Wednesday, 27 June 2012

D&D Mine: The Slayer

Following the Magus and Fighter, next up in the class roster (and, yes, I am just sticking to the "classic four") is my take on the Cleric.

Regular readers and/or players in my games may be surprised to hear that I would even want to include a Cleric style class, as I am usually a notorious fun-spoiler where the class is concerned. However, I've always said that if I were to run a campaign in a setting which would suit some kind of holy warrior class, then I'd allow them.

As I noted originally, these rules for D&D Mine are specifically tailored to a campaign setting which I'm working on. The setting is very much historically inspired, and, while it has fantasy elements like wizards, demons and undead, a Catholic style Church is an important element. Thus: what better excuse for
an inquisitor / witch-hunter type Cleric class!

I've had some trouble coming up with a good name for the class, and am as yet unsure about the name "Slayer". "Cleric" and "Paladin" are right out, as they bring too many expectations from traditional D&D, and imply an ordained clergyman or a knight in shining armour, neither of which describe this class very well. Other names I've considered include "Hunter" (thought that sounds like a woodsman), "Seeker" (but of what?), "Warden" (again, a bit too game-keepery), "Arbiter"... If anyone has any suggestions, please go ahead!

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.



The Slayer


You are a warrior zealot, serving the Church in order to battle the evil forces of the world. Slayers often specialise in the rooting out and eradication of one particular kind of foe, taking on roles such as vampire slayers, witch-hunters, demon exorcists, inquisitors, etc. Slayers are typically not ordained priests, but can often receive aid and advice from the clergy.

As warriors imbued with a holy purpose, Slayers are very capable combatants, being able to stand shoulder to shoulder with Fighters. Their faith also grants them access to a variety of miraculous abilities to help fight against evil.

Table 3: Slayer Advancement
Level
XP
d6 HD
BHB
ST
1
0
1
+0
14
2
1,500
2
+0
13
3
3,000
3
+1
12
4
6,000
4
+1
11
5
12,000
5
+2
10
6
24,000
6
+2
9
7
48,000
7
+3
8
8
96,000
8
+3
7
9
192,000
9
+4
6
10
384,000
10
+4
5

Slayer Class Abilities

XP Modified by Wisdom: The Wisdom Modifier applies to XP gained by this class.
Saving Throw: Slayers get +1 on saving throws vs. death and poison.
Weapon/Armour Restrictions: Slayers have no armour or weapon restrictions.
Divine Blessings: Slayers gain a number of divine blessings based on their Wisdom attribute.
Wisdom
Divine Blessings
13 - 15
1
16 - 17
2
18
3

Blessings are chosen at 1st level and can never be changed. They are usable at will, without any limitation of a specific number of uses per day.
Immunity to Disease: The Slayer is guarded by the divine, and is immune to all normal diseases. He or she also gains a +4 bonus to saving throws vs. magical diseases.
Protection from Evil: The character gains a +2 bonus to saves against the powers of evil supernatural creatures, and has an effective armour class one point better than normal against their attacks.
Reveal Charm: Possession or magicks of charm or mind control can be detected within 30'. One round's concentration is required.
Sense Evil: The presence and magnitude of evil supernatural creatures can be detected within 30'. This takes one round of concentration.
Smite Evil: The Slayer gains a +1 bonus on to-hit and damage rolls against a chosen type of foe.
Succour: When resting, characters in the Slayer's presence regain one additional hit point, up to the maximum allowed per Hit Die (see Hit Points in the game rules chapter).
Banishing Evil: Slayers can “turn” evil supernatural creatures such as demons and the undead, making them flee from the Slayer's holiness. See the chapter on Game Rules.
Holy Benedictions: As a devoted servant of the Church, a Slayer of 2nd level or higher is able to receive benedictions by praying at shrines dedicated to the saints. Each shrine is dedicated to a certain saint, and each saint is able to grant a different benediction upon the faithful. See the chapter on Game Rules for further details.
Many shrines and the benedictions of their patron saints are detailed in the Saints and Shrines booklet.

10 comments:

  1. Do you think fighters deserve dibs on magic swords? That was the only mechanical benefit of restricting clerics to bludgeoning weapons I ever heard.

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  2. Yeah that's what I've always heard too.

    In the case of this class, as I said, it's designed for a specific setting -- which is (as I've envisaged it so far) very low-magic, so using magic swords or not isn't that relevant.

    In a more general D&D context, I've thought before that perhaps a nice way of handling clerics might be to say that they can use any weapon, but only gain the magical benefits of weapons which were specifically consecrated for the cause of their deity. That way, fighters get the most magic weapons, and the DM can still throw in the odd (un)holy sword, mace, spear or whatever once in a while for clerics.

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    Replies
    1. Good points! I have considered making all non-trivial magic weapons intelligent and that would make an excellent difference between weapons for fighters and weapons for clerics.

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    2. Yeah, that'd be really interesting!

      I'm definitely veering more and more towards wanting all magic items to be unique -- no simple "swords +1".

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  3. Regarding the naming of the class, my 2 cents: zealot, holy warrior, champion, adherent, pursuivant, martinet, crusader.

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  4. Thanks!

    I'd also considered Crusader (or Templar), but it sounds too medieval... knights in armour. (The atmosphere I'm going for is of inquisitors and monster-slayers, rather than holy crusading knights.)

    I think martinet and pursuivant are too unusual to have any instant associations.

    Zealot, champion and adherent are interesting though... None tread on the toes of the Fighter too much.

    Another one I was considering was Defender.

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  5. Hi - I've really been enjoying your Theorems & Thaumaturgies posts. If you're thinking about renaming the Slayer, you could also consider "Witch Hunter," "Exorcist," or "Inquisitor" to get at the flavor you described.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, glad to hear you find it interesting! :)

      I also considered Witch Hunter, Exorcist or Inquisitor, but I think they're all too specific... You know, I like the idea of a more generic name which could *include* any and all of witch hunters, vampire slayers, exorcists and inquisitors.

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  6. Good post, gives me some ideas for a version of the cleric that I am working on (though mine doesn't change the mechanics). I think demon hunter is a pretty good option that is a bit more general than vampire hunter or exorcist.


    Alternatively, you could be literal and just call them holy warriors.

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