Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fighters in the Twilight Empire

Designer's Notes

The fighter abilities are inspired by the "warrior skills" in Empire of the Petal Throne (p. 18). These are a little more potent than weapon proficiencies from 1st and 2nd edition AD&D, but a little less potent than feats from the 3rd and later editions of D&D. Enough to provide some background and flavor to individual fighters, but not enough to change the underlying power dynamics of the game (or so I hope--these have yet to be playtested in their current version). The fighter abilities also help provide differentiation to fighters wielding different weapons, since weapons in OD&D are mechanically similar. This is especially true if using only the original 3 LBB's and not the Greyhawk supplement, since all attacks inflict 1d6 damage regardless of weapon type. 

The barbarian and cavalier training packages are inspired by the fighter sub-classes of the same names from the 1st edition AD&D Unearthed Arcana. However, the barbarian training package is intended to reflect the various "primitive" agriculturalists and pastoralists on the fringes of Europe in antiquity and after (Huns, ancient Germans, Avars, Bulgars, Magyars, Saami, Prus, etc.), rather than pulp fantasy barbarians such as Conan or his many lesser successors. (Although in truth Conan was closer in skills and equipage to his ancient forebears than were the many forgettable sword and sorcery barbarians who followed him.) Barbarians who can afford it are happy to wear mail and other forms of heavy armor; what makes them distinctive is their stereotypical "toughness" and their non-combat skill set. Currently, the barbarian "toughness" is represented by a +2 to the character's constitution ability score; this could change if I think of something better.

Cavaliers receive a bonus when making attacks while mounted and charging. This replaces all of the fiddly abilities and chivalric who-ha from the Unearthed Arcana cavalier. However, cavaliers are required to have the noble background if they're human, and their skills include courtesy (how to behave at court or when among the aristocracy). Cavaliers also have the tracking skill, because of all of the time they spend hunting (their chief sport when not killing people).

Scouts are intended to include both mounted and non-mounted skirmishers of various kinds. What unites them is their maneuverability and their skill in harassing slower-moving troops with missile attacks. The latter is represented by the split-move and fire power, the name for which is of course cribbed from OD&D's miniature wargame precursor Chainmail, where it is a special ability of elvish troops. Speaking of not-so subtle OD&D references, scouts also have "outdoor survival" as a bonus skill, a nod to the Avalon Hill board game which was recommended for use with OD&D, since its game board could be used for wilderness adventures.

Soldiers are the most generic of the fighter training packages, covering the various sorts of mercenaries and regular troops that could be found in the armies of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Their power is weapon specialization, similar to its incarnation in the 1st and later editions of D&D, but here giving a simple +1 on attack and damage rolls with the weapon of choice.

Fighters

Prime Requisite:           strength
Hit Dice:                      1d8
Base Attack Bonus:     +1 per level
Armor Proficiency:      all
Weapon Proficiency:   all
Class Powers:               fighter abilities

Fighter Experience Table

XP Level
HD
BAB
Fighter Abilities
1
1d8
+1
1
2
2d8
+2
1
3
3d8
+3
1
4
4d8
+4
1
5
5d8
+5
2
6
6d8
+6
2
7
7d8
+7
2
8
8d8
+8
2
9
9d8
+9
3

Fighter Description

Fighters are experts in the art of war. Examples include bandits, knights, mercenaries, marines, pirates, and woodsmen.

Fighter Powers

Fighter Abilities

A 1st level fighter has one fighter ability of the player’s choice. Additional abilities are gained at the rate of one every four levels (second skill at 5th level, third skill at 9th level, etc.).

#
Fighter Ability
1
Artillery
2
Boxing
3
Dual Wielding
4
Fencing
5
Grappling
6
Jousting
7
Mounted Archery
8
Pike Drill
9
Quick Draw
10
Two Handed Sword

Artillery: The fighter can operate and make basic repairs on fixed artillery pieces, such as ballistae, catapults, and cannon.

Boxing: The fighter gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls when fighting unarmed.

Dual Wielding: The fighter may use a second weapon in place of a shield, which provides a +1 bonus to his attack rolls. If an attack hits, there is a 10% chance it is with the off-hand weapon.

Fencing: The fighter is skilled at defending when wielding a rapier, and receives a -1 bonus to his armor class.

Grappling: The fighter gains a +2 bonus on grappling attack rolls.

Jousting: The fighter can attack with a lance while mounted and charging, in order to receive the lance’s double damage bonus.

Mounted Archery: The fighter can fire a short bow while mounted and moving.

Pike Drill: The fighter can attack with a pike while in formation, and can train others to do the same (given sufficient time). The fighter can also set a pike against a charging combatant. A set pike scores double damage on a successful attack.

A unit of combatants with the pike drill ability can fight in formation, which enables multiple ranks of combatants to attack the same target simultaneously. A group of pikemen in formation can also force charging combatants to make a morale roll in order to continue the charge.

Quick Draw: The fighter can draw or ready a weapon without having to spend an action or receive a penalty to his initiative score.

Two Handed Sword: The fighter can disable an opponent’s polearm (halberd or pike), spear, or lance with a successful attack roll.

Fighter Training Packages

Fighter Training Packages Table

#
Training Package
Skills
Powers
Races
BP
AL
1
Barbarian
hide in wilderness
outdoor survival
tracking
constitution bonus
any
any but scholar
any
2
Cavalier
courtesy
riding
tracking
mounted charge bonus
cambion
elfborn
human
noble
any
3
Scout
outdoor survival
riding
tracking
split-move and fire
any
any but scholar
any
4
Soldier
appraisal
riding
teamster
weapon specialist
any
any but scholar
any

Barbarian

Items:               chainmail armor; hand axe; helmet; shield; spear
Skills:               hide in wilderness; outdoor survival; tracking
Powers:             constitution bonus
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   any except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A barbarian is a warrior from an uncivilized society. Uncivilized societies include hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, fishermen, and farmers. They are “uncivilized” in that they don’t build cities or towns. The political structures of barbarian societies tend to be smaller in scale than those of civilized societies, but can include short-lived empires created by the conquests of a charismatic leader.

Constitution Bonus: A barbarian receives a +2 bonus to his constitution score. A barbarian character can have a constitution score higher than 18.




Cavalier

Items:               chainmail armor; helmet; lance; sword; shield; warhorse, charger
Skills:               courtesy; riding; tracking
Powers:            mounted charge bonus
Races:              cambion; elfborn; human
Backgrounds:   noble
Alignment:       any

Description: A cavalier is a fighter of noble birth trained to fight while mounted. Their favored tactic is attacking with a lance while mounted and charging. As such, a cavalier is required to take jousting as his first fighter skill.

Cavaliers generally also have considerable experience hunting various kinds of game, which is the basis for their skill in tracking.

A cavalier must take jousting as his first fighter ability.

Mounted Charge Bonus: When a cavalier makes a melee attack at the end of a mounted charge, he receives a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. If attacking with a lance, this bonus is in addition to the lance’s double damage bonus.






Scout

Items:               helmet; 6 javelins or short bow, 20 arrows, and quiver; sword; quilted armor; shield;
warhorse, charger
Skills:               outdoor survival; riding; tracking
Powers:            split-move and fire
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A scout is a warrior who specializes in tracking enemy movements, harassing enemy units with ranged or hit-and-run attacks, and out-maneuvering enemy formations.

Split-Move and Fire: A scout is able to make a half-move, then make a missile attack, and then make another half-move, all in the same combat round.






Soldier

Items:               brigandine; helmet; quilted armor; shield; weapon of specialization (varies)
Skills:               appraisal; riding; teamster
Powers:            weapon specialist
Races:              any
Backgrounds:   all except scholar
Alignment:       any

Description: A soldier is a professional warrior who fights with a regular army or mercenary band. Soldiers are generally of common birth, but can otherwise come from a variety of backgrounds.


Weapon Specialist: A soldier specializes in a particular kind of weapon. The character receives a +1 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls when making an attack with a weapon of the relevant kind. The character also receives the weapon as a bonus item, together with any associated ammunition or pertinences, such as a scabbard, quiver, bolt case, or powder horn.