Friday, May 03, 2013

m20 Dark•Heritage chargen

The essence of m20 is to preserve the basic "engine" if you will of d20, but reduce the tedium and detail into something that's much more "by-the-seat-of-your-pants" and handwavey.  Something much more conducive to rulings instead of rules.  Not that I don't already run d20 that way, but m20 makes it somewhat easier to do so even if your players are more inclined to be rules lawyery.  In other words, the system itself supports it rather than stands in contrast to that playstyle, unlike in d20.  In this sense, m20 is to be preferred.  But can it actually support the level of detail that I need?  That, of course, is the $100,000,000 question.

So, let's jump into it.  To create a DARK•HERITAGE character in m20, follow the following rules...

Generate Stats.

Instead of six stats, m20 collapses it down to three: STR, DEX, and MIND.  Roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, then assign as desired.  Or, since I always have liked arrays, use 16, 13, and 11.  You can take points from one to give it to another (i.e., voluntarily lowering the 11 to a 9 so you can bump the 16 to an 18.)  However, you cannot take any stat above 18 at this point.

Pick Race.

The following races belong in the DARK•HERITAGE setting:
  • Human: +1 to all skill points
  • Hellspawn (including hamazin): +1 DEX and Night Vision (can see in darkness as well as in light, exception absolute darkness as in a cave, or in a darkness spell.)
  • Jann: +1 DEX and Fire Strike (all of your damage rolls in one battle only per day do an extra 1d6 fire damage. Assuming, of course, that your opponent is not immune to fire damage.)
  • Changeling: +3 to Survival skill, plus Wildshape (for one battle per day, you can grow claws and fangs.  These attack as per a light weapon, even if you're unarmed, and do an additional +d6 of damage due to their extreme sharpness.)
  • Neanderthal: +1 to STR, +1 to Athletics skill, and +1 to Survival Skill.
  • Nephilim: +2 MIND

Pick Class.

The following classes belong in the DARK•HERITAGE setting:
  • Fighter: Can wear any type of armor, weapons and use shields.  Fighters add +3 to their Athletics skill, and +1 to all Attack and Damage rolls.  This increases to +2 at 5th level, +3 at 10th level, etc.
  • Rogue: Can wear light armor and use light, medium, or ranged weapons.  Rogues add +3 to their Subterfuge skill, and can (usually) make a Sneak Attack by making a successful sub+DEX roll to add their sub bonus to their attack and damage at the beginning of a combat.  This can only be done once, and the DC is set by the GM.  If the rogue is clearly seen before a combat starts, this will obviously be problematic, and the rogue will have to attempt to hide or something and then re-sneak up on the combat to use this ability.
  • Outdoorsman: Many folks in the DARK•HERITAGE setting make their living in the wilderness.  Outdoorsman can wear medium armor and use light, medium, or ranged weapons. An outdoorsman gains +3 to his Survival skill, and gains a +1 to hit with ranged weapons.  They can also gain an animal companion of CR 1 or less.  At 4th level, they can upgrade this to an animal companion of CR 2 or less, at 8th level to CR 3, etc.  This animal is not just an extension of the character, and although you can usually have it do what you want, occasionally the GM will intercede if you're attempting to have the animal do something that there's no way in the world it would actually be willing to do.  Note that this doesn't mean that animals can't display loyalty, including risking their lives for their master.  Just... be careful, that's all.
  • Scholar: Adventuring scholars are rare breeds.  Many times they are lured to the vocation in the search for forbidden knowledge.  They gain a +1 MIND and +3 Knowledge.  They can use light armor, and light and ranged weapons.  Scholar's also have access to Arcane Spells, and can cast any arcane spell with a spell level equal to or below half their class level, rounded up.  Casting a spell of any kind costs Hit Points.  The cost is 1 + double the level of the spell being cast. 

Calculate hit points.

Hit points for all classes is the STR score plus 1d6/level.  The 1d6 may be rolled twice, and the best result chosen.

Coming next: skills and equipment!

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