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Friday, July 4, 2014

Freaky Friday - 4th of July

Jeff Jones Artwork
Solomon Kane
Today is Freaky Friday and what I pulled at random from the vault on this fabulous 4th of July is a character class I created for my home campaign.

Here it is for your adoption or tweaking into your own home OSR / Swords and Wizardry / OSRIC or AD&D campaign.


The Hallows are a secret cabal under the support and protection of the Order of Pale, one of the five powerful orders of sorcery which make up the Pentagarchy.  The Society of the Hallow'd Ground and its members are responsible for the investigation and clearing of undead infestations and in particular the cleansing of villages turned into Haunts within the territories currently afflicted by the Pattern Storms.

The first of the Pattern Storms arose during the time of the Nightshade War between the Necrogarchy of Leng in the East and the Kingdoms of Daria, Etaerkos and Kyrene in the West.  The widespread suffering inflicted by the use of war spells during that period ushered in the political ascension of the Pentagarchy and its platform that arcane magic by its very nature is dangerous and must be regulated, indeed controlled exclusively by the five houses of sorcery that make up the order.

Today arcane magic is only "legal" in the hands of a Pentagarchy sorcerer (magic-user) and independent arcane casters of any other tradition or school are sought out as heretics for imprisonment and more and more frequently, execution.

The Hallow is the instrument of the Order of Pale as it attempts to broaden its influence by taking back territory which has long been lost to the blight left over by the last great war.  The Society maintains small chapter houses scattered throughout most of the civilized kingdoms which surround the Sea of Harlots but in particular is concentrated in the Kingdom of Daria where most of the undead taint lingers.

Primary Attribute:  Wisdom of 13+  (Grants xp bonus if that is used in your rules set.)
Hit Dice:  4+1d6 at 1st level and 1d6 at each level of advancement after first.
Armor and Shield Permitted:  Light or Medium Armor Types and Shield.  Heavy Armor types are avoided as they tend to hamper the Hallow's ability to turn tail and flee when circumstances require it.
Weapon Permitted:  Any Melee, Slings, Crossbows.
Race:  Human, Half-Elf, Half-Orc
Magic:  Some divine magic starting at third level.  A Hallow stands somewhere in the gray area between a specially trained fighter and a specialty priest of the God of Death.  He campaigns to place the restless dead back into the ground where they belong.
Starting Skill:  Field Medicine
Special:  Limited Clerical Spells, Turn Undead, Trained Destroyers of Undead, Agent of the Pentagarchy.

Alignment:  Hallows are usually of Lawful or Neutral alignment.  A Hallow who violates the tenants of the Cult of Death into which they are indoctrinated by level three will lose access to their divine spells until making appropriate amends.

Clerical Spells:  A Hallow who survives to level three begins to receive divine spells from the god, Death.  While they are not technically priests or clerics, Death favors these sworn agents of his as they seek to return the natural order to the world.

Magic Items:  Hallows can read and use divine scrolls starting at level five.  They can use magic items like a Fighter class character.

Attack Table:  Hallows use the cleric attack table.

Trained Destroyer:  Certain types of undead require specific targeted shots to impale them with a stake in the heart, cut off their head, shoot them in the brain with a crossbow bolt.  Typically this inflicts a four point penalty to the attack roll of a character.  Hallows are trained to destroy undead and ignore any penalty for targeting a specific vulnerable body part in any undead creature they face.

Death's Agent:  At level three a Hallow gains +1d4 hit points plus the Hallow's current level, when they destroy an undead of two hit dice or greater.  They may only receive this bonus once in a day.  The bonus hit points linger for one hour before fading after they have been gained.

Turn Undead:  A fifth level Hallow begins to turn undead as a 1st level Cleric.  They turn undead as if they were a Cleric four levels below their current level.  The Hallow uses the holy symbol of the god Death to turn undead, this is a black velvet bag filled with a full set of 10 humanoid knuckle bones.

Death's Avenger:  At seventh level the Hallow may wield two medium or small sized weapons, one in each hand.  They suffer no penalty to attack rolls while fighting with two weapons but sacrifice all attack bonuses granted by having a high Strength score.  They retain damage bonuses based on having a high Strength while using this ability.

Hallow's Level        Experience Points
1st                          Zero
2nd                         2,500
3rd                         5,000
4th                         10,000
5th                         20,000
6th                         40,000
7th                         80,000
8th                        160,000
9th                        260,000
10th                      360,000
11th                      460,000
12th                      560,000

Saving Throws:  Starts at a 15 at level one and improves by one point at each level of advancement until it reaches a Save of 8 at 8th level.  From there saves improve by one every other level.

Hallow Divine Spells
Hallow Level       Cleric Spells
3rd Level              1x 1st Level
4th Level              1 x 1st Level
5th Level              2 x 1st Level
6th Level              2 x 1st Level
7th Level              2 x 1st Level, 1 x 2nd Level
8th Level              2 x 1st Level, 1 x 2nd Level
9th Level              3 x 1st Level, 2 x 2nd Level
10th Level            3 x 1st Level, 2 x 2nd Level,  1 x 3rd Level
11th Level            4 x 1st Level, 3 x 2nd Level,  1 x 3rd Level
12th Level            4 x 1st Level, 3 x 2nd Level,  2 x 3rd Level, 1 x 4th Level

There you have it.  Today's Freaky Friday grab bag topic for Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight.

Happy Gaming and Happy 4th of July!!

Ed Kann

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