Friday, January 14, 2022

Dolmenwood: Wise Beast (race-as-class)

I'm (obviously) a huge fan of cute little Redwall-style talking animals, and planning to run a new Dolmenwood campaign in the next few weeks. Dolmenwood has these adorable Wise Beasts so here's a class so you can play as them and some tables to flesh them out.

Click for the class as an Old-School-Essentials-style spread

Wise Beast (Class)

Requirements: Minimum DEX 9
Prime Requisite: WIS and DEX
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 8
Armour: Any, including shields
Weapons: Small or normal sized
Languages: Animal tongue, Common, Gaffe (language of the crookhorn goatfolk)
Level Progression and Saving Throws: As Dwarf

Wise Beasts are humanoid animals, 2'-3' tall, dressed in dapper outfits. Wise Beasts tend to be of timid disposition, and the majority of them would prefer to live a quiet life. Most wise beasts live  in Cobton-on-the-Shiver under the totalitarian rule of wicked crookhorn goatmen; adventurers may be rare refugees from this cruel existence. 

Prime requisites: A wise beast with at least 13 in one prime requisite gains a 5% bonus to experience. If both DEX and WIS are 16 or higher, the wise beast gets a +10% bonus.

Animal Trait
Wise beasts come in a variety of species of woodland animal. The specific species of a character may be rolled or selected from the below table, and gives the character the listed trait. In addition to the common tongue, Wise Beasts can speak to normal animals of their species. 
  1. Badger: May enter Bloodwrath when they take damage in battle: +1 to hit and damage, -2 Armour Class, and can not stop fighting until all enemies are dead or driven off. May attempt a save vs spells once per round to end the effect prematurely.
  2. Bird: Can mimic the sound of any monster or animal with a 3-in-6 chance of success, or 2-in-6 to mimic a specific individual.
  3. Fox: Can cast Read Magic 1/day. Can cast arcane spells from scrolls with a 10% chance of error: an unusual or deleterious effect is created.
  4. Mole: Touch a stone surface for one turn and gain a 2-in-6 chance to detect one of the following (player's choice): presence of secret doors within 10', presence of gems/metals within 30', presence of living beings within 30', or the presence of water/open spaces within 60'. 
  5. Mouse: 3-in-6 chance to be completely silent when moving.
  6. Otter: Can hold breath for one hour, and move at normal movement rate when swimming. 5-in-6 chance of success when fishing.
  7. Rabbit: Jump up to 30’ forwards and gain +1 to attack. If wielding an impaling weapon (e.g. spear), this counts as a charge and inflicts double damage on a successful hit.
  8. Rat: Can track targets by scent with a 3-in-6 chance of success.
  9. Snake: Can hold an object (including a 2-handed weapon or shield) in tail, no arms. Bite deals 1d6 damage. +4 bonus when biting an unaware foe from behind, and the victim must save vs death or die. Targets with more than 4+1 HD are immune.
  10. Squirrel: Can climb sheer surfaces with a 5-in-6 chance of success.
  11. Toad: Tongue can grab a target up to 15’ away and drag it to the mouth. If used on a foe the character can bite for 1d4 damage.
  12. Weasel: Bite attack for 1d4 damage and may attach to the victim: Each round the target takes 1d4 automatic damage and may attempt to escape with a successful save vs paralysis.
Wise beasts can use all types of armour, but it must be tailored to their small size. Similarly, they can use any weapon appropriate to their stature. They cannot use long-bows or two-handed swords.

Defensive Bonus
Due to their small size, wise beasts gain a +2 bonus to Armour Class when attacked by large opponents (greater than human-sized).

Wise beasts have an uncanny ability to disappear from sight:
▶ In woods or undergrowth, a wise beast can hide with a 90% chance of success.
▶ In dungeons, a wise beast can hide in shadows or behind other forms of cover. The chance of success is 2-in-6. Hiding requires the wise beast to be motionless.

Listening at Doors
Wise beasts have a 2-in-6 chance of hearing noises.

After Reaching 8th level
A wise beast may build a stronghold, which will form the basis of a new community of wise beasts. 

By Kyle Ferrin for the game Root

Names (M/F) (d20)
Wise Beasts typically use their species as a surname, eg "amaranth badger."
  1. Adalgrim/Adamanta
  2. Bandobras/Amaranth
  3. Bowman/Asphodel
  4. Drogo/Belladonna
  5. Doderick/Berylla
  6. Eglantine/Celandine
  7. Everard/Daisy
  8. Ferumbras/Esmerelda
  9. Fortinbras/Gilly
  10. Gormadoc/Lalia
  11. Hamfast/Lilia
  12. Hob/Marigold
  13. Isengrim/Meliloc
  14. Marmadoc/Pearl
  15. Odo/Pimpernel
  16. Rorimac/Primula
  17. Tobold/Rosy
  18. Tolman/Ruby
  19. Wilcome/Salvia
  20. Wiseman/Saradoc
Backgrounds (d20)
  1. Barber
  2. Boat builder
  3. Brewer
  4. Cook
  5. Cobbler
  6. Farmer
  7. Fisherman
  8. Gardener
  9. Gentleman
  10. Glove-maker
  11. Haberdasher
  12. Hound-keeper
  13. Innkeeper
  14. Merchant
  15. Midwife
  16. Preacher
  17. Servant to goatfolk
  18. Storyteller
  19. Tailor
  20. Wandering Musician
  1. Become a folk hero
  2. Discover origin of wise beasts
  3. Find a new home
  4. Found town of wise animals
  5. Free valley from overlords
  6. Gain ability to fly
  7. Get one over on relatives
  8. Quiet life in countryside
  9. Recruit allies against goatfolk
  10. Rescue family member
  11. Smoke exotic plants
  12. Spread worship of nag-lord
  1. Always carry a horseshoe
  2. Descended from animal king
  3. Goatfolk sent by devil
  4. Ladybugs are good luck
  5. Nag-lord is long dead
  6. Nag-lord is the true god of all reality
  7. Never wear shoes
  8. Non-wise humans exist
  9. Number 13 is bad luck
  10. Smoke pipeweed daily
  11. Wise fish dwell in the rivers
  12. World is the dream of a fish

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