View Full Version : [NaC] Non-Adventuring Classes and the Skull thumper

mabriss lethe
2007-04-24, 02:36 AM
This particular idea was inspired by paigeoliver's "craptastic" Assistant Zookeeper project. (and yes, I think it was a great class) I thought this might be an amazing type of game to play. The characters all begin as nobodies in the world. PCs in this game are the downtrodden members of humanity (or any other race) that squirm under the heels of the wealthy, powerful "Adventurers." Nothing brings misery to a village like a group of adventureres. They can lay waste to whole kingdoms when provoked, even when they don't, a group of adventurers have a habit of dumping enough gold into a the local economy to cause rampant inflation and eventually a collapse. Non-adventurer PCs do whatever they can to stem the destruction, even if it means becoming adventurers themselves. (dun dun dummm!)

There are a few changes that need to be made though.

Each character begins at 1st level in a Non-Adventuring Class. NaCs work a bit differently from a base class.
NACs are 5 level mini-classes. In this game setting, a starting character must chose (or create) an NaC. He must progress all the way through the 5 level class before he can choose a Base Class. Once the character choses a base class, then leveling up reverts to RAW. This means that epic progression is postponed until a character surpasses level 25.
All NaCs have a Base Attack Bonus of 0 throughout all 5 levels. Instead they gain a progression of special attack bonuses (SpAb). They work in a fashion identical to the BAB except for one key difference. Bonuses accrued from the SpAB never allow multiple attacks per round, regardless of the value. This helps keep the number of attacks/round in line with the standard 20 level game.
NaCs should have at least one class-level dependent ability: A boost to a few core skills or some other minor but useful bonus that increases with every level of the NaC.
NaCs should employ a few highly specialized versions of existing abilities from other classes. when possible, these versions should stack with their more powerful counterparts. Generally an NaC will give an easy progression into two base classes.
Non-Adventuring Characters do not have an alignment. Players don't actually choose their characters alignment until they are ready to select a base class. Any alignment based effects treat a Non-adventuring character as True Neutral until they select an alignment and a base class.
As a general rule, NaCs never have a higher hit die than a D8, have one good save, and extremely limited weapon and armor proficiencies.

Now for my first version of an NaC.... The Skull thumper

The Skull thumper
"Da Boss don't like no trouble. You start trouble, I end it. Unnerstan'?" - Ridley Blacktooth, local Skull thumper.

Skull thumpers are sometimes the only law in the rougher side of town, enforcing the rules for whomever is willing to pay the bills. They specialize in dishing out pain and won't shy away from taking it either... just to prove a point. Rare is the skull thumper who still has all his teeth or who doesn't sport a nasty array of scars. Taproom bouncers, Brawlers, Thugs, Bullies, Hired muscle, The skull thumper goes by a variety of titles, but if you know what's good for you, you'll call him "sir"

Alignment: N/A

Hit Die: d8

Class skills: Bluff, Craft, Diplomacy, gather information, intimidate, Profession, Move silently, search, sense motive, spot, use rope

Skill points: 4+ int mod

Class Features:

Weapon and armor proficiencies: The Skull Thumper is proficient with the following weapons: Dagger, club, sap, and crossbow (light or heavy). The skull thumper is not proficient with any armors or shields.

Sucker punch:

If a Skull Thumper can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from his attack, the Skull Thumper can attempt a Sucker Punch.

The Sucker punch is effective any time the Skull thumper's target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target has a dexterity bonus or not) or when the skull thumper flanks his target. In addition to the normal damage from the attack, the target must succeed at a fortitude save versus a DC equal to the Skull thumper's attack roll or be dazed for 1 round. The Daze ability of the suckerpunch is not affected by scoring a critical hit.

This special attack must be attempted at melee range using either an unarmed strike or a weapon that deals bludgeoning damage.

A Skull thumper can sucker punch only living creatures with discernible anatomies: Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, and incorporeal creatures lack the proper anatomy. Any creature immune to critical hits is not vulnerable to a sucker punch. The skull thumper must be able to see the target well enough to pick out the vital spots and must be able to reach them. Skull thumpers cannot sucker punch a creature with concealment or strike the limbs of a creature whose vitals are out of reach. The target must also be within a one size category difference of the skull thumper.

The effects of a sucker punch stacks with a rogue's sneak attack.

Tough as Nails: The Skull thumper leads a hard life, and can take more punishment than the average person. He gains an additional hit point for each level of the Skull thumper class he posesses.

Take it on the Chin: The skull thumper knows how to brace himself for impending strikes. As long as the skull thumper isn't caught flatfooted or otherwise denied a Dexterity bonus to AC, he can make a move action to attempt to absorb the impact of an oncoming blow, Gaining Damage Reduction for one round. This DR is 1/piercing at 2nd level and increases to 2/piercing at 4th level.

Fist Load: By 3rd level the skull thumper has fashioned a set of improvised tools to assist him in dealing unarmed damage, and trained himself in their use. The fist load can be made of nearly anything, It could be knotted ropes wrapped around the hand, a short iron bar kept in the palm, an impromptu knuckle duster or a pair of brass knuckles. While using a fist load, the Skull thumper deals unarmed damage equivalent to a monk of two levels lower. This ability stacks with actual monk levels to determine unarmed damage.

Grin and Bear it: After successfully using the "Take it on the Chin" Class ability to reduce damage, a skull thumper may take a free action to give the opponent who wounded him a feral grin. The target must succeed at a Will save versus a DC of (10 + the character's skull thumper level+ Charisma modifier) or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. This ability only functions on creatures with an intelligence score of 3 or more who are capable of seeing skull thumper.

Haymaker: Once per day, at 5th level, the character can attempt a Haymaker. It requires the use of the full attack action. If successful, the haymaker knocks the target prone in addition to normal damage. The target must make a Reflex save vs the skull thumper's attack roll to avoid being laid out by the blow.

Hamfisted: Years of taproom brawls and back alley skirmishes have made the skull thumper a skilled grappler, making grapple checks as if he were one size category larger. Unfortunately, those same years of repeatedly broken bones and sprained joints make the skull thumper a little clumsy, imposing a -1 penalty on Dexterity related skill checks.

{table] Level | BAB* | SpAB | Fort | Will | Ref | Class Features
1 | +0* | +0 | +2 | +0 | +0 | Tough as Nails, Sucker Punch
2 | +0* | +1 | +3 | +0 | +0 | Take it on the Chin (DR 1/piercing)
3 | +0* | +2 | +3 | +1 | +1 | Fistload
4 | +0* | +3 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Take it on the Chin (DR 2/piercing), Grin and Bear it
5 | +0* | +3 | +4 | +1 | +1 | Haymaker,Hamfisted [/table]

I'm a little shaky on the wording for the "take it on the chin" ability, but I hope it makes sense.

Zeta Kai
2007-04-24, 05:07 AM
How is this unusable for adventuring? If this class went up to higher levels, I would consider playing one.

2007-04-24, 09:24 AM
You could always use the 5 basic "NPC" classes for this sort of thing. Adepts can be used as a sort of foothold into spellcasting classes. It would give some spells that may be out of their target class's list, like CLW. Warriors give some Attack bonuses and proficiencies that may help them out or hold them over until they reach their target class. Experts are handy to many people, as you can pick your own class skills.

You could always just write a few NPC classes, as it seems they seem to be about what you're going for in terms of fluff. In this way, you don't have to write all new mechanics or anything. All that's necessary is the classes.

I know you probably just want ideas about the class itself. It seems fine to me.

2007-04-24, 09:33 AM
Search around for hte complet commonor, it was a bit like this

Magnor Criol
2007-04-24, 10:02 AM
"Take it on the Chin" is quite clearly worded to me. Though, I think there should be some sort of use limit; as it is, can't they just use it all the time, effectively granting them permanent damage reduction so long as they're not caught by surprise?
The fluff wording states that they may use it to 'absorb the impact of an oncoming blow,' so perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that it's usable once per round and only applies to one attack, or something.

As for the class specifically, taking a -2 to dex before they even get to the 'real' classes seems a bit harsh. Especially so when you make the Rogue class one of the ones that benefits from this NaC. Maybe just a -1 to dex?

I like this class, and the NaC idea behind it. (With a dab of hubris, I can see the Hunter NPC class I made working very well into this, with some tweaking.)

2007-04-24, 10:45 AM
"Take it on the Chin" sounds more like a Swift or Immediate action (whose effect lasts a round) than a Move action. Otherwise, it looks nice.

mabriss lethe
2007-04-24, 04:24 PM
As for the class specifically, taking a -2 to dex before they even get to the 'real' classes seems a bit harsh. Especially so when you make the Rogue class one of the ones that benefits from this NaC. Maybe just a -1 to dex?

Debated about that one for a while, myself. realize it isn't a direct hit to dexterity, but a penalty to dex related skill rolls. He fumbles around when attempting things of a delicate nature. He still retains a full bonus to AC and the like. In exchange, he gains a +4 bonus to grapple checks for being considered one size category larger.

I don't see this particular character turning out to be a sneaky wall climbing cat burglaring rogue. he's more of a mugger, hitting people over the heads in dark alleys to make off with their wallets.

All that being said. I'll gladly bump it back down to -1 heck. It's one of the capstones of the class....Done

2007-05-02, 11:40 PM
Why isn't intimidate a class skill? From the flavour it seems like these guys are much more intimidating than diplomatic.

mabriss lethe
2007-05-03, 09:50 PM
it is, actually