Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kick-Ass Music for Your Gaming!

I dig heavy metal.  Nothing puts me in the mood to slay dragons and ogres like power chords and guitar solos.  Recently I discovered a band from Canada called Scythia.  If a bunch of 20th level Pathfinder bards formed a band, it would be Scythia.  They play a fist-pumping sound that has been called "folk metal".  Lots of fantasy themes abound.  Check out their video for the song "Bear Claw Tavern".

In honor of their upcoming album, here is my homebrew class for the favorite old school role-playing game of your choice.

Bear Warrior - Variant of the fighter

There exists a clan of bears that have mastered the speech of man.  They are ferocious warriors, often hired as mercenaries.  They use no weapons save their claws but they manufacture armor that is superior to the work of men.  Their strength is legendary, but their temperament unpredictable.

Treat a Bear Warrior as a fighter with the following changes:

+3 to strength
-3 to charisma

Hit die - d10

Weapons permitted - claws only (1d8+1).
Armor - unarmored bears are tougher than humans, therefore treat an unarmored bear as having leather armor.  Bears may only wear Bear Armor.

Bear Armor - Bear armor is made specifically for bears.  It is individualized and can only be used by the bear that it is made for.  Bear armor gives the wearer -2 [+2] to their AC.  Bear armor requires regular maintenance.  At the end of a session, the character must pay 5% of xp earned in gold to repair their armor or it cannot be worn.

Other rules - Bear Warriors can use tools, open doors, etc.  Their claws act like human hands.  However, bears shun human weapons as inferior to their natural strength.  Any bear using a weapon takes a -2 penalty.  GMs should also consider not awarding xp to bears who continue to use human weapons.  Bears may be hired, but may never hire henchmen or have followers.  Bears speak common and can also speak to animals.

Thanks to Scythia and Philip Pullman for inspiration.