Cat Men Class for Pits & Perils

I’ve yet to decide whether to call them Cat Men or Cat People.  Fighting Fantasy has them as Cat People, and it seems to roll off the tongue well.  You tell me what you like better.

 

Cat Men

A creation of the ancient high elves, cat men resulted from mixing humans with felis domesticus. The resulting hybrid had the intelligence of humans and the will of feral cats, and proved useless as servants to the high elves. Left to their own devices, the cat men retreated to isolated forest communities usually ruled by a Chief who proved himself in combat. They have very little need to trade with the world of men, but occasionally travel and interact with them. Rare cat men are known to take up adventuring with parties of humans. They care not for monetary wealth, but do value gems and jewelry as decorative trophies.

They’re dexterous warriors, leaping from trees and the shadows to ambush their prey and foes alike. They are excellent infiltrators, charging past enemy formations to attack them from behind. They speak their own tongue and a variant of the common human tongue. They are naked and not ashamed, but will wear simple tunics or trousers to fit in among other humanoids.

While they prefer their claws in combat, cat men are known especially for hunting with knives, bola, javelins, and thrown nets.

GMs should use their judgment as to the efficacy of claw attacks against certain monsters such as gargoyles and animated constructs.


Cat men have Dexterity plus whatever else they roll.

Cat men have a base movement rate of 60′

Cat men can feed themselves as long as there’s small game available such as rats, snakes, birds or mice.

On a successful save, cat men can detect invisible enemies, including spirits.

If a cat man forgoes his combat action, he can move at double movement rate.

The cat man gains +1 to attack and +1 damage when attacking an unaware foe.

If a cat man is unarmed, his claw attacks count as daggers.

Cat men have the dodge maneuver at level 1.

Cat men gain combat moves at 3rd level, and every 3rd level thereafter.

Cat men can carry shields, but otherwise do not wear armor.

Cat men can wield one handed melee weapons but do not use bows.

HP 7, +2 per level thereafter

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Adapting Rhino Men to Pits & Perils

Below is a character class for Rhino Men adapted to my game world in development.  This is inspired by the Rhino Men from Fighting Fantasy.   Perhaps you may like to run them in your setting.  For simplicity’s sake I used the male pronoun, but you can of course run Rhino Man female characters all you like.

It is my goal here to define the Rhino as a warrior class without treading upon the standard Fighter of Pits & Perils.  Note that the Rhino does not get a +1 attack bonus.  That is the domain of the Fighter Class.

I have yet to play test this Rhino.  Consider this a rough draft to help flesh out character concept.

Rhino Men

The Rhino men are a hybrid creation of the High Elves, blending human and rhino traits. Originally created to be a servile soldier class, the human free will and conscience combined with rhinoceros stubbornness made them unreliable soldiers, often disobeying unjust orders and instead killing their elvish commanders. Rhino Men joined the coalition of humans, dwarfs and sea elves in the Great Rebellion that eventually destroyed the Empire.

Adult rhino men are very tall and broad, ranging six to seven feet tall, and easily 250 to 400 pounds. Rhinomen live in tribal villages, and their homes are usually thatched houses spartan in furnishing. They have a very martial culture, their main professions being mercenaries and caravan guards. Some take to the wilds alone or with Wanderers of other species to protect the trail-ways and back-ways from being overrun with monsters.

Rhino culture values honor and heroism, and their bards create extravagant operas and orchestral hymns that are performed at seasonal festivals. Despite having only three fingers, they are adept at playing bagpipes, flutes and drums. Their great voices range from soprano to deep bass, with many of their marching hymns having multiple overlapping harmonies. The rhinomen, while learning the written languages of other races, have no written language of their own. They dispense knowledge through song, rhyme, and poetry. Rhinos are well regarded in human settlements.

The tough rhino hide gives all Rhino Men +1 armor. Due to their great size, tough hides and sharp rhino horns, if a Rhino Man charges 20′ or more, he can add +1 damage for any hit (melee or thrown). Rhino Men have Strength plus whatever else they roll. Rhinos have an acute sense of smell, but like their rhinoceros relatives they have poor eyesight. Ranged attacks beyond 60′ feet are at -1.

Rhino men gain combat maneuvers at level 3, and every third level afterward.

As their combat prowess increases, so too does their ability to withstand combat damage. Rhino men gain +1 armor at level 3, and every third level thereafter.

At 9th level Rhinos gain 2 attacks per round.

Rhino Men are vegetarian and do not eat flesh.

Rhino Men speak the common trade lingo of men, their own tongue, and can speak with wild rhinoceros.

Level HP XP

1        10   0

2        12 tbd

3        14 tbd

4        16 tbd

5        18 tbd

6        20 tbd

7        22 tbd

8        24 tbd

9        26 tbd

10      28 tbd

Creating OSR classes in BOP, part 2

I’m going to try my hand at creating classic D&D/OSR classes in BOP, once again.  I want to run a game at the local game store. I’d like to use BOP, but it would be more of a high fantasy setting using material from the OSR universe.  Therefore, I consider this practice for that activity. If I find it to be too awkward, I’ll probably run Pits & Perils or Swords and Wizardry Whitebox.

When it comes to particular skills, I’m going to use an extra die as an Advantage mechanic when that class attempts something it is good at.  That is, roll three dice, keep the highest two. If a situation puts a character at a disadvantage, roll three dice, keep the lowest two.

And as always, non-spellcasters can boost their physical rolls with Might.  I will do Fighter, Thief, Sorcerer (as magic-user), Ranger, and Demi-human race-as-class.

Fighter

Choose a class of weapon: swords, axes, pole arms, bows, etc. When fighting with that class of weapon, roll with advantage.

In Combat, for each point the fighter rolls over the target number, score an additional point of damage.

The fighter gets double the armor value for his armor and shields before needing to repair them.

Thief

When engaged in any task of subterfuge: sneaking, hiding, picking pockets, tinkering with locks and fine machinery, or ambushing someone from a hiding place,  the thief rolls with Advantage.

Sorcerer

As a Blood of Pangea Sorcerer.  Damage dealing spells cost 1 Might per point of damage. Healing spells cost 1 Might per point healed.

Cleric

No clerics.  If someone has the favor of a deity, make an ad hoc ruling.

Ranger

The ranger rolls with advantage when tracking or engaged in wilderness survival activities: foraging, hunting, sneaking, detecting predators, etc.  The Ranger rolls with Advantage when attacking with missile weapons.  The ranger can, for a cost of 1 might, ask a question of any wild animal and understand the answer.

Paladin

As cleric.  A fighter with the favor of a deity.

Dwarf

The dwarf rolls with advantage when discerning features of stonework: traps, slopes, hidden doors.  The dwarf rolls with advantage when resisting magical spells.  Choose either the Fighter’s damage ability or Armor ability.

The OSR games cap the the Dwarf’s ability to move high in levels to balance its special skills.  So I “balanced” the dwarf by making the player choose which Fighter ability to take.  If you have a better idea, please tell me.

Elf

A sorcerer with the Fighter’s skills.  The elf rolls with advantage when resisting sleep, paralysis, and disease.  Elves need only half the sleep other races need.  It costs twice the experience as other characters to increase the Elf’s might or acquire new skills.

Halfling

Halflings roll with advantage when sneaking, hiding, and picking pockets.  They roll with advantage when using missile weapons, and have the Fighter’s damage ability when using missile weapons.  Halflings roll with advantage when resisting magic.

Personally I’m find all this quite tedious.  I played a Halfling in an online forum game of Labyrinth Lord a couple of years back.  While all armor types were available to him,  I went lightly armored (leather) as I wanted him to be able to sneak.  There’s no explicit rules in that game for Halflings sneaking; the fiction informed those tasks when I attempted them.  Anyone who has read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings understands that halflings can move very quietly when they want to.

If I had a game with Halflings, I’d know right off that I’d give advantage of some kind to a sneaky halfling, provided he’s not loaded up with clanking gear.  If he’s a bumbling, clumsy halfling, then I wouldn’t.  But, unless he was played as a heavy footed clumsy oaf, I’d run with it.

Now that I’ve tried this experiment, I don’t like the idea of using OSR classes for BOP.  It feels too restrictive.  Perhaps a class could encompass some talents as part of a narrative.  As far as explicit mechanical classes, I’d have simply Warriors, Sorcerers, and Rogues (a hybrid of the two), and as racial modifiers something special for each species I wanted to run, and be done with it.  I think it would be possible to blend that with the BOP character narrative. Consider my take on Sam Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings:

Samwise is a halfling warrior, skilled gardener and cook.  He can carry extremely heavy burdens for a great distance.  He is resistant to curses and wields a mean short sword.

Fiction fills in the rest. I’m not sure if I’ll run BOP yet at the local game store but now that I’ve dumped my brain on here and sorted out some thoughts, I’m not entirely opposed to it.

Someone on the BOP Google+ forum suggested letting BOP narratives be longer, but only five talents can be pulled from it. 

In such a way, a custom character could be built.  This reminds me of World of Dungeons where you can create a custom character by selecting four talents from a list. If I wanted to skip the narrative and let the players build characters from some master list of talents, they can create their desired character type.

This blog post is getting a little long and, being a light-weight, my second beer is making me unnecessarily verbose.  So I will end this now.