Thursday, December 20, 2012

[Now Available] Magnificent Miscellaneum Vol. 1

Magnificent Miscellaneum Vol. 1
By James Mishler and Jodi Moran-Mishler

Every issue of this ongoing series of supplements contains a magical mix of wondrous wizardry, potent priestcraft, monstrous menaces, mystical magic items, and more. With a touch of humor and classic gaming goodness, the Magnificent Miscellaneum is a collection of various materials for your Castles & Crusades, Amazing Adventures, Harvesters, Tainted Lands, Star Siege, and Fields of Battle games, for both players and game masters. We may have sold 12,000 copies of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook and released five separate printings, but it doesn’t mean we all can’t use more! The Crusade goes on!
This first issue includes three new spells for Castles & Crusades, a crazy and weird monster in classic B-Movie style from the Cold Depths of Space, five new monsters in the quick and easy format used in the Castles & Crusades White Box Set, and a mysterious NPC for Amazing Adventures.

At $1.25 it’s a great bang for your buck! Buy your copy of Magnificent Miscellaneum early; buy them often. And let us know in our forums at what you want to see more of in the Magnificent Miscellaneum.

About James Mishler
You may know him from work on the Wilderlands of High Adventure at Adventure Games Publishing. You might recall his work as an Editor at Scrye Magazine and Gaming Perhaps you ran into him when he managed Chimera Hobbies in Appleton, Wisconsin. Or maybe you were one of the lucky few to have died in his Castles & Crusades demos at Gen Con. But he's back, he's rolling dice, and he's writing magnificent bits of miscellaneous goodness from his keyboard straight into your heart. And this time he's fortified by the love and creativity of his amazing wife, Jodi Moran-Mishler!

Friday, November 16, 2012

[New Class] Vancian Adventurer

The adventurer class is an alternative to most other human classes (it is suggested that only the fighter and thief be used otherwise, and if using other races, use only racial classes for those races). It enables players to play a character that can do a little bit of everything. This class is inspired by the adventuring, sneaky, sword-wielding dilettante rogue spell casters of Smith’s Hyperborea and Vance’s Dying Earth. Examples include Turjan of Miir, Cugel the Clever, and Rhialto the Marvellous.

Prime Requisite: None.
Minimum Ability Scores: None.
Racial Level Limits: Human Unlimited.

Hit Dice: Adventurers use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine hit points. Adventurers gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable

Armor: Any, however, armor use can cause issues when using magic spells or thieving abilities.

Fight As: Thief
Proficient Weapons: Choose any four
Non-Proficiency Penalty: -2

Adventuring Abilities: An adventurer begins play at 1st level with the following abilities:
  • 1st rank of weapon mastery in one weapon of proficiency;
  • 1st rank of skill in all eight thieves abilities;
  • The ability to cast spells, along with four spell books, each containing one spell.
Saving Throws: An adventurer begins at 1st level with a base saving throw of 16 in all five categories. At 1st level he divides 10 points among the five to lower the scores; he may spend no more than 5 points on any one saving throw in this fashion. Every level thereafter the adventurer lowers two saving throw scores by 1 point each. Once a saving throw reaches 7, it can only be improved 1 point by applying both points for that level to that saving throw. No saving throw may be improved to better than 3. Example: Artano the Erudite begins play at 1st level by hedging his bets and divides the 10 points equally by placing 2 points in each saving throw, for saving throw scores of 14 across the board. At 2nd level he decides to put 1 point in Breath Attacks and 1 point in Wands, lowering those scores to 13. At 3rd level he lowers his saves in Poison or Death and Petrify or Paralyze. Then at 4th he lowers Spells or Spell-like Devices and Wands again.

Spell Casting: An adventurer can cast spells. Spells are cast at a level equal to the adventurer’s level.

If an adventurer has a low Intelligence score, he has a base chance of spell failure with each spell based on the “Spell Failure” chance listed under Wisdom modifiers.

If the adventurer casts a spell while wearing armor, there is a chance of spell failure. The chance is equal to any base spell failure chance plus 10% per point of defense the armor provides (not including magical bonuses) plus 5% per level of the spell, less 5% per adventurer level, less 5% per point of Intelligence bonus. If the failed roll is in the lower 10% of the chance to fail (rounded up), Something Bad happens.

Example: Ffaunce the Fair (6th level Adventurer, Intelligence 17, wearing chain mail [AC 5, 4 points of armor]) tries to cast Melf's Third Invocation of the Incandescent Orb (fireball) at a pack of voormis. His chance of failure is 40% (armor) +15% (3rd level spell) -30% (adventurer level) -10% (Intelligence) = 15% chance of failure, with a 2% chance of Something Bad happening.

Spells named as rituals require both hands be free, and additionally the caster suffers double the normal spell failure chance if he is wearing armor. Spells named as spells and formulae require that both hands be free to cast the spell. Spells named as cantrips and charms require at least one hand free; the other may hold a weapon, shield, or other item. Spells named as eyebites and invocations do not require any somatic components, do not require a free hand, and, if the caster makes a saving throw versus Spells, can successfully be cast out of initiative order (though counts as that round’s act). Note that Arturzax’s Invocation of the Roundabout Plummet is of such efficacy that it can always be cast instantly without need to make a saving throw.

The adventurer begins play at 1st level with four spell books, each containing one spell: Murgen’s Primary Arcane Filter Spell (read magic) in one and random spells in the other three. To determine the spells known, roll a d6 and a d20 on the 1st level spell table. On the d6, on a 1 or 2 add nothing to the d20, on a 3 or 4 add 20, and on a 5 or 6 add 40. If you re-roll a spell it means you were stiffed by your master and were taught one less spell.

Note that spell books are quite large and very bulky. Each book contains only one spell, and thus spell books are virtually impossible to carry with on an adventure unless the adventurer carts them in a wagon or carries them in a bag of holding or similar magical item.

The adventurer can only learn spells that are of a spell level equal to half his level rounded up. An adventurer must have a minimum Intelligence of 18 to learn 9th level spells, a minimum Intelligence of 17 to learn 8th level spells, and a minimum Intelligence of 16 to learn 7th level spells.

While Murgen’s Primary is not needed to determine an unknown spell contained within a spell book, its use is required in order to read and attempt to learn the new spell (the spell is required to interpret the arcane ciphers, runes, sigils, and diagrams included in the spell). The adventurer must spend the usual time and gold to learn the spell, roll a Learn Spell check based on his Intelligence score, and if he learns it, he can thereafter memorize it. He can only learn spells by acquiring other spell books or by researching and recreating a spell (i.e., the bonus spell gained by choice at each level).

Scrolls and scroll-like devices cannot be used to learn spells.

If an adventurer fails to learn a spell, he may attempt to learn that spell from another spell book after he has gained a level. Note that the Intelligence-based minimum and maximum spells known is not applicable to adventurers.

The adventurer must memorize spells in order to cast them, just as in the normal rules. The adventurer can memorize a total number of spell levels at any one time equal to his level plus his Intelligence bonus. He cannot memorize the same spell twice. He must have the spell book of the spell to be memorized present in order to memorize the spell. Spell memorization is automatic and requires merely one minute per spell level if the adventurer had at least eight hours of sleep since the last time he memorized spells (singly or as a group of spells memorized immediately after sleep). Otherwise, memorization requires 10 minutes per spell level and the chance to successfully memorize a spell is equal to the adventurer’s chance to learn a spell less 5% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.

As each spell of a type is always the exact same regardless of who owns the spell book containing the spell, an adventurer can memorize a spell he knows from spell books other than his own. Thus, if Artano the Erudite already knows Melf’s Magic Missile Charm he can memorize it normally from another adventurer’s spell book without additional chance of failure.

An adventurer can attempt to cast a known but not memorized spell directly from a spell book. This requires one full round per level of the spell. The chance to successfully cast the spell is equal to the adventurer’s chance to learn a spell, plus 5% per level, less 10% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.

An adventurer can also attempt to cast any spell from a spell book, even one he does not know, providing he is able to apply Murgen’s Primary to read it. The chance to successfully cast the spell is merely 5% per level, less 5% per spell level; if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens. And yes, negative percentages increase the critical failure chance accordingly! Note that the Judge should not inform the adventurer the level of the spell before he attempts to cast it!

Adventurers can make one-shot magic items that function as scrolls, though anyone is able to use these items. One-shot items cost 100 gp and one week time per level of the spell, and can usually be sold for two to five times the cost (if a buyer can be found). When the item is used, the wielder checks against a chance equal to the maker’s chance to learn a spell; if the roll fails, the item fails, and if the failed roll is in the upper 10% of the chance to fail, Something Bad happens.

Thieves Abilities: Adventurers possess all the basic thieving abilities at 1st level, and may advance in them as part of their adventure path. No thieving ability may ever be at a higher rank in ability than the level of the adventurer. The backstab ability advances as follows: max plus roll at 1st rank, double maximum plus roll at 5th rank, triple maximum plus roll at 9th rank, and quadruple maximum plus roll at 13th rank.

An adventurer may wear armor while attempting thieving abilities, but suffers the usual penalties for doing so.

Weapon Mastery: At each rank of weapon mastery gained after the 1st rank the adventurer gets 1 hit point permanently. When fighting with the mastered weapon, the adventurer fights as though he were a fighter of the level of his weapon mastery rank or as a thief of his level, whichever is better. At 1st rank of weapon mastery the adventurer gets a +1 bonus to hit and a +1 bonus to damage with that weapon. At 3rd rank of weapon mastery the bonus improves to +1/+2, at 5th to +2/+2, at 7th to +2/+3, at 9th to +3/+3, at 11th to +3/+4, at 13th to +4/+4, at 15th to +4/+5, and at 17th to +5/+5. At 6th rank they may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with their specialized weapon; at 10th rank they may make 2 attacks every round; at 14th rank they may make 5 attacks every 2 rounds; and at 18th rank they may make 3 attacks every round. Second and third attacks come at the end of the round, after both sides have moved and attacked.

Adventure Path: An adventurer chooses his own path for advancement in his fighting, thieving, and magic skills, though at times his previous adventures may choose his path for him. Every level gained the adventurer may choose one of the following:
  • Advance weapon mastery in one existing weapon mastery by  one rank and advance four thieves abilities each one rank; or
  • Advance weapon mastery in one existing weapon mastery by  one rank and learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher); or
  • Gain 1st rank weapon mastery in a proficient weapon (provided he can find and hire a teacher) and advance four thieves abilities each one rank; or
  • Gain 1st rank weapon mastery in a proficient weapon (provided he can find a teacher) and learn one new spell his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher); or
  • Advance in all eight thieves abilities each one rank and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
  • Automatically learn two new spells of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher) and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
  • Learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (provided he can find and hire a teacher), advance any two thieves abilities each one rank, and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
  • Gain proficiency in two weapons and advance any three thieves abilities each one rank; or
  • Provided he can find and hire a teacher, gain the ranger’s tracking ability at a base of half that of normal; or
  • Advance his ranger tracking ability base percentages each by 5 points (up to the normal Ranger class level), and gain proficiency in one weapon; or
  • Provided he can join a temple hierarchy (usually requiring training, bribes, and certain spell casting knowledge, if not also adherence to dogma), he can gain the cleric’s turn and/or control creature ability at 1st rank. The ability applies to any one of the creatures or creature types that are considered abominable or congenial to the deific entity (note the broader the group, the more powerful the temple, and thus more difficult and expensive it is to join). Many temples have both an abominable foe (turn) and congenial ally (control); or
  • Advance his clerical turn or control ability one rank and learn one new spell of his choice of any level he can cast (from among those taught by his temple); or
  • Provided he is a member of an appropriate temple, has attained the 5th rank in his control ability, gain the ability to assume a normal animal shape appropriate to the congenial type of the temple once per day; or
  • Gain one additional use per day of his ability to assume normal animal shape; or
  • Provided he has gained three uses per day of his assume normal animal shape, he may gain the ability to assume a giant version of the appropriate animal shape once per day; or
  • Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the fighter’s Sword & Board technique; or
  • Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the assassin’s Disguise ability; or
  • Provided he can find and hire a teacher, learn the assassin’s Poison Use ability; or
  • Provided he has already gained the Disguise and Poison Use ability and can find and hire a teacher, gain the 1st rank in the assassin’s Assassination ability; or
  • Provided he has already gained the assassin’s Assassination ability, advance one rank in that ability.
1st Level Adventurer Spells
1. Ahlissa's Invocation of Beguiling Amity (1st level Magic-user spell, Charm Person)
2. Ahlissa's Invocation of Dissident Beauty (1st level Magic-user spell, Allure)
3. Al'Akbar's First Apotropaistic Invocation (1st level Magic-user spell, Protection from Evil)
4. Allanon's Cantrip of Covert Perambulation (1st level Druid spell, Pass without Trace)
5. Allanon's Charm of Bindings Verdural (1st level Druid spell, Entangle)
6. Allanon's Charm of Zoomorphic Elucidation (1st level Druid spell, Speak with Animals)
7. Allanon's Invocation of Adenoidal Vellication (1st level Druid spell, Divine Weather)
8. Andoq’s Invocation of Plastic Solitude (1st level Cleric spell, Sanctuary)
9. Arturzax’s Invocation of the Roundabout Plummet (1st level Magic-user spell, Feather Fall)
10. Atsum’s Ritual of Cool Manumission (1st level Cleric spell, Resist Cold)
11. Bakke’s Charm of Small Static (1st level Magic-user spell, Shocking Grasp)
12. Balul’s Invocation of the Discoid Curiosity (1st level Magic-user spell, Shield)
13. Barchier’s Cantrip of Irrepressible Luminosity (1st level Magic-user spell, Dancing Lights)
14. Bigby's Jarring Hand Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Jarring Hand)
15. Biriga's Bestial Binding Ritual (1st level Druid spell, Animal Companion)
16. Calling Forth and Binding of the Arcane Disjunction Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Summon Familiar)
17. Calling Forth of the Silvertine Mists Ritual (1st level Illusionist spell, Wall of Vapor)
18. Chisirion's Charm of Amaranthine Caliginosity (1st level Illusionist spell, Darkness Globe)
19. Chisirion's Invocation of the Scintillated Refulgence (1st level Magic-user spell, Light)
20. Cuthbert's Obdurate Enhancement Formula (1st level Druid spell, Shillelagh)
21. Dostaan's Formula of Aqueous Fabrication (1st level Cleric spell, Create Water)
22. Eddives’s Hungry Essence Eyebite (1st level Cleric spell, Putrefy Food and Drink)
23. Felojun's First Hypnotic Spell (1st level Illusionist spell, Hypnotism)
24. Ferdi’s Invocation of the Bleak Masquerade (1st level Illusionist spell, Refraction)
25. Genneriel’s Invocation of Proportionate Opposition (1st level Magic-user spell, Hold Portal)
26. Harrizang’s Invocation of Parabolic Escape (1st level Magic-user spell, Jump)
27. Immanent Manipulandum of Imix Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Manipulate Fire)
28. Keoghtum's First Ritual of Revivifying Melioration (1st level Cleric spell, Cure Light Wounds)
29. Llothol's Invocation of Arachnidic Escalation (1st level Magic-user spell, Spider Climb)
30. Lo-Pan's Charm of the Seventh Scarlet Hell (1st level Magic-user spell, Burning Hands)
31. Melf's Magic Missile Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Magic Missile)
32. Mikelchan’s Unobtrusive Attendant Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Unseen Servant)
33. Murgen's Arcane Impressarium Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Identify)
34. Murgen's Occultic Penetration Eyebite (1st level Magic-user spell, Detect Magic)
xx. Murgen's Primary Arcane Filter Spell (1st level Magic-user spell, Read Magic)
35. Naroth's Cantrip of the Chromatic Wave (1st level Illusionist spell, Color Spray)
36. Nodrog's Charm of Victual Lustration (1st level Cleric spell, Purify Food and Drink)
37. Nolzur's Efficient Erasure Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Erase)
38. Nolzur's Invocation of Phantasmal Discernment (1st level Illusionist spell, Detect Illusion)
39. Nolzur's Puissant Ritual of Enscription (1st level Magic-user spell, Scribe)
40. Nystul's Spell of Arcane Aura Enticement (1st level Magic-user spell, Magic Aura)
41. Oberon's Fey Aura Eyebite (1st level Druid spell, Faerie Fire)
42. Oberon's Fey Invocation of Spriggan Aggrandizement (1st level Magic-user spell, Enlarge)
43. Oquilda's Aqueous Annihilation Eyebite (1st level Cleric spell, Destroy Water)
44. Palgora's Facile Reconstruction Ritual (1st level Magic-user spell, Mending)
45. Phargon's Phantasmal Force Charm (1st level Illusionist spell, Phantasmal Force)
46. Phora’s Charm of Somnolent Usurpation (1st level Magic-user spell, Sleep)
47. Quaal's Charm of Pupillary Refraction (1st level Druid spell, Invisibility to Animals)
48. Quaal's Charm of Propitious Revelation (1st level Druid spell, Detect Snares and Pits)
49. Rao's Invocation of Recreant Amelioration (1st level Cleric spell, Remove Fear)
50. Rao's Invocation of Malominious Ascertainment (1st level Cleric spell, Detect Evil)
51. Riggby's Invocation for the Denouncement of the Veil (1st level Illusionist spell, Detect Invisibility)
52. Sargath's Charm of Otic Punctuation (1st level Illusionist spell, Auditory Illusion)
53. Shimrod's Excellent Linguistic Concordance Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Read Languages)
54. Shimrod's Magical Missive Charm (1st level Magic-user spell, Message)
55. Shimrod's Occulted Utterance Invocation (1st level Magic-user spell, Ventriloquism)
56. Siandor's Invocation of Authority Nonpareil (1st level Cleric spell, Command)
57. Tasha's Desultory Disguise Eyebite (1st level Illusionist spell, Doppelganger)
58. Tasha's Ineluctable Charm of Auric Discernment (1st level Druid spell, Locate Creature)
59. Tenser's Floating Disc Formula (1st level Magic-user spell, Floating Disc)
60. Zulquor's Invocation of Etheric Cerebral Cocatenation (1st level Magic-user spell, Comprehend Languages)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

[Fairy Tales] Dispositions versus Alignments

I'm a fan of John Stater's Mother Goose & Goblins material. I've been working on further development of the "Fairy Tale" RPG setting idea, and have developed yet another alternative alignment system, as I feel the Trump Alignment system for MG&G was a bit too restrictively Wonderlandish for my tastes... mine owes a bit more to Oz, I think. I've considered using this in my Labyrinth Lord games where the standard alignment system just doesn't seem to fit.

Anyway, here's where things stand so far...

The disposition system in Mother Goose & Goblins follows the traditions established in fairy tales, rather than the swords & sorcery style Law/Chaos and Good/Evil alignment system. The basic disposition axis is a Good versus Evil system, primarily based on how people treat each other rather than how one is aligned with the cosmos or with some sort of ethics and mortals. The “Mostly Good” alignments are Nice, Sweet, Just, and Saintly, while the “Mostly Evil” alignments are Naughty, Mean, Cruel, and Wicked. Descriptions below start at the nicest of the nice and descend to the naughtiest of the naughty…

Saintly: One who is Saintly goes out of their way to be nice to everyone… even the most Wicked of people! Saintly type are never, ever naughty, mean, or cruel, and would faint at the thought of ever doing anything wicked! Saintly types can be humble or not; most are, though there are those who are indeed quite Saintly who are distinctly less than humble about it! Very, very few are of the disposition to be Saintly, which is why Saints are few and far between! Example: Ned Flanders

Just: One who is Just is nice to all who are deserving of it, but seek not to be naughty, mean, or cruel, even to those who are such, and never, ever are wicked. Others who are Nice and Sweet and Just, and especially Saintly, are deserving of being treated just so, and moreso, whenever possible. Those who are Naughty, Mean, and Cruel, well, if they might be convinced to be nice later, then one who is Just will try to be nice to them. But if they continue to be naughty, mean, and cruel, then, they will get their just deserts, and nothing more. Okay, maybe a naughty trick on the most wicked of the Wicked to let them get a taste of their own medicine, but nothing mean or cruel! Example: Lisa Simpson

Sweet: One who is Sweet is usually nice, but can sometimes be naughty. Those who are Sweet always seek to have the best and bravest disposition, even in the face of wicked and cruel adversity. But sometimes, those who are Wicked and Cruel, well, there’s nothing wrong with being naughty or even mean back at them! One who is Sweet would never, ever be mean or cruel or wicked to someone who was not themselves such! But now and again, a naughty trick can be played on one who is less than Sweet themselves, so long as one is nice to them afterwards. Example: Marge Simpson

Nice: One who is Nice generally seeks to be nice to others, but is not afraid to be naughty when need be… as long as one makes amends later, if the target of the naughtiness was not truly deserving. Nice people can sometimes be mean, to be sure, and on great occasion even cruel, but never do so without just cause and absolute need! On balance, one who is Nice is more often nice than naughty, but sometimes only just. Example: Waylon Smithers

Naughty: One who is Naughty is usually naughty, but is not afraid to be nice, too, when it will get him something… especially when it will get him something. Many naughty types are simply too selfish and egotistic to be nice, rather than actively mean or cruel… though Saintly types just stick in their craw! Naughty folks on balance prefer to be naughty rather than nice, but sometimes only just. Example: Bart Simpson

Mean: One who is mean is usually naughty, but sometimes can be truly nice. Being nice is not alien to their way of thinking, they just don’t believe it is worthwhile to be nice, as being mean and naughty, and sometimes cruel, is simply the best way to get through life. But if being nice will get you what you want, easier, then being nice works, too. Those who are mean often target the Saintly and Just, believing them to be just plain too nice for their own good! Example: Homer Simpson

Cruel: One who is Cruel enjoys being naughty and mean and sometimes, even wicked, though truly wicked activities make even the Cruel blanch at the thought. Being Cruel does not mean one cannot be nice now and again; it’s just very rare, and against their type… except, of course, when they are setting up a cruel or mean trick. Then they can seemingly be nice, or even sweet, when need be. Many Cruel types, however, do not have the patience for building a web of lies, believing that one should not worry about some great and magnificently cruel act tomorrow when one can be just plain mean and naughty now! Example: Nelson Muntz

Wicked: One who is Wicked goes out of their way to cause pain, mayhem, suffering, and degradation to others, usually because they enjoy doing so, but often simply for no reason at all! Wicked folk can often seem to be Nice, Sweet, or even Just, but usually that is just a naughty trick, a front for their true wickedness. No action is too cruel, no statement too mean, no petty trick too naughty, to not be considered an enjoyable way to spend one’s time when one is Wicked. Wicked folk will go far out of their way to do naughty things, even if, often, it seems to make no sense or otherwise messes with their plans… simply because they love being wicked, cruel, mean, and naughty! Example: Charles Montgomery Burns

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

[Labyrinth Lord] New Alternate Ranger Class

Rangers are fighting-men who are adept at woodcraft, tracking, scouting, infiltration, and spying. There are three informal orders of rangers, each depending on the view of the members toward civilization and society as a whole.

True Rangers adhere to a set of ethics and morals on the side of Lawful and Good, believing that their skills and talents are to be used for the protection of the Civilization of Men in opposition to the savage barbarism of the Wilds. They range far and wide across the Wilds, protecting hamlets and lone travelers, rooting out goblins and other monstrous creatures, and pushing the worst that the Wilds has to offer back to foster the growth and well-being of Civilization. True Rangers are Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good, or rarely Chaotic Good. They revere gods of Law and Good and cooperate with clergy of such temples. Half-Elves and Humans may be true Rangers.

Woodsmen believe in the maintenance of a Balance between Civilization and Nature. They do not view the Chaos of the Wilds as a redoubt of the enemy; nor do they value the Law of Civilization as a necessary good. They seek a stable, steady, sustainable growth of Civilization, Nature, and the Wilds, believing that the Civilization of sentient beings is inseparable from Nature and that to seek the growth of one at the cost of another is unnatural. Woodsmen are Lawful Neutral, Neutral Good, True Neutral, Neutral Evil, or Chaotic Neutral. They revere Neutral gods of Nature, and as such are allies of druids and bards. Elves, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Humans, and Orcs may be Woodsmen.

Marauders are the polar opposites of True Rangers. They are the Chaos of the Wilds incarnate. They seek to tear down Civilization, raze it such that stone does not stand upon stone, and let the fields of village and hamlet run riot with bracken and weeds. They believe that Might makes Right, that Chaos is the natural state of existence, and that the Strong should be free to do as they please. Marauders are Chaotic Evil, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral Evil, or rarely Lawful Evil. They often revere gods of Chaos and Evil, and work with the clergy of such temples when they have common cause. Half-Orcs, Humans, and Orcs may be Marauders.

Prime Requisite: Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom. +5% Experience for Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom 13-15, +10% for Strength, Intelligence, and Wisdom 16-18.

Minimum Ability Scores: Strength 12, Dexterity 6, Constitution 15, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 12, and Charisma 6.

Racial Level Limits: Elves 6th, Half-Elves 8th, Half-Orcs 8th, Humans U, and Orcs 6th.

Hit Dice: Ranger use eight-sided dice (d8) to determine hit points. Rangers begin play at 1st level with two hit dice, and gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable.

Armor: Rangers may wear any armor, but certain wilderness skills of the ranger are unusable or suffer penalties if the ranger wears armor other than padded, leather, studded leather, scale mail, chain mail, helmet (though not great helm), and shield.

Fight As: Fighter

Proficient Weapons: Any (save for foreign and esoteric weapons).
Non-Proficiency Penalty: -2

Guardian of Law/Defender of Balance/Reiver of Chaos: This ability provides the ranger with a bonus to damage versus a specific range of beings, dependent upon the ranger’s alliance. The bonus is equal to +1 to damage per two levels of the ranger rounded up, thus +1 at 1st and 2nd level, +2 at 3rd and 4th level, +6 at 11th and 12th level, etc.. True Rangers are Guardians of Law, and gain a bonus against the monstrous humanoid and giant races of the Wilds. This includes kobolds, goblins, orcs (and half-orcs), hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, ogres, and giants. Marauders are Reivers of Chaos, and gain a bonus against dwarves, elves (and half-elves), gnomes, halflings, and humans. Defenders of Balance gain the bonus against any creatures in the above lists if they are upsetting the Balance in the Woodsman’s native territory. A Woodsman would not gain the bonus against a goblin that was merely passing through his forest, but he would gain the bonus against a goblin that was raiding the hamlets in his forest.

Favored Enemy: The ranger must choose a “favored enemy” at 2nd level. The ranger has studied this one specific race, extensively, and thus gains even further bonuses against beings of that type. This must be a specific race or species, such as goblin, owlbear, human, or hill giant; culture such as French, Brazilian, or Mongol; or society, such as League of Assassins, Rangers of the North, or Brotherhood of Chaos. The ranger has a bonus of +1 bonus to damage against his favored enemy for every even level and +1 bonus to hit at every 4th level. Thus, +1 damage at 2nd, +1 to hit and +2 damage at 4th, +1 to hit and +3 damage at 6th, +2 to hit and +4 damage at 8th, and so on. The ranger’s ability to identify and follow the tracks of his favored enemy increases by 5% per bonus point to damage; thus +10% at 4th, +30% at 12th, and so forth. The bonuses of this ability stack with those of Guardian of Law, Defender of Balance, or Reiver of Chaos, if applicable.

Wilderness Survival Skills: All rangers have the ability to move silently in the wilderness, hear noise in the wilderness, and hide in the wilderness. These function as the similar abilities for thieves of the same level, but only fully in outdoor wilderness locales with appropriate cover. Indoors, in a dungeon, the ranger halves any use of these abilities (rounded down). A ranger who is alone or only with a group consisting of barbarians, elves, halflings, and rangers is surprised only on a 1 in 6 chance, surprising foes on a 3 in 6 chance.

A ranger can always scrounge up food in the wilderness for himself. By using a tracking roll he can spend 1d6 hours in the wilds hunting and gathering food for others. On a successful roll he finds enough food to feed a number of companions equal to his level plus 1d6. On a roll of 00 he has a random encounter.

Tracking: Rangers are able to track creatures in the wilderness and in underground environments. The base chance to track is based on the exact environment and nature of the tracks. Add 5% per ranger level to the final tracking chance.

Obvious Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being 70% or greater; Occasional Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being 30% or greater; Faint Tracks refers to the final tracking chance being anything less than 30%. Good lighting refers to full daylight or magical light; poor lighting refers to dawn, dusk, overcast daylight, lantern, or torchlight. Tracking is not usually possible in total darkness. Speed refers to the slower speed ranks of a tracking ranger. Normal speed ranks are as follows: 150’ (50’), 120’ (40’), 90’ (30’), 60’ (20’), 30’ (10’), 15’ (5’), 3’ (1’), Cannot Track. Thus a ranger who normally moves 120’ (40’) following faint tracks through good lighting would move three ranks slower at merely 30’ (10’).

While the final tracking chance can fall to 0% or less, making tracking impossible, the chance of tracking can never be greater than 99%, even if the final total is 100% or greater. A tracking check must be made each time the tracks pass over new ground/cover/floor, or through or into any of the above modifiers. Thus, a ranger would first have to make a roll to find the tracks of an orc from an ambush site in heavy forest/soft dirt ground (base 90%); these he can follow to a rocky shelf with light cover (base 50%) where he’d have to make another check to pick up and follow the tracks to the entrance of the orc warren. Once at the entry to the orc warren, to follow that specific orc, he’d have to make a check against a stone floor covered with detritus over which three other orcs have crossed (base 50% - 15%); when the orc passes through a door he’d have to make another check to notice (50% - 15% - 10%) or lose the trail…

A ranger can try to hide his own tracks. The chance of successfully doing so is 50%, +/-5% per level difference between the the level of the ranger and level of the ranger or barbarian following him. If the roll is successful, subtract the number rolled from the chances of the ranger or barbarian to track the one who has successfully hidden his trail.

Identifying Tracks: The chance a ranger can successfully identify the kind of tracks is equal to the chance of following the tracks. Identifying common creatures is at the normal chance, as is identifying the direction of the tracks. Identifying uncommon creatures, identifying the numbers of creatures leaving tracks, and the rate of speed of the creatures leaving tracks each suffer a -10% penalty. Identifying rare creatures suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying very rare creatures suffers a -30% penalty. Identifying creatures not native to the local environment (the Lone Forest, the Red Hills, etc.) suffers a -10% penalty. Identifying creatures foreign to the local region suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying size and weight of a medium-sized humanoid suffers a -10% penalty. Identifying size and weight of a small-sized humanoid suffers a -20% penalty. Identifying whether a mount carries one or two, or more esoteric questions suffers a penalty of -10% to -30%, depending on the nature of the question.

Focus Skills and Abilities: A ranger must choose two of the following skills or abilities at 1st level. The chosen skills and/or abilities cannot be changed once the character has been made.

Arcane Adept: A ranger can learn to cast a limited number of magic-user spells. Spells are not memorized as such, and the ranger does not maintain a spell book; they are learned once and never change, and are more along the lines of spell-like abilities than true spells. The ranger still must make, maintain, and use a wand, rod, or staff as his arcane focus, though he does not have the ability to cast mage darts. If he wears armor he suffers the standard magic-user Spell Failure chance based on the armor type when using his spells. A ranger has a number of Spell Points equal to his Casting Level; he does not gain a bonus due to high Intelligence. He regains Spell Points in the same manner as a magic-user, and can use Power Stones and similar items. At 9th level the ranger can use magic items normally limited to magic-users, including scrolls.

Companions: The ranger can have animal, demi-human, human, humanoid, and/or monstrous companions. The companions cannot have more total hit dice than the level of the ranger; each special ability that provides the animal an XP Bonus counts as one hit die. Creature with bonus hit points to hit dice count merely as the hit dice, not the next hit dice up. Demi-humans, humans, and humanoids with levels count as double their level for hit dice considerations. The ranger and his animal and/or monstrous companions can understand each other on a basic level, but any actions requested of the animal companion are limited to the extent of its intelligence. Companions are friends, not fodder, and any obviously suicidal request will be met with derision and possible attack! The loss of a companion, unless dismissed from service in good faith and on friendly terms, means that the hit die value of that companion cannot be regained in new companions until the ranger gains a new level. Companions do not count against maximum henchmen.

Divine Cultist: A ranger can learn to cast a limited number of divine spells. True Rangers learn the Good versions of clerical spells, Marauders learn the Evil versions of clerical spells, and Woodsmen learn druidic spells. Spells are not memorized as such, and the ranger does not maintain a prayer book or fetishes; they are learned once and never change, and are more along the lines of spell-like abilities than true spells. He must use a personal holy/unholy symbol when casting divine spells. Any great sin or other transgression causes a ranger to lose access to his divine spells until he completes an appropriate quest to atone for his misdeeds. A ranger has a number of Spell Points equal to his Casting Level; he does not gain a bonus due to high Wisdom. He regains Spell Points in the same manner as a cleric or druid, and can use Power Stones and similar items. At 9th level the ranger can use magic items normally limited to clerics (or druids, in the case of Woodsmen), including scrolls.

Healer: A ranger can tend to his own wounds as well as those of others. An immediate application of first aid within one turn of a battle heals 1d3 hit points; this requires 1d10+10 rounds. Continued ministration of the wounded increases the victim’s daily healing by 1 point or by his Constitution bonus, whichever is greater, and even if the victim is active. A ranger can tend to the ongoing daily care of only one victim per level per day, but can perform first aid for any number of people, even multiple times on the same person each day (though only once per set of wounds from a single battle). Each use of first aid and each person under his daily care requires the use of wild herbs for the creation of ointments, salves and poultices. A successful tracking check and 1d6 hours of gathering will allow the barbarian to gather 1d6+level applications of herbs. The ranger can attempt to neutralize any natural poison (snake or scorpion venom, plant toxins, and such, but not artificial poisons). The ranger must spend at least 1d6+4 rounds ministering to the victim (sucking out the poison and applying herbs). At the end of this time, if undisturbed, the ranger may make a saving throw against Poison; if successful, he has leeched out the poison, and it no longer affects the victim, though any damage already done is not undone.

Mountaineer: The ranger can climb cliffs and scale mountains as a thief of the same level can climb walls. The ranger can use this ability on non-natural sheer surfaces, but his ability is halved before all other considerations (rounded down). The ranger must abide by the armor restrictions of the thief class when using this ability, or suffer the appropriate penalties.

Trapper: A ranger can learn to find, remove, and make wilderness traps, such as pits, snares, and deadfalls. A ranger with this ability can find and remove and make traps as a thief of the same level.

Wanderer: The ranger’s base movement is 150’ (50’), provided he is wearing padded, leather, studded leather, scale mail, chain mail, helmet (though not great helm), and/or shield armor and not otherwise moderately or heavily encumbered. If he is otherwise armored or moderately or heavily encumbered, he moves at normal speeds with no bonuses. Wanderers can jog (double normal movement) for three days straight without rest, alternating every three days of jogging with one day of walking at normal pace.

Weapon Master: The ranger must choose one of three paths: the archer (shortbow and longbow), or the axeman, or the swordsman (long sword). Weapon Masters suffer a non-proficiency penalty of -2 to hit with all weapons other than long swords, bows, axes, and daggers.
  • Archer: May loose two arrows per round at 1st level; three arrows per round at 5th level; four arrows per round at 9th level; five arrows per round at 13th level; and six arrows per round at 17th level. The ranger’s Dexterity bonus does not apply when loosing multiple arrows in a round.
  • Axeman: With battle axe: +1 to hit and to damage at 1st level; +1/+2 at 4th level; +2/+2 at 7th level; +2/+3 at 10th level; and +3/+3 at 13th level. At 8th level he may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with the axe; at 15th level he may make 2 attacks every round. He suffers no penalties when dual-wielding a hand axe in each hand (but Strength bonuses do not apply to hit or to damage).
  • Swordsman: +1 to hit and to damage at 1st level; +1/+2 at 4th level; +2/+2 at 7th level; +2/+3 at 10th level; and +3/+3 at 13th level. At 8th level he may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds with the sword; at 15th level he may make 2 attacks every round. He suffers no penalties when dual-wielding his long sword in one hand and a dagger (including main-gauche) or hand axe in the other (but Strength bonuses do not apply to hit or to damage).

Limited Wealth: Rangers, even Marauders, do not keep more than they and their mount (if any) can carry. They may maintain reasonable caches of food and miscellaneous supplies, but do not bury treasure or wealth. Any extraneous treasure or wealth is donated to a temple or other worthy cause (never another PC), abandoned, or destroyed. Should the ranger choose to simply take less treasure than his share so that other party members can benefit, he also gains less experience points and the other PCs do not gain any additional XP from the additional treasure.

Fellowship: Most rangers belong to a society of rangers; the idea that rangers cannot congregate or act together is a misunderstanding of the way rangers work. In the case of True Rangers and Woodsmen, the number of rangers is always far too small to cover far too large an area, and so the rangers are usually spread thin. Should a major battle or event require greater numbers, the rangers can be gathered together into a small, albeit powerful force. Marauders, on the other hand, simply don’t like each other’s company, viewing other Marauders as friendly competition at best, more commonly as dangerous rivals. Only in the case of events that threaten their common goals do three or more Marauders ever gather…


Ranger Clerical Spells
True Rangers, dedicated to the gods of Law and Good, are unable to use the reverse versions of these spells. Unless the Ranger gains the personal, direct confidence of his deity, the spells in this list are the only ones that he can learn. More potent spells are reserved for the deity’s more dedicated clergy.

1st Level
1. Cure Light Wounds
2. Detect Evil
3. Detect Magic
4. Light
5. Protection from Evil
6. Purify Food & Drink
7. Remove Fear
8. Resist Heat and Cold

2nd Level
1. Bless
2. Find Traps
3. Know Alignment
4. Hold Person
5. Resist Fire and Frost
6. Silence 15’ Radius
7. Snake Charm
8. Speak with Animal

3rd Level
1. Continual Light
2. Cure Disease
3. Dispel Magic
4. Locate Object
5. Prayer
6. Remove Curse

4th Level
1. Create Food and Water
2. Cure Serious Wounds
3. Lower Water
4. Neutralize Poison
5. Speak with Plants
6. Sticks to Snakes

5th Level
1. Commune
2. Cure Critical Wounds
3. Dispel Evil
4. True Seeing

Marauder Clerical Spells
The spells in the list below are the only ones that clergy of allied temples are willing to teach Marauders, and even then, learning additional spells always comes at a cost, whether in treasure or through quests for the temple. Some temples might be willing to teach the more esoteric spells, but at an even greater price.

1st Level
1. Cause Fear
2. Cause Light Wounds
3. Detect Evil
4. Detect Magic
5. Darkness
6. Protection from Evil
7. Putrefy Food & Drink
8. Resist Heat and Cold

2nd Level
1. Bane
2. Find Traps
3. Hold Person
4. Obscure Alignment
5. Resist Fire and Frost
6. Silence 15’ Radius
7. Snake Charm
8. Speak with Animal

3rd Level
1. Animate Dead
2. Bestow Curse
3. Cause Disease
4. Continual Darkness
5. Dispel Magic
6. Locate Object

4th Level
1. Cause Serious Wounds
2. Create Food and Water
3. Envenom
4. Lower Water
5. Speak with Plants
6. Sticks to Snakes

5th Level
1. Cause Critical Wounds
2. Commune
3. Insect Plague
4. True Seeing

Woodsman Druidic Spells
These are the spells the druids are willing to teach their Woodsmen allies. Other spells are reserved for the initiates of deeper mysteries. A Woodsman who does a great deed or performs a mighty quest might qualify for learning more potent spells, but then druids are even more secretive than clerics.

1st Level
1. Animal Companion
2. Detect Snares and Pits
3. Divine Weather
4. Entangle
5. Invisibility to Animals
6. Locate Creature
7. Pass without Trace
8. Speak with Animals

2nd Level
1. Barkskin
2. Create Water
3. Cure Light Wounds
4. Find Plant
5. Heat Metal
6. Obscuring Mist
7. Produce Flame
8. Warp Wood

3rd Level
1. Hold Animal
2. Insect Swarm
3. Neutralize Poison
4. Plant Growth
5. Snare
6. Tree Shape

4th Level
1. Cure Serious Wounds
2. Hallucinatory Terrain
3. Passplant
4. Speak with Plants
5. Summon Animal I
6. Summon Sylvan Beings

5th Level
1. Animal Growth
2. Anti-Plant Shell
3. Summon Animal II
4. Tree Stride

Ranger Magic-user Spells
Arcane adepts do not have the full training required to be able to wrap their minds around the more esoteric spells. While they can cast such spells they find upon scrolls, and use such spells in wands, rods, and staves, they can never learn them.

1st Level
1. Allure
2. Comprehend Languages
3. Detect Magic
4. Feather Fall
5. Jump
6. Light
7. Mending
8. Message
9. Protection from Evil
10. Read Languages
11. Read Magic
12. Ventriloquism

2nd Level
1. Auditory Illusion
2. Detect Evil
3. Detect Illusion
4. Detect Invisible
5. Doppelganger
6. ESP
7. False Trap
8. Hypnotism
9. Knock
10. Locate Object
11. Scare
12. Strength

3rd Level
1. Clairaudience
2. Clairvoyance
3. Dispel Magic
4. Gust of Wind
5. Haste
6. Infravision
7. Summon Monster I
8. Tiny Hut

4th Level
1. Charm Monster
2. Confusion
3. Fumble
4. Hallucinatory Terrain
5. Massmorph
6. Plant Growth
7. Polymorph Self
8. Summon Monster II

5th Level
1. Faithful Hound
2. Hold Monster
3. Secret Chest
4. Summon Monster III

Monday, October 8, 2012

[Labyrinth Lord] New Alternate Thief Class

Thieves are trained in the art of stealing and sneaking. They have superior ability to open locks, find and remove traps, and other esoteric skills. Due to these abilities, a thief is often found among a group of adventurers. As their name indicates, however, they do steal – sometimes from fellow party members! Notable thieves from literature include Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit, Cugel the Clever from the Dying Earth, and the Gray Mouser from Nehwon.

Prime Requisite: Dexterity. +5% Experience for Dexterity 13-15, +10% for Dexterity 16-18.

Minimum Ability Scores: Strength 6, Dexterity 9, Constitution 6, Intelligence 6, and Charisma 6.

Racial Level Limits: Dwarves 12th, Elves 12th, Gnomes 12th, Halflings 14th, Half-Elves 12th, Half-Orcs 12th, and Humans U.

Hit Dice: Thieves use six-sided dice (d6) to determine hit points. Thieves gain one hit die per level up to and including 9th level. Two hit points are gained per level after 9th, with Constitution modifiers no longer applicable

Armor: Thieves may wear any armor, but if they wear armor other than padded or leather, they suffer severe penalties to the use of their thieving abilities. They may use a shield, but cannot climb walls at all when using one.

Proficient Weapons: A thief is proficient in the use of the blowgun, club, hand crossbow, light crossbow, dagger, dart, garrote, rapier, sap, sling, shortbow, broad sword, long sword, and short sword.
Non-Proficiency Penalty: -3

Thieving Abilities
Thieves have the following range of skills, which improve as the thief gains levels. See the Thief Skills Table. Note that usually the Judge will make rolls for these abilities, because a thief is not always aware when he has failed! Note that there is always at least a 1% chance of failure, even if the final percentage is above 100%.

Backstab: A thief has the ability to backstab with any weapon with which he is proficient. He must catch an opponent unaware of his presence, using move silently and hide in shadows alternately as needful. To backstab with a missile weapon he must be within half of the short range of the weapon (rounded down). The successful sneak thief receives an attack bonus of +4 to hit and deals maximum damage as per a single weapon die plus a roll of the weapon damage die, plus his normal bonuses or penalties. For example, with a dagger, he would deal 4 points of damage plus a roll of 1d4, plus any of his normal bonuses or penalties. This damage modifier increases to double maximum plus roll at 5th level, triple maximum plus roll at 9th level, and quadruple maximum plus roll at 13th level.

If the thief successfully gained surprise on the opponent, he may choose to hold his attack to talk or negotiate with the target while “having the draw” on him. If the target seeks to run, jump, attack, or otherwise avoid the attack, the two must roll individual initiative. If the thief wins, he still gets his backstab attack; otherwise, the opponent has initiative and the backstab opportunity is lost.

If the thief is dual-wielding melee weapons both attacks get the bonus to hit and the damage multiplier. In the case of a high-level multi-class fighter/thief with extra attacks, only the first attack in the round gets the bonus to hit and the damage multiplier.

Climb Walls: Thieves are adept at scaling sheer surfaces, including walls or steep cliffs. Base climbing rate is half normal walking speed. This movement is halved if the wall is very smooth, doubled if the wall is very rough with many ledges and projections. Movement is halved if the wall is even slightly slippery, quartered if slippery. A thief’s base climb walls ability is halved if he is lightly encumbered, quartered if he is moderately or heavily encumbered; then it is halved if the surface is slightly slippery or quartered if it is slippery. Always round down after each multiplier is applied, and only after all multipliers are applied are modifiers for wearing non-standard armors applied.

A climb walls check must be made every round of movement, whether horizontal or vertical. If the thief falls, he falls from his previous height plus d% of the distance he was attempting to climb. If using ropes and pitons the thief must make a saving throw versus Death for the first piton, at -2 if lightly encumbered, -4 if moderately encumbered, and -8 if heavily encumbered. Each piton must make a saving throw if the previous one failed; if all pitons fail, the thief falls. It takes 1d6+4 rounds to pound in a piton; each piton used necessitates its own wandering monsters check.

Find and Remove Traps: Note that these are separate skills, for a thief must find a trap before he can remove it! Time for each function is as per opening locks, below. Unlike opening locks, the thief can only try to find and remove a trap once!

Hear Noise: Thieves can attempt to listen for noises, in a cave or hallway, and at a door or other locations but the thief and his companions must be quiet and in a quiet environment. The thief cannot wear a helmet or other headgear when he attempts to hear noise; note that padded and leather armors come with a coif or padded hat for protection of the head!

Hide in Shadows: A thief always thinks he is successful in this skill, and will not know otherwise until others react to his presence. He must remain motionless when hiding, and cannot dive into shadows while being observed! And of course, it must be mentioned that there must be shadows or darkness to hide in for this skill to have any chance to work.

Move Silently: When successful, others will not hear the movements of a thief. However, the thief always thinks he is successful in this skill, and will not know otherwise unless others react to his presence. Movement rate is half normal walking speed – one cannot jog or run and move silently! Flooring quality and covering can halve or even quarter the move silently ability chance. A thief’s move silently ability is halved if he is moderately or heavily encumbered.

Open Locks: A thief is skilled in picking locks, but needs lock picks to do so. Picking a lock requires 1d10 rounds, perhaps more depending on the complexity of the lock. A thief may retry an open locks check if he fails, but each time he tries again his base chance to pick the lock is halved (rounded down) after modification based on complexity, and the time required is doubled for each time retried.

Pick Pockets: This skill is the bread and butter of non-adventuring thieves, for it is a quick source of income… but not without peril. The thief suffers a penalty of 5% for each level the intended victim is above 3rd level. A roll that is 20% or more above the final skill percentage means the intended target notices the thieving attempt. The Judge then determines the intended victim’s reaction…

Read Languages: A thief can attempt to read languages, ciphers, and codes, provided the language is one that he has reasonably had the potential to encounter at some time prior. This ability does not include magical writings. If the roll does not succeed, the thief may not try to read that particular piece of writing until he reaches a higher level of experience.

Use Magic Items: A thief can attempt to read and cast spells from magic-user scrolls and use magic items normally restricted for use to other classes. His chance of accuracy is based on his Intelligence score, as per a magic-user’s chance to learn a new spell. He suffers a penalty of 10% to this roll for every level he has less than the required level to cast the spell (or equivalent). A failed roll means the spell or item does not function as expected, and can potentially create a horrible effect at the Judge’s discretion (almost certainly if the roll is within the upper 10% of potential failure rate).