Patron Deity seeks Hero (class)

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CharlesDM
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Patron Deity seeks Hero (class)

“Ray, when someone asks if you're a god, you say YES.” Ghostbusters (1984)

I backed the BCK&HFH Kickstarter as a “Patron Deity”. However, I have four ideas for one class selection to be included in one of the books – two ideas for BCK, and two ideas for HFH. Help me make my selection through your comments and/or propose an alternative to my four ideas. My goals for a new class, and its supporting mechanics, are to expand the reach and applicability of ACKS to areas that might not otherwise be covered well. Also, I look for topics that might best be officially addressed by the Autarchs.

BCK

(Human) Offworlder

A “two-fisted” human warrior, physically gifted by having been born on a higher gravity world. On the surface, this likely requires an alternative human race-as-class, which would be out of scope of a class, but I have an idea … Maybe you have ideas as well?

Bugman “Noble”

A four-armed warrior bugman, desired by me in part to enable homebrewed Thri-kreen or Greenmen of Mars classes to be built by the community.

HFH

“Heroic Gnome” (name to be determined)

A class inspired by legendary fey, both wonderful and dangerous. Perhaps using spell-like powers which cause corruption, i.e. temporary invisibility for a corruption point. As a matter of life and death, such fey would prefer to remain isolated from mortals, avoid using their spell-like abilities and remove any accumulated corruption.

Halfling Scholar

My homage to Bilbo, who was neither an adventurer nor a burglar, but was considered noteworthy for his knowledge of language and history. Indirectly, an homage to Professor Tolkien himself.

Jard
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I love that someone else saw in the bugmen an opportunity to shoe-horn in thri-kreen.  Sadly, what I originally read in one of the posts didn't seem especially thri-kreeny to me, but maybe there is still some sort of tweaking that can make such a thing possible!

golan2072
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(BCK's author here)

Hmmm... Keep in mind that in ACKS, various spellcasters can create all sorts of monsters and creatures by crossbreeding.

A bugman is more along the lines of a sentient cockroach than a mantis. HOWEVER, a sorcerer (maybe even a bugman Ovate!) might find it prudent, or interesting, to cross-breed a bugman with a giant mantis. The result would be monstrous! Two legs, two arms for manipulation, and two killing arms.

Its main powers will probably be its natural armor and (nightmarish) natural weapons. Some kind of a biological "monk".

Regarding the Offworlder - BCK's world has Earthlike gravity. On the other hand, I do love the idea of a modern or sci-fi Terran astronaut crashing on this savage gonzo-sci-fantasy world. He might not be particularly tough, but he sure will have technical skills and advanced knowledge (and who knows, maybe also a starting raygun?).

Or maybe use this as a campaign hooks? A spacecraft exploring a deep space anomaly gets transported to the BCK world and crashes on Kanahu (default starting area). Players can't start with magical classes but do start with advanced knowledge and some technical artifacts!

koewn
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Halfling Scholar

My homage to Bilbo, who was neither an adventurer nor a burglar, but was considered noteworthy for his knowledge of language and history. Indirectly, an homage to Professor Tolkien himself.


-CharlesDM

Interesting, in part because I've wanted to see some alternative ways to bring the knowledge of subjects and languages to a more prominent role (Consider Loremastery as essentially a Magical Research roll, and revel in the possibilities). For a game with a zillion sentient beings and cultures, D&D has never really fleshed out languages - immersion, varying degrees of fluency, etc. - though as tied as it is to world-building and the pre-game-history of a world, I guess it may be a touch complex.

The Dark
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The scholar could be interesting. I could see them providing a bunch of little bonuses through their knowledge, like possibly being able to identify magic items, providing small bonuses to others on their attack throws or damage or AC through knowledge of how monsters act, getting bonuses with healing herbs, reaction bonuses through knowing how to be culturally appropriate, etc. A riddle contest could work like the sanctuary spell, preventing an intelligent opponent from attacking as long as the scholar doesn't attack, though requiring either actual riddles to be asked or a proficiency throw of some sort.

CharlesDM
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... I guess it may be a touch complex.

-koewn

That is a potential downside to doing this class with existing RAW. Hopefully, as long as the RAW "bits" are compatible with likely campaign/house rules, it could be done. For example, I've noticed many on these forums add complexity to the core language rules, including Alex. A common choice seems along the lines of adding many languages as part of worldbuilding, then specifying how the core rules translate to learning these additional languages.

A riddle contest could work like the sanctuary spell, preventing an intelligent opponent from attacking as long as the scholar doesn't attack, though requiring either actual riddles to be asked or a proficiency throw of some sort.

-The Dark

That's a really interesting idea. Off the top of my head, Bilbo only engages in melee against the spiders? Yet makes many important contributions to the party's success. The challenge of replicating that, and surviving to be wealthy, appeals to me.

The Dark
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A riddle contest could work like the sanctuary spell, preventing an intelligent opponent from attacking as long as the scholar doesn't attack, though requiring either actual riddles to be asked or a proficiency throw of some sort.


-The Dark

That's a really interesting idea. Off the top of my head, Bilbo only engages in melee against the spiders? Yet makes many important contributions to the party's success. The challenge of replicating that, and surviving to be wealthy, appeals to me.


-CharlesDM

I think you're right. He's unarmed during the troll confrontation, gets Sting after that. The goblins catch them by surprise, and Bilbo's carried through pretty much that whole encounter. He fights the spiders with blade and (IIRC) thrown rocks. Once they get to the mountain, he gets the mithril shirt, and he's knocked unconscious at the Battle of Five Armies by a rock. The dwarfs do a fair bit of fighting, but Bilbo does very little. Of course, he also does virtually no burgling; the only skill he certainly has is Move Silently, since The Ring means he doesn't need Hide in Shadows. He doesn't backstab, climb, find or remove traps, pick locks or pockets, or decipher languages (Gandalf does that). Other than Gandalf convincing the dwarfs that Bilbo's a burglar, there's nothing in The Hobbit to imply he actually has any skill at it.

Alex
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Obviously I'm happy - well, content - to create Halfling Scholar if that's our backer's choice.

That said, if Bilbo's not going to be the model for the Hafling Burglar, then I'm not sure why we'd create the class at all! Apart from Bilbo being called a burglar, there's no evidence from any other halfling in the literature to suggest that halflings are burglars at all...

Maybe it should be Halfling Bounder, Halfling Scholar, and Gnome Burglar...

 

 

The Dark
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Obviously I'm happy - well, content - to create Halfling Scholar if that's our backer's choice.

That said, if Bilbo's not going to be the model for the Hafling Burglar, then I'm not sure why we'd create the class at all! Apart from Bilbo being called a burglar, there's no evidence from any other halfling in the literature to suggest that halflings are burglars at all...

Maybe it should be Halfling Bounder, Halfling Scholar, and Gnome Burglar...


-Alex
Well, except for kender, but that's a horror we don't need to revisit.

I think the halfling thief/rogue/burglar became a thing because someone in the early stages of gaming did interpret Gandalf literally. We had halflings as really good thieves in AD&D, and it snowballed from there. I wouldn't be disappointed to see a halfling burglar, but I'd be interested in bucking the stereotype both on a personal level and because I know you hate them.

wmarshal
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Obviously I'm happy - well, content - to create Halfling Scholar if that's our backer's choice.

That said, if Bilbo's not going to be the model for the Hafling Burglar, then I'm not sure why we'd create the class at all! Apart from Bilbo being called a burglar, there's no evidence from any other halfling in the literature to suggest that halflings are burglars at all...

Maybe it should be Halfling Bounder, Halfling Scholar, and Gnome Burglar...

 

 


-Alex

Couldn't Sméagol be thought of as a kind of halfling thief/assassin? I'm not sure that's what the halfling supporters had in mind, but he's at least one Halfling that became a sneaky bastard. Hmmm, maybe a mechanic where if a halfling has thief skills then he suffers a level of corruption for each level he advances. (I doubt the halfling supporters would go for that, but it's food for thought.)

 

koewn
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Smeagol/Gollum was a result of the Ring causing corruption with use; not necessarily anything else. Halflings in general could bear the Ring without immediate threat; this may be improved saves as a racial benefit, as dwarves. (and Smeagol was a bit predisposed)

Sam, Merry, Pippin were most likely just Bounders of a type.

Bilbo and Frodo were most likely both Scholar types.

The sneaking bits of the thief may just be a Halfling racial value benefit.

For those into such things, I'd recommend the 1981 BBC LotR radio adaptation. It's delightfully British, and gives both an alternate view of the characterizations from the movies, as well as foreshadowing a lot of those characterizations. Sean Astin was damn near doing an impression of the man who played Samwise in the radio production...who was Bill Nighy, of all people.

 

CharlesDM
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We have only concluded that Bilbo was not a “burglar”, which does not necessarily imply there are no halfling burglars. As far as I know (I have only read The Hobbit and LotR), we don’t know if “burglar” was a reasonable expectation of the dwarves, or more of a “story” from Gandalf to say “You’re taking this halfling."

Certainly, all halflings are “stealthy” compared to big, clumsy humans. Four relatively ordinary halflings escaped Khamul the Easterling, and discovered elves on their last journey to the west. It may be that a halfling bounder is sufficiently stealthy to meet the expectations of dwarves for a burglar.

But also, there is a notion of “Tookishness” that seems to be more in line with roguish behavior than that of a bounder. Similarly, apparently halfling children routinely steal fruits and vegetables …

The halflings had an expectation of dwarves that they could make “magical toys”, though I don’t remember a dwarf in The Hobbit/LotR ever making a toy. There may be something behind the expectation of dwarven “magic” (i.e. a machinist’s craft) and halfling “burglars”.

koewn
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Or from earlier halfling stock; the Stoors, etc. from the time they lived in Anduin Vale - a more contentious area than the Shire, there would have been more call for roguish behavior (or during their various migrations).

golan2072
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So, any interest in the bugman four-armed "praetorian" with his natural arms and armor?

Alex
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I love the bugman praetorian.

 

wmarshal
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So, any interest in the bugman four-armed "praetorian" with his natural arms and armor?


-golan2072

I'd love to see a bug-man praetorian as well, but I'd want it to be distinct from the "Ookla the Mok" concept I'm backing.

 

For those not in the know, I'm backing a class of somewhat primitive humanoids whose racial build points stack with HD and has dwarf-like bonuses to the saving throws. I wanted to have a fighting class  that utilized the d12.

koewn
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wmarshal - that's awesome. 

moorcrys
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Ookla! Awesome.

golan2072
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So, any interest in the bugman four-armed "praetorian" with his natural arms and armor?

 


-golan2072

 

I'd love to see a bug-man praetorian as well, but I'd want it to be distinct from the "Ookla the Mok" concept I'm backing.

 

For those not in the know, I'm backing a class of somewhat primitive humanoids whose racial build points stack with HD and has dwarf-like bonuses to the saving throws. I wanted to have a fighting class  that utilized the d12.


-wmarshal

The bugman praetor will have strong natural armor and a strong natural weapon. I will have to see how to make the natural weapon act as a "magical weapon" at higher levels and how to prevent it from becoming weak in comparison to ordinary fighters with weapons at higher levels.

 

Also, as the praetor has two regular arms and two blade arms, can he wield a weapon in each regular hand and fight with them as well as the blade arms? This could be an awesome power but could be too powerful.

golan2072
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Initial ideas for brain-storming:
 
Lost Cosmonaut
Asherah - the world on which Kanahu is situated - orbits a distant star many parsecs away from Mother Terra. Humans came to it long ago, presumably from the stars - in what might be a massive colony ship. However, naturally-occurring wormholes and the results of experimentation with faster-than-light travel might deposit modern or near-future Terran astronauts on Kanahu. These "Lost Cosmonauts" possess advanced technical and scientific knowledge. The typical spaceman is also physically fit - as the selection process is rigorous - but he is rarely a match for a barbarian swordsman in face-to-face swordplay. He is also unfamiliar with magic.
 
The first option is to do this as a standard Human class.
 
Human
Hit Dice 1
Fighting 1a
Thievery 2
Max level 14 as usual for humans
 
Tradeoffs:
2 Thief powers to Alien Intuition and Alien Lore
 
So you have:
1d6 HD
Can wear any armor - the space suit training comes in handy
Can use Bows/Crossbows/Guns and Swords/Daggers
Alien Intuition and Alien Lore
Has Pick Lock, Find trap, and Disable Trap
 
The second option - this is a "custom race" called Terran:
 
Racial Powers at Terran 0:
Alien Intuition (1 point)
Alien Lore (1 point)
Engineering (1 point) - modern-day tech-"wizardry"!
Resistant to Illusion (1 point) - scientific training for skepticism
Knowledge - Science (1 point)
 
Terran 0 costs 150xp
 
Class will be 
Terran 0
HD 1
Fighting 2
Thievery 1 (Pick Lock, Find Trap, Disable Trap)
Max level 13
 
What do you think?
 
Bugman Praetor
High-level bugman ovates sometimes create the praetors as the utmost defenders of their nests. Bred in a vat as crossbreeds between bugman dredges and giant mantises, the praetors are monstrous war-machines. They stand 6' tall, all armored with a thick exoskeleton. They have razor-sharp blades at the sides of their arms, as dangerous as swords [or retractable blades? Or two additional blade arms?] Sometimes a praetor lives his ovate and nest to wander, and sometimes the nest is destroyed, setting the praetor homeless. Such beings are nomadic warriors who can kill and maim without requiring arms or armor other than those bestowed to them at birth.
 
Racial Powers at Bugman Praetor 0:
Fangs and Claws (5 points) - 1d4-1 claw damage and 1d8-1 bite damage. Can these be reversed? The praetor's power is from the blade-arms, not the mouth... He needs powerful "claws" and weak "fangs". Or could they have 2 regular arms with hands + 2 additional blade-arms? How will that work?
"Scaly Hide" (5 points) - natural AC 5, move -60'.
Fighting Fury (2 points)
 
Bugman praetor 0 costs 450xp.
 
Bugman Praetor 1 = praetor 0 + fighting 1
Bugman Praetor 2 = praetor 0 + fighting 2
Bugman Praetor 3 = praetor 0 + fighting 3
Bugman Praetor 4 = praetor 0 + fighting 4
 
Class will be
Bugman praetor 2
Fighting 2 (total 4 - NASTY!)
HD 2
Max level 11
 
Just imagine - playing an insectoid fighting-machine with bladed arms, tough carapace, and murderous killer instincts! You don't care about magical weapons and armor, you already have weapons and armor, you slaughter your foes in a blood-frenzy! BADASS!
 
What do you think?
Weron
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I think a 4-armed race would be way more cool. I guess extra arms (extra attacks) would be very costly.

The Praetor looks a bit front-loaded. I prefer the Thrassian approach, where claws / armor / fighting improves with the Racial value. A Thrassian 4 is just slightly better in combat than your Praetor 2. A theoretical HD 4 Praetor 4 class would be a lot stronger than a HD 2 Fighting 2 Thrassian 4?

Are there any guidelines on creating custom races and figuring out xp values available anywhere?

Aryxymaraki
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Fundamentally, what the Fangs and Claws power does is give the character an attack routine with X attack rolls and Y average damage.

I don't see any reason why you couldn't change around the damage per attack as long as the average remained the same, though it would not be as simple as flipping the bite and claw damage.

d4-1/d4-1/d8-1 gives an average of 2.17 (2 and 1/6). If you wanted stronger claws and a weaker bite, you could do d6-1/d6-1/d4-1.

That said, like Weron, I'm wary of a class that gets Fighting 1 per racial value. What would a HD 1/Fighting 7 (Fighting3/Racial4) look like? I also think it looks front-loaded as well; it should probably have weaker hide, weaker natural attacks, and so on at Praetor0 and scale them up as you put more points into it.

Are there any guidelines on creating custom races and figuring out xp values available anywhere?


-Weron

http://autarch.co/comment/6770#comment-6770

CharlesDM
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... I'd want it to be distinct from the "Ookla the Mok" concept I'm backing.

For those not in the know, I'm backing a class of somewhat primitive humanoids whose racial build points stack with HD and has dwarf-like bonuses to the saving throws. I wanted to have a fighting class that utilized the d12.


-wmarshal

I want to add to the chorus of That's Awesome! We love Ookla the Mok, and that would be a fun class to play. I'll ensure our classes remain distinct.

ZeroSum
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I don't know about the Praetor, but I'd love to play as a Lost Cosmonaut! 

Loswaith
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I don't know about the Praetor, but I'd love to play as a Lost Cosmonaut! 


-ZeroSum

So makes me think of the John Cryton character from Farscape :P

golan2072
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Draft Terran "race":

 

Terrans

Men and women from 20th and 21st century Terra sometimes end up trapped on Kanahu. They might have been teleported there by a freak physics experiment, or perhaps their space capsule fell through a wormhole and ended up in Kanahu orbit. In such a barbaric world of savagery, idolatry, and superstition, these educated people are utterly alien and thus are a "race" of their own.

Modern terra is a world of Science and Reason. This is, of course, an abstraction, as superstition still subsists. However, the Terrans discussed here are those of an archetypal modern mindset and education. Familiar with advanced technology, they might seem indistinguishable from (actual) sorcerers to the typical Kanahi savage.

This "race" represents characters who recently came from Terra, but have learned at least the rudiments of the local language.

(In terms of inspiration – think of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court rather than John Carter)

 

 

Requirements:
All Terrans require a minimum Intelligence of 12 or better. Terra, of course, has its fair share of less intelligent people, but the archetype we represent here is that of men of learning. Also, modern education will make even the less bright Terran look very clever in comparison to the majority of Kanahu's population, which is for the most part illiterate and atavistic.

 

 
Class category Values:
  • Divine: Terrans may not have any Divine value on Kanahu (though many hold faith in a Terran religion).
  • Arcane: Terrans are of rational mind and thought. Furthermore, actual magic, as present on Kanahu, does not manifest on modern Terra. Therefore, they may not have any Arcane value.

 

 
Terran 0 (200XP): at Terran 0, the class will have the following three custom powers:
  • Technological Familiarity (reskinned Alien Intuition): Terrans are familiar with technological concepts. While they may lack knowledge of typical Visitor artifacts, they still tend to quickly recognize them as tools and machines and examine them in a scientific manner. Therefore, they can achieve On the Spot Understanding with all alien tech on a roll of 11+ (with mishaps only on a 1) (counts as 2 proficiencies).
  • Rational Thought (reskinned Illusion Resistance): Modern-day Terran education emphasizes rational thought and scientific reasoning. Therefore, a Terran is skeptical about his surroundings and enjoys a +4 bonus on saving throws to disbelieve magical illusions.
  • Scientific Knowledge (Knowledge proficiency at level 3): Terran education, even at the college (or high school!) level, is far superior to Kanahi education in the Sciences. Terrans can function as Sages on the subject of Science, can instruct students in the scientific method, and enjoys the other benefits of the Knowledge (Science) proficiency, as described in ACKS Core. (counts as 3 proficiencies).

 

Terran 1 (400XP): Terran 0 + 1 proficiencies

 

 
Terran 2 (600XP): Terran 0 + 2 proficiencies

 

 
Terran 3 (900XP): Terran 0 + 3 proficiencies

 

 
Terran 4 (1,400XP): Terran 0 + 4 proficiencies

 

Experience Point Progression After 8th Level:

Terrans may only follow the Fighter or Thief progression (i.e. HP, Fighting, and Thievery values) and increase the amount of experience required to gain each level after the 8th by 10,000XP.

 

golan2072
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Lost Cosmonaut is:

Terran 1 (one extra proficiency)
HD 1
Fighting 1a (as Cleric - knows how to wear a vacc suit and thus very heavy armor but not very well trained in swordplay)
Thievery 2 (Pick Lock, Find Trap, Disable Trap + 2 powers for tradeoffs)
Max level 12
1,800XP to reach level 2
ZeroSum
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Man I cannot wait for this to come out. :D