Thursday, March 25, 2021

Six Shooter In Your Holster (Zouave Expansion Pack: Spaghetti Western)

    Inspired by a discussion in the OSR Discord, this is what the Zouave could have looked like in another world.

Source: David J. Blossom

    Long ago did we abolish cut-and-dried Aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and great men artificially held down in low places, and our justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Thenceforth we decreed that every man should have equal liberty to find his own level! By this decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true Aristocracy, saying, “Let the best man win, whoever he is.”
    Let the best man win! That is our word! That is true Democracy! True Democracy and true Aristocracy are one and the same thing. And that's why the men who own the train lines own the whole country.

Class: Zorro

    You are a Zorro; a cunning fox; a ranger of the moors. You've never bowed your head to anybody, and you've never said "sir" when you didn't mean it. The frontier was a great place to waste a youth, until the railroads came to drive you out into the wilderness once more.
    One day you could go no farther. Surely it's just the electric lights that make your face look so weathered and wrinkled. Surely there's still some adventure out there, waiting for you to seize it in two hands.

    For every Zorro template you gain +1 inventory slot and +1 HP. If you have at least one template of Zorro, you cannot fumble with mundane weapons and can wear light and medium armor.

Skills: 1. Agriculture 2. Rock-Climbing 3. Ditchdigging
Starting Equipment: Goofy fringed cowboy outfit (as leather), bowie knife (light), revolver and 10 bullets, good pair of cowboy boots, excellent saddlebags, one other piece of kit of your choice.

  • A Y'all Tales, Genetry, Extra attack per round
  • B A Man Called Noon
  • C Old Friends, Extra attack per round
  • D Over the Dirt
Y'all Tales
    You've been just about anywhere, and you've seen a picture of everywhere else. Roll 3d12 on the following table of mostly-true things you did before becoming an adventurer. If you roll the same result twice, take your choice of the one above or below.
  1. Hanged a Friend. Knew him for years, fought with him back to back in a dozen battles and twice as many barfights. So when he turned horse-thief it left you little choice but to hunt him down, unless you wanted those ranchers to hang you as a rustler on general suspicion.

    You know how to burn a horse out like a match. Your mounts can, if you wish, travel at 3x speed. They have a cumulative 1-in-6 chance of dying of exhaustion at the end of every hour so traveled.

  2. Rode with the Redlegs. Those were different times, yes sir, when you were young. Preacher man says "rejoice, for there is no end to injustice" — but back then there was more injustice, and nastier, and don't let anyone tell you you'd be better off in them good old days.

    While on horseback, you and your party travel at full speed over rough terrain. Ignore any penalties for riding at night or fighting in darkness.

  3. Spoke with a Dead Man. Approached your camp by night and answered the challenge with a smile. Just a pilgrim, he said. Sat, closed his eyes, and spoke for hours — of cities that shone like the sun, of people who walked among the treetops and were taller than the trees, of rivers sculpted like clay, of races that lived and died before the first man was ever born. When the sun rose he burned like powder.

    Intelligent undead recognize something in you, and will not attack without provocation. Unintelligent undead can't perceive you until you attack them.

  4. Killed a King Rattler. Came across a cactus in the desert of a day, and, dyin' of hunger and thirst, cut it open to eat its flesh. Doing so must have angered an elder g_d, or a fairy, or something, because the earth began to shake and the colors of the sky inverted. You flew through the air and tussled with a snake ten miles long. There were some other things, don't recall too well, and after that you plopped out of the sky into a ditch where the local sheriff found you gnawin' on your own hands.

    Take half damage from poison, and when rolling for side-effects of drugs roll twice and choose one.

  5. Saved by the Vultures. Spooky damned birds. They can tell when a man's about to die, everyone knows that, but they've always been a little over-eager when it comes to your corpse. Not that you haven't appreciated their warnings, betimes, especially out in the desert where anything might be watchin'.

    In the wilderness, you always know when you are being tracked or followed.

  6. Gambled with my Life. Knew that the craps-shooter in all black was bad news, specially when you realized those women on his arm weren't breathing, specially when the saloon got dark and you saw those pinpoints of red in them empty sockets, specially when he took off those kid gloves and his bony fingers were the same color as the dice. Didn't stop you from taking him up on that last bet though. Opportunity knocks but once.

    Start play with an emerald, a kadzkadzat, an amethyst, an ancient topaz, and a blue diamond. Each are the size of a knuckle bone. It will be significantly easier to trade them for favors than convert them into cash, but if you can find the right jeweler they're probably worth 100gp each.

  7. Dined with a Cannibal. Lost your way up in the mountains, but it was spring and the snow was melting. Managed to find some wagon-road and followed it to a pass. You thought the old coot was a miner, and you thought his stew was pretty good, before you spooned up a few human teeth.

    Organic material which is not immediately poisonous counts as rations for you. You can live indefinitely off of treebark, shoeleather, old bones or hay.

  8. Found, Immediately Lost, Gold. It was in some lonely valley, whose name you don't recall just now. Something guided you down a secret path by the river into the misty depths. Just when you were getting too frightened to go on, you saw it, glisterin' through the fog — gold! A whole city of the stuff! Fluted pillars caked in gold! Golden paving stones fastened together by gold solder! Golden trees! Golden houses! Golden people! And then the wind shifted, and you never did see it again.

    Detect Cash within 30'. You can tell the difference between mere expensive clothes and genuine wealthy foppishness at a glance.

  9. Saw the Ghost Riders. It's hard to tell this tale all at once. The details on their own are fearsome enough — eyes of fire, hooves of steel, shirts soaked in sweat and blood, backs of steer and horse and cowboy alike cut ragged by the Devil's whips, all manner of horribility. But even if you manage to scare the Hell out of someone, they never seem to understand what the story means.

    If a save is the difference between living and dying, you have advantage. When running from danger you are never the slowest. Save against fear when you see someone die in front of you, or else flee the corpse.

  10. Dueled the Devil. He kept two sets of tally-marks on the grip of his guns — one for gunslingers and one for women and children — and when you blew his head off you didn't even stay to collect the reward.

    Gain +1 initiative for every level of Zorro.

  11. Liberated a Town. A group of bandits was set on attacking some one-horse shithole as soon as they'd brought in their harvest, and the townsfolk had enough money for exactly seven defenders, including you. You've heard a few versions of this story, but yours is the original, and G_d's honest truth.

    +1 MD and a spell of your choice. You're not a wizard any more, but in any big town you probably know a wizard.

  12. Friends with a Goat. People always look at you strange when you tell this story by the campfire. Goats are very intelligent creatures.

    You can ride anything which has been trained to be ridden. Horses, big turtles, dragons — anything. Mounts of animal-intelligence will never willingly attack you, and tamed animals are always happy to see you.

    You're a master horseman in the dangerous high-stirrup style of gunfighters and light lancers. Ignore penalties for being mounted under all circumstances (ride your horse inside, if it fits). Allied mounts have a [level] bonus to morale checks. If your mount is spooked or killed, you can choose to immediately draw and fire a pistol at the offender.

A Man Called Noon
    You aren’t some bumbling cowhand, you're a Zorro, and folks 'round here will know what that means if you've got to beat it into their heads. Local posses, wandering bounty-hunters and other assorted low-caste fighters will look to you for guidance. Even the rich will stop to listen if you make a fuss, although they might have you horsewhipped if you say something they don’t like. In addition, you can issue a challenge to an NPC you aren't currently fighting. Roll a d6 to determine their response, which depends on their social class:
  1. Farmer
    1: Disbelief and derision
    2–6: Intimidation and apology.
  2. Cowboy
    1: Loud mockery. Expect his friends to try and beat you up.
    2-5: They accept. Expect a fistfight or, perhaps, some sharp Bowie knives.
    6: Intimidation and awkward verbal submission.
  3. Wealthy Landowner
    1-2: Their thugs beat the shit out of you.
    3-6: A duel!
  4. Cattle Magnate
    1: Gunfight with the bodyguards
    2-5: Their thugs beat the shit out of you, and then they stomp on your gun hand while delivering an evil monologue.
    6: A duel!
Old Friends
    They found you at last; the ones you've been trying to avoid for years. They might owe you a debt, but they are probably here to collect instead. This is someone who showed up in one of your tall tales; maybe a bandit, or a rebel, or a cannibal. Or a gleaming golden giant. Or a goat. Or a dead gambler.

Over the Dirt
    That's where you are, and that's where you'd like to stay. You always go first in combat. If you are surprised, you aren't. If you take someone else by surprise you deal maximum damage with all attacks on your first turn. You sleep with a loaded gun under your pillow, and unless you've been strip-searched you always have 1d4 knives on your person. If someone demands you hand over your weapons you can pull the old unloading-an-armory gag and hand over all four — but you will still be carrying the 1d4 knives.

Also David J. Blossom

  1. Bowie Knife. Don't know if your world had a Colonel James Bowie, but it's got a light Bowie Knife now. ⅓ slot.
  2. Revolver. 2d6 damage at 20', -1 to-hit for 10' increments beyond that. 1 slot.
  3. Excellent Saddlebags. When packed by you, holds twice as much as normal saddlebags without slowing the horse down any.
  4. Lever-Action Rifle. 2d6 damage at 40', -1 to-hit for 20' increments beyond that. 2 slots.
  5. Three sticks of Dynamite. ⅓slot each.
  6. Three bottles of whisky. Highly flammable, highly saleable. ⅓ slot each.
  7. Branding Iron. As a light club, can brand your personal symbol onto things.
  8. Three tins of tomatoes. Counts as a ration of both food and water. ⅓ slot each.
  9. Gunmetal-Bound Holy Book. Your choice of text. ⅓ slot.
  10. 100' of fine Lariat. Silk, though you could probably convince people it's elf-hair or somesuch. Two steers pulling from either end couldn't break it. ⅓ slot.
  11. Cavalry Saber. A gift from an old friend, a medium masterwork sword with gold fittings and engravings that read "FIRST BATTLE OF SINKS CANYON". Some snot-nosed kid once told you it was counterfeit, since surely they wouldn't have called it the first battle until there had been a second. So you beat the shit out of him. 1 slot.
  12. Gigantic cowboy hat. Your choice of white or black.
  13. Candy-tin with 10 cigarillos. Healthful, and nice to smoke when riding through sheep country.
  14. Blacksnake Whip. Deals damage as a light weapon with 40' of reach. Scares the devil out of wild animals. 1 slot.
  15. Oversized Spurs. Accompany your mosey with a loud chk-chk-chk, which automatically intimidates the farmer-types and automatically fails you your stealth checks. 
  16. Letter in a Familiar Hand. From someone back home, who you haven't seen in a long time. 
  17. Holy Symbol. On a cord so you can wear it around your neck. Immune to fear while you close your eyes and grip this in your hand. 
  18. Cutter Horse. Cunning, swift, tireless, easily spooked by gunfire. 
  19. War Horse. Fearless, powerful, 1d8 kick attack, easily exhausted by long rides.
  20. An oddity or a curio. Roll 1d6 on the following table:
    1. The actual, genuine, golden plates of the Book of Mormon. Congratulations, it's now canon in your world. 3 slots.
    2. Tin of peyote buttons. 20 doses.
    3. A revolver altered to fire silver bullets. Expensive ammunition, -1 to-hit, +1 damage, and (of course) silver. 1 slot.
    4. A rifle cartridge with a name on it. Your choice. Strikes its named target's heart unerringly.
    5. Lucky Coin. 1gp, always comes up the side you call.
    6. A deck of cards, with all aces gone and replaced with the Knight (a rank between Jack and Queen).

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Lucky Charms

O ay happy Saint Paddy's. Here's a list of magic items.

Source: in image

  1. statue of a cricket. makes cricket noises with impeccable comedic timing.

  2. Exotherm salt-shaker. One hearty shake converts a liter of water to ice. 10 doses.

  3. Transitive Opera Glasses. One lens is red, the other blue. When used, you see from their focal point as if you were standing there

  4. Crowd-Patterned Poncho. Looks very strange when standing alone. Blends seamlessly into a crowd.

  5. Sack of cosmic flour. Baked goods prepared from this flour are alive and sentient. Enough for a dozen cookies or one medium cake.

  6. Hell's Eye. A large silvery diamond with a starburst flaw. Critical attacks against the wearer slay them instantly in a manner that destroys their face and other defining features, no matter how bizarre or unlikely that result is.

  7. Sociopathy Detector. Worn around your neck, this small crystal will vibrate in the presence of a sociopath.
  8. Heat Bracelet. Gold and rubies in an ancient style. Detonates in 4MD Fireball when it hears its command word (you don't know what its command word is).
  9. head of Diamond Garlic. black garlic is made by heating whole bulbs over the course of weeks; diamond garlic by heating whole bulbs over the course of centuries. about ten doses of perfect garlic ambrosia.
  10. bee whistle. produces a sound only audible to bees and elfs.
  11. jar of hatred. Lovely example of ancient glassblowing. When smashed, creatures within 20' must save against hatred.
  12. clouded mirror. reflects nothing, drips blood when you are in danger.

  13. two-part ring. linked by a fine chain. when worn on one finger, that finger is as inflexible and sturdy as a steel spike. when worn on two, your grip is as steady as a vice.

  14. Golden Acorn. Planted, will grow into a golden oak.

  15. Salamander Scent. A crystal vial of the musk from a rare species of volcanic amphibian. Moderately priceless in the eyes of the Perfumers' Guild.

  16. Storm Rattle. Shaking at dawn has a 1-in-6 chance of bringing rain before noon.

  17. Broken Horn. From the head of a Queen in the northern jungles. Alchemists believe the the touch of this horn can cure disease.

  18. small pair of golden scissors. edge never dulls.

  19. a diamond-studded ring in a rococo style. "eats" fires when you stick your hand in them, and can light kindling with a snap of your fingers.

  20. a ram's horn, polished smooth. blowing it produces a male chorus singing about the end of the world.

  21. a pair of green sunglasses. canines (including werewolves) are invisible to you while you wear them.

  22. KILL SPIDER AAAH, an ancient greatsword of chardun and adamant. Single-edged blade, scrawled with ancient runes. He likes music and screams in terror when he sees a spider.

  23. a book of scripture from another world. contains three random wizard spells, which can be identified by/sold to any decent wizard.

  24. a button whirligig. play with it in your hands while looking at someone to make them see the world upside-down.

  25. a spiderweb scarf. while you are actively strangling yourself, your feet cling to any surface and cannot be shifted.

  26. a lantern pumpkin. will not rot. can be communed with.

  27. packet of fairy matches. their light is steady, and they catch even in the wind. their fire burns aggressively but with no warmth. ten matches.

  28. an aprical lense. like a monocle with cheery yellow glass. snow and ice are invisible when viewed through it.

  29. a greenish pebble. twelve hours after you touch it, you teleport to the pebble. be careful.

  30. a silver ring which broadcasts the wearer's conscious thoughts to everyone within 10'.

  31. two identical Edwardian chairs. what affects one affects the other. if two people sit in them at the same time, the chairs swap positions.

  32. pack of cards. the queens are all your mother, the kings are your father, the jacks your friends, and the rules card describes your death in poetic terms. if you burn the deck any curses or diseases affecting you vanish and you heal to full HP.

  33. Paladin Flower. white petals with flecks of black. the first time you fail a save against a malicious spell, the flower suffers the effects instead and then burns to ash.

  34. Overwise Horn. instead of a trumpeting, this horn produces the sound of harsh laughter and mocking voices.

  35. BEYOND NO DOOR. this chardun sai records up to an hour of audio, which it will recite in a stupid voice on request.

  36. piece of paper with the words "the joy of the consumer outweighs the pain of the consumed" in spidery handwriting. if someone reads from this paper aloud, they immediately suffer a freak misfortune.

  37. Portrait of a G_d Among the Trees. A small oil vignette a few inches to a side. The blind can see it perfectly.

  38. Three tarot cards. Draw three and record which they are. When your DM is in doubt, the cards become relevant in some prophetic way.

  39. cufflinks that, if worn every day for a week, give you pancreatic cancer.

  40. mesh gloves which grant +2 AC against missile attacks. if that AC makes the difference, you catch the missile (you can't throw it back though, you're not a monk).

  41. silk gloves. whisper into the palm to create a bead of glass which, when broken, produces the sound. can record single words or voice-clips.

  42. a flagon of mead that is non-alcoholic, non-filling, and non-sustaining of any kind, but constantly refills itself.

  43. GOOD EVIL OVERCOMES. He is a medium foil of pale and chardun. His (edgeless) blade has a screwtip for interchangeable points. Once per dawn, GOOD EVIL OVERCOMES can draw a line of up to 20' on the ground. Undead will not willingly cross this line. Currently used by a group of professional ghost-hunters.

  44. DUSK RIDDLED RIVERBED. He is a light dirk of chardun. His blade has five fullers which constantly drip fresh human blood, about a pint an hour. DUSK RIDDLED RIVERBED will, if asked, identify this substance as red wine. Currently the property of a stupid noble who thinks he is a vampire.

  45. BRIGHT DARING JOYFUL. She is a medium saber (+1) of pale and ossgold. She blows loud raspberries in response to military horns, and constantly complains about how lazy this generation is. Her wielder has bonus to HP equal to the HD of the most dangerous creature they have slain with BRIGHT DARING JOYFUL (she doesn't require a strict final-blow, but she definitely needs to agree that the wielder did most of the work). Currently the sidearm of a forest ranger, and very bored.
  46. CASTIGATE LAUGHTER MORE. It is a light kindjal of bronte, with a rough grey diamond set into its pommel. CASTIGATE LAUGHTER MORE deals +1 damage for every point of HP its wielder is missing. It automatically hits when its wielder is at 0 or fewer HP. Currently in the Black Museum of a crimefighting detective.
  47. OCHLAGOGUE DEMAGOGUE POPULIST. She is a medium jian (+1) of ossgold. Her guard is a delicately carved piece of mahogany depicting a bat's face on one side and an old man's face on the other. While speaking the faces animate; the bat speaks if she is discussing violence and the old man speaks otherwise. When planted in the ground OCHLAGOGUE DEMAGOGUE POPULIST's pommel opens up like a book, allowing her wielder to take notes or leave sketches. She contains several hundred years of notes from previous wielders, in various languages, mostly about their crimes. Currently the property of a librarian who has translated about a quarter of the journal over the course of three decades.
  48. START A WAR. She is a light poniard of pale and chardun. She was damaged in a fire at some point, rendering her blade a dark kelly green and destroying her hilt. Despite this, she is invariably cheerful and encouraging. START A WAR's wielder does not leave foot- or hand-prints while she is grasped, or held in their teeth. Currently serves as a butterknife in the home of a happy peasant.
  49. WHO TOLD YOU. It is a medium bokken of bronte. It doesn't really looking like anything besides a slightly-curved bar of metal. Doesn't even have an edge. WHO TOLD YOU's wielder loses color in their eyes while it is drawn, and their vision does not trigger any sight-related effects. Currently floating in a sealed crate somewhere in the ocean.
  50. EVERY HOUR WOUNDS. He is a medium arming sword (+1) of pale and adamant. While he rarely speaks, his advice is always sound. Once per dawn, EVERY HOUR WOUND's wielder may reroll a d20. Currently used as a teaching tool by a court man-at-arms.
  51. PICK GIRL ROSES. She is a light letter opener of chardun. She would rather be literally anywhere else than in a dungeon. When held to her wielder's ear, she nervously repeats directions for the safest, quickest path to sunlight. Currently in the possession of a dungeoneer.
  52. TRULY COUNTLESS BODIES, a medium spatha (+2) of pale, can only be wielded by a missing limb. While he prefers music and feasting, TRULY COUNTLESS BODIES is also happy to kill. Currently buried in a shallow grave.
  53. LOVE YOUR CREATION, a medium broadsword of chardun and ossgold, accepts payment in gold pieces for to-hit and damage bonuses. A single attack at +1/+1 costs one gold piece, +2/+2 costs three, and +3/+3 costs ten. He extends lines of credit to those he trusts, but keeps a careful tab. Currently stuck point-first in a creekbed. Offers a bounty of one +5/+5 attack for the slaying of his previous wielder.
  54. THERE IS PEACE, a light parrying dagger of chardun and adamant, aggressively strikes other weapons instead of people.  -1 to-hit but +1 AC 
  55. the tightened belt, blue silk with white clover-flowers. the tighter it is drawn the louder its wearer's voice is.
  56. satan's teeth, a collection of fingerlength fangs in a smoked-glass jar. nothing it sees is sunlit.
  57. a golden cup, plain on the outside but lined with wondrous-carved gems of malachite, tourmaline and cinnabar. dry wine poured into this cup becomes deadly poison. put the cup to your ear to hear the last words of those it has killed.
  58. a wand of bundled sumac and hissop and rosemary, all bound in gold wire. passed over the head of a farm animal it grows strong and fat and proud; passed over the head of a person their face warps and they become permanently ugly and brutish.
  59. SOME LAUGH LAST. He is a scalpel of chardun and negligible weight. Wounds inflicted by him cause no pain. Currently in the possession of a Yellow Cleric who uses him to administer intravenous (ugh ugh ugh) drugs.
  60. a diamond wedding ring, bearing the words "the best is yet to come" around the inside. whispers soothing words, granting an additional save against fear and madness.
  61. BORN EVERY YESTERDAY. a heavy jian of pale and ossgold. weighs 17,550 pounds, varies between 3 and 60 feet in length at its wielders request. not sure how much damage this does. if you can pick it up, it probably instantly kills people.
  62. A mechanical stamp which runs on its user's blood. May transform into a crow and carry a message to someone whose name and face is known to its owner, then return and revert to a stamp. If it should die en route it reverts to a stamp and is lost to the wielder.

  63. A contract signed by an ancestor. An invisible servant follows the wielder, eager to shine shoes and prepare wine. Plays awful, humiliating, possibly-illegal pranks on people it does not like.

  64. TO HEIGHTS HANGING, a scimitar of chardun. emits choking smoke on command; redirects and absorbs lightning, fireballs, &c. eager to devour explosions and black powder, but tends to bite off more than he can chew.

  65. a green-glass bottle that once held a potion of bull's strength. sings a song to itself about the ritual which will grant someone +3 strength forever. the ritual involves the destruction of a highly precious religious artifact from some minority group.

    holy shit i am completely out of it, here are a few random effects for magic swords. i will complete this at some point. 

  1. +2 to all reaction, friendly morale checks

  2. +1 while the wielder sings, attracts small forest creatures, is extremely angry at the wielder if they eat meat

  3. through a series of bizarre self-contradicting laws the wielder is, technically, the vassal of the sword and not subject to any other country.

  4. attracts bugs, lectures (in loving details) on moth habitats and life cycles

  5. damage dealt with this weapon does not injure, leaves no evidence of harm

  6. +MD sword against spellcasters

  7. exists in the wielders dreams until they say aloud "I intend to do harm" in their native language, returns to their mind as they sleep.

  8. transfers the wielder's senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) to or from itself at their request. the wielder experiences those senses through the weapon.

  9. renders itself and the wielder's arm invisible while drawn.

  10. poisons when struck in surprise

  11. resembles any medium sword of the wielder's choosing

  12. carves chakras, humors, from human corpses.

  13. has a complete and total understanding of technicalities in all legal systems.

  14. when thrust into a human heart deals no damage; allows the wielder to demand one complete and truthful answer. works once per target.

  15. +2 sword if the wielder surrenders and eye to it. when the wielder closes their remaining eye, they see from the perspective of the last person to contact the blade.

  16. grants the wielder flashes of the past of those it strikes. grants those who strike the wielder flashes of the wielder's past.

  17. maps areas it travels through, will share if the wielder offers it wine and burnt incense. the maps devote most of their detail to the subject the sword finds most interesting; namely combat horsemanship ("this room is large enough for a lancer to ride through, but the arrow traps in the decorative wall tiles could injure the steed so i do not recommend it).

  18. grouchily repeats directions for the safest, quickest path to a pub

  19. +1 for the duration of a fight, if held and meditated upon for a full minute beforehand

  20. if used as a plow, grows vegetable soldiers (takes a full year to mature)

  21. unadorned sword accompanied by a magnificent scabbard. sword returns to scabbard as if held by a gorilla on command.

  22. encyclopedic knowledge of spells, may be flattered into explaining their name and function.

  23. wielder cannot become drunk and takes half damage from poison.

  24. when offered as a bet, intelligent creatures are compelled to play games of chance against the wielder.

  25. natural surfaces cling to the last person who contacts the blade, reducing their movement speed by half but allowing them to climb walls.

  26. once per day projects a 15' cone of collapse. everything in the cone presses downwards until it contacts a solid surface.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

How Could I, of All People, Fall Silent? (GLOG Class: Fighter)

    The Master said, "To lie on a bed of arms and meet death without regret or hesitation, this is the strength of the man from the North. The forceful are at home in it. How correct his strength is! He stands on the fulcrum without leaning to either side. How correct his strength is! When the Way is manifest in the land, he is unwavering in his support of it. How correct his strength is! When the Way is not manifest in the land, he will not sell himself out, even until death. How correct his strength is!"
    - The Third Edition of the Sayings of Aeshe

     A quick post inspired by a discussion about archetypal Fighters in the OSR Discord. This is a Tarzan-y, Conan-y guy, and a vastly simplified alternate form of the Sword-Shepherd.

Source: Beowulf by Yoan-Lossel

    This world is violent. Many will take up weapons in defense of their lives, or the lives of the ones they love. Some never return home. In them, martial training has awakened the gift of Alden, oldest brother and Lord-G_d of Hosts, who forged the first swords so men could better kill one another. For them — the Friends of the Wound-Hoe; the Mockeries of the Tree's Sons; the Shepherds of Swords — there will be no peace, until peace catches them unawares.

Class: Fighter

    You are a Fighter, with all that that entails. Fighters cannot fumble with slings, bows, polearms or anything even a little bit like a sword. They may use shields and wear all types of armor. They gain +1 to-hit on odd-numbered levels and +1 defense on even-numbered levels, up to the 10th level if they survive that long.

Skills: 1. Hunting, 2. Medicine, 3. Mounted Combat
Starting Equipment: ringsword (medium weapon), wooden shield with painted design of your choice, wineskin (three doses), heavy traveling clothes (as leather).

  • A Killing Intent, Tigerlike Stride
  • B Suddenness of Death
  • C Invincible
  • D Insatiable Slayer

Killing Intent
    Your soul is inured to the horror of death. At-will, project a menacing aura that convinces most NPCs not to cross you. Only particularly brave people will meet your eyes, and every tavern has a dark corner table for you to sit and brood. This, at minimum, applies a [level] malus to morale checks among your enemies. Unintelligent monsters probably don't even get to check morale, they just leave you alone if you let them be (unless we're talking, like, a 10HD giant evil frog sicced on you by a Wizard or something).
Tigerlike Stride
    Unlike your pampered and morally-corrupt foes, your natural ferocity has not been dulled by civilization. Where a human could move silently without leaving a trace you move silently without leaving a trace; gaps a human could leap with a movement check can be leapt by you without one; things a human could climb with equipment and preparation you can climb with your fingers and toes.
Suddenness of Death
    Weapons on your person can be drawn instantly even if you were wearing them on your back, or hiding them in your boot, or were tied up and couldn't possibly have reached them. Enemies who speak with you are surprised when you attack them, regardless of how prepared they were. Your fists are medium weapons when attacking from surprise.
    You are immune to fear and charm effects, and get an extra save against all spells whether or not they normally allow one.  Wounds do not visibly slow you until they kill you. Shouting your name as your charge into battle provokes morale checks from 1HD mooks.
Insatiable Slayer
    Take an entire extra turn in every round of combat. If fighting against only enemies with fewer HD than you, take as many extra turns as you have levels. Enemies you kill are physically shattered and strewn across the landscape. Grim-faced skalds sing of you, quietly, and you are feared by all who known your name.

    There, this fellow ought to be enough to protect any number of financiers and monks and sages and vielleurs.

Assorted Equipment:

  1. Ringsword. A medium weapon, rather like a large rapier, and named for its oversized ring pommel. Nobles would thread a ball-and-chain through the ring in ages past, but that style of fighting has mostly fallen out of fashion. 1 slot.
  2. Revolver. A handgun with a six-chambered rotating cylinder. Effective range of 20', with -1 to-hit every 10' past that. Deals 2d6 damage on a successful hit. 1 slot
  3. Cartridge case. Waterproof, fairly fire-resistant, may be used as a bludgeon. Contains up to ten pre-measured paper cartridges and bullets. This one is decorated with an image of a man lying face down, apparently dead, with ten swords pinning him to the ground. 1 slot.
  4. Shortbow. A tool for hunting and killing silently. Effective range of 20', with -1 to-hit every 10' past that. Deals 1d8 damage on a successful hit. 1 slot.
  5. Quiver. Fairly water- and fire-resistant, may be used as a meadhorn. Contains up to twenty light arrows suitable for a shortbow. This one is decorated with an image of an angel holding a horn to her lips, blowing the final notes of creation, and summoning the dead from the dark places of the world. 1 slot.
  6. 20' of ossgold chain. Effectively unbreakable. Its touch burns the undead. 2 slots.
  7. 50' of rope and grapnel. You can break into a rich man's home easily enough, but this makes exiting from windows much more straightforward. 1 slot altogether.
  8. Skin of chotch. A horrible sort of distilled apple-wine, which can clean wounds or intoxicate strong men in a single swig. Three doses.
  9. Wool cloak with a camouflage pattern of your choice. Options include: forest (green), desert (brown), ice (white and grey), sea (dark blue with green bits), sky (bright blue with white bits), urban (cityscape), Hell (red and orange). 1 slot.
  10. Short Falx. A heavy razor-sharp hooked blade. Seven-feet long if you count its two-foot handle, and mostly unheard of in the civilized world. 2 slots.
  11. Long Falx. A massive (2d6) razor-sharp hooked blade. Ten-feet long if you count its three-foot handle. 4 slots (it is incredibly inconvenient to carry this thing around).
  12. A hammer and a bundle of 10 eighteen-inch iron spikes. 1 slot each. 
  13. A moldering sack of archaic currency. Worth 30 gp, theoretically. ⅓rd slot
  14. Three black-powder grenadoes. Each one flings deadly flak for 100', striking everyone not behind cover (other people are cover) for 1d6 damage. 1 slot each.
  15. Three fire-works. Each one launches a flare 100', which bursts into colored flame at the end for 1d6 damage within 10'. ⅓rd slot each. 
  16. A silk bola tie, weighted enough to be thrown as a set of bolas (light weapon which grapples instead of damaging).
  17. A book of morose poetry about the glory that has passed away, corruption in the hearts of heroes, and the certainty not of death but of growing old and alone after the great deeds are done. ⅓rd slot.
  18. Waxpaper packet of pemmican from your distant, nobly-savage homeland. Three rations worth, can be burnt as fuel, otherwise indestructible. 1 slot.
  19. Ram's horn, bound with gold wire. Produces an eerie sound audible for miles in still weather. ⅓rd slot.
  20. A weird or inexplicable curio. Roll 1d6:
    1. A document that promises the bearer full, permanent, heritable rights to a city somewhere in the west — if they can wipe out the army of undead which currently occupy it.
    2. An Unquenchable Coal. Provides a limitless supply of heat and particularly dim light. Those who swallow it permanently lose a point of HP and gain the kindling ability of the Manufactories
    3. A double-sized pen with golden nib, usable as a light weapon.
    4. Seven spare strings for the legendary harp of Alden, made of some snowy material much softer than bronze. Notes plucked from these strings bring tears to the eyes of listeners, and lull the grievously wounded to sleep.
    5. A chaturanga raja piece of white jade, with a deep scar on one side. Its mate, in black chalcedony, is somewhere in the distant north. Your piece cannot face that way directly.
    6. The skull of someone important. Your choice.