Base Requirements

  • Races: Any
  • Sub-Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: Muscle 17, Reason 15, Appearance 15
  • Alignments: Good
  • Starting Cash: None (see below).

Weapon Proficiencies

  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: none
  • Required Weapon Proficiencies: Wrestling specialization
  • Allowed Weapons: By class
  • Allowed Armors: By class

Non-Weapon Proficiencies:

  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class, plus Spiritual
  • Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Religion
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: Airborne Riding, Ancient History, Animal Handling, Animal Lore, Animal Training, Athletics, Blacksmithing, Blind-Fighting, Bulwark, Charioteering, Disguise, Falconry, Fire-building, Hunting, Intimidation, Jumping, Land-based Riding, Natural Fighting, Navigation, Prayer, Rope Use, Running, Seamanship, Survival, Swimming, Tracking Vision Quest, Zeal
  • Forbidden Proficiencies: none

Overview: The Hero is the ideal warrior: strong, brave, clever, respectful of the gods, and comely, never at a loss for what to do-whether it is the right thing or not. They each have a fatal flaw which comes to the fore at inappropriate times, and one or more of the gods takes a personal interest in their welfare.

Heroes are often the offspring of gods and a mortal, or at least they believe themselves to be such. They may come from any race-usually as the spawn of the gods of the race in question-and are as likely to be female as male. Rangers, Paladins, and Berserkers are particularly likely to become heroes.

The Hero takes a “heads up and face front” view to battle. He hoists weapon, fully prepared to stand toe-to-toe with any attacker with a stubbornness and tenacity suggestive of the most determined dwarven knight. A hero devotes his life to the fighter’s art, from wrestling as a child to mastering an assortment of weapons as the character grows to adulthood.

Description: Heroes are typically too absorbed in their calling to care about wealth, even those born into the nobility tend to have clothing that looks ragged and worn from battle. Poorer heroes may wear nothing more than an animal skin (typically taken from a particularly large and ferocious animal that they killed with their bare hands). This lack of finery only adds to the hero’s reputation and status among the common folk.

Role-Playing: Heroes do great deeds. They live to accomplish the impossible. Often, they must overcome overwhelming offs, discern the solution to unanswerable riddles, and perform tasks which no mortal should be able to do. Though heroes are capable of adventuring alone, they can easily cooperate with others. Even Heracles sailed as one of the Argonauts under the command of Jason.

In addition to performing more general heroic feats (recovering lost artifacts, rescuing maidens, slaying dragons, overthrowing despot kings, etc.), each hero dedicates himself to destroying a particular foe. The foe may be a particular individual or an entire species. His foe may be the cause of a childhood tragedy (often one associated with his tragic flaw), an enemy of his god(s), or an enemy of his people or state. Regardless of what it is and why, the hero tends to pursue this nemesis with unmatched fervor, though, usually, not to the detriment of his other quests.

As a hero’s fame grows, he is sought out and requested to perform incredible tasks. Heroes may represent their city, their king, their family, or their patron god(s) in performing their amazing feats. They are what others aspire to be.

Special Abilities:

  • Each hero designates one type of creature a special enemy (player’s choice). He may make it his life’s quest to rid the world of hydras or be out to slay the orcs that conquered his homeland. Whatever his reasoning, the hero gains a +1 on attack rolls, damage rolls, and armor class when fighting his designated foe.
  • From a mixture of superior strength, combat training, and gusty determination, the Hero gains a +1 bonus to AC whenever he engages an enemy without the aid of any companions. If the Hero is able to put his back to a wall or otherwise has a defensible position, the bonus increases to +2.
  • Because of their focused weapons training, the Hero gains an additional weapon proficiency at 1st level (as above). In addition, the Hero gains new weapon proficiency slots at the rate of one every two levels (instead of every three).
  • Heroes benefit from their fame. There is a cumulative 10% chance per level of the Hero that any given NPC has heard of him. These people will treat the hero with great respect, will flatter him, and will provide him with food, shelter, and gifts so they can be near him or claim him as a friend.
  • At 3rd level and above, Heroes can call upon a group of brave people to accompany them on an adventure (to a maximum equal to his level). The chance for heroes to do so is equal to their fame percentage. These people will serve as rowers on a ship or as troops in a large battle, though they cannot directly influence the outcome of the Heroes’ main quest. They will not serve as bait or wear down the Heroes’ opponents before the Heroes do battle. If asked to do anything they feel should be the Heroes’ job, or if denied payment, they lose respect for the Heroes and desert at the first opportunity. The DM should determine how large the group is and their exact stats depending on what they are needed to do.
  • Heroes are favored by one or more gods, who actively work on their behalf. Once per adventure (as determined by the DM) the god in question, or a servant of the god, will appear to the hero (usually in a dream or vision, but sometimes physically manifested as an avatar) and provide him with a boon. The DM may select a specific benefit that he feels is appropriate to the adventure, or the player can roll randomly on the table below:
d8 roll Favor
1 Strength: The Hero gains a +3 bonus to his Muscle and Stamina scores. This boon remains until the end of the current adventure or until dispelled (as a spell at caster level 20).
2 Agility: The Hero gains a +3 bonus to his Aim and Balance scores. This boon remains until the end of the current adventure or until dispelled (as a spell at caster level 20).
3 Fortitude: The Hero gains a +3 bonus to his Health and Fitness scores. This boon remains until the end of the current adventure or until dispelled (as a spell at caster level 20).
4-5 Luck: Once during the adventure, the Hero can invoke exceptional luck for 1 turn. He gains a +2 bonus on all die rolls of any kind, and his enemies suffer a -2 penalty on all die rolls directed against him.
6-7 Counsel: The gods grants the Hero special knowledge which helps him complete a task or quest. This acts as a Divination spell with no chance of failure.
8 Gift: The god loans the Hero the use of one or more items which will aid in his current quest. These are usually special magic items, but may also include mundane items that the hero had no reason to suspect that he needed. The god (or a representative) will appear to reclaim these items once the quest is complete.

Special Disadvantages:

  • Heroes tend to be poor (A true hero doesn’t need money). They begin play with any one weapon in which they are proficient, their normal clothing, enough food to last them two days, and a water or wineskin (filled).
  • Heroes never attract followers, regardless of class. They seldom build strongholds, but are not forbidden from doing so.
  • When faced with a battle that he or she might be able to win-but companions or common sense that urge a withdrawal-the Hero must make a Willpower check. He or she can repeat the check every round, but the character cannot retreat until it succeeds.
  • A Hero’s hatred of his special enemy runs deep and may become irrational. If an opportunity to attack the enemy occurs, the Hero must make a Willpower check or be forced to attack. He is, of course, then subject to his usual inability to withdraw…he is a Hero after all.
  • Fame has its bad side. Those who are jealous of the hero or who seek to do him harm have a much better chance of locating him from the reports of his deeds. He may be challenged by those seeking to gain a reputation. Those that admire him will propose harder and more dangerous tasks and expect the hero to perform them or else lose his reputation. Each month, there is a chance equal to his fame percentage that some sort of challenge occurs.
  • All heroes have a fatal flaw. This may be an inherent part of their personality or some doom beyond their control, but whatever their flaw is, it comes into play at inopportune times. It serves to make things harder for them, to curb their power, and to insure that they do not aspire to challenge the gods. Each Hero has only one fatal flaw. This may be rolled randomly (below), or chosen by the player or DM. The flaw comes into play whenever it seems to be appropriate to the DM, but should not be used to unfairly trip up the character at every opportunity.
    Other flaws may be created by the DM or by the player (with DM approval). Though many of the legendary heroes suffered for their flaws, some managed to overcome them or make up for them through performing great deeds. The chance to do so should form an integral part of the Hero character. No flaw should ever automatically cause the death of Heroes or their companions or keep them from achieving their goals.
d4 roll Fatal Flaw
1 Hubris. Excessive pride. The Hero is too proud to withdraw when overmatched or to surrender when bested. The Hero may alienate certain NPCs or refuse help perceived as unnecessary. Finally, the flaw may preclude the Hero from taking subtle or devious courses of action in favor of a head-on confrontation.
2 Rage. The Hero becomes enraged for a turn whenever insulted, challenged, faced with a species enemy, or the Hero thinks he or she is about to be overcome in battle. It confers the benefit of a +2 to attack and damage rolls, but exacts a -4 penalty to armor class. The Hero cannot distinguish friend from foe while enraged, and may harm or kill innocent people.
3 Fate. This flaw represents the working out of fate for some past misdeed of the character or his or her family, or may simply be an incomprehensible doom, ordained since his or her birth. Though the god(s) may still favor the Hero, at some point the penalty must be paid. The nature of the flaw of fate, its cause, and the probable penalty are best decided by the DM and player working together to reflect the intended course of the hero’s story.
4 Orphan. The Hero was either abandoned or given away at birth. This may have been because of a prophecy about the child or because the Hero’s parents could not keep the child, were ashamed of the child for some reason, or believed the child to be a weakling. The child survived somehow, being raised by wolves, a poor shepherd, a fisherman, or some such. Now as an adult, the Hero either seeks to learn his or her true heritage or ignores those beginnings to find fame or adventure. At some point the Hero crosses paths with a family member. This person may even be a villainous character and may possibly become the character’s sworn foe. The character will not know who this person is (although the family member may be aware of the relationship), but the Hero’s actions toward the relative determines his or her future. The gods do not reward those who harm their own families-even in ignorance.

Boris vallejo   1988   hercules and cerberus

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