Monday, May 02, 2016

Turning Monsters into Classes

In my own games I don't very often allow players to play monster-based classes, or classes based in a particular monster. I've done it from time to time, orcs, goblins and the like. That said, it offers a whole new avenue for gaming, particularly when the monsters can easily fit into a mythology or setting.

With our latest Kickstarter (see it here) we are reprinting the Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde. It chalk full of all kinds of monsters, a few of which, play well into being turned into player classes. They are certainly tied into the mythology and setting.

Yesterday afternoon we hit our second stretch goal, turning the book into a hardcover. Up next is taking two of the monsters and turning them into classes. I've had a few thoughts, but that which comes to mind first was the dragonmen of Kaath. The Katha are one of the 13 tribes of men that wandered from the forge of Erde in the long gone Days before Days.

NOTE: there are going to be some changes to these monsters from the MTofA.

These men have an innate magical ability. From the MTofA they get the following: Every dragonmen, great or small, is a wizard. They range in level from 5th to 15th. The Grand Master of the cult is always a 20th level wizard and he is accompanied by four Acolytes to the Dragon, called Keepers of the Sacred Knowledge, each in turn a 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th level wizard. They possess a minimum intelligence of 15.  The dragonmen are able to draw from a wealth of sorcerous power. Dragonmen can draw upon all the wizard spells listed in the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook. They do not need books or scrolls as the spells are passed down through memories. Like a normal wizard caster, level and spells per day limit the number of spells they can use. For instance, a 5th level Dragonman of Kaath with a 15 intelligence can cast five 0 level spells, five 1st level spells (one bonus for intelligence), two 2nd level spells and 1 3rd level spell. The can memorize any of the spells listed for 0-3rd level.


So I would build of it.

Here is their tale from the MTofA (much the same from the Codex of Aihrde.



Of all the tribes of men the Katha were the most wise. Early in the dawn of the world they paid homage to the god Athriat, the Birth Mother, and called upon her for their needs and desires. They built cities upon the banks of the Inner Sea and lived peaceful lives. They were tall and knowledagble and in those early days Athria walked among them and taught them what they could learn. The dedicated temples to her and nominated a high priestess to serve her. But eventually war came to their cities and they were despoiled and the Katha were driven into the wilderness. They traveled for long years, over great distances until at last they crossed the sea and came to an unexplored island in the southern oceans.

Here they built new cities and discovered the Waters of Life. These sacred springs flowed from the high mountains and carried with them water pure and cool. The water was magical, and the priestesses and the priests knew it and they hoarded it from their fellows and built temples over the springs. By drinking the water the Katha ingrained magic into their very being. In time, they learned that those who drank of the Waters of Life were not subject to aging or death, they became immortal. Those who partook of the Waters were called the High Kaath, all those who did not were called the Low Kaath.

Eventually the Katha dwindled. The High Katha chose lives of luxury and indolence. They built ever greater towers and their palaces reflected a wealth that only long years can accumulate. Low Katha were condemned to lives of ever greater servitude. Many of the High Katha were corrupted by their pleasures and became shades of their former and they forgot the worship of Athria and fell to worshiping strange gods, half gods and the like. The Dragon Cult of the High Katha became the wild fancy of many of the men and women and the fell to worshiping a great blue dragon of the mountains called by the Katha, Lamul. 

Lamul was an evil beast, old as time, a greater wyrm could hardly be found. He called sacrifices of flesh and he gave them in the guise of Low Kaath men and women. In time the Dragon Cult became wildly powerful and despotic and preyed upon the High Katha as well until the slew a priestess of Athria and were finally branded as criminals and exiled. They fled the island in the face of a fearful death and migrated to the distant north. Lamul settled into his aged stupor and dreamed of the mortal flesh he had dined on for so long. The Katha struggled on.

But the Dragon Cult, wild now without their lord, settled in the distant parts and built a city for themselves and named it Alaunot-Kav-Lamul. Long taken by madness they began to use vile sorceries and magic to twist their forms, to shape themselves like the beasts they worshiped. They grew and stretched their skin to encompass their arms, giving themselves wings of sorts. They captured lial beasts from the heavens and plucked their scales and these they grafted into their skin so that in the end, they looked not like dragon men, but rather as if they were misshapen creatures of nightmare. They were tall, immortal and colored translucent by the Waters of Life and they preyed upon men of all stripes and they sought followers.

So the Dragon Cult spread too many reaches and many kingdoms. It is an evil gathering of men, elves and other sad fools who disdain immortality through their deeds, but seek it in their lives. They are found in most cities of reputable size and gather in towers when the moon is not quite full. They are wealthy for many spoiled, disaffected youth of the noble houses of all the great kingdoms, supposed intellectuals and the like find themselves seeking the “peace” offered by Lamul. The enclaves are usually small but dedicated and can manage all manner of mischief.

~ Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades-monsters-and-treasure-of-aihr

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