Thursday, August 1, 2019

Holding Out For A Hero

There's a challenge in the GLOGosphere this week - Cursed classes! You don't start Cursed, but become Cursed during play. When you're Cursed, you start gaining templates of the Curse rather than any other class. These aren't necessarily good for you.

Other Curses
Words for Yellow: Vampires, Wendigos and more! 
Archon's Court: Nanoweapon Poisoning 
Walfalcon: the Skablin
Anxious Mimic: The Oath
The Benign Brown Beast: the Restless Dreamer
Princesses and Pioneers: Mirror-Struck
Parasites and Paradoxes: The Doppelgänger 
Bugbear Slug: The Abattoir God
Nuclear Haruspex:  The Undying
Meandering Banter: Wizzard Bidness
The Whimsical Mountain: The Fading

Slugs and Silver: Ogre

The curse I've decided to tackle is that of the tragic hero. Destiny is a curse, not a blessing. When Fate chooses you as its actor, you are beholden to its whims, no longer in control of your life, choices, or goals. Welcome to the greatest ride in the world. You can't get off.

When you receive a Grand Destiny from pulling a sword from a stone/being visited by a deity/the stars being right/etc, you instantly receive the first level of Hero. You cannot level up in any other class until you have completed your Grand Destiny. Casting off your destiny in any other way would require a grand quest in and of itself, perhaps knocking on the doors of Fate, or blackmailing a god into returning your free will.

Grazia Ferlito
"... I wish that the people who sing about the deeds of heroes would think about the people who have to clear up after them." - Terry Pratchett

Hero 1: Grand Destiny
Hero 2: Heroic Charisma
Hero 3: Twist Origin
Hero 4: Climactic Confrontation

Grand Destiny: Roll on the Destiny list (or have one assigned by your GM). Death shall not come for you 'til you complete your destiny, at which point you will likely die to achieve it. When you would die before your time, you must avoid it by sacrificing someone or something and taking on a commensurate burden to avenge them. You cannot advance in Hero or enter the Climactic Confrontation until you've avenged everyone you've sacrificed this way.

Heroic Charisma: You're a master of the impassioned, heroic speech. Treat your CHA as 18 whenever trying to convince someone to play a part in your destiny.

Twist Origin: At a suitably dramatic moment, you can (once) reveal a new fact about your parentage or ancestry that gives you an ability of your choice from any template of any class. This fact has retroactively always been true (thanks Fate) and will have repercussions. If you suddenly reveal that you're descended from a dragon, expect that dragon to make an appearance. If you're the king's illegitimate child, expect royal relatives to start trying to kill you.

Climactic Confrontation: You are on an inexorable path to confront your Destiny. You have advantages on rolls you make to approach the final confrontation with your Destiny (though not during the confrontation itself). When you complete your Destiny, you either die, or lose all your levels in Hero and regain all templates that you lost to gaining templates of Hero.

Sample Destinies (roll twice, you must do the first to cause the second)
1. End your bloodline.
2. Topple an empire.
3. Supplant a great evil.
4. Become king.
5. Defeat a great evil.
6. Bring order to the realm.
7. Activate a powerful relic.
8. Save your people from catastrophe.
9. Spread new knowledge to all.
10. Set right a great injustice.
11. End an ancient conflict.
12. Avert impending catastrophe.
13. Recover a long-lost artifact.
14. Unite warring peoples.
15. Reveal a long-buried secret.
16. Accomplish a feat deemed impossible.
17. Lead your people to victory.
18. End the current era.
19. Bring about a prophecy (roll again to see what was prophesized).
20. Follow in the steps of a prior hero, but succeed where they failed (roll again to see what they tried to do).


  1. This is a pretty cool idea. Kinda storygamey but I don't see that as a bad thing.

  2. Oh I made a mechanic like this a while back:
    It's interesting to see another take on it. I like the twist origin feature.
    See, I really enjoy prophecies because it can help make a party more survivable, and gives at least one character who gives continuity if everyone else dies. I've had a few groups where none of the original party survived, ship of theseus style, and it was really weird. Plus it can give pretty interesting story outcomes, and fits well with most of the fantasy source material. Also, combo oldschool/storygames (perhaps fitting under the SWORD-DREAM moniker?) are the best.


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