Thursday, September 17, 2020

Grognard's Grimoire: Beggar

Illustration by Luigi Castellani

Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: CON
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 14
Armor: Leather, no shields
Weapons: Any
Languages: Alignment, Common

Beggars are adventurers who survive by their wits and fortitude. Though similar to thieves, with whom they are often confused, beggars bring a number of unique skills to a party that make them worthy companions in many circumstances.

Combat
Beggars cannot wear armor heavier than leather and cannot use shields. They can use any weapon.

Back-stab
When attacking an unaware opponent from behind, a beggar receives a +4 bonus to hit and double any damage dealt.

Beggar Skills
Beggars can use the following skills, with the chance of success shown below:
  • Disguise (DS): A beggar can disguise himself as a human, humanoid, or demihuman of similar height and build. (same as hide in shadows chance of thief of equal level) 
  • Hide in shadows (HS): Requires the beggar to be motionless–attacking or moving while hiding is not possible. 
  • Pick pockets (PP): If the victim is above 5th level, the beggar’s roll is penalized by 5% for every level above 5th. There is always at least 1% chance of failure. A roll of more than twice the percentage required for success means that the attempted theft is unnoticed. The referee should determine the reaction of the victim (possibly using the reaction table under Encounters, in Core Rules). 
  • Scrounging (SC): Once a day, a beggar can locate useful mundane items equal in value to 10 gp × level, provided the beggar is in an urban environment.
Trust
A beggar is adept at playing on the sympathies of Lawful and Neutral aligned beings, gaining a +2 bonus to reaction rolls in dealing with them. This bonus is in addition to any bonus from Charisma. The beggar need not share a common language with the being but the being must be intelligent.

After Reaching 9th Level
A beggar can establish a beggar’s court, attracting 2d6 apprentices of 1st level. These beggars will serve the character with some reliability; however, should any be arrested or killed, the PC will not be able to attract apprentices to replace them. A beggar might use these followers to challenge the position of the current King/Queen of Beggars.

Beggar Level Progression

Level

XP


HD


THAC0

1

0


1d4


19[0]

2

1,200


2d4


19[0]

3

2,400


3d4


19[0]

4

4,800


4d4


19[0]

5

9,600


5d4


17[+2]

6

20,000


6d4


17[+2]

7

40,000


7d4


17[+2]

8

80,000


8d4


17[+2]

9

160,000


9d4


14[+5]

10

280,000


9d4+2*


14[+5]

11

400,000


9d4+4*


14[+5]

12

520,000


9d4+6*


14[+5]

13

640,000


9d4+8*


12[+7]

14

760,000


9d4+10*


12[+7]

*Modifiers from CON no longer apply

Saving Throws

Level

D

W

P

B

S

1

8

9

10

13

12

2

8

9

10

13

12

3

8

9

10

13

12

4

6

7

8

10

10

5

6

7

8

10

10

6

6

7

8

10

10

7

4

5

6

7

8

8

4

5

6

7

8

9

4

5

6

7

8

10

2

3

4

4

6

11

2

3

4

4

6

12

2

3

4

4

6

13

2

2

2

2

4

14

2

2

2

2

4

Beggar Skills Chance of Success

Level

DS

HS

PP

SC

1

10

10

20

50

2

15

15

25

55

3

20

20

25

60

4

25

25

30

65

5

30

30

35

70

6

35

35

45

75

7

45

45

55

80

8

55

55

65

85

9

65

65

75

90

10

75

75

85

95

11

85

85

95

96

12

90

90

105

97

13

95

95

115

98

14

99

99

125

99

7 comments:

  1. There was a big hobo culture in the US at one time (Great Depression). Makes me think of that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was and it's incredibly fascinating. I've done a little research into it, but not as much as Joshua Burnett, who wrote an entire game about hobos called Hobomancer.

      This class was inspired by Chaosium's old Stormbringer, which had a beggar profession for player characters.

      Delete
    2. Also the Greyhawk Beggar's Guild that is a prominent part of Gary Gygax's first Gord novel makes this seem like a natural fit for D&D.

      Delete
    3. A Beggars' Guild is also present 8n Leiber's Lankhmar, I think, as part of the Thieves' Guild. (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser slipped into the TG's HQ while posing as beggars in "I'll met in Lankhmar).
      But Stormbringer (and Nadsokor) was the first thing I thought of when I saw this class

      Delete
  2. One of the things I have in my campaign are non-combat, non-adventuring classes. These people all have 3 HP apiece, lower than the lowest (maximum) starting value for any adventuring class. Non-adventuring classes level up, but don't get hit dice, so while a 5th-level Shipwright, say, will have a bonus for building and fixing boats, and a 10th-level merchant will be good at bargaining and knowing the value of trade goods, they would both probably go down with a single hit apiece. The value of their level is to determine the quality of their work, not in their capacity as comrades-in-arms.

    I don't know what I'd make of a beggar class. On the one hand, living on the streets toughens one, so they might have developed some quasi-combative skill as a survival mechanism. On the other hand, as you point out, they act a lot like thieves, so I would just have "beggar" as a possible background for a PC thief character.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As someone who ran a lot of 1E Stormbringer (and saw a lot of beggars), I really appreciate this one. Heck, I'm a little steamed I didn't think of it first!
    ; )

    I love the scrounge ability...at high levels you can rustle up a horse or a (small) boat. That's pretty hip.

    ReplyDelete