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This is the first in a series reimagining classic “B/X” (and “BECMI”) character Classes for my evolving Panzoasia setting.

In rebuilding the Classes I’ve utilized the same “Five Special Abilities + Two Weaknesses” conceptualization as the character classes in “Ghastly Affair“. In general, my reminagined Classes are slightly more powerful and versatile than the original versions they replace.

By swapping out some Special Abilities and Weaknesses, each basic Class can also be hacked to create some unique characters – such as a Human raised by Elves, or a Dwarven Paladin. Such Variant Classes use the same Advancement Tables as their base Classes, and otherwise shares most other characteristics with them – rolling Abilities in the same manner, and having identical Hit Dice, Base Saving Throws, Experience Point requirements, Attack Roll Bonuses, Saving Throw Bonuses, and Alignment requirements.


Distinctive Features of the Panzoasian Character Classes

Five Alignments (Lawful, Chaotic, Good, Evil, and Neutral) are assumed, rather than three.

• The Panzoasian Character Classes can determine Abilities differently – sometimes with the standard 3d6 roll, but sometimes with formulas such as 1d8+10, 1d6+12, or 1d10+8

• Panzoasian Classes have no Prime Requisites, and PCs do not get XP bonuses for high Ability scores.

Every Panzoasian Class has 14 Experience Levels, and all PCs receive special benefits at both 9th and 14th Level.

Spells (which might also be called Songs, Miracles, Routines or Tricks) go up to 7th Level.

• Most spell-casting Classes do not need to prepare spells ahead of time – only the Gnomish Tinkerer does.

• Magic Users and Elven Warrior-Wizards do not need “spellbooks” – but most Magic Users do require a “Magical Implement”.

• Those Classes which are limited in their choice of armor and weapons will have that debility explained under “Restrictions and Weakness”. Otherwise, it is assumed that any adventurer can use any weapon or armor.


DWARVEN DUNGEONEER

Abilities: Str: 1d8+10 | Int: 3d6 | Wis: 3d6 | Dex: 3d6 | Con: 1d8+10 | Cha: 3d6
Special Abilities: Armor and Weapon Familiarity, Infravision, Resist Magic, Resist Poison, Subterranean Skills.
Restrictions and Weaknesses: Can Only Wear Dwarven Armor, Short Legs.
Hit Dice: d8 per Level, until 9th. Add 3 Hit Points per Level thereafter.
Alignment: Any. Most frequently Lawful or Neutral, but Chaotic Dwarves are often the ones forced to leave their communities and become adventurers.
Starting Age: 20+d6. (Panzoasian Dwarves mature at the same rate as Humans.)
Starting Language(s): Western Dwarven, Western Common.


Typical Starting Equipment:
• Plate Mail Armor (the cuirass and other plates sculpted with muscles).
• Helmet sculpted to resemble a bear’s head.
• Battle Axe or Warhammer.
• Tumbled stone pendant on a chain, inscribed with the bind-rune of the Dwarf’s Clan.
• Wolf fur cape.
• Goatskin or snakeskin boots.
• Haversack of snakeskin.
• 50 feet of goat hair rope.
• 6 iron spikes.
• Small hammer.
• Pole, 8’.
• Wineskin (filled with Dwarven Bitter Ale).
• Wool bedroll.
• Sharpening stone.
• Small bags of ochre, white chalk, charcoal, and animal fat, to make body paint.
• Stone smoking pipe.
• 4 ounces of tobacco.
• 1 week of rations (smoked lizard jerky and Dwarf Bread lichen).
• Glass globe filled with fresh Gloamtree Fungus jelly (illuminating a 15’ radius, and lasting a month).
• 1d10 gp.


Your character is a young Dwarf who has left their home in search of adventure. Perhaps they feel duty-bound to join the battle against the remaining Monsters of Panzoasia. Maybe they are rebelling against the sometimes stifling conventions of Dwarven culture. Are they simply curious about the wider world? Or, perhaps they want nothing more than to recover enough treasure to establish their own Clan among their people. Whatever the reason, their fellow adventurers will doubtless come to depend on their skill at arms, resistance to poison and magic, and deep knowledge of the subterranean world.

Does your character come from a “traditional” Dwarven community of dolmens, painted caverns, and chambers hewn from the rock of high mountains – or did their parents live in a town among the other Peoples? Do they dress in the traditional Dwarven manner – covering their skin with body paint; putting ochre in their hair; adorning themselves with natural uncut stones; and wearing leather, furs, reptile skin, goat hair cloth, and wool? Perhaps your character has adopted more of the Human-influenced culture of the nation where they were born, wearing plant-fiber cloths like cotton and linen – such as no traditionalist Dwarf would do. Either way, they have acquired the skills to survive in the dark places that other people dread.

As a Dwarf, your character probably stands about four-and-a-half feet high. Compared to typical Human proportions, they are squat and powerfully built, with relatively short legs. All Dwarves tend to have heavy brows, extremely bushy eyebrows, and distinctively prognathous faces. Male Dwarves tend to have full beards, while high-status Dwarven women make beard-like designs with their face-paint. Is you character an albino? About 20% of Dwarves are – a result of their traditionally subterranean lifestyle. Otherwise, underneath their body paint your character probably has the same skin and hair color as the local Humans. Your character might have been born with eyes of any color from blue to orange – like the gemstones Dwarves are famed for mining.

Dwarves are as diverse as Humans in their occupations and skills. As a Dwarven Dungeoneer your character has the skills most typical of those who leave their communities to explore the rest of Panzoasia.

Special Abilities of Dwarven Dungeoneers

Armor and Weapon Familiarity: Not only does your character know how to properly employ all common types of armor and weapons, but you can also roll an Intelligence Check for them to:
• Identify the materials from which armor or weapons are made, and know what special properties the item may have as a result.
• Appraise the quality and value of armor or weapons.
• Know whether a weapon is Enchanted (but not the quality of the enchantment).
• Identify strange or exotic armor and weapons.

Infravision: In conditions of total darkness, your character can see the temperature of creatures and objects to a distance of 60’. Warm surfaces appear red, orange, or yellow; while cooler ones look green, blue, or violet. Faces can only be discerned within 10’ or less.

Resist Magic: Exposure to the strange radiations of the subterranean world has made your character resistant to magic.
• You always get a Saving Throw against Spells to to avoid their full effect (typically taking half damage), even if one is not ordinarily allowed.
• You always get a Saving Throw to avoid the ill effect of any Cursed Magic Item. If you Save, you will know the object is Cursed, and be able to drop it.
• If a character has this Special Ability but is not a Dungeoneer, their Savings Throws against Spells are made with a +2 Bonus on the roll.

Resist Poison: Not only are Dwarven people naturally hardy, but exposure to toxic vapors in poorly ventilated underground tunnels (and eating what passes for food among Dwarves) has further toughened your character’s system.
• If a poison or venom (such as Giant Centipede venom) requires an extended period of time for recovery, your character recovers in one quarter the normal time.
• Your character can also also make a Saving Throw against Breath Weapons of a poisonous nature (such as Green Dragon breath) using their Death Ray and Poison value .
• If a character has this Special Ability but is not a Dungeoneer, their Savings Throws against Poisons are made with a +2 Bonus on the roll.

Subterranean Skills: With a successful Wisdom Check, your character can do any of the following:
• Know their approximate depth underground.
• Know the direction they are moving underground.
Identify stones and minerals.
• Detect new, strange or unusual constructions underground (including slopes or sliding walls)
• Identify traps worked into stone.
• Know the direction of the nearest water (within 300 feet).
• Identify typical subterranean animals and fungi.
• Identify subterranean monsters.

Restrictions and Weaknesses of Dwarven Dungeoneers

Can Only Wear Dwarven Armor: Because of their unique frame (much shorter than a typical Human, with arms that are long in proportion to their body, and a very stocky build overall), your character can only wear armor that has been specially made for Dwarves. Luckily, the Dwarven People are the best armorers in Panzoasia!
• Note that despite their short stature, your character’s Strength, low center of gravity, and broad shoulders means that they can still employ two-handed weapons designed for use by Humans.

Short Legs: Your character’s base Speed is 90′, rather than 120′.

Destiny at 9th Level

At 9th Level, one of the following will happen:
• If your character builds a subterranean stronghold, they will attract 10+d20 1st level Dwarven Warriors, with a 6th Level Dwarven Commander. All will share your character’s Alignment. If your character’s stronghold is within the surface boundaries of an existing nation, the sovereign authorities will expect your character to swear fealty to the Lord or Lady who is the recognized cultural leader of that nation’s Dwarves.
• If your character decides to create a new Dwarven settlement, they will attract 50+d100 Dwarves of their Alignment. They will be considered the founder of a new Clan, and will be accorded the title of “Boss” or “Chieftain”. Naturally, they will be expected to swear loyalty to the Lord or Lady of Dwarves in their nation (or the bordering nation, if their settlement is outside of any national boundary.)
• If your character does not wish to establish their own stronghold or settlement, they will invited by a reigning Dwarven Lord or Lady to take command of their army. This offer will be extended even if your character is known to be Chaotic in Alignment.

Destiny at 14th Level

At 14th Level, the King of All Dwarves in your character’s Region (in the Ultimate West this King is the also the sovereign of Auddisland) will appoint them the Protector of Dwarfkind.
• Your character will be offered the opportunity to marry a Dwarven Princess or Prince, and join the Royal family.
• Whether or not they formally accept their title and go to live at the Dwarven Court, other Dwarves will treat your character as one of the greatest living heroes (or heroines) of the Dwarven people, and expect them to come to their People’s aid in time of trouble.

Dwarven Dungeoneer Advancement Table

Exp. Points (Hours played)

Experience Level

Level Title

Hit Points

THAC0 [Attack Roll Bonus]

0

1

Dwarven Warrior

1d8

18 [+1 ]

2,250 (12 hours)

2

Veteran Dwarf

2d8

18 [+1]

5,000 (24 hours)

3

Deep Delver

3d8

17 [+2]

9,000 (36 hours)

4

Dwarven Hero / Heroine

4d8

17 [+2]

16,000 (48 hours)

5

Dwarven Cave Master / Dwarven Cave Mistress

5d8

16 [+3]

30,000 (60 hours)

6

Dwarven Commander

6d8

16 [+3]

60,000 (72 hours)

7

Dwarven Champion

7d8

15 [+4]

120,000 (84 hours)

8

Dwarven Captain

8d8

15 [+4]

220,000 (96 hours)

9

Dwarven Warlord

9d8

14 [+5]

300,000 (108 hours)

10

Dwarven Warlord

9d8+3

14 [+5]

420,000 (120 hours)

11

Dwarven Warlord

9d8+6

13 [+6]

540,000 (132 hours)

12

Dwarven Warlord

9d8+9

13 [+6]

660,000 (144 hours)

13

Dwarven Warlord

9d8+12

12 [+7]

780,000 (156 hours)

14

Protector of Dwarfkind

9d8+15

12 [+7]

The Number listed under “Exp. Points” is the minimum number of Experience Points (or XP) your character needs to accumulate to advance to an indicated Level. If your GM awards Experience Points by Game Hours played (rather than calculating them for treasure recovered and monsters defeated), the number of hours of active play after which your character should advance to a particular Level is indicated in parenthesis.

THACO [Attack Roll Bonus]” follows the format of the Old School Essentials rulebooks. The first number is the d20 roll needed for your character To Hit Armor Class 0, if the GM uses descending AC values. The number within brackets is added to your d20 roll if the GM uses ascending AC values.

Dwarven Dungeoneer Saving Throws

Level

Poison

Death Ray

Disease

Wands

Psionics

Paralysis

Petrification

Dragon Breath

Explosives

Firearms

Spell

Staff

Rod

1

10

13

14

16

13

2, 3

9

12

13

15

12

4, 5

8

11

12

14

11

6, 7

7

10

11

13

10

8, 9

6

9

10

12

9

10, 11

5

8

9

11

8

12, 13

4

7

8

10

7

14

3

6

7

9

6

Permutations and Variations of the Dwarven Dungeoneer

GNOMISH DUNGEONEER
A Gnome who has dwelt long with Dwarves, and adopted much of their culture.
Special Abilities: Infravision, Friend of Burrowing Critters (as per Gnomish Tinkerer), Mechanical Affinity (as per Gnomish Tinkerer), Resist Poison, Subterranean Skills.
Restrictions and Weaknesses: Short Legs, Small Stature (as per Gnomish Tinkerer)
Destiny at 9th Level: As Dwarven Dungeoneer. (Dwarves will accept proven Gnomes as Warlords.)
Destiny at 14th Level: As Dwarven Dungeoneer. (The Prince or Princess who you can marry will not be one in the direct line of succession to the throne, however.)
Special: Your character’s primary language is Dwarven, and they speak both Gnomish and Common with a Dwarven accent.

HALFLING DUNGEONEER
A Halfling (usually Dwarf-kin) who has fully embraced subterranean life.
Special Abilities: Armor and Weapon Familiarity, Nightvision (as per Halfling Rover), Resist Poison, Small Target (as per Halfling Rover), Subterranean Skills.
Restrictions and Weaknesses: Gourmand (as per Halfling Rover), Short Stature (as per Halfling Rover)
Destiny at 9th Level: As Halfling Rover.
Destiny at 14th Level: As Halfling Rover.

HUMAN DUNGEONEER
A Human adventurer has either been raised in Dwarven culture, or who has chosen to adopt it.
Special Abilities: Armor and Weapon Familiarity, Nightvision (as per Halfing Rover, acquired by spending much time underground), Subterranean Skills.
Restrictions and Weaknesses: None.
Destiny at 9th Level: As Human Fighter (Dwarves never accept Humans as cultural leaders, no matter how assimilated they are into Dwarven society.)
Destiny at 14th Level: As Human Fighter.
Special: Your character speaks Dwarven, possibly as your primary language. Note that the Human Dungeoneer lacks the Special Abilities “Resist Magic” and “Resist Poison”.

(Special Abilities and Weaknesses not here defined will be detailed in future posts.)


Typical Names for Dwarven Men of the Ultimate West

1. Hurst
2. Vulf
3. Glauz
4. Aerik
5. Larz
6. Alarik
7. Staven
8. Kazbar
9. Faranz
10. Zagfrid

Typical Names for Dwarven Women of the Ultimate West

1. Ilze
2. Yenel
3. Dagmer
4. Berit
5. Gerzdin
6. Fraeda
7. Olka
8. Rikil
9. Ulrika
10. Karle

A Dwarven male forms their surname by adding the suffix “-zun” to their father’s name. A Dwarven woman, on the other hand, adds “-stader” to their mother’s name. In formal situations, a Dwarf giving their full name will also add the phrase “of Clan [X]” So, a Dwarven man named Alarik, whose father was named “Staven”, and who belongs to the clan Karrig, will give his complete name as “Alarik Stavenzun, of Clan Karrig”.