Some people are determined to survive, regardless of the circumstances. Whether they are outcasts from their tribes, orphans abandoned to the filth of the city’s sewers and back streets, castaways marooned on deserted islands, or desperate criminals reduced to hiding in caves, these resilient souls seem to develop abilities beyond those of ordinary people. Able to eat things that would cause a common savage to vomit, seemingly unfazed by the most disgusting situations, possessed of feral strength and vicious cunning, they improvise what they cannot buy, and steal what they cannot make. Long after ordinary men would have perished, the Scavengers have just begun to exploit their environment.
Scavengers exist everywhere the ties of society have broken down, whether through careless neglect, continual war, or deliberate abandonment. Scavengers are feral, rather than wild; they or their ancestors were once members of a culture, but have either rejected it or become its forgotten castoffs. One does not become a Scavenger quickly; it takes years of life under the most difficult circumstances before a person adapts and develops the necessary abilities. Most die well before that time. Few who embrace their place as Scavengers ever return to the life of comfort, even when given the chance to re-join their former people. They come to prefer the challenge and freedom of life as a near-animal. There are even rumors of Scavengers going so far as to become cannibals, gleefully swallowing the flesh of those who once spat them out from society.
Scavengers are commonly Humans or Half-Orcs. Humanoids such as Goblins who find themselves cut off from their tribes and forced to survive in hostile human-controlled areas often develop abilities as Scavengers. Elves are never Scavengers, preferring to die rather than exist in such a foul and ugly state. Ferocious Dwarven Scavengers haunt the dark passages of the Underworld, as do clever outcast Gnomish Scavengers. Although it would seem at first that their love of comfort might work against such a fate, Halflings actually make very effective Scavengers.
Although most Scavengers have been forced into their existence, there exist some unlucky souls who were born into Scavenger families. Such families eke out their living in dark forests, trackless wastelands, and the forgotten corners of vast cities. The manner by which they reproduce themselves is best left undescribed.
Scavengers work well with Rogues, Rangers, and Druids, the three classes they most commonly come into contact with. Good-aligned Clerics may pity Scavengers, but the Scavengers have no use for do-gooders. Assassins, on the other hand, are highly respected by Scavengers. Knights and Paladins despise Scavengers, and the feeling is mutual. Fighters and Bards tend to be indifferent to Scavengers, a disposition which is also shared. Wizards will sometimes view Scavengers as the ultimate throw-away people who can be freely experimented upon. When Scavengers think of Wizards, it is either with fear or hunger (if the Wizard has been particularly unlucky). Monks and Illusionist generally try to avoid Scavengers.
Scavengers are never of Lawful Alignment, and very rarely Good. Most are true Neutral. Truly Evil Scavengers are feared by all for their twisted appetites and merciless demeanors.
EAT ANYTHING: Scavengers can easily subsist on food and drink too disgusting, putrid or dirty for ordinary people. The character can ignore any effects caused by eating spoiled food and tainted water. It is assumed that a Scavenger can always find enough to eat in an environment where they have lived for more than a week. Scavengers will often make a point of consuming foul substances in front of civilized people. Actual deadly poisons, however, affect a Scavenger like any other animal.
DUSKVISION: If the Scavenger’s race does not already possess Duskvision (or better), the Scavenger acquires it. This Ability allows the Scavenger to see in conditions of moonlight or starlight the way ordinary humans can at dusk.
IMMUNE TO NAUSEA: No effect, magical or mundane, which induces nausea in ordinary people can produce it in Scavengers. Years of living in the most revolting circumstances have hardened their minds and bodies.
INURED TO FASTING: Scavengers suffer no penalties from hunger or thirst, although they will still die like ordinary people if they don’t eventually get food or drink of some kind. They suffer no penalties to their abilities before lack of food and drink becomes fatal, however.
SLEEP ANYWHERE: Scavengers can sleep under almost any conditions. They never suffer penalties for sleeping in armor, or in uncomfortable environments.
FERAL STRENGTH: Once a day a Scavenger can add a +1 to any single Strength related die roll, including to-hit rolls, saving throws, or damage rolls. Note that the bonus applies only to ONE of the rolls (player’s choice). The frequency increases to twice a day at 3rd Level, three times a day at 5th Level, four times a day at 7th Level, five times a day at 9th Level, and 6 times a day at 11th Level.
CUNNING: Starting at 2nd Level, a Scavenger can add a +1 to any Wisdom check once a day. This increases to twice a day at 4th Level, three times a day at 6th Level, four times a day at 8th Level, and five times a day at 12th level.
IMPROVISE TOOL (Intelligence): A Scavenger can improvise items from trash and other objects in his environment. A successful check means that the Scavenger has created an item which has a function equivalent to some item of simple technology, such as a weapon, piece of armor, torch, etc. As a rough guide, assume that a Scavenger is able to emulate an item with a listed gold piece value equal to 10 times the Scavenger’s level. Items which require unusual materials to be effective cannot be emulated, unless the scavenger has access to such materials. For example, a 2nd Level Scavenger can improvise a Saddle or a Morningstar but not a Short Bow or Large Tent. The Challenge Level is usually equal to a tenth of the gold piece value of the object emulated. It is assumed that there are sufficient materials available for the Scavenger to work with, whether he gathers debris or re-purposes his companions’ supplies. Obviously, a Scavenger locked in a featureless room will probably be unable to improvise much of anything, but Scavengers have been known to go so far as to use their own excrement and gnawed-off body parts to create weapons.
RESIST WEATHER (Constitution): With a successful Constitution check a Scavenger can shrug off any non-lethal environmental effects of heat and cold. The Scavenger still takes normal damage from things like an open flame or magical frost, but can adjust to cold weather without wearing heavy clothing, or hot and humid conditions without succumbing to heatstroke.
CLIMB (Dexterity): Scavengers have climbing abilities similar to those of Rogues.
MOVE SILENTLY (Dexterity): As per the Rogue Class Ability.
HIDE (Dexterity): Scavengers can hide, just like Rogues.
SOCIAL STIGMA: Scavengers are the lowest of the low socially. Even ordinary beggars and thieves sometimes look upon Scavengers with a mixture of horror and disgust. Scavengers are usually treated as people with no rights whatsoever. Under no circumstances will respectable NPCs knowingly aid, or associate with, a Scavenger. Usually, they won’t even want to talk to them. Even criminals and the like will tend to have negative reactions to Scavengers, although these can be overcome once the Scavenger proves their value. These bad reactions are regardless of the Scavenger’s Charisma. Scavengers cannot disguise what they are without magical aid – even if cleaned up, shaved, and bathed, they retain an obvious look of feral desperation. The only way for a Scavenger to overcome the negative reactions of others is to become part of society again, permanently losing all Levels in the Scavenger class.
POVERTY: Scavengers start play with just 10 gold pieces worth of actual equipment that they have stolen and/or found.
PRIME ATTRIBUTE: Constitution
HIT DICE: d12
ALIGNMENT : Any Non-Lawful
WEAPONS: Bow (short), Cleaver, Club, Knife, Dagger, Hand Axe, Maul, Morning Star, Sling, Spear, Staff.
ARMOR: Any. Scavengers can wear any armor they can find or steal, and high-Level Scavengers can even use trash and scraps to improvise armor equivalent in protection to mail. Note that wearing heavy armor, whether regular or improvised, will negate the Scavenger’s Climb, Move Silently, and Hide Abilities.
|Level||Hit Dice||Basic To-Hit Bonus||Experience Points|
|13+||+150,000 per level|