Tuesday, 9 June 2015

ATWC Basic Classes 2: The Trickster

This is traditional Tajik dress, by the way. Think of how many knives you could hide inside those sleeves.

I have rather mixed feelings about OD&D thieves. It's clearly a very valid adventurer type: the guy who solves problems with skill and finesse rather than brute force. But I've never liked all those fiddly percentages, and I don't like what thief skills imply about what *other* characters can do. If the thief has a 40% chance to hide in shadows, does that mean other characters can't? If they can, what's their chance of doing so successfully? If they have a decent chance of success, what's the point of playing a thief at all? And so on.

So this is my solution: the Trickster class. If you are playing a trickster, that means you are a smooth motherfucker. Other PCs might need to roll dice to see if they can sneak past the dozy guard or smooth-talk the doorman or jump over the pit, but you just need to say you're doing it and it happens. Only if you try something really tricky do you need to make a roll, usually 1d20 vs. the appropriate stat.

(This is much my preferred approach to skills, by the way. Just give players wide areas of competence in which they always succeed unless it's something really stressful and difficult, and thus probably really interesting. I've got better things to do with my life than watch while someone makes twelve Climb Walls checks at 96% chance of success.)

This class is designed to be balanced against the Fighter, posted above. As mentioned there, I don't really use XP; but if you do, assume they require the same amount of it as fighters.

Tricksters:

  • You can only use simple weapons, plus thrown daggers. You cannot use armour heavier than a chain shirt (+4 AC), or any shields.
  • You get 1d6 HP per level.
  • You gain a bonus to ranged attack rolls, and melee attack rolls with daggers only, equal to your level. To all other attack rolls you gain a bonus equal to half your level, rounded down.
  • Whenever you hit someone who isn’t expecting your attack (because you’re hidden, pretending to be friendly, etc), you inflict an extra 1d6 damage.
  • You gain +2 to REF saves. (Included in table below.)
  • You are a talented thief, acrobat, con man, sleight-of-hand artist, and all around sneaky bastard. You can be assumed to automatically succeed at any feat of wit and dexterity which isn’t particularly challenging or complex: climbing a city wall, sneaking past a couple of bored watchmen, etc. If you attempt a more challenging feat, roll 1d20: if the result is equal to or less than your Dexterity (or your Intelligence or Charisma, if that would be more appropriate), then you succeed.  The GM may impose modifiers to this roll for especially daring feats.
Trickster Summary Table

Level
Hit Points
To Hit Bonus
Fortitude save (FORT)
Reflex save (REF)
Willpower save (WILL)
Ranged and Daggers
Other Melee Weapons
1
1d6
+1
+0
14
12
14
2
2d6
+2
+1
13
11
13
3
3d6
+3
+1
12
10
12
4
4d6
+4
+2
11
9
11
5
5d6
+5
+2
10
8
10
6
6d6
+6
+3
9
7
9
7
7d6
+7
+3
8
6
8
8
8d6
+8
+4
7
5
7
9
9d6
+9
+4
6
4
6
10
10d6
+10
+5
5
3
5

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