Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Classes: Brute Rider and Rideable Brute

This is another brainstorming session.

I'm trying to invent paired classes: two players choose two characters that have highly complimentary abilities.  Or even co-dependent abilities.

from Bioshock
Rideable Brute

Even even level, increase the damage you deal with non-magical 2-handed weapons by +1.  Except for magic hammers.  You can still use magic hammers and get the bonus.

Double your HP.  Double your rate of non-magical healing.  You cannot wear armor.  You get -2 AC.

Whenever you kill something with a blunt weapon, you can make a free attack roll against a target within 30'.  Note that you aren't cutting two people in half with one swing, you're smacking goblins into goblins, or knocking a orc's head across the room like a fanged golfball.  Usable only 1/round.

Whenever you shove or trip someone in combat, your Rider (if any) gets a free attack roll against them.

Extra Carrying Capacity
Treat your Strength as 4 points higher when calculating carrying capacity.

Party Crasher
Whenever you initiate combat by breaking down a door and barging into a room, you reduce all damage you take by 3 for one turn, and your Brute Rider can make a free attack.

Dramatic Exit
This is the equivalent of Gandalf and the Balrog falling off the bridge together.  At the end of a charge, you can make an opposed Str check against a target instead of an attack roll.  If you succeed, you grapple the target and charge offstage.  The target dies 90% of the time; the other 10% of the time it returns later on to piss you off.  You remain offstage until your Rider whistles you back (see below).  If you have a rider, they are forced to hop off or suffer the same 90% die chance.  You can only use this ability when there is a place to dramatically charge to, such as a deep pit, a dark and stormy sea, or a green devil face.

by Wildweasel339
Brute Rider

Dramatic Whistle
When you whistle, your a Rideable Brute who is offstage (from using Dramatic Exit) has a 50% chance to return in an equally dramatic fashion (usually busting through the wall).  You can use this whistle once every 10 minutes, but never in the same room twice.  This provokes a random encounter check as usual for noise--but if this whistle results in both the Brute and a random encounter happening, both of those parties bust into the room already mid-combat (and probably with the brute trying to ride the elephant-snake or something).

Knee Chokehold
If you successfully pin a target, you can climb up on their shoulders and wrap your legs around their neck.  In this position, you can instantly choke them unconscious or even kill them.  You can do these things even as a reaction, when it's not your turn, fast enough to interrupt another person's action.  You usually use this ability to coerce unwilling creatures into being your mount.

Motivate the Brute
Whenever you are riding a Rideable Brute and get a critical hit with a weapon, your brute immediately gets an extra attack (but not any movement).

Instead of rolling to save against an AoE effect, you can instead choose to avoid it all together, by jumping 1d4 * 10' in a random direction.

Fancy Rider 
When you are riding something and wearing a fancy hat, you get an additional +1 to hit and AC (in addition to the +1 to hit and AC you normally get for riding on a tall steed).  Remember that you cannot attack people on the ground with short weapons (like daggers).

If your Rideable Brute (or other ogre-sized thing) throws you, you travel up to 50' and take no collision damage if you successfully hit your target, or alternatively, make a Dexterity check.  If you hit a target at the end of this, you can add the Rideable Brute's Str bonus to the damage.  Treat this as a charge (among other things, you deal double damage with a lance).

Magic Drugs
Once per day, you can give some drugs.  Target must be willing, or you must be able to stuff drugs up their nose somehow.  You can use this ability an additional time every odd level (so 2/day at level 3, etc).

List of Magic Drugs

1. Rouse - Wakes a sleeping person and makes them immune to sleep for 24 hours.  They still become exhausted as usual, though.  Dying creatures also stabilize and wake up.

2. Rage - Identical to a barbarians rage.  (You probably have your own ruleset, but I like +2 to hit, +2 to damage, immune to fear and pain, cannot do anything defensive or tactical, and cannot stop raging until all enemies are defeated.)

3. Opiate - Target gets +1d8 temporary HP.  The next day, their maximum HP is decreased by the same amount, to a minimum of 1.

4. Bath Salts - Target becomes immune to emotions.  The first time they take damage while in this state, there is a 1-in-6 chance that they fly into a rage (see above) except that they'll attack a random person in front of them and try to eat their face.  (People riding on their back don't count.)  Regardless, this effect ends after 1d6 minutes.

5. Amphetamines - Target increases their movement by +6 for 10 minutes.  (So a human could run as fast as a horse.)  Afterwards, they get -6 movement for 1 hour.  (So a human's speed would be halved.)

by Casey Parkhurst

Well, I like the flavor.

Huge HP, super-shitty AC is fun.  I've played with a similar rule for my homebrew barbarians (I call it loincloth HP) and so far it hasn't pissed me off you.

The Brute's abilities all point to a very specific playstyle: kick down the door, start shoving people, and then tackle people off a cliff.  I worry that it might be too restrictive, but hopefully, the people who play this class desire exactly that type of play.

The Rider's abilities are a little less cohesive.  Carry a spiral lance, shove drugs down the nose of your Brutesteed, and prepare to get thrown now and then.  The Knee Chokehold isn't mechanically very impressive (it's just putting a gun to someone's head and telling them to carry you around and do what you say), but spelling it out like that reinforces the option enough that players might see that as a first resort, which is potentially cool.

The most interesting ability on this page, though, is the Dramatic Whistle / Dramatic Exit pairing.  It sort of plays around with the idea that there is a place called "offstage" (something shared with my doppleganger class).  Yes, gamist.  Yes, storygamey.  But it looks hella fun (Blarguntharg tackled the illithid into the bottomless pit; we're done here but we need to wander around the dungeon looking for him and whistling.) and I don't think it's OP, given how restrictive it is.  (How many mechanics require a bottomless pit to be nearby?)

by Matt Kohr
Using This Stuff In Your Game

Oh, jeez.

Base it on the cleric's numbers, but drop the clericish abilities.  Then they get abilities at these levels:

Rideable Brute
Level 1 - Meatbag, Mosh, Extra Carrying Capacity
Level 2 - Brutish
Level 3 - Party Crasher
Level 4 - Cleave??
Level 5 - Dramatic Exit

Brute Rider
Level 1- Eject, Magic Drugs, Fancy Rider
Level 2 - Motivate the Brute
Level 3 - Knee Chokehold
Level 4 - Throwable
Level 5 - Dramatic Whistle

That arrangement ensures that they both get a cooperative ability every other level.


Yes, the classic one is a goblin riding an ogre.  But why not a little girl riding a pygmy dragon?  Or a mosquito man riding his enormous wife?  Or a mutant baby riding a giant mutant baby?  Season to taste.
by Pabelbilly


  1. Hmmm. 90% chance of death. I dunno man. No save?

  2. I'd like to see some sort of penalty/consequence/heartbreaking passage about what happens if Rider's Brute/Brute's Rider dies, and a mechanic for how a Rider summons/tames a new Brute. (What becomes of the Bruteless Rider, who had love that's now departed?) I'm assuming Brutes who lose their Riders become servants at Winterfell.

    I would hate to see Dramatic Exit used as a free headshot insta-kill against the Big Bad. (Don't Big Bads always have bottomless pits around?)

    A few ideas:

    1) Have some kind of failure mechanism in there. If the Brute fails the opposed Strength check, he still goes off-stage until the Rider can execute a Dramatic Whistle. In game terms, he charges at the opponent, who either dodges (sending the Brute careening through a wall, Kool-Aid Man style) or, in a jaw-dropping display of strength and power, flings the Brute off-stage.

    2) Give the victim a saving throw, as Timothy suggested. If he makes his save, he survives but disappears (same as what happens the "10% of the time" when he returns later to piss you off).

    3) Have the Brute take as much damage as the victim has HP. If the victim has more HP than the Brute, the Brute dies, and the victim takes as much damage as the Brute has HP. (This could lead to Brute kamikaze attacks against opponents with insanely high HP... which are also cool.) I love the idea of the Brute and victim disappearing off stage and only one of them eventually returning, bloody but victorious. Also sets up the dramatic scene where the Brute walks in with a big grin, then falls down dead, and the Rider screams Noooooooo!

    A sixth Magic Drug, just so you can 1D6 them:

    6. Ambien - Target instantly falls asleep for 8 + 1D6 hours. Cancels the effects of other Magic Drugs. Upon waking, target regains double their normal hit points from rest. (Brutes already are doubled, so this would be quadrupled). Can only be awakened earlier using magical means (including Rouse) or upon taking damage, but then no hit point recovery bonus.

    Finally, all Brutes should have a bonus while fighting groups.