Monday, January 11, 2016

Classes in Transylvania, USA

A Tales campaign features most of the options available in the default LotFP rules, though not necessarily in the same ways.  There are no demihumans wandering the land, and traditional Clerics and Magic-Users don't suit the concept very well (though the DJ [GM] is free to allow any option she likes).  Here are some guidelines for molding the standard options into a Transylvania USA campaign.
  • Fighters are tough guys/gals, brawlers, recent military veterans, and so on.  Their game stats remain the same.
  • Specialists, as well, remain unchanged in a Tales campaign, though they have a wider range of skills to draw from.
  • Clerics & Magic-Users don't really fit into Transylvania, USA, but there are other ways to obtain their magic (see below).
  • All PCs in the Tales are human, so the Elf class does not exist.  The Dwarf and the Halfling can both be re-skinned as human classes (see below).
Also called delinquents or hoodlums, greasers are working-class youths characterized by their distinctive hair-styles, clothing, and love of hot rods.  Educated in the school of hard knocks, greasers channel their pent-up frustrations through membership in street gangs and scorn for suburban life.  They live rough, tough lives on the street, often come from broken homes, and are the best combat characters other than fighters.

Greaser characters use the Dwarf advancement table, replacing the Architecture skill with the Automotive skill.  Also like Dwarfs, they get a +1 bonus their Constitution modifier, and continue applying this modifier to their hit points gained after 9th level; and can use the Press or Defensive Fighting options in combat.

Miraculously, some people remain untainted by the darkness that has infected the world.  While not necessarily naive, they are able to witness or confront horrors without having their own souls twisted by the experience.  They are often a great source of comfort to others; even those who mock them publicly will turn to them for help in private when the need is great enough.

Innocents advance as Clerics, but do not cast spells.  Instead, they begin with a 2 in 6 score in the Piety skill, which improves at the same rate as the Elf's Search skill.

The Piety skill allows characters to use the turn vampire spell* at will, to cast the bless spells necessary for making holy water, or to cast cleric spells from scrolls, as per the normal LotFP rules for clerical scroll use.
*In a Tales campaign, only vampires can be turned in the normal fashion.  All other undead beings have  unique weaknesses that must be discovered and exploited.


Children often perceive threats that adults cannot or will not acknowledge.  Some even dedicate themselves to fighting these threats, inspired by great heroes of TV and comic books.  The most precocious of them ingratiate themselves to teenagers or young adults who will at least give lip service to vouching for them with the grown-ups. This gives the kid more social freedom to pursue agendas unsupervised by Big Daddy.

Kid characters use the Halfling advancement table, but replace the Bushcraft skill with the Stealth skill.  They also add 1 to their Dexterity modifier, and get a +1 bonus  to AC when not surprised. Kids cannot use large weapons, and must use medium sized weapons two-handed.

Witch (Warlock)
Experts in the arcane and esoteric, feared and misunderstood more than anyone (except maybe commies), witches are tolerated at the fringes of society for only two reasons: their propensity for selling love potions, and their skill at controlling or combating the supernatural.  Though they rarely operate openly, witches tend to stay out of the limelight for their own protection.

Witch characters advance as Magic-Users, except that they do not memorize and cast daily spells.  Instead, they begin the game with a 2 in 6 score in the Alchemy and Witchcraft skills.  One of these skills (player's choice) advances at the same rate as the Elf's Search skill, while the other one remains at a base 2 in 6 chance perpetually.

The Alchemy skill allows characters to brew potions using spells they read off of scrolls or out of spellbooks.  Witchcraft allows characters to activate Magic-User scrolls, staffs, or wands.

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