Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: Fitness 13, Knowledge 13, Leadership 15
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: Any small weapon, plus Quarterstaff
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Survival
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Musical Instrument, Survival (all terrains)
- Required Proficiencies: Cartography, Literacy
- Recommended Proficiencies: Ancient History, Ancient Languages, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Artistic Ability, Bowyer/Fletcher, Camouflage, Dance, Direction Sense, Distance Sense, Disguise, Endurance, Etiquette, Fire-building, Fishing, Foraging, Healing, Herbalism, Hunting, Jumping, Local History, Modern Languages, Mountaineering, Musical Instrument, Navigation, Rope Use, Running, Singing, Signaling*, Swimming, Tracking, Trail Marking, Trail Signs, Ventriloquism, Weather Sense.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: The restless spirit of the Explorer makes him the most nomadic of all characters. His travels take him around the world, as he continually seeks new lands to investigate and new cultures to study. No region is too remote, no society too primitive to pique the Explorer’s interest. An expert in communication, survival, and anthropology, the Explorer’s skills are invaluable for safely navigating uncharted terrain and negotiating with suspicious natives.
Like the Pathfinder, an Explorer is curious about the wide world, but it is people and history, not places, that draw an Explorer’s attention. Nothing makes an Explorer happier than meeting people from a wide variety of cultures, and this enthusiasm translates into a remarkable ability to understand and adapt to local customs. Explorers always carry some form of musical instrument, using music when other forms of communication fail them.
Description: Aside from his or her musical instrument, weapons, and the clothes he or she wears, an explorer will have few possessions, no more than he or she can easily carry. Gold has a tendency to tie a body down, in his or her opinion, and the character is likely to leave any excess wealth that comes his or her way in the hands of the indigenous people of whatever land he is passing through.
Role-Playing: All Explorers play a musical instrument, but it will always be a simple, homey instrument like a banjo, harmonica, or fiddle rather than one of the more sophisticated instruments favored by bards, using their meager musical talents to put people at ease and facilitate communication. An Explorer’s performances are always informal, homespun affairs-swapping stories and sharing a jug with the old folks around a hearthfire or thrilling youngsters with monster stories enlivened by special sound effects. Because of their genuine enjoyment of people, Explorers are quick to make friends. As a rule, they are welcomed nearly everywhere they go and remembered fondly when they depart.
Motivated as much by curiosity as money, the Explorer spends more of his time planning expeditions than looking for employment. Still, Explorers are in high demand as guides, mapmakers, and scouts. A reputable Explorer can demand a high price for his services. However, rumors of a lost civilization are more likely to intrigue an Explorer than the promise of treasure, and he chooses his jobs accordingly.
Though a Pathfinder or similarly skilled guide plays a crucial role in leading an expedition through unexplored territory, it’s often an Explorer who’s actually in charge. The Explorer decides when it’s best to forge ahead and when to rest. He knows that small parties travel better than large ones, as each additional member increases the likelihood of delays from injury and disease. Above all, he understands the relationship between safety and self-restraint. He discourages his companions from taking unnecessary risks whenever possible.
An Explorer balances his natural impulsiveness with healthy doses of caution and common sense. More of a scholar than a brawler, he is usually a reluctant combatant, resorting to violence only when all other options fail. But when attacking, he fights with a single-mindedness that can border on savagery. A seasoned Explorer counsels his companions to follow two rules vital to wilderness survival, particularly where primitive civilizations are suspected to exist: (1) negotiating is usually preferable to attacking; and (2) if you intend to attack, then attack to kill.
- An explorer receives a +2 bonus on all NPC reaction rolls due to the character’s innate goodwill to all and friendly demeanor.
- When traveling over long distances, an explorer covers ground at a one-third faster rate than a normal traveler would—that is, if a normal person can walk 24 miles in a day without force-marching, the explorer can walk 32 miles with the same exertion.
- An Explorer typically knows a wide range of languages. At 1st level, he gains a number of bonus languages (as per the Modern Language proficiency) equal to the number of bonus proficiency slots granted by his Knowledge score. Note — this is in addition to the bonus proficiency slots granted by his Knowledge score.
- The Explorer can use find the path (as the priest spell) to sense the correct direction that will eventually lead to a desired geographical locale, which must be in an outdoor setting. The Explorer must have some clue, map, information, or body of research about the locale in order to use this ability. It can be used once per week, providing a day’s worth of guidance (hence it is of greatest use on an expedition of weeks or months duration).
- Culture Sense: This ability allows the Explorer to acquire general knowledge about the laws and customs of a tribe, village, or settlement. Once per week, the Explorer may attempt to use this ability by touching a member of the tribe or village. The villager must have the knowledge the Explorer wishes to gain; for instance, the villager can’t be an infant or mentally deficient. Cooperation of the villager isn’t required; touching an attacking or sleeping villager works as well. The villager must make a saving throw vs. spells. If the throw succeeds, the Explorer learns nothing. If the throw fails, the Explorer acquires an instant understanding of the villager’s laws and customs, including those applicable to related clans or tribes. Information learned through this ability might include local laws (no one is allowed on the village streets after dark without written permission), accepted courtesies (strangers bow to all children), and cultural taboos (hats and other head coverings are considered offensive). Successful use of this ability also gives the Explorer a +1 reaction adjustment when encountering any other members of the tribe, village, or settlement.
- The explorer cannot possess more gear and treasure than she can carry; she either converts the excess into a portable form (gems, etc.) or donates it to a worthy cause.
- Regardless of class, an Explorer has little interest in the responsibilities associated with property ownership. He will never build a castle, temple, or any other fortification.
- Constantly on the move, an explorer never allows herself to be burdened. An explorer cannot have retainers, hirelings, mercenaries, followers, or other servants until she reaches 12th level. Once the Explorer does attract followers, he may not have more than two followers at a time. He still gains the normal allotment, but only two will arrive at any given time and new followers will not appear until the current ones die or are dismissed.
- Because he spends little time in one place, and much of his time is spent on native cultures and geographical studies, an Explorer is less adept with animals than other characters. He suffers a -2 penalty on any non-weapon proficiency with “Animal” in the name (Animal Lore, Animal Handling, etc). If the Explorer is a ranger, animals receive a +2 bonus on saving throws against his animal empathy ability.
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