Soldier of Fortune

Now that things are settling down a bit I’m digging back through some of my experiments to share with you folks.  This one’s meant to help martial types keeps pace through the personalized gifts.

Soldier of Fortune

Though most gain their start in military service, soldiers of fortune quickly distinguish themselves from the rank and file. Prizing adaptability, these warrior understand that much of the world is beyond their control and subject to the whims of fate. However, they also know that an quick mind and strong arm can tip the balance at just the right moment and that sometimes all it takes is the smallest of openings to topple even the mightiest opposition.

Role: Soldiers are combatants first and foremost, though they usually do have grounding in other areas. They’ve got the durability to face off against some of the most deadly things out there and survive and enough flexibly to counter many of their tricks. They are well acquainted with fighting in groups and can readily act to support or protect their allies or take advantage of openings provided by said allies.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 x 10 gp (average 175gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills

The soldier of fortune’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Soldier of Fortune

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

1st

+1

+2

+0

+2

Adaptive Assault, Expanded Proficiency

2nd

+2

+3

+0

+3

Attack Style, Squad Training

3rd

+3

+3

+1

+3

Guarded Action, Student of Battle

4th

+4

+4

+1

+4

Fortune’s Favor

5th

+5

+4

+1

+4

Martial Surge

6th

+6/+1

+5

+2

+5

Attack Style, Surge of Mobility

7th

+7/+2

+5

+2

+5

Expanded Proficiency, Guarded Action

8th

+8/+3

+6

+2

+6

Fortune’s Favor

9th

+9/+4

+6

+3

+6

Surge of Defiance

10th

+10/+5

+7

+3

+7

Attack Style

11th

+11/+6/+1

+7

+3

+7

Guarded Action

12th

+12/+7/+2

+8

+4

+8

Fortune’s Favor

13th

+13/+8/+3

+8

+4

+8

Expanded Proficiency

14th

+14/+9/+4

+9

+4

+9

Attack Style

15th

+15/+10/+5

+9

+5

+9

Guarded Action

16th

+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+5

+10

Fortune’s Favor

17th

+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+5

+10

Surge of Grace

18th

+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+6

+11

Attack Style

19th

+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+6

+11

Expanded Proficiency, Guarded Action

20th

+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+6

+12

Fortune’s Favor, Sage of Battle

Class Features

The following are class features of the soldier of fortune.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Soldiers of fortune are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Adaptive Assault

At 1st level, soldiers of fortune learn to take advantage of momentary openings in battle. Select 3 combat feats you don’t already have to add to your adaptive assault pool. You need not meet the feat, skill rank, or ability score requirements to add a feat to this pool. You can select feats with a required base attack bonus up to 5 points higher than your own. You must meet all other requirements unless stated otherwise to add a feat to this pool. Should you permanently gain a feat in this pool, you can immediately replace it with another feat. At each level beyond 1st, you may add another feat to your adaptive assault pool.

When you make an attack roll or combat maneuver check, on a natural 5 or higher you gain one feat of your choice from this pool for 1 round. For each feat prerequisite you’re missing, the triggering roll must be 2 points higher to select that feat. For every skill rank, ability score point, or point of base attack bonus the feat requires that you don’t have, the triggering roll must be 1 point higher. You can not select unless a feat you’ve already gained unless it can normally be taken multiple times.

Expanded Proficiency

At 1st level and every 6 levels after that, soldiers of fortune gain a feat that counters the penalties, drawbacks, or risks for combat uses of a particular type of item, such as Armor Trick, Catch Off-Guard, Equipment Trick, Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Improved Shield Bash, Rapid Reload, Throw Anything, Tower Shield Proficiency, or Weapon Trick. Alternately, you can apply this training to your mount or natural weapons, allowing for feats like Improved Unarmed Strike and Mounted Combat.

Attack Style

At 2nd level and every 4 levels after that, soldiers of fortune gain a feat that lets you trade bonuses for penalties while attacks, such as Bloody Assault, Combat Expertise, Dazing Assault, Deadly Aim, Lunge, Power Attack, Stunning Assault. You can also select feats that let you trade attacks for combat maneuvers, such as Quick Bull Rush, Quick Dirty Trick, Quick Drag, and Quick Reposition. You can ignore any ability score requirements for feats gained this way.

Squad Training

At 2nd level, soldiers of fortune gain a teamwork feat of your choice. Once per round as a free action, you can treat an ally of your choice as though they had one of your teamwork feats.

Guarded Action

At 3nd level and every 4 levels after that, the soldier of fortune gains a feat that prevents opportunity attacks for taking a certain action, such as the various improved combat maneuver feats.

Student of Battle

At 3rd level, the soldier of fortune has mastered the fundamental of their adaptive fighting style. By spending at least an hour training with someone who already has a given combat feat, the soldier may add feat to their adaptive assault pool. They must be able to select the feat for that feature normally to gain it this way. Should they be missing any of the feats prerequisites, increase the training time by 1 hour per requirement missed. This instruction and any needed training materials will normally add up to a gold piece cost of 5 times the instructor’s level squared.

This feature also lets the soldier count their levels in this class as fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Fortune’s Favor

Experienced soldiers of fortune are favored by lady luck. At 4th level and every 4 class levels after that, select one of the following options. You may select the same favor multiple times.

  • Animal Companion: You’ve developed an unusually strong bond with another creature. Choose an animal you own. That creature becomes your animal companion as if you had a druid level equal to your ranks in Handle Animal. If the creature is your mount, you may use your ranks in Ride instead. This conversion requires an hour of training per animal companion level the creature gains. Alternately, the DM may let an animal companion of the desired type be found in an appropriate location. Should you lose the animal companion granted by this favor, you can choose to replace this favor with another one. If you do so, the animal companion loses all levels in that class. Taking this favor multiple times increases the number of animal companions you have, but does not affect your druid level for this feature.
  • Bound Ally: You have learned the ritual need to summon an otherworldly ally. You gain an lesser version of the summoner’s Eidolon with no evolution pool. Should you select this favor a second time for the same eidolon, it gains an evolution pool with points equal to your class level.
  • Signature Item: Select an item you own. You gain a credit pool as per the Windfall favor that can only be used to improve that item. If the item is single use, you must spend credit improving it allow for multiple uses. If the item have charges, you can spend credit converting it to uses per day. Should the item be damaged, you need only spend time to repair it. If the item is lost or becomes permanently unusable, you may replace this favor with another one. Items that run out of ammunition or charges don’t count as those can be restocked with gold or credit. If you sell the item, you must spend that same amount on things with no real benefit to you before you can replace the favor. Donating or spending that money on entertainment, food, and drink are common ways of freeing up the favor. Should you pick this favor multiple times for the same item, you may turn the item into a unique magic item. Work with your DM to determine the cost of unique features. You can use specific magic items, intelligent items, and even artifacts as guidelines for copying features. Among other things, this lets you add spell effects to the selected item.
  • Windfall: You have a knack for finding or trading for what you need. Each time you choose this favor you gain credit equal to (character level + class level) squared * 100. When making a purchase, you can spend this credit in place of gold on 1 for 1 basis. You can also purchase things with credit even if they would be difficult to obtain or rare in your current location. Furthermore, you can spend credits to “discover” hidden properties on item you own or find. If you have the appropriate craft skill for that item, credit can also be spent to add features to existing items. Treat your character level as your caster level for the purpose of such improvements and discoveries.

Martial Surge

At 5th level, a soldier of fortune learns to draw more readily on their inner reserves. Once per round as a free action, you can expend a martial surge to gain an additional immediate action or attack of opportunity for that round. You can do this a number of times per day equal to your constitution modifier plus twice your class level.

Surge of Mobility

At 6th level, soldiers of fortune can expend a martial surge to make a full attack as standard action instead of a full round action.

Surge of Defiance

At 9th level, soldiers of fortune can expend a martial surge to reroll a failed saving throw against an effect that removes or reduces their ability to act freely. This includes effects that kill, incapacitate, transform, control, and immobilize the character, among others. Effects that simply damage the soldier don’t count. One such reroll is allowed per effect for every 5 points of base attack bonus the soldier has.

Surge of Grace

At 17th level, soldiers of fortune have mastered moving and attacking as a fluid whole. When using a surge of mobility, they may perform their attacks at any point in the movement and need not make all attacks at the point in the movement.

Sage of Battle

At 20th level, soldiers of fortune have established a strong understanding of practically every fighting style. By spending time recalling tales of past battles, doing training exercises, and reviewing their tactics, they can swap feats in their adaptive assault pool for other applicable feats. The soldier can swap up to their intelligence modifier in feats per day this way (minimum 1). This takes 1 hour for a full swap and proportionally less for a partial swap.

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Published in: on August 2, 2017 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Wielding Wonders in Dungeon World

I’ve recently been tinkering with a class inspired by a combination of magic item wielding  heroes of folks tales and The Dying Earth, tinkers with packs full of useful items, and the occasional oddball walking armory character.

Seeing as it’s a light and flexible system, I’ve tried my hand at adapting the idea to Dungeon World first.  So far it’s been working pretty well as my oldest likes coming up with new devices the character can pull out of her pack.  Here’s what the start of the class looks like.  Advanced moves are still in progress, but I suspect a pet based move will catch her interest.

Wonder Wielder

There are so many fascinating things in the world.  So much knowledge scattered to the winds to be gathered, so many secrets known by so few.  A fair portion of that is lost or may soon be.  But perhaps by studying what others left behind you might recover some of those secrets.  Even after all these years many of those forgotten relics hold up remarkably well.

Let others horde their coins.  You’ll simply claim a trinket here, an apparently broken device there, and before they know it you’ll be in command of powers rarely seen, much less understood.

Names

Halfling: Lansley, Brigby, Kallia, Nani

Human: Roderig, Colwin, Ignatius, Elsa, Winfrey, Catalina

Look

Inquisitive Eyes, Distracted Eyes, or Astute Eyes

Unkempt Hair, Styled Hair, or Bound Hair

Pocketed Clothes, Colorful Clothes, or Common Clothes

Lean Body, Stout Body, or Flabby Body

Stats

Your maximum HP is 6+Constitution.

Your base damage is d8.

Starting Moves

Choose a race and gain the corresponding move:

Halfling

When you offer one of your own belongings in trade take a +1 to parley or supply.

Human

When you assemble a makeshift item from odds and ends, you may ignore 1 tag or take a +1 forward to the first use of that item.

You start with these moves:

Collector of Oddities

You’ve taken in keen interest in certain items.  Choose a look:

  • Ancient
  • Alchemical
  • Mechanical
  • Inscribed
  • Otherworldly
  • Ceremonial
  • Unassuming

You start with adventuring gear with that look. All such gear functions normally though it may have an unusual form or means of operation.

When a piece of gear granted by this move is lost or becomes unusable, hold 1. When you search an area or container with unknown contents you can restock your adventuring gear, regaining 1 use per hold spent.

Fortunate Packing

When you rummage through your adventuring gear for a useful item, state what you want the item to help you achieve and roll+Int:

  • On 10+, expend a use of adventuring gear.  The GM will tell you what item you find.  The item will always bring you one step closer to your goal, but the GM may declare the item has limited uses, limited duration, or is difficult to move after use.
  • On a 7-9, you gain the item, but choose two:
    • It’s not immediately obvious how this item can help.
    • The item is unreliable and may malfunction  if precautions are not taken.
    • You need more than one person to operate it.
    • The item is slow, dangerous, or must be applied.
  • On a miss, no gear is expended, but you can not use this move for that goal again until you restock your adventuring gear.

Extraordinary Arsenal

Your collection has grown to include some items that prove useful in combat. You start with 2 armaments that match the look of your Collection of Oddities, each with 3 uses and a 1 weight. For each item, roll 1d8 twice to determine the enhancements it provides.  If you roll the same number twice, you may choose an enhancement instead.

  1. Versatile: Add a range tag of your choice to the target weapon.
  2. Animated: The weapon can move and even fly under it’s own power.  You can use your action to make it attack while doing so.  Treat it’s stat modifier as +1 for such attacks.  While holding or attached to the weapon, you can invoke this enhancement for a +1 attempts that involve running fast and jumping far.
  3. Puissant: Raise your stat modifier for this attack to +2 or deal +1 damage.
  4. Explosive: Attacks with this armament affect everyone in reach of the initial target.  If the weapon does not have near or far tags, you are not affected by the attack.
  5. Lingering: The attack leaves behind dangerous residue that deals 1d4 damage.  On a hit, the damage is dealt at the end of the target’s next turn if not removed.  On a miss, the residue clings to nearest surface and damages the next creature to touch or step on it.
  6. Concussive: Add stun and forceful.
  7. Vicious: Add messy and +1 damage.
  8. Spectral: Add ignores armor.

Once the enhancements are determined, choose how the armament operates. Regardless of the method chosen, only one set of enhancements can be applied to a given attack.

  • The armament is a weapon (choose the hand, close, or near tag) or ammo and enhances attacks made with it.
  • The armament is a pack of thrown weapons, where each use destroys the thrown item to release the enhanced attack.
  • The armament is a worn item that creates a weapon with the enhancements.
  • The armament is an applied item that enhances the weapon it’s attached to, be it manufactured or part of the user’s body.

If at any time one of your armaments is lost or out of uses, you can spend a few minutes rummaging through your belongings to expend a use of your Collection of Oddities and gain a new armament.

Reliable Armament

You’ve acquired an item you can fall back on when your armory runs dry.  Add an item to your Exceptional Armory. You can choose one of this item’s enhancements instead of rolling for it.  So long as perform routine maintenance on the item, it does not have limited uses.

Alignment

Choose an alignment:

Good

Use a questionable device to improve the lives of others.

Neutral

Uncover information on the origins of an unusual item or a forgotten people.

Evil

Give yourself over to the use of cruel or questionable device.

Gear

Your load is 12+Str.  You carry your collection of oddities, 3 items in your exceptional arsenal, and dungeon rations (5 uses, 1 weight).  Choose your clothing:

  • Leather armor (1 armor, 1 weight)
  • stylish clothes that match the look of your collection

Choose one:

  • Bag of books (5 uses, 2 weight)
  • Poultices and Herbs (2 uses, 1 weight)
  • Halfling pipeleaf (0 weight) and Bandages (3 uses, weight 1)

Bonds

Fill in the name of one of your companions in at least one:

__________ has shown an interest in some of the things I carry.

__________ recognizes something I’ve found but refuses to speak about it.

I’m sure I can convince __________ of the safety and efficacy of my inventory.

__________ has something I’d love to study.

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4 Point Adventurers

While hidden menace is in testing, I’ve been musing over how you could trim down classic adventuring classes for an evening of light dungeon bashing fun. Here’s what I’m currently tossing around.

Each character starts off with basic training in a fighting style as well as a secondary area of expertise.

For the fighting styles, I’ve been considering “3 slot + 1 trick” approach. The slots I’m thinking of are a “main hand” or primary proficiency, an “off hand” or supporting proficiency, and an “armor” or passive proficiency. From there, just adding a special “thing this character is good at” and you’ve got some decent ground work for an fighting style.

I still need to mull over the areas of expertise. Right now I’m thinking of using areas such as exploration, investigation, persuasion, and logistics. I may adapt the 4 point approach of fighting styles to these. I can see “What tools do I use?” and “How do I stay safe?” being solid questions to ask for any of these.

I may post up some mock classes over the next few weeks to see how this works out. If that goes well I may revisit making an light rpg with an “Old School Hack” flavor.

Published in: on December 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Delver’s Legacy: Aspects & Abilities

Here is an interesting little addition I thought up for the Delver’s Legacy project. Oddly enough I’ve noticed many interesting ideas pop up not when I’m actively trying to solve a problem, but when I’m just resting and letting my thoughts drift.

“Pick 3” Character Creation

To create a new character pick a race, class, and background for the character. Each of these aspects comes with a starter package. Copy anything listed in the starter package into the appropriate areas on your character sheet.

Extra Option – Random Aspects: When picking an aspect, you can chose to use dice or cards to pick the aspect at random. Each time you do this, the character’s luck increases by 1. Luck can be spent during play to cheat death and redo checks.

Most aspects will have an “ability ratings” entry in their starter package. Copy those ratings in the appropriate column for that aspect. Once you’ve filled all 3 columns, add up the total for each row and write it in the ability score column. Next, divide those scores by 3 (rounded down) and place that value in the ability bonus column.

Design Notes

All aspects should have an ability rating line. Background and classes will usually have equipment entries. Races will generally have very few features in the starter package. However, they will let the character gain additional features through later purchases. This should reduce how many features a new player has to memorize while also making it easier to balance out races.

Humans will probably have the ability to copy the ability rating of their class or background. There will likely also be backgrounds that mimic the scores of a race or class, as well as a background with randomized scores.

Behind the Scenes

As you may notice, I’ve been a big fan of fast character creation lately. While rolled ability scores are traditional, I feel the pick 3 approach is significantly faster. It also helps ensure characters start with abilities that match their class and lets us apply racial ability scores without breaking the standard score range.

The last point is pretty significant. If we want ability scores to add to checks, it’s a good idea to constrain the range. Otherwise, we’re back to the situation where one character automatically passes anything that challenges a character who didn’t pump that score.

Published in: on December 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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