Friday, August 14, 2015

New Class: Really Good Dog

So, here's my dog class.

I'm still thinking about class duets--two players that play closely linked characters.  In this case, a PC and their loyal dog.  It's more one-sided than the Brute/Rider classes I posted earlier, since all of the duet abilities are piled onto the dog.

Here are all of the class abilities.

by Sandara
Really Good Dog

You're a Dog
You can't hold things in your hands. You can't climb ropes or ladders. Your Movement is 15 (Human Movement is 12). Your bite attack counts as either a dagger, sword, or greatsword (your choice, each bite). You do not start with any items. You can follow (most) scents, and recognize scents you've encountered before.  You can understand the words of your fellow PCs and those that your fellow PCs are talking to (via body cues and doggy intuition), but if you are interacting with NPCs alone, you are pretty clueless.  You understand Common, but cannot speak it.  You speak Canine fluently.

You're an amazingly intelligent dog: roll Int normally, but be aware that this is doggy Intelligence, and isn't suitable for all things.  For example, you can spot a trap, count coins, or remember a location you haven't been to in years.  However, you can never solve linguistic puzzles or use tools, because smart dogs aren't smart in that way.

Best Friend
Pick a best friend. You both get +1 Defense and +1 Save when fighting beside each other. This designation is permanent (until story/DM say otherwise).  If your Best Friend dies, you can pick a new one after playing 1 full session as a sad, sad dog.

Best Friends Fight As One!
If you and your Best Friend attack the same enemy simultaneously, and both attacks hit, the enemy takes an additional +1d6 damage.

Best Friends Never Give Up!
If your Best Friend is ever at 0 HP, you can lick their face to restore 1d6+1 HP.  If your Best Friend is ever paralyzed, mind-controlled, raging, or otherwise out of control, you can lick/bite them (whichever is more appropriate) to give them a new save against the effect.  Only works on things that allow saves in the first place.

When you wag your tail, you cast a version of charm person that only works on children and +Luka Rejec.

While unarmored and able to defend yourself, you get a bonus to your AC equal to your level, to a maximum of +6.

Scent the Ineffable
As detect poison, detect evil, detect magic, or detect undead except you cannot decipher magic items and the range is limited to 1', except for detect undead where the range is 30'.

Dog Quest
At a certain point, you will attract the attention of the Dog Barons.  They will give you a quest to prove your doggishness.  Example quests include killing a Cat Prince (rakshasa) who is hiding in town somewhere, digging into a forgotten barrow and returning with the femur from the wight king who was buried there, or rescuing some asshole prince who fell down a well in orcish territory.  (This will probably involve the other PCs chasing after you shouting "Where are you going, boy?  Come back!")

If you refuse or fail this quest, you will be shunned by the Dog Clans of the cities.  If you succeed, you will win allies among the Dog Clans, and can call on their help in the cities.  Examples of help: gossip, relaying messages, safe houses, and in certain circumstances--a whole pack of mangy street dogs who will fight for you.

An enemy who can hear you must Save vs Fear or be unable to attack or approach you until your next turn. Doesn't work if you are running away, restrained, or non-threatening.  Doesn't work on things with 2 or more HD than you.

Sniff the Air
10 in-game minutes before the DM rolls for wandering monsters, he also rolls for wandering scents.  The DM rolls on the wandering monster table and describes what one of the monsters smells like.  If you've encountered that type of monster before, you can identify it.  (Communicating the information, however, might be tricky.)

When you bite an opponent no larger than a human, you can make a trip maneuver for free. 

Talking Dog
Through magic or mutation, you can now talk.

Epic Nose
You can track anything that passed through here in the last 100 years without error, as long as you know what it smells like.

by Ben Wootten
Playing A Really Good Dog in Your Home Game

Honestly, not being able to communicate effectively, use tools, or even climb a fucking ladder are pretty big disadvantages in my book.  So, I recommend basing the Really Good Dog on a fighter, minus any special fightery abilities (like Parry or Cleave).

Then add this stuff.

Level 1 - You're a Dog, Best Friend, Wag, Dodge
Level 2 - Sniff the Air, Best Friends Fight As One!
Level 3 - Scent the Ineffable, Dog Quest
Level 4 -Takedown, Best Friends Never Give Up!
Level 5 - Talking Dog OR Epic Nose

Also, ask your DM if you can roll up a weird dog from Zak's Table of Weird Dogs.

from Dragon Age
Playing a Really Good Dog in Centerra

You're probably a Brynthic Hound, one of the immortal warrior-dogs that get passed down through generations of warrior-families like heirloom swords.


  1. Wag tail doesn't only work on children. It also works on me.

  2. I have often enjoyed role playing challenges, and this looks like one I'd love to try -- sometime in the future when family/work obligations allow me to meet with a group regularly.

  3. I love this. I think I'm going to find a reason for one of my players to have a NPC dog companion. Yeah, that li'l dwarven druid needs a dog.

  4. I did this for Apocalypse World. A friend of mine wrote a playbook (read: class) for A Boy & His Dog not knowing anything about the Ray Bradbury story and I countered by writing a Dog playbook.

    Actually, I think The Dog playbook for Apocalypse World is the best thing I've ever written.

    1. A Boy and His Dog is by H. Ellison (who never gets enough credit). The ending is too fucked up to be a Bradbury story.

      And that Dog Playbook is fantastic.

    2. Shit, you're right! I always mix Ellison and Bradbury in my head up for some reason.

  5. Hi. I would love to convert this for Tunnels & Trolls. If I credit you with the original design, can I convert it and share it in a T&T forum and zine?