Sunday, November 23, 2014

New and Revised Classes for OSR games. Plus a tiny bit of notation.

I had a guy flip out on me a couple of weeks past over 'game balance' with my postings.
So, to help clarify things, I will be posting  extra notes for classes I put on here.

The notations will involve differences in class abilities for situations in games (such as the Archer addressing game using two shots per round versus one shot per round as a basic system rule).
The distinction between the two will be pretty minimal, mostly adjustments to class abilities such as multi-attacks, special damage attacks, etc. The notations are to give a DM whom might use these classes a chance to use which version they think more appropriate for the 'balance' of their game.
Balance... such a tricky thing it can be. I've honestly never worried much about it. I've been blessed with players who are more concerned with fun than rules lawyering. 

I will also address  my revised versions of the basic classes such as my Fighter/Soldier vs the old school Fighter. My revised version gets extra attacks, and AC bonus, and extra attacks at higher levels. My revised versions are more skilled and 'powerful' than the standard classic classes and are, for the most part, intended to be used in place of the base rules classes. 

Some do not find this 'old school hardcore' but I and my players really really like their characters to be a bit more competent. That's also why I replaced the lower percentages of classes such as the Thief with my 10+1/2 level+ attribute bonus or less on a 1d20 roll. It gives them a higher chance at lower levels and mildly increases through leveling up. Again: just my preferences. Don't like it: replace it with the old school percentages. Your game, your rules.

As always, these are just my personal interpretations for my own games. 
Don't flip out. 

And so....
I also took the time to clean up the classes a bit. Prime Requisites are simplified to just one instead of two in some cases. I also removed and added a a few new abilities to help smooth the classes into more distinct roles.
For example, this version of the Assassin has less Thief skills but has gained the use of making poisons and antidotes.


Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+1
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Up to chain and shield.
Weapons: Any except two-handed melee.
Level Limit: none.

Archer Training. 
+1 to hit with a bow. The damage works one of two ways. If you are using a rules-set allowing two bow shots per round, the damage is increased by a +1. If you are only allowing one shot per round (and it's probably a 1d6 dmg) the damage increases to 1d8
No penalty for unstable platform such as a horse, rolling ship deck, etc.

Sure Shot. 
-1 per range increment. 

Level 5: Long Shot. 
Range Increment increases by 50 percent.

Level 9: 
Rapid Shot. An extra bow attack is gained. 

Level 12: Trick Shot. 
Called shot penalties reduced by -2.

Level 16: Dead Shot. 
Aim for one round and receive a +4 bonus to one shot. Only one shot can be taken in that round.
NOTES: The only real difference in editions with this class is the differing number of bow shots allowed in a round. 


Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD:  1d6
Save:  As Thief.
Attack:  As Thief
Armor:  As Thief.
Weapons:  Any.
Level Limit:  none.

Thief Abilities. 
Pick Locks, Move Silently, Climb Walls, Hide in Shadow.

Death Attack. (completely copped from C&C)
Usable once per day per 2 levels.
If an assassin studies a victim for 3 consecutive rounds and makes a sneak attack (see below) that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack can potentially kill the target instantly. While studying a victim prior to an attack, the assassin can undertake other minor actions, but must stay focused on the target. If the target knows the assassin is present, a death attack is not possible. The victim of such an attack must make a saving
throw. If the saving throw fails, the victim dies instantly. If the saving throw
succeeds, the attack is treated as a normal sneak attack.

After completing 3 rounds of study, the assassin must attack within the
next 3 rounds to use this ability. If a death attack is attempted and fails
because the victim succeeds at the saving throw, the assassin cannot make
another attempt at a death attack in this circumstance because the victim
will almost certainly be aware of the assassin’s status as an enemy. If the
assassin attacks and misses (and the target is not aware of the attack), or
if the assassin does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing
the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before another death attack
attempt can be made.

NOTE: If you feel the Death Attack is too powerful for your games scale it back to a standard Thief backstab. Combined with the Poisons ability below the Assassin should still be a formidable class.

Given an hour of brew time, and the proper ingredients  the Assassin can create a virulent poisons. The poison can be ingested, contact, or injected as the Assassin desires. At first level the Assassin's poison does 1d6 hp damage and an extra 1d6 at levels 3, 9, 12, 15, and 18. The poison is insidious and slow; starting one hour after exposure it does 1d6 damage per hour until the available d6's of poison are used or the victim is dead. A Saving Throw is allowed during the initial 1d6 hp loss and if successful, all damage done is for half damage as the poison runs its course.

The Assassin can also make an antidote for the poison. When given it stops all damage.

Both poison and antidote have a shelf life of a number of days equal to the Assassin's level.

NOTES: This version sets itself further from the classic Thief class. This one is all about stealth and  murder and lacks many of the essential treasure finding skills of the Thief.

Barbarian (Hillman) 

Prime Requ: Str
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+2
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Chain and shield. May wear heavier but lose special abilities while in the heavier armor.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

+1to melee and unarmed Damage.

Pantherish Dodge. 
+2 to AC

Only surprised on a 1 on a 1d6.

As Thief.

Battle Fury. 
Once per day per level the Barbarian can make a single brutal attack on his opponent, sacrificing accuracy and finesse for sheer damage.  The attack is made at a -2 penalty to hit. If failed the Barbarian suffers a -4 to his AC due to being off balance until his turn to act in the following round. Damage as follows...

Basic rules damage: x2 damage, x3 if a natural 20 is rolled.

My Revised rules damage: It is scaled as backstab damage is for the Thief, by level.
Level 1-5, x2 damage.
Level 6-12, x3 damage.
Level 12+, x4 damge

NOTE: The damage is scaled up in my revised version to keep up with the soldier's extra attacks. The idea is the Soldier is using more skill with multiple chances (extra attacks) to hit the enemy while the Barbarian is dishing out sheer brutal damage with one shot, but only has one chance to hit or miss.

The Brute 
For Basic rules use the Brute as is.
My Revised version does Crusher damage as the Barbarian's Battle Fury. Escalating damage by level.

The attack is made at a -2 penalty to hit. If failed the Brute suffers a -4 to his AC due to being off balance until his turn to act in the following round. 
Level 1-5, x2 damage.
Level 6-12, x3 damage.
Level 12+, x4 damge

NOTE: These Brute's Str bonus applies to Str rolls not just damage as the Barbarian's does.
Whereas the Barbarian is about prowess combined with power the Brute is simply raw power. He has the advantage of slightly better hit points and does not lose his abilities in heavier armor.

Fighter/Soldier (Revised) 

Prime Requ: Str
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: As Fighting-Man.
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Any.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

Trained/Natural Fighter.
 +1 to hit and damage with all weapons and unarmed attacks.

+2 to AC.

Combat Expert.
Extra melee attack at 5th, 12th, and 20th.
NOTE: Melee only, not ranged. 

NOTE: This is my revised  Fighter and it will outstrip Basic rules classes. I would not use this with anything but my other revised classes to keep the fighting levels on a closer scale.

Ranger (Traditional Fantasy) 

Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6+2
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Chain and shield. Will lose Move Silently while in armor heavier than Leather.
Weapons: Any
Level Limit: none.

Only surprised on a 1 on a 1d6.

As a Thief of equal level. Ranged backstab within the first range increment.

+1 to hit and damage with ranged weapons. Includes bows, crossbows, thrown weapons, firearms, etc.

Move Silently.
As Thief. This is for outdoors only. In urban settings, crypts, dungeons, etc the chance is halved (round up.) The Ranger uses this to get in close to a prey while on the hunt.
This is halved if the Ranger is wearing armor heavier than Leather.

 10 + 1/2 level + Wis bonus or less on a 1d20. Penalties and bonuses for mud, snow, dry ground, etc should be applied by the DM. 

Revisions to the Cleric, Magic User, and Thief.
Cleric and Magic User
Make my ritual and diabolic magic options available.

I have only one addition to my Revised Thieves: The Fast Talk ability.

Fast Talk
With a bit of conversation, the Thief is able to attempt to befriend, persuade, charm, or outright con an individual to his way of thinking. After 2d6 minutes of cajoling, flat­tering, drinking, etc. the victim of the Fast Talk must make a Saving Throw. This Saving Throw has a cumulative -1 penalty roll for the Scoundrel level at 1st and every fourth level after at 4, 8, 12 ,16, and 20.

If the Save is failed the individual will give up some bit of information, do a small favor, or otherwise not hinder the Thief as long as the Thief appears to be friendly. This is not a magical effect: if the individual finds out the Thief is lying to him or some other situation arises to change his view of the Thief he may act normally.


  1. People who flip out about game balance need to find something worth flipping out over. All game balance is an illusion.

    Your stuff is awesome.

    "Some do not find this 'old school hardcore' "

    If I may be so bold, you should give zero fucks about other peoples' definition of old school.

  2. Thank you.
    My primary concern is with how much fun people have with my stuff. other people's definitionsof what is what I sometimes find interesting but for the most part I really don't care. :)

  3. Hey, do you go to DemiCon? You're in the neighborhood. I sometimes make the trek to DemiCon, but generally it's every couple of years.

  4. Nope. I have not been to a game con and several years because of work schedule.

  5. nice.
    I might take issue with the archer not being able to use two-handed weapons though. I think of the English archers of the 100 years war equipped with mauls and axes, for example, and ancient Indian archers of the classical period with their two-handed swords. It kind of stands to reason that if you don't carry a shield you might as well carry a weapon you can use in both hands.

  6. No prob. Add them in for which culture would use them. Whatever you need for your game.

  7. I made a slight revision on the assassin and the barbarian mostly limiting the barbarians fury and the assassins death to a limited number of times per day. Use what you like but in our games we are discovering that limiting it makes them a lot less overpowered thsn I would like.