Friday, January 17, 2020

Class: Wallachian Dreamer

"The Brankoviches of Erdély count in Tintzar, lie in Wallachian, are silent in Greek, sing hymns in Russian, are cleverest in Turkish, and speak Serbian only when they intend to kill."
This is a class very loosely based on my readings in Dictionary of the Khazars. It is a loose adaption, combining the tradition of the dream hunters with the tics and neuroses of the nobleman Avram Brankovich. Though I'm calling it here a Wallachian dreamer, the region doesn't actually matter much, and the term "dreamer" would work well enough. The class dips its toes into information-gathering, social skills, and combat.

Section One: Class Abilities

A Wallachian dreamer gains an additional language every time they attain a template, including the first. These languages may be obscure but not dead or purely academic.

Template 1: Dream hunting
Template 2: Unconscious lore, +1 MD
Template 3: Vex to nightmare
Template 4: Nocturnal lot, +1 MD

Starting Skill: a Wallachian dreamer has a changing an dissociative skill set. In each scene where you speak only one language, you become proficient in a corresponding skill or gain the corresponding ability (Obviously you will have to adapt this to your setting.)
  • Tzintzar: math
  • Wallachian: lying
  • Greek: stealth
  • Russian: singing
  • Turkish: war
  • Serbian: You get critical hits on rolls of 2 (19 in roll-high systems)
  • Spanish: seduction
  • Arabic: memory
  • Hebrew: rumor
  • Khazar: dreaming
Dream hunting: When you sleep, you experience the life of a specific and distant figure, a person with whom you are linked until you both shall die. However, you can also pull away to invade the dreams of people near to you, either targeting a sleeping person or catching a nearby dream at random. The DM randomly determines a nearby sleeper for you to meet and either selects a situation for the dream or randomly determines one from a table in section Two below. Dying in a dream causes you to wake and prevents you from returning to sleep that night, but events in the dream are usually not permanent.

Unconscious lore: once between sleeps, you may make a wisdom test to suddenly know about an obscure topic, barely speak a language, or become proficient in a strange weapon. This surprises even you, for it was knowledge acquired by your distant dream partner.

Vex to Nightmare: you may now act as though awake while dreaming. This means you can be simultaneously walking around adventuring and interrogating a dreamer. While you do this, widen both your critical hit and critical fumble range by one. Anyone you kill while dreaming will rise as a skeleton, draugr, or vampire.

Nocturnal Lot: When in someone's dream, you gain the first template ability of their lot (class.)

Section One and and Half: Spells

When you acquire your second template, learn two random spells. Each further template, learn one random spell. No preparation is needed beyond sleep.
  1. Bite Augury: Get bitten by something to read the future. The DM selects an important event in the near future and answers [dice]x[damage taken by the bite] questions.
  2. Dream Drop: Send up to [sum] physical objects to someone who is dreaming of you. 
  3. Silent Hound: Summon a silent (but vicious) greyhound that serves you for an hour. Invest 2 MD to make it a silent wolf.
  4. Blind-fight: fill your ears with deep darkness. You can sense any movements perfectly regardless of light for [dice] hours. This essentially allows you to fight blind without penalty.
  5. Speak with Birds: learn the bird languages temporarily. Get +[sum] to charisma tests with birds.
  6. Ward Body: If a corpse would rise as undead or be troubled by dark forces, it turns the threat as a priest of your level+1. You must throw an item belonging to the deceased into running water, place a holy wafer in their mouth, or invoke a similar protection. Invest 2 MD to prevent all mortals from interfering with the body.

Section Two: Dream Tables

Random Dreamers
  1. A tree. Tends to dream of water and sunlight, forests and orchards. Nightmares include desiccation and darkness.
  2. A bird with delusions of grandeur. Envisions plenty and tyranny. Nightmares include enclosed spaces and being eaten alive.
  3. A fastidious rat. Dreams of neat tunnels and gribbly hideaways. Nightmares include drowning and gigantic cats.
  4. A plucky porter. Dreams of adventure and scenic vistas. Nightmares include getting lost underground, twisted ankles, and dungeon creatures.
  5. A resigned robber. Dreams of family, knife fights, and ambushes. Nightmares include family, knife fights, and ambushes.
  6. A young priest. Dreams of repetitive seminary tasks and sex. Nightmares include divine judgement and broad chasms of doubt.
  7. A tired leper. Dreams of a warm bath and society. Nightmares include suddenly getting surrounded by people who don't know they're lepers and falling apart.
  8. A slacking cattle guard. Dreams of dreaming and a warm meal. Nightmares include monsters in the darkness and being born from a cow.
  9. A middling minstrel. Dreams of fame and musical mastery. Nightmares include broken fingers and ridicule.
  10. A passing prince. Dreams of difficult legal judgments and hunting. Nightmares include revolts and impotence.
d10 Random Dreams
  1. A scene from an inn d6x100 years ago. The dream is older than the dreamer.
  2. An angel comes to the dreamer, giving a veiled reproach.
  3. The dreamer is pursued by a monster.
  4. The dreamer is falling through a void. Oblivious to them, a city glimmers in the distance.
  5. A scholar from a distant land makes a friendly loan to the dreamer.
  6. The dreamer is nude in a public place.
  7. A dream shared by all nearby people. They converse in a concourse, city square, or garden.
  8. The dreamer can fly, and is floating over their home.
  9. The dreamer is journeying along a wooded river, a tigress stalking on the other side.
  10. The death of a nonexistent spouse.

Section Three: Alternative Language Abilities

Your campaign probably uses non-Earth languages. Here I will ascribe abilities to other fantasy languages to save you time adapting the list mentioned in the "starting skill" ability.

Classic Fantasy Languages

  • Elvish: singing
  • Dwarvish: barter
  • Orcish: war
  • Goblish: bald lying
  • Draconic: math
Alignment Languages!?!?!?
  • Good: sincerity
  • Evil: bureaucracy
  • Lawful: technicality
  • Chaotic: +1 to combat maneuvers

Holy Selmat Setting Fantasy Languages

  • Selmati: dreaming
  • Nivian: math
  • Tengor: logistics
  • Antediluvian: recitation
  • Enochian: singing
  • Borgian: law
  • Atlantean: conspiracy
  • Kieran: stealth
  • Meso: rumor
  • Leper (yes, it's a language now): busking

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