Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Halfling
- Sub-Classes: Thief, Bard, Spy
- Ability Requirements: Cha 11
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Thrown Rock (see below)
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: By class (but see below)
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Disguise, Gaming, Local History
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Blind-Fighting, Cooking, Etiquette, Forgery, Juggling, Jumping, Modern Languages, Musical Instrument, Reading Lips, Rope Use, Singing, Tumbling, Ventriloquism
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
- Pick Pockets: —
- Open Locks: —
- Find/Remove Traps: —
- Move Silently: —
- Hide in Shadows: —
- Hear Noise: —
- Climb Walls: —
- Read Languages: —
Overview: Urchins are specialized urban thieves, all halflings, who disguise themselves as human or elven children. Urchins are accomplished at blending in with local crowds, looking every bit like adolescent youths from every level of society and ward in the city. They use their disguises to enter numerous homes and businesses, casing them for other thieves or for their own attention later. Urchins often escape suspicion for the sophisticated crimes they commit, as no one ever suspects a child. Many an unsuspecting victim has tried to collar the annoying brat, only to learn that the apparently feeble child who robbed him or her is in fact an adult with all the skills of an accomplished thief.
Urchins are known to exist in numerous large human dominated cities across the Realms. Because urchins disguises are so effective and they do not work in large groups, most cities do not know they have an urchin problem. Large cities give urchins great freedom, as no one keeps track of where street children go or who they belong to. High local merchant traffic by land or sea also gives a wide selection of goods to steal, as well as allowing the urchin to blend in as a visitor.
Description: Dressing in juvenile clothes, with a haircut similar to those of local children, the Urchin will wander about the city like any child with a free day. An urchin looks every bit like a normal human, elf, or half-elf child, ranging in age from 6 to 10. The urchin appears to have no weapons, because they are either carefully hidden or disguised to look like toys or minor tools. An urchin usually keeps many sets of clothing, shoes, and makeup to take on different identities, combined with wigs, haircuts, hair dyes, and materials to fake injuries or change skin color slightly. Body hair (especially on the feet) is carefully shaved, and normal footwear is worn. Changes in voice are continually practiced.
Role-Playing: An urchin usually gets her start in life by playing on a natural but normally irritating resemblance to a human or elf child, causing larger folk to treat the halfling in a patronizing manner. Many peasant halflings migrate to human cities in search of work but are not treated with respect and remain unemployed. Theft is the best answer to starvation and poverty, and halflings who can pass as children soon take up the urchin life.
Urchins habitually study real children around them for tips on bettering their disguises. Skilled urchins know all the local kids games and interests, and often know a lot about the childrens home lives plus any family or business secrets. Urchins come to empathize greatly with children and sometimes find themselves using their powers, tools, and skills to help real children out of bad situations. Urchins pose a special danger to those engaged in child kidnapping or slavery, who may seize an armed urchin by mistake and suffer the consequences. Still, urchins are thieves, and whatever information they learn is put to use in relieving bigger folk of their valuables. A good deed done by an urchin could be done purely out of self-defense or other, less pure motives.
The Urchin typically works alone, though he or she may well be a member of a small group; urban thieves’ guilds made up entirely of halflings have been known to exist, most of whose members will be either Urchins or Burglars. Sometimes a halfling Urchin becomes the leader of a gang of children, both human and demi-human. In this case the Urchin will take a very protective, almost parental care with his or her young charges.
Some urchins have allowed themselves to be adopted by wealthy but unknowing parents, living in guaranteed comfort for a few years until their lack of growth becomes obvious. They have even allowed themselves to be placed in orphanages, from which they secretly continue their careers as thieves. Others have served as spies for foreign powers, keeping tabs on political or military activities in their city.
- With Urchins, picking pockets is both a hobby and a way of life. Because of constant practice, Urchins develop unusual skill in this particular aspect of thievery. This translates into a +5% bonus per level to their Pick Pockets rolls (i.e., +5% at 1st level, +10% at 2nd level, etc). Further, they are so good at it that victims only notice the attempt if a score is rolled on 1d100 that is equal to or greater than twice the victims level subtracted from 100 (instead of the usual 3x the victim’s level).
- One advantage that urchins have is that physically, with no makeup at all, they are naturally identical to real children of humans or elves. This look is reinforced greatly by using professional disguise techniques to gain childlike speech patterns, dress, behaviors, mannerisms, and interests. A +4 bonus is applied to the Disguise proficiency check when the urchin takes on a child persona.
- Early on, an urchin learns a special form of combat: tripping. When hiding in shadows within 5 feet of a running humanoid, the urchin can adroitly stick out a foot and, with a successful attack roll vs. the victims legs (no shield bonus, +2 from surprise, possibly unarmored), cause the victim to fall prone and take 1 point of damage. The prone victim can be attacked by the urchin at the end of the same round with a +4 bonus to the attack roll.
- An urchin is very good at throwing rocks at opponents from constant practice. A good throwing rock does 1d3/1d2 damage (S/M/L range = 10/20/30 yards), and rocks or like items are plentiful in most areas. An urchin gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls with rocks and can throw 3 per round.
- If the Local History proficiency is taken for the city the urchin inhabits, a successful proficiency check grants her knowledge of local escape routes and hiding places she can use to evade capture.
- Urchins do not gain the ability to Backstab, regardless of class.
- Urchins do not gain any followers at higher levels, regardless of clas (Who wants to work for a kid?).
- The worst problem an urchin faces is having to pose as a child. As a result, no armor can normally be worn, no weapons can be displayed, magic and valuables must be hidden, and a constant act must be put up that cannot fail at any moment. Even going on an adventure can be a problem, as NPCs never regard the urchin as a leader or take her advice seriously. If discovered to be a halfling, the urchin might face imprisonment or exile with facial tattooing, branding, or the like to permanently identify her as not being a human or elf child but a criminal imposter.
- The weapons used by an urchin are limited to only those that can be hidden or disguised as non-lethal, unremarkable items. A club can be a thick stick the urchin drags along, poking at things, or a brightly painted but broken pole from an abandoned building. A sling could be a belt or even just what it seems: a childs sling, with which the urchin is often seen skipping stones on a lake.
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