|Image by Joshua Sherurcij|
Switzers are folks from mountainous regions who live up to several flimsy stereotypes (and outright fabrications!) and delve in dungeons. Hey, the inspiration behind this idea is pretty sparse, just do me a favor and roll with it.
Switzers advance in level as rangers.
A life in the mountains has given the 1st level Switzer (regular) a knack at noting unusual stonework and slopes as a dwarf (or count these abilities as skills if the Switzer is a dwarf). Switzers also have an innate money sense. They can calculate a number of coins and the value of gemstones with 80% accuracy. When buying goods, they can make an Intelligence check to either find a bargain (10% discount) or to find superior merchandise (pay a 50% premium, gain a +1 bonus to checks or attacks when using the item).
Switzers must remain true neutral for their entire careers, but they have mercenary hearts and can commit Lawful, Chaotic, Good or Evil acts at the cost of 10 gp per Switzer level. A Switzer who strays from neutrality becomes a normal fighter with the fighting ability of a cleric until he or she receives an atonement spell.
A 4th level Switzer (gardist) becomes a master of the pole arm and pike, gaining a +1 bonus to hit and damage with them. When fighting in formation, the Switzer also gains a +1 bonus per 5 fellow warriors (similarly armed) in the formation to Armor Class, up to a +4 bonus.
A 5th level Switzer (Alpinist) can undertake a quest, guided by a divine vision, to find and gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal St. Bernard to serve him. If the Switzer’s dog dies, he must wait until gaining another level of Switzer to undertake the quest again.
The St. Bernard has the following stats:
St. Bernard, Medium Magical Beast: HD 2+2; AC 16; ATK 1 bite (1d6); MV 40; F12 R12 W16; AL N (LN); XP 200; Special—Resistance to cold, cask of wine (produces enough restorative brandy to restore a total of 2 hp per Switzer level per day), low intelligence.
A 6th level Switzer (yodeler) can cast a small collection of spells by yodeling. The spells are drawn from the following list. The Switzer can cast as many spells as the paladin (see B&T Player’s Guide).
Level One: Cause fear, charm person, daze, hideous laughter, message, open/close, sleep
Level Two: Animal trance, daze monster, enthrall, hold person, rage, shatter, sound burst
Level Three: Charm monster, confusion, crushing despair, good hope, speak with animals
Level Four: Dominate person, hold monster, repel vermin, shout
An 8th level Switzer (Reisläufer) gains the ability to manufacture magical cheeses. The cheeses must be created from the milk of a magical beast (one with the proper equipment, of course), and can be infused with a spell effect that duplicates one of the monster’s special abilities or one spell up to 4th level that the monster can cast. Making the cheese takes as long as brewing an equivalent potion, and requires a proper kitchen.
A 10th level Switzer (Burgrave) can choose to establish a stronghold in the wilderness and gain followers (see High Level Play below). The lands controlled by the burgrave are called a canton. A Switzer who commands a canton attracts 1d6 men-at-arms per level, 1d6 first level Switzers who wish to train under them and one 3rd level Switzer to serve as a leutnant. These Switzers should be generated as characters under control of the player.
Edited 9/19 - Made a correction in the text and added an ability