Wednesday, 9 July 2008

OzCthulu Spoilers

Here are rough sketches for two of the classes for my OzCthulu Labyrinth Lord supplement. In total there are going to be six classes, but these are the most basic - the Hunter and the Gatherer.

The Hunter

Almost half of a band's members will be hunters. Hunters are most often male, although they can be both sexes. They are the strong arm of the band - the ones who kill prey and fight off enemies. They are usually powerful in combat, but their true expertise is their ability to endure. Hunting large game can involve running for tens of kilometers, waiting motionless for hours in the hot desert sun, or diving underwater for minutes at a time.

Hunters can use any weapon. Beginning at 5th level, they get a second attack per round, gaining additional attacks every 5 levels after that.

Reaching 9th Level: When a hunter reaches 9th level, he may become the leader of his own band, taking control of a territory and a small group of men, women and children. Or he may assume control of the band which he is a member of.

Special Abilities: When hunting (page 46, LL core rules), Hunters will succeed on a result of 1-4 on a d6. In addition, they will only encounter a wandering monster 50% of the time. They also have the ability to track (see below.)

Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: Constitution
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: None


Hunters are experts at following a trail - usually they have been doing it since they were children. If a creature capable of leaving a trail has passed through a wilderness area, a hunter has a chance of being able to follow its tracks. To do so, he has to make a roll equal to or under his Wisdom. The DM can modify this by up to +10 or -10 depending on the difficulty of the situation. (For example, tracking a snake moving across rocks at night is nigh-on impossible, but tracking a monitor lizard across flat sand is childishly simple.) He can then follow the trail indefinitely - until it ends - provided that he moves at half his movement rate, doesn't enter more difficult terrain, and isn't interrupted by attack. If any of those events occur, he must make another tracking attempt.

A hunter also gains information about the nature of what he is tracking. While he is tracking, he can make an identification check, which is another roll against Wisdom. At level 1-2 he can tell the kind of creature and an approximate number; at 3-4, a species and how recently the trail was made; at 5-6 the probable size and age; and at 7-8 the pace of movement.

Hunters use the fighter experience table in the Labyrinth Lord Core Rules.

(I was aiming to reproduce AD&D 2nd editions rules on tracking from the Ranger's Handbook, but was unsure of a) the legality or b) the complexity. Also, although I like those rules, there seem to be some flaws in it which I've hopefully corrected - namely to do with identification.)

The Gatherer

The other half of a band's numbers will be Gatherers. Gatherers are usually women and older men, but they can be of either sex. Where Hunters travel long distances in search of large prey, Gatherers remain close to the band's territory and have an intimate, detailed knowledge of food and water sources in the area. They spend their days digging for roots and tubers, gathering fruits and berries, hunting small animals, fishing, and preparing food. Where Hunters are specialists, Gatherers are jacks-of-all-trades, with a wide range of skills.

Gatherers can use any weapon.

Reaching 9th level: On reaching 9th level, a Gatherer may become an elder of a band, which makes her the adviser to the chief, with pastoral responsibilities for the entire group.

Special Abilities: Gatherers have skills and knowledge which are of vital importance to survival. They start the game with three skillsets:
  • Knowledge. If a Gatherer encounters something in the natural world, it is likely she knows something about it from either experience or hearsay. She may roll against Wisdom (modified according to difficulty) to remember information about, or speculate on the nature of, anything she comes across. The amount of information revealed is chosen by the DM based on her level and the dice roll. Examples might include the knowledge of whether a certain plant is poisonous or not, or what kind of animals are likely to be encountered in a given geographical area.
  • Craft. Gatherers make almost everything that the tribe uses. This includes weapons, bowls, clothing, paints, tattooing needles, fishing nets, spades and more. Whenever a Gatherer wishes to make something she must roll against Wisdom to see if she can find the necessary materials and construct what she wants. Most items can be made within d6 hours.
  • Communication. Unlike Hunters, who spend most of their time silently tracking prey, Gatherers spend much of their time in social activities and become expert talkers and listeners over the course of their lives. They can roll against their Wisdom to detect lies, detect alignment, and to sense the emotions or motives of a given person.
When foraging (Labyrinth Lord core rules, page 46), Gatherers succeed on a roll of 1-4 on a d6, and only encounter a wandering monster 50% of the time.

Gatherers also have the ability to body paint and to tattoo (see Magic section.)

Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: Wisdom
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: None

Gatherers use the thief experience table from the Labyrinth Lord core rules.
Body paint and tattooing are methods of harnessing the power of the Dreamtime. I'll detail them in another spoiler, or possibly leave it for the completed supplement. I'll also be expanding on the three skillsets - Knowledge, Craft and Communication - as they seem a little vague.


  1. This is really excellent stuff! Quick clarification: rolling against WIS is on d20, yes?

    I'm trying to guess how you'll round it out to six classes...hmmm, speculating that you'll use each ability as a prime requisite I come up with:
    tribal champion (STR; warriors who contest with other bands for status and territory);
    astronomer (INT based spellcaster; am I remembering rightly that some aboriginal peoples had fairly detailed knowledge of star movements?);
    shaman (CHA based spellcaster/trickster. One thing that fascinates me about shamans in many societies is the fact that they fulfill a religious role that requires them to use trickery or performance in their ritual; they are "behind the curtain" in a sense).

    I don't know what to do with DEX.

    Looking forward to future installments.

  2. Yeah, rolling against WIS is on a d20.

    Your guesses are pretty good! But I wouldn't want to spoil everything too much. ;) DEX is definitely the most difficult prime requisite to create a class for, because 'thieves' as we understand them just didn't exist in that kind of society. I was actually fooling around with the idea of a 'child' class for DEX, but I'm not sure how to make it worth playing.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. re DEX: Is a demi-human racial class on the table? My knowledge of aboriginal folklore and myth is superficial, but I turned up a few posibilities in the The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies (which looks like a very cool book, by the way): the half-woman, half-beast bagini, ravishers of men; the mischievous bitarr; and the knock-kneed malingee.

  5. I'm still in two minds about demihumans. On the one hand it could be a lot of fun to include some of the weirder creatures as classes, but on the other I was hoping for a 'humanity against the world' sort of motif. We'll see...