Thursday, November 30, 2017

Specialist for My "Separate Race and Class" System in LotFP

This is the first draft of a Specialist class for my system of house rules for separating race and class in Lamentations of the Flame Princess. If a player wants to make an Elven Assassin or a Dwarven Ranger or (heresy of heresies!) a Halfling Bard or something weird like that which doesn't quite fit into a class that is already available, this should hopefully be enough to cover most such cases, along with the addition of new skills to the game if necessary.

I originally approached this as a sort of variant on the Fighter class in this system - I figured that if the Fighter is "balanced," then maybe I could balance a new class (well, "new" for this purpose) by starting with the Fighter and tweaking things from there. I don't know if it shows at all, beyond the experience table. I was caught between the Fighter and Specialist Saving Throw tables - I picked the Specialist table for now, in order to make the Fighter a bit tougher than the Specialist, but I'm still not entirely decided. If anyone would like to share their thoughts on improving this version of the Specialist, or some other aspect of these house rules, I would appreciate the feedback.

The Specialist

Hit Dice and Minimum First-Level HP: As chosen race
Saving Throw Table if Human: As original Specialist class
Saving Throw Table if Not Human: As corresponding original LotFP race-as-class

Experience Table if Human: As original Specialist class
Experience Table if Not Human: As corresponding original LotFP race-as-class

Alignment: Any

Class Abilities

Skill Points: In addition to any Skill Points gained due to the character's chosen race, the Specialist gains 4 Skill Points at first level and 1 Skill Point per level after that.

Combat Options: At the cost of 2 Skill Points, the Specialist can gain the extra Combat Options of the Fighter class (i.e. Press, Defensive Fighting, and the superior version of Parry). If the Specialist wishes to gain these extra Combat Options after first level, a Skill Point can be "saved up" - the Specialist can choose to gain one less Skill Point at one level in order to gain one extra Skill Point at the next level.

Non-Human Skills: Humans can spend the Skill Points provided by this class on any skills, just like the Skill Points gained due to their race. Other races, due to the way they advance in specific skills at specific levels, may have restrictions on how they allocate Skill Points. The Referee should choose one of the following 3 rules to apply to the Specialist class (ideally at the beginning of the campaign or adventure) and inform all players of that choice.
  1. Non-human Specialists cannot spend Skill Points on any "racial skills" - the Search skill for the Elf race, Architecture for the Dwarf race, Bushcraft and Stealth for the Halfling race, and any skills that increase in a similar manner for any other Player Character race added to the game.
  2. Non-human Specialists can spend Skill Points on "racial skills" (as defined above), but any ranks gained in a "racial skill" beyond 6 are lost. (For example, if an Elf Specialist puts 2 extra Skill Points into Search at first level, for a total of 4 ranks in Search, and does not put any additional Skill Points into Search after that, then the Elf will have 5 ranks in Search at fourth level, and 6 ranks in Search from seventh level on. The Skill Points that the Elf would ordinarily gain at tenth level and thirteenth level for the Search skill are lost.)
  3. Non-human Specialists can spend Skill Points on "racial skills" (as defined above), and any additional ranks  gained in a "racial skill" beyond 6 become extra Skill Points that can be spent on any other skill of the Specialist's choice. (For example, if an Elf Specialist puts 2 extra Skill Points into Search at first level, for a total of 4 ranks in Search, and does not put any additional Skill Points into Search after that, then the Elf will have 5 ranks in Search at fourth level, and 6 ranks in Search from seventh level on. The Skill Points that the Elf would ordinarily gain at tenth level and thirteenth level for the Search skill can be spent on other skills instead.)
EDIT ON DEC. 4, 2017
Here's a quick design note I just posted over on Facebook:

I should note that I was HEAVILY considering making this a demihuman-only class, since humans already get skill points just like the original Specialist in this system of house rules. Using my little system here, a human assassin or ranger or whatever could easily just be a human fighter with points in the appropriate skills. Demihumans couldn't do that, so I figured I would throw them a bone: if they want to specialize, they can, but at the cost of losing out on being a decent Fighter or being able to use magic. BUT...then I thought back to how a friend of mine convinced me that restricting classes by race kind of sucks a little bit, and I thought that, hey, maybe a player might want to run a non-magical, non-violent human specialist of some kind, like a doctor or a scholar or something, and who am I to tell them they can't send their poor first-level librarian down into a filthy hole in the ground to die? So I decided to allow human Specialists, too. At least for now.

EDIT ON DEC. 19, 2017
I made two major alterations to this class.

First, I changed the "Experience Table if Human" from the "original Fighter class" to the "original Specialist class." The Human Fighter has the advantages of increasing base attack bonus, free "Combat Options," better saving throws, and faster firearm reloading (Rules & Magic p. 159 and 161). The Human Specialist is trading all of that away for some extra skill points. I figured I could at least throw this type of character a bone by cutting down the experience requirements a little.

Second, under "Class Abilities," the "Skill Points" section originally read "In addition to any Skill Points gained due to the character's chosen race, the Specialist gains 4 Skill Points at first level and 1 Skill Point per level at second to ninth level. (This class does not provide extra Skill Points beyond ninth level.)" I thought that was a bit too harsh, so now the Specialist just gets 1 Skill Point per level after the first, without limit.

Update to Optional Race and Alignment Restrictions
As I said before, I probably wouldn't use these kinds of restrictions, but just in case:
  • Humans can choose any alignment. They can be Fighters, Specialists*, Clerics (if Lawful), Magic-Users (if Chaotic), or Fools (if Neutral).
  • Dwarves are always Lawful. They can be Fighters, Specialists, or Clerics.
  • Elves are always Chaotic. They can be Fighters, Specialists, or Magic-Users.
  • Halflings are always Neutral. They can be Fighters, Specialists, or Fools.
*If the DM wishes, Humans could be disallowed from being Specialists, since they already get Specialist-like skills as a racial ability. This would make Specialists the only standard class specifically restricted by race, rather than alignment.

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