Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Ranger - a Specialist class for Partholon

Art by Kelly McLarnon
In my concept, a ranger is a stealthy character and an indirect combatant, an opportunist and a problem-solver. I'm treating the class as taking the role normally filled by the thief in classic campaigns, because I like this flavor more. This is an updated version of the class, which continues to owe more to Aspar White of Eslen than the Dunedain of Middle-earth.

The Ranger is an expert hunter and tracker, accustomed to traveling on her own through the wilderness and living off the land. Her nomadic lifestyle makes her a figure of suspicion when she ventures into settlements, but the opinions of ignorant strangers are a small matter in her eyes. Prior to her treasure-hunting career, she patrolled the wilderness, hunting monsters before they could become a threat to innocent villagers, and occasionally collecting bounties from whatever baron happened to be nearby when she needed money.

Rangers generally see one another as affiliates in a loose network or brotherhood. Most are solitary, but some work in bands, and some carry on a family legacy. Two of the most famous names among rangers are the Watchkeepers and the Stargazers.

The ranger's combat style emphasizes speed and mobility. She exploits opportunities when they appear, and creates them when she needs them. She is not trained to fight in plate or mail.

Stealth Skills 
(The referee should roll for stealth skills, so the player cannot be sure of the result. The PC will believe she is successful until confronted with evidence to the contrary.)
Hide in Shadows: Anybody can hide if they can actually get out of sight. The ranger can attempt to hide with no better concealment than the shifting shadows of torchlight.
Hide in Wilderness: The ranger is even better at hiding in the wild. With 1d3 turns of preparation, she can attempt to conceal her entire party. If she is only trying to hide herself, roll 2 Skill dice instead of just 1. 
Move Silently: When hidden, any movement will normally give away the hiding character's position. The ranger can attempt to move without giving herself away.

Professional Skills
Listen: Use the Skill Roll instead of the normal 1 in 6 chance for listening.
Tracking: Indoors & underground, make a Skill Roll with -1 TN for each turn of delay. In the wild, use the best of 2 Skill Rolls, with -1 TN for each day of delay, rain, or snow.
Wilderness Expert: A party with a ranger gets +1 to Travel rolls, including disorientation, searching, hunting & foraging. 
Free-climb: The ranger is skilled at climbing walls and rock faces without gear or assistance. She can climb 2d6x10 feet per turn, but never more than 100 ft or faster than her Explore speed. If the roll exceeds either limit, she is unable to make progress. If the roll exceeds both limits, she attempts progress but falls from the halfway point.

Combat Skills
Ambush: If the ranger is attacking from hiding or by surprise, add +4 AP and add an extra damage die. The target can be on guard or even involved in combat as long as the ranger herself is hidden.
Dual Wielding: When wielding two weapons, the ranger adds +1 to AP and damage if Dex is 13+.
Expert Archer:  When using a bow, the ranger can choose one special attack:
  • Move and Shoot: The ranger can move her combat speed and shoot a bow without penalty
  • Sharp-shooting: The ranger adds her Skill TN to her AP. If the d20 rolls a natural 10 or less, she may hold her shot. On a hit, her damage dice can explode (i.e., if the die rolls its highest value, roll another damage die and add it to the total).

The Ranger
Level XP HD AP
1 0 1 1
Skill: 2 in 6
2 1,500 2 1

3 3,000 3 2
Skill: 3 in 6
4 6,000 +1 hp 2

5 12,000 4 3
Weapon damage: 1d8
6 24,000 5 3

7 50,000 6 4
Skill: 4 in 6
8 100,000 +1 hp 4

9 200,000 7 5

10 300,000 8 5
Weapon damage: 1d10
... +100,000 +1 hp ...
Skill: 5 in 6

Saves: +2 Physical

Edit: revised the rules for Quick-shooting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Veteran - a Fighter class for Partholon

Art by Storn Cook
As my campaign has grown, I have expanded the classes to include some subclasses. My take on the Fighter has been drawn from the original first level title, "Veteran," and I have reworked the class to emphasize this flavor in order to keep it distinct. This post is the updated version. 

The Veteran has already survived several battles before he begins his dungeon-delving career. He may have been a member of a village militia or a city guard, or may have fought in some warlord's campaign. He may come from a lineage of knights or similar warrior-lords charged with safeguarding the realm. Whatever his background, he has left the battlefield behind and turned to crypts and catacombs, hoping that his battle-skills will keep him alive long enough to collect lost treasures.

The veteran is in many ways the easiest class to play.  He doesn't depend greatly on planning and forethought (though he will benefit from both!) and with proper equipment is about as ready as he'll ever be for whatever situations come up. He can adapt to most any situation as needed, but his standard tactic (kill monsters and stay alive) is a smart choice most of the time.

Basic Traits

Guard: When a veteran chooses to fight defensively, he gets the normal +2 bonus to AC, but can also grant an additional +2 AC bonus to a nearby ally. Guard bonuses do not stack, so a given individual can benefit from only a single veteran's protection.

Overkill: The veteran is trained to fight his enemies not as individuals but as a unit. When he deals damage in excess of that needed to slay a foe, he can deliver the excess damage to another foe in reach (so long as that target's AC is no greater than the fighter's attack). He can combine his movement and attack if needed to deliver the overkill.

Martial Skill: The veteran has learned how to get optimal performance out of all manner of weapons. A fighter can:
  • wield a spear one-handed
  • throw a spear 30 ft at normal AP, 60 ft at -4 outdoors or with a high ceiling
  • charge with a spear or lance for +2 AP and x2 damage
  • set a spear or lance against a charge for first strike and x2 damage
  •  move and shoot with a bow, but lose Overkill that round
  • shoot a bow with Overkill, spending an extra shot for each additional target, but give up movement for that round
  • add his Dex bonus to AP and damage when fighting with two weapons
Expert Traits

Hero: +1 to Command and Leadership [that's Number of Retainers and Retainer Morale]

Champion: a further +1 to Command and Leadership

Daunting: Starting at 8th level, when the veteran moves to engage enemies of 4HD or less, he may force them to make a morale check.

Warlord:  By ancient custom, only the most powerful warriors could be recognized as boyars, the warlords who governed and protected the clans. Imperial rule replaced the boyars with barons who grant their position to legal heirs, but with the decay of Imperial authority, the ancient customs are being revived. A veteran who declares himself a Warlord will attract a small army of followers above and beyond the command allotted by his Charisma. If he doesn't want trouble with the local barons or Duke Bellorum, he may seek to pledge fealty or claim a domain in the wilderness beyond Imperial control. If he doesn't mind defying the authorities, he may claim existing settlements as his own, or he and his men can live as brigands and outlaws within Imperial lands.

The Fighter
Level XP HD AP
1 0 1+1 1
Guard, Overkill, Martial Skill
2 2,000 2 2

3 4,000 3 3

4 8,000 4 3
1d8 damage, Hero
5 16,000 5 4

6 32,000 6 5
7 64,000 7 5

8 120,000 8 6
1d10 damage, Daunting
9 240,000 9 7
10 360,000 10 7

... +120,000 +2 hp ...

Saves: +2 Physical