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Monday, July 25, 2011

Pulpish / Modern Fantasy Classes for your favorite d20ish rules

I was thinking about my 1930's Alt History/Alt Reality pulpish setting today, and I was thinking about what if I did it in a d20ish style?

The Castles & Crusades basic rules I think would work well here for me.   The primary differences would be Defense would replace Armor Class and would start off being equal to Dex.  Also I'd do the Hit Points off a d6 base, and they would represent cuts and bruises, with actual wounds being a reduction in Con.

The Classes
Tough (STR) - Close Combat Specialist
Daredevil (DEX) - Risk Taker, Athlete extraordinaire
Marksman (DEX) - Ranged Combat Specialist
Totemist (CON) - Mystic who gains power from an animal totem
Magician (INT) - Seeker of the Arcane Mysteries
Faithful (WIS) - Strong Belief allows him to fight evil
Glib (CHA) - Fast talker, salesman, diplomat, actor

Each class has certain special abilities that only apply to members of that class.  ‘Class-Rated’ individuals are special, not everyone in the world has a class, most are ‘normal’ people.


Primary Attribute: Strength
Hit Dice: 1d6+3 per level

Class Abilities
Deadly Effect:  The Tough is better with close combat than other people.  As such, he gains a +2 damage bonus at first level to any close combat attacks he makes.  This increases by an additional +1 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.  This only applies to close combat attacks, armed or unarmed.

Up Close and Personal:  Although the Tough is perfectly fine using a gun, he is much better when the fighting is in tight.  He gets a +2 attack bonus to all close combat attacks

If I can pick it up, it’s a weapon:  The Tough has no penalties for wielding improvised weaponry in close combat.

Resilience:  The Tough gains a +2 save bonus versus pain, unconsciousness, toxins and disease effects.

Signature Attack:  Although he can hit with anything, sometimes the Tough prefers to use a certain type of weapon or attack.  With this Signature Attack, the Tough gains an additional 1d4 to his attack roll.


Prime Requisite: Dexterity Hit Dice: 1d6+1 per level

Class Abilities
Master of Defense:  As long as a daredevil is not more than lightly encumbered and is not wearing armor, he is able to use his gains a base +2 to his Defense, that increases automatically by 1 at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20.

Second Chance:  Any time a Daredevil fails any physical based attribute check (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), he may immediately re-roll, but must take the second roll, even if it is worse.

Scale Formidable Surfaces:  His experience in traversing difficult terrain allows the Daredevil to climb almost sheer surfaces, or even cross a ceiling with nominal hand-holds at normal movement pace.  Truly sheer surfaces, or adverse conditions will require the Daredevil to make an Attribute check.

Stunts:  Anytime the d20 comes up on a result divisible by 5 (5, 10, 15 or 20), the player may describe a special effect to what he was attempting (even if he fails, describe what you were trying to accomplish and what may have happened).  Be Creative.

Seat of the Pants:  The Daredevil is the master of mounts and vehicles.  The Daredevil receives an additional +2 bonus when riding or when operating a vehicle.  He never has a penalty for operating an unfamiliar vehicle.


Prime Attribute: Dexterity
Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities:
Deadeye:  Whenever using Ranged attacks (throwing, bows, shooting, etc.) the Marksman gains an additional +2 bonus to his attack.

Deadly Accuracy: The skilled eye of the Marksman gives him an additional +2 damage bonus to all ranged attacks at level one, increasing by an additional +1 at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20.

Signature Attack:  The marksman has a particular ranged attack that he prefers.  When using this type of attack, he gains an additional 1d4 to his attack roll.

Quick Draw:  The marksman can draw and fire his weapon in the same action, without incurring a penalty.  He also is able to reload the weapon twice as fast as most people.

Prime Attribute: Constitution
Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities
Favored Environ - This is the environment in which a Totemist is most comfortable.  He gains a bonus to all checks equal to 1/2 his level (rounded up) when operating within his Favored Environ.

Totem Animal - The Totemist should choose a Totem Animal appropriate to their native Environ.

Animal Tongue - Totemists may communicate basic ideas to any animal, and may converse with their Totem species, within the limits of it’s intellectual capability.

Lore - Totemists are storehouses of lore.  A successful Int check will allow them to recall bits of information at the GM’s discretion.

Nature Lore - Within their Favored Environ, Totemists automatically recognize native flora and fauna and know of any beneficial or detrimental properties they may possess.

Helpful Remedies:  Using his vast store of knowledge regarding his favored Environ, the totemist can put together a poison remedy in 1d6 minutes using items gathered from the nearby area.   A successful Wis check will delay the effects of the poison for 1d6+1 hours, while a result of 25 or higher will completely neutralize the poisons effects.  Outside of their Favored Environ, it will take 3d6 minutes to assemble a remedy.

Totem Shape:  Beginning at level 2, The Totemist can take the shape of his Totem Animal with a successful Wis check.  Any clothing or possessions on his body will change shape with him.  While in this form, he has the physical attributes of a normal member of the species.   The Totemist must make another successful Wis check to shift back to his normal form.   Both changes take 1d6 rounds to complete.

Environmental Travel:  Within his favored Environ, the Totemist moves without leaving a trace if he so desires, and is unhindered by obstacles native to his Environ.


Prime Attribute: Intelligence Hit Dice: 1d6

Class Abilities
Magical Aptitude:  The Magician learns how to recognize the aura of magic, and how to translate magical runes to know their purpose.  A magician can automatically recognize another adept unless they are somehow masking their magical aura.    The Magician gains a +2 to all spellcasting checks at level one, and this increases by +1 at levels 5, 10, 15 and 20.

Spellcasting:  The Magician gains the ability to cast magical spells.  The Magician begins with knowledge of 1d3+2 first level spells of his choice, and may gain additional spells through adventuring.  Magicians may cast spells of any level, but the higher level the spell, the more difficult and dangerous they become. 

Magical Defense:  Magicians are taught to resist the energies they manipulate and gain a +2 bonus to all Saves versus magical effects.

Arcane Blast:  The Magician can gather pure arcane energy and channel it into an attack.  This blast of energy does 1d4 points of damage and ignores any non-magical armor.  The damage increases by +1 for every 4 levels or less that the Magician has (levels 1-4: +1, 5-8: +2, etc.)  Using this ability requires a successful attack roll, using the Magician’s choice of Dexterity or Intelligence for the roll.  The player must describe a ‘trapping’ for how the manifestation of this ability appears when they create their character.  This is an attack against the target’s physical defense and does not get a saving throw to avoid or lessen damage.

See the Grimoire section for an explanation of how magic works and commonly available low level spells.


Prime Attribute:  Wisdom Hit Dice: 1d6+1

Class Abilities:
Heal the Injured:  The Faithful has the ability to heal the wounds of those he finds worthy by force of Faith.  The Faithful can restore 1d3+(1/2 Level) Constitution to a target with a successful Wisdom Check.  This is quite taxing on the Faithful however and his own Constitution is reduced by 1 every time he attempts to use this ability.  The Faithful can recover the Constitution he loses in this manner by meditating for 4 hours.  He cannot use this ability upon himself.  This ability can only be used one time per day per person.

Smite the Infidel:  one time per combat encounter, the Faithful can choose to bring the strength of his beliefs into play on an attack against an opponent of opposed beliefs or a supernatural being.  The power of his Faith gives him a one time bonus to attack of 1/2 Level and a damage bonus of +4.  Should he misuse this ability, the consequences could be as severe as losing his Abilities for a time or having the blow rebound upon him.  This power should not be used frivolously.

Bane of the Supernatural:  The faithful gain a +2 bonus to attack against supernatural beings (undead, fae, demons, etc.)

Armor of Faith:  Armored in the knowledge of his Righteousness, the Faithful gains a +2 defense bonus when being attacked by supernatural beings.

Begone, Servant of Evil!:  Calling forth the full force of his belief, the Faithful may attempt to banish supernatural servants of evil (undead, demons, etc.).  Evil Faithful may gain control of such beings using this ability.  This will affect 1d6+Cha modifier HD of opponents per 2 levels of Faithful and requires a successful Wisdom check.  Free-willed creatures may attempt a Wisdom save to avoid the effects.  Mindless Creatures of less than one third the level of the Faithful will be destroyed by the power of Faith.
If facing creatures of multiple levels, the ability will target the lowest level opponents first unless the Faithful directs the full force of his Will and Faith at a particular opponent.


Prime Attribute:  Charisma Hit Dice: 1d6 per level

Class Abilities
Favor: You can use this ability to acquire minor aid from anyone you meets. By succeeding a Charisma check, the Glib can gain important information without going through the time and trouble of doing a lot of research.  This can only be used one time per NPC per adventure, and is subject to GM interpretation.

Captivate: The Glib has the ability to temporarily beguile a target through the use of words and bearing. The target must be able to see, hear, and understand the hero.  This is opposed by a Wisdom Save.  If the saving throw fails, the Glib becomes the target’s sole focus. The target pays no attention to anyone else for 1 round. This focusing of the target’s attention allows other characters to take actions of which the captivated target is unaware. The effect ends immediately if the target is attacked or threatened.  This effect may be maintained over multiple rounds if the Glib continues talking.

Heckle:  The Glib can temporarily rattle a target by insulting and goading him.  The target must be intelligent and able to understand the Glib.   This is resisted by a Wisdom Save, and if the save fails, the 
Heckled target is at a -2 penalty for all checks for a number of rounds equal to the Charisma bonus +1 of the Glib character.

A Gift of Tongues:  The Glib starts play with an additional number of languages equal to his Charisma bonus + 1.   He may learn a new language at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20


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