Monday, February 8, 2016

Sample Custom Class: The Callithumpian

There are those that obey the law, those that uphold the law, those that defy the law, those that break the law…and then there are those who are completely unaware that Law is even a concept. These last are the Callithumpians. Callithumpians are the only true agents of chaos, and, as such, have no idea that they are agents of chaos. An Callithumpian’s power comes not from any strong belief in a concept, but a complete disregard for belief, whether their own or others. Callithumpians do not actively seek to break rules, they just ignore that they exist at all, whether or not they are following society’s rules is purely a matter of accident. An Callithumpian might be called a nonconformist, but then again, they might conform without even knowing there was something to conform to; he might be called a traitor, but then he’s too unaware of allies or organizations to possibly betray them; he might be a heretic, but he might not. Put simply, Callithumpians exist and Callithumpians do what they want.

Base Class Statistics:
  • Ability Requirements: Dex 9
  • Alignments: Any Chaotic
  • Experience Chart: As Paladin/Ranger
  • Hit Dice: d6
  • Hit Points per level beyond 9th: +1 per level
  • THAC0: Rogue
  • Saves:
    • Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Rogue
    • Rods/Staves/Wands: as Rogue
    • Petrification/Polymorph: as Rogue
    • Breath Weapon: as Rogue
    • Spell: as Rogue
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 3
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 3 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 3
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 3 levels
  • Non-weapon Group Crossovers: General, Priest, Rogue, Warrior, Wizard, Psionicist
  • Allowed Weapons: Any weapons
  • Allowed Armor: All armor and shields

Class Features:

No Dress Code: Callithumpians do what they want. They may wear any armor and use any weapon. They may purchase non-weapon proficiencies from all groups. Anything less would imply that Callithumpians actually intentionally talked to each other and made up rules about what to wear and how to act, and that would just be weird.

Destructive Reputation: Callithumpians do not obey any law, custom, or social mores (at least not intentionally) and strange and supernatural things happen around them, without any of the robes, rituals, or trappings of ‘normal’ priests and wizards. As such, Callithumpians are almost universally feared and misunderstood by common people. Callithumpians suffer a +2 penalty on all reaction rolls for first encounters against anyone (even other Callithumpians). If the reaction result is “cautious” or worse, the NPCs generally over-react: calling the authorities (if such are present), forming angry mobs (if there are enough of them around), or running in fear and slamming doors if all else fails. Some sages have attributed the extremity of people’s reactions to Callithumpians to the very-same reality-warping nature of Callithumpians that those people fear.

Similarly, all lawful authority figures similarly over-react on hearing of an Callithumpian in their domains. As soon as word of an Callithumpian within their borders reaches the ears of any kind of authority, they will immediately react in force—hunting down the Callithumpian with the intent to prejudicially destroy him (if generally evil), preemptively imprison him, or at the very least chase him beyond their borders. Of course, this sudden, aggressive response on the part of authorities is just another example of the inherently destabilizing effect of the Callithumpian’s presence.

Callithumpians are able to use spells, or something very much like spells. To call them spells would imply more thought and intent than most Callithumpians are willing to devote to such an action. Instead, the presence of an Callithumpian tends to make reality forget that it exists, and things tend to happen. Inexplicable things. Despite being “unique” or “odd” or “eccentric”, Callithumpians are not necessarily oblivious to their surroundings, nor are they wholely insane, some even show surprising cunning. The Callithumpian gains bonus spells for having a high wisdom score just as a priest does.

The Callithumpian’s spells are drawn from the Wild magic school of wizard spells, and the Chaos sphere of priest spells (see below). The Callithumpian does not keep a spell-book, nor does he pray or meditate or study, nor do they need to sleep to regain spells (in fact a surprisingly large number of Callithumpians are insomniacs). Each day, the DM should roll 2d12. When the corresponding hour rolls around, the Callithumpian’s allotment of spell slots is renewed (the Callithumpian has no control over when this happens). The Callithumpian does not need to prepare specific spells, he may freely cast any spell on the Callithumpian spell list using an available spell-slot of the appropriate level. The sages are highly suspicious of the fact that no Callithumpian has been witnessed regaining spells at 1AM, but typically write this off as just another example of their strangeness.

The Callithumpian’s spells barely have components, at least none the Callithumpian is really aware of. Something weird may happen when he screams uncontrollably, or perhaps reality warps when he recites a particular snatch of poetry, or things burst into flames when he picks his nose. An Callithumpian’s spells are in no way impeded by the wearing of armor.

Of course, the lack of form, practice, or even intent in their spellcasting makes it highly unreliable. Any time the Callithumpian attempts to enact a spell, there is a chance that the spell will instead spawn a Wild Surge. The chance of a spell going completely wild is equal to 10% per level of the spell, minus 2% per experience level of the Callithumpian (thus a 20th level Callithumpian casting a 9th-level spell has a 50% chance of triggering a wild surge). If the Callithumpian has a Wisdom score of 12 or less, the % chance of failure for his low Wisdom is added to this.

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

Even More Reckless Dweomers: Callithumpians lack any of the discipline and restraint of a normal mage, even a Wild Mage. When an Callithumpian casts the spell Nahal’s Reckless Dweomer, he may attempt to shape the energy into any Wizard or Priest spell, from any school or sphere, of any spell level that he would normally be able to cast. When the Callithumpian attempts to shape the reckless dweomer into a spell not on the Callithumpian spell list, he does not add his level to the wild surge roll. His normal % chance of the spell going completely wild still applies.

Aura Against Law: At 3rd level, the Callithumpian radiates a continual aura of protection with a 10’ radius. Within this aura, all summoned and Lawful-aligned creatures suffer a –1 penalty to all attack rolls. Creatures affected by this aura are immediately aware that the Callithumpian is the source of their discomfort.

Charm Immunity: At 5th level, the Callithumpian becomes immune to all Charm spells (including Charm Person, Charm Man, Charm Monster, Love Charm, Dire Charm, Mass Charm, Virus Charm, and any other similar spell), completely ignoring all effects of such spells.

Wild Talent: At 7th level, the Callithumpian gains a free psionic wild talent. He does not need to make a Wild Talent check, but must still roll randomly to determine what the wild talent is.

Level Limits: Members of any race may become Callithumpians and may advance without level limits (because, again, they don’t care about arbitrary limits). Demihuman Callithumpians may be multi-class characters, combining the Callithumpian class with any class from the Warrior or Rogue groups allowed to his race.

Callithumpian Spell List: all spells appear in the Wizard’s Spell Compendium or Priest’s Spell Compendium
  • 1st level: Battlefate, Hornung’s Guess, Mistaken Missive, Nahal’s Reckless Dweomer, Patternweave, Portent
  • 2nd level: Chaos Shield, Chaos Ward, Dissension’s Feast, Hornung’s Baneful Deflector, Nahal’s Nonsensical Nullifier
  • 3rd level: Alternate Reality, Fireflow, Fool’s Speech, Miscast Magic, Random Causality, Spliff’s Wonder Bubbles
  • 4th level: Chaotic Combat, Chaotic Sleep, Inverted Ethics, There/Not There, Unluck
  • 5th level: Chaotic Commands, Vortex, Waveform
  • 6th level: Entropy Shield, Wildshield, Wildstrike
  • 7th level: Hornung’s Surge Selector, Spell Shape, Uncontrolled Weather
  • 8th level: Hornung’s Random Dispatcher, Wildzone
  • 9th level: Stabilize, Wildfire, Wildwind