Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rodians: The Reckoning

I have been fiddling a lot with Rodians over this past year as I have incrementally adapted them from their origins in Crimson Blades of Ara to their current incarnation in Labyrinth LordAt first, I posited them as a B/X style race-as-class, but it did not take long for me to start diversifying them, adding class options such as Duellist (fighter), Rogue (thief), and Illusionist.  Interestingly, I provided these "Advanced" (i.e., AD&D-esque) options for Rodians prior to the release of Goblinoid Games' Advanced Edition Companion, a text which makes my "Advanced" options even more directly compatible with Labyrinth Lord (and easily accessible for free online).  So, in order to stay current with all the transmogrifications I have subjected Rodians to since I first started blogging about them, and to reflect the existence and influence of the AEC, I offer this update, which is meant to supersede the information on rodians given in all prior posts, particularly this one.

General Notes:  Rodians (whether Race-as-Class or Advanced) are seafaring folk who demonstrate a distinct tendency toward sea piracy and con-artistry.  Any rodian character may originate from the rodian home island of Suhl, located at the extreme southeastern end of the Bay of Noffel. Rodian characters may also come from any region available to Arandish humans, although rodians from Telengard and northern Achelon are quite rare. The majority of mainland-born rodians (i.e., those born anywhere other than Suhl) come from the Free City of Kaladar, or one of the Suhlian-governed coastal cities on Ara’s far western seaboard (e.g., New Port).

For those who prefer Race as Class, here is that version of the Rodian (available as a pdf here):

Requirements: DEX 9
Prime requisite: DEX
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum level: 8

Rodians have all the same basic abilities and use the same Level Progression Table as Labyrinth Lord halflings (see LL pp. 11-12).

Rodians are excellent utilizers of urban camouflage and can hide in shadows or behind other forms of cover when in cities or underground labyrinths on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6, though they must also be silent and motionless. They are highly dexterous, and get a bonus of +1 to initiative rolls when alone or in a party composed only of rodians. They have keen coordination that grants them +1 on any missile attacks. Due to their small size, rodians have a lower armor class (-2) when attacked by creatures greater than human sized. Rodians may not use large or two-handed weapons.

Rodian disease resistance: all rodians save at +2 vs. poison to resist any disease, including mummy rot and lycanthropy.

At 3rd level, rodians gain 1st level thief skills, and from 3rd level onward the rodian has thief skills as if s/he were a thief two levels below the rodian’s actual level.*

"Advanced Edition" Rodians (available in pdf form here) have four class options: Rodian Duellist, Rodian Rogue, Rodian Illusionist, and Rodian Invoker. They have all the same benefits (e.g., urban camouflage and disease resistance) and limitations (e.g., no two-handed weapons) as Race-as-Class rodians except that they do not level as halflings nor do they automatically gain Thief skills at 3rd level and beyond. Also note other class-based restrictions and requirements below.

Rodian Duellist
Levels as Labyrinth Lord Fighter
Requirements: STR 9, DEX 9
Prime requisites: STR, DEX
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum level: 10
Note: Rodian Duellists may use any light weapons to personal taste but tend to use cutlasses (treat as scimitar) and/or duelling rapiers (treat as short sword) in melee combat and to prefer crossbows as ranged weapons.

Rodian Rogue
Levels as Labyrinth Lord Thief*
Requirements: DEX 10
Prime requisite: DEX
Hit Dice: 1d4 (as opposed to 1d6-1 for human thieves)
Maximum level: none
Note: Levels and gains abilities as a Labyrinth Lord Thief.*

Rodian Illusionist
Levels as Advanced Edition Companion Illusionist
Requirements: INT 15, DEX 16
Prime requisite: INT
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum level: none
Note: Rodian Illusionists mostly come from Suhl, where they study at the remote and mysterious Black Cloister. There are now some rodian Illusionist teaching centers in rodian-frequented port cities like Jakama and The Free City of Kaladar, but high-level (level six and above) rodian Illusionists must return to the Cloister every other level (every even level from six upward) for specialized teachings and initiation rites.

Rodian Invoker
Levels as Labyrinth Lord Elf
Requirements: INT 14, DEX 9 
Prime requisite: INT
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum level: 10
Note: The Rodian Invoker levels and obtains spells as a Labyrinth Lord Elf, but with Magic-user weapon and armor restrictions.

* In the Arandish Campaign, this means that the Rodian uses 2d6 Thievery instead of the percentile thief skills table in Labyrinth Lord.

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