Monday, October 26, 2015

New Class: Divine Concubine

This class was born because (a) I wanted to have a concubine class, and (b) I wanted to have a pacifist class.  So this is basically a fusion.

+Scrap Princess pointed me at a game called Undertale, and one of the cool things about the game is that you can complete the game without killing anyone.  And while this has been possible in other games via stealth (Deus Ex, Metal Gear Solids), Undertale is unique in that you can talk your way through combat.  You eventually convince your opponent to stop attacking you.

So, is my hippy whore class.  There's no sex mechanics, thank god, but even then, this class isn't going to appeal to all parties.

Leading a skeleton back to his crypt after calling him by name is poetic and cool, but how many GMs name their skeletons?  Or have systems in place for figuring out where a skeleton's proper resting place is?  At the very worst, the concubine will be reading names off tombstones like a role call.

Actually, I'm okay with that.

And pacify is a potentially powerful skill, but I'm worried about how well it scales.  It basically attacks a different HP pool, which means that it's wasted on Godzilla (who will die from HP damage first, from the other party members), but it's great for convincing lone goblins to throw down their swords and cry green tears of repentance.  But that's also as it should be.  Pacifists shouldn't have very many tools against Godzilla. . .

. . . except you read the text for pain split, and realize that they actually have a pretty good answer for Godzilla..


Divine Concubines in Centerra

They're basically temple prostitutes.  Except you can't call them prostitutes, because prostitution is illegal in all the places that the Church oversees.  They have a moral monopoly on extramarital sex.

This outrages a lot of people (justifiably), but any attempts to attack the institution of the Church's concubines is met with a lot of resistance, because the concubines are incredibly popular.

So lots of people use them to get off in a guilt-free way.  So that's probably the primary use of them.  But for many people, they're also their psychiatrist, their doctor, and their astrologer.  They are intensely empathetic people, and they genuinely care about the men and women who walk into their boudoirs.

Because for some of those people, their concubine is their only friend.

Concubines also accompany missionaries--they are great proselytizers.

And other concubines are believed to be spies for the Church.  (Or if you believe the rumors: all concubines are.)

Divine Concubine Class

As always, base this off a cleric class and just strip away the spellcasting and turn undead.

In a way, the concubine is sort of an anti-cleric or anti-paladin.  While the cleric terrifies the undead, the concubine soothes them.  While the paladin smites evil in the face, the concubine sits it down to talk about their feelings.

I'm going to use feminine pronouns, but divine concubines can be whatever gender you want.

Class Abilities

1 - Pacify, Beautiful
2 - First Kiss
3 - Life Share, Intimacy
4 - Immaculate
5 - Pain Split
6 - Last Massage
7 - Immunity to Disease

Pacify 
The words of a divine concubine can erode a target's desire to fight, even in the midst of combat.  Creatures have a pool of conviction points that function like hit points, and a morale check that functions like armor class.  If a divine concubine spends their entire turn doing nothing but verbally attempting to dissuade that target from violence, the target must make a morale check.  If they fail, they lose 1d6 conviction points.  Once a creature has no more conviction points left, it becomes unwilling to attack the divine concubine or her allies.  It sheathes its weapon and becomes receptive to talk.

A rational reason for non-combat always works, but you could also try compliments, appeals to honor, begging, etc.  Each time you attempt to pacify a creature, you must provide a different justification.

If the creature is simultaneously being threatened or attacked by the concubine's allies, the pacification damage is halved.

I like to put morale on a 1-to-20 scale, so I can do a roll-under mechanic for it.  Under this, the average bandit has a morale of 10, a cowardly goblin has a morale of 6, and a determined demon has a morale of 14.  But feel free to use the 2d6 morale if that's your thing.

Each odd-numbered level, the conviction damage of this ability increases by 1 die size, up to 1d12 at level 7.

This ability is limited by communication (language, range of hearing, sentience, etc).  You can't talk an ooze out of attacking, for example.

Beautiful 
Anyone that damages a divine concubine must make a save at the beginning of their next turn.  If they fail, they are unwilling to attack the divine concubine for one round.  If the concubine or her allies are being aggressive, the target gets a +4 bonus on this save.

First Kiss
Your kisses function as a charm person spell.

Life Share 
While touching a willing ally, you can redistribute HP, curses, diseases, or poisons as you see fit.  You can only redistribute one of these per round. (This is mostly an inter-PC ability.  NPCs will be very wary of using this ability, and charm person is not sufficient to get a person to accept a curse, poison, or disease.)

Immaculate 
Mindless undead are not aggressive towards a divine concubine; they will not attack if merely disturbed.  They will still attack if you behave aggressively or disturb something they are charged with protecting.  This protection does not extend to your allies.  And of course, they will attack if their necromancer gives them a direct order.

If you address them by name, they will allow themselves to be led to their proper resting place, but nowhere else.

Sentient undead know and respect divine concubines, and will usually attack them last.  Or at least, give her an opportunity to flee after killing all her companions.

Pain Split 
You touch an unwilling creature.  If they fail a save, both your HP total and your target's HP total are set to the average of both of your totals.  This cannot increase HP beyond your maximum.  (Example: You have 4 HP and touch an ogre with 20 HP.  After the ogre fails its save, you both have 12 HP.)

Last Massage 
If you give someone the final massage, they must make a save vs heart attack 1d6 turns later.  A final massage takes 10 minutes, and cannot be performed on unwilling targets.  This usually takes the form of a foot massage.

Intimacy

Yes, this includes sex, but it actually includes any activity that meets the following criteria:

  • Peaceful.  (Everyone must be non-aggressive and receptive.)
  • Vulnerable.  Everyone must be unarmed and unarmored.  (This includes magical protections.)
  • Willing.  (You cannot coerce someone into intimacy with threats/promises to ulterior motives.)
  • At least one hour of talking. (Though the total activity can take longer).
Intimacy can have one of the following effects.  
  • Target receives the results of a commune spell (once per day).  Requires level 3.
  • Remove 1d3 Insanity Points (once per adventure).  Requires level 5.
  • Target gets a new save against an ongoing curse.  Requires level 7.
  • Plant a suggestion (with a -4 penalty on the save).  Requires level 4.
  • Concubine learns a secret desire of the target.  Requires level 4.
  • Concubine learns a secret weakness of the target.  Requires level 4.
  • Concubine and target form a bond.  Requires level 3.
The concubine can have as many bonds as they have concubine levels.  Bonds confer the following effects, all of which are mutual.
  • charm effect.  (Cannot work against each other's best interests.)
  • can sense direction, distance, mood, and health of the others.
Lastly, target's who have bonded with the concubine and are within 20' of her get +2 save against any negative mind-affecting effect.  If they suffer from a permanent insanity, the effects are also suppressed (but not removed).

4 comments:

  1. I love it. Goblin Punch rules the airwaves, oh showing my age, Goblin Punch rules the web.


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  2. This is 100% my favorite PnP blog. Every idea on this site is a fantastic read.

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  3. I sense Chansey/Blissey here. Very interesting and very useful! :)

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  4. Nice class. I'd love to collect a few other classes like this and run a low-combat sword n' sorcery campaign (Primeval Thule would be a good setting). Any ideas for others?

    There is an excellent example of a Divine Concubine in Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

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