Dreams of Adventure: Classes

I did some reworking of open game content. I wanted to put this up to start committing to my Old School Renaissance (OSR 🔍) amalgam.

update: Originally, this had an additional tag but upon reading Luka Rejec’s A Bad Turn of Words: Fantasy Heartbreaker, I’m expunging that tag. Thank you Luka for writing your piece. Your voice in the Role Playing Game (RPG 🔍) seen is valued, and I’m glad to support your RPG efforts. Way more than academically veiled “bad-wrong-fun” essays.

One of the advantages of using a set of build scripts for my website is that I can setup data files. The following class tables are stored in a structured data format. I can then use templates to ensure consistency, or produce alternate renderings. HTML tables are ugly affairs.

I have yet to re-work the math into an ascending format. As it is, the rolling procedure is to roll under target numbers. I personally find that quite elegant, however, it runs a bit contrary to the modern game sensibilities. It also requires a bit of language gymnastics to explain penalties and bonuses.

The Classes:

There are three basic character classes in the game: the Deft, Strong, and Wise. Each class reflects a general approach to solving problems.

Reading Character Class Tables

  • Level: character’s relative experience. Higher level characters are often more competent and have greater means at their disposal than lower level characters.
  • Experience Points (XP 🔍): total number of Experience Points (XP) required to raise a level.
  • Attack Value (AV 🔍) (Attack Value): character’s ability to successfully attack foes in combat.
  • Hit Die (HD 🔍) (Hit Dice): number of d6s to roll for hit points. Players re-roll their characters’ HD each level to obtain a number of hit points (HP). If the hit points for your character’s new level are lower than their previous level’s hit points, you may keep the result from the previous level.
  • Saving Throw (ST 🔍) (Saving Throw): character’s ability to avoid hazards and nasty things.
  • Groups: number of groups that the character receives a mechanical benefit from.
  • Slots: the total number of active class features the character has for that level.
  • Raises: total number of times character increases one attribute by one point.


Relying on training and wits, deft characters are often (but not limited to) burglars, skulks, ninjas, spies, mountebanks, street rats, or assassins.

The Deft

Table 117: The Deft Progression
Level XP HD AV ST Slots Groups Raises
1 0 1 10 7 1 2 0
2 1,500 2 11 8 1 2 1
3 3,000 2+1 11 9 1 3 1
4 6,000 3 12 10 2 3 2
5 12,000 3+1 13 11 2 4 2
6 24,000 4 13 12 2 4 3
7 48,000 4+1 13 13 3 5 3
8 96,000 5 14 14 3 5 4
9 192,000 5+1 14 15 3 6 4
10 384,000 6 15 16 4 6 5
11+ +300000/level 6 15 16 4 6 5

Class Features

Combat Versatility

When properly equipped and rolling for a task or an attack that is in line with your vocation, you roll with advantage.

In addition, when you have “combat leverage” (i.e. +2 AV and +2 damage) and your vocation group is relevant to the situation, you may forgo rolling with advantage, if you do so, and hit, you deal double damage.

For example, a duellist might do this in a duel, and an assassin might do it when striking from the shadows.

Inspired Slot Attunement

Your inspired slots reflect your character’s unique skill, training, or even equipment. You may attempt extraordinary feats of skill, training, or even luck that are related to your inspired slot – nigh impossible feats require a check, otherwise they succeed without a check. Talk with the Referee to agree upon a usage on a per situation basis.

Each active slot is usable once per day. When the Deft character gains a slot, they choose two slots, describing each with a brief descriptor. One slot is active, the other is inactive. Activating an inactive slot requires a day of practice and deactivating an active slot.

Some ideas: faithful pet, resist pain, mother’s longsword, silver tongue, detect lie, light sleeper, trick shots, martial arts, acrobatics… Use other games for inspiration.

Light Armor Preference

You may not use Combat Versatility nor any Inspired Slot Attunements if you are wearing a shield or armor heavier than studded leather.

Two-Weapon Training

When fighting with two weapons, you gain +1 damage and +1 AC. Note: Two weapons do not grant any extra attacks.

Favor Finesse Weapons

Unless you have an appropriate active slot form Inspired Slot Attunement, you receive a -2 AV penalty for all attacks with two-handed melee weapons.

Relying on physical and combat prowess, strong characters make excellent cavaliers, skalds, brigands, and berserkers.

The Strong

Table 118: The Strong Progression
Level XP HD AV ST Slots Groups Raises
1 0 1+2 11 5 1 2 0
2 2,500 2+1 11 6 1 2 1
3 4,000 3 12 7 1 2 1
4 8,000 4 13 8 2 3 2
5 16,000 5 13 9 2 3 2
6 32,000 6 14 10 2 3 3
7 64,000 7 15 11 3 4 3
8 128,000 8 15 12 3 4 4
9 256,000 9 16 13 3 4 4
10 512,000 10 17 14 4 5 5
11+ +300000/level 10 17 14 4 5 5

Class Features

Combat Machine

When one of your attacks reduces an opponent to zero or negative hit points, you may immediately make another attack with that weapon on an opponent.

Augmented Combat Slots

In addition to the basic combat options, you have access to more potent combat options – Only one combat option may be used per round. When you gain a Strong slot, choose one of the following options:

  1. Protective: As a standard action, you may protect an adjacent character until the start of your next turn. Anyone attacking the adjacent character must make a saving throw or instead target you.
  2. Brutish: As part of a successful melee attack, you may push your opponent backwards ten feet (save negates) and move into the space formerly occupied by that opponent.
  3. Tenacious: With a successful dexterity roll, you can cling to and climb huge opponents (e.g. dragons, purple worms, sneaky hydras, etc.). While hanging on you gain double combat leverage (+4 AV and +4 damage). Re-rolls may be required at the Referee’s discretion.
  4. Frenzied: As a standard action you can work yourself into a battle frenzy. While frenzying you gain +2 AV and +2 damage in melee, but -3 AC. When the battle is over, you must save or for another round must continue attacking the closest creature.
  5. Tactical: With a small verbal instruction, you grant ally a +4 AV bonus until the end of combat. You may use this ability once per combat.
  6. Inspiring: With a small verbal declaration, you grant all allies close by (15 foot radius) +1 AV, +1 MT, and +1 ST. Instead of bolstering your allies, you may instill fear in your enemies, giving them -1 AV, -1 MT, and -1 ST. These effects last until the end of combat. You may use this ability once per combat.
  7. Versatile: Instead of moving, you may make a one-handed melee attack and a one-handed ranged attack.
  8. Cunning: You may spend the round parrying and looking for an opening to attack. During a round spent parrying, you gain +2 AC. On the following round you may choose to either continue parrying or attack with combat leverage – double combat leverage (+4 AV and damage) if you spent 1 round parrying and triple combat leverage (+6 AV and damage) if you spent two consecutive rounds parrying. In any round you spend parrying, if you take damage, you lose your opportunity and gain no combat leverage the following round.
  9. Terrifying: When you charge an opponent that has HD equal to half or less than your HD (rounded up), that opponent must make a morale check or be routed.
  10. Defensive: You gain +1 AC.
  11. Durable: Once per combat, when you would take damage, you may sacrifice an item in hand (or a hand itself) to reduce that damage by 1d6 HP.

Victor’s Cunning

When you deliver the killing blow to a creature, you may claim and hold a single power of that enemy (as derived from the enemy’s keyword):

  • A special attack or trick
  • A substance extracted from a monster’s body
  • A supernatural ability, transferred somehow through the act of killing

The specifics of the claimed power is on a per situation agreement between you and the Referee. You may claim and hold one monster at a time. For each claim you may use this power a number of times equal to the character’s level.

Martial Prowess

Strong characters gain additional benefits for high strength and constitution. For strength 13+ you gain +1 melee damage, and for 16+, you gain +1 AV. For constitution 13+ you gain +1 HP, and for 16+ you gain another +1 HP.

Combat Reflexes

You may make a number of opportunity attacks equal to your level.

Combat Training

You may use, without penalty, any armor and any weapon.

Combat Savvy

You gain a +4 saving throw (ST) bonus against special melee attacks.

Physical Resiliency

You gain +1 saving throw (ST) bonus against poison and death.

Relying on training and wits, deft characters are often (but not limited to) burglars, skulks, ninjas, spies, mountebanks, street rats, or assassins.

The Wise

Table 119: The Wise Progression
Level XP HD AV ST Slots Groups Raises
1 0 1+1 10 6 1 2 0
2 2,500 2 11 7 1 2 1
3 5,000 2+1 11 8 2 2 1
4 10,000 3 11 9 2 3 2
5 20,000 4 12 10 3 3 2
6 40,000 4+1 12 11 3 3 3
7 80,000 5 12 12 4 4 3
8 160,000 6 13 13 4 4 4
9 320,000 6+1 13 14 5 4 4
10 640,000 7 13 15 5 5 5
11+ +320000/level 7 13 15 5 5 5

Class Features

Combat Versatility

You have miraculous powers; They could be magic or sciences that appears to be magical. Your vocation describes how you perform these miracles (i.e. song, conjurations, prayers, ritual, spells, pacts, etc.)

Each miracle is written with a few words (e.g. Excellent Prismatic Spray; Hand of God; Servant of Wind; Demon Scourge; Unstable Concoctions; Healing Touch; Infernal Pact etc.). A single miracle can have different manifestationsThe details of each manifestation is established through agreement with the Referee.

Invoking a miracle is taxing; based on the desired effect, miracle wording, vocation, and prior precedence the Referee decides the HP cost (between 1 and 14 HP) and any additional costs. You may negotiate a lower HP cost by sacrificing rare reagents, extending the casting time, taking on a drawback, etc. You may never attempt a miracle that could drop you below 0 HP (see Magic and Miracles for more details).

When you gain a miracle slot choose two miracles; One is active and the other inactive. You may swap out inactive miracle for an active miracle by spending a day of studying, concentrating, and preparing.

You gain one extra inactive miracle slot for a wisdom score above 13, and two for a wisdom score 16 above.

Altered Physiology

You recover hit points at twice the normal rate. However, you never regain hit points from spells, medicine, or skilled treatment.

Light Armor Preference

You receive a -2 AV penalty when using two-handed melee weapons or missile weapons. This penalty does not apply when you use a quarterstaff, crossbow, or musket. While wearing shields or armor heavier than leather (AC 2), your miracles cost double the hit points.

Magic Resilience

You Gain +2 saving throw (ST) against magic and mind influencing abilities.