Thursday, September 30, 2010

Men and Magic of Nightwick Abbey

I have a few minutes to spare and I thought I would use this space to outline what kinds of characters I will be allowing in the upcoming voice chat game.


I'm including more human classes than the basic three.  I'll provide a little bit of the flavor and mechanical changes below, but expect to see more substantive posts on each one in the coming days.

Cleric -- I discussed the framework for clerics in an earlier post.  As stated there, lawful Clerics may only heal, while Chaotic cleric can cast reversible spells and still heal.  Clerics will receive a number of bonus spells based on their Wisdom score.

Fighting-Man -- There isn't much you can add to the Fighter flavor rise.  It represents both the civilized fighting men who have converted, and the pagan barbarians.  I'm using "follow through" from Ruins & Ronin instead of the Fighter's normal ability because I like it better.  I believe I read somewhere that that rule originated with Dave Arneson, but I don't know the veracity of that statement.

Magic-User -- Magic-Users in the World must usually hide their practices.  While there is nothing inherently evil about their art, the Church frowns upon such activities unless they are used for the glory of God.  However, the fear of Magic-Users saves them more often than it harms them.  Who would want to piss off someone who can turn you into a toad?  I'm using the Holmes rules for scrolls, and Magic-Users will gain a bonus number of spells per day based on their Intelligence.  They will also be allowed to use crossbows.  Magic-Missle always hits.

Thief -- Thieves are found throughout the urban areas of the World.  They do not for "guilds" nearly as often as people think they do, but criminal gangs are fairly common.  I'm using a version of the Thief class whose abilities are based on S&W's saving throw mechanic.  Anyone can sneak, but the Thief's abilities are supernormal.  They do not have the ability to find traps, and one anyone can disarm a trap with a clever explanation, the Thief can just do it mechanically.

Druid --  I discussed Druids a bit in the above post.  My main goal with the Druid is to remove the hippy association and return them to their rightful place: burning men in wicker cages.  They will receive bonus spells based on their Wisdom score.

Paladin -- I'm using the version of the Paladin outlined by James of Grognardia.  The only difference for me will be that the Paladin's of my campaign are sponsored by the Church and believe in God.  It is possible I will develop an Anti-Paladin class.

Ranger -- Again, I'm looking to Grognardia for inspiration; however, I'll be reducing the amount of HP James allowed his Rangers.  For the purposes of my setting, Rangers are scions of civilization who chose to live in the wilderness in order that they might preempt attack from the forces of Chaos.  The prime requisite for the Ranger will most likely be Constitution.

Witch -- Witches are the wise people of pagan villages.  They know the proper sacrifices necessary to appease the Old Gods, and how to heal the sick.  This is a completely homebrewed class, and I may not include it.  If I do, it will replace the Druid.  It uses a combination of Magic-User and Druid spells from a special list.  It also gains the ability to shift into a small animal, decided on at character creation.  They will most likely gain bonus spells from Charisma, because I am a fan of using all of the ability scores if possible.

Healer -- The Healer fills largely the same niche as the Witch, and therefore I will not include both.  If I decide to include the Druid, then I will include the Healer to provide a pagan alternative to the Cleric for healing.  This class is available on the Mythmere Games website.


In the original Nightwick campaign I did not allow demihuman character types.  Pressure from the wife, and one of my inspirational sources have compelled me to do otherwise this time.  I'm going to use the LBBs method of saying that demihumans are limited to different classes rather than doing a race-as-class setup.  There is one glaring exception below.

Dwarves -- Greedy, drunken little people who hate goblins.  I'll be posting more on their relationship with goblins later.  For now they can only level up as a Fighting-Man.  I'll probably let them advance as far as name-level so that a PC can become a King Under the Mountain.  I think it is important to note that if someone made a movie of Nightwick Abbey that the Dwarves would be played by little people instead of a CGIed John Rhys-Davies.

Halflings -- Despite my love of the Hobbit, Halflings in my campaign are going to represent something more akin to a Leprechaun, i.e. a small woodland sprite.  They may only advance to third level as a Fighting-Man but may advance fully as a Thief.  Perhaps, as Scott of Huge Ruined Pile points out, it is better to call the Gnomes.

Elves -- Elves are ephemeral and terrifying creatures of the woods.  I hinted at that a little in an earlier post. Elves will be a class unto themselves.  I'm using the typical Fighting-Man/Magic user at once setup.  I may switch out their Magic-User spell list for a Druid one.

Cyclops -- This is only a possible one.  Cyclops would be largely based on the character from Krull.  They possess a strange and mystical society focused around contemplation of death.  Regardless of whether or not they are allowed as PCs, they have a long and secreted history in the campaign world.  They may advance as Fighting-Men, Magic-Users, and Druids.

Froglings -- A possible replacement of Halflings.  I originally was going to include them but I think they might break the setting's dark tone.  I will not include both them and Halflings.  They are drunken, raucous, and adventurous little frog-men.  They're based on the song Froggy Went A Courtin', the Wind and the Willows, and an odd pun about beer and hoppes.  They're culture would be largely based on the Netherlands.  I'm an odd bird.


There you have it.  Sorry about the length.  Comments are always appreciated.


  1. Love the froglings! I want a drunken frogling torch-bearer.

  2. Froglings have me thinking of those mummified anthropomorphic frog knick-knacks often sold as souvenirs in the Southern states.

  3. As a resident of the "Southern states" I will note I've never seen those.

  4. Dig the froglings and the horrible elves in particular, but the whole setting is looking very cool.

    Are you accepting prospective players from outside your circle by chance?

  5. Mummified anthropomorphic frog knick-knacks? This Mississippian thinks that sounds kinda creepy.

    Undead Froglings anyone?

  6. @ TrentB

    I have to say that I'm flattered. As for accepting prospective players, I'll make an announcement when I come to a decision.

    @ Brandon

    I remember when Dave Arneson passed someone put out a free module intended as a kind of thematic continuation of his Temple of the Frog. If I remember correctly it had frogmen mummies.

  7. Rockin. I'll keep an eye on the blog =]

  8. Just found the blog courtesy of Huge Ruined Pile. I like what your doing. With regards to halfling/hobbits I've come to dislike them. But Greywulf did a render, ostensibly of a Kender.
    But I think it works as a halfling. It sort evokes an evolution alongside a different mammal than apes. Maybe Lemurs. It's something I can picture hiding in the underbrush.

  9. Just an FYI, there have been some suggestions I've read that there were no real Druidesses, so perhaps men are Druids but women are Witches?

    Something about that appeals to me...

  10. You're Froglings are, frankly, an awesome concept on the scale of Ducks in 1sr-3rd edition Runequest. I hope you'll be flattered rather than annoyed if I tuck them away in my idea's pile ready to be sprung on unexpecting players at some point.

  11. That is actually the point of this blog. I wouldn't be posting these things if I didn't think it was helpful to somebody.