I’m trying to revise the GLOG classes so that each is (1) defined more broadly/loosely, in a way that makes them interpretable in many ways and (2) has something to do both in and out of combat. Point #1 is probably best illustrated by the barbarian, so that’s where I’m starting.
The prototypical barbarian is a wild, unrestrained warrior from Foreign Parts, but the class covers much more than this: warrior monks, fleshy Terminators, dedicated assassins whose laser focus on the mission just won’t let them die, and maybe even Inigo Montoya could all be represented as barbarians.
Starting Equipment: leather armor, heavy weapon
Starting Skill: Roll 1d4 or choose one—1 Foreign Parts, 2 Religion, 3 Soldier, 4 Wilderness.
In the Lake Countries of Thaumerica, “Foreign Parts” usually means Eastron, the Southlands, or the West. Taking a skill for one of these means fluency in the dominant regional language and familiarity with the culture.
- Rage, +1 Grit
- Duelist, A Taste of Home, +1 Grit
- Feat of Strength, Die Hard, +1 Grit
- Tough, +1 Grit
All HP gains are to Grit, not Flesh.
You can choose to enter a rage at the start of your turn, or in response to taking damage. While in a rage, you have +1 Attack, all your melee attacks inflict +1 damage, and you are immune to pain and fear. You might froth, or stare in battle-focus, or merely let a facade drop and give in to your ancient urges, brutal warrior training, or religious fanaticism.
While raging, you cannot do anything defensive, curative, or tactical with your allies. All you can do is attempt to kill things. Spellcasting is not impossible, but all of your spells must be damaging spells (if you cast such spells, then they do +2 damage if cast against a single target and +1 damage if cast against multiple targets). Mishaps and Dooms may be more severe as well.
While raging, you cannot stop fighting until you kill, subdue, or drive off all enemies. You can will yourself to stop raging with a 2-in-6 chance of success at the start of your turn as a free action. If one of your allies has injured you in this combat, even accidentally, then they count as an enemy.
Each time you defeat an enemy in single combat (such as a duel), keep track of what type of weapon they were wielding. You get +1 Defense against that type of weapon. The bonus from this ability cannot be more than +6, as if you were wearing plate armor, and does not stack with armor.
A Taste of Home
You can consume a special Ration to regain an additional 1d6+1 Grit (in addition to normal healing). This takes 1 round. One “dose” costs 1gp and can be purchased in any trading city (or other appropriate location). A single inventory slot can hold 3 doses.
You cannot eat while raging, but you can immediately enter a rage after eating the Ration. If you have any Lethal Damage, you instead heal to 0 HP. If an ally waves the Ration under your nose (or something similar), you can make a Chaotic CON roll to wake up.
Though the name and descriptive text above suggest that your Ration is a delicacy from your homeland, it could also be anything from a religious sacrament to an alchemical brew, or even some kind of non-edible substance, so long as it can be both consumed and replenished.
Feat of Strength
Once per day as a free action, you have a total STR score of +10 for 1 round. This can also be used in combat.
You have 4 rounds to remove all your Fatal Wounds, rather than 3.
Reduce all incoming damage by 1 point. You gain +2 to Save vs mind-altering spells.
The original GLOG barbarian comes from Arnold K., with some useful alterations (e.g. changing Loincloth HP to just plain HP) from Skerples’ Many Rats on a Stick edition.
In combat, the barbarian can hit things, but this is outweighed by their ability to get hit. They have more HP than you, they have a situational Defense bonus which grows with experience, they don’t die as quickly, and at Level 4 they just plain take less damage. Everything but “Duelist” is part of the original barbarian, but even so, laying it out like this, I wonder if that’s too much. Yes, yes, “nigh-unkillable” is basically their thing and “fleshy terminator” is literally an example that I gave in the beginning, but I’m still going to think about this a lot, and maybe reduce their per-level HP gain (especially if I fundamentally alter how HP is generated, which I’m very tempted to do, after reading Vayra’s GROG)
“Duelist” doesn’t outright penalize the wearing of armor like Loincloth HP does in classic GLOG, but over time a barbarian will find that armor just doesn’t do as much, and there will come a point where each player will decide that the cost/benefit of “lost” inventory slots and additional encumbrance vs. having a little bit of extra Defense against novel weapons just doesn’t check out anymore.
I’m tempted to remove Feat of Strength, because this barbarian is more about hitting a certain archetype which includes but is not limited to Conan, and I’m not sure that GREAT STRENGTH necessarily belongs anymore.
This version of the barbarian has not been playtested, but it’s really not too different from widely-used versions thereof.