Ruins of Adventure
Ajathar was originally apprenticed to an illusionist. He never completed his formal training, however. His master, Zalabom the Magnificent, was outspoken on a number of religious and political issues. One day his words went too far against the popular grain, and a mob dragged him from his tower, stoned him to death, and set fire to the building after looting it. Young Ajathar narrowly escaped with his life and a couple of texts of illusion magic.
Homeless and hungry, Ajathar had to steal for a living. Assisted by what few illusions he could muster, he became a burglar—and a surprisingly proficient one, considering that he was self-taught. As his burglary skills improved, so did his understanding of the magical arts of deception.
He took as his symbol, his trademark to be left at each “job,” an illusionary blue hand. The illusion would fade after a few days—but its discovery came to invariably bring panic to the heart of anyone who discovered it in his house. Sometimes Ajathar would not take a thing, but only leave the hand as a warning, a taunt, a mockery of a house’s easily-penetrated defenses.
Eventually Ajathar moved on. His native town, where Zalabom was killed, was neither affluent nor an exciting place for a daring young entrepreneur. Eventually, Ajathar took on an apprentice, training him in his unique blend of magic and thievery. Others followed, and now a fair number of these “lone wolves” can be found throughout the land.
One peculiarity of Ajathar’s character is his strict adherence to the alignment of True Neutrality. The lesson he gained from Zalabom’s death is that extremism and fanaticism in any form are dangerous and to be avoided. Both the illusionist and the bloodthirsty crowd were, to Ajathar’s mind in hindsight, repulsive. All apprentices that the Bluehand trained adhere to this philosophy as well.
Base Class Statistics:
- Ability Requirements: Dex 9, Int 9
- Alignments: True Neutral
- Experience Chart: Lone Wolf
- Hit Dice: d4
- Maximum Hit Dice: 9d4
- Additional Hit Points: +1 per level beyond 9th
- Attack: Rogue
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Rogue
- Rods/Staves/Wands: as Rogue
- Petrification/Polymorph: as Rogue
- Breath Weapon: as Rogue
- Spell: as Rogue
- Weapons, Initial: 2
- Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
- Non-Weapon, Initial: 4
- Weapons, Advancement: +1 per 4 levels
- Bonus Proficiencies: Alertness, Looting, Reading/Writing (Rauthlek)
- Allowed Weapons: Any
- Allowed Armor: None
Spells: Lone Wolves cast spells from the Wizard list, which must be selected from the Illusion school. Unlike other wizards, they may learn any spell contained in the school of Illusion, even if it also belongs to other schools. They may not learn any spell which does not belong to the Illusion school. If using the rules for Paths, all Lone Wolves begin Ajathar’s Path as their first path known (this still counts against their maximum number of paths known).
When a Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he gains an additional +1 bonus to his saving throws against illusion spells cast by anyone other than a specialist Illusionist.
At 20th level, the Lone Wolf gains the ability to cast a special dispel phantasmal force up to three times per day (despite the name, this works against any Illusion spell of 2nd level or lower, but no other spells). The base chance of success is 50%, +5% per level difference between the Lone Wolf and the caster of the phantasmal force. The dispel has a range of 30 yards and a casting time of 1; the Lone Wolf need only point at the illusion and concentrate. If the Lone Wolf attempts to dispel something that turns out to be real, the attempt still counts against his limit of three dispels per day.
Open Locks: A thief can try to pick padlocks, finesse combination locks (if they exist), and solve puzzle locks (locks with sliding panels, hidden releases, and concealed keyholes). Picking a padlock requires tools. Using typical thief’s tools grants normal chances for success. Using improvised tools (a bit of wire, a thin dirk, a stick, etc.) imposes a penalty on the character’s chance for success. The DM sets the penalty based on the situation; penalties can range from -5 for an improvised but suitable tool, to -60 for an awkward and unsuitable item (like a stick). The amount of time required to pick a lock is 1d10 rounds. A thief can try to pick a particular lock only once per experience level. If the attempt fails, the lock is simply too difficult for the character until he learns more about picking locks (goes up a level).
Find/Remove Traps: The thief is trained to find small traps and alarms. These include poisoned needles, spring blades, deadly gases, and warning bells. This skill is not effective for finding deadfall ceilings, crushing walls, or other large, mechanical traps.
To find the trap, the thief must be able to touch and inspect the trapped object. Normally, the DM rolls the dice to determine whether the thief finds a trap. If the DM says, “You didn’t find any traps,” it’s up to the player to decide whether that means there are no traps or there are traps but the thief didn’t see them. If the thief finds a trap, he knows its general principle but not its exact nature. A thief can check an item for traps once per experience level. Searching for a trap takes 1d10 rounds.
Once a trap is found, the thief can try to remove it or disarm it. This also requires 1d10 rounds. If the dice roll indicates success, the trap is disarmed. If the dice roll indicates failure, the trap is beyond the thief’s current skill. He can try disarming the trap again when he advances to the next experience level. If the dice roll is 96-100, the thief accidentally triggers the trap and suffers the consequences. Sometimes (usually because his percentages are low) a thief will deliberately spring a trap rather than have unpleasant side effects if the trap doesn’t work quite the way the thief thought, and he triggers it while standing in the wrong place.
This skill is far less useful when dealing with magical or invisible traps. Thieves can attempt to remove these traps, but their chances of success are half their normal percentages.
Move Silently: A thief can try to move silently at any time simply by announcing that he intends to do so. While moving silently, the thief’s movement rate is reduced to 1/3 normal. The DM rolls percentile dice to determine whether the thief is moving silently; the thief always thinks he is being quiet. Successful silent movement improves the thief’s chance to surprise a victim, avoid discovery, or move into position to stab an enemy in the back. Obviously, a thief moving silently but in plain view of his enemies is wasting his time.
Hide in Shadows: A thief can try to disappear into shadows or any other type of concealment-bushes, curtains, crannies, etc. A thief can hide this way only when no one is looking at him; he remains hidden only as long as he remains virtually motionless. (The thief can make small, slow, careful movements: draw a weapon, uncork a potion, etc.) A thief can never become hidden while a guard is watching him, no matter what his dice roll is-his position is obvious to the guard. However, trying to hide from a creature that is locked in battle with another is possible, as the enemy’s attention is fixed elsewhere. The DM rolls the dice and keeps the result secret, but the thief always thinks he is hidden.
Hiding in shadows cannot be done in total darkness, since the talent lies in fooling the eye as much as in finding real concealment (camouflage, as it were). However, hidden characters are equally concealed to those with or without infravision. Spells, magical items, and special abilities that reveal invisible objects can reveal the location of a hidden thief.
Climb Walls: Although everyone can climb rocky cliffs and steep slopes, the thief is far superior to others in this ability. Not only does he have a better climbing percentage than other characters, he can also climb most surfaces without tools, ropes, or devices. Only the thief can climb smooth and very smooth surfaces without climbing gear. Of course, the thief is very limited in his actions while climbing—he is unable to fight or effectively defend himself.
The Lone Wolf’s thief skills advance according to the chart below. All normal modifiers for race, armor, dexterity, and kits apply.
|Level||Open Locks||Find/Remove Traps||Move Silently||Hide in Shadows||Climb Walls|
There may Lone Wolves who have followed a different path from that of Ajathar Bluehand. With the DM’s approval, players may select a different school of magic from which to draw their spells. These variant Lone Wolves have the abilities indicated below. They do not gain the bonus on saving throws against illusions or the ability to dispel illusions indicated above. Lone Wolves who do not cast Illusions do not gain the bonus non-weapon proficiency in Reading/Writing (Rauthlek) indicated above.
- Must take the Path of the Smuggler as his first path.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he acquires immunity to all forms of Hold spells and adds a +1 bonus when saving against poison, paralyzation, and death magic.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 20th level, his mastery of magical protective forces has become so powerful that he receives a +1 bonus to Armor Class (this stacks with all other AC bonuses). He is still forbidden to wear armor.
- Must take the Path of the Beggar as his first path.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he no longer requires any material components to cast conjuration and summoning spells.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 20th level, he gains the ability to instantly dispel creatures conjured by an opponent who has used a monster summoning spell or its equivalent. The Lone Wolf can dispel up to 10 Hit Dice worth of creatures with this ability; only creatures with 5 HD or fewer are affected (therefore, the Lone Wolf could dispel two 5 HD creatures or ten 1 HD creatures, but not a 6 HD creature). The Lone Wolf can use this ability up to three times per day by pointing at the creatures to be affected and concentrating.
- Must take the Path of the Fence as his first path.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he acquires immunity to all forms of scrying spells, such as ESP and know alignment, as well as immunity against magical items that duplicate these effects. An opponent trying to use these divinations against the Lone Wolf simply get no response at all.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 20th level, he receives the ability to cast a special divination spell once per day. To cast the spell, the Lone Wolf must concentrate for one full turn; no verbal or material components are required. Similar to the 4th-level priest spell, divination reveals a useful piece of advice concerning a specific goal, event, or activity that will occur within the next seven days. The revelation may take the form of an omen, a short phrase, or a cryptic verse, but it always reveals specific advice. In all cases, the DM controls the type of information revealed and whether additional divinations will supply additional information. The base chance for a correct divination is 80 percent, adjusted by the DM for unusual circumstances or extreme requests (such as a diviner trying to learn the exact location of a powerful artifact). If the dice roll fails, the diviner knows that the spell failed, unless specific magic yielding false information is at work.
- Must take the Path of the Swindler as his first path.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he acquires immunity to all forms of charm spells.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 20th level, he gains the ability to cast a special free action spell once per day. The Lone Wolf can cast this spell on himself or any creature he touches. No material components are required for this spell and the casting time is 1; the Lone Wolf merely touches the subject to be affected and concentrates. When enchanted with free action, the subject is able to move and attack normally for one hour, even under the influence of a spell that impedes movement such as web or slow. The spell negates the effects of hold spells. Underwater, the subject moves at normal surface speed and inflicts full damage with weapons, provided that the weapon is wielded and not hurled.
- Must take the Path of the Thug as his first path.
- At 17th level, the Lone Wolf gains a +1 bonus to saving throws vs. invocation/evocation spells and against magic items duplicating the effects of these spells. This increases to +2 at 20th level.
- Must take the Path of the Assassin as his first path.
- At 17th level, the Lone Wolf gains a +1 bonus when saving against necromancy spells or against any attacks made by undead creatures.
- At 20th level, the Lone Wolf gains a special speak with dead spell-like ability that requires no verbal or material components; he need only point at the deceased person and concentrate for one round. This spell functions like the 3rd-level priest spell speak with dead, except that the Lone Wolf may converse for up to one turn and ask four questions of the spirit.
- Must take the Path of the Bandit as his first path.
- When the Lone Wolf reaches 17th level, he receives one bonus non-weapon proficiency slot, and gains access to the Wizard proficiency group.
- When he reaches 20th level, he receives another bonus non-weapon slot.