Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Sage (a new class for DCCRPG)



My online campaign of DCCRPG is still going. We’re at the beginning of the Doom of the Savage Kings and the entire party is having a blast playing a bunch of chaotic mercenary and cultists (they always make the villains look good).


Anyway, our new player just survived his Funnel and is starting to pick classes for his 0-level PCs. He created a Warrior and a Thief so far, but when his scribe became 1st level I noticed he wanted something different… not quite a Thief, and definitely not a Wizard. After a bit of chat, I came up with the suggestion of “updating” my OD&D Mastermind class to DCCRPG. Here’s the result: the Sage.


The main inspirations for this class were my Mastermind and – obviously – few pieces of the Sage, from OD&D, AD&D 1st and Dragons at Dawn. The mechanical role of this class is to be a supporter (the player told me however that he didn’t wanted a bard). 


This is my first (but I hope not last) homemade class for DCCRPG, and I wrote it in approximately 30 minutes, so it’s either grossly unbalanced or just simply unplayable. We still didn’t have time for a proper playtesting session. As usual, any feedback is really welcome.



The Sage

Alignment: Any

Weapon training: A sage is trained in these weapons: crossbow, dagger, short sword, sling, and staff. Sages rarely use armor, as it affects the use of their abilities.

Attack: as a Wizard.

Action Dice: see below. A sage can use his second and third Action Die only for the Sagely Advice ability.

1
1d16
1d12

2
1d16
1d12

3
1d16
1d14

4
1d20
1d14

5
1d20
1d16

6
1d20
1d16

7
1d20
1d16

8
1d20
1d20

9
1d20
1d20
1d12
10
1d20
1d20
1d14

Crit Die/Table: as a Wizard.

Saves: as a Wizard.

Hit points: as a Thief.

Scholar (only Lawful Sages): If a lawful sage fails a lore (see Loremaster) or social check, he always knows exactly where is (or who has) the information that he’s searching. Scholars are respected by Lawful authorities (i.e. civilization) and can always add their level to skill checks while introducing themselves to rulers, requesting rooms at inns and other similar situations.

Erudite (only Neutral Sages): If the neutral sage doesn’t carry a visible weapon or act in a threatening way, he shouldn’t be the target of any monster on the first rounds of combat (unless there a lot of creatures facing the party, as usual the Judge should adjudicate this). If a neutral sage threatens a death curse, he won’t be killed by most intelligent creatures (and if he’s killed he’ll indeed inflict a death curse on his executioner).

Mountebank (only Chaotic Sages): The first time the chaotic sage meets an intelligent creature he can try to quickly trick or lie to him in one round of quick conversation. If the deceit is nothing absurd, the victim must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + d20 + sages’ Personality and Luck modifiers). A creature, once cheated this way, can’t again be so easily deceived by the character. If a mountebank acquires taint from his patrons (see Supernatural Patron) he can nullify this taint, once per day, during one short encounter (this ability is instantly negated if the sage uses any supernatural power or ability).

Polyglot: A sage always knows how to read and write. He also gains one bonus language per level. He can either choose these languages during the game or spend a few days with a native speaker to learn the new tongue (at the Judge’s discretion).

Loremaster: Sages know a lot of things. They are always treated as trained (i.e. roll a d20) for any skill check dealing with academic or ‘sagely’ lores (religions, folklore, occultism etc.). If the Judge believes that a particular skill check is also related to the sage’s previous professions (for example: a scribe checking for a lost manuscript), the character should roll a d24. All sages also know the following skills (like a Thief of the same alignment): Forge document, Read languages, Handle poison, Cast spell from scroll, wand or rod (yes, this last skill is expanded to include wands and rods).

Curse Die: Progression as a Thief’s Luck Die. First of all, sages recover Luck as thieves. Sages can use Luck to boost their own checks as any other characters. However, sages are experts on curses (especially Neutral sages) and can inflict minor hexes on their foes. A sage can expend his Luck to inflict penalties on adversaries on sight. Each point spent inflicts a Curse Dice on the target (now save). The sage must be able to speak to do so and he can use this knack even during other characters’ or enemies’ actions.

Sagely Advice: A sage can only use his second and third Action Die on other characters, instructing them about what they should do during a combat encounter or skill check. During combat, the sage must be able to speak to the chosen ally, who gains a new action which must use the sage’s Action Dice roll result. A character can only receive one Sagely Advice per round. Out of combat, a sage can also instruct a character about how he should do something. The Judge is the final arbiter about what type of actions can benefit from this ability and the sage must have around one minute of time to instruct his ally.

Supernatural Patrons: Like wizards, sages can invoke supernatural patrons. A sage automatically receives the spells patron bond and invoke patron at 1st level. He can only learn these spells and others granted directly by their patrons. Unlike other spellcasters, a sage can accumulate 1 patron for every three levels (maximum 3 at 9th level). Each patron after the first automatically inflicts taint on the sage and increases his chance to suffer further corruption by one (i.e. a sage with 2 patrons rolls for corruption with a natural 1 or 2). To cast any patron-related spell a sage is treated as wizard of the same caster level.

The Right Tool for The Job: If a sage has enough gold with him, he can declare that he has spent that money before leaving town to buy any reasonably common item that could be carried by either him or a hireling. The sage must explain how the item is with him if he was searched before by enemies.

Planning Ahead: Sages add their level to their Initiative rolls. All characters that go after him must declare their intentions.