sabato 20 aprile 2013

Occult Physician a new class for the old game

In this post I present the class offered for the S&W Appreciation Day, with some design notes.

Occult Physician (new class)
Occult Physicians are part of a mysterious order dedicated to heal all who needs healing. They studies medicine, herbs, magic, mysticism and pursue healing in all its forms. While they don't specialize in combat, they receive training in self defense since their profession often take them in the middle of battles or dangerous places. While they can seem similar to Cleric they share some characteristic of both Magic-Users and Monks. They study magic and inner energy to find the best way to heal people in need and discover all the secrets of diseases, poison and the secret working of the body.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence and Wisdom, both 13+ (+5% experience bonus)
Hit Dice: 1d4/level (Gains 1 hp/level after 9th.)
Armor/Shield Permitted: none.
Weapons Permitted: Dagger, staff and darts.
Race: Any race may become an Occult Physician.

Combat: as Cleric
Saving Throw: as Cleric
Spell progression: as Cleric (no bonus spell for high wisdom)
XP needed: as Fighter

Requirements and Limitations
Must be Charitable: Occult Physician must donate 25% of all their gains to the Order of Physicians, such money will be used for research, building house of healing and to train mundane, and occult, physicians.
Must observe Occult Physician Hierarchy: the Order of Physician is not very strict but they must obey higher level physician if commanded to heal people.
Must heal those in needs: the Occult Physician must heal all who needs healing, they can have priorities but they cannot refute to heal (at least with mundane methods) who is in need.

Class Abilities
Spell Casting: like a Magic User an Occult Physician needs a book of spells (also known as a book of recipe), such spells are written in a different form of magical writing that can be understood only by Occult Physicians (everyone knows that Physicians writings are unintelligible except to other Physicians). Reading from his spellbook, Occult Physicians force selected spell recipe into their minds, “preparing” as many spells as the Occult Physician can mentally sustain. (It is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the Occult Physician’s memory and mental capability.) Once a prepared spell is cast, it disappears from the Occult Physician’s ability to cast, until it is prepared again. If a Occult Physician finds scrolls of spells while adventuring, these spells can be added to the Occult Physician’s spellbook.
Spells Known: as Magic User...

Healing arts: the Occult Physician is an expert physician able to bandage, operate, use herbs and other remedies to help wounded or sick people. The Occult Physician can stabilize any dying character (if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus), improve the rate of healing by +1 each day of care, and treat disease (need one week treatment to get another saving throw, if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus) and poisons (give another save to the character, if the OP make a ST with a +2 bonus). The OP can recognize poison and disease, if he make a ST with a +2 bonus.
Induce regeneration: the OP can induce anyone to heal 1d6 hp 1/day (this improve of 1 more use each 2 level, 2/day at 3rd level, 3/day at 5th level and so on), who receive this healing must make a Saving Throw versus Death or become unconscious for 8+2d6 minutes.
Martial Arts: Occult Physicians are trained in a defensive martial arts, they start with an AC of 6 [13] which will improve of -1[+1] each 2 levels (AC 5[14] at 3rd, AC 4[15] at 5th and so on); they don't get any improved attacks.
Induce healing: at 4th level the OP 1/day can cure a disease or a poison (this will improve each 4 levels, 2/day at 8th, 3/day at 12th and so on), 
who receive this healing must make a Saving Throw versus Death or become unconscious for 1d4+1 turns.
Immunity to disease: at 6th level the OP is immune to any kind of disease.
Create Potions: at 7th level an OP can create potions that duplicate their spells.
Immunity to poison: at 10th level the OP is immune to any kind of poison.
Establish an House of Healing: at 11th level an OP can establish an House of Healing where people in need will be cured, physicians will be trained and so on.
Ageless: at 13th level the OP will age of only 1 year each 5 years.

Occult Physician Spell List

Occult Physician may prepare and cast the following spells:

Level 1

  1. Adrenaline Surge (1 additional attack/round; duration: 1 round)
  2. Alert Sleep (you are conscious while sleeping, you cannot be surprised)
  3. Cure Light Wounds (1d8 regeneration, subject must save vs death or became unconscious for 1-2 turns)
  4. Improve Inner defense (1 additional ST vs poison or disease at +4)
  5. Jump
  6. Purify Food and Drink
  7. Resist Cold (+2 ST vs cold, ignore natural cold; duration: 8h)
  8. Resist Hunger (no need for food 1 day/level)
  9. Run
  10. Strength (+1d6 STR, duration: 4h)

Level 2
  1. Fertility (improve chance of procreation)
  2. Forced March (1 recipient/2 levels; target can walk at double rate for 1 day)
  3. Gliding Wings (the recipient sprout wings that let him glide, duration: 1 turn/level)
  4. Mass Alert Sleep (as Alert Sleep, 1 recipe each 2 levels)
  5. Regenerative Sleep (the recipient sleep for 6-8 hours and regains 2d6 hp)
  6. Remove disease (the recipient is curede of one disease, must save vs spell or go unconscious for 2d6 turns)
  7. Resist heat (+2 ST vs fire, ignore natural heat, duration: 8h)
  8. Resist thirst (recipient don't need to drink for 1day/level
  9. Stop Poison (the effect of poison are halted for 1 day/level)
  10. Water Breathing (the recipient develop gills for the duration of the spells)

Level 3
  1. Cure Blindness
  2. Cure Disease
  3. Flying Wings (recipients sprout wings that let him fly, duration: 1 turn/level, 1 recipient/ each 2 level of the Occult Physician)
  4. Giant Size (the recipient double size, +2d6 damage, +20 hp)
  5. Harvest (make plant life much more productive, double production on a (100'/level)x(100'/level) area
  6. Haste
  7. Neutralize Poison
  8. Polymorph Self
  9. Resist Fire and Ice (half damage from fire and ice + effect of resist heat and cold)
  10. Resist Hunger and Thirst (recipient don't need food or drink 1 week/level)

Level 4
  1. Alter Other (as Polymorph Self only can be cast on others)
  2. Cure Serious Wounds (regeneration, subject must save vs death or became unconscious for 1-2 turns)
  3. Dispel Magic
  4. Hold Monster
  5. Mass cure light wounds (1 recipient/level, as 1st level spell)
  6. Mass resist hunger/thirst (1 recipient/2level, as 3rd level spell)
  7. Polymorph Other
  8. Remove curse

Level 5
  1. Greater Polymorph Self (special abilities, double duration)
  2. Mass Alter other (as Alter Other, 1 recipient/ 3 level)
  3. Mass Remove Disease (1 recipient/level)
  4. Mass Neutralize Poison (1 recipient/level)
  5. Raise Dead (this is a form of extreme regeneration)
  6. Simulacrum

Level 6
  1. Clone
  2. Heal (heal all hp, disease, poison)
  3. Polymorph Object
  4. Regenerate limbs and organs (can regenerate limbs, organs and other missing parts; the spell put the recipient in a deep sleep for 1d6 days)
  5. Stop Aging (the recipient will stop aging for 1 year/level)

Level 7
  1. Healing wave (induce regeneration of 3d12 hp, heal disease and neutralize poison to all in a 100' radius)
  2. Restoration
  3. Restore Youth (the recipient will grow younger of 1 year/level - no lower than 20 year; must make a ST vs death or the spell will not work and will never work again).
  4. Resurrection (or istant clone)
  5. Shape Change

Design notes

The idea of this class is to have a different kind of healer, based on mundane healing arts powered up with magic and mysticism, all geared toward finding the secret workings of the body - and how to heal, control and polymorph it.

One thing that I wanted was not only to differentiate the class in spell selection and powers but also in how the healing done by this class worked; I decided to go with regeneration and powering up the natural healing ability of the healed, and to represent this the healed must make a Saving Throw vs Death or go unconscious for a minutes, turns or even hours based on the level of the spell or the amount of healing.

Furthermore I wanted this class to be scholarly also in spell casting, needing a spell book, this has also the added benefit of limited spell access to the one in the spell book and to have early access to his specialization spell. So the natural step was to design the spell-casting abilities of the class on that of AD&D 1st edition Illusionist, to do this I needed to have a maximum spell level of 7th and relative table, since not all 'clones' have a magic using class with spells up to 7th and I don't like to rediscover the wheel I used the 'Cleric' progression, this has the added benefit of no spell at 1st level in most old school games and the need of "ritual" to cast 6th and 7th spell in some of them.

The final touch was to decide on weapons and armors, I decided to go with minimal weapon and no armor with the caveat of 'monk' training in a specialized form of defensive martial arts, giving to the physician the ability to fight as a cleric with very limited choice of weapon and a good natural AC (this was for purely aesthetics reason, bulking armor had no sense for the character). I then added  healing powers and various immunity powers, to characterize their knowledge in healing and body control, and the class was done.

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