Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sample Custom Class: The Apokrykleft

So, I posted a thing about using the Player's Option rules to mod a system for creating custom classes. Here is another post wherein I will throw out some crazy examples of AD&D 2nd-edition compatible classes built using that system. While the previous three were built using the Paladin experience chart (the second slowest chart in 2e AD&D, and thus one of the most point-friendly under the system), this one was built to use the Rogue advancement (the fastest and lowest point chart)...

The Apokrykleft

Literally ‘stealers of the arcane’, the Apokrykleft are agents of the unspoken gods of knowledge. The Apokrykleft’s goal is not to teach or to spread knowledge, but to find the most interesting secrets and return them to the god’s temples – preferably intact. A tome of absolute crawling evil sits at the bottom of this dungeon? The Apokrykleft isn’t going to destroy it. She’s going to steal it and get it back to her underground temple library where she and her peers will properly read it and write several research papers on it. She doesn’t much care that it will release some terrible creature into the world. All that matters is that knowledge, in any form, is found and then hidden again. Hoarded away from any save the Apokryklefts and their god.

Base Class Statistics:
  • Ability Requirements: Int 12, Wis 12, Dex 9
  • Alignments: Any Non-Lawful
  • Experience Chart: As Thief
  • Hit Dice: d4
  • Hit Points per level beyond 9th: +1 per level
  • THAC0: as Rogue
  • Saves: Mixed
    • Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Priest
    • Rods/Staves/Wands: as Priest
    • Petrification/Polymorph: as Priest
    • Breath Weapon: as Priest
    • Spell: as Priest
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 1
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 4
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
  • Non-weapon Group Crossovers: General, Rogue, Priest
  • Allowed Weapons: Any available to Wizards
  • Allowed Armor: Studded leather or lighter, no shields

Class Features:

Code of Ethics: While by no means a lawful order, at least where the laws of nations are concerned, the Apokryklefts have their code of conduct which they must adhere to. The tenets of their faith can be thusly summarized:
  • Never burn paper. Never reuse paper. The written word may retain a secret and a secret lost is a heresy.
  • Build libraries in His name. Vast libraries. But beneath the earth, behind locked doors, where the books are kept safe from the loose hands of the uninitiated.
  • Go into the world, teach all to read, so if they learn of a secret, they bring it to Him.
  • No secret is too small. Or too big. Or too profane.
  • In Death, He will grant his people salvation in knowledge of the secrets of the cosmos. All truths shall be revealed.
  • And the most important tenet of faith: One must never utter the god’s True Name, for that is the Ultimate Secret. His old names are dead. Now, His name will forever be the Unspoken.
Limited Magic Items: Magic is a particularly great secret, and written magic more so, and one the Apokryklefts must never allow to go to waste. An Apokrykleft may never make use of any written magic item (scrolls, tomes, manuals, etc.), for fear of them being expended and destroyed, and must donate all such items to his temple library.

Weapons and Armor: Apokryklefts spend much of their time in their hidden libraries, their heads buried in books of forbidden lore, looking for clues as to the next secret to be stolen, and very little time training for combat. Still, theirs in often a dangerous line of work. Apokryklefts learn the basics of self-defense, they fight as rogues and may wear armor up to studded leather and make use of any weapons available to wizards (Dagger, Dart, Knife, Quarterstaff, or Sling).

Secret Language: As masters of hidden lore, Apokryklefts keep a unique language, known only to members of their order, permitting secure communication between members of the class in almost any setting. All Apokryklefts gain knowledge of this language (called Apokrykleftis) for free at 1st level. In addition, all Apokryklefts gain the ability to read and write both Apokrykleftis and their native language for free.

Thief Skills:
Apokryklefts are thieves of knowledge. They learn a number of skills useful in seeking out, acquiring, and understanding diverse unique bits of lore. All of these abilities start with a base score of 10% at 1st level (plus the normal modifiers for race, dexterity, or armor). Each level after 1st, the Apokrykleft gains 15 points with which to improve these abilities as they see fit.
  • Detect Curse: The Apokrykleft is aware of the horrible curses lurking within tombs and ancient magical items. If the Apokrykleft comes within 10 feet of a cursed item, location, or person, he has a chance to sense the baneful magic. The Apokrykleft does not learn the details of the curse, he is only aware of its presence. If the Apokrykleft fails to detect a curse in a given item, he must gain a level before he is allowed to try again. The Apokrykleft’s chance to Detect Curse improves by +2% per point of Wisdom over 13.
  • Detect Illusions: Apokryklefts have a chance to see illusions within their line of sight, up to 90 feet away. They perceive the illusion as a translucent image, seeing through it as though it were a light mist. The more real the illusion, the more solid the image. This ability cannot penetrate invisibility or other non-visible effects.
    Detection is not automatic, and the Apokrykleft must spend a round concentrating on the area of effect to discover its illusionary qualities. Knowing that something is an illusion is not necessarily a fail-safe defense against illusionary magic, such as in the case of a simulacrum. The Apokrykleft’s chance to Detect Curse improves by +2% per point of Intelligence over 13.
  • Find/Remove Traps: Many people try to protect their important secrets from Apokryklefts with mechanical or magical traps or alarms. Unlike mundane thieves’, the Apokrykleft is well trained in dealing with magical traps and does not halve his percentages when working with such arcane devices.
    To find a trap, the Apokrykleft must be able to touch and inspect the trapped object. Normally, the DM rolls the dice to determine whether the Apokrykleft finds a trap. If the Apokrykleft finds a trap, he knows its general principle but not its exact nature. An Apokrykleft can check a given item for traps once per experience level. Searching for a trap takes 1d10 rounds.
    Once a trap is found, the Apokrykleft can try to remove it or disarm it. This also requires 1d10 rounds. If the dice roll indicates success, the trap is disarmed. If the dice roll indicates failure, the trap is beyond the Apokrykleft’s current skill. He can try disarming the trap again when he advances to the next experience level. If the dice roll is 96-100, the Apokrykleft accidentally triggers the trap and suffers the consequences.
  • Legend Lore: As collectors of knowledge, the Apokrykleft has a chance to identify the general purpose, function, and history of any magical item he comes across, just like a Bard. The Apokrykleft need not handle the item but must examine it closely. Scrutiny takes 1d10 rounds, after which a percentile roll is made. The exact information revealed is up to the DM. The Apokrykleft draws upon history, rumors, and clues based on the item’s construction to gain this information. Typical information revealed includes the item’s history, maker, name, and other less technical aspects. Information such as the number of pluses, exact command words, etc., are rarely learned.
  • Open Locks: An Apokrykleft can try to pick padlocks, finesse combination locks, and solve puzzle locks (locks with sliding panels, hidden releases, and concealed keyholes). Picking a padlock requires tools. Using typical thief’s tools grants normal chances for success. Using improvised tools (a bit of wire, a thin dirk, a stick, etc.) imposes a penalty on the character’s chance for success. The amount of time required to pick a lock is 1d10 rounds. An Apokrykleft can try to pick a particular lock only once per experience level. If the attempt fails, the lock is simply too difficult for the character until he learns more about picking locks (goes up a level).
  • Read Languages: By virtue of their profession, Apokryklefts tend to learn odd bits of information. Among these is the ability to read various languages, particularly as they apply to treasure maps, deeds, secret notes, and the like. The die roll to read a language must be made every time the character tries to read a document (not just once per language). A successful die roll means the Apokrykleft puzzled out the meaning of the writing. Only one die roll can be made for any particular document at a given experience level. If the die roll fails, the Apokrykleft can try again after gaining a new experience level.
    His understanding of the document is roughly equal to his percentage chance for success: a 20% chance means that, if the Apokrykleft understands it at all, he gets about 20% of the meaning. A different document in the same language requires another die roll (it probably contains different words). It isn’t necessary to keep notes about what languages the Apokrykleft has read in the past, since each document is handled individually.
    If the character knows how to read a given language because he spent a proficiency slot on it, this die roll is unnecessary for documents in that language.
Starting at 2nd level, the Aprokrykleftis gains learns to cast spells, in much the same manner as a wizard. Unlike a typical wizard, because of the Apokrykleft’s desire to keep such arcane secrets secret, an individual Apokrykleft does not keep a spellbook of his own. Rather, each time he would prepare spells, he must return to an Apokrykleft Temple-Library to study from their collections of hidden lore. Likewise, they cannot memorize spells from books scribed by anyone outside of their order.

The Apokrykleft’s spells are drawn from the Divination, Geometry, and Universal schools of wizard magic, and they may learn spells of up to the 8th level of ability. Because of the vast hidden libraries at their disposal when at their home temples, the Apokrykleft may prepare any spell on their spell-list, without having to learn or scribe spells into a personal spellbook. Like wizards and bards, Apokryklefts may not cast spells when wearing armor.

Spade Spells
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
2 1
3 1
4 1 1
5 2 1
6 2 1 1
7 2 2 1
8 3 2 1 1
9 3 2 2 1
10 3 3 2 1 1
11 4 3 2 2 1
12 4 3 3 2 1 1
13 4 4 3 2 2 1
14 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
15 4 4 4 3 2 2 1
16 4 4 4 3 3 2 1 1
17 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 1
18 4 4 4 4 3 3 2 1
19 4 4 4 4 4 3 2 2
20 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 2

Level Limits: The Apokryklefts accept members of all races, wanting to obtain the secrets of all races, cultures, and nations (even traditionally non-magical races like Dwarves and Halflings). Both Human and non-human Apokryklefts may advance without limits.

Apokrykleft Spell List: includes spells appearing in the Player’s Handbook, Tome of Magic, Complete Wizard’s Handbook, and Player’s Option: Spells and Magic. Other spells from the schools of Lesser/Greater Divination, Geometry, or Universal appearing in other sources may be available with the DM’s approval.
  • 1st level: Alarm, Cantrip, Comprehend Languages, Copy, Detect Disease, Detect Magic, Detect Phase, Detect Secret Passages & Portals, Detect Undead, Dictation, Divining Rod, Erase, Hold Portal, Identify, Read Magic, Shield, Wizard Mark
  • 2nd level: Death Recall, Detect Evil/Good, Detect Invisibility, Detect Life, ESP, Hornung’s Baneful Deflector, Hypnotic Pattern, Knock, Know Alignment, Locate/Obscure Object, Moon Rune, Past Life, Protection from Cantrips, Undetectable Alignment, Wizard Lock
  • 3rd level: Alamir’s Fundamental Breakdown, Bone Club, Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Dispel Magic, Explosive Runes, Lesser Sign of Sealing, Secret Page, Sepia Snake Sigil, Wizard Sight
  • 4th level: Bestow/Remove Curse, Conjure Elemental-Kin, Detect Scrying, Fire Trap, Locate Creature, Magic Mirror, Minor Globe of Invulnerability, Rainbow Pattern, There/Not There, Thunder Staff
  • 5th level: Animate Dead, Avoidance, Conjure Elemental, Contact Other Plane, False Vision, Invulnerability to Normal Weapons, Khazid’s Procurement, Know Value, Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum, Prying Eyes, Rary’s Telepathic Bond, Teleport, Von Gasik’s Refusal
  • 6th level: Enchant an Item, Ensnarement, Globe of Invulnerability, Greater Sign of Sealing, Guards and Wards, Invulnerability to Magic Weapons, Legend Lore, True Seeing
  • 7th level: Fear Ward, Phase Door, Sequester, Teleport Without Error, Vanish, Vision
  • 8th level: Analyze Dweomer, Binding, Maze, Permanency, Screen, Symbol, Trap the Soul