Friday, April 1, 2011

Rethinking the party

I've been thinking alot about adventuring parties, and how most of the basics have been used since the origins of rpgs in the 70s, with a few set classes, and races such as dwarf, elf, halfling and gnome in addition to humans that make up said parties.

Now, I realise that this is set in stone for many people, and that they tend to rail against any changes to these basics, yet I think it would be fun to mix things up a bit and use some new racial archetypes to have in a party.

My first idea was to have a sort of armored bear, like the panzerbjorn in The Golden Compass, who would fill in the fighter's position, as contrast to the Dwarf. The bears would be black bear-sized, so as to be able to fit into the tunnels and passages that make up dungeon exploration. Since these bears aren't intended to be mounts, I envision them as having forepaws with opposable thumbs that would allow them to not only put on their own armor, but to wield ranged and melee weapons as well.

The idea would be to have a strong, hardy warrior that was versatile enough to switch between natural weapons and 1-2 handed weapons.

Here's a rough draft of an NPC/Monster version that might be met in the wilderness;

Armored Bear
AC: 5 (2 when wearing armor)
Hit Dice: 6
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws or with weapon
Damage: d6/d6 or weapon damage
Number Appearing: d4
Save As: Fighting Man level 3
Morale: 7

These bears, which can be up to 11 feet tall, tend to wear armor made in an unknown process that gives the protection of plate, but weight and mobility or leather. They are highly intelligent and have been known to trade or hire on with groups once reasonable (to them) negotiations have been met. Unless attacked first, their first response is to parlay, and deal with strangers verbally.

The fur color differs upon the terrain where they tend to live, ranging from black to brown to white. However, it is not unusual for Armored Bears to live in areas that starkly contrast their coloration.

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