Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Immortal Art of Fleshcraft

Fleshcraft makes Ogoath go 'round. To hear one of its practitioners speak of it, they are the sole force between the blood-red lamplight of civilization and the total decay of the rotting turtle-corpse. Those who control the meat control the universe, and their powers tap in not to "magic" or whatever "divinity" survived the loss of the Old World and death of its gods, but into the base raw bleeding truth of reality. And while they aren't technically wrong, most fleshcrafters have (in addition to their power) taken on the egos of old-world wizards with none of the pretension of secrecy or solitude.
by Igor Vitkovskiy
If one would listen to the butchers speak of them, fleshcrafters have no respect for the world that's adopted them. They walk openly, twisting meat to their basest whims, capricious children who've stolen their parents' big fancy knives and are chopping up the walls to see the pretty patterns they can make. Their empire killed the world. Their domain is life-made-cancerous, mind without moral, craft without code.

I've given the Butchers their due. Their rivals now demand the podium.

Fleshcrafter

Paint with all the pleasures of the flesh.

Level 1: Fleshcrafting, 2 Techniques, 2 Forms, 1 Flesh Die
Level 2: +1 Technique, +1 Form, +1 FD, +1 HD
Level 3: +1 Technique, +1 Form, +1 FD, +1 HD
Level 4: +1 Technique, +1 Form, +1 FD, +1 HD

Hit Die: d4
Starting Equipment: Scalpel, bone saw (d6 damage and reveal an organ of choice), red leather robes, sheaf of skin-parchment with anatomical diagrams, a bone-vial of each Form you know
Skills (d6): 1. Etiquette, 2. Gardening, 3. Lore, 4. Sculpture, 5. Surgery, 6. Undertaking

Fleshcrafting: Combine a Technique you know and a Form you know to perform an action. Absorb Blood. Grow Bone. Speak to Emotion. Their effects are broad and often self-evident. Roll any number of your Flesh Dice (d6s) in the process. In addition to the damage dealt by the Law of Consumption (see below), they burn out on a 6. 1 can be restored by lunch; all can be restored after a daily rest. If you roll doubles, a Mishap occurs. On triples, gain a Doom.

There's some limitations of what you can do with these. Any numerical effect (damage, duration in minutes or hours, bonus, penalty, etc) can't be greater than either (dice) or (sum); which is the limit is up to the GM. I recommend looking at the Mimics & Miscreants spell list for equivalent effects.

All fleshcrafting follows Three Laws. These laws are well-founded, well-tested, and seem inherent to the Art.

The Law of Consumption. Action requires calories. Greater changes, such as those wrought by magic, require more. Your body will devour itself in your quest for power. Whenever you fleshcraft, you take (dice) damage.

The Law of Contact. Fleshcraft requires touch between the crafter and the form. It is an Art of the body, and so the body is central to its workings. The closer the flesh one wants to shape to their point of contact, the easier it is to shape. Forms separated by a membranous barrier like skin, or like the lining of an organ (if you wish to only affect the material inside) roll your Flesh Dice with disadvantage.

The Law of Continuity. Forms remain the form they are. One cannot transmute blood to bone, or acid to eyes, or skin to cancer, (et cetera), through fleshcraft. That is the provence of mundane biology and naught else.

You may violate one law, and suffer a Mishap.
You may violate two laws, and suffer a Doom.
You may violate all three laws, and be consumed by the Art.


 
Techniques
1. Absorb
2. Animate
3. Bind
4. Burn
5. Command
6. Consume
7. Divide
8. Dowse
9. Engrave
10. Extract
11. Grow
12. Hide
13. Inflict
14. Mutate
15. Restore
16. Shrivel
17. Smooth
18. Speak To
19. Ward
20. Weave

Forms
1. Acid
2. Bile
3. Blood
4. Bone
5. Brain
6. Cancer
7. Emotion
8. Eyes
9. Face
10. Guts
11. Hair
12. Heart
13. Limb
14. Meat
15. Nails
16. Nerves
17. Pain
18. Rot
19. Sense
20. Skin

Fleshcrafting Mishaps
1-2. Decay. Halve a random physical ability score for the rest of the day.
3-4. Mutation. Gain a random negative mutation for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, roll a d6. On a 1, it is permanent.
5-6. Independence. The Form you wanted to manipulate? It decides its had enough of you, and a (dice) HP chunk of it removes itself from you to become an independent being.

Fleshcrafting Dooms
First Doom: Lose a Form. This inexplicably does not kill you, but it will do everything else that losing it would. Losing a seemingly negative form still has negative effects - losing Rot would prevent your cells from dying (commensurately, losing Cancer prevents cell growth).
Second Doom: Lose another Form.
Final Doom: Your individuality sloughs off as you merge with all flesh and organic matter around you. You are not "dead" in a technical sense, but you have become part of something so much greater that you cannot continue play as a player character.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Black Markets

 

When I'm making a random generator, I've always been inspired by Joseph Manola of Against the Wicked City's essay on conceptual density - namely, that each entry has to be better than what I could come up with on the fly. Combining a few thought-provoking prompts is easier on the spot than thinking those prompts up, too. So welcome to a bazaar of bazaars, an emporium of emporiums, a selection of stalls and shopfronts that'll keep your party in business for as long as they're willing to pay...

There's pretty much one archetypical black market for fantasy settings. You've got your shadowy figure hawking illegal wares in a seedy part of town, then break out your list of cursed and rare items. It's all well and good, but not particularly memorable. I like to differentiate my entries by making them recognizably conceptually similar to the archetype, but one or two steps away from what the generic version is. A little more specificity, connecting up a concept that the players wouldn't immediately expect, think out the implications of the existence of a place like this or why it'd sell what it sells. All this requires brainpower I'd want to devote elsewhere at the table, but it makes a fantastic set of generators!




Venue
1. A bar in the seedy part of town. During deals and liasons in dark backrooms you can sneak even further back, into the shop proper. They only admit those intoxicated enough to ensure a purchase.
2. A contraption that displays wares behind a pane of glass and dispenses them when currency is inserted into a small slot on the side. Proprietor tinkers with the machine.
3. A narrow labyrinth of winding alleys leads inevitably to a barred, metal door. A Judas window in the door reveals only the proprietor's eyes. Leaving requires a map that only the proprietor sells.
4. A perfectly ordinary-seeming cheesemonger. Many cheeses are code for a particular black-market service or item, and those in-the-know will order those cheeses for delivery at their place of residence, where the Cheesemonger will personally deliver the item in question.
5. A secret door in the wall of another black market opens into their real moneymaking business. Or is it?
6. Abandoned manor is actually cover for emporium chock-full of surplus banned products hidden under furniture covers and layers of dust.
7. An abandoned storeroom in the lord's castle. Access to the market requires getting into the castle first.
8. An upscale hotel. Calls for a certain order of room service result in a particular individual arriving with an array of wares concealed beneath platter-lids and wrapped in napkins.
9. Beneath a cemetery's mausoleum. Any remains within have been disinterred, and the coffins filled with merchandise.
10. During a particular hour each week, a particular sewer tunnel flushes. It smells not of bile and ichor but of raspberries and thyme. In that hour, the merchant sets up their stall and their wares, and dismantles it all at the end.
11. In the city guards' barracks. It's how they supplement the pittance they get from the city's lords. All items guaranteed confiscated from the "real" criminals.
12. Loud and upfront, with no facade of legitimacy. They're close with exactly the right people in government, and often you'll find said people partaking of their wares.
13. Mineshafts beneath the city drop deep into the earth. They converge on a surprisingly well-lit and comfortable row of townhouses transposed into the rock. One is the market you seek.
14. No venue. Proprietor wears extra layers of coats even in the hottest weather, beneath which lie a staggering amount of product. Accosts adventurers back from their latest looting spree.
15. On the rooftop of a complex of buildings, with no sightlines to the ground. Accessible via service entrance to roof.
16. Street food stall sells new items daily, cleverly hidden beneath the countertop.
17. The back room of a publishing house. Their newspapers and pamphlets detail, in code, the day's stock.
18. The city's public forum hides an open secret. Deliberations are often cover for exchanges of illegal goods, while philosophers ranting at the sky slip in covert ads for their wares. Pledging your support will garner their interest, and an argument of moral principle becomes a coded haggling venture.
19. Wine cellar of a reputable winery does double-business selling illegal goods. Don't tap the oldest casks.
20. Zoo of ill and struggling repute uses animals as cover for the loud sounds and smells of their real business.

Proprietor
1. Cheery, heavily-scarred elf. Doesn't seem to realize illegality of or potential harm caused by products. Willing stooge? False persona?
2. Collective of street urchins. Vicious with both insults and shivs. Brook no quarrel or complaint.
3. Decrepit, but wears the attire of a king. Looks strikingly similar to the royal family. Speaks imperiously, but in whispers, as if being surveilled.
4. Devil, aristocratic, stinking of sulfur. All items come with lengthy fine print, merchant indemnity in case of misuse, and no warranty whatsoever.
5. Elaborately masked being with no exposed skin. Changes mask based on emotion they wish to display. Poetic.
6. Ex-adventurer, took over business from previous owner by force. Not exactly sure how the whole running-a-shop thing works, but knows the ins and outs of the products and the job.
7. Excitable apprentice mage, selling something that they stumbled upon in their research. Definitely way out of their comfort zone.
8. Family, parents and grandparents and children all staffing their business, teaching the next generation their hereditary trade. Rightfully proud, even of the grimmest crafts.
9. Frail, elderly human hunched over an elaborate contraption. They won't look up from their work, and respond with only the barest necessities.
10. Grizzled ex-mercenary. Personally vouches for the efficacy of everything in the store and has a tale of how each saved their life in the field.
11. Immaculate human, speaks like an upscale tailor. Willing to go to great lengths for their regular clientele (or those who may become regulars).
12. Large, boisterous orc in an elegant robe. Mercilessly critiques patrons' taste, but gives legitimately good advice.
13. Middle-manager type from the local mob. Missing a variety of fingers and facial features. Never stops grinning.
14. No proprietor at all. Items are carefully, meticulously labeled and laid out. If you remove one from the premises, the price is deducted in full.
15. Rat king. Served by a swarm of hundreds more chittering rats. Generous to those who respect the city's true, hidden ways.
16. Set of mechanical automatons acting eerily in sync. Will speak with many mouths. Who made them?
17. Shambling corpse. Communicates with a series of index cards laid out in boxes, or by pointing to signs laid out around the shop.
18. Shirtless, tattooed mystic reading from a set of ironbound tomes. Speaks in platitude, metaphor, and verse.
19. Spindly, nosy human with no sense of personal space. Very interested in the party's personal lives, and their exact intents for the items they purchase. They're a big fan.
20. Wizard, selling their failed experiments and outdated products of star-maddened genius. Insists you take some more with you. To test.

Products
1. Absolute tat, guaranteed to come in handy at least once so long as you carry it around religiously.
2. Angry, mutated spells heaving at the bindings of their spellbooks.
3. Blessings of forgotten and murdered gods.
4. Corpses and corpse accessories
5. Dirty deeds (done dirt cheap!)
6. Drugs, potions, alchemical reagents
7. Fine clothing and armors suitable for any occasion - even (and especially) the untoward
8. Incredibly cursed magic items. The curses are a selling point.
9. Magical creatures in small, easily-carried, soundproofed glass jars. A command word opens the lid and returns them to full size. The same word imprisons them again.
10. Maps and floor plans. Usually up-to-date, often of locations otherwise unknown.
11. Mercenaries
12. Mutations!
13. Other adventurers' contact information
14. Other peoples' fortunes - both the money kind and the future kind.
15. Outlandish, impractical, brutal weapons. As dangerous to their wielders as they are to their enemies - but also, very cheap!
16. Paraphenalia of mythical heroes, famous rulers, other notables. 3-in-6 chance any particular item is counterfeit.
17. Poisons, venoms, and flasks of plague. Each is the cure to another.
18. Spices, rare meats, wriggling things presumably for consumption
19. The last copies of lost books and records (all other copies have been destroyed, either before collection, or to ensure this is the last copy)
20. Thieves' tools and guards' timetables

Payments
1. A percentage of any loot gotten with the aid of the shop's merchandise
2. Art
3. Beating the owner in a riddle contest
4. Blackmail on yourself and others.
5. Blood. Lots of it. Cutting your hand won't do the trick here; you need to exsanguinate a whole horse to buy their cheapest items.
6. Captured magical creatures.
7. Confirmed bounties.
8. Contracts for future favors, callable at any time for any reason.
9. Converts to their religion
10. Credit, but they take your body parts as collateral.
11. Currency from a nation long fallen.
12. Exclusive rights to your life story.
13. Ghosts.
14. Good ideas.
15. Knowledge of secret places - or secret entrances to very well-known places.
16. Magic.
17. Raw metals - preferably adamantium, mithril, orichalcum, occultum, but raw gold ore may do in a pinch.
18. Whatever they sell, for far less than they sell it for.
19. Years off your lifespan (in multiples of 13)
20. Your skills and abilities

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Space is Boring

 

For baseline humans, even the fastest interstellar travel is boring. You're trapped in a metal box with people you'll swiftly grow to resent even if you're close friends, recycling all your air and water and biomass in an endless cycle that only gets more nervewracking as the walls close in and the stars grow coldly menacing. You tread the same corridors day after day, weathering a dull routine into your mind as you watch your instruments for danger that will never come (but if it does, you will all die, quickly, cold and impossibly alone).

Jumpspace is worse, as the ship's windows turn to blind-spots that the eye refuses to parse. Vision slips across the opposite of space, and even when all the shutters slide closed, the underlying wrongness of existing in that dimension bites at your bones, twists your skin, and knots your nerves.

And the waiting, the endless interminable waiting, becomes far worse if you know nothing but death may await you at journey's end. Soldiers often travel in cryosleep so they don't have to contemplate their fate for months on end. Mercenaries and adventurers that need a full complement to run their ships rarely have that luxury. Distractions are essential when tensions run high and anxiety floods the corridors like an electrical fire.

Stress
1 baseline. Humans were never meant to ply the void.
+1 per jump.
+1 if ship is overcrowded.
+1 if the ship is going into a dangerous situation.
+1 for each unexpected diversion before the crew arrives at their destination.
+1 if alone
-1 for each unique morale-building event you participate in.
-1 for each amenity (like holosuites, competent cuisine, drugs, etc) on board.



Some metahuman subspecies are better (or worse) adapted to space. This can add or subtract Stress from individual totals. Similarly, if one character indulges in their secret stash of Pandoran writheweed, or two characters have a truly legendary breakup, that might change their totals too.

At the end of the trip, total up the list, each crew rolls to see how much Stress they gain. Crew in cryosleep gain 2 Stress no matter what; cryo is the cheap option for non-essentials who don't need to be carefully maintaining the ship. Long-haul colony ships have low passage berths for cheap travellers who won't (or, usually, can't) pay for the amenities needed to keep them engaged for the trip's duration. Don't mind the cryoburn. Here's the studies that show the chances of neural degradation on newer models are down orders of magnitude from last generation. And hey, if something in jumpspace decides the ship looks tasty, you'll be asleep for it...



The morale-building events are the meat of this system. In space, you're going to have to relax somehow. A poker table has sufficed for many a small crew. A competent chef with a well-stocked kitchen (none of that freeze-dried crap) does wonders. Spacers have made up an esoteric set of holidays to celebrate, just to pass the time. On larger cruisers, there may be computer systems dedicated to running VR sims, and luxury ships might even build in entire terraria for the crew (or more likely, the ship's owner) to pretend they're back planetside.


Others might have ship's bars complete with hired bartenders (though what the bartenders do to keep their stress down is a well-kept secret). Ships too small for bars regularly have stills in the engine room, fermenting a frightening variety of life-support fungi, megayeast cultivars, and the odd jumpspace lichen into potent brews ranging from surprisingly light fruity spritzers to universal solvents. And alcohol is but the most common relaxation incentive, with a whole suite of exciting spacedrugs on offer at the local spaceport. Some are even legal (depending on jurisdiction and corporate sponsor)!

Of course, there's a set of Company-approved morale-building exercises, complete with worksheets and paperwork. Mostly, they boil down to team-building problem sets and unimaginative, sanitized VRscapes. Genetic and psychometric compatibility tests are used to engineer and sometimes mandate relationships between crewers, with universally disastrous results.

Love within the crew tends to be frowned upon by most captains. A breakup can sour the mood until everyone involved's contracts are up, and let's face it: bulkheads between bunkrooms are thin. That said, gossip and rumor spread through ships like wildfire no matter who's sleeping with whom.

Creative endeavors are the go-to for some crews. Collaborative storytelling, songwriting, poetry nights, art, even tabletop role-playing games... anything that gets the crew together and lets them escape their day-to-day drudgery. These get shared around, but often it's far more covert than it would have been in decades past - once the Company caught word, an IP clause became standard in contracts, giving the contracting company exclusive rights to all works created on their ships. What are you gonna do, starve or accept the terms and conditions?

Song is a constant companion. Every crew has that one crusty old spacer with a guitar, a croon, and a head full of old shanties they've learned over their decades spacing. Some stretch back to the first days of spaceflight on Earth, before the first jump breach, before even the disastrous first Mars Landings and the Liar's Flight. Here's a few for table ambience.

Games turn to more dangerous competitions. Undercity fight clubs on space stations often welcome competitors from whichever ships are in port, and so some spacers put their pride in their fists and aim, letting off steam by sparring with their crewmates. The occasional captain turns this into a way to maintain hierarchy, resulting in the tradition of Klingon promotion re-emerging so far from its origins in centuries-old space operas.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Thieves' Guilds

There's been a renewed interest recently in making GLOG classes that are extensible, like the original Wizard and its schools. I've been part of working on several of these before - Bottomless Sarcophagus' Witch, Oblidisideryptch's Barbarian and Warlock, I even wrote a Bard, so I decided to take a crack at a class I haven't really touched: the Thief. To give it a little more mechanical identity, I've decided to give the thief access to some storygame-esque skills.

While Wizards can warp the fabric of reality, and Clerics can channel the powers of the gods, Thieves are so good that the narrative itself bends to their whims. They can retroactively choose to have prepared just the tool for the job, or set up a trap in just the right place, or realize they've always known the language that the merchants speak. It might rub some people the wrong way, but it's my class and my rules and I think it's really cool to let the Thief have some definition of its own. Of course, other Guilds will provide other ability sets, and hopefully I come back to add more.

These Thieves have Guilds, like Wizards' Schools or Bards' Genres. The Guild you belong to determines the suite of 6 abilities you can rank up in. Each ability has 3 ranks. At level 1, you start with 2 abilities, each at rank 1, and as you level up you both increase the rank of the abilities you have and gain new abilities at rank 1.

Thief

Level 1: Gain 2 abilities at rank 1
Level 2: Rank up an ability you have, then gain a new ability at rank 1
Level 3: Rank up 2 abilities you have
Level 4: Rank up 2 abilities you have, then gain all abilities you don't have yet at rank 1

Hit Die: d6

Specific abilities, equipment, and skills are all determined by the Guild a thief belongs to.

Thieves Guild


 Possession is nine-tenths of the law. That last tenth is the tricky bit...

Starting Equipment: 2 daggers, a dark cloak, set of lockpicks, roll 2 extra random items
Skills (2, d6): 1. Acrobat, 2. Bully, 3. Forger, 4. Gambler, 5. Lookout, 6. Pickpocket

Abilities

1: Bag of Tricks
    ✧: You have a Bag of Tricks, which takes up 2 inventory slots. While you have inventory slots in your Bag that haven't yet been filled with defined items, you may produce a mundane tool of neglegible value from your Bag that will help you solve a current problem. It then takes up one of the inventory slots in your Bag of Tricks. You may clean out and refill your Bag when you return to town.
    ✧✧: Your Bag now has 4 slots.
    ✧✧✧: Your Bag no longer contributes to encumbrance.
2: Opportunist
    ✧: Whenever you would gain advantage to hit, you may also roll damage with advantage.
    ✧✧: Whenever you would gain advantage on a roll, you may reroll 1s.
    ✧✧✧: Whenever you would gain advantage on a roll, you may roll 3 results instead of 2 and take the best.
3: Prepwork
    ✧: On a 1 in 6, you may declare that you've set up a minor environmental effect nearby in an area that you would've had access to within the recent past, and trigger that effect.
    ✧✧: One automatic success per day, then 2 in 6 for each following attempt.
    ✧✧✧: 3 in 6 for each following attempt, and you can have retroactively set up effects in any area you plausibly could have had access to at any time in the past.
4: Second Story Worker
    ✧: You can climb vertical surfaces as quickly as you can walk.
    ✧✧: Double your move speed and jump distance.
    ✧✧✧: You can climb upside down as quickly as you can walk. Halve fall damage.
5: Thick as Thieves
    ✧: You can recruit d4 thugs in town who're loyal so long as they'll get a cut of the loot and are sure they'll make it out alive. They will flee, cheat, or betray you and each other if either of those conditions becomes sufficiently murky.
    ✧✧: d6 thugs or d4 thieves, each with 1 rank in a random thief ability (besides this one).
    ✧✧✧: 2d6 thugs or 2d4 thieves, each with 2 ranks in a random thief ability (besides this one).
6: Tricky Fingers
    ✧: Whenever you try to perform sleight of hand (lockpicking, pickpocketing, etc), failure won't alert anyone who isn't already paying attention to you.
    ✧✧: You leave no trace of tampering, or specific traces of your choice, when you perform sleight of hand (whether you succeed or fail).
    ✧✧✧: Whenever someone tries to retrieve or draw an item, you can (on a 2-in-6, with 1 guaranteed success per day) reveal that you actually burgled it from them at some point in the recent past (if you had access).

Seamstresses Guild
You'd be surprised what people let slip when they're in the company of a good listener.

Starting Equipment: 3 sets of fancy clothes, 3 stilettos, bottle of liquor, makeup kit, noble's calling card
Skills (2, d6): 1. Artist, 2. Casanova/Seductress/Them Fatale, 3. Dancer, 4. Gambler, 5. Poet, 6. Seamstress (but for real)


Abilities

1. Con Artist
    ✧: So long as no one can verify what you’re saying is wrong, you can lie through your teeth and they’ll believe you for at least d6 minutes.
    ✧✧: d6 hours.
    ✧✧✧: Even if they can verify, they'll believe you over other people until the end of the duration.
2. Cunning Linguist
    ✧: Three times, you may encounter a language that the party does not understand, and reveal that you speak that language. Add that language to your character sheet, you are now fluent in it.
    ✧✧: You can attempt to translate any language you don't speak. The GM rolls a d6 secretly for the number of errors you make in the translation.
    ✧✧✧: You can crudely communicate with anything that has a language. Gain the ability to speak with (d6: 1. Birds, 2. Clothing, 3. Doors, 4. Gold, 5. Fire, 6. Weapons)
3. Fancy
    ✧: Fancy clothes give you a +2 AC bonus.
    ✧✧: Can choose to ablate fancy clothing like a shield; reducing the damage from one attack by d12 points but ruining your outfit in the process.
    ✧✧✧: Given a short rest, you can make any outfit into a fancy outfit through sheer willpower and coordination.
4. Seductive Wiles
    ✧: You can keep someone engaged in conversation with you, to the exclusion of all else, for an hour. This makes them less hostile, and on a 2-in-6 they let valuable information slip.
    ✧✧: You don’t have to roll to impersonate someone in casual conversation, but gaps in your knowledge can still reveal you. 4-in-6 to let info slip.
    ✧✧✧: You can choose which specific information they reveal, if any, and you can keep them talking for d6 hours.
5. Thick as Thieves
    ✧: You can recruit d4 thugs in town who're loyal so long as they'll get a cut of the loot and are sure they'll make it out alive. They will flee, cheat, or betray you and each other if either of those conditions becomes sufficiently murky.
    ✧✧: d6 thugs or d4 thieves, each with 1 rank in a random thief ability (besides this one).
    ✧✧✧: 2d6 thugs or 2d4 thieves, each with 2 ranks in a random thief ability (besides this one).
6. Tricky Fingers
    ✧: Whenever you try to perform sleight of hand (lockpicking, pickpocketing, etc), failure won't alert anyone who isn't already paying attention to you.
    ✧✧: You leave no trace of tampering, or specific traces of your choice, when you perform sleight of hand (whether you succeed or fail).
    ✧✧✧: Whenever someone tries to retrieve or draw an item, you can (on a 2-in-6, with 1 guaranteed success per day) reveal that you actually burgled it from them at some point in the recent past (if you had access).

Archaeologists Guild

That belongs in a museum! No, *my* museum, not yours... no, not even if you're still using it, now hand it over, it's priceless!

Starting Equipment: Case of maps and pens, wide-brimmed hat, machete, whip, leather armor
Skills (2, d6): 1. Cartography, 2. History, 3. Merchantry, 4. Occult, 5. Religion, 6. Soldier

Abilities

1. Appraisal
    ✧: You can tell the rough value (within an order of magnitude) and historical/geographic provenance of items, architecture, etc. You know how to dismantle them to get 20% value from the more manageable components, rather than the ordinary 10% for defaced art.
    ✧✧: You can identify that an object, effect, or creature is magic on sight. Gain the ability to Speak with Art.
    ✧✧✧: Gain the ability to Speak with Magic.
2. Bag of Tricks
    ✧: You have a Bag of Tricks, which takes up 2 inventory slots. While you have inventory slots in your Bag that haven't yet been filled with defined items, you may produce a mundane tool of neglegible value from your Bag that will help you solve a current problem. It then takes up one of the inventory slots in your Bag of Tricks. You may clean out and refill your Bag when you return to town.
    ✧✧: Your Bag now has 4 slots.
    ✧✧✧: Your Bag no longer contributes to encumbrance.
3. Cunning Linguist
    ✧: Three times, you may encounter a language that the party does not understand, and reveal that you speak that language. Add that language to your character sheet, you are now fluent in it.
    ✧✧: You can attempt to translate any language you don't speak. The GM rolls a d6 secretly for the number of errors you make in the translation.
    ✧✧✧: You can crudely communicate with anything that has a language. Gain the ability to speak with (d6: 1. Birds, 2. Clothing, 3. Doors, 4. Gold, 5. Fire, 6. Weapons)
4. Danger Sense
    ✧: 3-in-6 chance of acting in surprise round when ambushed, advantage on saves against effects you haven't seen yet.
    ✧✧: Always act in surprise rounds; always act first in initiative order.
    ✧✧✧: Once, you may cheat death.
5. Historian
    ✧: On a 1-in-6, you may declare a historical fact relevant to the current situation (negotiate it with the GM). Whether correct or not, it's believed to be true in the current era.
    ✧✧: One automatic success per day, then 2-in-6 for each following event.
    ✧✧✧: 3-in-6, and the historical facts you declare can be outlandish - but your reputation will make them believed.
6. Second Story Worker
    ✧: You can climb vertical surfaces as quickly as you can walk.
    ✧✧: Double your move speed and jump distance.
    ✧✧✧: You can climb upside down as quickly as you can walk. Halve fall damage.

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