One of the things that T & T allows for (and counts on) is lots of creativity on the part of the players. Unlike That Other Game we don’t have an endless list of new character types and classes. There are only 6 character classes: Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, Paragon, Citizen, Specialist. Rogue is actually a kind of Wizard. Paragon shares qualities with both Warrior and Rogue. Citizen is meant to be used for generic NPCs, although you may roleplay Citizens if you wish. Specialist is the wild card on the list. I’m counting on you, the player, to come up with interesting new kinds of Specialists when you play the game.
The 7th edition rules state: A Specialist is a character, possibly a mutant or a savant of some kind, who was born with an ability bordering on (or fully within the realm of) the supernatural. Perhaps the best-known type of Specialist is the “Healer,” but the player may choose to make a Specialist of any variety, such as the Combat Mage or the Ranger.
Specialists occur randomly in character creation when the player rolls natural triples on 3D6 while rolling for attributes. The triple could be on any attribute, but other than a couple of the obvious ones like Healer, Ranger, Combat Mage, Leader I didn’t give many examples of different types of Specialists. Some members of Trollhalla have gone into this topic in greater detail and published their own Specialist inventions. Most notable is Khayd’haik’s newly released The Tome of Advanced Specialist Mages.
In the khazangame being currently played, one of the players is a vampire, and another is a werewolf. I am treating them as varieties of Specialist. For example, the Vampire Specialist uses these 4 attributes for character advancement: Intelligence, Constitution, Wizardry, and Charisma.
I woke up this morning with an idea for a new kind of Specialist. (Yes, some of these T & T ideas come to me in my sleep.) Specialist Berserker is a subclass of Warrior or Citizen. It occurs when the player rolls triple ones for the Intelligence attribute or triple sixes for the Strength attribute. Under 5th edition rules characters of low intelligence could go berserk and do extra damage when they rolled doubles, triples or more for their weapon rolls in combat. Those characters lost their ordinary combat adds, but gained extra damage by rolling more dice. Under 7th edition rules, let’s modify that a bit.
Berserkers are individuals who have the ability to voluntarily enter and leave an altered state of consciousness that allows them to fight harder than normal warriors and ignore minor wounds. In game mechanics this means that a player may alter one or more of his/her natural weapons die rolls to achieve doubles/triples/etc. thus gaining extra dice, and increasing the combat total. The Berserker may change as many dice throws as he/she has character levels. Level 1 may change 1 die throw; level 2 may change 2, and so forth. Weapon damage for a Berserker consists of the initial dice throw plus the additonal sums of all dice that had multiples of the same number on them. Let’s do an example.
Bhobb the Berserker appears to be an ordinary townsman–a Citizen with no special talents. His player rolled a triple one for his Intelligence, the followed that by rolling a 1, 1, 2 on the next throw, thus giving Bhobb an INT score of 7* (the * indicates he is a Specialist). Bhobb’s other attributes aren’t that great either, none of them above 12, so this ordinary human has no combat adds. It wouldn’t matter if he did. Bhobb could be tougher than Conan the Barbarian and it wouldn’t change how the rules work, but let’s Keep It Simple for this example. Bhobb is a woodcutter and he has an axe that is a 3D6 + 3 combat weapon. One day Bhobb goes out to cut down a tree in the nearby forest, and he runs into a hungry bear. The bear (monster rating 24) corners Bhobb, and he has to fight for his life. Maddened by fear, Bhobb goes berserk. Let’s see how that fight goes for him. With a M.R. of 24, the bear gets 3D6 + 12. Bhobb only gets 3D6 + 3, but Bhobb is berserk. Round 1: Bear gets 1, 2, 4 plus 12 for a total of 19. Bhobb gets 3, 2, 1 (lousy roll) + 3 for a total of 9, but Bhobb has gone berserk. He gets to change one die roll into a number that matches one of the other numbers. He changes the one into a 3. Now his total is 11 and he has double 3′s which he can roll again. He rolls a 5 and 2 which adds to his 11 and has a combat total of 18. The bear does only 1 point of damage to Bhobb. His CON drops from 10 to 9. Round 2: Bear gets 2, 3, 4 plus 12 for a total of 21–bear gets stronger, but Bhobb rolled 6, 6, 2 plus 3 for a total of 17. Bhobb is a berserker–he changes the 2 to a 6 which changes his total to 21, and Bhobb gets to roll all 3 dice again. On his second try he rolls 5, 5, 3 which he adds to his 21 getting a total of 34. He has double 5′s. He gets to roll those two dice again, and gets 1, 4. Bhobb’s grand total is 39. 39 minus 21 equals 18–the bear takes 18 points of damage in combat round 2 reducing its monster rating to 6. It isn’t dead yet, but it is very badly hurt. Round 3: Bear rolls 1, 3, 5 plus 3 for a combat total of 12. (The dice don’t reduce under 7th edition rules, but combat adds do go down as monster rating decreases–this to reflect that the weapons haven’t changed but the monster’s ability to do damage has.) Bhobb rolls 6, 6, 4 plus 3, changes the 4 to a 6 and rolls 3 dice again getting a 5, 4, 1. Bhobb’s combat total is 31. Bhobb got some good rolls on his second and third tries, and might have won the fight without going berserk, but he won ever so much more bloodily with the berserk bonus.
Bhobb was just a citizen with no combat adds and no special training. His brother Bhill is a trained warrior with 10 combat adds and a CON of 21 making him a level 2. But he’s Bhobb’s twin in INT and is also a Berserker. Bhill is town constable and he takes on the more serious threats. He also wears a set of leather armor that will take 6 hits for him. One day an Ogre wanders into town and starts terrorizing the place. The Ogre has a monster rating of 50 (6D6 + 25). Bhill grabs his great axe (5D6 + 3) and runs out to chase the Ogre off. Let’s see how that combat goes. (Really, dear reader, I’m just making these examples up off the top of my head.) Round 1: Ogre rolls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 plus 25 for a total of 46 with one spite. Our hero does get nicked by that monstrous club the ogre is swiniging. This makes him mad, and he goes berserk. Bhill rolls 2, 3, 4, 4, 6 plus 10 for a total of 29, but Bhill is a level 2 berserker. Yes, Berserkers do get their combat adds when they are Specialists, and armor bonuses too. Bhill has a choice now. He can change up to 2 dice during the combat to match another number. He could change the 2 into a 3, a 4, or a 6. If he chose the 4, he would get to roll 3 dice again and add. If he chooses the 6, he gets to roll the double 4′s as one set and the double 6′s as a second set, and he can reserve his second die change for the next round, though he doesn’t have to. Rerolling the double 4′s he gets a 5, 6. His combat total of 29 went up to 33 when he changed the 2 into a 6. Adding 11 his total is now 44. Rerolling the double 6′s gets him a 6, 1 bringing his combat total up to 51. Bhill is already winning this fight against the Ogre, but wait, he’s not done. Because he’s second level he’s entitled to change one more die roll into a matching number. He turns the 1 into a 6, bringing his total up to 56, and then rolls the 2 6′s again. Note that he only has 2 sixes left, not 3. He cannot combine the 2 different sets of rolls into one roll. Now he rolls a 2, 2 which increases his toal to 60. Because he is berserk natural doubles add and roll over for him and he finishes his combat roll with a 5, 3 for a grand total of 68. The Ogre managed a total of 46. Bhill the Berserker has done 22 points of damage to him. The Ogre, greatly surprised, limps out of town as fast as he can and promises never to return. Good job, Bhill!
The Berserker specialist has control over his berserk condition, unlike the poor fools in the old days. Bhill calms down without any special efforts made by the town citizens to placate him.
As you can see the Berserker is a great character to have in a fight. Those deadly solo dungeons get a lot more survivable when you can fight as well as Berserkers can.
If you have created an interesting Specialist type, or you like my Berserker, why not leave a comment here?