Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Felids. A new OSR race

Somewhat ruthlessly inspired by the outstanding Dungeon Crawl roguelike computer game, here are a few thoughts of "Felids" in OSR games.

Felids are essentially intelligent cats. In some worlds, they may be the result of a divine (or demonic) meddling in mortal affairs, magical experimentation, the servants of a feline deity or they may simply always have been there.
In physical stature, Felids tend to resemble a rather large cat with shaggy, long fur. The fur coat lengthens and thickens with age, granting a level of protection. While maintaining the graceful movements and reflexes of more mundane cats, their eyes have a piercing intelligence to them, obvious to anyone knowledgeable in magical arts.

Personality wise, Felids can vary significantly, but their feline instincts are hard to shake. They tend to be curious about anything and everything, and while they appreciate social situations, tend to approach them on their own merits. Felids have an extremely hard time entering into vows and bonds, doing so under nearly physical discomfort.

Note that OSR games can vary greatly. Therefore, the below should always be interpreted and adapted to your specific rules set. For some OSR games, dropping ability score requirements may be appropriate, while for others, additional details may be needed.

To play a felid, the player must have average (10) or better intelligence and constitution and good (13) dexterity.
Due to their limited stature, any strength rating above 15 is reduced to 15, but the lost points may be relocated to dexterity and intelligence.

Felids may play as fighting men, thieves and magic users and can advance to the same level limits as elves in each class. In games permitting multi classing, they may multi class in any 2 of these 3 classes.
Other classes should be viewed and judged individually.
In games based on the original D&D (OD&D or swords&wizardry), they may switch each session between acting as thief, magic user or a fighting man. They must then track advancement separately for each class, using the best hit points available.

Due to their thick fur coat, felids have a natural armour class equivalent to leather armour. They inflict damage as a dagger with their claws and fangs, attacking twice per round in melee combat.

Lacking proper hands, they cannot handle weapons or many magical items, such as rods, staves and wands. They can generally open potions (with their teeth), may wear magical rings (and can wear one on each leg, for a total of four), and if equipped with a suitable harness, can carry equipment around and retrieve it.
Due to their particular body shape, they can't wear any types of armour made for other races. A leather harness could be specially crafted for 20 gold pieces, providing them a +1 bonus to armour class.

To compensate for their lack of fine manipulation, felids can see in the dark out to 180 feet, they are very rarely surprised (Roll D20 versus dexterity to foil any surprise or sneak attack attempt. Success negates all bonuses) and their sense of stealth gives them a +10% bonus to sneaking and moving silently.

Lastly, a felid may find hidden items on a 3 in 6 chance, including traps and doors, though they have no natural ability to disarm such obstacles.

What do you think? Drop me a line