Ruins of Adventure
- Races: Any
- Sub-Classes: Any
- Ability Requirements: none
- Alignments: Any
- Starting Cash: By class
- Weapon Slots: By class
- Bonus Weapon Proficiencies: Specialization (see below)
- Required Weapon Proficiencies: One tool-like weapon, One missile weapon
- Allowed Weapons: By class
- Allowed Armors: By class
- Non-weapon Slots: By class
- Available Categories: By class
- Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Agriculture, Carpentry, Haggling, Literacy
- Required Proficiencies: none
- Recommended Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Handling, Animal Training, Appraising, Armorer, Awareness, Brewing, Cheesemaking, Cooking, Defensive Tactics, Direction Sense, Fire-building, Fishing, Gaming, Healing, Herbalism, Hunting, Land-based Riding, Leatherworking, Looting, Musical Instrument, Religion, Rope Use, Survival, Trail Signs, Weather Sense, Weaving
- Forbidden Proficiencies: none
Overview: This is a doughty brand of adventurer that, by his or her very nature, represents a departure from the norm. Often a young and unattached individual, either male or female, the Settler is an adventurer who sets out to found a new farmstead in a region of wilderness or abandoned land. Another common homesteading situation involves a young couple, recently married and previously living in a very crowded burrow. Such folk, if adventurous enough in spirit, can find immediate rewards to homesteading. Rarely will a settler challenge an established authority over an area—if goblins or orcs have laid claim to a fertile valley, for example, the settler will probably look elsewhere for his or her plot. On rare occasions however, the the settler may recruit other adventurous folks to help oust the natives of whatever plot of land he wishes to lay claim to.
Many villages have grown around the individual plot of a brave settler-and indeed, the settler usually welcomes the company of his or her fellows and will actively recruit other settlers to live nearby. The settler is a hardy character, willing to work harder than the average farmer and to accept a certain reduction in the comforts of his or her life-at least, temporarily. His or her ideal, however, is to have a comfortable home and cheerful batch of neighbors by the time he or she reaches old age.
Description: There is no specific item of equipment or article of clothing universal to settlers. Many of them will have a handcart or small wagon, however, to carry their belongings on the quest for the perfect plot of land. Additionally, a beast of burden such as an ox, pony, or mule or animals that produce something useful (a few ducks, chickens, or geese; a dairy cow or goat; a few sheep) can be worth their weight in gold. Animals large and steady enough to pull the cart can prove of double value when the homestead is finally reached.
Role-Playing: The settler’s most common route to adventure is in the enacting of his or her goal: seeking out free land, clearing it, and defending it against any who might care to take it away. However, even once the farm is established, the settler is likely to embark on a long journey, visiting many far-flung communities in the attempt to recruit other settlers to come and join him or her. Indeed, this journey can involve several years of travel and often forms the seeds of an epic tale that becomes the cornerstone of the community’s history-if the community survives, that is.
Also, the very trek involved in reaching the homestead can form a grand adventure for the brave souls who seek unsettled land. By nature curious, the settler might pass through a lot of different locales in the search for the perfect steading. The adventures and obstacles of such an epic journey can easily create the foundation of a great character history.
Settlers are responsible for much of the expansion of the civilized races across the known worlds. Most villages can trace their history back to a hardy settler couple, and these individuals tend to be revered by the generations who have followed in their footsteps. This matriarch or patriarch will be honored and feted in his or her old age and regarded as a prime source of interesting stories. This is regarded as nothing less than a just reward for one who took such risks and endured such hardships in order to bring another community into being.
Commonly, a settler that sets out on a homesteading adventure will take at least one stone from his or her family fireplace along on the journey. Then, when he or she finally builds his or her own place, this stone will be used as a key part of the new hearth.
The settler who carefully selects his or her land, works hard at tending it, and then travels far and wide to recruit settlers is likely to end up a very wealthy individual, having earned the respect of the new community and a place in the local histories. In effect, he or she exchanges a lot of hard work and difficulties at a young age for the chance to be treated very well when he or she grows old. Other intangible benefits can include such grandiose attainments as having a town named after you, or the simple satisfaction of seeing well-plowed fields and a thriving village where there was none before.
- Regardless of class, a Settler can specialize in any tool that can also double as a weapon (Awl, Woodsman’s Axe, Maul, Sickle, etc). In addition, he receives a bonus weapon proficiency slot at 1st level which must be used to specialize in such a weapon (he must pay the initial weapon proficiency, but the specialization is at no cost).
- When fighting to defend his or her family, the settler gains a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. To gain this bonus the attacker must be in a position to physically harm the settler’s kin.
- The Settler gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage when defending his homestead (once established). In addition, he gains a +2 bonus on all proficiency checks when in a village or homestead that he has established.
- Once the settler establishes a homestead and a village, the locals of that village respect the settler highly and provide him with information about happenings in the area. He receives a +2 reaction bonus from people and domestic animals in the village. In addition, an established village effectively guarantees that the settler will be supported in a middle-class lifestyle (so long as he sticks around and doesn’t set off to establish a new settlement).
- If a village or homestead established by the Settler expands into a Polity of its own, the Settler increases the bonuses he provides for any Leadership Role by 1. This stacks with all other leadership bonuses and can allow the Settler to reach a total bonus of up to +11.
- Once a settler has established a village, he doesn’t have a lot of free time. Locals ask him for help with all their problems, ranging from bandit raids to a child lost in the woods. In addition, the settler, as the village founder, must spend at least one day each week attending to village matters: listening to grievances, mediating disputes, finding lost livestock, tending animals, offering advice on crops, etc. If he misses a week, his reaction bonus drops by 1 point (minimum 0) and his income declines a step (from middle class to poor to squalid) as people become less willing to deal with him. The settler can avoid these penalties if he arranges with someone else to look after the village in his absence. Obviously, the settler can always just leave and forgo both the benefits and the disadvantages associated with running a village.
Here is a complete list of tools that can also be used as Weapons (and are thus eligible for the settler’s bonus specialization). In general these weapons tend to be slower, heavier, or deal less damage than their counterparts that were specifically designed for use in warfare (often all three), but are cheaper and easier to manufacture and more easily obtained. In trained hands (like the settlers) however, they may be wielded with deadly efficacy.
- Augur, Awl, Woodsman’s Axe, Bill, Branding Iron, Shepherd’s Crook, Grain Flail, Winnowing Flail, Elephant Goad, Claw Hammer, Smith’s Hammer, Stone-setting Hammer, Hatchet, Hoe, Knife, Machete, Mallet, Cording Mallet, Sledge, Meat Hook, Net, Ice Pick, Miner’s Pick, Pitchfork, Razor, Riding Crop, Scythe, Shovel, Sickle, Snuffing Bell, Torch, Weeding Claw, or Weeding Rake
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