Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monster-Based Campaign Design: Characters!

After many, many hours of thinking. I've come to a few major decisions about my monster-based campaign setting. One of those is the available character types and what they represent. Another is that the character's home Kingdom, a Grecian island kingdom known Kull, has no more than bronze-age technology. But more on those later: this post is about characters.


A Fighter is a proud and haughty noble, veteran hoplite, or expert wrestler of Kull. Due to their extensive training and coordination, two or more Fighters fighting in close proximity may form a shield wall, improving their AC by 2, but always act last in the initiative order unless all members of the group are wielding spears, in which case they always act first. If any member of the shield wall breaks or is killed, it requires a full round to reform the wall.


A Cleric is a priest or priestess of the Olympian gods. A Cleric worships the entire Greek pantheon while also serving a patron god or goddess. Some choices include: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Athena, Area, Aphrodite, or Demeter.

Clerics have no restrictions on weapon use or Turning ability, and there is no need for a cleric to meditate, pray daily, or study to use spells. Instead, there is a cumulative 5% per day since the cleric’s last sacrifice that the cleric’s request will not be heard or simply ignored. The sacrifice must be worth at least 100 gold pieces per cleric level to be accepted, otherwise, the offering is taken as an insult.


A magic-User is a philosopher who studies the ancient, magical lore of Babylon, Egypt, or Atlantis. They have no restrictions on usable weapons and may wear armor, but there is a 50% chance their spells will merely fizzle and fail (no matter the type of armor worn).


A thief is a miscreant of ill repute or a criminal exiled from Kull. A Thief may wear copper scale or plate armor, but while wearing such physically taxing armor the thief’s skills are halved. In additional to its more conventional uses, the Hear Noise skill can be used to fight in darkness or against invisible creatures.


A Barbarian is a furious warrior from uncivilized lands. They are treated as B/X dwarves, but do not possess infraredvision nor have any particular familiarity with stonework or weapon restrictions. Instead, they have a 4 in 6 chance of spotting traps, ambushes, etc. in the wilderness. When completely unarmored (other than employing a shield), a Barbarian adds twice his strength adjustment to damage in melee.


A pygmy is miniature savage. They are known for their deadly slings and riding goats into battle against armies of cranes. Pygmies are treated exactly as B/X Halflings.


  1. You might want to look at the free game Mazes & Minotaurs ( - although the 'shield wall' rule implies you already have.

  2. Yup. That's where I stole it from.