Over in the workshop I've been messing around with a Universal Class. Essentially everything from every class is pooled together into a frankenstein monster. I'm actually really pleased with how it is coming along and, while it's not done by a long shot, it has been interesting.
Introducing: Havamal - Sentinel of Venndar
To start playtesting, I created Havamal, the Sentinel of Venndar (whose holy symbol is two circles separated to show that there is no cross over in intellectual property between what I'm working on and a certain perfect game with absolutely no exploits. Ah hem. Yes. Okay. Moving on!).
Havamal is a level one human adventurer. He wears clerical vestments, a holy symbol, and wields a mace. His stats are (Str: 16, Dex: 13, Con: 13, Int: 9, Wis: 18, Chr: 11), which was really good for 3d6 in order (more on this in a second). He has taken 1 point in spycraft, 1 in healing, 1 in protection, and 1 in "healer" which is the healing branch. He has one point in hardiness and one point in weapons 1H. Finally, he has one point in alteration allowing him to cast zero level alteration spells. My secondary skills are limner and scribe.
This is due to the ability score bonuses to strength (two bonus fitness abilities), dex (one bonus craftiness ability), wisdom (3 bonus faith abilities) and being human (one bonus ability to be used as you feel fit).
The total time to create the character was about seven minutes from rolling to figuring out what abilities and skills I wanted. While this is probably due to my familiarity with the rules, I'm going to be addressing that with a few resources within the rules proper. Additionally, poorer roles could make significantly weaker characters which should also probably be addressed. I'm thinking 4d6 drop the lowest in any order.
Now, what I have is a character with a D6+1 hit dice, a mace, no armor, and the ability to cast two zero level spells as well as turn undead. I can also treat wounded people to help them heal faster. I can decipher scripts and listen as a thief as well (30% chance of success).
So Havamal set out from the town of Ravenrock in search of adventure. A scribes life was not for him, and now, at the tender age of 18, he has taken on the oath of a Sentinel. Instead of a pen, he would wield a mighty mace. Throwing his cloak over his shoulder, his holy symbol proudly displayed, he left his home behind and entered the world.
Properly outfitted as a wandering priest, Havamal is not really drawing much attention. However, upon reaching a small little thorp lost deep in the woods, he has learned that the local orchard has been over run by giant rats, and they have taken over a barn. Such creatures are typically the tools of evil, spreading disease and harm, something Venndar cannot tolerate in the land. Prepared to do his duty, Havamal stepped up to wage battle against the rats.
The first battle was a tense affair. Havamal and two of the orchard farm hands approached carefully, with Havamal going ahead. He managed to pass a listen check and heard the rats in the barn - at least some of them. He attempted to move closely to ambush the creatures, but they heard him coming when he opened the barn door. He let out a courageous shout and battle was engaged! There were four of the creatures - but the two farm hands charged forward wielding spears. Havamal managed to strike first, as he was light on his feet and dealt a killing blow.
The battle continued and a farmhand went down with a vicious bite. Raising his voice in a courageous prayer, Havamal kept lashing out being bitten twice. Soon the rats were dead. But injured, the retreated to the farm house to treat their wounds. Havamal oversaw the treatments, but took time to pray and rest.
The next day, they went out to investigate the battle and could tell other rats had been there. Still injured, they decided to close the barn and Havamal ran a rope through the door and used a Knot spell to tie it shut.
It works. It actually really works. I still have a lot of work to do, but it wasn't overpowered. In fact, I was missing having armor. A regular Cleric would have been a bit tougher in this fight. I'd say the basic balance approach I'm using between core and secondary abilities seems to function as intended while creating a fairly interesting character.
In general, if going solo, characters will NEED to have a higher range of ability scores. Even with all the extra points I had, I was struggling during the first fight. Havamal used a reaction check to convince the farm hands to fight with him. If I had failed that test, this might have gone very differently. Overall, I'm very pleased and think general playtesting would be appropriate.
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