Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sample Custom Class: The Chaordic

There is Law. There is Chaos. There is Neutrality. And then there is Chaordism. Chaordics are leaders and commanders who take a strange view of Neutrality, not trying to balance Law and Chaos, but rather to blend the two. The mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious coexistence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating. Some hold that nature is largely organized in such a manner; in particular, living organisms and the evolutionary process by which they arose are often described as chaordic in nature. The chaordic principles have also been used as guidelines for creating human organizations — business, government and hybrids—that would be neither centralized nor anarchical networks.

Base Class Statistics:
  • Ability Requirements: Cha 15
  • Alignments: Must be Neutral (with regards to Law and Chaos)
  • Experience Chart: As Paladin/Ranger
  • Hit Dice: d8
  • Hit Points per level beyond 9th: +2 per level
  • THAC0: Warrior
  • Saves:
    • Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Warrior
    • Rods/Staves/Wands: as Warrior
    • Petrification/Polymorph: as Warrior
    • Breath Weapon: as Warrior
    • Spell: as Warrior
  • Proficiencies:
    • Weapons, Initial: 4
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 3 levels
    • Non-Weapon, Initial: 4
    • Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 3 levels
  • Non-weapon Group Crossovers: General, Warrior, Priest
  • Allowed Weapons: As Thief
  • Allowed Armor: All armor and shields

Class Features:

Code of Ethics: A Chaordic cannot exist in a vacuum and a Chaordic without an organization to lead (although lead is a very loose term with them), whether that be as small as an adventuring party or as large as a nation, is no Chaordic at all. Chaordics follow a complex philosophy which attempts to harmoniously balance the ideals of chaos and order within organizations. They must always strive to embrace complexity, empower those under their command to make their own independent tactical decisions, encourage others to speak their minds, and encourage innovation and evolution within the operations of their organization.

Weapons and Armor: While Chaordics may be found at the head of armies, they are much more concerned with experimenting with the organization of their forces and unorthodox leadership strategies than actual combat. Because they spend less time studying the actual on-the-ground specifics of warfare than other commanders, they are limited to using those weapons allowed for the Thief class (club, dagger, dart, hand crossbow, knife, lasso, short bow, sling, broad sword, long sword, short sword, and staff) and to wearing Chainmail or lighter armor, as well as shields.

Despite their limitations on available weapons and armor, Chaordics still fight as well as other warriors, benefitting from the warrior’s THAC0 advancement, increased number of attacks, and bonus hit points for high Constitution scores. They are not, however, able to roll for percentile Strength.

Leadership: Chaordic’s specialize in organization, however unorthodox. Even beginning Chaordics know how to use messengers and signals, are familiar with military terminology, and understand the mechanics of moving a large number of men. A Chaordic is able to take charge of up to 100 soldiers per level.

Communication: A central factor in being able to form functioning, decentralized armies, governments, businesses, and other organizations is efficient communication. At 1st level, the Chaordic learns one human regional language for free. At every level thereafter, the Chaordic may learn one additional bonus regional language. In campaigns that do not have distinct regional languages, the Chaordic may instead learn the languages of any sentient humanoid races (Elvish, Dwarvish, Orcish, etc).

Scroll Use: The Chaordic’s study of languages and a touch of magic extends to scrolls and all manner of written magic items as well. The Chaordic can use any kind of written magic items: wizard scrolls, priest scrolls, tomes, librams, manuals, etc. His chance of success when using such items is equal to 10% per experience level, to a maximum of 90% at 9th level, at which point he also learns to cast spells of his own (see below). If a Chaordic fails to accurately read the scroll, usually something detrimental occurs, such as the spell backfiring.

Inspire Allies: The Chaordic’s odd bottom-up management style is surprisingly inspiring to those who work with him. Starting at 3rd level, if a Chaordic knows the nature of the threat they face, he can spend three full rounds rallying his friends to grant them a +2 bonus on attack rolls and saving throws for 1 round per experience level of the Chaordic. All allies within 10’ per level of the Chaordic who can hear him gain this benefit.

Starting at 9th level, a Chaordic can cast a small number of spells to aid him in organizing his men. These spells are cast in the same manner as a Wizard’s spells but are drawn from the Chaos, Charm, Law, and War spheres of priest spells.

The Chaordic must keep a spellbook, is limited to a maximum number of spells per level, as indicated by his Intelligence score, and must make a learn spells roll in order to add a new spell to his selection; if the character fails to learn a spell, he may not try to learn it again until he gains another level. At 9th level, and each level thereafter, the Chaordic may add a single spell from the Chaordic spell list to his spellbook for free, without having to pass his learn spells check.

The Chaordic may cast spells in any armor allowed by his class without penalty. Because his spells are meant to be used in complex, ongoing situations, all non-instantaneous spells cast by the Chaordic last an additional time unit (round, hour, day, etc.) per two levels.

Chaordic Spells
Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
9 1
10 2
11 2 1
12 2 2
13 2 2 1
14 3 2 1
15 3 2 1 1
16 3 3 2 1
17 3 3 3 1
18 3 3 3 1
19 3 3 3 2
20 3 3 3 3

Followers: The primary goal of a Chaordic is the establishment of his own chaordic organization. At 10th level, a Chaordic who has established a stronghold attracts 40 to 400 0th-level men-at-arms as followers, as well as 2d6 lower-level Chaordics (roll 1d6 to determine the level of each), which serve as his non-hierarchical, decentralized management structure.

Dispel Charm: Chaordic’s expect those working for them to think for themselves. Starting at 11th level, a Chaordic gains the ability to dispel any Charm or Domination effects up to three times per day. The range of this power is 30 yards, and it requires nothing more than one round of concentration. The base chance of success is 50%, ±5% for each level difference between the Chaordic and the creator of the effect to be dispelled.

Races and Level Limits: Only humans and those of human blood have a sufficiently fluid ethical view to take up the mantle of a Chaordic. Half-humans (including Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Half-Ogres, Aasimar, Tieflings, and Genasi) may become Chaordics up to 12th level of ability.

Chaordic Spell List: all spells appear in the Priest’s Spell Compendium
  • 1st level: Battlefate, Command, Courage, Mistaken Missive, Morale, Portent, Protection from Law/Chaos, Remove Fear, Sanctuary
  • 2nd level: Calm Chaos, Chaos Ward, Detect Charm, Dissension’s Feast, Emotion Perception, Enthrall, Hold Person, Messenger, Music of the Spheres, Protective Charm, Rally, Snake Charm
  • 3rd level: Adaptation, Caltrops, Dictate, Emotion Control, Fortify, Miscast Magic, Random Causality, Rigid Thinking, Spiff’s Wonder Bubbles, Strength of One
  • 4th level: Chaotic Combat, Chaotic Sleep, Cloak of Bravery, Compulsive Order, Defensive Harmony, Entrench, Free Action, Gloomcloud, Imbue with Spell Ability, Inverted Ethics, Leadership/Doubt, Tanglefoot/Selective Passage