Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Warrior Princess class variant for DCC

A bit of background first (if you want only the mechanics, just scroll down): About a decade ago, for reasons I can’t remember, I tried to present each of my players a “happy birthday game”. I would ask each one, during his birthday, what different game/setting/one-shot he would like to play and then I’d my best to run it. Unfortunately one of my players wanted a damn Waterworld RPG (yeah, that movie). I would say no, but he was also one of my best (and craziest) players and I did promise a game for each one of them. Real Life got in and I realized a few months ago (and almost 10 years later) that I still didn’t gave to my player his damn Waterworld one-shot game. Thank the Elder Gods, Mutant Crawl Classics (MCC) came just in time. So, using the few previews of MCC I concocted an insane one-shot about the kidnapping of Princess Black Sting, of the Radioactive Manta Rays tribe. The PCs were 3rd-level MCC characters attempting to rescue the Princess from the clutches of the Fire Demons Tribe (a.k.a. Smoker), worshippers of the Grande Marlboro, and inhabitants of a massive post-apocalyptic warship/oil driller platform. The adventure started in medias res (it was a one-shot after all) with the PCs rescuing the Princess from heir jail and trying to get out. And the Princess was, of course, one of the players. The adventure was a complete madness, from the start, with giant robots, talking plants, assassin Satellite Gods, Kevin Costner clones and an artifact that played pop 80’s and 90’s music (with mechanical effects). It was a great fun and definitely sold me on the few pieces of MCC that I’ve seen so far.

The horror! The horror! (except for Dennis Hopper)
Now, the Warrior Princess class. DCC is a lovely game with just the four core (and iconic) human classes. It’s really unnecessary to create more, but as a gamer I love to thinker with DCC (and Pathfinder, and Savage Worlds, and GURPS etc). So I tried to create a variant of the Warrior Class. Basically, I reduced its HD to a d8 and disallowed heavy armor. In exchange, I gave my Warrior Princess these two abilities:

Backstab: as a Neutral Thief of same level.

Charm & Seduction: a Warrior Princess can try to seduce, charm, beguile, mislead and otherwise make a fool of every male humanoid around (and a few females, especially if you’re playing a Paizo Adventure Path!), besides equally charming a few brutes monsters (like your archetypal giant ape). This works almost like a charm person spell, but it must be at least a bit reasonable, because it’s not a magical ability (i.e. reasonable for the genre tropes, because we’re not trying to be realistic here!). In other words, an unarmed Warrior Princess (or with a hidden dagger/short sword) can more easily fool an enemy than a Xena-equivalent with a blood-stained two-handed sword. To use ‘Charm & Seduction’ a  Warrior Princess must a burn a number of Luck Points and roll 1d6 per point spent. The total is the target’s Will save DC to resist the effect. For example: a Warrior Princess spending 4 Luck Points would roll 4d6 to trick an enemy into think that she surrenders, getting a 17. If the target thug fails his Will save he would disregard the Warrior Princess to attack her friends, opening a window for a backstab. That’s the basically idea and worked pretty well in our one-shot (the Princess Black Sting killed the Grande Marlboro with a backstab!). Warrior Princesses recover Luck as Thieves.

The main inspiration for this Warrior Princess class is (besides cheese sources) the awesome and scientifically accurate Encounter Critical RPG (specifically the Doxy Class).  And yes, this class variant is completely not-serious and (probably) not suited for more grounded DCC RPG games (I known I wouldn’t use it for my future attempts at converting DCC to Warhammer Fantasy, for example).