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[Let's Read] Unearthed Arcana 1989

HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Critical Failures
So... while almost every thread on this here board is a "let's play" or a discussion of current game rules... this is not that kind of thread. You guys and your current editions that are actually playable. Sheez.

Recently there's been a great deal of giddy excitement and/or bowel-clutching consternation over the the "Player's Handbook Deux" coming out later this year. It reminded me a bit of when I first started playing DnD back in the late 80's... and one somewhat infamous book in particular:
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This dude's mind was blown by reading TSR's Unearthed Arcana


If you're fond of nostalgia, you can find this book at Paizo as a pdf for a few bucks, or you might even find one on eBay. Some of you may be men like me, who are getting too old to hang out in bars and find themselves occasionally finding books like these on the weekend. And if you are, and if you have this book, join in so that these damn kids can know how good they have it these days.

I pulled this baby off the shelf last week and realized how unrecognizable AD&D might be to some people who have become accustomed to the balanced and easy to play 3.x and 4th edition. My own brain has adjusted enough to where certain pages I just go how the fuck did I ever figure this out as a kid. Well, the beautiful part is that I probably wasn't playing the game as intended back then anyway, but I was having fun, so it didn't matter!

But man oh man... was this big news back in the day!

New races! Barbarians! Druids! Polearms! My goodness, it was thrilling.

Because I was a dorky stripling who had my face buried in a Conan book, I was most excited about getting to play a Barbarian. And who wouldn't be?

So let's turn it to page 18, the first page I probably turned to when I got my hands on this book. Ooh, look at that scary character on the facing page... not exactly what I had in mind... but let's read.


The Barbarian

The barbarian wasn't actually it's own class... it was a sub-class of the fighter. You had to have rolled good strength, constitution, dexterity and wisdom just to qualify for it! And if you did, you lucky dog! You could be a barbarian and get all of this...
  • As a barbarian, you got a bonus to armor class for having points of dexterity over 14, so long as your armor wasn't "of the fairly bulky or bulky type". You also got more hit points for per point of constitution over 14! And who could forget that big fat 12-sided hit die. Only the d20 was bigger! Look at that 12-sider, wizard... yeah... the enemy could kill three of you before they took me down. (They were technically called "magic-users" back then, maybe it was more politically correct or something, but I just like saying the word "wizard".)
  • That nice fighter combat table... mmm... yep, you got to use that since you were technically a fighter. Your weapon and armor choices were a bit limited, but being a goddamn barbarian was more than enough reward.
  • Magic? You hated magic (and anyone who used it... wizard) if you were a barbarian. Hating magic was "your thing". So much that "at low levels of experience, refuse to employ any sort of magic item if they recognize it as such. They will often seek to destroy mageic items, and if successful they recieve an experience-point reward as if they possessed the destroyed items." Whoah! Break shit, flip off the wizard and get xp for it? Hell, you had to be second level before you could freely associate with clerics... before that it's all "fuck you and your healing, you churchy bastard". Wizards? Well you could tolerate them if necessary at 6th level... but man, those guys were on thin ice. Fucking wizards and their "magic-using".
  • Summon a Goddamn Barbarian Horde. Oh yeah. At 8th level, if you were in your native territory you could call in some of your buddies, as they were outlined as "Men" in the Monster Manual. At 8th level you could summon over 200 of these motherfuckers to kick ass and rampage for a number of weeks equal to your experience level. It took a week to get the gang together... but man, what a week. "Oh hey, that's a nice College of Magic you have here in Arcana City. I'll be back in a week to visit, kay?"
  • Primary abilities such as: Climbing Cliffs and Trees and Hiding in Natural Surroundings. That's right thief, you're not the only one who can climb and hide in shit anymore. Oh, and by the way, you goddamn thieves, think twice before backstabbing me, because one of my other abilities is to be able to tell that you're trying to do that.
  • Secondary abilities that (so long as you were familiar with your surroundings) allowed you to Survive in the wild, administer First Aid, Track stuff like Rangers (that other fighter sub-class that wasn't as cool as Barbarian) and do other outdoorsy stuff like predict the weather and detect plants and animals kinda like Druids (a Cleric Sub-Class).
  • Tertiary skills that you might have depending upon where your barbarian is from. Things like Horsemanship, Running really fast for a long time, Snare building, or imitating the sound of animals.
There's a few helpful paragraphs on page 20 that give suggestions as to how you and your DM can customize your Barbarian to the World of Greyhawk Campaign Setting, or even your very own setting! Glee!

Man, being a barbarian was pretty great. So far it looks like the 4th Edition PHB 2 version will be pretty great too, and I'm excited about it. I may even get to play a 4e Barbarian at some point, but...

...if he ever runs across my old character with 300 of his best savage howling cohorts... well Mr. Primal Striker Guy is fucked.

Horseshoe on
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Posts

  • Mostlyjoe13Mostlyjoe13 Thanks Gort! The Dream RealmRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    How could I have forgotten the horde. Well, I'll have you know my Primal Striker happens to be running with his buddies in that horde. After all as a 4E kinda Barbarian I'm a big time team player.

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  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Ah, 1E: when rangers could cast fireball, and bards were teh hardcore...

    And where weight wasn't measured in pounds, it was measured in gold pieces! <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Hm... so my character has an attribute called Charisma... but that deals with leadership and interactions between characters. What if I wanted to have an attribute that told me if my character was good looking or an uggo? Well we're in luck... let's turn to page 6!


    Comeliness
    "Comeliness reflects physical attractiveness, social grace, and personal beauty of the character". Sweet! Exactly what I wanted to have determined by a 3-18 random attribute!

    Alright let's roll some Comeliness for my new Barbarian... 3d6=16 Holy shit! What a handsome fella!

    Okay, according to my chart, my Barbarian is in the range of comeliness that elicits the following response:

    "Interest in viewing the individual is evidenced by those in contact, as he or she is good-looking. The reaction adjustment is increased by a percentage equal to the comliness score of the character. Individuals of the opposite sex will seek out such characters, and they will be affected as if under a fascinate spell unless wisdom of such individuals exceeds 50% of the characters comeliness total."
    :winky:

    Don't hate the player folks... hate the game.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    So there's That Guy in your gaming group, who like, everyone says is gay... and then he's all like nuh-uh... and then everyone else is like man that's just what a gay dude would say... and of course he plays the cleric because that's what a gay dude would play, according to the alpha nerd of your posse.

    Anyway... your troubles are over, That Guy! Turn to page 32 and check out the awesome stuff that your Cleric can now do, which will keep the other nerds off your back (ha, as if)...


    Sexy New Cleric Spells
    Alright, so at 1st level you can now cast Penetrate Disguise... shit. No, that's not going to help. Sorry about that one, That Guy. Uh let's see... there's one that makes you invisible to undead? Like if you want to not fight them instead of... oh man the fighter would kick your ass for casting that. Well, there's another one (called Ceremony) that lets you... perform marriages? And if anyone else played a Cleric you could cast Combine and cast a spell at a higher level... but since nobody else plays a Cleric... uh... y'know what, 1st level spells are stupid. Let's skip ahead a couple pages.

    Much better. With new second level spells you now can cast Withdraw (like your dad should have... okay, sorry That Guy, it was a cheap shot at best) which lets you alter time so that you can go off and... well, apparently not do anything very interesting. Hm... that's not so good. Well, or you could Detect Life? Like... it lets you know if somebody is alive. Which I guess you could also do by taking their pulse, or maybe asking them. Dang, that sucks too. Oh! You could cast Enthrall... but judging by the description, it looks like a great deal of the time whoever you try cast it upon is going to either attack you or make fun of you. I thought we were playing AD&D for a break from real life? Man, fuck second level. Second level is for chumps. We're going higher, That Guy.

    With the new third level spells you can cast Water Walk. Yeah, check that out, smug fighter guy. Who's walking on... oh, there was a boat over there. That looks kind of relaxing, actually. But... yeah, how about Flame Walk! They won't be laughing when you're the only one who gets across that river of lava! But I guess you won't either what with there probably being monsters over there... hmm. Oh! Or you could Meld Into Stone! Not sure exactly why you'd want to do that, but it's the principle of the thing. You could.

    Fourth level spells allow you to do things like summon a Giant Insect. That could be really annoying for... like... like a giant trying to have lunch? And with Spike Growth you can make the plants in an area dangerous and any who would dare walk over them might take minor damage... that's right, That Guy: you may now inflict minor damage with some plants. Or you could Imbue one of the other guys in the party with the ability to use one of your spells that has an informational or defensive nature. I guess... well, I guess you could make the fighter cast Enthrall and see how much he likes getting heckled. That'll show him.

    Things are really looking up with Fifth Level Spells, man! You can make a Golem... your very own golem! All you have to do is cobble together a roughly man-shaped figure from certain materials and then cast it! You can make a golem out of straw, or rope... or leather... or... wood. Dang. I hate to break it to you, That Guy, but your Golems are kind of gay. You could cast Rainbow, though. I know what you're thinking, That Guy, but stick with me. Like, if you see a rainbow, and you cast this spell, you can make a bridge out of the rainbow, or an elevator out of the rainbow... or make a special magic bow out of the rainbow... or a multicolored vessel that has seven measures of magic water... dangit. Okay, so things aren't really that great at fifth level.

    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.

    Alright, the penultimate level 7 spells. This has got to be the good shit. Alright... Exaction. With this spell, you can command a powerful extraplanar creature to do your bidding. But apparently you've got to reward said extraplanar creature or it will demand that you do its bidding. or it rips you a new asshole... or both, depending upon the bidding. Okay, so basically you've got a spell that makes you a quest NPC. It could be worse! The next 7th level spell is called... Succor. Damn. I'm sorry to say it, That Guy... but that's pretty much what you are for deciding to roll Cleric.

    The only other good news I have for you is that you can play a Dark Elf Lady Cleric without having your class level limited by your wisdom score. I guess you could tell the other guys that's why you went with one because a Dark Elf who was a dude would never rise above 9th level (according to page 8)... but they're probably still going to make fun of you.

    We wish you better luck in 2nd edition, That Guy.

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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I loved this book back in the day. The only thing I read and reread more from that generation was the original Manual of the Planes.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    A+ would read and chuckle again.

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  • Prester JohnPrester John Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    I guess you could tell the other guys that's why you went with one because a Dark Elf who was a dude would never rise above 9th level (according to page 8)... but they're probably still going to make fun of you.

    Heh, I'd totally forgotten about racial level limitations. For a roleplaying game, it'd be hard to think of a rule that more nakedly pits roleplayers against min/maxers.

    "And so, Lady Sillywhispers the Meek, favored gnomish cleric of Hyperia, made ready to set forth 'pon her epic journey..."

    "Hey, dude, you know you can only get to level 7 with that character, right?"

    "...? Alright, fuck it, I'm a human."

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If you're not like me, you may have wondered at times why polearms got the short end of the stick (bad pun) in most roleplaying games. In truth, most polearms are simply that... a pole that's pointy and/or bladed at one end. But urrgh my histories say otherwise! But let me tell you what this book has... 5 pages of 8 point font with pictures that detail a great variety of polearms to your hearts content! Let's turn to page 123...

    APPENDIX T: THE NOMENCLATURE OF POLE ARMS
    Hot damn. Here the various polearms (that are all distinctly mechanically different as one can see in the weapons table earlier in the book) are described and diagrammed! Now even less people will give a shit about your hobby! Now you can use...
    • Spear
    • Lance
    • Pike
    • Spetum
    • Ranseur
    • Partisan
    • Pole Axe
    • Halberd
    • Bardiche
    • Voulge
    • Lochaber Axe
    • Fauchard
    • Glaive
    • Guisarme
    • Bill Hook
    • Military Fork
    • Lucern Hammer
    • Bec de Corbin
    • Fauchard-Fork
    • Fauchard-Guisarme
    • Glaive-Guisarme
    • Guisarme Voulge
    • Bill-Guisarme

    Wow! Now when you turn back to the weapons table on page 27, you can bash yourself in the face even harder trying to make sense of speed factor, armor class adjustments, and whether or not it does extra damage to large creatures, or charging creatures, or both, or if they can force a dismount, or any number of situations that will lead to a gaming story that will cause people to literally flee your presence when you tell it years later.

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Polearm list found to be lacking.

    Where the hell is my Bohemian Earspoon?

    If memory seves the answer to this question is "In the 2nd Ed. PHB".

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  • delrolanddelroland Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    == Partisan, I would think, except that it only does piercing damage instead of piercing/slashing.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Polearm list found to be lacking.

    Where the hell is my Bohemian Earspoon?

    If memory seves the answer to this question is "In the 2nd Ed. PHB".


    Actually Del is correct if you would just turn to page 124...
    "Later version of the partisan yielded a gradual change in the axe blades, so that they became almost unrecognizable as such. Typical of this is the Bohemian earspoon, a form of partisan where the axes have been changed to serve as piercing spikes (primarily to be used against plate armor) with a ranseur-like function."
    Gygax cites among his sources Charles Ffoulkes' Armour and Weapons (Oxford 1909)

    and the goddamn Encyclopeia Brittanica, Eleventh Edition (New York 1910)

    don't you dare defy the encyclopedia brittanica!

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  • GrimmyTOAGrimmyTOA Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'd just like to say that (while I have nothing useful to contribute to this thread, never having seen the book in question or, indeed, played D&D [though not for lack of interest, necessarily]) I'm really enjoying these write-ups. Keep 'em coming and whatnot.

  • UtsanomikoUtsanomiko Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I've got the 1st Edition DM Guide and the Monster Manual I and II. Those things are a mess, MM1 especially is a big random collection of mythical beasts, pixies, dinosaurs, and monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    The DMG is about 200 pages of 10pt font double columns, and I swear is written in some kind of stream of consciousness. I still don't know where the book actually begins, it just rambles about chances for catching diseases in the wild, plops down a chart for random tradeskills and professions, and then has a very frank aside about the implications of monster PCs and why you should stick with the human-like races.

    And this was an improvement over the original boxed set, whose rules assumed you owned not only a copy of Chainmail the tabletop wargame, but another book which TSR didn't even publish.

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  • Prester JohnPrester John Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    When I look back at my old books this game looks unplayable.

    I think the only reason I ever managed to play it was that I was a kid and I didn't care about the rules.

    I'm quite thankful for how much the game improved in third and fourth edition.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

    Hahaha.

    There's one guy in my group who I used to play with in 2nd edition times.

    I should set a room up like that in a dungeon where like every object is a monster of some kind.

    He would think that is hilarious.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

    Hahaha.

    There's one guy in my group who I used to play with in 2nd edition times.

    I should set a room up like that in a dungeon where like every object is a monster of some kind.

    He would think that is hilarious.

    d&d%20beasts%20ceiling%20monster.jpg

    d&d%20beasts%20trapper%20floor.jpg

    dnd%20death%20linen%20text.jpg

    dnd%20lock%20lurker.jpg

    dnd%20purse%20vampire.jpg

    Include all these in an encounter and every game you run will slow to a crawl.

    "What do I see?"
    "A pile of gold coins."
    "I want to make sure they aren't monsters." *Perception check roll*
    "They're ordinary gold pieces."
    "I'm gonna touch them with my 11-foot pole to be on the safe side. Let me put some Alchemist's Fire on the end of it first."
    "It's fine, they're not monsters. Just gold coins."
    "I'm rolling an Insight check." *Insight check roll*


    Part 1: Celebrating 30 Years of Very Stupid Monsters
    Part 2: Return to Moronic Monster Creek

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  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Ahahahahahahahaha.

    Duckbunnies. Monkey Bees.

    Glorious.

  • Prester JohnPrester John Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Hexmage-PA wrote: »
    Horseshoe wrote: »

    mmmmyeah, I think I'm pretty much going to have to use the orgy rules in every game I run from now on.
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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    "Dag nabbed whippersnappers and your 4Es! In my day we had fighting men and magic-users and orgies inside of rooms that would inevitably consume us. I remember the time little Grimblethimble the Hobbit was destroyed by a Sphere of Annihilation hidden inside a succubus whore's poon-hole. Those were the days..."

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  • zenpotatozenpotato Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

    You say that like it's not completely awesome. :)

    I admire the older game, before everything became about plot and story and character. It's a damn game about plundering dungeons. That part of it is a hell of a lot more fun than listening to nerds go on about their characters backstory and talking in funny voices.

  • JacquesCousteauJacquesCousteau Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    You do realize where you are, right zenpotato? Regarding 2e: THAC0 wtf.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    zenpotato wrote: »
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

    You say that like it's not completely awesome. :)

    I admire the older game, before everything became about plot and story and character. It's a damn game about plundering dungeons. That part of it is a hell of a lot more fun than listening to nerds go on about their characters backstory and talking in funny voices.

    What? 3rd and 4th get slammed by the "serious roleplaying" crowd for being simplistic dungeon crawlers all the time. Which is the thing I actually like about Dungeons and Dragons... it's a simple game that knows what it is.

    4th edition seems like a huge return to this for me... the default setting (as well as the reboot of FR) are mostly along the lines of: civilization is dwarfed in the wilderness, and you're surrounded by scary monsters and all manner of things trying to kill you in the world and the planes beyond... good luck with that!

    Compared to the nice clean games we have in 3rd and 4th editions... D&D and AD&D seem nearly unplayable by comparison. It was pretty hard to just pick up the box and play... in some ways it was easier to skim the rulebook (or read it and barely understand it) then just throw some dice and not worry about it. Luckily I was young and I didn't have to deal with rules-lawyering because I was in 6th grade and none of us really gave a shit that we didn't really know what the rules were.

    Except my friend Chris' older brother, but we ignored him because he was an antisocial wierdo... even compared to the pencil-necked bookworm geeks that we were back then.

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    zenpotato wrote: »
    Utsanomiko wrote: »
    monsters which can serve no purpose other than to hide in a dungeon (often disguised as dungeon terrain) and only eats adventurers.

    Gygax absolutely loved that shit. It wasn't a Gygax dungeon unless there was a treasure chest monster on top of a floor monster behind a door monster.

    You say that like it's not completely awesome. :)

    I admire the older game, before everything became about plot and story and character. It's a damn game about plundering dungeons. That part of it is a hell of a lot more fun than listening to nerds go on about their characters backstory and talking in funny voices.

    What? 3rd and 4th get slammed by the "serious roleplaying" crowd for being simplistic dungeon crawlers all the time. Which is the thing I actually like about Dungeons and Dragons... it's a simple game that knows what it is.

    I've only played 3.5 and 4E, but from what I've read this how the complaints usually break-down:

    3rd - "Why are their rules for everything? I'm the DM; why can't I just say what the players can and can't do without having to refer to the rules every couple of minutes? Why aren't their full-page write-ups detailing the history and features of every single magic item? Also, who the hell got story in my DnD?"

    4th - "Everything's different! Succubi aren't devils! Where are the rules for making chairs? Why can't my wizard get killed in one-hit anymore? Also, where the hell did the RP in RPG go?"

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Noble service cheerfully rendered
    Defense of any charge unto death
    Courage and enterprise in obediences to rule
    Respect for all peers and equals
    Honor to all above your station
    Obedience and respect from all beneath your station
    Scorn for those who are lowly and ignoble
    Military prowess exercised in service to your lord
    Courtesy to all ladies
    War is the flowering of chivalry
    Battle is the test of manhood
    Combat is glory
    Personal glory above all in battle
    Death to all who oppose the cause
    Death before dishonor
    ...now if this little bit from page 16 made your big toe shoot up in your boot, grab a towel and prepare yourself for:

    The Cavalier
    Hell yes. Do you love being the guy who (a) irritates your party by having a stick up his ass about all sorts of things, (b) getting in heated debates with the DM about experience penalties / getting kicked into another class, or (c) insists on riding a horse in a dungeon? The Cavalier is the class for you!


    cavalierj.jpg
    This is the picture from page 14 of Unearthed Arcana... it is the image of the man who will ruin everything.

    When you are a Cavalier, that little piece at the top up there is what you are all about. This is your "code", which can be adjusted by your DM to fit his or her own campaign. "Her" campaign... as if. Anyway, the DM may reduce or eliminate experience if you violate the spirit or the letter of the code. Frikkin' amazing, eh? Oh and if you screw up bad enough he can kick your ass into the stupid fighter class. So don't fuck it up.

    Also, being a cavalier includes these awesome features...
    • Gain bonuses to hit with a Lance, a Sword of your choice, and a Horseman's Weapon of your choice... and also make multiple attacks with those weapons as if you were 5 levels higher (!)
    • Parry with your weapons of proficiency better than stupid fighters.
    • Insist on wearing the fanciest armor you can possibly afford or find.
    • Attack from horseback as if you were 1 level higher.
    • Vault into the saddle, ride super fast, and if you're high enough level... use a pegasus, hippogriff, or griffon as your steed. Lady Elf Cavaliers can ride unicorns. And will be incessantly mocked by the rest of the party, particularly by stupid fighter guy.
    • Determine the worth of mounts like... excellently.
    • Increase your strength, dexterity, and constitution with a mind-bogglingly awesome system of percentile numbers and random rolling when you level up. Leveling up also requires that you find a higher level Cavalier to train you. Which is a bit less awesome maybe.
    • Mind-effecting spells and shit have a 90% failure rate on you due to your "protection from fear" aura.
    • Don't fall unconscious when you hit negative hit points.
    • Get to fly a pennon on your lance at 4th level to brag up your snooty noble heraldry.
    • Force people to give you food and lodging whereer you go.
    • Paladins are now a sub-class of your class rather than stupid fighters.
    cm118_raptor.jpg
    Being a Cavalier is almost as awesome as this
    illustration, which is also NOT in the book.

    Also... because of your code and desire for battle, you cannot be controlled in battle situations! Basically you get to go on auto-pilot and watch the other player's plans fall apart as you charge into battle all shiny and noble. There's even an order of preference so you don't have to think about it! In order of priority:
    1. Powerful monsters serving enemy leaders, then the leaders themselves.
    2. Opponent cavaliers of great renown, enemy flags and standards (take that you stupid flags!)
    3. Opponent cavalry of noble or elite status
    4. Other opponent cavalry
    5. Opponent elite footmen
    6. Opponent camp and headquarters
    7. Opponent melee troops
    8. Levies or peasants
    You must charge your opponents in order of priority at full speed, regardless of army cohesion, intervening friendly troops, or other such considerations.
    You are destined to be the most popular guy in the party! Good luck, and make sure to remind those classless swine how much better you are than them. Be sure to make a list so they don't forget!

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  • daniantdaniant Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    "Her" campaign... as if.

    Hey, I resent and resemble that remark.

    Maybe some day you might even be awesome enough to play in my campaign. By which I mean, be in the same town as me when I run it. :P

    This is awesome, keep it up. I'm getting inspired.

  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    02-09-2009

    sometimes you just gotta do a thing
  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hey, I promised to get back to it in the discussion thread.

    I just added to my old Monster Manual [Let's Read].

    I'm going to see this one through if I can.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Because I was a dorky stripling who had my face buried in a Conan book, I was most excited about getting to play a Barbarian. And who wouldn't be?

    So let's turn it to page 18, the first page I probably turned to when I got my hands on this book. Ooh, look at that scary character on the facing page... not exactly what I had in mind... but let's read.

    The Barbarian
    barbariann.jpg
    note the inscrutable facial expression. contemplate it.


    The barbarian wasn't actually it's own class... it was a sub-class of the fighter. You had to have rolled good strength, constitution, dexterity and wisdom just to qualify for it! And if you did, you lucky dog! You could be a barbarian and get all of this...
    • As a barbarian, you got a bonus to armor class for having points of dexterity over 14, so long as your armor wasn't "of the fairly bulky or bulky type". You also got more hit points for per point of constitution over 14! And who could forget that big fat 12-sided hit die. Only the d20 was bigger! Look at that 12-sider, wizard... yeah... the enemy could kill three of you before they took me down. (They were technically called "magic-users" back then, maybe it was more politically correct or something, but I just like saying the word "wizard".)
    • That nice fighter combat table... mmm... yep, you got to use that since you were technically a fighter. Your weapon and armor choices were a bit limited, but being a goddamn barbarian was more than enough reward.
    • Magic? You hated magic (and anyone who used it... wizard) if you were a barbarian. Hating magic was "your thing". So much that "at low levels of experience, refuse to employ any sort of magic item if they recognize it as such. They will often seek to destroy mageic items, and if successful they recieve an experience-point reward as if they possessed the destroyed items." Whoah! Break shit, flip off the wizard and get xp for it? Hell, you had to be second level before you could freely associate with clerics... before that it's all "fuck you and your healing, you churchy bastard". Wizards? Well you could tolerate them if necessary at 6th level... but man, those guys were on thin ice. Fucking wizards and their "magic-using".
    • Summon a Goddamn Barbarian Horde. Oh yeah. At 8th level, if you were in your native territory you could call in some of your buddies, as they were outlined as "Men" in the Monster Manual. At 8th level you could summon over 200 of these motherfuckers to kick ass and rampage for a number of weeks equal to your experience level. It took a week to get the gang together... but man, what a week. "Oh hey, that's a nice College of Magic you have here in Arcana City. I'll be back in a week to visit, kay?"
    • Primary abilities such as: Climbing Cliffs and Trees and Hiding in Natural Surroundings. That's right thief, you're not the only one who can climb and hide in shit anymore. Oh, and by the way, you goddamn thieves, think twice before backstabbing me, because one of my other abilities is to be able to tell that you're trying to do that.
    • Secondary abilities that (so long as you were familiar with your surroundings) allowed you to Survive in the wild, administer First Aid, Track stuff like Rangers (that other fighter sub-class that wasn't as cool as Barbarian) and do other outdoorsy stuff like predict the weather and detect plants and animals kinda like Druids (a Cleric Sub-Class).
    • Tertiary skills that you might have depending upon where your barbarian is from. Things like Horsemanship, Running really fast for a long time, Snare building, or imitating the sound of animals.
    There's a few helpful paragraphs on page 20 that give suggestions as to how you and your DM can customize your Barbarian to the World of Greyhawk Campaign Setting, or even your very own setting! Glee!

    Did I mention illiteracy? I might not have.
    Barbarians can be of any non-lawful alignment, but must be human. They do not use alignment language of any sort, however, and initially the barbarian knows only how to speak his tribal tongue and the common tongue. A barbarian must learn how to read and write if he or she desires these skills. A barbarian can learn languages according to his or her intelligence, just as any other character can.

    Oh, alignment languages. I'd almost forgotten about them and I can't say I miss them ever so much. At least you don't have to deal with that bullcrap as a barbarian. And yeah, learning how to read and write. Pffft. Get real, DM... I got people to kill and places to raze.

    In case you didn't catch that first sentance: You WILL be human. No other race was able to roll barbarian. Because humans are clearly more capable of barbarism than any other race. If you don't believe me, it's spelled out in (somewhat) plain text on page 7:
    Spoiler:

    Man, being human is pretty great. And being a barbarian was pretty great! The 4th Edition PHB 2 version is indisputably great as well, though I have yet to play one. However...

    ...if he ever runs across my old character with 300 of his best savage howling cohorts... well Mr. Primal Striker Guy is fucked.

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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    updates to barbarian and cavalier with glorious black and white

    more to follow

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