Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Saboteur - A New-Old Class

Circa 1984, I was in 6th grade and discovering role playing games - well, Dungeons & Dragons. I'd played a game with a friend who only knew the game based on watching his older brother play. He drew up a dungeon on graph paper, and during recess he ran me through it using a D6.

The next step was me getting Moldvay Basic from Toys 'R' Us, then Cook Expert, then into the AD&D line (dude - rangers are cool).

Now, I want to bring the younger readers back into these primitive times. Photocopiers existed, but they weren't cheap. I convinced my mom to spend a decent chunk of change letting me check out copies of Dragon magazine from the library, take them to Kinkos, and copying articles at $.25 a page. Eventually she found it cheaper to get me a subscription for Christmas. Before I got to that lofty place, though, the way I copied stuff was with a typewriter. I remember borrowing module B1 - In Search of the Unknown - from a friend and typing it page by page - double column (which involved actually making a few spaces and then writing the line of text in the next column) and then tracing the pictures. Hey - it worked - got B1 for free (wish I still had that copy I typed).

Around that time, I decided to write my own game. To say it was heavily influenced by D&D rules would be an understatement, of course, but I was smart enough to know that if the game was to be original, I needed to spin things a bit. Thus, the thief became the saboteur. I don't remember much about the old saboteur (again, wish I still had those typewritten pages somewhere), but today I got to thinking about that old game, and those old times, and figured I'd make a new saboteur class for Blood & Treasure.


Hit Dice: d6 per level, +2 hp per level after 10th
Attack: as thief
Save: as thief

Saboteurs must have a dexterity score of 9 or higher and an intelligence score of 12 or higher. They can wear up to leather armor and cannot use shields. Saboteurs can use daggers, flails, clubs, maces, morningstars, crossbows and firearms.

Special Abilities

Saboteurs are skilled at the following tasks: Climb walls, hide in shadows, move silently, open locks, remove traps, use and disable mechanical devices, use magic items (after 8th level) and operate siege engines. For many of these tasks, they require a set of sabotage tools.

Saboteurs are capable of concocting explosives. At 1st level, they can concoct black powder explosives that deal 1d6 points of damage per pound. They can attach fuses that take from 1 round to 1 minute to detonate. One pound of powder requires 1 day and 10 gp for the saboteur to create.

When a 3rd level saboteur strikes a foe that is wearing armor, he can forgo dealing damage and instead lower their effective Armor Class by 1 per 3 saboteur levels. The effective AC of the armor remains lowered after the combat until it is repaired by an armorer.

At 6th level, the saboteur can spend an extra day and an extra 25 gp (so 2 days, 35 gp) to make a more refined and powerful explosive that deals 1d10 points of damage per pound.

Saboteurs always deal double damage with their weapons and explosives against constructs and mechanical devices. This includes magical constructs. A 6th level saboteur can damage golems even without magic weapons, though he does not deal double damage against them. Moreover, when he successfully strikes a golem by rolling a natural '20', the golem loses its magic immunity for 1 round.

9th level saboteurs can damage magic items to the extent that they lose their powers for up to 1 day per the saboteur's intelligence bonus (if she has an intelligence bonus). The saboteur must be able to handle the item, and must employ lodestones, lead wire and a silver hammer to temporarily cancel the magic item's properties.

Saboteurs do not build strongholds, but they do gain followers. Starting at 7th level, a saboteur attracts one follower per level until they reach 11th level. Followers who die are not replaced. Roll these followers on the following chart:

1. 1d4 gnome tinkerers (0-level)
2. 1d3 rogues (0-level - see henchmen section to determine abilities)
3. 1d2 men-at-arms (leather armor, short sword, light crossbow)
4. Assassin (roll 1d2 for level)*
5. Thief (roll 1d3 for level)*
6. Saboteur apprentice (roll 1d4 for level)*

* Takes a 10% share of the saboteur's experience points.

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