Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Mariner Class

Since I haven't given up yet on my Earthsea-meets-Gygax-meets-Clash of the Titans island-hopping setting, I've been looking for a class to represent the corsairs and mighty ship captain. In Castles & Crusades, there is no Mariner class, so I thought I'd try to create one:

A homebrew class for Castles & Crusades

The Mariner is the intrepid explorer of the wild sea, the pirate bent on destruction, the ship's captain determined to take the fight to the enemy. They fight hard, play hard, and are masters of maneuvering, conflict, and wisdom upon the waves.


Master of the Sea: Mariners will always know which direction is true north, so long as they have even a partly clear sky to reference. They may make a WIS rolls (adding their Mariner level in) when at sea to determine the weather for the next 24 hours as well as their best course and heading.

Fight the Ship: In ship-to-ship combat, the Mariner adds his level plus Wisdom modifier to any maneuvering or attack rolls.

Sea Tracking: Be it an enemy ship or a leviathan of the deep, Mariners may make a Wisdom check (adding in their Mariner level) to successfully pursue and follow their objective over the waves.

Sea Legs: At 1st Level, the Mariner gets a +1 to Melee/Ranged Attack rolls when fighting on a ship. This increases to a +2 at Level 4, and a +3 at Level 8.

Sailor's Lore: Much like bards are founts of knowledge on land, the Mariner frequently hears legends and lore both onboard and in every port of call. They add their level modifier into an INT check to see if they have some potentially useful knowledge of a specific island, port, or ocean body. They may also use this skill to discern details in regards to an opposing vessel, crew, or other nautical manner.

Boarding Action: Mariners thrive in the chaotic combat that comes from a ship-to-ship boarding action. At 3rd level, they gain a free unarmed attack with their off hand at a no penalty against an opponent they just made an attack against. Regular attack bonuses apply.

Brawl: On board or in port, Mariners know how to hold their own in an impromptu brawl. When unarmored or in cloth armor, the Mariner receives a +1 to AC.

True Swashbuckler: At 10th level, the Mariner gains the ability upon killing or incapacitating a foe to make a second attack on a neighboring foe. This is usable only with one-handed melee weapons.

Prime Attribute: Wisdom
Typical Races: Any
Alignment: Any
Starting Gold: 3d4x10
Hit Die: d8
Weapons: Any one-handed
Armor: Prefers non-metal armor, especially when at sea.
Abilities: Fight the Ship, Sea Legs, Sailor's Lore, Boarding Action, Brawl, True Swashbuckler

Mariner Level Progression
Level HD BtH EPP
1 D8 0 0
2 D8 +1 2201
3 D8 +2 5001
4 D8 +3 9001
5 D8 +4 18001
6 D8 +5 35001
7 D8 +6 70001
8 D8 +7 140001
9 D8 +8 300001
10 D8 +9 425001
11 +3 +10 650001
12 +3 +11 900001

(Sorry for the formatting on the advancement chart; trust me, it looked uglier when I was messing with it before).

Thanks to the folks at the Troll Lord Games forum for helping with some tweaks! Next up: revamping my Scholar class.


Carl said...

Nice. And good to see someone reference Earthsea; long one of my biggest fantasy influences, I rarely see it get mentioned in the rpg context.

anarchist said...

Have you seen Mazes & Minotaurs? It has a few random tables which seem relevant to your campaign idea.

Zachary The First said...

@Carl: I believe Luke Crane of Burning Wheel has mentioned it on occasion, but you're right, it's strangely absent from much of the hobby.

@anarchist: I have indeed! Good reference.