Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Halfling
- Sub-Classes: Bard
- Ability Requirements: Intuition 13, Knowledge 101
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
1 Halfling Whistlers have lower Knowledge requirements than normal Bards.
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Rock Pitching (see below)
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: none
- Allowed Weapons: Spears group, Short Blades group, Slings group, Small Throwing Weapons group, Blowgun, Short Bow, Light Crossbow, Footman’s Mace, Quarterstaff, War Hammer
- Allowed Armors: Padded, no shields
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class, plus Pastoral
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Agriculture, Dancing, Spellcraft, Whistling/Humming
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Animal Lore, Animal Noise, Astrology, Brewing, Cheesemaking, Cooking, Crowd Working, Direction Sense, Fire-Building, Fishing, Folklore, Gardening, Herbalism, Hunting, Leatherworking, Mountaineering, Musical Instrument, Poetry, Rope Making, Rope Use, Signaling, Singing, Set Snares, Survival, Swimming, Tracking, Weather Sense, Winemaking, Woodsongs.
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: Halfling Whistlers are the unheralded heroes of the halfling race. Halflings belong to the general category of nature-sensitive races and professions. Because halflings hate to kill forest animals for food or butcher farm pets, they live by using their knack for agriculture. Their success is largely due to the existence of halfling Whistlers. Although almost any halfling can whistle up a tune, true Whistlers are extremely rare. Each halfling community has but one or two.
Whistlers are extremely attuned to the natural environment about them. In particular, they love forest animals and all types of plant life. The very tunes of a skilled Whistler can help a garden overcome drought or blight. Whistlers can also communicate with birds to help prevent insect swarms from wiping out a village’s food supply.
When Whistlers aren’t tending gardens and crops, they can be found performing for the locals. Nearly every day, a comfortable crowd forms in some grassy section of the community for an evening’s entertainment. Some just sit on the grass and listen to the Whistlers’ tunes, while others dance about, laugh, and make merry.
Description: Whistlers appear very much like the stereotypical halfling farmer/country bumpkin (and usually are). The phrase “whistle up a storm” was coined when a ranger once witnessed a halfling standing out in the middle of a drought-struck potato field. To the ranger’s amazement, the little fellow stuck his hands into his pockets and starting whistling. Puzzled, the ranger crouched behind a large birch and watched. An hour later, the sky had clouded over and it started to rain. After the rain was coming down quite heavily, the ranger glimpsed a satisfied-looking halfling strolling away.
Role-Playing: Whistlers are an odd mix of a farmer, forest wanderer, and entertainer. Although they are loved by everyone in the community, most of them seem a bit reclusive, often living on the edge of town or even in a small burrow just within the forest’s edge. In truth, they aren’t reclusive-they are simply maintaining their unique link with nature.
- Whistlers gain a special weapon proficiency: Rock Pitching. A “good” rock can be pitched with the exact same effect as a dart, except that a Whistler gains a +1 damage bonus if he hits. Of course, rocks cause bludgeoning damage (not piercing damage as do darts). Only good rocks that are specially selected by the Whistler gain the above advantage. If just any old rock is being pitched, damage is reduced to 1 (plus any Strength adjustment) and long range becomes 3 (not 4). Good rocks have been worn round in swift rivers. Most rubble, cave rocks, and the broken rocks found in old dungeons are not good rocks. Thrown rocks that hit their targets can be recovered; those that miss are lost.
- Whistling is a wonderful way to express one’s mood, but Whistlers take this form of basic communication a bit further. By “chattering,” a process of whistling, trilling, and emitting an occasional squeak, Whistlers are able to communicate. They can carry on complex conversations with other whistlers and are even able to communicate with some animals. Whistlers can communicate with any naturally occurring animal that can squeak, chirp, or whistle. Such communication is on a fundamental level. Basic information can be exchanged, as well as mood, feelings, etc. For example, a Whistler could chatter with a squirrel and learn that it has a lot of nuts hidden in a nearby oak tree. Whistling with a bird might enable the Whistler to learn if it has seen any large monsters (but not if it has seen five ettin or other specific information).
A side effect of this ability to communicate is that a Whistler may befriend animals and gain them as Henchmen (following the normal rules for such companions). Whistlers often find a forest friend that accompanies them on some of their less dangerous adventures. Ferrets and foxes are particularly fond of adventuring with Whistlers.
- Whistlers are able to cast certain priest spells. They do not receive these spells like clerics. In fact, the source of these spells is somewhat of a mystery. Most Whistlers agree that they are granted by Mother Nature herself. In any event, Whistlers gain the ability to cast each of the following spells once per day. The usual components for these spells are ignored; the Whistler need only whistle to cast the spell. Whistlers gain the following spells at the listed levels:
- 1st level: pass without trace
- 3rd level: obscurement
- 5th level: plant growth
- 7th level: speak with plants
- 9th level: control winds
- 11th level: weather summoning
- 13th level: control weather
- 15th level: entangle
- Like all halflings, Whistlers love missile weapons, particularly those that can be thrown. At least half of a Whistler’s weapon proficiencies must be types that can be hurled.
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