Sometimes it's just not enough to be a Fighter, Paladin or Ranger. Each of those classes is a lot of fun, but there's nothing which says you want to be restricted only to three types of fun.
So, here, we're going to show you how to create and play other sorts of warrior characters.
Kits and Warriors
Each special warrior described in this chapter is defined as a Kit of different characteristics. The Kit consists of the following elements:
Description: This paragraph talks about what the warrior is. It's a general description of the appearance, manner, cultural background and use of the character in a campaign. It also lists any requirements necessary for the character to take the Kit; for instance, to be an Amazon, a character must be female. (Surprise!)
Role: This paragraph describes the role of this warrior in the society that spawned him and in an ongoing campaign. A Samurai has a different cultural role from a Wilderness Warrior, even if both, say, are Paladins.
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules from AD&D® 2nd Edition, then your Kit may require your warrior to take a specific skill; the character may not be able to choose or random-roll his Secondary Skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: You must use the AD&D® 2nd Edition game rules for Weapon Proficiencies in order to use these Warrior Kits. Most of these Kits will require your warrior to take specific weapon proficiencies. A Samurai wouldn't be the same without his katana, or a Noble Warrior without his lance, for example.
When required to take a specific Weapon Proficiency, the warrior must take that from the number of slots he has available to "spend."
Nonweapon Proficiencies: You also must use the Nonweapon Proficiencies rules from AD&D® 2nd Edition, as many Warrior Kits require your character to take specific nonweapon proficiencies. (For instance, it's foolish to be a Pirate without Seamanship, or a Wasteland Rider without Riding.)
But these required Nonweapon Proficiencies are bonusesgiven in addition to the nonweapon proficiency choices you normally choose. Sometimes a bonus proficiency will come from a group other than the General or Warrior groups, but, since it's a bonus, it doesn't matter how many extra slots it would otherwise be required to occupy.
Some proficiencies will merely be recommended, not required. When a choice is recommended, it is not given to the character; if the character decides to take this nonweapon proficiency, he takes it from the number of choices he has.
If you wish, you can use both Secondary Skills and Nonweapon Proficiencies in your campaign, but you'll find that character creation is simpler and more consistent if you use only the Proficiencies rules.
Equipment: Some Warrior Kits gravitate toward certain types of equipment. Noble Warriors tend toward heavy armor and weapons such as swords and lances; Pirates lean toward cutlasses, throwing knives, light or no armor, and the like.
These equipment listings aren't really restrictions or hard-and-fast rules. A Pirate on shore may wish to deck himself out in full plate, for instance. But in normal circumstances, a character should gravitate toward the types of equipment appropriate for him, and the DM must steer him toward such equipment types.
For example, the pirate who keeps his full plate on while aboard ship will be knocked overboard time and time again as a reminder of why pirates don't usually wear such cumbersome stuff. As he's being dragged to the ocean bottom, he can reflect on his mistake. A noble warrior who wears leathers when jousting will almost certainly get what he deserves for his folly.
Special Benefits: Most Warrior Kits have some special benefits that others don't. Often, they're defined as special reaction bonuses among certain classes of society, special rights in certain cultures, and so forth. Other benefits are more unusual or dramatic: The Berserker can call on hidden resources of strength and vitality when in combat, for instances.
Special Hindrances: Likewise, each Warrior Kit has certain disadvantages which hinder him. Pirates are sought by the authorities; Amazons face discrimination in male-dominated societies.
Wealth Options: Some Warrior Kits have special rules regarding their wealth. The Noble Warrior, for instance, will begin play with more starting gold than some other Warrior Kits. However, he's also required to maintain a higher standard of living than the others. If he fails to do so, he temporarily loses some of his Special Benefits.
Races: Each of these Kits is written with the human character in mind, and this paragraph describes what happens when you have a demihuman character instead. The DM will have to ask himself if he wants certain race/Warrior Kit combinations (Savage Elves? Dwarf Amazons? Noble Halfling-Warriors?). If he does allow them, this paragraph will make notes on recommended racial modifications. For instance, the Noble Dwarf-Warrior will be required to be proficient with axe and hammer rather than sword and lance, and won't be required to be a rider.
An Important Note
In the following sections, several Warrior Kits get reaction bonuses and penalties as part of their Special Benefits and Special Hindrances. A word of caution needs to accompany them.
In the AD&D® game, when a character is very charismatic, he gets what is called a "reaction adjustment." (See the Player's Handbook, page 18.) When the character has a high Charisma and receives a bonus, it's expressed as a plus: +2, for instance. When he has a low Charisma and receives a penalty, it's expressed as a minus: 3, for example.
However, when you roll the 2d10 for encounter reactions (see the Encounter Reactions Table, Dungeon Master's Guide) p. 103, don't add the bonus (+) or subtract the penalty () from the die roll. Do it the other way around. If the character has a Charisma of 16, and thus gets a +5 reaction adjustment, you subtract that number from the 2d10 die roll. (Otherwise the NPCs would be reacting even more badly because the character was charismatic!)
Kits and the Warrior Classes
In general, each Kit can be used with each of the three warrior classes. Your character can, for instance, be a Barbarian Fighter, an Amazon Paladin, or a Samurai Ranger.
Some choices may be a little questionable. For example, it's not likely that you'll be playing a Pirate Paladin. However, it is possible. If your band of pirates, in happy-go-lucky movie tradition, attacks only the wicked, frees all innocents, and performs in an otherwise mostly-honorable fashion, they're obviously not an evil group and a paladin could adventure among them. If that's the sort of pirate campaign you and your DM agree to play, then that's fine.
When one warrior class cannot choose a specific Warrior Kit, the exceptions will be noted.
Kits and Character Creation
You can only take one Warrior Kit for your character.
You can only take a Warrior Kit for your character when that character is first created.
There's an exception to that second rule: If you and your DM both want to integrate these rules into an existing campaign, and both DM and players can agree upon what Warrior Kit each existing player-character most closely resembles, then you can use these rules for existing characters, adding a Warrior Kit to each existing character.
Once you've taken a Warrior Kit, you cannot change it. Later in the character's life, he can possibly abandon his Kit; see "Abandoning A Kit," later in this chapter.
The Warrior Kits
Following are several sorts of warriors represented by Warrior Kits. Before allowing his players to choose Kits for their characters, the DM should review these and make notes for himself about them.
For each Warrior Kit, the DM has to choose:
(1) If he will even allow this Kit in his campaign.
(2) What additional information he needs to give the players about each Kit.
(3) What changes he might wish to make to each Kit.
Let's take the Amazon Kit as an example. This Kit was loosely derived from the Amazons of Greek myth. But this DM's Amazons may be substantially different from those.
So, first, he has to decide if he will allow this Kit in his campaign. If he has any sort of Amazons on his world, he probably will allow this. If he has no Amazons, then he won't. Let's presume that he does.
Second, he has to decide what additional information he needs to give the players about the Amazons. In his world, let's say, the Amazons live on Lunyrra, a heavily forested island surrounded by almost unscaleable cliffs, and make war on the surrounding islands; when players are interested in playing Amazons, he gives them that information in addition to the Kit.
Third, he has to decide what changes he wishes to make to the Kit. Since his Amazons are sailors instead of famous equestrians, he changes the required/bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies from Riding and Animal Training to Seamanship and Navigation.
By these means, he has adapted the generic Warrior Kit below to his own campaign world and made it fit in just as he likes.
Description: Amazons are women warriors in a male-dominated world. Their civilization might have been created by a deity who likes women warriors; or they might have been women who rebelled from male dominations and decided to rule themselves; or they might simply have been matriarchal societies from long before recorded history.
Whatever their origin, they now live in civilizations or communities where women occupy the positions and roles traditionally held by menand, in the campaign, that means especially the role of warriors and adventurers.
An Amazon culture may be small (a single town or island) or large (an entire country or continent), very advanced or very primitive. Some Amazon cultures keep men as servants and slaves, a stern reversal of the former status; others have no men in their communities, and take long holidays in order to visit friendly neighboring tribes of men; others perpetuate their kind by being very hospitable to adventurers passing through their territory. (In this last instance, some Amazon cultures, afterwards, may decide to kill the adventurers; others don't.) For details of exactly how the Amazon communities work in your campaign world, consult your DM. (And give him plenty of time to come up with the answers if it's not something he's thought about before.)
Traditionally, Amazons are famous riders and breeders of horses. In their own countries, they wear light armor and carry shields, spears, swords and bows. In other countries, if they are disadvantaged by their cultural weapons and armor, they quickly adapt to local weapons and armor.
Here's an important point to remember: In most campaigns, you don't have to be an Amazon to be a female warrior; check with your DM for other ways to play a female warrior. The Amazons are merely a very colorful and distinctive type of female warrior. If a player wants to have a female warrior character, the DM should try to accommodate the player whenever possible, and shouldn't have to resort to making the character an Amazon in order to allow her to be a warrior. In just about every real-world history and mythology, you'll find female warriors in male-dominated societies; otherwise there would be no Joan of Arc or Atalanta of Calydon.
There are no special ability-score requirements to be an Amazon.
Role: In her own society, regardless of the level of civilization, the Amazon warrior is very highly regarded. She is the defender of the whole civilization's way of life, and every Amazon girl aspires to grow up to be a warrior. But in the outer world, and in the campaign in general, the Amazon is a curiosity, often regarded as a barbarian (no matter how cultured her civilization might be), stared at, whispered about. The people of other cultures will be suspicious of her, and she will probably start out being uncomfortable around men who appear to be her social equalin her eyes, they are the ones who are unnatural.
The DM will have to guide this situation carefully. Once the Amazon character has proven herself in combat to her outer-world allies, and once they have proven themselves in combat to her, there's no reason why they cannot be staunch allies. NPCs may continue to trouble her, but player-characters should not; and the other PCs should rise to her defense when NPCs make trouble for her; only the most obnoxious of PCs would continue to give her trouble, and the other PCs certainly shouldn't support his attitude.
Secondary Skills: Required: Groom.
Weapon Proficiencies: Required: Spear, Long Bow. (Amazon fighters can Specialize only in Spear or Long Bow.) Recommended: Various axes, swords.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Riding (Land-Based), Animal Training. Recommended: GeneralAnimal Handling, (Warrior) Animal Lore, Armorer, Bowyer/Fletcher, Hunting, Running, Survival, Tracking.
Equipment: When an Amazon character is first created, she must buy her weapons and armor from among the following choices only: WeaponsBattle Axe, Bow (Any), Club, Dagger/Dirk, Hand or Throwing Axe, Javelin, Knife, Lance, Spear, Sword (any); ArmorShield, Leather, Padded, Studded Leather, Brigandine, Scale Mail, Hide, Banded Mail, Bronze Plate Mail. Once she has adventured elsewhere in the world, she may purchase weapons and armor from those regions.
Special Benefits: Male warriors in a civilization where female warriors are rare tend to underestimate the Amazon. Therefore, in any fight where the Amazon confronts a male who is not familiar with her personally or female warriors in general, she gets a +3 to attack rolls and +3 damage on her first blow only. This is because her opponent's guard is down.
This doesn't work on player-characters unless the player is role-playing honestly enough to declare that he, too, would underestimate her.
This ability doesn't work on some other types of characters:
An NPC who is wary enough not to underestimate the Amazon might, with a successful Intelligence check, see the attack coming and deny her the bonus;
A seasoned veteran (any Warrior of 5th level or higher, or any other character of 8th level or higher), in spite of his prejudice, will realize that she is moving like a trained warrior and keep his guard up, denying her the bonus.
If the Amazon hits an NPC with this attack, he'll never again be prey to it; if an NPC even sees an Amazon hit someone with it, he'll never fall for it himself. But if she misses that first strike, then the target will continue to underestimate her and she can use those bonuses again on her next strike.
Special Hindrances: The Amazon suffers a 3 reaction roll adjustment from NPCs who are from male-dominated societies. This reaction adjustment goes away for characters who come to respect her, such as (presumably) her PC allies.
Wealth Options: The Amazon gets the ordinary 5d4x10 gp as starting money.
Races: The Amazons from folklore and myth were humans. It's not difficult to envision elvish or half-elvish clans of Amazons, either; they'd follow the rules above for human Amazons.
It's a little harder to envision dwarvish, gnomish, or halfling Amazons. But if you do use such civilizations:
Dwarf Amazons will have Axe and Hammer as their required weapon proficiencies; they are still Riders, but substitute swine for their mount of choice (swine are very dangerous, and the prospect of a ferocious she-dwarf on the back of a biting boar is a daunting one).
Gnome Amazons will have Throwing Axe and Short Sword as their required weapon proficiencies; their Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies are Tracking and Survival.
Halfling Amazons will have Javelin and Sling as their required weapon proficiencies; their Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies are Endurance and Set Snares; and you will have to presume that these halflings aren't as fond of ease and leisure as the more common sorts of halflings.
Description: This is not the barbarian of history, but the barbarian of fantasy fiction. He's a powerful warrior from a culture on the fringes of civilization. He's left his home to sell his skills and adventure in the civilized worldperhaps to amass a fortune with which to return home, perhaps to become an important figure in this so-called civilization. He's known for strength, cunning, contempt for the outer world's decadence, and for adhering to his own code of honor.
The barbarian is usually very strong; therefore, the barbarian must have a Strength ability score of 15 or more. A character can come from a barbarian tribe and have a lower Strength than thatbut he cannot have the Barbarian Kit.
Role: The typical RPG barbarian is a powerful, dangerous figure, as though he were an animal totem in human skin. In a campaign, he's a front-line fighter with some special skills and a very different outlook than the rest of the characters; his player should always play him as someone from a different land, someone whose likes and dislikes and perceptions are based on a different culture. (If you play him as just another warrior from down the street, you lose a lot of the mystique the character has.)
If the PC party has no real leader, he may gravitate to that role; if it has a good enough leader, he'll probably stick to being a specialist in the things he does well.
Secondary Skills: The DM will decide, based on the character's background, what sort of secondary skill would be required. Most barbarian tribes have a required skill; a tribe that makes its living by fishing would have Fisher as its required secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Required: Battle Axe, Bastard Sword. (These are the classical fiction-barbarian weapons; the DM may decide to substitute others more appropriate to his own world.) Barbarian fighters may specialize in any weapon, but are not likely to encounter unusual weapons (like lances, quarterstaves, flails, peculiar polearms) until they reach the outer world. Recommended: Bow (any), Sling, Sword (any), War Hammer.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiency: Endurance. Recommended: GeneralAnimal Handling, Animal Training, Direction Sense, Fire-Building, Riding (Land-Based), Weather Sense, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Hunting, Mountaineering, Running, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking, (Priestcosts twice the listed number of slots if Fighter or Ranger, or just the listed number if Paladin) Herbalism, (Roguecosts double slots) Jumping. The DM is within his rights to insist that the Barbarian character take a proficiency in the tribal specialty (Fishing, Agriculture, whatever) if the DM so wishes.
Equipment: The character, when he spends his starting gold, may not buy armor heavier than splint mail, banded mail, or bronze plate mail. Outside his tribe, once he has adventured in the outer world, he can use any type of armor without penalty. When he spends his starting gold, he must limit himself to weapons the DM says are appropriate for his tribethe usual group of weapons includes battle axe, bows (any), club, dagger or dirk, footman's flail, mace, or pick, hand or throwing axe, sling, spear, or sword (any).
Special Benefits: Barbarians are impressive because of sheer strength, intensity, and animal magnetism; this gives them a +3 reaction adjustment bonus in certain situations.
Whenever the barbarian character achieves a reaction roll of 8 or less (including Charisma and racial bonuses), you subtract the modifier. That is, if the reaction is positive at all, it will be even more positive than it otherwise would have been.
Example: Torath the Toranaran is a Barbarian with a Charisma of 15. Encountering a knight who could be friend or foe to him, he speaks with the knight in a friendly fashion. The DM rolls his Encounter Reaction and achieves an 11 on 2d10. On the "Friendly" column of the Encounter Reactions chart from the Dungeon Master Guide, this is a "Cautious" reaction.
But waithis charisma gives him a +3 bonus. The 11 becomes an 8, still an indifferent reaction. But because he's reached an 8, his Barbarian bonus comes into play, making the final reaction roll a 5: A friendly reaction.
Special Hindrances: All that impressiveness can work against the Barbarian, too. Whenever the barbarian character achieves a reaction roll of 14 or more, he takes an additional 3 modifier. That is, if the reaction is negative at all, it will be even more negative than it otherwise would have beenthe barbarian is scary, and the other person overreacts.
Example: Torath next meets a suspicious witch, and is indifferent toward her. On the "Indifferent" column of the Encounter Reactions chart, the DM rolls a 17. Torath's Charisma bonus of 3 reduces the roll to a 14, but it's still enough that his Barbarian penalty just shoots it right back up to a 17 again. The witch becomes Threatening.
Wealth Options: The Barbarian gets the starting gold for a Warrior (5d4x10 gp), but he must spend it all (before starting play) except three gp or less; he can have some pocket change when he reaches civilization, but must be close to penniless.
Races: Demihuman Barbarians follow the same rules. Dwarves are perhaps the most admirably suited to being Barbarians. The DM will have to decide whether his elves, half-elves and gnomes are brooding and menacing enough to be Barbarians; the question is even harder with the leisure-loving halflings. But if the DM wishes to allow any or all of these demihuman races to have Barbarians among them, he may.
Final Note: Most classic fantasy-fiction barbarians are male, but this Warrior Kit can certainly be taken by female characters, with all the Kit's requirements, benefits, and hindrances in effect.
Description: The Beast-Rider is a warrior in a tribe or clan (usually a barbarian tribe) which has a strong affinity for one type of animal. The animal is the totem of the tribe, and the Beast-Rider makes friends very easily with that type of animal and can train it into a riding-beast. . . even if it's a type of animal not normally considered a riding-beast.
In a campaign, the Beast-Rider is an exotic warrior who is notable for his kinship with his animal; like the Barbarian, he brings a wild, outsider's attitude into the adventuring party. His animal also has abilities which can benefit the adventuring party. However, the more unusual the animal is, the harder it is to accommodate in all situations: It's no problem to stable a horse at the inn, but just try stabling a great white wolf, a wild boar, or a dolphin!
To be a Beast-Rider, the character must have a Charisma of at least 13. (Naturally, there are members of the Beast-Rider's tribe who are not themselves Beast-Riders; the Beast-Riders are the tribe's elite warriors.)
Role: As mentioned, in his own society, the Beast-Rider is the elite warrior, and he commands a lot of respect among his own kind. Outside his tribal grounds, however, he's very definitely an outsider. His barbarian mannerisms and his obvious and very unusual friendship with his animal set him apart from most societies. Because of this, the Beast-Rider may become especially attached to the other player-characters (if they treat him as an equal and not a freak), even if he'd never admit it to them.
The DM needs to reinforce this social role by having NPCs react to the Beast-Rider's strangeness. For instance, NPCs will be leery of speaking to or negotiating with the Beast-Rider if there's a more "civilized" character on hand to perform those functions. The DM needs constantly to use the Beast-Rider's reaction modifiers, listed below under "hindrances."
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules, the character must take the Groom (Animal Handling) secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Required: None. Recommended: All the weapons commonly associated with mounted warriorsBow (composite short, and short), Horseman's flail, Horseman's mace, Horseman's pick, Lance (any, according to the size of the animal), Spear, Bastard Sword, Long Sword.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Animal Training, Riding (Land-based). The character must declare which one sort of animal both these proficiencies pertain to. Recommended: GeneralAnimal Handling, Direction Sense, Fire-building, (Priest) Healing (specifically veterinary), (Warrior) Animal Lore, Hunting, Mountaineering, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking.
Equipment: When he is first created, the Beast-Rider may only have Hide, Leather, or Padded armor (plus shield and helm). Later in the campaign, he may switch to more advanced forms of armor. . . as long as his mount can carry him and the armor both, of course. When first created, he may have only weapons from the list above under "Weapon Proficiencies." (The DM may change or add to this list to reflect specific cultural details of the Beast-Rider's tribe.)
Special Benefits: The Beast-Rider has an amazing rapport with one type of animal. The animal must be of a species normally strong enough to carry the Beast-Rider and act as a mount. With the DM's permission, the Beast-Rider character gets to decide what sort of animal this is; the DM is encouraged to disallow any sort of animal that will give the Beast-Rider a great advantage in the campaign (for example, a pegasus or griffon).
The Beast-Rider gets a +5 positive reaction adjustment whenever dealing with these animals. He finds it easy to make friends with them; on a die-roll result of 9 or less (on the "Hostile" column of the Encounter Reactions Table, Dungeon Master's Guide page 103), he can even persuade attacking animals of this sort to leave him and his allies alone.
Additionally, the Beast-Rider begins play in the campaign with one of these animals as his personal friend and mount. This animal is devoted to him and will risk (or even sacrifice) its own life to save the character; and the character is expected to behave the same way toward his mount. (If he doesn't role-play this attachment to his animal, the DM should decide that the character has abandoned this Warrior Kit, as per the guidelines given later in this chapter.)
The Beast-Rider has a telepathic rapport with his animal. When in contact or visual line of sight with his animal, he can tell what the beast is feeling, even thinking if it has some intelligence; he and the animal can communicate with one another without appearing to. When the two are not within line of sight with one another, each will know the other's emotional state and whether or not the other is hurt; each will know the direction to travel to find his friend, and the approximate distance (a hundred yards, an hour's travel, several days' travel, for instance).
If the animal ever dies, the Beast-Rider can choose another animal of the same type as his companion. However, the DM must include this situation as part of the campaign story: The character must seek out another such animal, and may only be satisfied with the healthiest, strongest, greatest examples of this animal (in other words, if the character appears to be content to settle with less, the DM tells him, "You sense you won't be able to bond with this animal . . . "); then there must be some sort of bonding ritual between beast and man (for example, a physical combat where the human must be able to saddle and ride the animal in spite of its spirited attempts to throw him). Only then can the character have his new animal.
Following is a list of many animals which are appropriate mounts for the Beast-Rider. Note that not all of them are included in the Monstrous Compendium® series; if a player chooses one not included there, and the DM approves the choice, the DM will have to work up the animal's abilities.
Bat, Huge *+ (mobat) (gnomes and halflings only may ride)
Dragon *+ (only allowable in very high-powered heroic campaigns) Elephant
Lizard (Fire, Giant, or Minotaur)
Lobster, Giant &
Ray, Manta &
Unicorn (traditionally, only virgin lawful-good females may ride)
Wolf, Dire (evil characters could bond with a Winter Wolf)
* Flying animals do tend to change the nature of a campaign, especially a low-level campaign, by making it easy for characters to go long distances quickly, to avoid difficult terrain, etc. The DM should disallow any such choice if it will cause problems in his campaign.
+ Since many of these creatures are evil, the DM may have to introduce into his campaign a nearly-identical race with neutral or good tendencies.
& This species only works if most of the campaign takes place in watery domains.
To calculate the weight-bearing abilities of these animals, compare them to the list on page 78 of the Player's Handbook. Choose the animal from that list most resembling your animal in size and mass, and then use the values for that animal.
Special Hindrances: As mentioned earlier, the Beast-Rider is out of place in most societies. He takes a 3 negative reaction adjustment when meeting NPCs from any culture but his own. (The player-characters do not have to be hostile to the Beast-Rider if they do not wish, however.)
Also, should the Beast-Rider's animal ever die, whether it's in the Beast-Rider's presence or far away, the Beast-Rider immediately takes 2d6 points of damage and must make a saving throw vs. spells. If he fails the saving throw, he behaves as if he were a magic-user hit with feeblemind for the next 2d6 hours. Even if he makes the saving throw, the player should role-play the character's reactionshe's just felt, through their telepathic link, the death of his beloved friend, after all.
Wealth Options: The Beast-Rider gets the ordinary 5d4x10 gp for starting gold. Like the Barbarian, however, he must spend it all (before starting play) except 3 gp or less.
Races: This is a kit that is especially appropriate for demihuman characters. It's easy to envision dwarves on boars, elves on dire wolves, sea-elves on giant sea-horses, and so on.
Notes: It adds a lot of detail and color to a campaign if the DM does a certain amount of work creating the society of each Beast-Rider tribe. The tribe's behavior and activities would be dictated by the type of animal it was tied to: Horse-Riders would live on the plains, riding far and wide, while Boar-Riders would live in forests and moist bottom-land, few ever travelling more than five miles from their home village.
Description: The Berserker is a warrior who has special attributes and abilities when he's in combat. In combat, he can achieve an ecstatic state of mind that will enable him to fight longer, harder, and more savagely than any human being has a right to. This makes him a deadly warrior . . . who can be as much a menace to himself as to his enemies. In a campaign, he's nearly identical to the Barbarianexcept it's obvious from the outset that he has a truly savage and inhuman element in his personality, and he tends to disturb and unsettle other people.
Like the Barbarian, the Berserker must have a Strength ability score of 15 or more.
Role: In his tribe, the Berserker has a special role. He's been touched by supernatural forces, and accepted that touch so that he might better defend his people.
The idea of a Berserker Paladin is a little strange, and some Dms will prefer not to allow it. That's fine. It's not always inappropriate, though. If the character's tribe is deeply involved with an appropriate animal totem, such as a bear or wolverine, a paladin might even be required to be a Berserker, since the DM may reason that it's only the supernatural touch of the totem animal spirit that gives the paladin his other powers. But, again, that's up to the individual DM.
Secondary Skills: As with the Barbarian, the DM will decide what sort of secondary skill is most appropriate for that specific barbarian/berserker tribe.
Weapon Proficiencies: No specific weapon proficiencies are required of the Berserkerbut he may not start out play having a proficiency in a ranged weapon (no thrown axes or knives, no bows or crossbows, etc.). The Berserker lives to destroy things in hand-to-hand combat, so he cannot start play with any sort of ranged weapon proficiency. He can learn others during the course of the campaign, if he and his DM wish to allow itbut it's a little out of character for the Berserker.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiency: Endurance. Recommended: GeneralAnimal Handling, Animal Training, Direction Sense, Fire-Building, Riding (Land-Based), Weather Sense, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Hunting, Mountaineering, Running, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking, (Priestcosts twice the listed number of slots if Fighter or Ranger) Herbalism, (Roguecosts double slots) Jumping. As with the Barbarian, the DM may choose to insist that the Berserker character take a proficiency in the tribal specialty (Trapping, Agriculture, etc.).
Equipment: As with the Barbarian, the Berserker may not use his starting gold to buy armor heavier than splint mail, banded mail, or bronze plate mail. Once he has adventured in the outer world, he can use any type of armor without penalty. When he spends his starting gold, he must limit himself to weapons known to his tribe, and may not choose missile weapons. Good choices include battle axe, club, dagger or dirk, footman's flail, mace, or pick, hand axe, spear, or sword (any).
Special Benefits: Berserkers receive a +3 reaction adjustment bonus from NPCs belonging to any tribe that also has Berserkersthey recognize the Berserker instinctively and respect him, even if he is an enemy.
The other benefit the Berserker receives is his Berserk.
At any time, the Berserker may choose to Go Berserk. This isn't an instantaneous processhe must spend a little time to "psych himself up." It takes a full turn (ten combat rounds) to Go Berserk. In that time, the character is growling, moaning, uttering imprecations . . . it's impossible to be quiet when trying to Go Berserk. He may also be fighting during that time, meaning that he can start to Go Berserk on the round the fight begins, fight for ten full rounds, and then be Berserk on the eleventh round.
Of course, when the Berserker knows a fight is coming, he can begin to Go Berserk, even if there is no fight currently going on. At the end of a full turn of preparation, he can become Berserk instantaneously. If there's no enemy in sight yet, he can hold the Berserk until combat is engaged. But if no combat takes place within five more full turns, he automatically reverts to "normal" and suffers the ordinary consequences for coming out of a Berserk (described below). The character can come out of his Berserk once the last enemy is down (he must literally be down on the ground, even if still alive and surrendering; the Berserker will stay berserk and continue fighting so long as there are enemies still on their feet). Once the fight ends, the Berserker must come out of his Berserk state.
For these reasons, Berserking is a more appropriate reaction when the characters are about to attack or be attacked by a foe they know about. If the characters are, instead, jumped by a small party of orcs, it's usually not worth the effort to Go Berserk; the consequences and effort outweigh the benefits.
When Berserk, the character has phenomenal endurance and resistance to pain and some forms of magic. Only while Berserk, he gains the following benefits:
(1) He is immune (no Saving Throw is necessary) to the wizard spells charm person, friends, hypnotism, sleep, irritation, ray of enfeeblement, scare, geas, and the clerical spells command, charm person or mammal, enthrall, cloak of bravery, and symbol.
(2) He gets a +4 to save against the wizard spells blindness, Tasha's uncontrollable hideous laughter, hold person, charm monster, and confusion, and the clerical spells hold person and hold animal.
(3) The emotion spell has no effect on the Berserker, unless the caster chose the fear result. If fear was chosen, the Berserker gets a normal Saving Throw; if he makes it, he continues on as before, but if he fails it, he is prematurely snapped out of his Berserk, with all the normal effects of coming out of the Berserk (but he doesn't suffer other fear effect). The fear spell has exactly the same effect: If he saves, there is no effect, and if he doesn't save, he's snapped out of the Berserk. If he fails a saving throw against charm monster, he simply counts the caster as one of his allies; he doesn't come out of the Berserk or obey the caster's commands.
(4) Being Berserk offers no real protection from finger of death, except that the spell effects do not take place until the character has come out of his Berserk. If the Berserker saves, he doesn't suffer the 2d8+1 damage until immediately after he snaps out of the Berserk. If he fails to save, he doesn't die until he snaps out of the Berserk.
(5) The Berserker, while Berserk, is immune to KO results from the Punching and Wrestling rules, and takes only half damage from bare-handed attacks from these rules.
(6) While Berserk, the character gets +1 to attack, +3 to damage, and +5 hp.
Special Hindrances: The Berserker has hindrances as severe as all those benefits he receives.
(1) The Berserker character receives a 3 reaction from all NPCs (except, that is, characters from tribes which have berserkers in them, as described above).
(2) When the Berserker goes Berserk, the DM should immediately say to him, "Tell me how many hit points you currently have." From that point until the fight is done and the Berserker has returned to normal, the DM keeps track of his hit points. The player is not told how many hp he has left, nor how many points of damage he is taking with each attack. (After all, the character can feel no pain . . . so he cannot keep track of how close he is to death.) The DM simply tells him something like: "The orc-captain hits you with his axe, a mighty blow which you barely feel . . ." It is therefore very possible for a Berserker to be nickled and dimed to death and not know it until he drops dead. The DM can also, if he so chooses, roll all Saving Throws for the Berserker, not telling the player whether they were failures or successes.
(3) While Berserk, the character can use no ranged weapons. He kills only in hand-to-hand or melee-weapon combat.
(4) While Berserk, he must fight each opponent until that opponent is down. Once an opponent is felled, the Berserker must move to the nearest enemy and attack him. He can't, for instance, choose to attack the enemy leader if that leader is behind seven ranks of spearmen. The Berserker must keep fighting until all enemies are down, as described earlier.
(5) While Berserk, the character cannot take cover against missile fire.
(6) If, while the character is Berserk, another character tries something he can interpret as attack (for instance, hits him to move him out of the way of an incoming attack,) the Berserker must roll 1d20 vs. his Intelligence. If he succeeds (that is, rolls his Intelligence score or less), he's dimly aware that his friend is not attacking him. If he fails (rolls higher than his Intelligence), he now thinks his friend is an enemy, and continues to think so until the fight is done and he is no longer Berserk.
(7) While Berserk, the character is temporarily unaffected by the clerical spells bless, cure light wounds, aid, cure serious wounds, cure critical wounds, heal, regenerate (and wither). He will gain the benefits of those spells only after he has come out of his Berserk and suffered any and all damages which occurred then.
(8) The taunt spell is automatically successful, and will cause the Berserker to abandon his current enemy and rush to attack the taunter.
(9) Finally, when the character comes out of his Berserk, bad things happen to him. He loses the 5 hp he gained when he became Berserk. (This could drop him to or below 0 hp and kill him, of course.) He collapses in exhaustion (exactly as if hit by a ray of enfeeblement, no saving throw possible, for one round for every round he was Berserk. He suffers the effects of any spells which wait until he's returned to normal before affecting him (finger of death, for instance). And only then can healing spells affect him.
Wealth Options: The Berserker gets the ordinary 5d4x10 gp for starting gold. Like the Barbarian, however, he must spend it all (before starting play) except three gp or less.
Races: It's the DM's choice as to whether his demihuman characters can have Berserkers among them. It's entirely appropriate for dwarves, and not inappropriate for elves, gnomes and half-elves. Halfling Berserkers are not very likely. In any case, demihuman Berserkers would not advertise the fact that they were such; until the first time they Berserked in combat, their companions would probably be unaware that they were Berserkers. (The DM can help preserve the secret by not publicizing the fact that all NPCs are taking a 3 to reaction rolls concerning the Berserker characters.)
Description: The Cavalier is the ultimate mounted warrior of civilized cultures, especially those of Middle Ages technology and outlook. In a campaign, he's the shining knight who leads his fellows on an eternal quest for truth, justice, and the elimination of evil. To the world at large, he's a mighty hero. To his friends and allies, he's a staunch friend, a tireless cheerleader, and often an overenthusiastic pain in the neck.
This is a good Warrior Kit for paladins to take. It can be argued that paladins look something like this already, but that isn't necessarily so: Only paladins of cultures resembling medieval Europe would look like this (a paladin of a Japanese-type culture, a paladin of a Polynesian-like culture, and a paladin of a culture resembling later Renaissance Europe would all be very different from the Cavalier). Therefore, a paladin who wants to look every inch the shining knight should take the Cavalier Warrior Kit.
The Cavalier kit resembles the Noble Warrior kit (q.v.) in that both are noblemen warriors, but the Noble Warrior is primarily interested in defending the rights and maintaining the status quo of his social class, while the Cavalier pursues loftier goals.
To be a cavalier, the character must be of any good alignment (chaotic good, neutral good, lawful good) and have at least the following minimum ability scores: Strength 15, Dexterity 15, Constitution 15, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10.
Also, the character must belong to the noble social class in the campaign. It's up to the DM to determine whether this is possible. If his campaign uses a random die-roll to determine who's nobility and who isn't, then the character must first successfully roll to be noble in order to be a Cavalier. If it's more of a role-playing exercise in the campaign, then any character who takes the Cavalier Warrior Kit will be presumed to be of the nobility. (This doesn't mean that he has a lot of money; it's quite likely that he belongs to an impoverished noble family, one with a lot of honorable tradition but no money to speak of.)
Fighters and Paladins may be Cavaliers; Rangers may not. Only humans, elves, and half-elves may be Cavaliers.
Role: In his own and similar cultures, the Cavalier is a mighty hero who has the respect of the majority of the population (the criminal classes and evil characters excepted). He has the good-will of the people (reflected as bonuses to his reaction rolls), but the people also make many demands of him: When there's danger, when someone is in trouble, the people turn to the Cavalier for help. This character does not get much time for rest and relaxation.
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules, the Cavalier must take Groom.
Weapon Proficiencies: Required: Lance (any; player choice) and Sword (any; player choice). Recommended: All other Lances, all other Swords, all Horsemen's weapons, Dagger, Spear, Javelin.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Riding, (Land-based, horse), Etiquette. Recommended: Animal Handling, Animal Training, Dancing, Heraldry, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Musical Instrument, Reading/Writing, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Endurance.
Equipment: The Cavalier must start play with (i.e., spend his initial gold on) at least two weapons, including one lance and one sword, and must then buy the most expensive set of armor he can still afford. After those expenditures, whatever remains of his gold can be spent on items of his choice.
Special Benefits: The Cavalier enjoys many special benefits, including:
At 1st level, he gets a +1 to attack rolls with any lance for which he has proficiency, when using the lance from horseback. This goes up +1 every six experience levels (so he'll be +2 at 7th level, +3 at 13th, etc.).
At 3rd level, he gets a +1 to attack rolls with any one type of sword (his choice from among those he has proficiency with; most common are broad sword, long sword, bastard sword, and scimitar). This goes up +1 every six experience levels (so he'll be +2 at 9th level, +3 at 15th, etc.).
At 5th level, he gets a +1 to attack rolls with either horseman's mace, horseman's flail, or horseman's pick (his choice from among those he has proficiency with). This goes up +1 every six experience levels (so he'll be +2 at 11th level, +3 at 17th level, etc.).
These pluses to attack rolls do not add to damage, and don't allow the Cavalier to hit a monster that can only be hit by magical weapons.
The Cavalier is completely immune to the fear spell. Because he is so brave, he inspires others to courage, and so, while he is fighting, he actually radiates an emotion spell in a 10' radius. This emotion spell radiates courage (see the writeup for the 4th-level wizard spell emotion), but only to the extent that it negates fear; it does not bestow the berserk fury that the actual wizard spell provides.
The Cavalier is +4 to save vs. all magic which would affect his mind, such as the wizard spells charm person, friends, hypnotism, sleep, irritation, ray of enfeeblement, scare, and geas, and the clerical spells command, charm person or mammal, enthrall, cloak of bravery, and symbol.
The Cavalier starts play with a horse which he does not have to pay for. This will be either a heavy war horse, medium war horse, or light war horse (see the Monstrous Manual Volume One entry on Horses). The player may choose what sort of horse it is, subject to the DM's approval. It will automatically be a Charger (see the section on Horse Quality in the Dungeon Master Guide, page 36); the DM may roll for its personality traits according to those rules. If this horse dies, the Cavalier has to acquire himself another one through the usual campaign means (buy one, be given one for noble deeds, etc.), but will not be content with any horse which is not a war horse of Charger quality.
The Cavalier receives a +3 reaction from anyone of his own culture (except criminals and characters of evil alignment, from whom he receives a 3).
And finally, the Cavalier has the right to demand shelter. When he travels, he can demand shelter from anyone in his own nation who is of status lower than nobility. And most people of his own status or higher will be happy to offer him shelter when he is travelling.
Special Hindrances: For all these benefits, the Cavalier has some pretty hefty hindrances as well.
The Cavalier cannot attack an opponent at range if he can instead charge ahead and attack him in melee or jousting combat. Therefore, he cannot snipe on enemies with a bow or crossbow; he cannot use a polearm from behind a shield wall. He has to be on the front line, meeting his foes face-to-face. (A Cavalier could conceivably shoot an opponent with an arrow to stop that opponent from killing an innocent person; that doesn't constitute a violation of his code. But he couldn't shoot the enemy to protect a friend if his friend is fighting that enemy honorably . . . even if his friend is losing.)
In any combat, the Cavalier must attack the enemy who is the biggest and most powerful-looking. If he's held up by lesser troops, he must dispatch them as quickly as possible and then get to his "real" opponent.
He must always have the highest-quality armor he can afford. As he goes through his early experience levels, if he has the money, he'll constantly be selling his old armor and buying the next most protective set of armor. His goal is to have a set of full plate armor; the next step down from that is field plate, then plate mail, then bronze plate mail, then banded or splint, then chain, then scale or brigandine, then ring or studded. And to him, magic bonuses don't mean as much as the type of armor: He prefers a suit of ordinary field plate to a set of banded mail +5. The DM must rigorously enforce this limitation on the character if the player is inclined to ignore it.
The Cavalier must also follow the very strict Code of Chivalry. In most AD&D® game campaigns, his code includes these rules: He must cheerfully perform any noble service or quest asked of him; he must defend, to the death, any person or item placed in his charge; he must show courage and enterprise when obeying his rulers; he must show respect for all peers and equals; he must honor all those above his station (his social class); he must demand respect and obedience from those below his station; he must scorn those who are lowly and ignoble (he will not help the ill-mannered, the coarse, the crude; he will not use equipment which is badly-made or inferior; he will fight on foot before riding a nag; etc.); he must perform military service to his lord whenever asked; he must show courtesy to all ladies (if the Cavalier is male); he must regard war as the flowering of chivalry, and a noble enterprise; he must regard battle as the test of manhood, and combat as glory; he must achieve personal glory in battle; he must slay all those who oppose his cause; and he must choose death before dishonor.
If a Cavalier chooses not to follow this code, bad things happen. The first time he breaks his vows, the DM will warn the player that the Cavalier feels bad about violating his code. The second time he breaks his vows, the Cavalier loses all his special benefits until such time as he repents and undertakes a dangerous task to redeem himself. When performing this task, he must behave according to his code and his hindrances. Only when the task is successfully accomplished does he regain his benefits.
If the Cavalier breaks his vow a third time without repenting and undertaking that task, he has abandoned his Cavalier Warrior Kit. He permanently loses all the special benefits of the Kit. He no longer has to obey his knightly code. He receives a permanent 3 reaction adjustment from all members of his own culture (even those who do not know of his past will be put off by the air of treachery and faithlessness that now haunts the man). His horse, even if it is not the one he began play with, leaves himeither rides off into the sunset without him, or attacks him. He may never ride it again, even if he kills it trying to do so. See "Abandoning a Kit" later in this chapter.
Wealth Options: The Cavalier gets the standard 5d4x10 gp in starting gold.
Races: Of the demihuman races, only elves and half-elves may be Cavaliers.
Description: The gladiator is a showman-warrior from a society where public combat competitions are a popular sport. The gladiator is a professional warrior in this high-profile arena; for the delight (and bloodlust) of the crowds, for his own personal wealth and aggrandizement (or, if he is a slave, for the profits of his owner), he fights organized matches against human, demihuman, and even monstrous opponents.
There are no special ability-score requirements to be a Gladiator.
Role: For the Gladiator to appear in a campaign, the DM must establish that at least one culture has gladiatorial combats, and the Gladiator character must come from such a culture. (He need not have been born there . . . but he will either have been a slave there or, if he was a freeman, will feel like a naturalized citizen there.) A Gladiator player-character can be an active gladiator in the arena, one who adventures in his free time (or within some other context of the current adventure), or can have formerly been a gladiator now living the life of the adventurer.
In the campaign, the Gladiator is going to be a showy, high-profile warrior. He performs dangerous stunts in combat. He attracts the attention of crowds of admirers. He receives a lot of credit for brave deeds whether he deserves the credit or not. A Gladiator can be a callous brute, a dirty arena fighter with no interests other than killing his enemy as quickly as possible and making off with his prize; or he can be a clean-limbed, heroic figure, a hero who always fights honorably in the arena and never kills when he does not have to.
DMs take note: a Gladiator character is not likely to be a Ranger. You can permit it if you wish, but Rangers are very wilderness-oriented characters, and Gladiators are very urban. A Ranger could have been captured, enslaved, trained as a Gladiator, and then escapedbut still, the Ranger and Gladiator personalities don't seem to work together very well. Allow this only if you really wish to.
It's up to the DM to decide whether there are female gladiators on his world. Unless his campaign is already rigidly set up to prevent it, he might as well allow it; a she-gladiator character could be a very interesting one.
Secondary Skills: The Gladiator character receives his secondary skill through whatever means is usual for the campaignby choice or random die-roll. This skill probably represents the trade he learned before becoming a Gladiator.
Weapon Proficiencies: Required: short sword (gladius), trident, net. Gladiators should learn an even mix of normal and unusual weapons; the DM is within his rights to insist that the Gladiator learn one strange weapon proficiency (such as whip) for every "normal" proficiency (like sword, spear, etc.). (Also, see the Equipment chapter, under "New Arms" and "New Armor," for weapons and armor especially appropriate to Gladiator characters.)
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: (Warrior) Charioteering, (Rogue) Tumbling (for the combat showmanship that characterizes arena fighting). Recommended: (General) Animal Handling, Animal Training, Etiquette, Riding (Land-Based), (Warrior) Armorer, Blind-Fighting, Endurance, Gaming, Weapon-smithing, (Priest) Healing (double slots unless Paladin).
Equipment: The Gladiator may buy any sort of non-magical weapon or combination of weapons before beginning play. However, he must choose his armor from the listing of Gladiator Armor in the Equipment chapter, under "New Armors."
Special Benefits: Gladiators, because of their intensive training, get a free Weapon Specialization (see under "Weapon Specialization" in the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook). This doesn't cost any of their beginning weapon proficiencies: They still get all four of those, and get this Specialization free. It must be chosen from one of the following weapons: bow (choice), cestus*, dagger, drusus*, lasso*, net*, scimitar, short sword, spear, trident, and whip. (The "*" indicates a new weapon found in the Equipment chapter.)
Special Hindrances: Gladiators tend to be recognizedas Gladiators, at least, if not by their own nameswherever they go. This makes it more difficult for them to do things in secret; some troublesome NPC is always remembering "the tall, fair-haired gladiator" who was at the scene of the action, which makes it very easy for the authorities to follow the heroes' trail. (This is something the DM will have to enforce scrupulously if the Gladiator is to have hindrances offsetting his benefits.)
Also, and this is strictly a role-playing consideration, promoters and managers are always interfering in the Gladiator's life: Trying to hire him to participate in certain-death events, to fight people the Gladiator doesn't want to fight, to force him to participate in events taking place at the exact time the Gladiator needs to be somewhere else, etc. These promoters will go to any length to get their way; they may blackmail the character, kidnap his followers, use the time-honored bait of a gorgeous romantic interest (whom the Gladiator doesn't immediately realize is an employee of the promoter), and so forth.
To make sure this is regarded as a hindrance, the DM should make it clear that these promoters are mostly of the sleazy variety who will cheat, rob and betray him at the drop of a hat.
Wealth Options: The Gladiator gets the standard 5d4x10 gp to spend, and may spend it any way he chooses (subject to the restrictions listed in "Equipment," immediately above) or have it all unspent at the beginning of play.
Races: Any demihuman warrior can be a Gladiator. Operators of the arenas try to acquire as many different, unusual fighters as they can, by hiring or enslaving them, and demihumans (when they can be acquired) are major attractions.
Description: The Myrmidon is the ultimate soldier. Soldiering is his life. He may be a high-ranking officer or a career sergeant; he may belong to one nation's armed forces or may be a mercenary. To the campaign and the adventuring party, he brings discipline and a useful understanding of military tactics; he's often rigid and contemptuous of rugged individualists or characters who don't like to take orders, so he can cause a lot of friction in an adventuring party, too.
When first created, the Myrmidon's player must decide whether his character is part of a standing army or a mercenary unit. If he's part of a standing army, he's employed as a soldier or officer in the army of a nation, large region, city guard, or even palace/castle guard. If he's part of a mercenary unit, he belongs to a group of freelance soldiers who hire themselves to just about anyone who can pay; or may be a personal bodyguard. The DM will have the deciding vote in what sort of force the Myrmidon belongs to; if, for instance, the DM doesn't want to have an all-military campaign, he'll probably insist that the Myrmidon be a mercenary, currently employed by a player-character or NPC important to the current story.
However, in the course of the campaign, the Myrmidon's employment can change, once or several times. He may start out as a mercenary bodyguard; later in the campaign, he may find himself commanding a small mercenary force in a border war; later still, he may accept a commission in the king's army and find himself a regular officer.
The choice of whether the character is of a non-commissioned rank (such as recruit, private, or sergeant) or an officer's rank (such as captain) is entirely up to the DM, who'll make his choice based on what works best in his campaign's current storyline.
To be a Myrmidon, the character must have scores of at least 12 in Strength and Constitution.
Role: In the campaign's culture, the Myrmidon is a career soldier. In times of war, they're heroes to the nation. In times of peace, the common folk often look on them as parasites, living off taxes but providing no useful service. Mercenaries are often looked on as bandits and predators. Regardless of the public's opinion, though, the Myrmidon and the standing army are necessary to the defense of the nation, and so there are always Myrmidons to be found.
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules, the Myrmidon may choose his Secondary Skill, but must choose it from the following list: Armorer, Bowyer/Fletcher, Forester, Groom, Hunter, Leather worker, Navigator, Sailor, Scribe, Teamster/Freighter, Weaponsmith.
Weapon Proficiencies: The Myrmidon may spend his Weapon Proficiency slots any way he chooses.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Ancient History (specifically Military History), Fire-Building. Recommended: (General) Animal Handling, Cooking, Heraldry, Riding (Land-based), Seamanship, Swimming, Weather Sense, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Reading/Writing, (Rogue, double slots) Disguise, (Warrior) Armorer, Blind-Fighting, Bowyer/Fletcher, Charioteering, Endurance, Navigation, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking, Weaponsmithing, (Wizard, double slots unless Ranger) Reading/Writing.
Equipment: The Myrmidon may spend his starting gold on whatever sort of arms, armor, and equipment he chooses. If, when he's first created, it is agreed that he'll be part of a specific military force with specific equipment requirements, he's required to buy that equipment, but the DM must give him extra gold in the amount of half that cost.
Special Benefits: The Myrmidon has two advantages of note:
First, he gets a free Weapon Specialization. He must choose it from the following group: Battle axe, Bow (composite long bow, composite short bow, or long bow), Crossbow (heavy crossbow or light crossbow), Lance (choice), Polearm (choice), Spear, Sword (choice).
Second, the Myrmidon is usually in the employ of some powerful patron. The DM will have to decide what immediate benefits this grants him; they vary with the type of employer he is working for.
For instance, if he's working for a wealthy nobleman, he won't have to spend any money for room and board and will enjoy an upper-class existence.
Or, if he's part of a standing army, he may be immune to prosecution by the civilian authorities (though he can certainly face court martial for misdeeds).
Special Hindrances: The Myrmidon is instantly recognizable by his military demeanor, erect posture, disciplined mannerisms, etc. (There are plenty of soldiers and mercenaries who aren't Myrmidons who aren't so distinctive.) Because he is distinctive, the Myrmidon is easily remembered and described by witnesses to his adventures; this makes it easier for the enemy to identify him and follow his trail if he's trying to escape or travel through dangerous territory.
A second hindrance is his employer. Naturally, his employer makes many demands on the Myrmidon. If the Myrmidon is a bodyguard, he must accompany his employer just about everywhere, regardless of any personal goals or interests the Myrmidon has. If the Myrmidon is a common soldier, he's subject to the orders of his officers. If the Myrmidon is a military officer, he's subject to the orders of his superiors or the local ruler, and bears the added stress of having to look out for his men whenever they're engaged in military action.
Wealth Options: The Myrmidon receives the standard 5d4x10 gp starting gold.
Races: Depending on the way the DM has set the campaign up, any demihuman race can have Myrmidons. Mercenary Myrmidon demihumans will be travelling mostly in human-occupied lands, while Myrmidon demihumans in standing armies will usually stick to their own race's territories . . . although some special ones (i.e., the player-characters) will often find themselves sent out on special quests and adventures all over the campaign world.
Description: This character is of the nobility, and theoretically represents everything the ruling class stands for. In classic medieval fantasy, this means chivalry, the protection of women (those who want to be protected, that isit's a bad idea to try to protect a woman warrior anxious to prove herself in combat), and (especially) upholding the rights of the ruling class to rule (and upholding the rights of the other classes to serve . . . ). Noble Warriors in most campaigns are called Knights or Squires, though specific campaigns may have different designations and be based on different sources than medieval European history.
To be a Noble Warrior, a character must have Strength and Constitution scores of 13 or betterit's what comes of being forced to train in heavy plate armor for so many years.
Role: In a campaign, the Noble Warrior is a romantic ideal which most of society looks up to. The Noble Warrior is supposed to be courageous, gallant, protective of the defenseless, dedicated to honorable ideals.
But that's just what society expects of the Noble Warrior. Some theoretically Noble Warriors are mere brutes in shiny armor, warriors who take what they want, murder the innocent, and continually betray the oaths they took when they first won their spurs. So it's up to an individual player to decide what alignment his Noble Warrior takes and how well he lives up to the pertinent ideals.
Whether the Noble Warrior character is a Knight or a Squire (or some other designation) depends on the campaign and its DM. From the viewpoint of convenience, it's best for Noble Warrior characters to begin play as young knights who have just won their spurs; this will account for the fact that they have little money (they're just starting out as free-lancers) or followers, and for the fact that they're wandering around adventuring; they're anxious to prove their mettle. If the DM prefers, the starting Noble Warrior could be the squire for an NPC knight, one who is aging and needs the stout sword-arm of a young squire; but here, the DM has to run the NPC knight until it's time for the squire character to leave his knight.
Secondary Skills: All Noble Warrior characters must take the Groom skill. Squires are expected to care for their knights' horses, and don't forget this skill when they themselves become knights.
Weapon Proficiencies: Unless the campaign deals with a culture unlike medieval Europe, all Noble Warriors must take the following proficiencies: long sword or bastard sword (player choice), lance (player choice of type, usually jousting lance), and horseman's flail or horseman's mace (player choice). The last proficiency may be used for a weapon of the warrior's choice or to specialize in one of the required choices.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: (General) Etiquette, Heraldry, Riding (Land-Based). Recommended: (General) Animal Training, Dancing, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Gaming, Hunting, Tracking, (Priest, cost double slots unless Paladin) Local History, Musical Instrument, Reading/Writing.
Equipment: The Noble Warrior may spend his gold pretty much as he choosesbut there are certain minimum standards he cannot violate. He cannot buy armor less protective than brigandine or scale mail. Before starting play, he must buy a suit of armor, a shield, at least one weapon larger than a dagger, a horse (at least a riding horse), riding saddle, bit & bridle, horseshoes and shoeing, halter and saddle blanket.
Special Benefits: The Noble Warrior starts with more gold than other Warrior Kits; see below under Wealth Options. The Noble Warrior receives a +3 reaction from anyone of his own culture. When travelling, he can demand shelter from anyone in his own nation who is of lower social status than he. Most people of his own status or higher will offer him shelter when he is travellingup to two persons times the Noble Warrior's experience level. (That is, if the Noble Warrior is fifth level, the patron will offer shelter for the Noble Warrior and up to nine of his companions). In his own land, the Noble Warrior can administer low justice upon commonersact as judge, jury and executioner for minor crimes he comes across (the definition of "minor crimes" is necessarily up to the DM of the campaign, but in general should include things like assault, petty theft, etc.).
Special Hindrances: In order to become a Noble Warrior, the character has sworn an oath of loyalty to some greater noble. If he's squire to a knight, he has an oath to his knight. If he's a knight himself, he's sworn an oath to his king or some other nobleor perhaps to both. He'll be expected to live up to that oath from time to time: Accompany his lord into combat, provide troops to his lord, even beggar his own household in order to support his lord's needs.
Additionally, the Noble Warrior is expected to live well. After he is created, he must add +10% to the base cost of goods, equipment, and services he is buyingfor each experience level he hasto reflect his noble tastes and requirements.
This extra cost is not just a tip. The character is buying higher-quality goods. Here's how it works.
Example: Sir Amstard rides into town. He's in need of a new sword, a night's lodging at the inn for himself and his squire, and meals and baths for both. He's a 5th-level Noble Warrior.
He stops by a weaponmaker. The basic cost for a long sword is 15 gp. Amstard must choose a better weapon than the "basic long sword," and so chooses a more decorative one having the exact same combat characteristics, but costing 22 gp and 5 sp.
He goes to the inn. The basic rate at that specific inn is 2 gp per night per person. Amstard won't settle for the basic room, though, and so pays 3 gp per night per person, all for better quality rooms. He pays 6 gp, one night's stay for himself and his squire.
The two baths would be 3 cp each, or 6 total. Amstard, though, must have soap and a brush and the water heated especially for him (and for his squire, too); total cost is 9 cp.
And so on . . .
If the Noble Warrior is unable to spend this extra money because of lack of funds, he can settle for lesser goods . . . but his bonus to Reaction rolls will be reduced, at 1 per such incident, until it reaches +0, to reflect the fact that people are seeing that he is settling for shabbier goods and otherwise not living up to their expectations of how a noble warrior should live. At the DM's discretion, other problems may follow this: Nobles fail to offer him shelter or help because he's such a shabby specimen, he gets a reputation as a penny-pincher, etc.
To retain his bonus, when the Noble Warrior is once again in the money he must do whatever it takes to upgrade his situation (buy new clothes, go on a buying spree, etc., at the DM's discretion) and his +3 reaction will return.
If a Noble Warrior gets a bad reputation, deservedly or undeservedly, his +3 reaction becomes a 6 reaction from everybody who knows of the reputation.
And just as other nobles are expected to extend shelter to the Noble Warrior, he is expected to offer other nobles shelter when they are travelling through his territoryor when they meet on the road while he is encamped and they are not, etc. Whenever a Noble Warrior character is getting too cocky, the DM can have him visited by a nice, large crowd of nobles to whom he is expected to offer shelter and food . . . and who proceed to eat him out of house and home.
Wealth Options: The Noble Warrior begins play with more gold than other Warrior Kits; he receives 225 gp plus the standard 5d4x10 gp. But do not forget that he is required to spend a large portion of that on specific items described above . . .
Races: It's appropriate for any sort of demihuman race to have a class of Noble Warriors.
Description: The Peasant Hero is the "local boy done good," the home-town warrior who fights and adventures to the delight of the people in his home area. The Peasant Hero is the most common sort of fighter found wandering the land and adventuring; every village has one or has had one within living memory.
There are no ability-score requirements to be a Peasant Hero.
Role: In the campaign, the Peasant Hero is the fellow who won't forget that his roots are in the country and in the soil. He can be a rebel against the crown in lands where the peasants are especially oppressed; he can be the farmboy who becomes a mighty general; he can be the noble's child (secretly raised by peasants) who grows up to fulfill an ancient prophecy; but in every case, he remembers his origins and strives to make things better for his family and home community.
Secondary Skills: The player may choose his character's secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: The player may choose his character's weapon proficiencies, but may not choose any that the DM feels would be unusual for his campaign-world's peasants. Short sword, spear, bow, footman's weapons and the like are all very appropriate; horseman's weapons, exotic polearms, lances, long swords, tridents and the like are not. This is only a restriction when the character is first created; afterwards, of course, he can learn any weapon he receives training with.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Agriculture or Fishing (player choice), Weather Sense or Animal Lore (player choice). Recommended: Any of the General proficiencies.
Equipment: The Peasant Hero may spend his starting gold any way he sees fit, but may have no more than 3 gp left when he begins play.
Special Benefits: No matter what he's done or what anyone thinks of him, the Peasant Hero always has shelter and often has other help when he's in his own community. Unless it is known that the Peasant Hero has hurt people from his own community, he'll always find people to put him up, hide him and companions from the law, supply them with food and drink and what little weaponry can be scraped together (usually daggers), and even provide them with helpersearnest 0-level youths who want to grow up to be like their hero.
Special Hindrances: Since the Peasant Hero is looked upon as a patron and hero by the people from his home, they will frequently come to him for help. Whenever the village is losing people to nocturnal predators, whenever a village overlord turns out to be a dangerous tyrant, whenever a local citizen is jailed and tried for something he didn't do, the citizens turn to the Peasant Hero for help. And if he turns them away, he loses their respect and earns a 2 reaction from all of the peasants in the land until he is once again in his home community's good graces.
Wealth Options: The Peasant Hero gets the standard 5d4x10 gp starting money.
Races: The Peasant Hero is a distinctly human sort of character; it's also appropriate to halflings, and to half-elves living among humans. But no other demihumans should have Peasant Hero characters unless the DM decides that their cultures are very much like rural human society.
Description: This character is the heroic scofflaw, the warrior who defies the laws and rulers of the land and steers his own course. Usually in the company of other pirates or outlaws, he fights the minions of the rulers he defies, and comes to be regarded as a hero by others who suffer at those rulers' hands. The Pirate, of course, is the adventurer of the high seas, who makes his living raiding other ships and seacoast communities; the Outlaw makes his home in the wilderness (often deep forest) and preys on the traffic moving through that wilderness.
There are no special ability-score requirements to be a Pirate or Outlaw.
Role: In a campaign, the pirate or outlaw can belong to one of two orientations. Either he's a "good guy," and it is the law and the rulers who are evil, or he is a "bad guy" and simply takes what he wants from those who have it. The player, therefore, gets to decide on his character's alignment and (mis)deeds.
Note, though, that good guy pirates and outlaws tend to live by a very strict code of conductfor example, the classic cinema code of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, where the outlaws robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, and protected the defenseless with more honor and zeal than England's supposedly Noble Warriors did.
Naturally, if a player chooses to be a good guy in a company of bad guys, or vice-versa, when his companions find out his true colors, they'll probably try to kill him or to turn him in to the law for the reward on his head.
Secondary Skills: If the character is a Pirate, roll d100 for his Secondary Skill. On a 0170, his Secondary Skill is Sailor; on a 7180, it's Shipwright; on 8100, it's Navigator. If the character is an Outlaw, the character may choose between Bowyer/Fletcher, Forester, Hunter, and Trapper/Furrier.
Weapon Proficiencies: If the character is a Pirate, he must take the following proficiencies: Cutlass*, and Belaying Pin* or Gaff/Hook* (player choice). If the character is an Outlaw, he can take any weapon proficiencies he chooses . . . but the DM, if he's created this campaign so that the outlaws have a special motif weapon (such as Robin Hood's Merry Men and their longbows) may insist that all Outlaw characters take a specific weapon proficiency. Recommended to classic Merry Man-type outlaws are longbow, long sword and quarterstaff. (The ``*'' symbol indicates a new weapon found in the Equipment chapter.)
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Pirate's Bonus Proficiencies: (General) Rope Use, Seamanship. Pirate's Recommended Proficiencies: (General) Swimming, Weather Sense, (Warrior) Navigation, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Engineering (for shipbuilding), Reading/Writing (for mapmaking), (Rogue, double slots) Appraising, Set Snares (in association with Rope Use skill), Tightrope Walking, Tumbling, (Wizard, double slots unless Ranger) Engineering (for shipbuilding), Reading/Writing (for mapmaking). Outlaw's Bonus Proficiencies: Direction Sense, Fire-Building. Outlaw's Recommended Proficiencies: (General) Riding (Land-Based), (Warrior) Animal Lore, Bowyer/Fletcher, Endurance, Hunting, Running, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Healing, Herbalism, Local History, (Rogue, double slots) Disguise. Special Note: Your DM may be a fan of the very acrobatic pirate or outlaw movies of the past, and prefer that Tumbling be one of your Bonus Proficiencies instead of one of the ones listed; check with him to see if this is so.
Equipment: Pirates and Outlaws come from widely diverse backgrounds, so there's no real restriction on what they can buy with their starting money. However, it would be foolish for either type of character to buy metal armor of any kind (banded, brigandine, bronze plate, chain, field plate, full plate, plate mail, and ring mail). Pirates wearing such armor in naval combat will inevitably fall overboard and sink (they can't swim with such stuff on); if they're lucky enough to get it off so they can swim, they've lost the armor. Outlaws living out in the wild have their belongings exposed to the elements, and metal armor quickly corrodes. Therefore, it's up to the DM to keep things in balance. If a Pirate or Outlaw buys metal armor and keeps it stowed away for special occasions (major land engagements, climactic battles, etc.), that's fine. But if they wear such stuff all the time, the DM should continually take it away from them through accidents, rust and corrosion, etc.
Special Benefits: Pirates and Outlaws do not have any intrinsic special benefits, although the DM can bestow some campaign-based benefits on them if he chooses. For instance, in many Pirate settings, there is a powerful pirate city where the PCs can go to trade their ill-gotten gains, a place where the law dares not enter; this makes it easier for them to dispose of their goods and enjoy the benefits of a home city when otherwise they wouldn't have one. As another example, in a "Merry Men" type outlaw campaign, the heroes have the dubious benefit of knowing that they're on the right side and if they can just oust the current rulers (probably restoring the proper rulers in the process), they'll have their fortunes restored or enhanced, the land will once again be bright and shiny, and everyone will live happily ever after.
Special Hindrances: The major problem with being an outlaw or pirate is that the law is always after the characters. Though the authorities do not have to put in an appearance in every single play-session, they're always out there, plotting against the heroes. Many of them are quite clever, they probably have more money, ships and men than the heroes, and they'll continue to plague the heroes until the campaign is done.
Wealth Options: Pirate and Outlaw characters get the standard 5d4x10 gp for starting gold.
Races: Outlaws and Pirates, unless your campaign is very human-oriented, will take just about anyone they can get, so it's perfectly appropriate for there to be Outlaws and Pirates of the demihuman races.
Note: In a Pirate campaign, it could be that the player-characters will eventually come to terms with the authorities and "go straight." This doesn't mean they have to abandon the Pirate Warrior Kit, however. They could instead become Privateerswho are basically pirates sailing under the papers of (permission of) their ruler, and preying on the nation's enemies. At that point, they can still behave just as they did previously, and the other nation's authorities become their specific enemy.
Description: The samurai is a warrior from cultures based on the medieval Japanese civilization. He lives by a very strict code of honor and behavior, a code demanding: absolute obedience to his lord; readiness to die for honor or for his lord at any time; eagerness to avenge any dishonor to his lord, his family, or himself; willingness to repay all debts honorably; and unwillingness to demonstrate the most dishonorable trait of cowardice.
Samurai must have minimum scores of 13 in Strength, Wisdom, and Constitution, and of 14 in Intelligence. They may be of lawful alignment only (but still may be good, evil, or neutral).
Role: In a campaign, unless the campaign itself is set in an eastern culture, the Samurai is present to provide a touch of the exotic (culture clashes are always very interesting in a campaign); it also allows for a variety of warrior who can be tremendously deadly.
A samurai can fall from his noble position within a greater lord's household. It may be that the house has perished in a war or other calamity, or that the samurai's lord has rejected him, or ordered him to commit suicide and the samurai has refused, or that the samurai has left his lord for some other point of honor. Regardless, the samurai is now masterless; he is called ronin. The ronin has all of the abilities of the samurai, but operates under slightly different rules, as you will see below. With your DM's permission, you can create your character as a ronin instead of a samurai. A samurai can become a ronin at any time in a campaign; likewise, by swearing allegiance to a lord who will have him, a ronin can become a samurai again.
Before you create a samurai or ronin character, ask your DM if such things exist on his world and if you may play one. It could be that the DM does not wish to allow samurai and ronin in his campaign (because the campaign world has no oriental setting to act as their origin, for instance).
Secondary Skills: A samurai or ronin must have the Scribe secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: The samurai and ronin start play with two free extra weapon proficiency slotsthat's the good news. The bad news is that, of his six initial weapon proficiencies, five are chosen for him. The samurai and ronin must specialize in katana* (samurai sword, two proficiency slots) and daikyu* (samurai great bow, three proficiency slots). The samurai or ronin may spend his last proficiency slot as he choosesbut only from among the samurai weapons listed in the Equipment chapter of this book. (The "*" symbol indicates a new weapon to be found in the Equipment chapter.) After the character is in play in another culture, he may become proficient in weapons of that other culture.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Etiquette, Riding (Land-Based). Required (samurai/ronin must purchase these, but gets no extra slots to pay for them): (Priest and Wizard, costs double slots unless Paladin or Ranger) Reading/Writing. Recommended: GeneralArtistic Ability/Calligraphy, Artistic Ability/Painting, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Running.
Equipment: The samurai and ronin must buy all their starting equipment from the samurai weapons, armor and equipment listed in the Equipment chapter. They may have no more than 10 gp left when they have purchased their equipment. Samurai and ronin do not have to buy their katana; that is free to the character.
Special Benefits: The samurai and ronin are able to focus their vital energies to increase their Strength scoretemporarily. Once per day per experience level, the samurai or ronin can increase his Strength to 18/00. This lasts for one full round, and must be preceded by a loud kiai shout (making it impossible for him to summon this strength silently or stealthily). For that one round, all his hit probability, damage adjustment, weight allowance, maximum press, open doors, and bend bars/lift gates rolls and functions are calculated as if his Strength were 18/00.
Special Hindrances: The samurai and ronin have different special hindrances. The samurai is (supposed to be) absolutely devoted to his lord. He is expected instantly to obey every one of his lord's orders, up to and including killing himself or those he loves. If he refuses to obey an order, he is dishonored and is expected to kill himself. (If he does not, he becomes ronin.) The DM should make sure that the samurai is acutely aware of this by having his lord occasionally issue orders which are difficult for him to keep. This doesn't always have to be "Kill all of your allies," but the lord can issue orders which interfere with the samurai's personal goals and remind him that he is subservient to his lord. The ronin has his own great difficulty: He earns experience points at half the normal rate. When the DM awards the characters their experience, the ronin receives only half what he would if he were still a samurai. This particular hindrance goes away when the character once again swears allegiance to a lord and becomes a samurai. (Of course, once he's a samurai again, he is subject to the hindrances of the samurai.)
Wealth Options: The samurai and ronin start with the normal 5d4x10 gp beginning money.
Races: The historical precedent for the samurai is strictly human, so it's up to the individual DM if he wants to have an oriental-based demihuman culture with a samurai warrior class. Such a thing is perhaps most visually appropriate to elves and half-elves, but a DM could allow it to any demihuman race in his campaign.
Note: Players and Dms wishing to have more game-oriented information on the samurai should read Oriental Adventures, an AD&D® game supplement dealing exclusively with the topic of eastern campaigns. Your DM may adapt anything he chooses to use from that supplement to AD&D® 2nd Edition game rules and statistics. The samurai presented here is a simplified version of the OA samurai.
Description: The Savage is a tribesman, technologically and culturally far more primitive than even the Barbarian and Berserker, who is very much in tune with the natural world.
A Savage can be an honorable jungle vine-swinger raised by animals, a very dirty and primitive warrior who lives in mud-wattle huts and fights with bone weapons, a breathtakingly beautiful native princess from a culture which the characters consider impossibly primitive and yet uncorrupted and very noble . . . and so on. In short, the tribal culture from which the Savage character comes can be as crude or civil, coarse or noble, nasty or admirable as the players and DM want it to be.
To be a Savage, a character must have a minimum Strength score of 11 and a minimum Constitution score of 15.
Role: In a campaign, the savage character has a couple of roles. His particular skills and benefits are of use to the average adventuring party. If he comes from a particularly noble tribe, he may choose to act as the "voice of conscience" for the adventuring party, asking why, if the other characters are supposed to be so much more civilized than his own people, their honor and ethics seem to drag so far behind? But for the most part, he's a role-playing challenge, and should be chosen only by players willing to devote the extra effort to portraying someone from such a different culture . . . and how that character reacts with the other PCs' culture. This is an opportunity for a lot of humor and not a little tragedy in a campaign . . . but only if the player is willing to go to that effort.
Secondary Skills: The Savage character should have Fisher, Forester, Hunter, or Trapper/Furrier as his Secondary Skill (player choice).
Weapon Proficiencies: The DM should define a set of weapons which the PC can choose his beginning weapon proficiencies from. A typical set, for classic "noble savages": blowgun, long bow, short bow, club, dagger, javelin, knife, sling, spear. The character must make his first-level weapon proficiencies selections from these choices. Once he begins play and begins adventuring in the outer world, he may learn any other weapon, of course . . . but it's better role-playing if he prefers to stick to the weapons of his tribe.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: (General) Direction Sense, Weather Sense, (Warrior) Endurance, Survival. Recommended: (General) Animal Handling, Animal Training, Fire-Building, Fishing, Riding (Land-based), Rope Use, Swimming, (Warrior) Animal Lore, Bowyer/Fletcher, Hunting, Mountaineering, Running, Set Snares, Tracking, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Healing, Herbalism, Local History, Religion, (Rogue, double slots) Jumping, Tightrope Walking, Tumbling, (Wizard, double slots unless Ranger) Herbalism, Religion.
Equipment: The Savage gets no gold (0 gp) with which to purchase his weapons and equipment. Instead, he may take up to four of the weapons listed under "New Savage Weapons" in the Equipment chapter. He may assemble an equipment list of up to ten additional items, subject to the DM's approval, which he will have accumulated during his years with the tribe; they must be items which members of a savage tribe could have made (things such as pouches, clothing, food, rope, fishing gear, sheathes for weapons, and so forthno mirrors, lanterns, iron cooking pots, and the like.) With the DM's permission, if the tribe is a river-tribe or a riding tribe, he may have either a riding horse (with saddle-blanket, halter, bit and bridle) or a small canoe.
Special Benefits: One of the Savage's special benefits is that he receives more bonus nonweapon proficiencies than any other type of warriortestimony to the fact that the Savage must know more skills just to stay alive than other characters. Another, substantial, benefit the Savage receives is this: He has a special ability, resembling a spell, which he may use once per day per experience level he has (i.e., a 5th-level savage could use his ability five times per day).
The special ability must be chosen from the list below, must be chosen when the character is first created, and may never be changed. The special ability is not truly magic, and Detect magic will not detect it; it is an ability natural to the Savage. It does not require verbal, somatic, or material components, even if such are required from the normal spell.
(1) Alarm (Wizard 1st Level). Special effects: This is only usable by the Savage when he is resting or sleeping in a quiet place. The ability does not sound an alarm like the spell; it merely alerts the Savage to intrusion (if he is already awake) or awakens him (if he is asleep). It is not cast upon a particular place; it alerts him to activity within 10 feet of the place where he lies (as if he were at the center of the 20-foot cube of effect of the actual spell).
(2) Detect Magic (Wizard 1st Level). Special effects: This reflects the fact that the Savage is in tune with nature and can feel when there is something unnatural (i.e., magical) in the air. Unless the Savage is also a Ranger, he cannot determine the type of magic present (i.e., alteration, conjuration, etc.).
(3) Animal Friendship (Priest 1st Level). Special effects: This ability can only make friends of an animal which is not angry or threatened. It can be used to make an angry or threatened animal calm. To make friends with an angry or threatened animal, therefore, the Savage must be able to use the ability twice that day (i.e., he must be of 2nd level or higher) and must have two uses left. To use the ability, the Savage must confront the animal, face to face, at no further away than the limits of the animal's attack range. As with the spell, the Savage must actually have no ulterior motives, for such will be detected by the animal, and the ability will fail.
(4) Detect Evil (Priest 1st Level). Special effects: this is like the Detect Magic ability, above. Like the Priest spell, this Detect Evil cannot detect evil in a PConly in a monster, place, or magical item.
The DM can disallow any of the four abilities given above, or introduce new onesthough he can't add anything that resembles a magical spell above 1st level.
Special Hindrances: The Savage has some drawbacks, too. He is uncomfortable in civilized clothes and armorWhen wearing any sort of clothing more cumbersome and concealing than his normal tribal dress, he suffers a 1 to all attack, damage and nonweapon proficiency rolls; he's uncomfortable, and it's affecting his actions and reactions.
Likewise, he can wear any type of armor, but is so uncomfortable in it that he will suffer a 3 to all attack, damage, and nonweapon proficiency rolls while wearing any sort of armor at all. If a player blatantly decides not to role-play his character's dislike of armor and simply wears armor continually, accepting that negative modifier, the DM should gradually increase the modifier: 3 in one playsession, 4 in the next, 5 in the next, and so on . . . with no limit. If the player asks why this is happening, the DM need merely reply that the character is growing more and more uncomfortable in his unnatural trappings and finding it harder and harder to concentrate on the job at hand.
Wealth Options: The Savage starts out with no gold. He gets his starting weapons as described above, under Equipment. After the campaign starts, the character will inevitably come across the concepts of money; it's up to the player how he reacts to them (he could either like the idea and try to accumulate the stuff as his allies do, or put it down to civilized corruption and stay away from it).
Races: Most role-playing campaigns tend to think of the demihumans as being more civilized and cultured than humans, but it's perfectly all right to have Savage dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, and even halflings in your campaign if the DM wishes them to be there.
Note: "But," you say, "what if my character grew up in a Savage tribe and was later enslaved and trained as a Gladiator and then escaped? What is he, a Savage or a Gladiator?"
That's up to you to answer. If he still considers himself a member of his tribe and has not been distanced from it by his capture and training, take the Savage Warrior Kit; perhaps your DM will allow you to use some of your proficiencies to learn weapons and skills appropriate to Gladiators. Likewise, if the character is now more urban than savage, build him with the Gladiator Warrior Kit . . . but have him use some of his proficiencies on Savage skills and weapons.
The same sort of theory applies if you're creating any character with a complicated background: A Barbarian youth brought up in the traditions of a Samurai, an Amazon lass who has grown up to be a Knight (Noble Warrior), a Pirate boy who gave up the seas and took to being a big-city Swashbuckler. Decide which Warrior Kit the character considers himself to belong to, create him with that Kit, and use some of your proficiencies to buy weapons-knowledge and skills pertaining to the other Kit.
Description: The Swashbuckler is the sophisticated, witty, lightly armed and armored hero in a sophisticated city-based campaigna la The Three Musketeers. He's fully capable of putting on heavy armor, picking up a bastard sword, and soldiering alongside other tank warriorsbut he shines in comparison when the heroes are adventuring in the city, in light armor and with light weapons.
To be a Swashbuckler, a character must have an Intelligence and Dexterity of 13 or better.
Role: In a campaign, the Swashbuckler is the happy-go-lucky hero with the ready wit and the flashing rapier. He's happiest when he's in the big city, but can be an imposing warrior anywhereenemies often underestimate him because of his charming manners and don't realize that he can plate on armor and wield heavy weapons as well as anyone else. The Swashbuckler, because he's bright and well-spoken, often becomes party leader . . . or at least the leader's spokesman.
Secondary Skills: The Swashbuckler can choose his own Secondary Skill. Good choices include: Navigator (if he's in with a band of pirates, especially), Gambler, Jeweler, Scribe, and Weaponsmith.
Weapon Proficiencies: The Swashbuckler receives two extra weapon proficiency slots which must be devoted to weapon proficiency with one of the following weapons: stiletto*, main-gauche*, rapier*, and sabre*. (The "*" symbol denotes new weapons to be found in the Equipment chapter.) Throughout his career, he must devote half of his weapon proficiency slots to those four weapons. Once he has achieved proficiency in all four of those weapons, he may freely choose where the rest of his weapon proficiency slots go.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: (General) Etiquette, (Rogue) Tumbling. Recommended: (General) Artistic Ability, Dancing, Heraldry, Languages (Modern), Riding (Land-Based), Seamanship, (Warrior) Blind-Fighting, Gaming, (Priest, double slots unless Paladin) Musical Instrument, Reading/Writing, (Rogue) Appraising, Disguise, Forgery, Juggling, Musical Instrument, Tightrope Walking, (Wizard, double slots unless Ranger) Reading/Writing.
Equipment: The Swashbuckler must buy the weapon in which he has specialized, but except for that limitation may spend his gold precisely as he pleases.
Special Benefits: The Swashbuckler has three special benefits. First, when using up his Nonweapon Proficiency slots, he doesn't have to devote double the normal number of slots when choosing Rogue proficiencies. Second, when he's wearing light or no armor (i.e., no armor, leather armor, or padded armor), he receives a 2 bonus to his AC (that is, an AC of 7 would become a 5); he's so nimble that he's very hard to hit. Third, the Swashbuckler is such a romantic figure that he always receives a +2 adjustment on his reaction roll from NPC members of the opposite sex.
Special Hindrances: Trouble seeks out the Swashbuckler. This is something that the DM will have to play very carefully if the Swashbuckler is to be as hindered as all the other Warrior Kits. When there's another Swashbuckler around, intent on proving that he's the best swordsman in the world, it's the PC Swashbuckler he settles upon and challenges. When a certain young lady is being pursued by the king's guards, who are intent on stopping her from revealing secrets in her possession, it is the Swashbuckler she stumbles across when fleeing. When a prince is too drunk to attend his own coronation, miraculously he looks just like the Swashbuckler. Life conspires to make things difficult for the Swashbuckler, and the DM should always throw just a little more good-natured bad luck at that Warrior Kit than at any other.
Wealth Options: The Swashbuckler receives the standard 5d4x10 gp starting money allotment.
Races: Any demihuman who'd look elegant in foppish dress, wielding a narrow blade, will work fine as a Swashbuckler, especially elves, half-elves and halflings. Dwarves and gnomes are not entirely inappropriate, but are likely to have to defend themselves from plenty of jokes at the expense of their curious looks.
Description: This hero represents some tribe (either civilized or barbarian) living in a dangerous, threatening, or unusual wilderness environmentsuch as the desert, deep in swamp territory, in the frozen North, tucked away in the jungle or tropical rain forest, or in distant mountains.
The Wilderness Warrior is different from the Barbarian. He's not automatically a menacing figure when travelling around in the campaign's normal society; he's just exotic and unusual. He can be very cultured and civilized, but, coming as he does from a different culture, will have different attitudes from the other player-characters on many subjects.
For example, a desert nomad character may be merely offended at the theft of his property but be outraged by (and demand the death penalty for) theft of his water; he may believe that women should stay in camp and leave fighting to the men (an opinion he will find himself quickly disabused from when in the outer world); he may feel the need to prostrate himself whenever he passes the church or temple of the deity he worships; and so on.
The player decides (with DM's permission) what sort of tribe and environment the Wilderness Warrior comes from. Then, working with the DM, he must determine what sort of unusual beliefs and customs the character and his tribe possess. He may later abandon a few of these beliefs in the outer world, but should not abandon most of them; they are part of what makes him unique in the campaign.
To be a Wilderness Warrior, the character must have a Constitution score of at least 13.
Role: In a campaign, like the Barbarian and Savage, the Wilderness Warrior is the "outsider's voice" who questions all the strange quirks and discrepancies in the player-characters' culture. He's also an opportunity for some comic-relief adventures, when he misinterprets some aspect of the society and it leads him into confusion and trouble. More importantly, the DM should arrange for the occasional adventure to take place in lands like those of his birth, so that he can demonstrate his skills in that environment.
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules, the Wilderness Warrior may choose his skill from the following list: Fisher, Forester, Hunter, Sailor, Trapper/Furrier.
Weapon Proficiencies: The Wilderness Warrior may spend his Weapon Proficiencies any way he pleases. The DM may insist that he spend one or two on weapons appropriate to his culture: A desert nomad should have Scimitar and Short Composite Bow, while an arctic warrior should have Harpoon and Spear, for instance.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Bonus Proficiencies: Survival (in his native environment), Endurance. Recommended: Any relating to the land of his birth, such as Animal Handling, Animal Training, Dancing (his cultural dances), Fire-building, Fishing, Riding (Land-based), Swimming, (Warrior) Mountaineering, Tracking.
Equipment: The Wilderness Warrior may only spend his starting gold on items appropriate to his culture. For example, the desert nomad couldn't buy any armor at all with his starting gold, while the arctic warrior could only have leather or hide armor. (Of course, if the DM determines that his is a trading culture, he could have access to goods from all over the world.) The Wilderness Warrior doesn't have to spend all his starting gold before entering play. Once he begins play, there are no restrictions on what sorts of equipment he may buy.
Special Benefits: The Wilderness Warrior gets a special bonus of +5 to his Survival proficiency roll. This only applies to the Survival proficiency pertaining to environments like that of his origin; if he later takes a second Survival proficiency for another type of territory, the bonus doesn't count toward it.
Special Hindrances: The Wilderness Warrior, in his early years, is occasionally hindered by his unfamiliarity with the player-characters' society, but this is a role-playing consideration; the DM must occasionally enforce it until he believes the character is sufficiently familiar with the usual culture.
Wealth Options: The Wilderness Warrior gets the usual 5d4 x 10 gp in starting gold.
Races: This is a very appropriate Warrior Kit for demihuman warriors, and the DM may wish to create some unusual demihuman tribes to showcase it. For example, everyone would expect Dwarven Wilderness Warriors from the mountains, Elf and Gnome Wilderness Warriors from the tropical rain forest, etc. But what about Desert Dwarves? Arctic Elves? Swamp Gnomes? Mountain Halflings? Such unusual choices can add some color to a campaign.
Recording Kits on the Character Sheet
The character record sheet presented in the Character Creation chapter has blanks for all of the benefits, hindrances, and other notes generated when a character takes a Warrior kit.
Warrior Kits and Multi-Class Characters
These Warrior Kits are designed to add depth to a warrior-class character. But if the character is already multi-class (for example, an elf fighter-mage), he doesn't need any more depth. Therefore, only single-class warriors can take one of the Warrior Kits described above.
However, with your DM's permission, there's no reason why a multi-class warrior can't use his weapon and nonweapon proficiency choices to simulate one of the Kits . . . and, again with DM permission, the characters possessing that Warrior Kit can consider him "one of their own" within the context of the campaign.
For example, let us say that your campaign features an elvish Amazon tribe and you want to play an elf fighter/thief who belongs to that Amazon tribe.
Build her this way: Have her take Spear and Long Bow Weapon Proficiencies. For her Nonweapon Proficiencies, have her take Riding (Land-Based) and Animal Training (she doesn't get either of these for free, like the "real" Amazon, but she can still choose them). For her Equipment, limit her to the equipment choices of the Amazon.
If you do all this, and have your DM's permission, within the context of the campaign, your character will be considered an Amazon. That is, she comes from the Amazon tribe and the other Amazons consider her to be a shield-sister and one of their own. You know, and the DM knows, that she doesn't have all the special benefits of the Amazon Warrior Kit. And the DM is within his rights to assign the character the special hindrances of the Amazonafter all, you've chosen for her to be identified with a race of people with those hindrances. But to all outward eyes, she is indistinguishable from any other elvish Amazon.
Warrior Kits and Dual-Class Characters
The same is not true of dual-class characters.
If a character starts off as a warrior, he may take any of the Warrior Kits above. If, later, he decides to change classes according to the normal Dual-Class Benefits and Restrictions rules, he doesn't lose any of the benefits or hindrances of the Kit he chose; he is still that sort of fighter. If that second character class also has a range of Kits available to it, he may not choose a new, additional Kit.
If a character starts off as some other character class, does not take on a Kit appropriate to that class, and then later switches to one of the warrior classes, he can choose a Warrior Kit at that time . . . though the DM may insist that certain campaign events be accomplished in order to allow him to do this.
For instance, let's say that a human mage decides, later in life, to become a Fighter, and he wants to be a Gladiator. Well, there's nothing wrong with that. But the DM should insist that the next several adventures deal with that transformation. The character must be hired by (or, alternatively, captured and enslaved by) an arena or fighting-stable owner, trained, and pitted against other Gladiators. The other characters in the campaign could also be entering the gladiatorial arena, or the DM could contrive things so that the current adventure involves gladiatorial elements and still get all the PCs involved.
To better simulate the wait involved for the character to learn his new trade, the DM is within his rights to insist that the character not receive his Warrior Kit until he's reached second experience level in his new class.
Abandoning A Kit
Sometimes it happens that a character is created with a Warrior Kit and circumstances later force him to reconsider his character's role. For example, a Noble Warrior could become disgusted with the corruption and excesses of his class and decide to renounce his ties to the nobility. Or, a Savage could become increasingly comfortable with the civilized world and increasingly uncomfortable with his savage kin. In such a case, the player should think about abandoning the Warrior Kit.
To abandon the kit, the player should privately tell the DM his intentions. If the DM has no objections to the abandonment, then it will take place. Unless the choice for abandonment were brought on by a sudden, traumatic event, the DM may have to have some time to work the abandonment into the storyline. Often, in the story, the character doing the abandoning will have to role-play out the situation: Publicly renounce his ties with the others of his Warrior Kit, and then suffer any consequences that might arise. (In Greek mythology, for instance, the Amazon queen Antiope abandoned her former life to stay with King Theseus of Athens . . . and she later died fighting her former countrywomen when they came after her.)
Once the character abandons his kit, he also abandons all the special benefits and hindrances it provides. Often, those benefits included free Nonweapon Proficiencies or Weapon Proficiencies. The character doesn't lose those, but he must pay for them from the next free slots he has available to him.
The character may not take another Warrior Kit to replace the one he's abandoned. Once he gives up his Warrior Kit, he's an ordinary Fighter, Paladin, or Ranger for the rest of his playing life.
Modifying The Kits
The DM can, and should, modify the Kits presented above to represent his own campaign setting more accurately.
For example, if there are no Amazons in his world, he should disallow the Amazon Kit. If Gladiators are all chosen from the ranks of savages despised in the civilized land, he should modify the Gladiator hindrances to reflect the fact that they have no respect in the campaign setting.
Creating New Kits
Similarly, if there's a special sort of warrior that the DM would like to have in his world, he can design a new Warrior Kit for that warrior.
To design a Warrior Kit, you must answer the following questions about the warrior and his role in your campaign.
Description: What is this warrior? What literary, mythological, or historical source is he drawn from? What special requirements are there if a character wishes to be one?
Role: What is this warrior to be in the campaign? How does his culture look at him? How do other cultures look at him? Is there a special sort of outlook he needs to have to belong to this Warrior Kit? And what does this warrior tend to do in a campaignlead mighty nations? brutalize and betray his allies? upset the delicate balance of political strategies? have a good time without making waves?
Secondary Skills: If you're using the Secondary Skills rules, you need to determine if this Warrior Kit requires such a skill. If no one secondary skill should be common to all warriors of this type, then don't require a secondary skill. But, if all members of a Warrior Kit seem to have this skill, then you should require it of all who take this Kit.
Weapon Proficiencies: Many Warrior Kits seem to gravitate toward specific weapon types. Knights lean to swords and lances; Merry Men of the forest prefer the longbow. If the warrior you're simulating seems to prefer one or two weapons above all others, then, in this Kit, you require them to take the proficiencies for those weapons.
Nonweapon Proficiencies: Most Warrior Kits, again, seem to have certain skills in common. It would be silly to have a Noble Warrior without Etiquette, for instance. So you may assign up to two proficiency slots to be given free to the character. If it's appropriate, the proficiencies may come from listings not appropriate to warriorsthe Priest, Rogue, and Wizard listings. (Though normally the cost in slots for such proficiencies doubles, since they are here being given free to the character, that doesn't matter.)
Equipment: If a Warrior Kit is best-known for having specific types of equipment, require that the warrior have such equipment when the campaign begins. If many examples, but not an overwhelming majority, of this sort of Warrior seem to prefer a specific type of equipment, simply list it among the types of equipment the Warrior Kit recommends.
Special Benefits: Every Warrior Kit should have some special benefit. It's up to you to choose what that benefit is, but it should fit in with the way this warrior appears to function in fiction, mythlore or wherever he comes from. Types of benefits include:
Bonuses to reaction rolls, especially from certain categories of people;
Bonuses to attack rolls and/or damage, especially against certain categories of enemies, or in special circumstances;
A free weapon specialization;
Resistance (immunity or a bonus to saving throws) against specific types of magic;
Special rights in the culture in which the characters normally travel (for example, immunity from prosecution for certain alleged crimes, or the right to demand shelter); and so on.
Special Hindrances: You should also provide a special hindrance (or hindrances) which limit the character as much as his benefits help him.
Such hindrances can include:
Minuses to reaction rolls, especially from certain types of people;
Minuses to attack rolls and/or damage, especially against certain categories of enemies;
Inability to learn specific weapon or nonweapon proficiencies;
Vulnerability to specific sorts of magic (either a minus to saving throws, or the magic is automatically successful); and
Special restrictions in the culture in which the characters travel (for example, not being able to own property or get married, or excessive punishments for specific crimes).
Wealth Options: If the Warrior Kit has any restrictions or benefits in the awarding of his starting gold, or in the ways he can spend it, note them here.
Races: If there are variations to the Kit based on the character's race, note them here. Some races can't take a specific Kit; some will have different proficiencies, benefits and hindrances attached to them.
Notes: If you have any additional notes about the Warrior Kit pertinent to your campaign (such as which players you'd prefer for specific Kits, for example), put them here.
Additionally, you could create Kits for other classes than Warrior, or adapt the existing Kits to the other through tinkering with the skills, proficiencies, benefits, and hindrances. There could easily be Rouge Swashbucklers or Barbarian Priests, for example.
The Warrior Kit Creation Sheet
On page 124 is the Warrior Kit Design Sheet. If you wish to design a new Warrior Kit, just photocopy the sheet and design your new Kit upon it. When you're showing the Warrior Kits above to your players, also include the new Warrior Kits you've designed.