This is my contribution to the "create a character class" creative exercise.
Everything in this article is free to steal, modify, copy, adapt or use wholesale in any and all OSR product or publication.
This is intended for Labyrinth Lord/BX and compatible games.
All game stats are given in relation to the parent system, since things such as hit dice and attack rolls can vary by game.
This class is fairly heavy on special rules and abilities, though this is balanced out by the relatively limited chances to use the abilities.
This would fit well in a gothic horror styled scenario.
Prime requisite: Constitution.
Hit dice: As Cleric.
Advances as: Fighter.
Attacks as: Fighter.
Can use all combat options available to Fighters.
Saves as: Fighter.
+1 bonus against Poison and Disease.
Weapons permitted: May use all weapons.
Most prefer a mixture of heavy two-handed weapons and long ranged missile fire.
Armour permitted: No heavier than chain. May not use a shield.
Magical items permitted: Any permitted to fighters and any item related to regeneration, health or constitution even if normally not permitted to fighters.
The wolf pack closed in around him.
Gripping the heavy sword firmly, he looked for the apparent leader.
There was a poisonous taste to the air, like a sickness emanating from the creatures.
He smiled slightly. "End of the road".
Wolf Blades are hunters of the most dangerous prey: Lycanthropes.
Many are self-taught, taking up the blood-stained sword after a werewolf slaughtered their village.
The few that survive tend to take apprentices, teaching the craft to those rare few that show promise.
The hunt often brings them into contact with other adventurers and many put their skills to use as hired swords to make coin.
Prey and Predator:
Wolf Blades can identify and follow tracks.
The base chance is 50% in the wilderness or underground, 40% in city scenes.
Add the characters Wisdom score to the chance.
The tracks can have an age of 1 day per level of experience, regardless of rain, snow or weather effects.
In melee combat, Wolf Blades do not require silver weapons to strike lycanthropes or other shape shifters.
At experience levels 3, 6 and 9 the character can strike as if they had a +1, +2 or +3 weapon respectively, for the purpose of being able to attack a creature only.
They do not receive the bonus to attack and damage rolls, it only permits a non-magical melee weapon to be used.
This benefit applies against any creature capable of shapeshifting, not just lycanthropes.
Wolf Blades are only surprised on a roll of 1.
Upon reaching experience level 5, the Wolf Blade has achieved a heightened state of awareness.
If surprised, the character may immediately make a ranged attack with a missile weapon at hand or a thrown weapon in a belt, but will still suffer all normal penalties (such as loss of dexterity bonuses to armour class) and can take no other action that round.
Add a +1 bonus to all close combat attack rolls when wielding a two-handed weapon.
Apply a -1 penalty to all close combat attack rolls when wielding single-handed weapons.
Upon reaching experience level 5, the penalty is removed.
Upon reaching experience level 9, a Wolf Blade can establish a hide out and will attract 1D6+1 followers.
These will be level 1 fighters, rangers, thieves or Wolf Blades.