

Shadows and Stealth: Gnomes possess natural stealth and an affinity for illusion magic. Once per day, a Gnome may use either Invisibility or Phantasmal Force, both of which duplicate the spells of the same name except that the duration is one round per level of the Gnome. Gnomes can move silently, avoid detection, and climb walls free-handed in much the same manner as a Thief. The Gnome’s chances of doing so are shown on the adjacent table.

Speak with Animals: Gnomes can speak with burrowing animals within 30 feet. This ability is similar to the spell Speak with Animals.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: Gnomes have no restrictions on weapons, but their small stature makes heavy and two-handed weapons problematic. Thus, Gnomes may use one-handed weapons without restriction, but the Referee may adjudicate the permissibility of other weapons as necessary. Gnomes may wear only leather armor. Gnomes resolves attacks using the same table as Clerics.

December 9th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Duality of the Elves

Centuries ago, Elves ruled the world through sorcerous might and military power. Now, the Elven hegemony exists largely in history books. The only Elven city that still exists as a functioning political body is ancient Aachen. The rest of former Elven possessions and vassals have either been overtaken by wilderness or else exist today long free of Elven overlords. The Elves were created by Corellon Larethian and Sehanine Moobow, the Elven deities of the sun and moon, of life and death. Sehanine fashioned the Elven body while Corellon infused the spark of life. The duality of their creators affects the very core of Elven existence for every Elf is both male and female, changing sex with the passing of the hours. Most Elves are amoral. Their actions are determined by tradition and by the search for pleasure and new sensations. Elven sophisticates take pride their love of cruelty and pleasure. Their self-centered ways are held in check by rigid adherence to tradition. Elaborate rituals dedicated to the sun and the moon dominate Elven society, and few Elves have the courage to ignore these rites.

Elven Class Abilities

Duality: All Elves are both male and female, both martial (makar) and magical (istar). At 1st level, the player must decide which sex corresponds with which adjective. Thus, an Elf can be magical male and martial female, or vice versa. At moonrise each day, an Elf’s sex changes. An Elf can attempt to resist this change by making a saving throw. When an Elf changes form, the Elf recovers 1d6+1 lost hit points.

Establish Stronghold: At tenth level, an Elf who chooses to build a stronghold may attract a body of loyal followers who swear fealty to the character.

Experience Bonus for Strength and Intelligence: Strength and Intelligence are the Prime Attributes for Elves. An Elf with a Strength of 15 or higher receives a 2.5% bonus to experience. An Elf with a 15 or higher in Intelligence receives an additional 2.5% experience. These bonuses are cumulative for an Elf with 15+ in both attributes.

Keen Detection: Elves are good at spotting hidden and concealed doors (1-4 on a d6 when searching or 1-2 on a d6 if just passing by).

Saving Throws: An Elf receives a +2 bonus on saving throws against the special attacks of the undead.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: An Elf in either form can wear any armor up to and including chain mail. The Elf cannot use two-handed weapons or shields while casting spells.

Elven Istar Abilities

Combat: In istar form, an Elf resolves attack rolls using the same table as Magic-Users, but enjoys a +1 bonus to-hit with any type of bow or one-handed sword.

Saving Throws: An Elf in istar form receives a +2 bonus on saving throws against charm and sleep.

Spellcasting: Like the Magic-User, an Elf owns a book of spells, which does not necessarily include all of the spells on the standard lists. Reading from this book, the Elf presses select spell formulae into the mind, thus “preparing” those spells to be cast. Once a prepared spell is cast, the spell formulae disappears from the Elf’s mind, and must be prepared again before another attempt can be made to cast it. However, it is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the Elf’s memory. If the Elf finds spell scrolls during an adventure, those can be copied into the spellbook.

Elven Makar Abilities

Combat: In makar form, an Elf resolves attack rolls using the same table as Clerics, but enjoys a +1 bonus to-hit with any type of bow or one-handed sword.

Saving Throws: An Elf in makar form receives a +2 bonus on saving throws against charm and fear.

December 8th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Dwarves: Forged in Fire

Dwarves, forged by the god Moradin, typically inhabit mountains and rugged hills, where they build fortress-towns that include subterranean passages, chambers, and defenses. These short and stocky defenders of mountain fortresses are often seen as stern and humorless. Known for mining the earth’s treasures and crafting magnificent items from ore and gemstones, they have an unrivaled affinity for the bounties of the deep earth. Dwarves love of history and tradition, and they often view shifts in attitudes, styles, fashions, and trends with suspicion if not hostility. Dwarves believe unbroken things don’t need to be fixed, and broken things should be repaired rather than replaced. Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female Dwarves pride themselves on the long length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male Dwarf is surely mad or cursed; one trusts a beardless Dwarven male with great caution.

Dwarven Class Abilities

Establish Mountain Hall: At tenth level, a Dwarf who chooses to build and dedicate a mountain hall to his clan may attract a body of loyal followers who swear fealty to the character.

Experience Bonus for Constitution: Constitution is the Prime Attribute for Dwarves, which means a Dwarf with Constitution of 15 or higher receives an additional 5% experience.

Forged in Fire: Moradin Soul-Forger crafted the first Dwarves with fire, hammer, and anvil, and some of the magic from that divine act remains within every Dwarf. When a Dwarf suffers damage from a metal weapon or from fire, the player rolls a Forged in Fire die. If the die result is a 1 or a 2, the die type downgrades one step. A d4 die that downgrades means this ability no longer functions until it has recovered. Regardless, the Dwarf takes half damage from the metal weapon or fire.

Keen Detection: Dwarves are good at spotting construction, traps, and slanting passages while underground. See adjacent table for the chance of success.

Saving Throw: Dwarves are hearty creatures. They gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against poison.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: Like Fighters, Dwarves train in warfare and have no restrictions on the weapons or armor they may use, except that Dwarves may not use two-handed swords or longbows (short bows and crossbows are permitted). A Dwarf makes attack rolls as a Fighter of equal level.

December 7th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Slowly, Slowly, Progress

More work has been done on Chance Encounters, a growing collection of new monsters for Swords & Wizardry. Here’s another sample:

At first blush, zymotic ants appear to be a common variety of giant ant, but closer observation shows otherwise. Zymotic ants not only have powerful mandibles, but their abdomens sport sharp stingers. Worker zymotic ants “harvest” living creatures, overwhelming them by sheer numbers and dragging the unconscious and dead back to the hive’s incubation chambers. Therein, the toxic pathogens injected via stinger are cultivated, for these horrible insects feed primarily on the effluvia of illness. The unquestioned ruler of a zymotic ant hive is its huge queen. Bloated and slow, the queen commands the hive via telepathy. Once per day, her telepathic energies act as an Animate Dead spell, summoning 2d6 zombies. One in 20 of these undead monsters cause disease with their attacks.

Hit Dice: 2 (worker), 3 (soldier), or 10 (queen)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attack (Damage): Bite (1d6), sting (1d4 + disease)
Move: 18, 15, or 3
Save: 16, 14, or 5
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60 (worker), 4/120 (soldier), or 12/2000 (queen)
Special: Cause disease, immune to disease and poison, queen abilities (Animate Dead and telepathy)

As you’ve seen if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve also been tooling about with new character classes for The Black Hack. I’m thinking of compiling them into a PDF, either for sale or for free (or both via DriveThruRPG’s pay-what-you-want option). One of the aspects of The Black Hack approach to character classes is how easy it is to make a class that fills a specific campaign niche. Say, for example, your campaign features downtrodden goblin anarchists who fight the power….

Goblin Bomb-Lobber
Starting HP: d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d8 Bombs / 1d4 All Others

Special Features
A Goblin Bomb-Lobber makes his own bombs, producing several each day from available materials. He has a d4 Bomb Usage die. A bomb may be thrown to affect 1d4 Nearby creatures, each one taking damage from the explosion.

A Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when working with explosives and chemicals, to include avoiding the effects of things that blow up.

Due to his revolutionary beliefs, a Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when testing CHA during interactions with radicals, chaotic beings, et cetera. He suffers Disadvantage to the same sorts of tests when dealing with law-abiders.

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and CHA.

Every odd numbered level, step up the Bomb die as well as the number of Nearby creatures a bomb may affect.

August 2nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Jester for The Black Hack

I might be having too much fun with these classes for The Black Hack. Mea culpa.

Starting HP: d4 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d4
Weapons & Armor: Any One-Handed Melee and Slings, and Gambeson and Leather
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d4 Unarmed or Improvising

Special Features
A Jester rolls with Advantage to determine initiative. He also rolls with Advantage when performing delicate tasks, acrobatics, and jokes.

When making a DEX save to avoid a suitable projectile, a Jester may choose to roll with Disadvantage. If he succeeds, he catches the projectile without harm to himself (assuming this is possible).

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and CHA.

Arcane Spellcasting
A Jester can cast a number of Arcane Spells per day. See the Spellcasting section. A Jester always tests INT with Disadvantage after casting a spell.

A Jester starts with a large spellbook containing 1d3 spells from the Level 1 and 2 Arcane Spell lists. A Jester’s spells never inflict direct damage, involve other planes, or consorting with the undead. Some things just aren’t funny.

July 29th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »