LotFP Class: The Lucky Motherfucker

Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel poised on his Harley-Davidson.  (Photo by Ralph Crane//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

I’m kind of on a custom class kick. Humor me.

The Lucky Motherfucker has a d6 hit die, and advances using the Fighter’s experience table. All of the Lucky Motherfucker’s saving throws advance as the Fighter’s save versus Magic does.  Paralyze, Poison, Breath, Device, and Magic all begin at 16, drop to 14 at level 4, then to 12 at level 7, and so on.

It kinda sucks to be a Lucky Motherfucker, actually. Except for the fact that you almost never die, even when you really should have.

Lucky As Fuck: Anytime the Lucky Motherfucker takes damage that would reduce it below 0 hit points, it is reduced to 0 hit points instead. Any time the Lucky Motherfucker is subject to an instant death effect, it is reduced to 0 hit points instead. Only damage taken at 0 hit points can reduce the Lucky Motherfucker below that threshold.

Lucky as Fuuuuuuuck: The first time during any game session that the Lucky Motherfucker reaches 0 hit points, they gain 1d6 hit points. Each subsequent time the Lucky Motherfucker reaches 0 hit points, they must roll 1d20. If they roll above the number of times they have already reached 0 hit points this session, then they again gain 1d6 hit points. Otherwise they remain at 0 hit points, and cannot benefit from the Lucky as Fuuuuuuuck ability again until they’ve been healed to above 1 hit point.

So the first time is automatic. The second time you must roll above a 1. The third time you must roll above a 2. And so on, and so forth.

Some Backstory: Awhile back, I played in a game run by Brendan S. In that game,  a character who hit 0 hp had to make a roll-under Constitution check to see if they lived or died. After losing several characters, I rolled a character named Hawkwind who was blessed with 18 Constitution.

Hawkwind ‘died’ more times than I can remember, but each time he died, he had a literally 90% chance to pop right back up again. It was broken, and unfair, and awesome. Obviously it’s not ideal for this ability to be the result of a random die roll made at character creation, which is why Brendan changed the rule so that each “near death experience” reduced the character’s constitution by 1. But perhaps if the entire class is designed to suck at everything except surviving past when they ought to die, it can be a fun addition to the party rather than an annoyingly unfair advantage.

LotFP Class: Lawyer

220px-MarivauxFalseConfidences02I like the Law skill, as used by John Bell in his Necrocarserous game. It’s pretty simple: when the players encounter a system of laws and codes, or wish to represent themselves as part of a such a system, they spout some legalese-sounding mumbo-jumbo, then make a law check. If the check is successful, then either your character knew what they were talking about, or they simply managed to sound confident enough that the person they’re talking to feels too intimidated to object.

Of course, a bandit is not going to care that it’s illegal to rob and murder you, no matter how official you make it sound. But an officer of the law may be convinced that you have the authority to do whatever it is that she stopped you from doing. Or you may convince a customs agent to let you pass without the proper documentation. Perhaps the mayor will be intimidated to learn about her town’s severe zoning violations, and allow you to demolish the buildings that are in the way of your keep’s expansion.

The skill is tons of fun to use in play, which is why I’m bummed that I can’t effectively add it to LotFP.  Raising a skill to 6-in-6 is great, because it means you’ll almost always succeed at what you’re attempting. But with the law skill,  that’d turn characters into an unassailable legal authority. It functions best when it’s unreliable, as it is in the highly unpredictable skills system used in Necrocarserous.

Sooooooo, why not just make a Lawyer class?

The Lawyer

Note: The Lawyer class assumes the game is being run with Courtney Campbell’s “On the Non Player Character” social interaction system.

The Lawyer has the same hit dice and experience progression as a Halfling, and saves as a Halfling of 1 level lower than the Lawyer’s current level. Lawyers, after all, are slippery folk.

Law: Lawyers know the law. And when they don’t know the law, they’re pretty good at faking it. Whenever a lawyer is interacting with laws, or a codified set of rules, they can make a law check to attempt to get what they want out of the interaction. The player must produce some vaguely accurate sounding gibberish, then roll. A 5 or better always indicates success.

At first level, the Lawyer rolls 1d6. At third level this increases to 1d8. At fifth level, to 1d10. And at seventh level, to 1d12.

Smooth Talker: In any social interaction, the Lawyer receives a number of bonus social actions equal to her level.

Contract Negotiation: When there is a Lawyer in the party, it is assumed that any agreement the party makes will be detailed by a contract signed by both parties. Any dispute about the agreement will then be subject to the Lawyer’s law skill at a +1 bonus, since the Lawyer will be arguing from a document they authored themselves.

Legislate: Legislation may be attempted any time the Lawyer is associated with visible public good. For example, donating a large amount of gold to charity, or being part of an adventuring party which slays a terrible monster. If the general feeling among the townsfolk is that the Lawyer is a pretty great person, they might be interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

The Lawyer may then draft a law for the town. Laws which would be obviously destructive to the town may be rejected out of hand at the referees discretion. So “The town must give all of its money to me.” is right out. But there’s no reason the Lawyer couldn’t propose a 10% annual tax be paid to the party for 5 years, as payment for services rendered. Or something like that.

Once the law is drafted, the Lawyer makes a Law check. If the check is successful, the law is enacted. If the check fails, then the law is rejected, and the Lawyer has squandered all of her social cache by backing such an unpopular idea.

Referees, of course, are encouraged to enhance their game by introducing interesting consequences for laws which are poorly considered, or do not promote the public good. A 10% tax will probably start to seem very unreasonable after a poor harvest.

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