Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Yon Squires and Humans of Panfalia (DIY DnD Race and Class)

I occasionally have the urge to run a game of whimsical fantasy, where I can riff and imagine and create without trying to square everything up or be limited by something that came before. Something like a deadly Adventure Time!, something a little like Swamp Thing and good anime mixed with Turbo Kid (the movie).

Anyway, whether any of that reflects what's coming out, I got inspired the other day and wrote a little thing, and am hoping I can recapture that lighting on the day (a week later) that I actually have time to run it. 
The Eternal Beast-King of Panfalia is once more out of ImmorTea. The people call for your help! His last Moly Knight of Panfalia has grown too old to travel up the Sea-Mount of Panticore to retrieve the sacred tea leaves from the highest peak. The younglings are not yet old enough or trained enough to become Moly Knights and face the terrors of the Sea-Mount. Will you, sinistersous traveler, brave the Sea-Mount and bring back the leaves, so the Beast-King can stay young another>mumblemumble< years?
Since future Moly Knights must earn their own Objects of Deeds and Wealth, the Objects of Deeds and Wealth of past Moly Knights are offered as a reward. The history of the Moly Knights is long and storied in Panfalia, and the citizenry are in awe of the offered treasure, but too afraid of the terrors of the Sea-Mount to brave the task. I mean, the Sunglasses of Susan and the Flip-Ups of Dwane Wayne are on offer! The Armor of the Turbo Kid! Scaldalous!
They are also afraid of a future without their Beast-King, who has kept his Kingdom peaceful and prosperous for centuries. The Panfalia Blabbler, that horrible gossip-rag run by notorious flumph Gydrion Gantz, speculates that political dissidents may arise were the Beast-King to visibly age.
A few people don't have low level FLAILSNAILS characters and want to make new characters for this, so I'm going to start toying with another thing I keep poking at - something like D&D Basic or LotFP with Pendragon and separate race and class. I'm using LotFP as a base, with skills rolled on a d6 and so on.

O busk, O busk, my maries all,
O busk and make ye fine ;
And we will on to yon shore-side,
Invite yon squire to dine. 
'Will ye come up to my castle
Wi me and take your dine ?
And ye shall eat the gude white bread,
And drink the claret wine.' 
'I thank you for your bread, lady,
I thank you for your wine ;
I thank you for your kind offer,
But now I have not time.'
-The Kitchie-Boy, Child Ballad number 252; Roud number 252


Two types of youth become Yon Squires: those who wish to become Moly Knights and those who have not yet settled upon what they wish to do and want to assist in all walks of life until they decide. Generally they are earnestly helpful and deferential, or cleverly sarcastic yet hardworking.

HD: One die smaller than Fighters in the current system, or 1d6
XP Advancement, Saves: as Fighters
Skill Points: +1 every level, including the first
Armor useable: Medium
Weapons useable: all
•+1 to all rolls made to assist another PC who is making the primary roll to perform a task 
("One of you can roll a Strength Check to try to open the door, and another can roll to help them." If the Squire is in the helping role in this scenario, the Squire gets +1 to their roll and adds an additional +1 to the primary character's roll if successful).

•Upon gaining a level with a party member who they have played with in every session since the last level, the Squire can choose to gain one of that party member's class abilities as if first level. 
(A Squire who adventured with a Magic-User may gain the ability to cast and know 1 1st level spell once a day. A Squire who adventured with a Specialist may choose to gain an extra Skill point, and so on.) Even if the other party member is using race-as-class, the Squire may learn one of their first level abilities.

•(Optional) Parties that contain a Squire get 10% above the awarded XP for the session.

•At 4th Level, a Squire may choose to permanently change to any other Class, and apply all of their gained XP to that class, immediately changing to the appropriate level. The Squire loses all Class Abilities gained as a Squire. If they have adventured with a PC of another race who is using race-as-class rules, the Squire may even assume that race as their new class, although the Squire does not actually change race. They are assumed to have spent downtime training with the other character (or relevant NPCs) in their abilities. Note the Squire must have spent in-game time with a PC or NPC of the appropriate class (or race), and cannot switch to one that has not been mentioned in their adventures thus far.

•Squires may use the above ability to become a Moly Knight at 4th level. This is the only way to have a Moly Knight PC.

•Upon gaining 5th level, the Squire has lost the ability to change to another class, but may still later become a Moly Knight if their Glory is positive.

Humans of Panfalia

The centuries-long peace under the Beast-King's rule has caused Panfalia to become a center of trade for lands all across the world. It is a true melting pot of species and cultures. Humans are common, although by no means dominant (The Beast-King is not human). The human visitors and citizens come from a wide variety of cultures, ways of life, dress, and skin variations.

XP Requirements: as Class +100 per level (+100 extra to gain 2nd level, +200 extra to gain 3rd, etc)
Skill Points: 1 extra at first level
•The first time a Human gains Glory points (or goes into the negative), their Glory moves 1 extra point. (If a Human gains glory, they gain 1 more point; if they get negative Glory, they get one extra negative point). This only happens the first time.

•May use Skill Points at first level to instead increase an Ability Score.

•May roll Intelligence to learn basic communication (1 or 2 word "sentences") in a language they encounter this session; if successful, lasts the rest of the session.

•Reaction Rolls of non-evil creatures are modified by 1 in the Human's favor.

(note: decided to change "race" as referred to in RPGs to "species" for this setting after I wrote the above entry. I changed it in one or two places but have pretty much left the entry as originally written.)


  1. Joey, looking at the squire, he seems like a jack of all trades if you stay squiring as a career. Interesting. Like the class. Something for a new player who's on the fence about selecting her class.

    1. Thanks! That was the intent, I'm glad it came across.

  2. Also, have you already written up the moly knight?

  3. I can't wait to see the Moly Knight!