Saturday, June 23, 2012

Priests of the Assassin God

A couple sessions ago Tom sent one of his L0 henchmen with high Wisdom off to train at the local temple in Opportunity.  That temple wasn't dedicated to one of those fuzzy light-and-healing-and-smiting-the-undead gods; Opportunity's not that kind of town.  No, this was the temple to Harmakhis, the god of deals and sacrifices, who happens to have a militant arm with a rather more covert approach than the standard cleric.  At first I was just going to alter their spell selection, but then I took a look at the ACKSPC's custom class rules and decided to use them as a baseline.  So here's what we came up with:
  • HD, to-hit, saves, and spellcasting progress as a standard cleric, though spellcasting uses an alternate list, below.
  • No ability to turn undead.  Harmakhis is the shadow between law and chaos, fulfilling chaotic ends in exchange for lawful currency,  and has no particular power over the creatures of the night.
  • At first level, Harmakhan clerics gain the Ambushing proficiency.  They're good at stabbing people in the back, whacking people on the back of the head, and breaking knees.
  • At first level, Harmakhan clerics also gain the ability to disappear when standing still, as the Explorer class ability.  Harmakhis is a patient deity, and his hunters are likewise, favoring prepared ambush over stalking.
  • Harmakhan clerics do not have access to Beast Friendship, Righteous Turning, Leadership, and Sensing Evil as class proficiencies, but do have access to Alertness, Bargaining, Bribery, and Climbing.
  • Finally, Harmakhan clerics focus on stealth over defense, training only in leather and lighter armor and with shields.  However, they are also trained in the use of bladed weapons, spears, and all missile weapons, and can fight with a weapon and shield or with two weapons.
  • Harmakhan clerics level at the same rate as do normal clerics, and their prime requisite remains Wisdom.
I'm only going to do first and second level spells for now.  Spells from Player's Companion are in italics, while reversible spells are asterisked.

  1. Command Word
  2. Cure Light Wounds*
  3. Detect Magic
  4. Detect Poison
  5. Fellowship
  6. Light*
  7. Pass Without Trace
  8. Resist Cold
  9. Remove Fear*
  10. Sanctuary
  1. Augury
  2. Bless*
  3. Chameleon
  4. Delay Poison
  5. Find Traps 
  6. Hold Person
  7. Resist Fire
  8. Sleep
  9. Sharpness
  10. Silent Step


  1. I wondered how long it was going to take for you to start hacking the new system. So, is the Harmakhan cleric balanced? Or he is really just an assassin/rogue/thief with better weapons, HD, to-hit, and saves?

  2. Well... he's got lower to-hit than an assassin, and can't hide in shadows while moving. His backstab / ambush damage also doesn't scale with level like an assassin's, and he has a weaker weapon selection. HD is the same for assassin and cleric, so that's a wash, and his armor selection is actually weaker than either. As compared to cleric, he has better offense, weaker defense, and no turning. Overall I'm inclined to say that this is reasonably balanced; first playtest last night seems to confirm this.

    (And if you think this is good, you should see what I've been doing with some of the monsters... :P )

  3. Though now that you mention it, I think a month of realtime and sixish sessions of play might be a record for me, actually...