Monday, July 11, 2011

Sword & Planet: The Expert...

Good Morning, All:

This is the second of three posts that describe the basics of the character classes I'm proposing for a Planetary Romance campaign. This particular post describes the Expert, this being a character who resolves challenges through the use of agility and intellect. On those occasions when a protagonist of a Planetary Romance series has a companion for a time, that companion is often an Expert.

The Expert
As an Expert, you are the master of your craft, a truly skilled individual against whom few can compare. You may come from a number of professions, but when push comes to shove, your skill mastery is your saving grace.

Prime Attribute: Dexterity, Intelligence
Starting Hit Dice: 3d8, +(3x Con modifier)
Hit Dice/Level: 1d8/level (gains 2 hp/level after 7th)
Armor/Weapons Permitted: Light/Any two weapon groups (see Warrior for details).
Saving Throw Bonus: Experts gain a +2 bonus on Dexterity-based saving throws.
Skills: 4 + Int modifier

Table: The Expert

13d8+2+4Profession, Skill Mastery (1/rest)
46d8+4+5Skill Mastery (2/rest)
79d8+6+6Skill Mastery (3/rest)
109d8+6+9+7Skill Mastery (4/rest)

The Expert's core special ability is Skill Mastery.

Skill Mastery: At 1st level, the Expert selects one skill from among those he knows. Once per rest, when attempting a skill check with their skill of mastery, the Expert can elect to roll two d20s at the same time and take the better of the two rolls. This increases to twice per rest at 4th level, three times per rest at 7th level and four times per rest at 10th level.

Profession: At 1st level, the Expert selects one of the following professions. He immediately gains the profession's special ability, as weill as the profession's skill as a bonus skill.

  • Assassin: The Assassin is an Expert at killing without being seen, be it for money, duty or honor.
  • Diplomat: The Diplomat is highly skilled at negotiations, particularly with the aristocracy.
  • Healer: The Healer is an Expert at tending to the wounds of others.
  • Sage: The Sage is reknowned for their expertise on a single given subject.
  • Warden: The Warden is an Expert at surviving in a specific terrain, and is trained in combating creatures from that area.

Table: Expert Professions
AssassinStealthSneak Attack: When attacking a flat-footed opponent, the Assassin gains an additional +2 attack bonus, and his damage is doubled.
DiplomatPersuasionHigh Society: The Diplomat gains a +3 bonus on Bluff and Persuasion skill checks when interacting with members of the highest levels of society.
HealerHealingImproved First Aid: A Healer can apply First Aid up to an hour after combat, rather than be limited to immediately after combat.
SageLoreDefining Interest: The Sage selects a defining interest, and all Lore skill checks related to this interest gain a +3 bonus.
WardenSurvivalTerrain Mastery: The Warden selects a specific terrain type: Aquatic, Desert, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Plains or Underground. He gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls against creatures native to that terrain type, and gains a +2 bonus on Survival skill checks made in that terrain.

As before, I've chosen the professions based on iconic character concepts from Planetary Romance novels. These are not intended to reflect common character options from a fantasy setting, although you could expand the list in that direction if you so desired. It's important to me that I could identify at least one character in a Planetary Romance novel as fitting a given profession before I included it on the list. As always, please let me know what you think.

With Regards,

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