Sunday, 5 February 2012

More classes! -- Leader and Blade

I'm on a roll with these ideas for new classes! Here are two more... Firstly, a "team player" with CHA as its prime requisite: the leader. And secondly an agile (and potentially dashing and/or swashbuckling) swordsman: the blade.

As discussed yesterday, these two classes again come with no preconceived background or motives, but present a few different mechanical options which might be fun for players. One thing I especially like about the leader class is that it could be used equally for a bard, a paladin or a warlord, thus rolling several sub-classes into one. The question is: is the class too "4e"? I have tried to keep it palatable to old-school taste and in fitting with the other classes in Labyrinth Lord, but the name and some amount of inspiration came from 4th edition D&D (which I must confess I have played several times! Though I did not inhale ;).

Any feedback most welcome!

Requirements:       None
Prime Requisite:    CHA
Hit Dice:                1d6
Maximum Level:    None
XP Progression:     2,000 for 2nd level

Leaders are characters whose skills place them at the fore of battle, but who specialise not in skill at arms, but rather in the art of rallying their allies. They are able to use any weapons and armour, as the standard fighter.

Note that as CHA is the leader's prime requisite, characters of this class are able to raise their CHA at character creation by attribute point swapping – this is disallowed for other characters. Leaders' saving throw and attack advancement is the same as standard clerics'.

Humans, elves and dwarves may be leaders. Elvish leaders may advance to 10th level, and dwarfish leaders to 9th level.

While their personal ability in combat is not as strong as that of fighters, leaders have several special abilities which help their companions in battle.

Firstly, all allies within 30' of the leader gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against fear. Hirelings within the same area gain a +1 bonus to morale.

In situations where a battle is anticipated, a leader can spend one turn prior to its commencement rallying his allies' spirits. This grants all allies within 30' of the leader a +1 bonus to hit and +1 versus saving throws when combat begins. This bonus lasts for one round per level of the leader.

Similarly, after a battle a leader may spend one turn to regroup the morale of his companions, enabling up to one ally per level to regain 1d3 hit points. This ability may only affect each ally once per day.

Reaching 5th level: Upon reaching 5th level, a leader gains the ability to put fear into the hearts of enemies. This ability can only be used once per combat, and only in the round directly following a successful (i.e. damage dealing) attack on an enemy within 30' of the leader. The leader uses this opportunity to disarray the opponents, causing an immediate morale check to be rolled (the Labyrinth Lord should determine how many opponents may be demoralised, depending on the circumstances). The leader can perform no other actions during the round he uses this ability.

Reaching 9th level: At 9th level, a leader's actions can inspire great courage in his allies. Whenever a leader makes a successful attack in combat, all allies within 30' gain +1 to hit and damage in the following round.

Requirements:       DEX 9
Prime Requisite:    STR, DEX
Hit Dice:                1d8
Maximum Level:    None
XP Progression:     2,100 for 2nd level

Blades are warriors who specialise in making fast, dynamic attacks and displays of swordsmanship. They are able to use any weapons, and any armour up to chain mail. Due to lack of training, blades suffer -1 to attacks with all missile weapons except thrown daggers. Though blades are able to use shields, they seldom do, preferring to wield a dagger in their off-hand.

Blades with a 13 in both prime requisites receive a 5% experience bonus. Those with a 16 in one or both prime requisites receive a 10% bonus. Blades' saving throw and attack advancement is the same as standard fighters'.

Humans, elves and halflings may be blades. Elvish blades may advance to 10th level, and halfling blades to 8th level. *

Blades are experts at wielding two weapons – typically a long sword in one hand and a dagger or short sword in the other. Their expertise with two blades is as effective as a shield, granting them a +1 bonus to armour class.

Additionally, with a blade in each hand, they gain a +2 bonus when attempting to disarm opponents. (The Labyrinth Lord should use whatever system seems appropriate for dealing with attempts to disarm, an option which should be open to all characters – blades are simply more likely to succeed.)

Blades are also practised knife throwers, and gain a +1 bonus to hit when making missile attacks with knives or daggers.

Reaching 3rd level: By making a display of flashy swordsmanship, a blade of 3rd level or higher can gain a +2 bonus when attempting to intimidate opponents. This bonus should be applied to whatever roll the Labyrinth Lord deems appropriate for the situation – for example morale checks, reaction rolls, saving throws, etc. In any event, the display must last at least one full combat round.

Reaching 5th level: Upon reaching 5th level, when wielding a sword or dagger, a blade is able to make two attacks ever other round. This includes attacks with thrown daggers.

Reaching 7th level: At 7th level, a blade's skill at parrying grants him an additional +1 bonus to armour class if he forgoes all attacks and other actions during a combat round. This bonus increases to +2 at 12th level and +3 at 17th level.

Reaching 10th level and higher: Upon reaching 10th, 15th and 20th level, a blade gains an extra attack per round when wielding a sword or dagger. This includes attacks with thrown daggers.

* The suggested level limit for a halfling blade is based on the rat-folk which have replaced halflings in my campaign. In standard LL, this class should probably not be available to chubby hobbitses.


  1. These would be good for a lower-magic setting (or at least one where the PCs didn't had lower magic). Maybe you could add some relevant non-combat skills as well eg brutes might be barbarians who are also good at tracking, leaders are nobles who are also good at courtly graces.

  2. Hey anarchist, I probably didn't completely explain the thought process behind these new classes... The idea is that players & DMs would simply add their own secondary / background skills as appropriate. In my campaign I just let players declare (at character creation) "I'm good at hunting and tracking" or "I've lived among the upper classes" or whatever.

    So the classes were designed to deliberately not include any kind of background / secondary / non-combat skills, in order to make them more flexible. So a brute character could indeed be a barbarian from some tribal region (which is obviously one of the main archetypes I had in mind for it), but he could equally be a pit fighter or a bodyguard. Same goes for the leader, it could easily be a bard, a noble, a cavalier, a paladin or a warlord, depending on how the player wanted to play it.

    See what I mean?

  3. I like 'em. Although I seem to want to call the Leader a Warlord. : )

  4. Haha, well, yes, as I said, there is a certain amount of influence... I guess not everything in 4e was bad ;)

  5. I really like the Leader, it definitely scratches an itch I have for "leader" like characters something that the Fighter really doesn't cover too well. I will be adding this to my class roster for sure. Great work!