Saturday, August 15, 2015

Brute of Burden & Brute Rider

Two new, complimentary Race as Class sort-of-things. Totally copped from Arnold, here.

[He made me do this…]

This is written with LotFP in mind. Season to taste.

Brute of Burden
A Brute of Burden is any hulking, vaguely man shaped thing, which is willing(ish) to be ridden around by a small demanding creature (the Brute Rider). They usually stand between 7’ and 8’ tall and weigh 350-450 lbs (so like bear/ogre sized). They require 3x the normal allotment of food and water. Your brute can be whatever you think is cool.

I’ve been on a “classes should get three things, and only three things” kick lately.

Gremlin and Huge Sea Urchin

Here are the four things Brutes get:

1 | Brutally Stupid
The Brute’s Strength Modifier is considered to be 2 points higher than it otherwise would have been. If you use stat checks, make the Brute’s Str. score the minimum necessary to get that modifier. Max of 19.
The Brute’s Intelligence Modifier is considered to be 2 points lower than it otherwise would have been. If you use stat checks, make the Brute’s Int. score the maximum necessary to get that modifier. Min of 2. 2 Int. indicates the Brute is barely vocal. Grunt. Point. Monosyllables.

2 | Meat Slab
1d8+6 serves as the Brute’s Hit Dice. However, because of his/her/its ponderous size, the Brute has a base AC of 10.

While Specialty barding could be constructed, it would be prohibitively expensive and probably unnecessary.

During battle, the Brute can choose to forcibly remove ANY corporeal combatant so long as that combatant is the Brute’s size or smaller. (Bear, Bugbear, Giant Bug: Yes. Dragon, Titan, Kraken: No.) The Brute takes the combatant out somewhere where the Brute doesn’t have to worry about SMASHING everyone else, and tries to murder the thing or person. The Rider should dismount.

The Brute has a 40%+(10%/Level) chance of being successful in the murder, and a 40%(+10%/Level) chance of surviving the attempt. Nothing is resolved until the Rider Calls (see below) for his/her Brute.

Should the Rider elect to stay mounted, the murder chance increases by 10%, but both Rider and Brute must roll to survive (separately, each have the same chance). In this case, the survivors return to the rest of the Party in 1d12 minutes.

All which survive the ordeal turn up with 1 HP and have seen some crazy shit.


3 | Bear Hug
Brute of Burden gets two, unarmed 1d4 attacks each round. If both attacks hit, the victim is held by the Brute. So long as the victim is held, the Rider gets an automatic attack against the victim (just roll damage). To escape, the victim must successfully attack the Brute AND the Brute must miss an attack. Brute's attacks only hold the victim. He/she/it must use both attacks each round for Bear Hugging.

Other Stuff. Advances as Dwarf. Saves are 18 on everything except Poison, which is 13. Poison save goes down by 1 every odd level: lvl 3 = 12, lvl 5 = 11, etc. Standard Non-fighter +1 BAB.

Suggested Brutes:

“Intelligent” Bear (easily distracted by food, head may become stuck in honeypot…)
Dogheaded Piebald Ape (despite grotesque appearance demands polite treatment)
Leathery Slug-thing (tentacle-ish arms, salt causes 1d4 damage, can’t be tripped, preachy vegetarian, torpid disposition)
Boring Red Ogre (has some boring hobby, will not shut up about it)
Huge Sea Urchin (pink flamingo legs, bald spot for riding, no arms [body slam attack], eats algae, always psychically blathering about eating algae)

Brute Rider
A Brute Rider is any diminutive, vaguely humanoid thing that has learned how effectively ride around on bigger folks. They are between 3½’ and 4½’ tall, typically on the scrawny side. Most sport unusually well developed thigh muscles. Riders must wield medium weapons in both hands, with the exception of spears, javelins, and very light lances while mounted.

Things Riders Get:

1 | Brute Riding
Riders are capable of riding any willing creature of a Brutish size. Unwilling thinking beings CANNOT be controlled. Unwilling beings of animal intelligence may be ridden: the Rider must make two successful Ridding Attacks in a row. (Treat as normal attacks which do no damage. First attack gets the rider mounted. Second attack gets him/her seated well enough to hold on until the Brute accepts the new arrangement. Getting bucked does 1d4 damage to Rider [i.e. missing on the second Riding Attack].) Unwilling intelligent Brutes can be ridden but not controlled.

While mounted on a Brute, Riders get +1 to hit and +2 to AC.

The loyalty of an animal intelligence Brute is dependent upon how well they are treated.

2 | Call Brute –
If the Rider currently has a loyal Brute, the Rider can summon his/her Brute from up to 1 mile away by making an appropriate vocalization/noise. (Whistling, grunting, striking a gong, blowing a special conch, screaming “Here Boy!”, etc.) If the Brute is currently DESTROYing someone, the brute arrives in 1d6 minutes; otherwise, the Brute simply gets there ASAP.

3 | Brute Mounted Maneuvers
  • Leaping Dismount – Riders can instantly dismount and bound up to 10’ away from their Brutes. This adds 4+1/lvl to any saves where getting the fuck back would be useful. Dismount is declared before the save is rolled... Seriously, Brute Riders’ legs are like crazy strong.
  • Goad Brute – This Maneuver requires the Rider to sacrifice his/her/its attack for the round. The Rider knows just how to push the Brute into a wild swinging frenzy, +1 to hit +2 to damage on Brute’s attack. However, if the Brute misses, the opponent gets an automatic attack (just roll damage).
  • Meat Shield – This maneuver requires the consent of a loyal Brute. Once per combat, any blow that would have landed on the Rider can instead be taken by the Brute. Must be declared before the damage is rolled.
Other Stuff. Advances as Halfling. 1d6 HD (2 min starting HP). Saves are 17 on everything except Paralysis, which is 14. Paralysis save goes down by 1 every odd level: lvl 3 = 13, lvl 5 = 12, etc. Standard Non-fighter +1 BAB.

Suggested Brute Riders:

Gremlin (spiny, big nose, loudly complains about everything)
Shrimpy Goblin (exactly as advertised)
Space Baby (crown of antennas grows from big baby head, born to rule, glows slightly, eats silver)
Fairy Cursed Giant (very bitter about small size, terrible Napoleon complex, incredibly petty)
Rogue Brownie (kicked out of the brownie union, will not help with chores, scandalous alcoholic)


It’s pretty much assumed that both of these classes will be in use at the same time, at least until somebody dies. They’re complimentary, but one does not necessitate the other. I like that.

The relationship dynamic between the PCs will probably become really interesting. It could easily grow antagonistic or more cooperative through play. That’s nice.

I really hope that if these twin classes get used, people come up with weird-fun rider/brute combinations. I totally want to know if yous guys do.

Are you happy, +Arnold K.?