Bard, d20, Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, Furry, Mystic Eye Games
The dark world of Gothos, a land where dreams and nightmares of sleeping Earth folk, find their way into a fantasy campaign setting…
Back into my huge pile of d20 material and out comes the Hunt: Rise of Evil a setting from the now defunct Mystic Eye Games. The defining element for the setting was an attempt at a dark fantasy feel and the link between the real world and Gothos via dreams – and it of course includes mechanics to provide the players with Dream Points that they can spend to help their characters in a tight spot, trigger events, warp reality or change the “mood” and weather of a scene. A player gets a number of points based on the levels of his characters (with a lot more points for his primary / first character than for subsequent characters).
The main text of the book is given over to regional descriptions of the game setting, but half of it is rules modifications. New races, classes and magic rules; many of which seem at first shake to be a bit over or under powered – in need of a lot more playtesting perhaps.
Of course, as a 3.x D&D setting, the Hunt includes all the standard fantasy races, but also includes a few new ones (and old ideas). The first are the Canites – gypsy-like anthropomorphic dogs (adistinct link to the wolfen from Palladium is visible in the illustrations), Werefoxes, and the Ithganin (basically humans, but evil tainted humans with kick-ass samurai).
For this character, I’ll go with a Canite, because they are unique to the setting, not crippled to urban adventuring like the werefoxes (who will not enter a non-elven settlement), and because I want to try out an Ithganin for my high-level NPC that I can then throw into any other d20 game as a villain.
Canites start with some awesome modifiers, and yet are ECL +0 (come on guys, playtesting? basic common sense? or does coolness win out over balance?) +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Wis, -2 Cha, as well as low-light vision, the hugely powerful Scent ability, and natural empathy (plus a +2 skill bonus on listen checks).
Using the Organic chargen method again (4d6-L in order, swap 2, reroll 1), I get
- Strength 12
- Dexterity 15
- Constitution 9
- Intelligence 12
- Wisdom 11
- Charisma 18!
First thing I want to do is swap out that Wisdom for Str or Con, then I flip through the book and see the Merchant class. Screw it, gypsy vagabonds are famous for their swindling ways, so a high-charisma merchant it shall be. I don’t end up swapping any stats, and instead re-roll his Constitution, getting a 13 this time. He’s got a low Wisdom for a merchant, but this is perfect as a game hook and classic character type – the charismatic wanderer who doesn’t pass up a quick deal, even a bad one.
The first level ability of a Merchant is the ability to detect thievery. This is done by rolling a d20 and adding the merchant’s Int bonus and class level and trying to beat the thief’s skill check. Nice, except that it includes “Sneak Attack” as one of these abilities, and there is no skill roll for such a thing, and in most cases it is used by flanking, not by hiding and sneaking. But anyways, I’m nit-picking.
The Merchant class also includes a side-bar on using Bluff for haggling (although they call it Bartering – even though no barter is involved, it is definitely used to change the asking price of goods for sale). Unfortunately, they allow you to use this ability up to 8 to 10 times in negotiating a price… It uses an opposed bluff check, every point of difference is a 2% decrease in the asking price for the haggler, or a 1% increase for the hagglee if the haggler failed the roll. Each retry is at a cumulative -2 penalty, but even then a mid-level haggler could wrangle down a price tag by an easy 20%, and potentially a lot more if you put the right feats into it.
Anyways, Merchants have rogue-level skill points (8 per level), light armour and simple weapon proficiency and of course, some spells. Because everyone in the world is magical, especially those who specialize in the buying and selling of shrubberies and horse manure. Spellcasting for the merchant is Intelligence-based (this class is really multi-ability dependent – Dex, Int & Cha in particular) and uses the Wizard systems from the PHB, although with their own spell list. With his Intelligence of12, he can only cast up to level 2 spells at this point – so he’ll be looking at multiclassing out of merchant around level 4, or cranking up his Int as he levels up or through magic items. An interesting footnote is that, like the bard, the merchant has cure light wounds on his spell list. It is noted that the Merchant is basically a variant bard – as such if updating to 3.5, he probably gains the bard’s ability to wear light armour without arcane spell failure.
His starting feat as a level 1 character goes to Persuasive, giving him +2 Bluff and Intimidate.
Of course, the book doesn’t include starting funds for a Merchant, so I’ll use the Bard’s 4d4x10, giving him 110 gp. He grabs a longspear (he can tie his meagre belongings to a bag on the spear haft as well as use it for reach attacks), some light armour, and a few bits and bobs of adventuring equipment, leaving him with enough gold to buy anything shiny he thinks he can resell for a profit along the way.
In the end we have Grwu’ff Nyirr who typically goes by the common tongue name of Lonely Joe the Wanderer. He’s a human sized wolf-man who wanders the human lands outside the forests of Dunreth where he ekes out a living buying and selling trinkets and looking for adventure. He’s not a big fan of laws except when he can use them to his benefit (like turning in people who steal from him) but is generally a friendly and well-kept… wolfman. Living on his own, combined with his high Charisma, makes him seem a bit lonely as he tends to talk the ear off of anyone willing to sit down with him for more than a few minutes.
Grwu’ff Nyirr, Lonely Joe the Wanderer
Alignment: Chaotic Good
- Strength 14 (+2)
- Dexterity 15 (+2)
- Constitution 15 (+2)
- Intelligence 12 (+1)
- Wisdom 9 (-1)
- Charisma 16 (+3)
- Armour Class:
- Hit Points: 8
- Base Attack Bonus: +0
- Speed: 30 ft
- Fort Save: +2
- Ref Save: +3
- Will Save: +0
- Low-light vision: See twice as far as a human in poor illumination
- Empathy: can sense moods of other humanoids with an opposed Wisdom check
- +2 racial bonus on listen checks
- Detect Thievery: Roll d20 + Int Bonus + Level versus any thief skill attempt (stealing, pick pocket, move silent, hide, pick lock). If higher than the thief’s skill check, the merchant is aware of the attempt (this is separate and in addition to any spot or listen checks)
- Simple Weapon Proficiency
- Light Armor Proficiency
- Persuasive (+2 Bluff & Intimidate)
- Appraise (Int) | 4 ranks | +5
- Bluff (Cha) | 4 ranks | +9
- Diplomacy (Cha) | 4 ranks | +7
- Forgery (Int) | 4 ranks | +5
- Gather Information (Cha) | 4 ranks | +7
- Intimidate (Cha) | 0 ranks | +5
- Listen (Wis) | 4 ranks | +4
- Open Lock (Dex) | 4 ranks | +6
- Spellcraft (Int) | 2 ranks | +3
- Sense Motive (Wis) | 2 ranks | +1
- Base Spell DC: 11 + Spell Level
- Prepares spells each morning as a wizard
- Arcane spell failure applies from armor worn (15%)
Level 0 Spells (3 per day)
- Arcane Mark (prepared)
- Dancing Lights
- Detect Poison
- Ghost Sounds
- Light (prepared)
- Mage Hand
- Prestidigitation (prepared)
- Read Magic
Level 1 Spells (3 per day)
- Charm Person
- Cure Light Wounds
- Longspear (+2 to hit, d8+3 damage, x3 crit, 9 lbs)
- 4 Javelins (+2 to hit, d6+2 damage, x2 crit, 2 lbs each, 30 ft range inc)
- Studded Leather Armor (+3 AC, -1 Armour Check Penalty, 15% Arcane Spell Failure)
- 5 bags of caltrops
- Map Case
- Signet Ring
- 60 gp