by T.A. Saunders ©2013 v1.0
- The classification of rogue covers a wide-variety of professions all having to do with some measure of cunning and trickery. While some of the paths one might take could be considered disreputable, there can be no argument that a need for such individuals exist, where open warfare or brute force are simply not preferred. The tools of their trade are wit, intimidation, stealth and speed and will almost always prefer a fight on advantageous ground, rather than in an open field where they can be compromised. Rogues are both highly coveted in certain underworld circles and reviled in civilized society, save for bards who have charmed their way into the hearts of every kingdom and republic, despite their rakish reputations. For this reason few rogues openly announce themselves as such, preferring to drape their profession under other more ‘friendly’ monikers, while others outright lie about how they put food in their bellies. The rogue profession offers four paths: Assassin, Bard, Swashbuckler and Thief.
- Class Trees
- Assassin: A highly trained killer for hire, the assassin is the coveted expert in matters where a single death can change the course of a war or topple a financial dynasty. Always the consummate professional, assassin kill their targets silently from either afar or close up and can escape tangled situations if a job goes bad. Killing their targets quickly, silently and without leaving a trace are the hallmarks of their profession. Assassins favor light, easy to conceal weapons and prefer to wear light weight armors (depending on the materials use, assassins can use more protective armor if the material is light enough).
- Bard: Minstrel, entertainer and jack-of-all-trades, the bard is a wandering musician who can use their songs to inspire allies, fear into enemies or just give a little joy where death is likely certain. Bards, thanks to their wide and varied travels tend to know a little bit about everything and often serve as advisers, guides and spies when traveling abroad. Bards can wear medium grade armor and carry any weapon.
- Ninja: The ninja are highly specialized spies and assassins native to Taijun. Frowned upon openly by the ruling dynasty, but more often than not, used to quell problems that would otherwise bring disgrace, dishonor, even perhaps war. Much like samurai do, the ninja relies on intense focus of one’s inner spirit to accomplish certain feats of skill. Only humans, half-elves, and elves have the necessary dexterity and personal strength to become ninja, though it is exceedingly rare that the latter two races are trained, regardless. Ninja favor medium grade armor and only use highly specialized weapons. Ninjas cannot dual class.
- Swashbuckler: Born of a zest for high adventure (and possibly piracy) the swashbuckler is a sea-faring sort that loves to swindle, brawl and charm his or her way through the world at large. Excellent sailors, they can be found aboard both regular sea vessels and airships alike, plying their trade. While many simply love to go out into the world and get into as much trouble as mortally possible, others are more enterprising with their particular skill-set. Masters of smooth talking and cheating, the Swashbuckler will always find a way to come up on atop of any given situation. They wear medium grade armor and can use any weapon they see fit.
- Thief: An occupation as old as the world itself, Thieves come in many different shapes and sizes. It could be the street performer, the mud beggar or the dandy leaning against the lamp post, near the pub. Blending into society is their survival and greatest strength, allowing them to quickly and quietly make their marks and alleviate them of anything valuable. When stealth and trickery fail, the Thief can attack with a dizzying blur of feints, parries and ripostes that make them dangerous opponents when cornered. Thieves prefer medium grade armor and easily concealed weapons.
- Shared Class Abilities
- Skulking: All rogues are exceptional at ducking into dark places when the need suits them, giving them a base 75% chance of success. For rogues of races that can hide in shadows all ready, the racial bonus is instead augmented by +10%. This talent can be used at any time, but cannot be used while engaged in combat. Skulking isn’t just hiding in shadows but being able to blend, hide in plain sight. (75% to skulk or +10% to racial bonus).
- Poison Manufacture: Only the most dedicated rogues know how to brew poisons. Brewing poison is always successful, but the effectiveness of it can vary. A 1d6 determines the strength of the poison attempted: 1-2 is a weak poison type, 3-4 is a normal poison type and 5-6 is a strong poison type. Weak poisons give a +15% chance to resist, strong poisons give a -15% chance to resist their effects. (Make Poisons, 1d6 to determine effectiveness).
- Swift Strikes: All rogues gain a base 75% to melee/ranged hit, regardless what fighting style they choose. If the rogue opts to dual-wield, they will gain four attacks per round and the ability to use one of those four attacks for a possible deflection at 65%. If the rogue opts to single wield a weapon and employ either a buckler or other device, attacks per round drop to two, but for those two attacks an additional +20% to melee/ranged hit is granted. (75% base melee hit, 4 attacks per round, with an option to deflect once per round at 65% if dual wielding. 75% base melee hit, 2 attacks per round with an additional +20% to hit if using a single melee weapon).
Paragon Class Abilities
- (Available only to single class characters who spend 12 EP for all three skills.):
- Paragon of Skill: Because an individual spends a great deal of focused effort and time to become a Paragon they learn things of their profession that those who dual-class would not otherwise discover. This skill translates into a bonus +15% to hit for their appropriate combat focus (+15% to melee hit for melee types, +15% to ranged for ranged attackers and +15% to spell hit for spell casters). Additionally, the Paragon gains an extra -20% to their overall armor rating and mystic defense versus all forms of attack.
- Escape Artist: A rogue more often than not, finds themselves in situations where they are bound, gagged and essentially trapped. With this paragon knowledge, the rogue can dislocate joints, jimmy locks without specific tools and slide their wrists through shackles in order to escape their binds. This skill also affects magic used directly on the rogue, but not in the vicinity of the rogue, i.e., if the rogue is trapped in a magically sealed room they cannot escape it using the Escape Artist skill. This skill can only be attempted once per set of binds and has a 85% chance of success for non-magical bindings and 65% for magical bindings.(Escape one’s binds: 85% chance of success for non-magic and 65% for magic. Usable once per set of binds).
- Flurry: The Paragon Rogue can focus and burst into a flurry of attacks for one round, gaining a +20% to hit and two extra attacks per round. If all the attacks hit their target, the Paragon Rogue has a 75% chance to daze their target for one round, allowing them the opportunity to either continue attacking or escape. If there are multiple targets the percent to daze is divided up between them (ex. 3 targets would be 25% each. Usable once per week).
- Assassination: Once per day the assassin may attempt to assassinate a single humanoid or smaller target. The assassin cannot be in combat while attempting the assassination and must have viable means to kill his or her target with potentially one hit. This means beings with unusual resistances and bane requirements must be observed as well as proper method (shooting a Voraath in the heart will not kill one instantly for example, as they have two hearts). The assassination attempt has a 50% chance of success. If successful the target will be killed with one shot with resurrection possible. The means of which the assassin chooses to assassinate must be planned out (stated to the GM in whispers), then the roll is made. (50% chance for an instant kill, once per day. Must be a feasible method of possible death, and be uninterrupted by outside influence).
- Weapon of Choice: Assassins use the tools of their trade carefully, based on ease of use, how concealable is and how effective it can be in a single hit. Because of this Assassins select a weapon of choice in which to specialize in to ensure their attempts are successful. A weapon of choice can be anything an Assassin would use: pistols, knives, rifles, bows, swords. Whatever the Assassin feels comfortable using. The only stipulation being that it must be a weapon they can carry easily and conceal either on their person or by disassembling it. Whatever the weapon of choice is, the assassin gains a +10% to normal combat rolls when fighting with this weapon and +15% to their assassination rolls when using it. (+10% to attack, +15% to assassination).
- Escape: Sometimes things simply don’t go as planned and the proper Assassin plans for this. Three times per day, the Assassin can disengage from his or her attackers and attempt to elude capture by any number of means. The ‘escape’ can involve use of smoke bombs, disappearing into a crowd or whatever is opportunistic for the Assassin. Like the assassination itself, the means of escape must be feasible in both the environment and within the Assassin’s abilities to pull off. Attempting to use smoke bombs to elude capture on a windy day for example, is probably not the best plan. There is a 70% chance to pull of a timely escape from immediate pursuers, but that does not imply those seeking the assassin will stop looking for him or her, once the escape has been made. He or she will have to continue to elude capture by using their skills and having a little luck. (70% to escape immediate capture from attackers 3 times per day).
- Wisdom of the World: Bards know a little bit about everything. Because of this, they gain a +7% to use any melee or ranged weapon they pick up, even if they’ve never actually wielded one before because chances are, they read about it somewhere or saw somebody wield one once. This generalized knowledge also gives them a +20% to intuition checks. (+7% to hit with any weapon, +20% to intuition checks).
- Epic Ballad: When in the thick of battle a bard can begin singing a Heroic Ballad of three different types: Song of Heroism (+65% resist vs. Fear/Insanity), Song of Triumph (All melee attackers gain one extra attack per round and +10% to hit) or a Dirge of Nightmares (Attackers are -15% to hit the group with melee and spells). Each ballad lasts 1d4 rounds and the bard can do nothing else but sing the song. Three ballads of this nature can be sung per day. Additionally, this skill allows Bards to write and perform their own songs that act like minor Mage spells (treat as Arcane Magic) that draw upon Mana for their effect. These Mana-driven songs can grant buffs/debuffs of various sorts (up to 10%) enact speed and slowing effects and be used to charm or sleep enemies. (Sing a ballad of a specific type, a total of 3 per day, allows performance of bard songs that act as minor spells).
- Song of Lure: Once per day, the Bard can perform a song with an instrument of his or her choice that creates a Mass Charm effect for 60′ around the Bard. With the Song of Lure, the Bard and implant basic suggestions within the context of the song he or she is performing with a 85% chance of success. These suggestions can be anything non-threatening or even embarrassing. Any attempt to suggest anything lethal or harmful will break the charm for all people charmed. (Mass Charm, once per day with 85% chance of success).
- Lethal Strike: Once per day the ninja may attempt to assassinate a single humanoid or smaller target. The ninja cannot be in combat while attempting the assassination and must have viable means to kill his or her target with potentially one hit. This means beings with unusual resistances and bane requirements must be observed as well as proper method (shooting a Voraath in the heart will not kill one instantly for example, as they have two hearts). The assassination attempt has a 45% chance of success. If successful the target will be killed with one shot with resurrection possible. The means of which the ninja chooses to assassinate must be planned out (stated to the GM in whispers), then the roll is made. Additionally, the ninja must use their specialized weaponry to accomplish the kill. (45% chance for an instant kill, once per day. Must be a feasible method of possible death, specialized weapons used, and be uninterrupted by outside influence).
- Vanish: Thrice per day, a ninja may focus their personal energy and draw themselves from visual acuity for 1d4+1 rounds, if used as a means of non-combative obfuscation, with an 85% chance of success. If used in combat, as a means of evasion, the obfuscation lasts only one round, but wil allow the ninja to evade all forms of attack, including targeted spells, with a 75% chance of success, for that round. If this means of evasion is chosen, no attacks can be made that round, nor can the ninja be healed in that round. (3 times per day, vanish: 85% non-combat, 75% combat).
- Ninjutsu: More than merely a fighting style, ninjutsu covers every aspect of a ninja’s life, including adherence to a code of silence and secrecy. Ninja may perform all the same functions of a thief using Thievery skills (pick locks, climb walls, etc.) at a 75% chance. Additionally, Ninjutsu gives the ninja the ability to use much of their exotic weaponry (ninja-to, kusarigama, etc.) with a +15% to hit and one extra attack per round (which does not stack with specialization). This also allows ninja to produce smoke bombs (1d10+1 smoke bombs can be produced, once per week, 85% chance for success) that can be used to conceal the ninja’s escape (75% chance), flash bombs (blind 1d4+1 targets for 1 round 95% chance) or put 1d4+1 one targets to sleep for 1d4 rounds (75% chance). Finally, Ninjutsu teaches a form of unarmed combat that forces rapid incapacitation or death of an enemy (see unarmed combat). It should be noted that all ninja start out as Novice in the unarmed portion of Ninjutsu, however either extensive role-playing or EP expenditure is necessary to advance in rank.
- Cheating: When it comes to turning the tables in their favor by being underhanded and dishonest, nobody beats a swashbuckler. In any non-combat situation where a Swashbuckler can potentially get an upper hand like gambling, making bargains or fencing goods for example, the Swashbuckler has a 75% chance to pull the wool over the eyes of those he’s dealing with. This skill can be used as much as the Swashbuckler likes, but cheating the same person over and over has a -5% cumulative effect that they’ll be caught in the act. (75% chance to cheat. -5% per attempt on the same target).
- Smooth Talker: Swashbucklers get themselves into trouble. A lot. It is essentially the bread and butter of their adventurous lives that they just get into some rather tangled situations and simply blasting their way out of those situations isn’t always feasible. Hence, the ability to smooth talk out of a potentially violent and life-ending situation is paramount. The Swashbuckler has a 60% chance to turn hostile enemies into non-hostile for the first round of smooth talking then another 30% chance to make those formerly hostile individuals actually sympathetic to the Swashbuckler’s plight. Finally, the third and final round of smooth talking offers a possible 15% to strike a temporary alliance with the former hostiles. Note that there is no requirement for anything the Swashbuckler to say to be even remotely grounded in truth! This skill can be used three times per day. (60% to turn hostiles into non-hostiles, 30% to turn non-hostiles sympathetic and 15% to turn sympathetic into temporary allies 3 times per day).
- Underhanded Tactics: When it comes to fighting dirty Swashbucklers have brought doing so to a fine art. Once per day, a Swashbuckler can opt to attack in such a way that he or she can complete debilitate their opponent for 1d4 rounds. While this attack is rarely lethal, it gains a +30% to melee/ranged hit due to its underhanded nature. A debilitated target cannot retaliate, cannot escape and can do nothing more than languish in pain during the time he or she is debilitated. Like other attacks of this nature, this can be nearly anything so long as it’s feasible to debilitate the target. Hitting a Half-Giant in the face with a fluffy pillow for example would not be particularly effective. (+30% to melee/range hit with the effect of debilitating the target for 1d4 rounds, once per day).
- Evasion: When in a fight, thieves move quickly and strike fast, making them very difficult to hit. In any given combat situation Thieves are -25% to hit with melee/range attacks and directional spells. Furthermore, a thief can opt to dodge an attack rather than attacking in a combat round with a 80% chance of effectiveness. (-25% to hit with melee/range/directional spells and 80% to dodge).
- Backstab: Any good thief knows that the first strike is the most important one. When positioned behind an opponent and out of combat, a thief can backstab with a 85% chance of success and a 30% chance to cause a mortal wound. Should a mortal wound be landed, the target will immediately collapse from the wound and bleed for 1d4 rounds at which point he or she will be unconscious. If another 1d4 rounds passes and the wound is not tended to, the backstabbed individual will die. This attack can be used once per combat scenario. If the mortal wound attempt fails, the damage is still significant and will stun the victim for one round. ( 85% base to backstab, 30% for a mortal wound. Useable once per combat scenario).
- Thievery: The thievery skill is more like a skill check for several talents a Thief has. Whenever a Thief wants to Pick Pockets, Scale Shear Surfaces, Move Silently, Fall Softly or Set/Disarm Traps, a base chance of 85% is used. Bonuses and penalties for these skills are added/subtracted at the arbitration of the standing GM during an event. In cases where racial bonuses may supersede the thief bonus, those skill checks are used instead. These skills can be used at any time, but only one can be used per round and logic always applies to usage. (85% base chance to use various thief skills).