Ruins of Adventure
An escaped halfling slave washed up on the shores of Thorn Island with a stick and some rags.
Tamn is small, even for a halfling, but tough and stubborn. Tougher and more stubborn, in fact, than most dwarves. He was born tough and stubborn, or so his mother said before he was taken, and adversity has only made him more so.
Tamn was born in the peaceful, pastoral setting of Featherdale. At the tender age of five, still a toddler, Tamn’s village was raided by river pirates and the entire halfling population killed or taken captive to be sold as slaves in Hillsfar. Tamn grew up under the lash. His bullheadedness earned him quite a lot of time under a bull whip. Luckily he heals fast. His surname was given to him by his first master, who insisted that “uppity midgets” were only good for use as footstools, a position in which Tamn found himself quite a lot.
Tamn learned a lot in his years as a slave: how to tend animals, how to recognize nobles and gauge who was of higher status than whom, how to navigate the complex bureaucracies of slave life, and even, thanks to being thrown in the arena for his impertinence more than once, how to fight. Despite the best efforts of his masters, however, he never learned submission or obedience.
By the time Tamn reached adulthood, a thing many of his fellow slaves considered miraculous, Tamn’s back had become a solid mass of scar tissue, and Tamn’s hatred of his masters had only grown. Luckily, Hillsfarran law did not allow masters to execute their slaves. He could be beaten, he could be tortured, he could be thrown into the arena to fight for his life, but he could not be killed outright. Finally, after his eighth round of surviving as a punching-bag for the arena’s monstrous gladiators, Tamn’s twelfth master finally decided that he was simply too much trouble and sold him, for a pittance, to a passing slave ship bound for the markets on Stormy Bay on the northern coast of the Moonsea.
That was a week ago.
A day ago, Tamn managed to slip his shackles, beat a guard senseless with the broken oar-handle, and dive overboard. Luckily, in addition to being bloody tough, Tamn was also a good swimmer and able to stay submerged for a very long time. After more than ten minutes under the ship’s crew gave up looking for Tamn, presuming him drowned and rowed on. Tamn surfaced and began swimming.
An hour ago, Tamn reached land and freedom. Beautiful land. Well, beautiful to him. The land he reached was, in fact, the accursed, sky-darkened, undead-plagued, Thorn Island, but after more than three decades of slavery freedom is freedom.
The rest of his story:
- The Bitter Blades: Session 6 (GM’s third-person narrative)
- The Bitter Blades: Session 7 (first person narrative)
- Noriss’s Boys: Session 1 (first person narrative)
- Noriss’s Boys: Session 2 (first person narrative)
- The Third Party: Session 6 (as an NPC)
- The Third Party: Session 7 (as an NPC)
- A Letter to the Council (epistolary)
- Those Left Behind: Session 1 (first person narrative)
- Those Left Behind: Session 2
- Those Left Behind: Session 3
Race: Halfling (Male, age 38)
Kit: Slave Warrior
Alignment: Non-Lawful, Good
Level: 6th / 5th
Next Level: 40000 / 36000
Max Level: 16th / 10th
|Con||20||Health||21||regenerate 1hp per 5 turns|
|Willpower||19||immune to Cause Fear, Charm Person, Command, Friends, Hypnosis|
Hit Points: 50
Armor Class: 17 (1 Dex, 5 armor, 1 shield)
Base Attack Bonus: +4
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: 11 (+8 vs. Poison)
- Rod/Staff/Wand: 6
- Petrification/Polymorph: 11
- Breath Weapon: 13
- Spells: 7 (+4 vs. Enchantment or Charm spells)
|Weapons||# Att||Att Bonus||Dmg||Dmg (L)||Speed||Range||Special|
|Shortsword||3||+5||1d6+1||1d8+1||3||melee||lead or silver, dual-wielding|
|Aegir’s Club||1||+2||1d6||1d3||4||melee||save vs. death or KO 1d10 hours|
Thief Skills: (silent scale armor)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: General, Rogue, Warrior, Wizard
|Modern Languages (Common)||13||Detect grade or slope in passage||19|
|Modern Languages (Cormanthan)||13||Determine direction underground||15|
|Modern Languages (Luiric)||13||Bureaucracy||13|
|Modern Language (Daraktan)||13|
Allowed Weapons: Any weapons.
Allowed Armor: Any armor or shields.
- Halflings have a natural talent with slings and thrown weapons. Rock pitching is a favorite sport of many a halfling child. All halflings gain a +1 bonus to their attack rolls when using thrown weapons and slings.
- A halfling can gain a bonus to surprise opponents, but only if the halfling is not in metal armor. Even then, the halfling must either be alone, or with a party comprised only of characters with similar abilities (such as elves, bugbears, or other halflings), or 90 feet or more away from his party to gain this bonus. If he fulfills any of these conditions, he causes a -4 penalty to opponents’ surprise rolls. If a door or other screen must be opened, this penalty is reduced to -2.
- Halflings have infravision to a range of 30 feet.
- A freed or fugitive slave starts with a +4 bonus to all saving throws vs. wizard spells from the enchantment/charm school and priest spells from the Charm sphere. If placed under any form of charm spell, a slave warrior makes new saving throws against the spell as if his Intellgence was 3 points higher, shortening the time between checks. He gains his +4 bonus vs. enchantment/charm spells on new rolls.
- Once per day, a slave warrior may summon all his willpower and channel it into a sudden burst of energy that raises his Muscle score by 3 points for as many rounds as he has levels. This may occur during combat, when attempting to bend bars or lift gates, or under any other circumstance when strength is needed.
- A fugitive slave can survive on a minimum of food and water each day, half the amount anyone else of his race uses. He quickly develops better eating habits but in emergencies survives with little food.
- Backstab: When attacking someone by surprise and from behind, a thief can improve his chance to successfully hit (+4 modifier for rear attack and negate the target’s shield and Dexterity bonuses) and double the amount of damage his blow causes (3x damage).
To use this ability, the thief must be behind his victim and the victim must be unaware that the thief intends to attack him. If an enemy sees the thief, hears him approach from a blind side, or is warned by another, he is not caught unaware, and the backstab is handled like a normal attack (although bonuses for a rear attack still apply).
The multiplier given in the Table applies only to the base damage of the weapon before modifiers for Strength or magical bonuses are added. The weapon’s standard damage is multiplied. Then Strength and magical weapon bonuses are added.
The damage multiplier applies only to the first attack made by the thief, even if multiple attacks are possible. Once a blow is struck, the initial surprise effect is lost. Second, the thief cannot use it on every creature. The victim must be generally humanoid. Part of the skill comes from knowing just where to strike. A thief could backstab an ogre, but he wouldn’t be able to do the same to a beholder. The victim must also have a definable back (which leaves out most slimes, jellies, oozes, and the like). Finally, the thief has to be able to reach a significant target area. To backstab a giant, the thief would have to be standing on a ledge or window balcony. Backstabbing him in the ankle just isn’t going to be as effective.
- When engaged with large numbers of weak enemies (less than 1 HD each), the warrior gains double his normal number of attacks per round (including doubling attacks with off-hand weapons). Starting at 11th level, this applies to any foe with 10 fewer HD than the warrior’s levels (so a 12th level warrior can do this against 2HD creatures).
- Although he has the basic skills of a warrior, the ranger also has several advantages. When wearing studded leather or lighter armor, a ranger can fight with two weapons with no penalty to his attack rolls. Obviously, the ranger cannot use a shield when fighting this way. A ranger can still fight with two weapons while wearing heavier armor than studded leather, but he suffers the standard attack roll penalties.
- Species Enemy (Pirates): In their roles as protector of good, rangers tend to focus their efforts against some particular creature, usually one that marauds their homeland. Whenever the ranger encounters that enemy, he gains a +4 bonus to his attack rolls. This enmity can be concealed only with great difficulty, so the ranger suffers a -4 penalty on all encounter reactions with creatures of the hated type. Furthermore, the ranger will actively seek out this enemy in combat in preference to all other foes unless someone else presents a much greater danger.
- When dealing with domestic or non-hostile animals, a ranger can approach the animal and befriend it automatically. He can easily discern the qualities of the creature (spotting the best horse in the corral or seeing that the runt of the litter actually has great promise). When dealing with a wild animal or an animal trained to attack, the animal must roll a saving throw vs. rods to resist the ranger’s overtures. (This table is used even though the ranger’s power is non-magical.) The ranger imposes a -1 penalty on the die roll for every three experience levels he has earned (round up). If the creature fails the saving throw, its reaction can be shifted one category as the ranger chooses. Of course, the ranger must be at the front of the party and must approach the creature fearlessly.
- Halflings are small-sized. They cannot use Large-sized weapons and must wield Medium-sized weapons in two hands.
- As small-sized creatures, halflings have 2/3 the carrying capacity of a human of equal strength.
- Even freed slaves have lived as slaves all their lives and suffer a -3 reaction penalty in dealing with non-slave civilized characters. Escaped characters are suspicious and paranoid, and legitimately free characters still carry the social stigma of a slave’s birth.
- A runaway slave may be hunted by his former owner with the aid of bounty hunters and assassins.
This hunting can go on for years, until his former owner and anyone else with an interest in him dies. The punishment for escaping slavery is nearly always death.
- A ranger must always retain his good alignment. If the ranger intentionally commits an evil act, he automatically loses his ranger status. Thereafter he is considered a fighter of the same level (if he has more experience points than a fighter of his level, he loses all the excess experience points). His ranger status can never be regained. If the ranger involuntarily commits an evil act (perhaps in a situation of no choice), he cannot earn any more experience points until he has cleansed himself of that evil. This can be accomplished by correcting the wrongs he committed, revenging himself on the person who forced him to commit the act, or releasing those oppressed by evil. The ranger instinctively knows what things he must do to regain his status (i.e., the DM creates a special adventure for the character).
- Rangers tend to be loners, men constantly on the move. They cannot have henchmen, hirelings, mercenaries, or even servants until they reach 8th level. While they can have any monetary amount of treasure, they cannot have more treasure than they can carry. Excess treasure must either be converted to a portable form or donated to a worthy institution (an NPC group, not a player character).
- Gain 30 points for Thief skills per level.
- Increased Backstab multiplier at 5th, 9th, and 13th level.
- All warriors gain the ability to make more than one melee attack per round as they rise in level. At 7th level, they can make 3 attacks every 2 rounds. At 13th level and up, they can make 2 attacks per round.
- +1 to Track per 3 Ranger levels.
- 8th Ranger level: Learn Priest spells.
- 10th Ranger level: Attract 2d6 Ranger followers.
- 10th Thief level: Use magical scrolls.
- 10th Thief level: Attract 4d6 thief followers.
- Jo Stick (broken oar handle)
- Silver Shortsword
- Lead Shortsword (4 lbs, -1 damage)
- Scale Armor of Silence
- Aegir’s Club
- Shield Harness w/ Medium Shield
- Worn leather shoes (Moccasins)
- Torn leather pants (Laceleather Pantaloons)
- Gnomish Cloak
- Thieving Helmet
- Self-Dousing Lantern
- 1 flask Lamp Oil
- Lock PIcks
- Steel Chisel
- 2 hacksaw blades
- 3-gallon Wineskin (filled with Firewine)
- Cube of Tor-Mak