Saturday, February 11, 2012

Character Class Draft: Jack of All Trades

Todays class uses player skill in narration to a high degree, the goal of which is to simulate the heroics of a pulp character. You'll notice their are few keywords with this class, and approach I may retroactively edit into older classes (gotta think about it).

A Jack of All Trades is an adventurer that specializes in certain areas that come useful in dungeoneering and other lucrative fields.

Motivations: Most Jacks are motivated by monetary gains, retiring after getting enough booty to live comfortably. Others work at the behest of patrons, such as thief guilds or excentric collectors, that may make it hard Jacks that want to get out of the business of delving ("every time I think I'm out, they pull me back in"). Of course many Jacks dream of one day being the boss themself.

Jacks start with the following abilities:
  • Studied Strike: If you can find a way to sneak up upon a distracted opponent with a weapon that could reasonably be judged to cause anatomical trauma to it, the attack automatically removes one hit die (as if through damage) from the target, and then damage is rolled normally. 
  • Skill Set: Choose a field of expertise. Whenever rolling a check in that field, you get two extra check dice. When they roll in a related field, the referee may give them an extra die too. Expertise sets may include thieving  (pickpocketing, fencing stolen goods, breaking and entering), spying (infiltrating, disguise, reading lips, cryptography), forgery, traps (detecting, setting, and disarming traps), mythology (knowledge of monsters and religion), history, survival, robotics, arcana, etc.
  • People skills: To elicit favorable reactions from NPCs, you get an extra die when making applicable Brains checks. 
Abilities available after first level:
  • Uncanny Survival Rate: Once per session, when you would die, narrate your way out of your predicament. This narration may kill minor bad guys or major henchmen (such as a second in command), but can't stop a major villain. You now have one hit die if you had none left.
  • Esoteric Knowledge (prerequisite: level 4): You are well studied. If you would have to make a knowledge check related to your field of expertise (via your Skill Set), you automatically succeed (one success in contested rolls).
  • Use The Environment: Once per battle, you notice something that can be used as a weapon in your surroundings if only given a little push (ex: barrels down stairs), a cut (ex: a chandelier), etc. You choose appropriate targets and get an automatic hit. The effects may be damage or some other appropriate hindrance for your foes.
  • Last Word (prerequisites: 10th level, Use the Environment): Once per session, when there would be a total party kill or otherwise hopeless situation, you narrate something that ends the villain (ex: you slipped a fatal rune into the villains spell circle when he thought you were already dead). Each member of your party may roll a Body check to see if they survived after all, pending verisimilitude of the story.
  • Bypass: Once per session, you and your party can bypass a threat (such as a trap or monster) that is within your Skill Set, leaving it active for the next entities to come along (which could be you again), provided you can narrate your bypassing.
  • Fake It: You can use items and interfaces that are not intended for your skills or class, such as magic items, artifacts, or advanced technology, provided you make a successful Brains roll with each activation. Failure may have dire effects though.
  • Cooperation: If your companion(s) announce their cooperation and make a successful Brains check that takes up their attack action) you deliver an attack that causes an automatic loss of one hit die on a hit (roll Brains bonus instead of prowess versus the appropriate defense).
  • Uncanny Dodge: When a blast, explosion, or ray type of attack would hit you, you may roll two dice on a Coordination check to avoid all ill effects of it.
  • Rule of Cool: (prerequisite: 10th level): Once per point of Prowess each battle, you may re-narrate something bad that happened this round in a way that benefits you, provided you can impress the referee with your version of events.
  • Reinforcements: The first time you have lost your last hit die each adventure, reinforcements drop in to drive the enemy(s) away for a scene, or alternatively to distract the enemy while your party escapes (as appropriate). After the dust settles, you have 1 hp minions at your disposal in numbers equal to your Brains+Prowess.