Friday, October 31, 2014

Delving Deeper/0e Character Class: The Kobold Crew

I thought about making a Satyr Class for DD, and then realized that, with Boring Spells in play, the simplest way to model a Satyr would be just to use roll up a Magic User (probably an Illusionist) and use its Satyr-ness as the motif.

And it occurred to me that this could be a good way to handle pretty much any character race. Simply ask the player to describe what they want to play, and then ask them if that character is going to solve things by fighting, magic, or skill. Want to play an ogre or minotaur or lizard man? That’s a Fighter. A nymph or satyr or vampire is a Spell-caster run through Boring Spells. Your gnome or talking rabbit or animated scarecrow is an Adventurer. Angels and sufficiently religious-minded creatures of any species can be Clerics.

 Now, obviously, lizard men are better in water than minotaurs, and satyrs are better in daylight than vampires, but that could all be handled as role-play and off-the-cuff rulings.

So, I then immediately came up with a character class that didn’t quite fit into any of the above.

This class is heavily indebted to +John Stater’s Canting Crew Character Class.

You'll let me know if this is a terrible idea, right?

The Kobold Crew (or Band of Brownies, or Scrum of Gremlins, or Gang of Street Urchins, if you prefer)

Okay, so, not exactly this.
Kobolds are individually weak and have a strong tendency to bunch together in groups. Once kobolds attach themselves to a leader, they will literally follow them over a cliff.

The Kobold Crew is a multi-individual character class that advances by adding members to its ranks. This character begins as a single kobold, the Boss. Each time the character gains a new hit die, a kobold is drawn to join the Boss’ Crew. Each member of the Crew needs to be named, equipped with arms and armor, and hit points must be determined. Each Crew member attacks individually as a 1st level Fighter.

Kobold Crews attack in swarms and will never separate, Even in the face of direst peril, their instinct is to bunch closer together. When Kobold Crews take damage, it is the most recent addition to the Crew who takes damage first. When that kobold reaches 0 hp, it is dead, and the next kobold begins to take damage.

Lost Crew can be replaced the next time the Crew encounters a sufficiently large population of kobolds. Some outcast will be instinctually drawn to the group.

Kobold Crews fight and advance as Fighters. They cannot use large weapons, including long swords, long bows, or any two-handed weapon other than spears.

Each new member after the Boss brings some specialization to the Crew, determined randomly:
(1) +1 to grapple
(2) +1 to disarm traps
(3) +1 to locate secret doors
(4) +1 to hide
(5) 1 randomly determined 0th Order Spell (see Boring Spells)
(6) 1-3 new languages

When a kobold dies, the Crew loses that individual's specialization. If two or more kobolds share a specialization, the bonuses stack.

Kobold Level
XP
Hit Dice
Boss
2nd Crew
3rd Crew
4th Crew
5th Crew
6th Crew
7th Crew
8th Crew
1
0
1+2



2
2000
1+1
1



3
4000
1
1
1


4
8000
1
1
1
1


5
16,000
1
1
1
1
1

6
32,000
1
1
1
1
1
1

7
65,000
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
8
130,000
1+1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Delving Deeper/0e Character Class: The Adventurer

The recent burst of activity on this blog is largely traceable to being all fired up after reading the wonderful Delving Deeper Reference Rules. I'm not terribly familiar with pre-Holmes 0e, and not at all with Chainmail, but I found DD to be a spectacularly elegant ruleset. And after mentioning how much I like the new-wave OSR take on a broadly-interpretable Specialist/Expert/Adventurer character class, I thought I should write one up for DD.

This can model a thief (although the "Bidding Time" ability is less potent than Backstab), but I hope it will also model anybody who isn't trying to fight or cast their way through problems.

The Adventurer

Expertise
Pick or invent a non-combat realm of expertise, with its attendant Prime Requisite:

Communication (CHR)
Craft (WIS or DEX)
Knowledge (INT)
Physical (STR)
Subterfuge (DEX)
Survival (WIS)

All player characters are considered generally competent and well-adapted to the campaign world. As such, it is assumed that they will succeed in any ordinary task they attempt. Difficult tasks can generally be checked by rolling a 1 on a d6.

If a check falls under the Adventure’s area of expertise, however, they may roll as below:

Levels 1-4 (Normal)             1-3 on d6
Levels 5-10 (Hero)               1-4 on d6
Levels 11-12 (Superhero)     1-5 on d6

A player may argue any non-combat or non-spell casting check is relevant to the Adventurer’s area of expertise. If the GM agrees, the player should note that check as a skill on her character sheet. The GM may agree readily to the first six applications of the Adventurer’s expertise, but should consider further additions with more skepticism. Ten is probably a good place for a definite cut-off.

At 3rd level and above the Adventurer may roll as above to discern the meaning of any non-magical cipher, message, map, or other written instruction. At 9th level and above this ability extends to casting magic-user spells from scrolls.

Bidding Time
Adventurers are not trained in combat, but can rely on a keen awareness of the world around them.

For every turn an Adventurer spends studying an opponent without interruption, they may add +1 to their chance to hit and damage of their first attack on that opponent. The bonus can be accrued for as long as the observation continues, up to a maximum bonus equal to the Adventurer’s Hit Dice.

A cycle of observation-and-attack can be repeated as often as the Adventurer is able to retreat from combat in order to observe their target.

Arms and Armor
Adventurers lack the resilience and training of Fighters and cannot effectively wear anything more protective than leather armor.

Adventures can use shields, but are not trained to protect themselves and attack simultaneously. The shield’s AC advantage is granted only when actively and exclusively defending oneself.

Adventurers can effectively wield daggers, slings, and short swords

Experience Points, Hit Dice, and Saves are as a Thief.

Straight up copied and pasted from Delving Deeper Online:

Adventurer Progression
Experience
Saving Throw Versus
Points
Hit
Wands
Paralysis
Breath
Level
Required
Dice
Poison
Rays
Petrification
Weapon
Spells
1
0
1
13
14
13
15
16
2
1,250
1+1
12
14
12
14
15
3
2,500
2
12
14
12
14
15
4
5,000
2+2
11
11
11
13
14
5
10,000
3+1
11
11
11
13
14
6
20,000
4
10
11
10
12
13
7
40,000
4+1
10
11
10
12
13
8
70,000
5
9
8
9
11
12
9
120,000
5+2
9
8
9
11
12
10
180,000
6+1
8
8
8
10
11
11
240,000
7
8
8
8
10
11
12
300,000
7+1
7
5
7
9
10

Please let me know if I've missed anything obvious, or if you see any room for improvements!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Some Boring Spell-Casters

Having some fun with Boring Spells.

I decided to make some completely random spell casters. I came up with four motifs:

  • Mad Inventor
  • Plague Doctor
  • Infested with magical crystalline parasites
  • Hedgehogs


I decided to randomize what School via 1d6.
1          Academy Mage
2          Cleric
3          Illusionist
4          Necromancer
5          Witch

6          Eccentric

And each gets 2 0th Order Spells, and 1 1st Order Spell. I rolled 1d6 to determine each spell. For the Eccentric, I rolled 3d6 for the 0th Order (there are 17 0th spells) and 1d30 for the 1st Order Spell.

The results are a lot more interesting that the standard MU equipped with Magic Missile and Detect Magic.

Mad Inventor
Pockets crammed with little gadgets, most of which don’t work. The few that do have very limited charges. The Inventor is sure that his next invention will be the one that brings him fame and riches.
School: Illusionist
Spells:
Bobble Wisp: A small floating bottle that hovers and bobs around the Inventor shines like a 
torch. When shaken vigorously, it lights up. Good for one use each day. Range: Short radius. Duration: 1 turn/Level.
Octarine-tinted Spectacles: Special glasses that allow the Inventor to read magic scrolls and spell 
books. Range: Self. Duration: 1 turn/Level.
Thingamaface: A thin network of nearly-invisible silver wires that, when worn over the face, pulls and pinches the features enough to changes your appearance enough to not be recognized. It has several settings. Tailored to the Inventor’s face, and mostly used to avoid creditors. Range: Self. Duration: 1 turn/Level.

Plague Doctor
Carries a number of exotic potions with which he preforms endless, inscrutable experiments. Most have no practical purpose, and, while he knows an awful lot about the lives of germs, the Plague Doctor is useless at healing actual people.
School: Necromancer
Spells:
Aetheric Consultation: By stuffing the nose of his mask with the proper aromatics, the Plague Doctor can enter the proper state of mind to speak with the disembodied. Does not guarantee spirits are helpful, honest, or even present. Range: Long. Duration: 1 turn.
Spore Accelerant: As part of his researches, the Plague Doctor often needs large quantities of fungi. He can mix up doses of a powder that, sprinkled on food or water, will cause the rapid growth of foul-smelling (but mechanically useless) fungi. Putrefies 1 cu. ft./Level of food or water. Range: Touch. Duration: Permanent.
Contact Somatosthesia: The Plague Doctor carries a mild anesthesia, which, if spread on an object, will cause mild numbness and tingling when that object is handled. Weapons so treated gain -1 on attack and damage. Range: Touch. Duration: 6 turns.

Poor Sap, infested with crystalline parasites
Crystals grow out of the Poor Sap’s skull. It’s extremely unpleasant. The poor sap is a desperate adventurer, hoping to find a cure for her condition before the crystals take over. She has, however, learned to exert some control over the parasites.
School: Necromancer
Spells:
Photophagy: The crystals feed off light, and can consume so much they actually create small diameter sphere of impenetrable darkness. Range: Long. Duration: 1 turn/Level.
Exhale Spores: The crystals usually infest corpses, and are adept at seeking them out. By exhaling and then following a glittering cloud of crystal spores, the Poor Sap can find corpses, including the undead. Range: Medium. Duration: 6 rounds/Level.
Minor Life Drain: The crystals can steal minute amounts of life force from other living creatures—not enough to do damage, but enough to cause light-headedness and weakness. Targeted enemies suffer -1 on attack rolls, damage, and morale checks. Must be cast before combat begins. Range: Medium. Duration: 6 turns.

Hedgehog Mage
I guess this person was raised by... magic hedgehogs?
School: Eccentric 
Spells:
Tunnel Chatter: The Hedgehog Mage can bounce the sound of chattering hedgehogs off tunnel walls, controlling the distance and direction the sound appears to be emitting from. A good way of distracting predators. Range: Long. Duration: 1 round/level.
Summon Spring: By digging a whole in the ground, the Hedgehog Mage will unerringly find a clean source of potable water. The spring will provide 2 gallons/Level 
of pure water before drying up. Range: Touch. Duration: Permanent.
Spirit Quills: The Hedgehog Mage can imbue an object with glowing quills of magical energy. Normal, swingable objects are turned into a weapons (equivalent to a pick, I guess). Weapons gain +1 on attack and damage. Range: Touch. Duration: 3 turns.