Saturday, September 3, 2016

New and Revised Classes for OSR Games Redux

Updates and changes from a previous post here.
Redid a few class abilities most notably the Fighter, Barbarian and Brute. The big change was taking out extra attacks gained at higher levels and replacing them with more damage abilities. That seemed to work better for our group and it felt less overpowering with multiple attacks.
Added in the Gladiator and Warrior Bard from previous posts.

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

Fighter (Revised)
Prime Requ: Str
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d8
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Any.
Weapons: Any

Class Abilities
Defensive Fighting
+1 to AC.

Melee Focus
+1 to attack with melee weapons.

Weapon Expert
At levels 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 the Fighter may choose a melee weapon type (sword, two-handed sword,dagger, spear, etc) and  does damage as if the weapon is one dice code higher. Example: a short sword does 1d8, a sword does 1d10, etc.

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.

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.

New Classes
Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d6
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Up to chain and shield.
Weapons: Any except two-handed melee.

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

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

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

Trick Shot
Level 12: Called shot penalties reduced by half.

Dead Shot
Level 16: Aim for one round and receive a +4 bonus to one shot. Only one shot can be taken in that round.

Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD:  1d6
Save:  As Thief.
Attack:  As Thief
Armor:  As Thief.
Weapons:  Any.

Class Abilities
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.

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

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: 1d8
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

Class Abilities
Only surprised on a 1 on a 1d6.

Battle Fury
Once per day per 2 levels (round up) the Barbarian can make a single brutal attack on his opponent, sacrificing accuracy and finesse for sheer damage.  -2 to the attack roll but doing x2 damage, x3 if a natural 20 is rolled.

As Thief

Pantherish Dodge
+1 to AC in chain armor or lighter.

Prime Requ: Con
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d10
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Any.
Weapons: Any but greatly prefer melee weapons.
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 +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 2 levels (round up) 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.

Once per day per level 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.

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

Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighter
HD: 1d8
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Weapons: Any
Armor: Any with restrictions (See below.)

Class Abilities
+2 to Dex rolls/Saves involving Dexterity.

Agile Fighter
+1 to AC in Chain or Lighter.

Dual Weapon
Off hand penalty reduced from 0/-4 to 0/-2 .

Slave Class
-4 Cha to interactions with those of higher social rank. Even Freeman gladiators who choose to fight in the arena suffer this social stigma from the higher classes.

Ranger (Traditional Fantasy)
Prime Requ: Dex
Exp: As Fighting-Man.
HD: 1d8
Save: As Fighting-Man.
Attack: As Fighting-Man.
Armor: Chain and shield. Will lose Move Silently while in armor heavier than Leather.
Weapons: Any

Class Abilities
One of the most important abilities of the Ranger is his sharp senses. The ability to detect
danger is one of the key abilities of the and can make the difference between life and death.
-1 to be surprised.
+1 to surprise.

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

The Ranger's ability to live off of the land and survive. 50 percent + 5 percent per two levels. This check is rolled in addition to normal foraging rolls. The DM may modify this check for plentiful or exceptionally harsh terrain. 

50 percent + 5 percent per two levels. Penalties and bonuses for mud, snow, dry ground, etc should be applied by the DM.

Warrior Bard 
Prime Requ: Cha
Exp: As Magic User
HD: 1d8
Save: as Thief
Attack: As Fighter
Weapons: Any.
Armor: Leather and shield to use thief abilities.

Class Abilities
Extra Languages
The Bard  begins with half again as many extra languages as normal (round up.) For example: if the Bard  would normally get one extra, he would get two (1.5 rounded up). If he would get two extra he would get three, etc.

Influence Reactions
When performing before a group that is not attacking (and not intending to attack in just seconds), the Bard  can try to alter the mood of the listeners. He can try to soften their mood or make it uglier. The method can be whatever is most suitable to the situation at the moment -- a fiery speech, collection of jokes, a sad tale, a fine tune played on a fiddle, a haunting lute melody, or a heroic song from the old homeland. Everyone in the group listening must roll a Saving Throw (vs Paralyzation in LL, etc) (if the crowd is large, make saving throws for groups of people using average hit dice). The die roll is modified by -1 for every three experience levels of the Bard  (round fractions down). If the Saving Throw fails the group's reaction can be shifted one level toward either the friendly or hostile end of the scale, at the player's option. Those who make a successful Saving Throw have their reaction shifted one level toward the opposite end of the scale.

The music, poetry, and stories of the Bard can also be inspirational, rallying friends and allies. If the exact nature of an impending threat is known, the Bard  can heroically inspire his companions (immortalizing them in word and song), granting a +1 bonus to attack rolls, or a +1 bonus to Saving Throws, or a +2 bonus to morale (particularly useful in large battles) to those involved in melee. The Bard  must spend at least three full rounds singing or reciting before the battle begins.
This affects those within a range of 10 feet per experience level of the Bard .

The effect lasts one round per level. Once the effect wears off it can't be renewed if the recipients are still in battle. However, troops who have withdrawn from combat can be inspired again by the Bard 's words.

Bards learn a little bit of everything in their studies and travels. Bards have a 5% chance per experience level to know local events and history. They also use the same chance to identify the general purpose and function of any magical item. The Bard  need not handle the item but must examine it closely taking 1d10 rounds. Even if successful, the exact function of the item is not revealed, only its general nature.

Read Language
This is an important ability since the Warrior Bard  has no ready access to Read Language spells. He has an  80% chance to read any normal writing or language (including simple codes, dead languages, treasure maps, and so on, but not magical writings). If he tries but fails to read a piece of writing, he must gain at least one experience level before trying to read it again.

Thief Abilities
Hear Noise, Pick Locks, and  Pick Pockets as a thief of equivalent level.

Level 10: A Bard  can read and cast magic from magic-user (and elf) scrolls with 90% accuracy, just like a thief.

Magical Items:
Bard s may employ any magical weapons not specifically restricted to a single class (of course, the weapon must be of a type Bards can normally use). They may wear magical armor of the type appropriate to their armor restrictions. They may also use all other magic items usable by Fighters and Thieves and may use a Horn of Valhalla.


  1. some interesting thoughts, I will be adding some of the changes I think to some of my house rules. In particular I like the simplicity of your take on the fighters weapon expertise. I think I will also be modifying the version of barbarian I am using to take some of the concepts of both your version of the barb and the brute. Good stuff and a shout out from a former IA native :D

  2. thanks for the reply! glad someone else can get some use for this blog, former Iowan. :D