Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Brute, The Musketeer, The Pirate, The Swashbuckler. FOUR new classes for your Old School Games.

Here's four classes I came up with to fill a few specific roles in our games. All have been played in a Pirate campaign and with a bit of rewording: Musketeer to Gunman, Swashbuckler to Swordsman, etc they can be easily used in other genres or eras.

The Brute
Hit Die Type: 1d6+3 per level.
Level and Attack as: Fighter
Save as: Fighter
Armor Permitted: Chainmail and sheild.
Weapons Permitted: Any but greatly prefer melee weapons.
Prime Attribute (5% experience bonus): Constitution 13+.

Brutes are vicious combatants whom dish out massive amounts of damage due to their strength and ferociousness in melee combat. Fighters have a better chance to hit and can wear better armor but the Brute makes up for this with greater hit points, intimidation and damage potential. They function best in armor and with big, brutal melee weapons. A well armored Brute turned loose on a battlefield of 1HD opponents is a frightening thing to behold..
Brutes are often the first ones boarding a grappled ship or over the walls of a castle to clear the way for their mates.

This class can represent anything from a dockside brawler to rampaging Uruk Hai berserkers on the walls of Helm's Deep.

Class Abilities
A Brute character gains +1 to AC due to their toughness and their ability to work through pain and damage that would cripple a lesser man.

A Brute character gains +2 to all melee and unarmed damage rolls (in addition to their normal Strength bonus). They know where to hurt people and hit like a freight train.

Once per day per level the Brute can summon his inner reserves of anger and rage to deliver a brutal strike. With a -2 to the attack roll but doing x2 damage (rolled and modifiers both.) If a natural 20 is rolled the modifier is x3.

The Brute's frightening demeanor and air of menace can be used to strike fear into their opponents.
The Brute can intimidate creatures with a total HD equal to his level. Thus a fifth level brute can intimidate up to five HD of creatures. Lowest level HD creatures are affected first. The creatures must be able to see the Brute's display of intimidation to be affected. The creatures are allowed a Saving Throw to avoid this effect. Those that fail suffer a –2 to all attacks on the Brute. Most will flee; only the most determined will stay and fight. This ability can be used 1 per day per 2 levels, rounding down. Thus the fifth level Brute can use this two times per day. (5/2= 2.5 rounded down to 2,)

Iron Constitution:
Brutes make saving throws against disease and poison with a +4 bonus.

The Musketeer
Hit Die Type: 1d6+1 per level.
Level and Attack as: Fighter
Save as: Fighter
Armor Permitted: Any
Weapons Permitted: Any but greatly prefer firearms.
Prime Attribute (5% experience bonus): Dexterity 13+.

Musketeers are combatants who have a great affinity for firearms. They are better marksmen than the average Soldier and are trained to care for their weapons. Their knowledge of firearms often makes them the default Armorer caring for the crew's weaponry. Their bonuses to hit coupled with bonuses from aiming and point blank range make them deadly in a firefight.

Class Abilities
The Musketeer receives a +2 bonus to hit with any firearm. This stacks with aiming and point blank shooting. (See My Firearms Rules HERE.)

Fast Draw:
The Musketeer can draw, ready, and fire a firearm faster. They only receive a -2 to their shooting attacks when drawing and shooting a firearm(s) in the same round instead of a -4 penalty.

Fast Reload:
The Musketeer cuts their reload time down by one round. Thus a musket or pistol can be reloaded in one round instead of two. In a modern setting a Musketeer (Gunman?) could reload and fire a magazine fed weapon in the same round.

Firearm Repair:
The Musketeer can fix malfunctioning or broken firearms and cannon. The chance is 10 + 1/2 level + Int modifier on a 1d20. The repair time is left up to the DM based on how badly the weapon is damaged and available tools and materials to fix.

The Pirate
Hit Die Type: 1d6+1 per level.
Level and Attack as: Fighter
Save as: Thief
Armor Permitted: Any, but Thief abilities can only be used in Leather or lighter.
Weapons Permitted: Any but prefer short one-handed weapons for ship combat.
Prime Attribute (5% experience bonus): Dexterity 13+.

Pirates are the scourge of the seas. Seriously, their pirates. Yo ho ho and all that.

Class Abilities
Close Quarter Fighter:
The cramped quarters below decks hinder a man's fighting abilities (-2 to attacks) unless he is experienced with such things. The Pirate recieves no penalty for fighting in cramped spaces including below deck, in tunnels, etc.

Pirates lead a rough life and harden to it quickly or die. They add a +2 to  saving throws against disease and poison.

Thief Abilities:
Being a tricksy and dangerous lad the Pirate can Hide in Shadows, Move Silently, and Climb Walls as well as a Thief of an equal level.

He can also Backstab as a Thief with the usual bonuses and extra damage.

The Swashbuckler
Hit Die Type: 1d6+2 per level.
Level and Attack as: Fighter
Save as: Fighter
Armor Permitted: Leather or lighter. Their abilities can only be used in Leather or lighter.
Weapons Permitted: Any but prefer one-handed melee. Their usually high Dexterity makes them capable two weapon fighters.
Prime Attribute (5% experience bonus): Dexterity 13+.

Lightly armored and quick blades-men. They are fast, agile, and excellent two weapons fighters. They rely on their Dexterity for both defense and offense.

Class Abilities
Climb Walls:
As a Thief of equal level. This can also be used as the chance for maneuvers such as swinging from chandeliers and other acrobatic derring-do.

Can use two melee weapons with no penalty to the primary hand and only a -2 to the off-hand. In addition the Swashbuckler can choose to not take the off-hand attack and defend witih he weapon, gaining him a +1 AC bonus that round as if he had a shield.

Light on the Feet:
When wearing leather or lighter armors the Swashbuckler receives a +2 bonus to their AC.

Quick with a Blade:
The Swashbuckler is a Dexterity based fighter. He may use his Dexterity bonus instead of his Strength bonus for melee attacks.


  1. Thanks! The Brute was insanely fun to watch the players run with. We were fifth level and they all seemed to balance well. Good times.

  2. did a slight revision on the brute. Lowered armor class bonus and fixed available armor to bring in more in line with existing character classes by the book. Also Limitedneed number of times per day you can use the crusher attack. I believe these revisions making much more playable and less overwhelming as a he has been proven to be in play testing