Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Cha 9
- Alignments: Non-Lawful
- Starting Cash: 3d4 gp
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: Club, Slings Group, Staves Group, and Short Blade Group
- Allowed Armors: By class (but see below)
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Begging, Disguise, Information Gathering, Survival (urban)
- Required Proficiencies: Observation
- Recommended Proficiencies: Acting, Alertness, Appraising, Endurance, Fast-talking, Forgery, Fortune Telling, Gaming, Haggling, Hiding, Juggling, Local History, Musical Instrument, Reading Lips, Seamstress/Tailor, Singing, Trailing, Voice Mimicry
- Forbidden Proficiencies: Reading/Writing
- Pick Pockets: +15%
- Open Locks: -10%
- Find/Remove Traps: -10%
- Move Silently: —
- Hide in Shadows: +5%
- Hear Noise: —
- Climb Walls: —
- Read Languages: -5%
Overview: Circumstances have reduced some unfortunates to such a level of poverty and helplessness that the only possible way that they can survive is by imploring their fellow beings to give them whatever meager scraps can be spared. At least, so the Beggar would wish it to appear. For a great many Beggars this is the truth; misfortune or disability have dealt them sore blows, and they must rely on the charity of individuals and a few institutions, such as beneficent churches, for subsistence.
The cities of Faerun include all levels of society, but among the lowest are those who have no home and hearth, no natural family or clan, and no money for food and drink. These are the ragged, tattered beggars. Some have been forced into poverty by circumstance, some have been born to it, and others have chosen this lifestyle in rebellion against the moneyed classes. Beggars survive on the kindness of others, on the gleaning of the harvested fields, and on the remains of market day.
But there is another class of Beggar, which is really a particularly insidious variety of swindler or con artist. This character is usually perfectly able-bodied, but has taken up begging as a career, supplemented by minor theft (pickpocketing and the like) and the gathering and selling of information to interested parties. These heroes among beggars are the subject of this kit.
Description: The basic equipment of a Beggar is a wooden bowl or cup in which passers-by may place alms. More sophisticated Beggars have false crutches, make-up and the like to make themselves seem as desperate and poverty-stricken as possible. Few Beggars can afford to purchase armor; and even if they could, they would not want to wear it, since it would suggest that they are wealthier than they would like to appear.
Some Beggars have children with them (rented from the true parents, or borrowed in return for a share of the day’s income, if they are not the Beggar’s own) to arouse still more sympathy.
A more sophisticated sort of Beggar offers a service of some kind—singing a song, or playing a simple instrument—in exchange for food, drink, or a few coins.
Role-Playing: Professional Beggars, were usually raised into their role. This of course means a lower (indeed, lowest in many places) class background, and meager financial resources at best. The Beggar has other resources, however: connections, street smarts, a sharp eye, and diverse skills for cajoling passers-by out of their spare cash. Effective begging requires consummate skills of acting and disguise, so that the Beggar can present himself in the manner most likely to garner the sympathy and cash of the people he accosts.
As a matter of survival, the Beggar needs diverse sources of income. Few can avoid starvation solely by the charity of strangers in the street. They are also dealers in gossip and information (such as the movement and activities of wealthy personages), with ears ever open for any tidbit of knowledge that may help fill their stomachs with food. Beggars will also gladly hire themselves out as messengers or spies.
Beggars also are known to cooperate with other varieties of thieves. A favorite ruse is for one or more Beggars to accost a wealthy-looking person. While they distract him with their pitiful (and more often than not, futile) pleas for assistance, a slick cutpurse relieves the victim of his purse-shares of the score are divided evenly.
Many Beggars are affiliates of the local thieves’ guild, surprisingly enough. The guild makes use of them as messengers and informants. It also may have a sort of protection racket going with them: Beggars must share their score with the local guild in exchange for protection from thieves of the guild itself, as well as “freelancers” and rival guildsmen. Guild-affiliated Beggars also may gain some measure of protection from the local constabulary—a useful thing if local law prohibits panhandling.
- Beggars are particularly adept at sizing up potential targets. By making a successful Observation proficiency check, a beggar can accurately determine the subject’s class group. A second check can be made to determine the character’s level. If this check succeeds, the beggar learns whether the level of the subject is less than his own (yes or no). A roll of 1 on either check reveals exact information. If the subject is disguised, a -5 penalty applies to both types of check.
- A beggar gains an exceptional knowledge of the city in which he lives. He knows of passages through sewers and alleyways, abandoned rooms, and other escape routes and hiding places. If a beggar is being pursued but manages to elude his pursuers for only one round, he has an 8% chance per level of completely evading pursuit by seeming to vanish into thin air. He is not visible to any form of magical true seeing as he is hidden behind other objects and possibly moving farther away with every second. Unless extraordinary magic is used (DMs option), he cannot be found until he decides to come out again. The maximum chance to hide in this manner is 95%.
- When the Disguise proficiency is used to mimic an injury or affliction but not to disguise his actual identity, the beggar gains a +2 bonus on the proficiency check.
- The beggar’s Survival skill lies in urban areas. He is so good at this skill that he can successfully find food, shelter, and clothing for himself without making a proficiency check under normal city conditions. He raids garbage and sleeps in hidden spots, managing to stay alive with the barest necessities. During wartime, natural disasters, extreme heat or cold, major civil disorders, and so forth, a check must be made daily to thrive; if it is failed, the beggar is hungry, thirsty, or cold.
- If the beggar normally appears to be carrying no weapon but has one or more concealed weapons on his person, he gains a -2 bonus to his first initiative roll if threatened or attacked. This happens as he pretends to cower or turn to flee, instead pulling out a weapon and confronting his attacker.
- Beggars are scorned by most of society. Even characters who share their wealth with Beggars tend to feel a sort of disgust or condescension, though they may try to hide it. Other thieves, however, recognize the talents and value of Beggars. For this reason, Beggars suffer -3 on reaction rolls with NPCs who aren’t rogues.
- For every point of visible AC better than their natural armor class, beggars suffer a -1 penalty to their Begging proficiency checks. Even modest clothing reduces the opportunities for begging by -5, as does any visible magic item. Any form of fancy dress negates the chance of begging entirely.
- While the character is being generated, the player of a beggar must make a Health check. Failure indicates the beggar has an actual affliction of a serious nature: a missing limb, a damaged sense, scars from a disease, a pronounced stutter, etc. The player must select the affliction. The actual penalty in game terms for the affliction is up to the DM (for example, reduced movement, loss of Charisma or other ability score, penalty to surprise or initiative checks, or penalty to rolls for saving throws, attacks, damage, proficiency checks, etc.).
- Regardless of the Beggar’s class(es), any followers the beggar gains will be fell beggars (rogues with the Beggar kit). The number and levels of followers is the same as any other member of his class.
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