View Full Version : Fleshing out Hunter-Gatherer classes for primal campaign setting.

2012-03-04, 03:07 AM
I've wanted to build a new campaign setting for a while set in the first 100-1000 years of reality where the material plane has not yet fully taken form (instead of other planes being separate they flow across the surface of the material in waves, inspiring nomadic tendencies in denizens of all planes). The Gods and Titans have only existed for a short time and immediately came to a disagreement over what the nature of this reality should be and went to war (as they are wont to do), shaping and reshaping each others changes to reality, creating and destroying whole species in a matter of days (like a bunch of 12 year olds fighting over wiki edits of some topic they don't really understand), and just generally being colossal and awesome.

The primary classes are the Hunter and Gatherer.

The hunter is a combination of the fighter/combat-rogue mechanics who is swift and strong and built around stalking/taking down prey, and protecting encampments. They are built for combat success and have limited attack killing-blow attack they can perform that does the HD of their target in damage. They rely on combat skill and pack hunting methods as available gear is rather crude.
They are common and start at level 2.
HD: d12. BAB: High. Saves: Ref, Fort. SP (4+int)*4@1st. Access to Knowledge Nature/Geography/Survival, as well as any skill keyed off of their top 3 attributes.
I pretty much know what I'm doing with these guys as they are straightforward sneaky fighters (free feats mixed with the killing blow and roguish talents), but any suggestions are welcome.

The gatherer tends to stay close to the encampments or act in a supporting role to the hunters. They tend to be more social and have more skill in preparing food, repairing armor, and tending to wounds. In combat they employ methods of appearing less threatening, while hindering or redirecting the targets of the hunters, and providing immediate care to wounds.
They are the most common and start at level 3
HD: d8. BAB: Medium. Saves: Ref, Will. SP: (8+int)*4@1st level. Access to Knowledge Nature, Survival, as well as any skill keyed off their top 4 attributes, +2 more of their choice.
They will have skill bonuses, some ability to use tripping/disabling weapons, the ability to improvise healing paraphernalia, and I'm not sure what else. This is the primary point of outside ideas I'm looking for. If you were to play that role, how would you want it to work.

Arms and armor proficiency will be replaced by role-play training with the items in question, as all equipment is basically simple (hand-carved spears, slings, leather and hide armor) and there's no reason they all wouldn't have access to the same gear. Learning to use equipment isn't going to be nearly as hard as getting it in the first place.

The players will have the option of playing some other setting specific classes that have more fantastic roles like a Promethean (fire, crafting, invention), Primal (The first, or at least, very early member of a race created by a God or Titan. Bigger, more awesome, genetically perfect Super-Adam/Eves), Stargazers (Time control, "Seasonal" buffs, awareness of cyclical natures in reality), Dawn Warriors (Soldiers who serve a God in exchange for divine abilities and physical improvements. Half Paladin, half low tech Spess Mehrene), Dreamers (Some natural magic abilities, and some of the Titan's and God's abilities to consciously bend reality) Reality Glitches (random templates and abilities). However, these always start at level 1 due to their rarity. They should be balanced to match the primary classes, but still start at a lower level to encourage a more primitive party. I'm not really worried about getting ideas for these, but if you have some ideas for a nice class mechanic or two, don't hesitate to throw them out there.

Random musing if anyone is interested in trying out a similar idea for their own game. You'd naturally expect the party to be part of a group of nomads in this type of situation because they would generally be following migration patterns of prey and whatnot, but in this scenario the whole world is constantly changing (sometimes parts can be material, aethereal, shadow, fey, astral or elemental) and may not even be remotely spherical or even a continuous shape some days (the Gods get really pissed when the Titans turn the material plane into a moebius strip and muck around with the whole "physics" thing they've been working on). The result being that you aren't just following food, you're following the migration of your natural habitat, and heaven help you if that habitat ends up migrating through nearly un-passable mountain ranges, canyons, or even dead-ending in the sea. Reality is no longer a constant, it is now a weather pattern. No one wants to be sitting still when the shadows start looming on the horizon, and while the feylands may present an immediate wealth of food and shelter experience shows that if you spend much time in them they can grow to be just as deadly as the shadowlands. Imagine a game world where the entire map is changing fluidly the second you load it up, you might be planning equipment for a venture into the feylands but instead find yourself surprisingly surrounded by the shadow as it slowly constricts on your camp and your only option is to try and find the quickest possible route out.