Arduin Grimoire, Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, House Rules, Labyrinth Lord, OSR, Random Tables, Random Thursday, RPG, Subclasses
I really enjoy the randomness of some old-school styles of play. I love random stat generation and from that determining your race / class, I love B/X Blackrazor’s random headgear, I even had to go back with my crazy party from the Madness Beneath and roll up subraces for them from my random subraces table (I’ll post that update when I do my next Madness Beneath adventure log).
Based on all that, and with inspiration from the classic 1977 Arduin Grimoire, I wanted a set of random tables for special abilities for each class in the B/X or Labyrinth Lord rules.
If using these tables, every character uses them. If you REALLY don’t want to roll a random subclass for your character, convince the GM to let you take the Focused subclass.
So, the first of the Subclass Tables!
Random Cleric Subclasses (d12)
1. Paladin – Can wield weapons with sharp and pointy bits
2. Heretic – At each spell level replace one cleric spell with a spell from the same level magic user spell
3. Elementalist – Can also turn elementals as undead
4. Dragon-Priest – Can Tell and Dominate dragons, drakes, wyverns and other associated creatures (and potentially kobolds) as an evil cleric controls undead.
5. Dervish – Can frenzy in battle 1/day: +2 AC, +1 to hit and damage
6. Divine Light – Turn undead at +2 levels
7. Healer – +1 hp / die on all healing spells
8. Priest – +2 caster levels, cannot wear armour, can only wield clubs, staves and daggers.
9. Penitent – d8 hit die (d10 if using advanced hit dice)
10. Zealot – +1 to hit & damage opposite alignment (Chaos / Law -or- Chaos/Evil, choose one)
11. Focused – +10% to earned XP
12. Choose one or make up a new one
John Stater said:
I like this, but saying that the old-school style of play is random – that’s a bit of wishful thinking. Other than basic stats, which have very little impact on the game, most characters of similar class are distinguishable from each other ONLY by equipment. So it’s generally the least varied of the D&D subtypes.
Unless of course you mean the random way that rulings tend to accrete in a “rules-light” environment. That is pretty random.
Dyson Logos said:
I understand what you mean, but as I said in the post “I really enjoy the randomness of some old-school styles of play” – I don’t say that THE old school style of play is random, but that some old-school styles of play are random.
Around the time of my introduction to D&D, there were a lot of random tables out there being used as the basis for chargen, adventures, and everything under the sun. These were being collated by the DMs I played with from a variety of sources, one of which I credit in the article – the 1977 Arduin Grimoire.
Fair enough. For me, I started playing D&D in the early 80’s and there was very little in the way of random tables. We used lots of modules (Blizzard Pass was the very first), but almost no random stuff at all.
Assuming these also correspond, in a way, to certain… niches within a given collective, you could use these as an indicator of presence: 1 through 10 describe the niches locally active, 11 is essentially vanilla and 12 is up to the player/GM to decide who’s active around here.
It can help in rolling up a random urban location and feed in plot hooks. Additional rolls for larger locations can really flesh out a place in broad strokes. Also, any given result doesn’t mean it corresponds to your personal collective, just one the prescribes to the theme. The Priest you are doesn’t mean the local Priests are from the same religion.
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Nathanael Cole said:
Looks like this one didn’t get the “subclass” tag/category, by the way.
#12 Tome Thumper: applies to each and any religion, somewhere there is an overly-pious, holier than thou, street-corner, brimstone hurler. The real drawback to his wails of damnation is that he actually might have the power to hurl sulfur and brimstone and/or poxes and plagues upon those they view as in need of such “divinity”. These characters range from a simple nuisance to down right dangerous in their devotion.
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